This article will discuss if Plugin Boutique is a legitimate and reliable marketplace for audio plugins and Software.
If you’re a music producer, audio engineer or mixing-mastering engineer, you would have probably heard of Plugin Boutique. But, in case you haven’t, Plugin Boutique is an online marketplace that sells plugins, VSTs, software instruments, software synthesizers, online courses, plugin bundles, and other software tools related to music production, sound design, and audio engineering.
It is created by the team behind Loopmasters, an online samples and loops marketplace. Of course, you can buy these tools directly from the developers and manufacturers too, but the special thing about Plugin Boutique is that it also combines the different Software in a bundle and offer occasional money-saving deals on these software products.
Its website has hundreds of manufacturers, including Apollo Audio, Slate Digital, Arturia, Waves, Izotope, D16, AIR, Antares, XLN Audio, WA Productions, and many more.
Regarding online courses, it has creators like Building Blocks, Producertech, Exclusive Bundles+, and more. Now let’s come to the main concern. Note that Plugin Boutique is a plugin developer/manufacturer with device plugins like Scaler.
Is Pluginboutique legit shop?
Yes, plugin boutique is 100% legitimate and trustworthy. At the time of writing this article, it has a 4.7/5 rating on Trustpilot, with more than 53,000 reviews. It’s also verified on Trustpilot and is one of the biggest and most popular music production marketplaces for buying plugins and Software instruments.
You can find plugins of all types, from dynamic processors (compressors, gates, multiband compressors, limiters, etc.) to harmonic processors (distortion, saturation, overdrive, etc.) to time-based effects plugins (delay, reverb, phaser, flanger, etc.) to different types of equalizers, and a lot more.
You can also find various software instruments or softsynths from Arturia, Orb plugins, Wave alchemy, etc., Kontak instruments by Big Fish Audio, Loot Audio, etc., sample packs and preset packs, plugin bundles, effects racks for various DAWs, entire DAWs like Bitwig, Serato Studio, Samplitude, etc. and more.
They have a huge library, especially in terms of effect plugins. If you’re looking for an effect or mixing-mastering plugin, in all probability, you’ll find it on Plugin Boutique. However, it’s not the best place to buy synths, sample packs, online courses, preset packs, and instruments.
How Does it Work?
Consider the website to be the amazon of audio plugins and Software. You can search for the plugin you’re looking for by using the search bar on top of the website, and alongside, you can also select whether you’re looking for a Mac version (audio units) version of the plugin or Windows (VST and AAX).
Alternatively, you can click on the Software tab on top and select from the drop-down menu one of these categories: Bundle, Effects, Instruments, and Studio Tools. Then, you can further filter it down to exactly what you want. For example, you can click on Software> Effects > De-Esser, if that’s what you’re looking for. The website will show you all products categorized as DeEssers, in that case.
Similarly, you can also browse for plugins by their Manufacturers or Free plugins category and find Deals, Courses, and Bundles. The company often offer good discount rates on the products, especially if you buy them in bundle(s).
Lastly, some marketplaces like Splice, Waves Music Maker Access, PluginAlliance, etc., offer a subscription-based model, wherein you pay periodically (usually monthly) for the plugins you use, or you rent out a plugin for a temporary period.
Plugin Boutique doesn’t work that way; it doesn’t sell subscriptions, it sells the product directly, with period usage depending on the license you buy, but it’s usually for a lifetime. Secondly, it doesn’t sell any physical products or gadgets like Sweetwater.
Payments & Deliveries
You get the option to pay with either your card (Visa, Mastercard, and Maestro), Paypal or using Google Pay. That is great because, in countries like India, most online users do transactions with UPI (Unified Payments Interface), and their bank doesn’t allow global payments, so they can’t use Paypal either.
You are billed on your name, email address, and physical address. After the payment, you receive your order in your mail, whether it is a download link to Software, license, etc. Overall, the payments are secure, deliveries are timely, and in case of any mistakes/accidents/issues, there’s always customer support you can get in touch with.
Everything on the website is straightforward and streamlined, with a simple and browsable menu and search bar. Moreover, the best and most popular deals are displayed on the home page. In addition, you can change the theme on the website from night mode (black and white) to day mode (white and sky).
I find the night mode better and more attractive. The drop-down menu on the software option on the menu is effective, comprehensive, and uncomplicated. In addition, the listing of plugins is laid out in an organized and straightforward style, which makes the overall user experience good.
How’s the Customer Service/Support at Plugin Boutique
The Customer Support at Plugin Boutique is quite responsive but has a scope for improvement. Once you visit the website, you find two green markers/tabs/windows. One says “support”, and another says “Contact Us”.
The “Contact Us” tab gives you a bunch of options to choose from regarding which you’d like to communicate with their team. These communication prompts include “I can’t download or install my product”, “Can I get a refund”, “I can’t log in”, etc. The last one is “I need help with something else”.
So no matter which option you click, you get to elaborate on your problem by writing about it in the description and attaching image files to describe it further. You also need to add a subject line, along with your email address, so someone from the company can reach out to you and help you.
That is quite convenient. However, a phone number would have been a good option, as the waiting period for this communication is at least 24 hours. There’s no option to resolve your issues immediately.
When you click on the “Support” tab, it takes you to another browser tab or webpage. In that, you can search for a problem or choose out of the six categories of options they give you. If you can find the right category for your issue, it will take you to a webpage with a bunch of articles that could solve your problem. But if not, you can also submit a request and get in touch with their support team.
Apart from that, they have addressed every 1-star review and 99% of all negative reviews on Trustpilot in a window of 1-6 business days, which shows that the company cares about its reputation and customers and has an active customer care team.
Alternatives to Plugin Boutique
Direct competitors of Plugin Boutique are KVR Audio and Bedroom Producers Blog, as they are also a plugins and software instruments marketplace. An indirect competitor is Sweetwater, primarily an online gadget market but also sells Software.
Other indirect competitors are Splice, Waves, Landr, and Plugin Alliance, which rent out plugins or sell subscriptions to the same tools or collection(s) of tools. Then some manufacturers also sell directly to consumers like Izotope, Waves, Native Instruments, softube, and more. You can also look for the best pricing in some of these marketplaces.
The website and the collection on the website are comprehensive and sufficient, especially for plugins. However, there’s still scope for improvement in software instruments and synths. For example, popular soft instruments/synths manufacturers like Xfer records, Spectrasonics, reFX, etc., are not present.
Even regarding courses, you can find better educational material on ADSR sounds, YouTube, or some other sources. Other than that, the range of plugins is huge!
The discounts and bundles the company offers are great, and you can also avail a lot of free plugins. In addition, occasional sales give you the chance to buy plugins at heavy discounts. The Loyalty program also offers decent rewards. I recommend subscribing to their newsletter to stay updated about the latest discounts and sales.
Lastly, another good thing about the company, which also proves its legitimacy is the content it posts on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc. You can tell that the team works hard at creating a loyal community around the brand. Hope the article was helpful. Thank you for reading.
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.