[solved, has been re-included] - Reasoning behind AAX only being included in Pro-license?


Yes, that’s correct. The GPL option still exist if you want to open your source code, but with JUCE 5 you will be able to launch a product without paying for a JUCE license until you make $50k in a calendar year. Note that this $50k limit includes any funding you or your company may receive.


that depends, the subscription offers a more affordable yearly cost.


Unintentional splash screens are dumb.

I found out EWQL’s SPACES plugin was made in JUCE because they didn’t strip symbols and it crashed on me once. the OS X crash log showed some JUCE methods. That’s how I want to find out that someone’s plugin/app was written in JUCE. I don’t want to see “Made With JUCE” pop up before their main splash screen appears. and I sure as shit don’t want “Made With JUCE” popping up before my splash screen appears when my app loads. That is forced advertising, and not something we should be forced to pay for.


Excluding AAX for Personal and Indie developers is not a good move for the reasons already explained by others above.

In addition, this makes a precedent that gives a very bad impression to the developers that so passionately use JUCE for everyday work: you are literally taking features away from us.

For JUCE 4, a DSP module was promised but never delivered. That alone was a bad news, but at least that didn’t remove something that was already used by someone. It was “only” a major disappointment for those who purchased the license also for that.

This AAX move in JUCE 5 is even worse in my opinion: you are deliberately taking a feature away from under the feet of several small developers which may be rightfully using it since JUCE 2.

And playing the card that “but they can stay with JUCE 4” would not be a good idea here, because development of JUCE has always been done on the latest tip, forgetting older versions, which become unsupported the exact moment a new version comes out.

With these bad examples in mind, one can only wonder what will happen when JUCE 6 is close to being announced.

JUCE is an outstanding piece of software in terms of code excellence, it is a pity to see it being treated like that on commercial/licensing ground



Developing for AAX used to require passing a certification test (which costs $, or used to), plus subscribing to a mandatory PACE license. Selling on the AVID marketplace also has a cost. Things may have changed and if I’m misinformed, I apologise.

If you’ve managed to sell AAX plug-ins without paying anything, perhaps you could share information here? I’m sure fellow JUCE developers would be interested to know.


The PACE signing license fee is waived by Avid. So effectively you don’t need to pay anything to sell AAX plugins. Obviously if you sell through their market, a commission is involved.


I don’t know how much I can share without breaking contract terms with either AVID or PACE, but without giving much detail, I can also confirm that in the past a payment was required in order to use PACE tools, but now that cost is not charged upon plug-in developers any more.

More precisely, you don’t have to pay for the PACE tools if you only digitally sign (wrap) your AAX plug-in, which is the minimum required step for them to load in Pro Tools.

On the other hand, if you wish to use the PACE tools also as the copy protection mechanism for your plug-in (i.e. protect them with an iLok), then only in that case you will have to pay for it, but that is entirely left to the discretion of the developer and not required at all for usage in Pro Tools


…which is needed to sell through the Avid Marketplace afaik (unfortunately)

But besides that, I really don’t see the relation between Avids T&Cs and the fact, that there is no chance to support AAX in the midrange JUCE license…


thanks yfede and swar. I edited my post above accordingly.

It looks like there are more AAX indie developers that we imagined there would be. Please contact us to discuss your specific case to upgrade if you’re an existing customer.


The fee from PACE/Avid has been waived last I heard, which is what opened up the ability to target AAX for me in the first place. It just feels odd that developers who also wish to release for AAX are being penalized, regardless of size. It feels off since the licensing is very fair otherwise!

Please have another look at this decision!


You mean that there is no possibility that the licensing terms that exclude AAX are being reconsidered publicly?
I was under the impression that this sneak peek into the new licensing terms was exactly meant for us developers to express our opinions about it, so that it could be adjusted before final release.


It’s been a while now that code signing AAX has no cost for the developer but, even if there was, I don’t understand why a cost we should already been paying has to be applied here. I understand that maintaining AAX is a PITA, but the SDK by itself is free. Unless I’m missing something, I don’t see why we should pay more for that. Supporting AAX is absolutely not related to the overall turnover of a company… it’s just a format.

My 2 cents


On the other hand… if you want to make the AAX format available only for a sort of “high profile developers”, I’m totally ok with that. But, then, there should be another level of support for high profile devs.


Supporting AAX is significantly more work for us to support, and on that basis we feel it’s justified to reserve it for the Pro licensees.

It seems overall more like an opposition of principle. The reality is that most of existing customers will have to pay $15 more per month to release on AAX. Hopefully this would be paid for several times by sales on AAX, so from a business perspective I don’t really understand why it is so controversial?


It’s the principle, JB. I’m sorry… but with this move ROLI decided to remodel the licensing by removing features to existing paying customers. As said, I’ll be more than happy to pay the full JUCE 5 license (it’s not an impacting cost), but as many other of my fellow colleagues here, I feel that’s not the right way to separate Personal/Indie from Professional. You may add more services, different levels of B2B support and many other features instead. I’ll be happy to pay even more that 1k/year… but having to do that to get what I’m already using just doesn’t feels right.

My 2 cents


While I understand your need to find a proper business model to monetise your investment, I am a bit worried on the trend. I had a bad experience in the past with a security software tool initially marketed by a developer for a very reasonable price, then acquired by a large company, with the result of prices jumping over 500%.

I understand it’s not easy to keep a fees structure that doesn’t penalise existing users while at the same time ensuring any important developments are paid an extra fee. But I feel that if you call your licenses “perpetual”, there should be a minimum update version across releases, where clients don’t need to pay anything extra for keeping the same level of functionality.

This would mean only charging serious enhancements/modules. Just my 2 cents.


Just out of curiosity, I checked how many commits have changed the code in the AAX wrapper since a year ago.
Turns out AAX is the format with the less of them :sweat_smile:

(you can test that yourself by issuing the following commands inside the juce_audio_plugin_client directory)

git log --since=2016-04-20 --oneline AAX | wc -l

git log --since=2016-04-20 --oneline AU | wc -l

git log --since=2016-04-20 --oneline VST3 | wc -l

git log --since=2016-04-20 --oneline VST | wc -l


I don’t think that the number of commits is an accurate representation of the work required…


Yes, it is, because more than the money, this cool idea is impacting our trust in the fairness of future licensing terms.

The idea of having to pay more for the live coding engine was nice: you had to pay for a new cool tool which you couldn’t otherwise have used. But this time it looks like an attempt to target a more fundamental part of JUCE because the live coding engine turned out not to earn enough money.

And again, I am saying this while stressing how good JUCE is from a technical standpoint


I think you’re seeing the forest for the trees.

JUCE 5 brings a new free license until $50k revenue, the Indie monthly price decreases by 40%, and the Pro license now includes iOS and Android.