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Waves Creative Access in Live Applications – Best Practices and FAQs

Apr 27, 2023

Waves plugins are offered as perpetual licenses, or as a subscription to Waves Creative Access. eMotion LV1 and SuperRack are only sold as perpetual (non-subscription) licenses. This article presents best practices and frequently asked questions regarding license management for users of live sound applications with subscription licenses.

Best Practices for Managing Your Waves Creative Access Plugin Subscription Licenses

Waves Creative Access subscriptions (Waves Ultimate and Waves Essential) are offered as monthly or annual subscription licenses. These licenses are updated and re-activated automatically, as payments are received.

If a payment was received but your system is offline (not connected to the internet), your subscription licenses will not renew automatically on that system and will not be available in your live application, until you connect your system to the internet and sync.

Since the live market involves many tours, where equipment is in storage or en route and is not available to connect online, we highly recommend that you purchase an annual subscription. This way, in order to complete the license renewal process, you will need to sync each system online only once a year and not each month.

We also recommend activating your subscription and application licenses on a USB flash drive, via Waves Central.

To sync your Waves Creative Access plugin subscription license:
  1. Once the renewal date arrives, connect the computer to which your licenses are activated to the internet.
    Or, if your licenses are activated to a USB flash drive, connect it to an online computer.
  2. Either of these actions will sync your Waves Creative Access license:
    • Launch your Waves live application (eMotion LV1, SuperRack)
    • Log in to Waves Central, using the account to which the licenses are registered.
  3. The license will now be re-activated, and the next license expiration date updated per your subscription.

    For your convenience, a license will continue working for 7 days after the renewal date: for example, if you activate a monthly subscription license on January 1, you will need to re-sync it between February 1–7.

    When the next renewal date arrives, make sure to repeat the steps above.
To check the expiration date of a subscription license:

You can check the expiration date even if Waves Central is not connected to the internet:

  1. Launch Waves Central
  2. Go to the Licenses > Connected Devices tab.
  3. Click on the relevant device to view the licenses activated to it. The expiration date is stated under the license.

An email reminder will be sent to the license owner shortly before the expiration date.

We also recommend that you set your own reminder on your calendar.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I continue using my perpetual plugin/bundle licenses?

    You can continue using your perpetual plugin/bundle licenses in Waves live applications as usual.
  • Will the introduction of Waves Creative Access impact my eMotion LV1 / SuperRack license in any way? (Quick answer: No.)

    Nothing has changed regarding Waves live applications: eMotion LV1 and SuperRack licenses remain perpetual (non-subscription), same as before. They are not included in Waves Creative Access subscriptions.

    When a new major version of a Waves application is released, you can update your license to that version if the application is covered by the Waves Update Plan. If the application is not covered by the Waves Update Plan, coverage can be renewed here.
  • Can I try Waves Creative Access plugin subscriptions within my Waves live application before deciding to subscribe to Waves plugins?

    Yes, owners of Waves live applications (eMotion LV1, SuperRack, SoundGrid Rack for VENUE) can download a fully functional 7-day trial license of Waves Ultimate, which includes all Waves plugins. This option, which does not require a credit card, is exclusive to Waves live application owners.

    Register the Waves Ultimate trial license here. Once registered, you can install and activate it within Waves Central’s ‘Install Products’ page.

    In addition, when you subscribe to either Waves Essential or Waves Ultimate for the first time, you will have fully functional access to the plugins included in your subscription during the first 7 days, free of charge. This option does require entering your credit card when subscribing, but you can cancel anytime during the free trial without being charged. At the end of the 7-day period your subscription will begin with your first automatic payment.

    You may be aware that Waves Creative Access plugins can also be evaluated in various DAWs in Demo Mode, introducing periodic audio mutes. This option is not available in our live applications.
  • Will a new Waves Creative Access license activate the older plugin software currently installed on my system?

    Yes, Waves Creative Access licenses are backward-compatible and will activate plugin software of earlier versions (version 9 and higher), if the specific plugin existed in that version. Waves Central will always install the latest plugin software version (via online installation). You can install older plugin software versions if needed by following the steps on this page.
  • Will I be able to continue using the second licenses for plugin/bundles offered with the Waves Update Plan?

    You can continue using your second licenses for plugin/bundles, for the duration of your current Waves Update Plan coverage.

    Second licenses are not offered for Waves applications.
  • I am subscribed to Waves Essential. Why do I see other Waves plugins to which I am not subscribed in my DAW?

    When either the Waves Essential or the Waves Ultimate subscription is installed via Waves Central, all Waves plugins are installed. This means that all of the plugins will appear in your SoundGrid application’s plugin list, including those that do not have a license and will not load.

    We are working to provide a filter for licensed vs. unlicensed plugins, with unlicensed plugins marked in italic within Waves live applications (eMotion LV1, SuperRack, SoundGrid Rack for VENUE). We will provide an ETA for this filtering ability as soon as we can.

    If you wish to remove specific plugin/s from the plugin list:
    1. Shut down your SoundGrid application
    2. Go to
      Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Waves\Plug-Ins Vx
      Mac: Applications > Waves > Plug-Ins Vx
    3. Delete or move the relevant plug-in file to a backup location.
    4. Launch your SoundGrid application. The plug-in will be removed from the list.

Need any assistance, or have more questions? Contact Technical Support.