Avicii and Other DJs Produce Hits Using Pirated Software

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Most of the top DJs are multi-millionaires, but that doesn't mean that they don't use pirated software to create their music. Video footage reveals that paying €139 for a legal copy of the popular synthesizer plugin Sylenth1 proved to be too much for Avicii and other popular DJs such as Martin Garrix.

aviciiTim Bergling, aka Avicii, has become one of the world’s best known DJs, scoring hit after hit in recent years.

With a net worth estimated at $60 million the Swede has plenty of cash to splash. Enough to buy an expensive Hollywood Hills mansion.

Interestingly, however, some of the tracks he made his millions with were produced with the help of pirated software.

In an interview with Future Music Magazine Avicii proudly shows his setup and the associated video reveals that he’s using a cracked version of Lennar Digital’s popular Sylenth1 plugin, which normally costs €139.

The plugin, which appears 42 minutes into the video, is registered to “Team VTX 2011,” referencing the name of a well-known cracking group.

Avicii’s “Team VTX 2011” plugin
The interview with Avicii was shot a while ago so there’s a chance that the DJ bought a legal copy in the meantime. However, the use of pirated Sylenth1 plugins among top DJs is not an isolated incident.

Just a few months ago DJ Deadmau5 called out Martin Garrix on Twitter for making the same mistake. Garrix, who’s also a multi-millionaire, was using a version cracked by “Team AIR.”

Garrix’ “Team Air” plugin
And then there’s Steve Aoki, good for an estimated $45 million, who was also previously accused of using a pirated copy of Sylenth1. Responding to the revelation, Aoki came up with proof showing that he did own a proper license, but that his road team forgot to use it.

“I had asked my road team to help me load in my production software and apparently they didn’t ask Jacob for the authorization code for Sylenth and installed a pirated version,” Aoki said.

The pirating DJ trend isn’t limited to Sylenth1 either. In yet another interview with Future Music Magazine, Norwegian DJ Aleksander Vinter, aka Savant, uses a pirated copy of Ohmicide.

On its website Ohmicide says it understands that “not everybody can afford to spend several hundred dollars for a piece of software while you have other bills to pay in times of crisis.” But while Savant’s income is nowhere near the millions of the others, he isn’t starving just yet.

Savant’s “Team Air” plugin
Based on the above it’s clear that using pirated software is pretty common among DJs. Not just aspiring teens with no money to spend, but also those who are making millions of dollars per year.

Avicii in particular should know better. After all, he was “discovered” by Universal Music’s Per Sundin, who was one of the main witnesses against the Pirate Bay four during the 2009 trial.

Whether Lennar Digital will follow this piracy lead up has yet to be seen – the company has yet to respond to our request for comment.

Update: Savant’s manager informed us that Aleksander bought a legal copy as soon as he could afford it.

“We would like the opportunity to respond because we know that there are hundreds of aspiring musicians who look forward to the day they can pay software developers for the software they use as soon as they have the means and we feel its important to make sure your readers know this.”

Update: Lennar Digital informed us that all artist that were “caught” pirating (Avicii, Martin Garrix, Steve Aoki) did purchase a license, some already before they got famous.

“It is of course very unfortunate (you could call it stupid even) that they used pirated copies in their videos, possibly because they forgot to install their legal licenses, or were simply too lazy to do so,” CEO Lennard Addink tells TF.

“Piracy obviously is a major problem for our company, by missing revenue to invest in further development and otherwise because cracked versions usually are buggy and unstable and give wrong impressions of the software,” he adds.


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