This article will discuss whether Plugin-alliance is a legitimate and trustworthy plugin company or not and also review its products.
Plugin-alliance is a plugin aggregator and subscription-based marketplace for renting out virtual audio plugins and is also an LLC based in Wilmington, Delaware, with its headquarters in Santa Cruz, California. It brings some of the biggest and best audio plugin companies like Izotope, Blackbox Analog Design, Brainworx, AMEK, Bettermaker, and more under one roof.
The subscriptions start from $9.99 per month for the MEGA L plugins pack and range from $24.99 per month to $249.99 per year for the MEGA XXL pack. So now let’s dive right into discussing whether you can trust the company or not and how its services are.
Is Plugin-Alliance legit?
Plugin-Alliance is a legitimate company registered LLC and offers one of the best plugin rental and subscription services. However, the company has a rating of 1.9/5 on Trustpilot, from 78 reviewers, with 66% 1-star ratings.
Customers on Trustpilot have recently complained about getting charged even after canceling the subscription; others have complained about not getting warned before renewing the subscription and making automatic payments. However, some reviews are also done on political grounds regarding the political ideologies of the company’s people.
Further, the company also has a loyal following, as many engineers, artists, and producers have subscribed to them faithfully over a long time and are happy with the services. Its website features Grammy-winning artists/engineers/producers like Josh Gudwin, Michael Brauer, Ken “DURO” Ifill, and more.
Further, for any problems or issues, the company offers tech support and sales support, which include forms you could fill out about your problems, and the support team will contact you regarding the same. There’s also a comprehensive FAQ page, and one can also raise tickets for any issues.
When writing this article, the website features 180 plugins FX, and applications from more than brands and companies. The company calls its packs “MEGA,” which come in three sizes: L (Large), XL (Extra Large), and XXL (Double Extra Large).
MEGA L allows you more than three free plugins forever every year, 150 plugins, 40+ modular FX, MEGA samplers & sounds on a single machine, and 6 FREE online masters. MEGA XL lets you have everything that the MEGA L lets you, along with three more free plugins, access to 3D plugins, six additional online masters in high definition, and BX Mastering DAW, on two machines.
MEGA XXL allows you everything that the MEGA XL allows, along with four free plugins, eight FREE Online Masters (HD), a Live plugin host, a Complimentary Upgrade for ALL existing MEGA Bundle users, and Unlimited Access to PA Beta Program, on three machines.
The MEGA pack includes more than 180 plugins & applications from 40+ brands with tools for mastering, guitar & bass amps, analog simulations, and more. You also get access to the cloud-based sample management system, packed with thousands of samples from Native Instruments, Brainworx, and Plugin Alliance.
In addition, there are virtual instruments and synthesizers, ranging from physically modeled tools to analog-based synths. Further, MEGA Mastering features the Branworx auto-mastering app, cloud mastering services, and M/S Mastering plugins.
Lastly, a module called Mixed with MEGA includes mixing sessions across different genres and music styles, which are available for download to anyone with a subscription.
The company has two pricing models: yearly/annually and monthly. The pricing of all plans is displayed in the table below.
Please note that the payments on the website are automatic, and you’ll need to come to the website and manually cancel your subscription so that you’re not charged for the period for which you don’t want to use the subscription.
How Plugin-Alliance works?
After you have bought the subscription, you need to download the plugins and activate them. You can find the licenses of the plugins in your customer account, but to run the plugins, you need to download the Installation Manager, which is available for Windows 8 onwards, and Mac Os 10.11+ and requires a minimum of 2 GB of RAM.
The plugins are available in VST 2, VST 3, AAX, AU, and Soundgrid formats (Windows 64-bit and 32-bit). Further, the installation plugin will allow you to install all your subscribed plugins. Lastly, you can install your licenses after you open any plugin, on a USB flash drive, or in your system.
Best Plugin-Alliance plugins
No doubt plugin-alliance has some sonically great and high-quality plugins, as it’s partnered with Brainworx, Izotope, NEOLD, and more. However, at the top of the list, we have the Knif Audio Knifonium, a software emulation of an analog synth, of the same name, with 26 vacuum tubes per oscillator, two oscillators, eight-voice polyphony, and a fat analog sound.
Next is the bx_console AMEK multi-effects processor, which includes a filter, gate, limiter, compressor, a 4-band EQ, a single-knob distortion/THD, and a v/u meter, and is also a great virtual recreation of the Neve console. The third plugin on the list is NEOLD’s V76U73, which comprises the V76 preamp and U73 compressor/limiter.
Further, the Shadow Hills Class A Mastering compressor, bx_console SSL 9000 J dynamic processor, Black Box HG-2MS tube saturator, Brainworx BX masterdesk, Brainworx AMEK EQ200, and SPL Iron compressor are some other great plugins in the collection.
Plugin-Alliance is great for softwares which are virtual simulations of hardware & analog synths and plugins. It’s among the few and one of the best mastering plugin aggregators. So you can surely find some great and sufficient software gear for mixing-mastering purposes.
Top 11 Plugins On Plugin Alliance 2022
Alternatives to Plugin-Alliance
There are plenty of other online plugin marketplaces; some sell the plugins directly, and some sell subscriptions. For example, Plugin Boutique is an aggregator and marketplace that sells plugin bundles and individual plugins at good rates. It has a huge collection of plugins and is also reliable.
Some of the direct competitors of Plugin-Alliance, who sell subscriptions to rent out plugins, are Waves Music Maker Access, Slate Digital, and McDSP. Then there are companies like Splice and Landr, primarily marketplaces for samples, loops, and presets, but they also include plugins in their subscriptions.
We are very fortunate to be living in this day and age and finding ourselves services like these at such affordable rates. How the service is debatable, but one has to be grateful for the privilege, especially for bedroom producers, DIY artists, and self-taught audio engineers, music producers & sound designers.
Plugin-alliance offers a comprehensive set of plugins, which are great for virtual analog mixing-mastering, but it could expand its collection in terms of effect plugins and synthesizers. For example, the Crispytuner is available for tuning vocals, but to be honest, the Antares Autotune and Waves Tune Real-Time have superior software for tuning vocals.
Similarly, the company could expand upon reverb, phaser, flanger, and other such effects in terms of plugins collection & range. Apart from that, you can get some solid finishing and in-the-box mixing-mastering workflow solely with the Plugin-Alliance subscription.
The Trustpilot reviews put the company in a bad place, and there isn’t much marketing on the internet regarding positive publicity of the company. However, the company is still legitimate and has been in the business for a long time. Positive thing is that you can try their plugins for free. Whether or not you can trust it depends on your workflow and whether the plugins in the MEGA bundle suit your workflow and engineering/production style.
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Shaurya Bhatia, is an Indian Music Producer, Composer, Rapper & Performer, who goes by the stage name MC SNUB, and is also 1/2 of the Indian pop music duo, called “babyface”. A certified Audio Engineer & Music Producer, and a practicing musician & rapper for more than 6 years, Shaurya has worked on projects of various genres and has also been a teaching faculty at Spin Gurus DJ Academy.