Waves - and I assume some other plugin makers - seem to be tracking usage?

I opened a project today that had 4 Waves plugins loaded in it and an analizer
plugin from, Sir Audio. I played the track and there was audio dropout maybe every 10 seconds. Super weird, never happened before. I turned all effects off in the Master section and the behavior stopped. I opened each of the 4 Waves plugins (one at a time) and the playback started dropping out (the Sir Audio plugin had no affect on the playback). And when I say ‘dropping out’ I really mean to say that playback just stopped. After maybe 4 seconds it resumed playing.

I then removed all Waves plugins, closed the project, reopened it, and reloaded the same Waves plugins. Everything worked fine. I closed this project and reopened it and it continued to play as expected.

In between closing and opening the project, I opened Waves Central. Everything there looked normal, but I also suspect that they are monitoring my sign in. No? I have no idea, but this is my suspicion, that they have initiated some type of ‘ownership’ link to the ‘mothership’. So I will lodge a complaint with Waves but also open Waves Central before I open WL or C12 in the future. If any of you have recently had a similar experience I would like to hear about it. Thanks.

They very well may be doing that. Whether it would affect playback, I don’t know. But, you can investigate it using a firewall made for that purpose.

Windows: NetLimiter
macOS: Little Snitch

Both have a free trial available with different restrictions. Neither is the simplest/easiest thing to use, but both do basically the same thing…monitor your computer for network connections and ask you to allow or deny each one, specific to applications and sources/destinations. Neither is particularly resource-hungry, and neither should affect audio playback (unless some piece of software “needs” to phone home before it’ll start working) assuming a relatively modern computer.

Windows (itself) is much worse about it than macOS, but it’s shocking how much both of them connect to Microsoft, Apple, Google, and other “services” without the general public’s knowledge. Most of it is for things like checking for updates to software, getting things like weather data for the widgets they’re both configured to use by default (regardless of whether you’ve ever used them or not), usage data, etc… Some of it is literally spying on you either to tailor advertising or try to detect CSAM. And, yes, some software phones home to see if it’s authorized.

Thanks, JS Mastering. I can see that this is a useful tool, the NetLimiter, and I will tag it in my favorites. Right now, opening WL, Waves does not cause a problem. I contacted Waves and they suggested I adjust my Privacy settings in the Waves Central app - which I had already done when I installed the app.

At this point, since I was away from my DAW for a week, I am thinking that either the inactivity or some Windows update or Windows malware tool took exception to me opening a WL project.

I’ll monitor things for now. Thanks for your suggestion!