A 'lite' ver of Cubase for registered owners on the go.

I’ve often thought about this…

It’s not exactly convenient in a mobile situation to have a fragile and important dongle hanging off your laptop.

It would be nice if there was a way to run the software sans dongle, once it had confirmed that you are a registered owner - maybe insert the dongle during the install, which then uses a ‘soft’ license - maybe even asking for the dongle again after X days, or requiring that you log into MySteinberg after a certain time.

excellent responses, please folks (who haven’t replied but have read this (I can see the count)…do you civic duty and put a reply, so the Steinberg developers can see the interest. The more replies, the more likely they’ll look into a solution.


el profe, LG

That’s a pretty interesting suggestion. Free Cubase LE or AI license for full “Cubase” or “Cubase Artist” owners might be a very good addition.

  • Yu

Good thinking there!

Cubase Tracker with limited editing possibilities, available for registered customers. A bare bones multitrack recorder under the arm with 16 or [insert number here] inputs in a box under the other arm would certainly open some possibilities. Kind of an multi track eyedropper tool for you to sample separated parts of your reality and then take it back to the lab to frankesteinize!!! :smiling_imp: Yummy!

It would add a lot to Cubase as a platform having this opportunity which won’t need a full installation of something that you won’t use in the field nor a dongle that can break or get stolen.

However, there is no such thing as a free lunch … but that’s off topic or maybe for another topic

It would make sense to Yamaha as well if they want to make hardware and sell … :slight_smile:

On a second thought isn’t there some soundcard out there that comes with Cubase LE and is also equipped with dual ADAT lightpipe inputs. That would sort of solve the problem.

You want solutions or sympathy? :smiling_imp:

Another suggestion…

You could use Sequel. I was playing around with an LE in the last few days. A few comments:

  • Really easy tu use.
  • Projects directly importable to Cubase.
  • Manages and records instrument tracks with sounds from Halion One
  • Several automations available, also control via MIDI for transport, mixer, etc, via MIDI Learn.
  • No dongle to lose, only Soft-eLicenser.

I honestly don´t know, how many inputs you may use at once or how many tracks you´ll be able to record at a time, but I can confirm, that the direct import to Cubase works great, with all audio, instrument tracks, effects and automations. Might be an option for you, and definitely a cheaper one than make an insurance for the dongle.

Or maybe we could convince Steinberg to make us an offer to buy Sequel way cheaper, when you already have Cubase. Even a (intelligently) limited version could be useful. Or include it in the Cubase 6 package…

Just my 2 cents.


I use Cubase 5 LE on my laptop for recording on the move, this is free with many interfaces etc, mine came with an ESI controller keyboard, I use a MOTU 8-PRE to record 8 tracks at a time then transfer to my studio machine for mixing.

Great suggestion.

This would be a great solution for me having both a studio at home and a mobile setup.
Also it would be nice to be able to edit waveforms and change fileformats on the go.


yes, I really like the idea of this too - having an LE or AI version of Cubase (free) alongside my registered full version… I would absolutely use it instead of say, PTools M-Powererd, that I see comes free with the little (4/6 channel) M-box interface for mobile/location recording.

Don’t know how much this might diminsh the relationship with h/ware manufacturers, that have been carefully built up over the years (if SB started simply handing out an AI or LE version)… maybe it wouldn’t hurt at all…

However it’s not so easy to say what this lite version will have and what it will skip.
Some musicians would use it for gigs.So some effects and instruments are necessary .
El Professor needs it for recording,others would want just to work some ideas on the go,
so basic midi and audio editing can’t be skipped.
And of course compatibility is crucial.

If this is ‘lite’ for you–it isn’t for me.

I don’t think you will be able to record 32 tracks of audio without using gear that represents the monetary equal of several Cubase USB keys.
But what if you dropped an 19" interface worth much more than the Steinberg key itself? As you can’t get ‘lite’ versions of hardware boxes, you will handle those darlings very carefully.

That’s why I’d suggest the following:

  • Choose one piece of 19" hardware you will most likely use for recordings outside your studio.
  • Have a single USB port bridge added to the backplate of that box.
  • Place your Steinberg key inside the box.
  • Use an USB cable to connect the ‘hidden’ key to your laptop.

Now your Cubase key will rest safely in a box you won’t easily drop or misplace because it represents an important part of your recording equipment.

With a new version of Sequel on the cards, I would think this is a ‘cut down version of Cubase’ that would work for most situations - and it’s dirt cheap for what you get.

No idea what’s in version 3 but I imagine it would work for you in this situation.

Hope this helps.

"Steinberg suggests getting the USB key fully insured for the amount of the purchase price of the program. "
In sweden the insurance is not valid if you dont have proper backups of your software. Sure you can get a new dongle, it only costs 10 bucks or something, but not the content of the dongle.

How about a Cubase that runs in a very limited mode if no eLicenser is present?

The same executable gets installed on your studio computer and on your laptop. If you need to do a “heavyweight” mobile session then you need the USB eLicenser, otherwise you travel without it and get, say, 8 audio tracks for recording and playback, no mixer or editing, and playback only of MIDI tracks, no internal VSTis, just external MIDI and 3rd-party VSTis as this might be necessary for guide tracks or demonstration.

So: USB Key => full capabilities, no USB-Key => limited “portable” mode.

From a marketing perspective this would also act as a disincentive to Cubase users trying out cheaper, less restrictive DAW products – and perhaps getting to like them!

That’s already available in several versions, cheaply, or even free. It just isn’t called Cubase.

I would love this as well, I’m very hesitant to take my key anywhere. I would love a basic Cubase version which can playback existing projects and do some light editing for when on the stage/at friends etc.

I’ve thought about this option and it would basically mean that I’m gonna use either Cubase Essential and Sequel since they both run off of the soft eLicenser. I like the idea, but it’s not practical for me. If I’m working on the go, I want to use the same software that I always use without any compromises. Personally, I carry my dongle with me whenever I need to so this really isn’t all that big of a deal to me.

I like Record’s phone home licensing method for when there’s no dongle present. It would be awesome if Steinberg could implement something like this. Either use a similar method or allow ONE other computer to be authorized via soft eLicenser or allow for some kind of time-expiring soft e-license to be downloaded to allow full use (like how their demo license works).

I am sure there is some way that this can happen without the idea of multiple people sharing one license. Will this make them any money? No, but it would go a LONG way with keeping customer loyalty.

There is some light at the end of the tunnel … Steinberg announced “seamless project compatibility between all Cubase 6 derivatives” and the ability to “exchange projects with other studios or friends that run a smaller Cubase 6 version”.

Of course, if a project is created in Cubase 6 and uses Cubase 6-only features, then of course it’s unreasonable to expect that this will play back without alteration in “smaller” Cubase versions. On the other hand, it should be possible to mixdown the complex project in Cubase 6 to a stereo track, and create a new project from this with only one stereo track, and expect that this new project could be loaded into even the “smallest” (yet to be announced) version of Cubase 6.

I really don’t think it would be reasonable to expect any edit capabilities for little or no money … just perhaps to be able to mute tracks and/or parts.

Now, they’ve yet to tell us what, if anything, will replace Cubase Essential 5 … perhaps “Cubase Elements 6”? Or maybe even a free “Cubase Player 6”?

LE1.07 does exactly what you are saying. There’s no copy protection whatsoever. Best thing is it just works. I use it when I’m writing and arranging as there are no bugs to make you stop and put down your instrument trying to figure out why something just happened or didn’t. By the time you work around the issue you’ve lost the groove.

There’s an LE1.10, but it cut down VSTi slots to 2 as opposed to 8 in LE 1.07.

As soon as everyone is microchipped at birth it should be no problem.