I want to talk about running Pro Tools without an iLok.
Now if you're reading this hoping to use Pro Tools without paying for it then stop reading now because that's not what this tutorial is about.
This tutorial is about is how to run Pro Tools without a physical iLok.
Starting with Pro Tools version 2018.1 you can now use Pro Tools without the physical iLok and instead use the iLok Cloud.
It's very straightforward to use, and we show you how to use Pro Tools with iLok Cloud in the video tutorial.
One of the benefits of using Pro Tools and iLok Cloud is you can have Pro Tools on multiple machines and move between them as you wish, one at a time of course! Pro Tools is on my laptop and I've also got Pro Tools on my studio machine.
I've removed the licence from my physical iLok and put it back into my iLok account ready for using via the cloud, so that whenever I want to use Pro Tools as long as I have an internet connection then I can get on to Pro Tools without having to worry about my physical iLok being plugged into the machine.
What If I Lose Internet Connectivity?
Now one thing people will ask is what if you lose the Internet?
I'm going to recommend if you record bands in jungles on aeroplanes or the moon then this isn't going to work for you, or if you live in a place with poor internet connectivity then this isn't going to work for you.
But for most of us have internet connectivity nearly all the time, for goodness sake, most of us are joined at the hip to Facebook and Twitter all day, so it’s likely you have internet most of the time. Yes, the internet might stop working, but conducting research for this article of the top 20 ISPs ranking them for internet uptime, the best scored 99.94% and the worst 99.44%. Regarding probability, the chances of not having a connection are as likely as the cat eating your iLok. Our understanding is the server the iLok Clouds sit on has 99.978% availability and no scheduled downtime.
Of course, if you don’t like all this Cloud stuff then stick with your physical iLok, it's just another option, no one is forcing you to use iLok Cloud.
If you do want to take advantage of using Pro Tools with iLok Cloud then read on or watch the video tutorial.
Using Pro Tools With iLok Cloud In 5 Easy Steps
- Open iLok Licence Manager and deactivate your Pro Tools licence, if you have other cloud ready licences then you can do the same for those too. This does not delete the licence it puts it back into your iLok account allowing it to be accessed by any connected iLok Cloud compatible applications.
- Launch Pro Tools 2018, and you will be prompted that you have no valid iLok licence, simply follow the on-screen prompts.
- When asked, enter your iLok account details to login, this will start an iLok Cloud session that will run until you end that session on your machine.
- Follow the other on-screen prompts confirming the iLok Cloud session.
- Pro Tools will start up and be ready to use.
If you are still confused then watch the Pro Tools iLok Cloud tutorial video.
What If I Lose Connection To The Cloud During A Session?
Rest assured iLok have thought about this. We recreated this scenario by shutting down our internet connection and also closing the Cloud session in iLok licence Manager, this is what happens.
An error message appears, see below.
As you can see you have 5 minutes to reconnect and you have the option to save the session so you don't lose your work.
Avid assure us that this error message won’t pop up during playback or recording. So if you are recording a live gig and lose your connection Pro Tools will keep going until you hit stop. At that point, you will get this message and have the option to save your valuable session.
How Do I Use Pro Tools On Another Machine?
Only one instance of Pro Tools can be used with iLok Cloud licenses at a time per iLok Account. To use Pro Tools on another internet-connected computer start Pro Tools and follow the steps above, at some point, it will end the session you had running on your other computer and launch Pro Tools with a new iLok Cloud session. You can also end a Cloud session manually using the iLok Licence Manager.
I’ve been running Pro Tools 2018 on two machines on iLok Cloud for several days without any issues. In my opinion of all the new features in Pro Tools 2018, iLok Cloud is the best hands down. Being able to jump between computers and use Pro Tools without having to remember my physical iLok is a dream.
What About My Plug-ins? Will They Work With iLok Cloud?
All plug-ins that come with Pro Tools 2018 are compatible with iLok Cloud. Third-party plug-ins may or may not be compatible with iLok Cloud. Note that iLok Cloud compatible licenses will appear with a new iLok Cloud logo in your iLok License Manager so you can check which of your plug-ins in your iLok account are iLok Cloud compatible. You can check our new searchable iLok Cloud Compatible Software and Plug-ins database.
I Have Pro Tools First, Can I Use This With iLok Cloud?
Unfortunately not. Pro Tools First is NOT iLok Cloud compatible. Pro Tools First uses machine-based licensing or a physical iLok license.
Can A License That Is Still On My iLok Be Used With iLok Cloud At The Same Time?
No. In order to use a license with iLok Cloud, you need to follow the instructions above and in the video and put the license back into your the iLok Account. It cannot be on a physical iLok or computer (i.e. machine-based licensing).
The good news is that any licenses on physical iLoks or computers will continue to work normally at the same time as an iLok Cloud Sessions you may be running.