Stealing Plugins & VSTs
We’ve all thought about it. Commercial VSTs sound amazing and offer exactly what we need for both live performances and recordings. They also cost money and that money can add up quickly. Picking up a Piano VST like Synthogy’s Ivory II Studio Grands will run you $250 (as of this writing). That’s $250 on top of your DAW, keyboard(s), MIDI controller, etc. The temptation is there, and anyway, who’s going to find out?
You’re right. It’s unlikely that anyone will ever find out that you grabbed a couple VSTs from torrent sites and slapped them into your DAW. At least the company that built the VST or plugin will stand little or no chance of catching you. However, I can think of a few other reasons not to use cracked versions of VSTs or plugins.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere for the past two decades, you’ll understand the threat malware poses to computer users. Where do you think the majority of that malware comes from?
In the past, it came mostly through email attachments, but with the decline in the use of email coupled with more savvy computer users email viruses are less of a threat these days. That’s where torrent and porn sites come in. However, it doesn’t just stop at traditional malware.
It was reported last year that torrent site The Pirate Bay was adding a Bitcoin miner to some of its pages. This script would hijack the user’s CPU resulting in a noticeably higher load on the CPU while browsing certain pages on the site.
If you steal software, then you kind of deserve the consequences, so the bigger issue, at least as far as I’m concerned, is the issue of integrity. If you don’t have the integrity to search out alternative solutions–such as using free plugins and VSTs, saving up and buying one great plugin or VST, etc–then maybe you shouldn’t be trying to make music that you (presumably) want people to give you money for.
Your Lack of Ability
The final point should be the only one we need. Why do you feel the need to download cracked VSTs and plugins in the first place?
It is because your mix lacks something? Emotion? Feeling? Talent?
Maybe, just maybe, the problem isn’t in your lack of high-end plugins, but rather in your lack of ability to get the best out of what you have. For those of you who think a lack of equipment is what’s holding you back, here’s Zakk Wylde playing an amazing cover of Black Sabbath’s N.I.B. on a Hello Kitty guitar.