When you first start out producing and recording music, you are going to want to expand your VST libraries. You’re most likely going to research which VSTS your favorite producers are using and then look those up. Once you do so, you will most likely be shocked and upset at the price of some of these libraries. Enter the world of cracked VST plugins.
I want to point out right away that I am against the use of cracked software, but not just because I find it to be unethical. It’s mainly because you’re playing with fire.
While my opinion is that using cracked plugins is wrong, I also believe it’s just dumb. It’s illegal, you risk putting viruses into your computer, and you’re most likely going to end up with bugged software.
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I truly believe that the headache that comes with searching out cracked plugins is just not worth it. You can spend hours searching, only to download something that uploads viruses to your computer.
If you do install cracked VSTS, you will not be to update them and they will likely at one point not be compatible with your DAW.
So what are some of the popular VSTS you will most likely be looking for?
- Cracked Nexus VST
- Cracked Sylenth VST
- Cracked Omnisphere VST
- Cracked Serum VST
This is just a short-list of some of the more popular plugins that you’re most likely looking up.
While the alure of crack software is incredibly appealing for those who are on a budget, which is going to be most starting producers, there are a number of risks that will encounter.
Full disclosure: I used cracked VSTS when I was starting out and the reason I’m writing this article is to simply point out my experience using them and why I believe it’s a bad idea and why I’m ashamed of doing so.
In The Big Scheme, Are You Really Winning?
With the invention of technology, we’re seeing incredible synthesizer VSTs that cost thousands of dollars typically, for $150 or $200. These don’t break, can be updated and save you so much money.
Once you have a plugin, it’s not a one-time use. You get this plugin for the rest of your career.
Most plugins will actually allow you to test them out before you purchase them. They’ll offer a “money-back guarantee” or something similar. This is incredible as you can test out a few different ones and see which you really want to go with.
But I’m At A Disadvantage Because I Can’t Afford Them
I was a full-time college student and I worked at Chilis for 3 years serving tables. I get it. With this being said, I don’t believe that you’re at a disadvantage. Find free plugins to write your songs with.
If budget is a concern to you, check out Plug-In Boutique. They frequently have deals and this is where I do all of my plug-in shopping. (Full disclosure, I am an affiliate with Plug-In Boutique and I may receive a commission of anything that you purchase from them).
Takes Away From The Creators
One of the main reasons that using cracked software is bad is the fact that it takes money away from the people who have slaved away creating the plugins.
I know that a lot of people are going to comment on this and say there’s nothing wrong with this, but the funny thing is that a lot of those people are the same that will complain that nobody buys music anymore.
I get that plugins definitely add up and are expensive, however, if you’re wanting to make music full-time and you’re already taking shortcuts rather than saving up and purchasing, you’re going to have a rough time.
Making plugins usually takes hundreds of hours of work with a large team. This team makes their money from the sales that their product generates.
Cracked VSTs Often Are Bugged
I mentioned above that I used to have cracked software when I was starting out. I did, and I got rid of anything I had and I purchased the full versions. I noticed that my sessions no longer crashed.
I played a ton of shows and I would often find that some of my synths were just completely bugged out and they would cause other things to go wrong in my live set.
I once took the stage and began to play and all of my synth sounds would only play one distorted sound that wasn’t even audible. My set then went on to crash and I had to reset. You run into a lot of different compatibility issues when using cracks as well.
While you can find certain cracked plugins, you are playing with fire as you can also be installing viruses into your computer.
Typically, you spend days on setting up your DAW, your plugins and studio set up. Downloading a bunch of cracked VSTs could result in having to reinstall everything. I’ve seen this happen to people in music forums a bunch.
What To Do Instead Of Using Cracked VSTs
Do your research on some plugin libraries and save up. Look and see which VSTs your favorite bands or producers are using and save up. A few hundred bucks will go a long way in your productions as you will use these plugins throughout your entire career.
Use free VSTs. You can actually download some great free software that you can test the waters with.
You can use a free DAW that’s completely legal and works great to get the hang of things.
Chances are that the reason you’re looking for free cracked software is that you’re just starting up. This is exactly why I recommend finding free VSTs. For example, I recently created a guide to the best free piano VST plugins and I think you will definitely enjoy these options.
It’s Not Professional
You can usually tell when someone has cracked software. Now, if you’re a producer and you’re bringing in bands and they see you’re running a bunch of cracked software, what are they going to think?
Some people might see this as a big deal, and maybe for some, it won’t be, but it certainly doesn’t look professional or give off the impression that you’re doing well as a producer.
What’s Your Take?
Do you use crack VSTs? Now that you know my opinion, I would love to hear your thoughts about what I’ve had to say on this topic. Let me know in the comments and let’s discuss!