Black Friday plugin deals 2023: These huge music software savings are still live

Black Friday plugin deals graphics
(Image credit: Future)

Black Friday may be over for another year, but that doesn't mean the Black Friday plugin deals are! There's still money to be saved on everything from bundles to studio essentials. There's even some free plugins up for grabs. With Cyber Monday plugin deals just around the corner, your time is running out to take advantage of these specific deals.

If you want to get stuck straight in to what's on offer, the official Waves Black Friday sale is still live with huge savings across the board, plus a tasty bundle offer of 3 plugins for just $49.99. If you want something for nothing, Waves has also unleashed its traditional free Black Friday plugin, which you can still snap up for a limited time. The Native Instruments' Cyber Season sale is mega too, with loads of deals just added, including  50% off their Komplete 14 essential studio tool kit.

Guitar Center's official Black Friday sale is live through to November 29 with up to 40% off virtual instrument packs from EastWest, Toontrack drum sample packs and epic iZotope bundles. There are still some insane Black Friday offers on pretty much every software brand you can think of at Plugin Boutique, too.

If you’re on the hunt for a new compressor, you want to update your DAW, load up on soft synths or get stuck into the AI-powered music-making apps, you'll find some amazing offers right here.

Black Friday plugin deals: Quick links

Explore all the latest Black Friday plugin deals:

Editor's picks

Shopping for Black Friday plugin deals but don't know where to start? These are our current top picks:

Total Studio 4 MAX: Was $/€799, now $/€349

Total Studio 4 MAX: Was $/€799, now $/€349
Get all the plugins you need to take your music from a spark of inspiration, all the way to a finished, mastered release with IK Multimedia Total Studio 4 Max. With 170 instruments, more than 500 FX and over 640 gigabytes of sample data, it’s a complete solution for composition, mixing and mastering your music with a combined total value of over €14,000. At this price, why are you still reading this article?

KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2: 
Was $119.77/£94.96, now $31.47/£24.95

KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2:
Was $119.77/£94.96, now $31.47/£24.95
They don't call it Synthmaster for nothing. KV331 Audio's Synthmaster 2 is truly a master of synthesis in one application. It uses a semi-modular approach to deliver all sorts of synthesis types including VA, Additive, Wavetable, Wavescanning, Phase Modulation, FM, Pulse Width Modulation, Ring Modulation, Amplitude Modulation, and Physical Modeling. It is packed with more than 2,000 sounds and also comes with some great effects, incredible modulation and a very easy-to-use interface considering the power under the bonnet. Synthmaster 2 for under $32/£25 is a steal, simple as that! Get it quick.

Korg Collection:
Was $485.60/£385, now $251/£199

Korg Collection:
Was $485.60/£385, now $251/£199
Korg has many of its software synths, both old and new, in the Plugin Boutique sale. They are typically being sold for between $/£50-100 each at between 30 and 50% off. However, depending on what you already own, you might want to simply grab the Korg Collection instead. This delivers over a dozen classic and newer Korg synths, and is only $251/£199 for the lot, a huge saving of nearly 50%. You get some absolute belters too: classic 70s synth emulations like the MS-20 and ARP Odyssey; the Mono/Poly and Polysix from the 1980s; plus the Prophecy, Triton and M1 from the 90s. It's a history of classic Korg synths!

Komplete 14 Select:
Was $199/£179, now $99.50/£89.50

Komplete 14 Select:
Was $199/£179, now $99.50/£89.50
Komplete 14 Select is a fantastic range of top music production software. You get a total of 19 instruments and effects and 15,000 sounds. As NI says, it's everything you need to make music, and more. The instrument highlights are Massive, one of the biggest-sounding and most enduring softsynths. There's also the classic virtual analogue softsynth Monark, and more vintage synth goodness in Retro Machines Mark 2. Traditional instruments are also catered for with The Gentleman upright piano, Drumlab drums, Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass and Vintage Organs. Komplete 14 Select covers pretty much every instrument, then, and also comes with a fabulous suite of effects (including a delay, phaser and reverb) plus nine expansion packs. That's a huge range of software titles at half price!

Line 6 Helix Native:Was $399, now $199

Line 6 Helix Native: Was $399, now $199
Harness the power of Helix inside your DAW for half price with Sweetwater’s early Black Friday deal. With 60+ amp models, 30+ speaker cabs, over 100 effects and more, you can have multiple instances of Line 6’s award-winning, world-class studio guitar tone at your fingertips. From vintage to modern classics, rare and sought after stompboxes, and the flexibility that a plugin provides over hardware, if you’re recording guitar then Helix Native should already be high on your list. Save $200 and get your plugin instantly.

Artist Subscription: $/£1 month for first two months

Artist Subscription: $/£1 month for first two months
With a Loopcloud Artist Subscription you get access to a huge library of over four million samples, 5GB of cloud storage, a huge 1GB welcome pack of samples, and 100 points a month to spend on more sounds. You can upgrade at any time to Loopcloud Studio or Professional for additional sounds, storage and up to 600 credits to spend a month. Now is the time to experience the future of sampling for just £1 a month for the first two months. Usually you would pay £5.99/month.

Amplitube 5 Max: Was $299.99, now $79.99

Amplitube 5 Max: Was $299.99, now $79.99
Save big on Amplitube 5 Max from IK Multimedia this Black Friday. For a limited time, you can score a whopping over 70% off its original price! 

Pro Tools Artist annual subscriptions: Save up to $120
Pro Tools is pretty much the industry standard in pro studio environments, but is actually perfectly accessible for serious beginners - especially at these prices.
• Pro Tools ArtistPro Tools StudioPro Tools Ultimate

Pro Tools Artist annual subscriptions: Save up to $120
Pro Tools is pretty much the industry standard in pro studio environments, but is actually perfectly accessible for serious beginners - especially at these prices.
Pro Tools Artist - was $99, now $79
• Pro Tools Studio - was $299, now $239
Pro Tools Ultimate - was $599, now $499

Free plugins

Waves Silk Vocal: Free for Black Friday!

Waves Silk Vocal: Free for Black Friday!
This year's Waves Black Friday freebie is a must for anyone who wants a fast route to vocal perfection. It's a smart EQ and dynamics processor that will regularly retail for $79, but is free for this weekend only.

Native Instruments Komplete Start: Free!

Native Instruments Komplete Start: Free!
The Komplete Start production suite contains a pretty generous selection of instruments and effects. On the instrument side, you get the likes of the Hypha acoustic-electric hybrid, Analog Dreams vintage synth emulator, and Ethereal Earth soundscape generator. Effect highlights include the Raum reverb, Supercharger compressor, Replika delay and Guitar Rig 7 Player. As a further bonus, you also get the EQ plugin from iZotope's Ozone 11.

Bundles

Total Studio 4 MAX: Was $/€799, now $/€349

Total Studio 4 MAX: Was $/€799, now $/€349
Get all the plugins you need to take your music from a spark of inspiration, all the way to a finished, mastered release with IK Multimedia Total Studio 4 Max. With 170 instruments, more than 500 FX and over 640 gigabytes of sample data, it’s a complete solution for composition, mixing and mastering your music with a combined total value of over €14,000. At this price, why are you still reading this article?

Komplete 14 Select: 
Was $199/£179, now $99.50/£89.50

Komplete 14 Select:
Was $199/£179, now $99.50/£89.50
Komplete 14 Select is a fantastic range of top music production software. You get a total of 19 instruments and effects and 15,000 sounds. As NI says, it's everything you need to make music, and more. The instrument highlights are Massive, one of the biggest-sounding and most enduring softsynths. There's also the classic virtual analogue softsynth Monark, and more vintage synth goodness in Retro Machines Mark 2. Traditional instruments are also catered for with The Gentleman upright piano, Drumlab drums, Scarbee Rickenbacker Bass and Vintage Organs. Komplete 14 Select covers pretty much every instrument, then, and also comes with a fabulous suite of effects (including a delay, phaser and reverb) plus nine expansion packs. That's a huge range of software titles at half price!

Korg Collection: 
Was $485.60/£385, now $251/£199

Korg Collection:
Was $485.60/£385, now $251/£199
Korg has many of its software synths, both old and new, in the Plugin Boutique sale. They are typically being sold for between £50-£100 each at between 30 and 50% off. However, depending on what you already own, you might want to simply grab the Korg Collection instead. This delivers over a dozen classic and newer Korg synths, and is only £199 for the lot, a huge saving of nearly 50%. You get some absolute belters too: classic 70s synth emulations like the MS-20 and ARP Odyssey; the Mono/Poly and Polysix from the 1980s; plus the Prophecy, Triton and M1 from the 90s. It's a history of classic Korg synths, saving £186!

Subscriptions

Artist Subscription: $/£1 month for first two months

Artist Subscription: $/£1 month for first two months
With a Loopcloud Artist Subscription you get access to a huge library of over four million samples, 5GB of cloud storage, a huge 1GB welcome pack of samples, and 100 points a month to spend on more sounds. You can upgrade at any time to Loopcloud Studio or Professional for additional sounds, storage and up to 600 credits to spend a month. Now is the time to experience the future of sampling for just £1 a month for the first two months. Usually you would pay £5.99/month.

Compressor deals

UA Capitol Mastering Compressor: 
$440.19/£349, now $124.87/£99

UA Capitol Mastering Compressor:
$440.19/£349, now $124.87/£99
If you need a sprinkle of magic dust on your mixes, then one of Universal Audio's newest plugins delivers the pro sound of one of the rarest pieces of studio gear. Capitol Mastering Compressor is an emulation of Capitol Studio’s CM5511 tube compressor, of which only four were built. This compressor plugin can be used to add presence to elements in your mix, or as a more dramatic effect to add colour to drums and other instruments. But its best use is as a mix lifter - it will add a pro sheen to any song and is packed with quality presets to do just that, and it's now half price! Read our full review of this amazing plugin here.

Waves Smack Attack: Was $79, now $29.99

Waves Smack Attack: Was $79, now $29.99
Waves Smack Attack enables boosting or cutting of the attack and release parts of the transients in audio - a drum hit or string pluck, for example - to give them much more impact. Smack Attack is a fantastically useful plugin and does a great job on all sounds with transient components, and particularly well on basses, pianos, guitars and synth plucks. Read our Smack Attack review here.

Antares Auto-Tune Vocal Comp: £179, now £89.50

Antares Auto-Tune Vocal Comp: £179, now £89.50
Auto-Tune Vocal Compressor uses machine learning to choose the best compressor settings for your vocals so is the perfect partner to the regular Auto-Tune for a pro vocal processing experience. It features two compressors, each of which can access four popular compression types including FET, Opto A, Opto B, and Modern. The plugin analyses your audio and comes up with optimum settings depending on which type you have chosen. Then it leaves any further tweaking up to you so you can refine your sound. Like everything Auto-Tune this Black Friday, now is the time to get a copy of Auto-Tune Vocal Compressor at half price!

Vocal plugin deals

Antares Auto-Tune Pro X: Was £459, now £229.50

Antares Auto-Tune Pro X: Was £459, now £229.50
Described by Antares as 'the most advanced Auto-Tune edition ever' Auto-Tune Pro features the most finessed vocal tuning of all 11 Auto-Tune editions. You can process using the more standard Auto Mode or go into more detail with Graph Mode for more precise pitch and time editing.  With a new Multiview Mode that enables you to see the UI from within other plugins, Antares has clearly been focussing on ease of workflow, so Pro is probably the slickest, fastest, and most accurate Auto-Tune out there. And at half price, now could be the time to get 'pro' with your tuning. Read our full Antares Auto-Tune Pro review here

Antares Auto-Tune EFX+ 10: Was £229, now £114.50

Antares Auto-Tune EFX+ 10: Was £229, now £114.50
In many ways, Auto-Tune EFX+ is the ideal all-round Auto-Tune. As well as its legendary Auto-Tune pitch correction capabilities, it is packed with other vocal effects like Breath, Reverb, Echo, Chorus, Compress, Low-pass, and EQ. It has four modular-style effects slots which you can reorder for maximum signal flow versatility, and this latest v10 features a refreshed UI that is resizeable and supports both light and dark modes. Auto-Tune EFX+ 10 gives you the best of all vocal processing worlds, from the legendary Auto-Tune sound to every effect you need for better vocals. 

Channel strip deals

Waves Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain: $199, $29.99
Now is your chance to get hold of five independent mixing and mastering modules,

Waves Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain: $199, $29.99
Now is your chance to get hold of five independent mixing and mastering modules, modelled after the EMI TG12410 Transfer Console used in all Abbey Road's mastering suites since the early '70s to this day, for a very attractive price.

Waves Scheps 73: Was $199, now $27.99

Waves Scheps 73: Was $199, now $27.99
This is an emulation of the preamp and EQ from the iconic Neve 1073, a processor that has been featured on top recordings since the 1970s. You can use this plugin to add a rich analogue warmth to any recording, and it also features settings as used by the Grammy-winning mixing engineer Andrew Scheps, who has worked with Adele, Metallica, and Jay Z among others. With 86% off the original price you can get more reductions if you buy more plugins.

Scheps Omni Channel: Was $149, now $29.99

Scheps Omni Channel: Was $149, now $29.99
We've used the Scheps Omni Channel on pretty much every instrument at some point, whether adding a light touch of vibe or totally transforming the properties of a track. It's a 5-module channel strip that features preamp, EQ, de-essing, compressor, and gating, making it a proper Swiss-army knife tool for your productions. There are loads of great presets built into it that make a good starting point for beginners, and if you know your stuff, plenty of options to tweak and shape your sounds.

Saturation deals

Renaissance Bass: Was $79.99, now $29.99

Renaissance Bass: Was $79.99, now $29.99
With many musicians opting to go the home recording route nowadays, gathering together an arsenal of useful plugins is essential to getting the best possible sound. Waves Renaissance Bass, or R-Bass as it's more commonly known, has been many producers' go-to for a long time now. Designed to enhance low-end instruments like bass guitars, kick drums, and synths, it's an easy-to-use yet powerful plugin that will make your music sound better. It's got an excellent $50 discount over at Waves at the moment, alongside loads of other great plugins.

Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher: $79, now $29.99

Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher: $79, now $29.99
Infected Mushroom Pusher is one of Waves' more unusual signature plugins, this time a collaboration with Israeli dance and electronica duo Infected Mushroom. The plugin is an enhancer and limiter/clipper that is designed to improve the sound of pretty much anything - single channels, busses and even full mixes - and it does the job well and in a natural, classy fashion. Basses are bolstered magnificently, mid-range sounds benefit from extra presence, and top-end material is treated to a fabulous sheen. Read our Waves Infected Mushroom Pusher review here.

Scheps Parallel Particles: Was $129, now $29.99

Scheps Parallel Particles: Was $129, now $29.99
Another Andrew Scheps signature model, the Scheps Parallel Particles plugin is a brilliant option for enhancing the vibe of a particular instrument that isn't quite cutting it in the mix. Based on Scheps' parallel processing tools, it's a fantastic quick fix for any instrument you like be it a synth bassline, a shaker, or a lead part that needs an extra push to the front. We found it incredibly easy to use thanks to the simple interface and it's one of our top choice saturation plugins.

Guitar plugins

Amplitube 5 Max: Was $299.99, now $79.99

Amplitube 5 Max: Was $299.99, now $79.99
Save big on Amplitube 5 Max from IK Multimedia this Black Friday. For a limited time, you can score a whopping over 70% off its original price! 

Tonex Max: Was $299.99, now $79.99

Tonex Max: Was $299.99, now $79.99
Big Black Friday reductions on IK Multimedia’s Tonex Max package. Big the full-featured amp modeling app Tonex Max for only $79.99!  

Line 6 Helix Native:Was $399, now $199

Line 6 Helix Native: Was $399, now $199
Harness the power of Helix inside your DAW for half price with Sweetwater’s early Black Friday deal. With 60+ amp models, 30+ speaker cabs, over 100 effects and more, you can have multiple instances of Line 6’s award-winning, world-class studio guitar tone at your fingertips. From vintage to modern classics, rare and sought after stompboxes, and the flexibility that a plugin provides over hardware, if you’re recording guitar then Helix Native should already be high on your list. Save $200 and get your plugin instantly.

Synth deals

KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2: Was £94.96, now £24.95

KV331 Audio Synthmaster 2: Was £94.96, now £24.95
They don't call it Synthmaster for nothing. KV331 Audio's Synthmaster 2 is truly a master of synthesis in one application. It uses a semi-modular approach to deliver all sorts of synthesis types including VA, Additive, Wavetable, Wavescanning, Phase Modulation, FM, Pulse Width Modulation, Ring Modulation, Amplitude Modulation, and Physical Modeling. It is packed with more than 2,000 sounds and also comes with some great effects, incredible modulation and a very easy-to-use interface considering the power under the bonnet. Synthmaster 2 for under £25 is a steal, simple as that! Get it quick.

UA Moog Minimoog: Was £199, now £49

UA Moog Minimoog: Was £199, now £49
The Moog Minimoog was the synthesizer that changed the music world. The first attainable and cost-effective synth ever made, it was adopted by bands like Kraftwerk and Yes to set a blueprint for both music and keyboard technology from the 1970s to the present day. The Minimoog started the synth revolution and is a hugely in-demand synth even today. But now you can have one for a lot less than the thousands that an original machine would cost! Universal Audio has painstakingly reproduced the Mini in all its glory as a software instrument right down to the original component level, so now you can enjoy all the amazing sounds of the original - without any hardware limitations - in the comfort of your DAW. And at a huge 75% off in the Plugin Boutique sale, now is the time to see and hear why this legendary machine is held in such high regard.

AI tools

iZotope Neutron 4: Was £243, now £121

iZotope Neutron 4: Was £243, now £121
iZotope has many deals over at Plugin Boutique at the moment but this is our pick, Neutron 4, a fantastic AI mixing assistant for just half price! Neutron is a brilliant concept which utilises the latest machine learning technology to help you get better mixes, simple as that. You can employ its AI-powered Audio Assistant, now incorporated into the Assistant View, for mixing guides and suggestions, and load in your favourite mixes and have the software mix and match your new material with them. iZotope makes some of the best music production titles out there and they often use AI to take the strain out of some of the most intense processes, and Neutron 4 is among the best! Read our full Neutron 4 review.

Hardware + software

Maschine+ bundle: Was £1,019, now £849

Maschine+ bundle: Was £1,019, now £849
Native Instruments has several bundle deals across its amazing Maschine range of grooveboxes but this is a highlight with a big discount on the top end Maschine+. This is Native Instruments’ first all-in-one groovebox, so allows you to sample, sequence, use soft synths, and create music without the need to connect it to a computer. It lets you run famous Native Instruments software titles like FM8 and Massive all within its own OS and is incredibly intuitive to use and easy to create tunes with. In total you get 18 instruments and 37 effects built in and this particular deal also includes 12 expansion packs worth £588 so that's a saving of over £750! Read our full Maschine+ review here.

Buy a Komplete Kontrol keyboard: 
Get Komplete 14 Select for free

Buy a Komplete Kontrol keyboard:
Get Komplete 14 Select for free
Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol keyboards are a fantastic way to enjoy any Native Instruments and other NKS compatible software. They let you control instruments and effects in a seamless way, almost like the software is in the keyboard rather than your computer! NI's Cyber Season deals see four Komplete Kontrol keyboards up for grabs, and with each model, the company is throwing in Komplete 14 Select, worth £179, for free. You can take your pick of the smaller M32 (£109) or A25 (£129), or go larger with the A49 (£179) and A61 (£219), but whichever one you choose you get that massive bundle of software thrown in! We reviewed the M32 keyboard here.

Komplete interfaces: From £69 +Komplete Select free

Komplete interfaces: From £69 +Komplete Select free
Native Instruments is not only discounting its Komplete audio interfaces this cyber season, but also throwing in Komplete 14 Select, worth £179, for free with each one! There are three models in the deal with the biggest discount on the excellent six-channel Komplete Audio 6. That's reduced from £209 to £149, while Komplete Audio 2 goes from £119 to £89, and Komplete Audio 1 is reduced to £69 from £89. But again the best news is that whichever model you choose, you still get  Komplete 14 Select worth £179 for free! Check out our 5-star review of Komplete Audio 2 here.

Black Friday plugin deals FAQ

Two men working in a recording studio

(Image credit: Future)

When do the Black Friday plugin deals start?

Black Friday isn't 'officially' until Friday 24 November, but last year things kicked off much earlier than that, so it pays to be prepared. Waves got the wheels in motion with a sneak peak at the deals they planned on launching in November, followed by a natural segue into their Early Bird Black Friday plugin deals at the start of November. Discounts were applied to a mixture of Waves classics, sought-after analogue outboard emulations as well as signature plugins from some of the world’s biggest producers, including Chris Lorde Alge, Joseph Jack Puig, Butch Vig and Andrew Scheps to name just a few.

Will we see more Black Friday plugin deals sooner than the day itself in 2023? Judging by previous years, that's a strong horse to back. Whether we see more brands than just Waves jumping on the early doors bandwagon remains to be seen.

You can also expect the deals to continue through the weekend after Black Friday - aka Cyber Weekend - before transforming into Cyber Monday plugin deals three days after Black Friday.

If you're using Black Friday to save money on Christmas gifts, our guide to the best Christmas gifts for musicians is great for inspiration.

What deals should I expect?

Loads of music software sites will be taking part in the Black Friday plugins bonanza, so we'd recommend signing up to mailing lists of your favourite retailers now to get the jump on the best deals when they do come around.

Of course, if you'd rather not deal with the stress of searching through endless deals yourself, as we get closer to the event our experts will be pulling all-nighters to uncover the very best Black Friday plugin deals and publishing them on this page.

We’d recommend bookmarking this page - as well as our main Black Friday music deals hub page - while you remember.

So we know there will be deals. But what should you be looking out for? We've covered enough of these events to know a thing or two about what to expect. Seeing as plugins are downloads rather than physical products, they won’t sell out. A more realistic consideration is that some of these deals might be time-limited to just a day or two, or perhaps only a few hours, so we’d recommend you don’t ponder a purchase for too long.

Discounts can range from a few $/£ off a cool sample pack to massive percentage discounts off huge swathes of music production software.

Great deals come in all shapes and sizes. There are a few key types to look out for:

  • Single item - A single product or plugin with a great discount
  • Site-wide discounts - A single discount percentage on a large range of products across a site
  • Discount codes - Load your basket to a certain value and redeem a discount code for money off your basket contents
  • Added value deals - These include multi-buy discounts, or additional products or software for free when you buy certain items

Whichever deals you go for, you can guarantee there will be silly savings up for grabs, so if you’re planning on updating your studio or adding to your collection to boost your music production set-up, it’s well worth marking your diary for this year's Black Friday plugin deals.

Can I get free plugins on Black Friday?

Yes! Many sites offer a free plugin to celebrate Black Friday and as a way to tempt you onto their sites, so you could feasibly take advantage of the Black Friday hysteria without spending a thing. 

Once again, Waves is a sure bet when it comes to free stuff. Last year they gave customers the Lil Tube Saturator plugin completely free and they're teasing this year's free plugin already. Usually all you have to do is provide them with an email address to get your freebie. 

And Auto-Tune masters Antares gave customers multiple plugins to choose from without spending a dime. You could choose from one of three Auto-Tune plugins and keep it forever, even after your subscription period ends. You could pick either Auto-Tune Slice (a hybrid synth and sampler), Auto-Tune Vocal EQ (an EQ designed specifically for singers), or Auto-Tune Vocodist (for that Daft Punk/Kraftwerk vocoder effect).

Elsewhere, Slate Digital released a brand new plugin, Fresh Air specifically for Black Friday, and gave it away for free. You can still pick it up for nothing today

Which sites are best for software deals on Black Friday?

We have personal experience shopping software at a varity of retailers and we know the ones we trust and where we've had a great experience. These are the places we will always recommend first.

For us, on Black Friday there are a small handful of places that we would point your towards and it's a mix of software developers and retailers.

Developers we trust include Waves, IK Multimedia and Native Instruments. They all run great sales and we know they're above board. Buying software from them is a breeze and they all offer fantastic customer service.

Special shout out to Plugin Boutique who sell plugins from hundreds of fantastic brands.

Specialist online music retailers have become better on the software front, too. Where you used to only be able to buy physical copies of DAWs, it's now easy to access direct digital downloads at places like Sweetwater, Guitar Center and Thomann of all your favourite plugin brands. And the best thing is that, because software is a download rather than a physical product that needs shipping, you can go for the seller that has the best price!

How to prepare for this year's Black Friday plugin deals

1. Create a wishlist early - The most sensible way to take advantage of this year's Black Friday plugin deals is to know in advance what you’re looking for. This will make searching much easier, rather than having to trawl through loads of deals you don’t want to find the ones you do, or pondering title you don't need.

2. Work out what you actually need - Check out your favourite brands, see what you need and will genuinely use - don’t waste your cash and fill your basket with stuff you'll never load. Has there been a raft of new software launches lately? If so, perhaps the old version will be massively discounted for Black Friday? You could start by checking out our guide to the best Waves plugins.

3. Consider your music production goals - What do you want to achieve with you music production goals for the next 12 months or so? Is there software that will help you hit them? Or do you have an unfinished track that needs some extra sauce? Now could be the time to invest.

4. Clear some space - Something else you should consider ahead of time is whether you have enough space on your machine to account for all these additional downloads! Get rid of any unnecessary bloat on your laptop or PC now, or you might want to consider picking up one of the best external hard drives in our guide.

How we choose which plugin deals to cover

Here at MusicRadar, we are experts in our field, with many years of playing and product testing between us. We live and breathe everything music-making, and we draw on this knowledge and experience of using products in live, recording and rehearsal scenarios when selecting the products we recommend.

First and foremost, we are players and creators, and we want to match like-minded folk with the right products for them, at the best prices.

For us to recommend a deal on music software or anything else it has to be a product we rate that’s a genuinely great price or part of a truly fantastic bundle. It’s also important that we only recommend retailers where you will have a positive shopping experience.

Why you can trust our choices

We spend a lot of our time scouring software retailers for fantastic deals on our favorite plugins. Not only is it our job to research and recommend the best gear in our buyer’s guides and reviews, but we’re also dedicated to helping musicians get the best deals on the stuff they need, too. After all, the only thing better than new gear day is a hearty discount.

We cover a lot of the big sales events throughout the year, including Memorial Day4th of July sales and Amazon Prime Day, and we have a good view on which products are likely to receive the biggest discounts and when, the prices they’ve been in the past and which deals are genuinely worth a look.

Last year's Black Friday plugin deal highlights

Take a look at a few of the deals that caught our attention during Black Friday last year:

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Loopcloud Artist Sub: $5.99/month, $1/month
A Loopcloud Artist Subscription gives you 1GB of quality Loopmasters samples, 5GB of cloud storage, 10 free sounds a day and 100 points a month to spend on more. Upgrade at any time to Loopcloud Studio or Professional for additional sounds, storage and credits to spend. This Loopcloud Artist deal let you enjoy all of the benefits that Loopcloud has to offer - auditioning sounds in real time and key with your music, fantastic plugins and creative editing - and all for just $1 a month for the first two months.

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Antares Auto-Tune Unlimited 1yr sub: $353.99, $125
The Antares Auto-Tune Unlimited subscription gives you exclusive access to every plugin on Antares' impressive roster of effects. First up, you get every edition of Auto-Tune. That's nine plugins ranging from AutoKey, which automatically detects your key and scale, right up to Auto-Tune Pro X, with its professional grade tuning and an incredible display which lets you get to the heart of your vocal processing. On top of the Auto-Tune suite, Auto-Tune Unlimited gives you an additional 12 effects including Punch, Mutator and Warm to get creative with your vocals in completely new and exciting ways. This deal was 75% off over 20 pro plugins for a year!

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Pro Tools Artist annual subscription: $99, $74.99
Pro Tools is the music creation platform used by countless professionals the world over, and with 25% off the Artist annual subscription, Black Friday was the time for you to find out why so many producers choose it. Pro Tools Artist has over 100 plugins and instruments, the ability to record up to 16 inputs simultaneously, plus 32 audio and 64 MIDI tracks. With perpetual updates and support, Artist is the cost effective Pro Tools choice.

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Waves Horizon Bundle: Was $3,999, now $274.99
Last Black Friday you could save a whopping 93% on the list price of one of Waves' most sought-after bundles. With 83 plugins, it's a complete processing suite containing everything you need to add sparkle to your productions.

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Arturia V-Collection 9: $599, now $299
Arturia certainly knows its emulations and V-Collection recreates just about every vintage keyboard and synth out there - that's 33 different instruments, to be precise. You get software versions of famous synths like Prophet-5 V, ARP 2600 V and Jup-8 V alongside other classic keyboards including Mellotron V, Wurli V and VOX Continental V. There are 9,000 sounds and 14 exclusive sound banks - it's basically every keyboard you could wish for, ready to play, on your hard drive. A virtual synth museum, if you like!

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Classic Native Instruments software: Up to 75% off
Native Instruments has produced some iconic software over the years including huge instruments, effects and DJ titles. If you haven't experienced these famous names, then now is the time to jump on board. Classic synths like Massive, Massive X and Reaktor were reduced by up to an incredible $100 each, or you could pick up the legendary Traktor Pro DJ software for just $49.50.

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Cableguys ShaperBox 3.1: just $89/€89
The nine plugins contained in Shaperbox 3.1 would regularly retail for a combined total of $301/€301, but on Black Friday last year you can bag them for just $89/€89.

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Soundtoys plugins: up to $749, now up to $81
Soundtoys develops some of the most highly-regarded and creative plugins, and for Black Friday you could get them for much less at Thomann. Decapitator is a saturator that emulates five devices, which you could buy for just £44 (from £199). The fantastic Alter Boy vocal tuning effect was yours for £35, discounted from £99, while FilterFreak was just £27, reduced from £149.

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Ableton Live various versions: up to £749, now £422
Thomann was offering just about every version of Ableton Live - one of the most popular DAWs for creating music - for as much as 45% off, plus big discounts on upgrade paths. You could pick up the Intro version of Live for just £55 (normal price around £99); the Standard edition for £249 (normally £449); and the full Live 11 Suite for just £425, normally £749, so a full 45% off retail.

More places to shop this Black Friday

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Chris Barnes

I'm MusicRadar's eCommerce Editor. It's my job to manage the buyer's guides on MusicRadar and help musicians find the right gear and the best prices. I'm a guitarist and a drummer and I've worked in the music gear industry for 18 years, including 7 years as Editor of the UK's best-selling drum magazine Rhythm, and 5 years as a freelance writer working with many of the world's biggest musical instrument brands including the likes of Roland, Boss, MusicRadar and Natal.

With contributions from