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Used Audio Software & Subscriptions: Save a Few Bucks

Used Audio Software & Subscriptions: Save a Few Bucks

Today I’m coming to you with a quick bit of information that could be a huge game-changer when it comes to production and mixing. Many of you may not be aware but used audio software is a very popular concept, especially in the audio world. DAWs and plugins can come in at a price range many of us just can’t justify spending. On top of this, you usually need to get a few bits of software to achieve what you’re after. This means even more money spent. However, with used audio software through license re-sale, many of you could bring this cost right down to an acceptable level.

License Re-Sales for Used Audio Software

If one key phrase sums up the used audio software market, it’s license re-sale. The ability to pass on your software when you no longer have a need for it sounds like such a simple concept yet it’s only in recent years that this has become available. Much like many other things in your life, your needs and wants change over time. The ability to sell things on and then re-invest that money is fundamental in everyday life. The same now applies to some DAWs and plugins.

DAWs & Plugins

DAWs such as Ableton and Reason (to name a couple) have given their users the option to pass on their license codes and relinquish ownership of their software when they no longer have a need for it. For those of you looking to get into music production, this is a godsend. Copies of Ableton via license re-sale can be found on eBay for as little as $40! At this price point, you can comfortably spend the money to find out if it’s the right thing for you. It’s always best if mistakes are don’t cost much. Equally, because the software doesn’t experience degradation like physical objects, the likelihood of re-selling it for the same amount you paid is quite high. It’s a win-win all around.

A person holding a few bank notes

This idea also applies to many major plugin creators. Slate Digital, Izotope, and Soundtoys all offer the option for purchasers to sell on their license to another user. I think this is a fantastic show of community understanding on the parts of these companies who know that their software can be pricey for some. It allows more people to have access to the tools they need for their careers or hobbies and provides them with an even playing ground when it comes to the music industry. Have a good hunt around on eBay and audio forums and you could potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars on software.

Subscription Services

Whilst this doesn’t follow the concept of used audio software, I feel it’s worth mentioning in an article dedicated to saving you money in pursuit of your passion. Subscriptions to Plugins and samples are another fantastic gateway to affordable music production and sound engineering.

If you’ve only got to pay $15/month (Slate Everything Bundle) to have a huge array of world-class plugins at your fingertips, you’re far more likely to want to get them than stay stuck with your DAWs built-in plugins. Equally, this $15 can almost be used as an incentive to find a way to make some money from your music. If you can make just $15/month from royalties or working as a producer, for example, you’ve covered those costs and now those tools are effectively yours to play with for free!

The Slate virtual mix rack, available with their used audio software

This concept applies the same to sample sites like Splice. Splice comes in at around $7/month and gives you access to 100 samples every month. The choice is endless and the quality is impeccable. Gone are the days of shelling out $50 for a sample pack to find out that you only like about 9 of the 500 samples in it. Sites like Splice and Sounds give you a greater range of control and choice, making them far better value for money.


Uses software is a fantastic way to get into music production without having to spend your life savings and re-mortgage your house. License re-sales mean you can grab DAWs and plugins for a fraction of their retail costs. As the software doesn’t degrade, re-selling it if you don’t like it could potentially make you a small profit. Subscription options are also available for those of you on a really small budget. Many Plugin creators now offer a monthly price to access all of their products which is incredible value for money. Other sample-based sites like Splice and Sounds can give you all the missing ingredients you’ve been looking for without the hassle of purchasing huge sample packs. Now there really is no excuse for you to not be making incredible music!

About the Author

Tim Dunphy

Tim Dunphy

Audio Engineer and Specialized Content Writer

Over 10 years experience working in the audio business. Everything from coiling up XLRs to mastering albums. I'm a self-made man and I keep my assets in Bitcoin. What more is there to know!?


jimmy rouse

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