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Activating Your LiquidSonics Software With iLok

iLok is the industry standard licensing and copy protection system, enabling authorisation of your LiquidSonics (and many other) plug-ins to a USB key, the Cloud and/or your computer’s hard drive. Offering best-in-class security, great customer service, and insurance options for guarding against iLok USB damage, loss or theft, it’s a comprehensive, reliable and easy-to-use solution. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know.

What is iLok?

iLok is a deeply integrated copy protection system that prevents the software built on it from being launched without the presence of a hardware iLok USB key, or an authorisation token stored locally on your hard drive or online in the iLok Cloud.

The iLok USB is a small hardware key, available in USB-A and USB-C versions, that stores up to 1500 software authorisations securely in its onboard memory, so that they can be used on any computer with a USB port. While breakage, theft and loss are obvious concerns with this diminutive dongle, ZDT (’Zero Down Time’) and TLS (’Theft & Loss Coverage’) insurance are available for a reasonable annual fee.

Local ‘machine’ licensing sees your iLok authorisation stored on your hard drive. The disadvantage of this method is that you can only use the license in question on that particular computer, unless you actively transfer it to another one. Machine-based licensing is essentially meant as an alternative for those who don’t want to invest in an iLok USB or keep their computer online for authorisation via iLok Cloud.

iLok Cloud is a recently added alternative to iLok USB and machine-based licensing, that stores your licenses in the cloud for real-time access over the internet. Like the iLok USB, an iLok Cloud authorisation is easily transferred from one computer to another. Simply log in to your iLok account on any computer, and if you’re already logged in elsewhere, you’ll be asked if you wish to close the iLok Cloud session on that computer (thereby de-authorising any iLok Cloud plug-ins running on it) and authorise the plug-ins on the new one instead. The potential snags with iLok Cloud are that it requires constant internet access just like the USB-solution requires constant access to the hardware, this means that brief periods of authorisation server or your network downtime aren’t unheard of and can cause interruptions to your workflow. 

LiquidSonics Plug-ins & iLok

LiquidSonics plug-ins are compatible with all three iLok authorisation methods, and you get two activations with each one. Using both activations, you could, for example, authorise your LiquidSonics plug-in to your iLok USB key and iLok Cloud, leaving the iLok USB plugged into your main studio computer and keeping the iLok Cloud authorisation handy for any other platforms you might need to work on – a laptop, client systems, etc. And if you don’t own or don’t want an iLok USB, substitute that with machine-based authorisation on your studio computer.

iLok License Manager

Every aspect of managing your iLok authorisations is handled in the iLok License Manager application, a free download for Mac and PC from Four main functions are served by the software: redeeming activation codes to add licenses to your iLok account; activating those licenses to iLok USB, the local machine’s hard drive and/or iLok Cloud; deactivating licenses to put them back in your iLok account; and transferring (deactivated) licenses between iLok accounts.

As well as that, iLok License Manager is required for transferring iLok USB authorisations from one iLok USB to another, machine-based authorisations from one computer to another, and either of those to the other or iLok Cloud. Note that you need access to every involved iLok USB and/or computer to facilitate transfer of authorisations between them; so when you buy a new iLok USB or computer, remember to transfer your authorisations before your sell or otherwise get rid of the old one! If you don’t, you’ll need to get in touch with LiquidSonics to request a machine or license reset.

More info on iLok License Manager can be found on the iLok website and if you need support with licensing this can be handled via Pace’s support line.

How To Activate Your LiquidSonics Plug-in

Licensing your LiquidSonics plug-in to your iLok USB, iLok Cloud or local machine is easy. Here’s how it’s done:

1. The first thing to do is download and install your LiquidSonics plug-in, and ensure you have your activation code to hand from the delivery email you received upon completing your purchase. If you’re trying a demo version, the activation code can be found on the plug-in’s web page.

2. If you don’t already have an iLok account, head over to and click the ‘Create Free Account’ button at the top to make one. Fill in the required details and click ‘Create Account’. You’ll receive a confirmation email – follow the instructions to complete the creation of your account.

3. Download and install the iLok License Manager application from, then launch it and log in to your iLok account. If you own an iLok USB key, plug it in to a free USB-A or USB-C port on your computer.

In the image below you will see a view of an empty account. To the left hand side are the locations you can activate licenses to. Here we have an iLok Cloud session, a machine location, and a USB location with the ZDT/TLC services.

A cloud session can either be in automatic mode where any available cloud-capable licenses will simply move into, or managed mode where it can be used for manual activation of licenses. We would recommend running cloud in automatic mode so your licenses are always available in cloud if they can be.

4. Next, you need to redeem your license using the product activation code in the email you received from LiquidSonics when you bought your plug-in. Click the ‘Redeem an Activation Code’ button at the top right of the iLok License Manager window or from the Licenses menu, and copy/paste the activation code into the dialog that appears.

5. Click ‘Next’ and the ‘Select an activation location’ dialog pops up, with the license listed in the top pane and your available license storage locations in the bottom pane. If you already know where you want to place the authorisation – your iLok USB, iLok Cloud or local storage – select that option and click ‘Redeem’. That’s it – the plug-in is licensed to your selected authorisation method.

6. If you’ve yet to decide which method to use, select the top option in the ‘Select an activation location’ dialog and click ‘Redeem’ to just register the authorisation to your iLok account, for activation later. Once you’ve decided which authorisation location to go for, click the big button with your iLok account name on it at the top left of the iLok License Manager interface to reveal the license (and those of all your other iLok plug-ins) in the right hand pane.

7. Right-click the license and select ‘Activate’, or click the tick button at the top right of the window. The ’Select an activation location’ dialog appears, as described in step 5 – select your chosen license storage location (we’ve gone for the local machine option, as you can see in the screenshot below) and click ‘Redeem’. All done!

8. Looking at the license in iLok License Manager, you’ll now see ‘1 of 2 activations used’ listed under the ‘Owner Activations’ column. Use the second activation at any time to duplicate your license to either of the other two authorisation locations.

How To Transfer Your LiquidSonics Plug-in License

Should you decide to sell or need to move your LiquidSonics plug-in to another account for any other reason, the process of transferring the license is handled entirely within iLok License Manager. Launch the application and find the license you want to transfer, then right-click it, select ‘Transfer License’ and follow the instructions. You’ll need to know the iLok user name of your recipient, and a fee will be charged to cover admin costs.

To be clear, this is only for transferring licenses to another person’t iLok account, not for moving a license from, say, your iLok USB to your iLok Cloud. Also, only licenses more than 90 days old can be transferred (this is a restriction imposed by Pace as an anti-fraud measure, we apologise for any inconvenience).

Getting Help!

If you run into any trouble with the Pace services you can either:

  1. Check out our iLok support guide
  2. Head over to Pace’s support page and open a ticket to talk to them about the issue