Knowledgebase

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.

Are there any legal limitations to how I can use Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments?
The main limitation is that you are not allowed to use them to make a sample library or another kind of sample-based product. You are also restricted from giving away or posting online any loops or samples created using Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments. However, you are able to use them in all your musical recording applications without paying for any additional licenses.

Can I order Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments directly from Spectrasonics?
Unless you are upgrading from an earlier version, you will need to purchase your Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments through an authorized Spectrasonics dealer. To find a dealer in your area, please contact one of our distributors.

Is there a educational license price for Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments?
Spectrasonics doesn't offer student discounts, however qualifying schools and institutions can participate in our 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 we 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. Specific limitations about music library use include the following:

  • The music in the library must be mixed. You cannot provide separate tracks.
  • The intended audience for your music library collection must be non-musicians.

Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions regarding your specific music library needs. info@spectrasonics.net

Can I distribute the music I’ve created with Spectrasonics Virtual Instruments in a “multitrack” format?
One of the only things that is NOT allowed is distributing your music in a multitrack format that completely exposes tracks that were created using our samples.

The problem in this case is that the separate tracks can then easily be reused in new works by the end-user of the music – someone who is not a licensed Spectrasonics user. This use becomes a type of redistribution of our copyrighted samples as a “derivative work” and is not allowed without special permission or a special license from Spectrasonics. Please contact us if you need further clarification: info@spectrasonics.net
NOTE: "Multi-channel" mixed music (5.1, 7.1 mixes, etc.) is not a problem.

What if the Spectrasonics elements in my music are exposed for a period of time?
We aren’t concerned about normal music use, where the music is presented in a mixed format. 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 an additional license. 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 us 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. 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. The important thing is not to distribute them. 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 our 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. This means that the licensed user can use it on any musical projects they are 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.

Who can I talk to if I have more questions?
We're happy to talk to you! You can send us an email at info@spectrasonics.net or call us at 888-870-4223.


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