try before you buy
The demos for the commercial plugins are individually available on each plugin’s page. They are all exclusively Audio Units: there will never be a for-pay VST plugin, the jump to VST is also the jump to ‘all free’. We’re talking about the earlier ones, the near-decade of commercial work that cost $50 a plugin.
how did the demos work?
These are not unlockable by a serial number—the real Airwindows plugins have no serial numbers or keys, and there’s nothing to them but the audio code. With no graphical layer and no copy-protection ever, these are real bulletproof and reliable. The demos are exactly what you’ll get, except they’re hard-coded to politely mute every couple minutes. They don’t ever expire, so you can keep them around as long as you want, with nothing more to keep track of. They look like the real plugins in your mix, because Logic caches the names—I needed to set it up so if you swapped in the real plugin, your mixes would retain everything you’d set up using the demos, for convenience. So you have to keep track of which plugins are demos yourself—the .component files for demos have ‘demo’ on the end of the name. Remove the demo version when you put in the real one.
no, seriously, try first
These aren’t just to audition the sound, these are the main way for you to tell whether an Airwindows plugin will work on whatever strange system you might be running. I try to support absolutely anything that can run an Audio Unit, but that can lead to interesting results. For instance, you can run Audio Units in the video editing app Screenflow, but the interface shows your slider values in generic form rounded to integer numbers. The real settings are being used, but you can’t see them or set them by typing. So, if you want to use an Airwindows plugin in some unusual program that doesn’t support GUI plugins, use the demo and test the thing out first, to see if you can work with it.
installing demos and audio units
With all of these Mac Audio Units, the way to install them is not by clicking the ‘component’ file- what you have to do is place it in a certain folder (either in the system or your home directory), which is Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/Components. If you put AU plugins in there, all programs that can use them will know how to find them, automatically. (You would have to quit and restart the program if it was already running.) They should be put directly into the Components folder, not into subfolders (as convenient as that would be, it doesn’t work.)