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General FAQ

Where is the Spectrasonics program located?

Spectrasonics instruments are not programs/applications, they are plugin instruments which are designed to work inside of a DAW/Sequencer/ Host. You'll need a DAW/Sequencer/Host to open Spectrasonics instruments.

What is a DAW/Sequencer/Host?

A DAW is a Digital Audio Workstation, also referred to as a Sequencer or Host; example: Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Sonar, Ableton Live, etc.

I have a DAW/Sequencer/Host. How do I open my Spectrasonics Instrument?

Spectrasonics have made convenient step-by-step tutorials for using their instruments in most major DAW/Sequencer/Hosts.

For Omnisphere and Trilian, go HERE. For Stylus RMX, go HERE.

What is a Spectrasonics User Account, and why do I need one?

The Spectrasonics User Account system allows quick access to your Spectrasonics products and information. This way, you'll have access to the latest instrument Updates, as well as the Authorization area, where you can authorize your computer to use your new instrument. If you don't have a User Account, start by creating one HERE.

How can I quickly get up to speed on learning how to use my Spectrasonics Instruments?

Spectrasonics have created some great Video Tutorials HERE. Be sure to take the time to watch these to get familiar with your instrument's interface and functions.

Licensing FAQs

The following answers to common questions about our Licensing and Copy Protection policies apply to licensed Spectrasonics users

What are the basic principles of the standard license agreement?

• Single-user music production/performance: Allowed
• Multiple users: Not Allowed
• Non-music use: Not Allowed

Any uses that are not allowed under the license need additional permission or a special license from Spectrasonics.

What is meant by "Single-User"?

A single-user is defined as one person. The license cannot be owned by a company, corporation, organization, band, partnership, studio, etc.

Are there any legal limitations to how I can use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments?

Our standard license is designed for musical use. Legal limitations start to apply within non-musical applications. For example, you are not permitted to use them to make other sound sample-based products for distribution (unless you are using your own audio files or the DSP waveforms). However, you are able to use our instruments in all your musical applications without paying for any additional licenses. This includes the ability to distribute commercial and non-commercial music releases, song placements, music libraries, beats, stems, trackouts, cues, melody/chord packs, etc.

Is there a educational license price for Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments?

Spectrasonics doesn't offer student discounts, however qualifying schools and institutions can participate in their EDU program.

Do I need a special license to use Spectrasonics Instruments in music used on a commercial project?

No. The lifetime license fee to use the instruments and samples in any type of music is covered in the purchase price of the instrument. You can use it on as many of your own projects as you like and we hope that you make some hits with it!

Do I have to credit Spectrasonics if I use any Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments on a project?

No, it isn't mandatory, but they certainly would appreciate it!

Can I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments in music library productions?

Yes, this is fine. Some soundware companies restrict this kind of use (since music libraries sometimes cross over into the soundware business), but Spectrasonics allows music library use. In fact, we have many customers that use our products in music libraries.

What if the Spectrasonics elements in my music are exposed for a period of time?

We aren’t concerned about normal music use. Of course our sounds may sometimes appear in exposed passages like intros and breaks within a song’s mix, but this is considered normal usage.

Can I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments in music for film trailers?

Yes. Some companies restrict this kind of use, but Spectrasonics allows it.

Can I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments in music for multimedia or game music projects?

Yes, with the exception of encoding samples created with Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments directly into the game. That requires a special license. Remember, music use is allowed, but non-music use (e.g. SFX) is not permitted without clearance. Please contact Spectrasonics if you wish to encode any of the samples into a game system.

Can I use the sounds from my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments outside of music production?

If you are considering any non-musical use of the sounds from your Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments, it's very important that you contact Spectrasonics directly in advance to clear any special, non-musical usage: info@spectrasonics.net

Can I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments or libraries to create loops or samples for distribution if I'm layering them with other sounds or doing a lot of creative processing?

The simplest answer is that the standard license that comes with the purchase of a Spectrasonics Virtual Instrument covers any kind of musical use and does not cover non-music applications.

Here are several different scenarios:

• A “melody pack” or “chord pack’ could be collections of the user’s original musical phrases, presented as audio files which were created using Spectrasonics instruments. They may wish to distribute these musical creations to other producers. This type of use is allowed under our standard license, since it is essentially a type of music production and music licensing. The only exception is if the audio files are to be embedded in other software or hardware, which would require clearance with us.

• A library of individual one-shot sound samples is not music, so the standard license that comes with our products does not grant a license to use our sounds in this way. If the sample collection contains one-shots or multi-samples that contain our samples, then you must secure special permission/license from us prior to distributing those samples. It does not matter how much they have been layered or processed, it’s still required to contact Spectrasonics before release. Legally, it is considered a "derivative work" when our copyrighted sound recordings are involved in the creation of new sound samples.

• A composer/music producer creates musical pieces/tracks in different styles using Spectrasonics instruments for a music library company that wants to distribute them both with full mixes and with stems for maximum flexibility. Since it is music, this type of use is fully allowed under the standard license agreement that comes with Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments and does not require any special clearance.

• A user creates her own sound effects based on the core library sampled soundsources in Omnisphere and would like to distribute these sound effects publicly online. Since this is a non-musical use based on our copyrighted sound recordings in the core library, she should contact us in advance to clear the use.

• Same user creates her own sound effects based on her user audio or the DSP waveforms in Omnisphere and would like to distribute these sound effects publicly online. Since this is not using any of our copyrighted sound recordings in the core library, she is free to distribute them as she pleases and does not need to contact us in order to do so.

I’m a music producer and I want to make sound samples for other producers to use for their music, isn’t that musical use since the samples are going to be used in music?

No. While individual sound samples can be ingredients to make music, they are not considered “music” in any legal understanding. They are considered “sounds”. In other words, a snare is not a song. :-)

Please see the Sampling FAQs section for more details.

What if it's just for my own use and I don't distribute the samples I've created?

If you're a licensed user, you are welcome to use your Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments and libraries to create new audio samples and loops for your own use. They can be distributed within in a musical context only. Please see the Sampling FAQs section for more details.

Can I use the demo songs?

No. They are presented to give you an idea of what Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments can do. Demo songs cannot be sampled, remixed, or used in any other application without special permission from Spectrasonics. If you are interested in using any of the demo songs in some other application, please contact us and we'll connect you with the composer/publisher.

Can I resell Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments used to someone else?

Please see Spectrasonics' License Transfer FAQs.

Can my writing partner use my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments on their computer?

No. The license to use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments is on a per-person (single-user) basis. They would need their own licenses for the Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments to use them legally on their computer.

I work at a production music studio with several other composers/producers. Can we all use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments from our main server?

No. It's very important to know that each composer must have his own copy and license for Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments. We make regular checks to verify that large production studios have obtained the proper licenses for our instruments and sample libraries.

As a studio owner, am I allowed to include Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments on a rental or studio computer for studio clients to use on their projects?

No. The standard license to use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments is only granted to the buyer. We have a "single-user/multiple-computer" lifetime license policy. If it is a recording project that you are musically involved in producing, engineering or arranging of course that isn't a problem. However, your studio clients aren't licensed to use them for their own projects and the use of Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments cannot be "rented." In the case where a client has his own license for a Spectrasonics Virtual Instrument, that client is welcome to use the studio's installed copy of the instrument.

Does this mean that I can’t use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments when working on someone else’s project?

Not a problem. This type of use is standard and perfectly allowable. The "single-user" is defined as the person who is licensed to use the software instrument for his/her lifetime. This means that the licensed user can use it on any musical projects he/she is involved in. This can be a person’s own project, a project where they are acting as a producer for another artist, or as a session musician performing on someone else’s project - live or in the studio. Most of our customers use their Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments on many different kinds of musical projects for different artists and collaborations.

The main point of our license agreement is the concept of a single, licensed user. A licensed Spectrasonics user must be musically involved in a project that is utilizing Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments - hence the restriction against simply renting the instruments or renting "time" to use the instruments as part of a studio’s services.

Can I install my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments on a client's computer for their use?

Not unless they are a licensed user.

I've never heard of these kinds of licensing restrictions before. This seems unusual and totally different from using hardware sound modules. Why does Spectrasonics have such an unusual policy?

It's actually not unusual at all or even unique to Spectrasonics. In fact, this is the identical type of license agreement used for thousands of sample libraries, virtually all sample-based virtual instruments, and the vast majority of music software. Single-user license agreements have different restrictions than those for hardware devices, and many people are not aware of the distinctions. One of the purposes of this FAQ section is to serve as a clear explanation of our policies. "Single-user" license restrictions are standard for nearly all software/soundware companies – not only Spectrasonics.

Copy Protection FAQs

Do Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments use copy protection?

Yes, we have our own system. Once you've installed and opened the plugin, you'll need to authorize the plugin on our web site, via your Spectrasonics User Account. It's fast and easy, and you'll get your Response Code for your computer immediately. You don't have to use your music computer to do the web authorization.

Does this mean I can use my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments on more than one computer at a time?

Yes. This is no problem as long as you are the only user.

What if I need more than one install for laptop use, if my hard drive crashes, or if I get a new computer?

Not a problem! Our web site is available around the clock to handle these situations immediately. It's very easy to do it online and you'll always be able to get the authorizations you need from Spectrasonics.

I'm concerned about what would happen to my Spectrasonics Virtual instruments if the company were to go out of business? Would I be still be able to authorize them?

Absolutely! At Spectrasonics, we believe it is essential to guarantee to our users the ability to get lifetime authorizations for the Spectrasonics instruments they purchased. In the unlikely event that the company were to go out of business, we would provide for all registered users to get continued authorizations. In fact, we already have a system in place for this contingency. However, the good news is that this event is highly unlikely - we’ve been in business for a long time and we plan to be around for many years!

Sampling/Trademark FAQ

The purpose of this document is to clear up any confusion regarding the sampling of Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments. We get a lot of questions about this topic from other sound designers, so we'd like to make sure our policies are clear and upfront.

The factory sound libraries within Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments are based on sound recordings which are copyrighted by Spectrasonics. The Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments Sound License Agreement grants the purchaser a license to utilize the copyrighted material in the factory sound libraries within a musical context.

However, please note that this standard license does NOT grant the user any rights to copy any portion of the factory sound libraries for distribution or to use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments to create new sound samples for distribution. Any uses that are not allowed under the license need additional permission or a special license from Spectrasonics.

Am I allowed to distribute sound samples I've made of any of the factory libraries in my Spectrasonics Instruments?

No. The Core Libraries in Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments are copyrighted sound recordings and may not be distributed in a non-musical context. This includes any and all types of distribution. Their use in other sound libraries, sound FX libraries, sample-based hardware, or software products is specifically prohibited.

Am I allowed to distribute music samples I've made using the factory libraries in my Spectrasonics Instruments?

Yes, you can distribute your music however you like. This includes any and all types of music distribution as audio files, whether presented in mixes, multitracks or stems. The only exception is if these audio files are to be embedded in other software or hardware, which would require clearance with us.

What if I extensively modify the factory sounds from my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments?

All modification, layering, and tweaking is still legally considered a "derivative work" based on copyrighted recordings, so any type of sound sample distribution like this is prohibited under the standard license. Use of this type would require specific clearance or a special license arranged with Spectrasonics in advance.

Does this mean that I'm not allowed to distribute my own original patches or multis created with my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments?

That's not a problem. Any type of distribution of user PATCHES and MULTIS created with your Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments (.prt & .mlt files) is not only allowed, it's encouraged!

Am I allowed to distribute sound samples of my own original patches made with my Spectrasonics Instruments?

If your patches created in Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments are based on our copyrighted soundsources, the answer would be NO in those cases. In the case of original user patches created solely with the DSP oscillators in the synthesizer section of Omnisphere (i.e using NO SAMPLES) or from the user’s own audio, this is permissible and not a problem. Please contact us if you have any questions.

May I sample my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments for my own private use?

Of course. Every licensed user is free to use sounds from their Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments in any way within the production of their own music that works for them creatively. This includes creating their own custom samples with the instruments. Those custom samples become a legal issue ONLY when they go beyond the private musical use of the individual user (i.e. distribution).

Am I permitted to distribute my sound samples from my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments if it's non-commercial?

No. There's no distinction between commercial and non-commercial distribution. The posting or sharing of your sound samples of Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments presents the same legal issues as commercial distribution.

But if Spectrasonics sampled other manufacturers' instruments to make soundsources for Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments, then why can't I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments for my sampling project? This seems inconsistent.

For the Core Libraries, Spectrasonics researched and obtained all necessary legal clearance to use each of the original samples we created that incorporate other manufacturers' instruments.

Can I use the demo songs?

No. They are just there to give you an idea of what Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments can do. Demo songs cannot be sampled, remixed, or used in any other application without special permission from Spectrasonics. If you are interested in using any of the demo songs in some other application, please contact us and we'll connect you with the composer/publisher.

Can I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments in music for multimedia or game music projects?

Yes, with the exception of encoding samples created with Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments directly into the game. That requires a special license. Remember, music use is allowed, but non-music use (e.g. SFX) is not permitted without clearance. Please contact Spectrasonics if you wish to encode any of the samples into a game system.

Can I use the sounds from my Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments outside of music production?

If you are considering any non-musical use of the sounds from your Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments, it's very important that you contact Spectrasonics directly in advance to clear any special, non-musical usage: info@spectrasonics.net

Can I use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments or libraries to create loops or samples for distribution if I'm layering them with other sounds or doing a lot of creative processing?

Not without securing special permission or an additional license from Spectrasonics. Legally, it is considered a "derivative work" when our copyrighted sound recordings are involved in the creation of new samples or loops.

What if it's just for my own use and I don't distribute the samples I've created?

If you're a licensed user, you are welcome to use your Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments and libraries to create new audio samples and loops for your own use. The important thing is not to distribute them.

Can I use the demo songs?

No. They are presented to give you an idea of what Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments can do. Demo songs cannot be sampled, remixed, or used in any other application without special permission from Spectrasonics. If you are interested in using any of the demo songs in some other application, please contact us and we'll connect you with the composer/publisher.

License Transfer FAQs

Does Spectrasonics allow me to sell my instrument?

We recommend that you contact Spectrasonics directly about all license transfer inquiries and encourage you to think carefully about this decision. You can read the commonly asked questions about Spectrasonics license transfer: HERE

Who can I talk to if I have more questions?

For further questions please contact Spectrasonics at info@spectrasonics.net or call 888-870-4223.

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