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

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.

There’s unfortunately no legal way for anyone to obtain a copy any more though … unless you pick it up as part of a second-hand sale of an audio interface. There’s also no easy way to get a Cubase 6 project into it … and IIRC, it was based on SX1, and I think Cubase 5 and upwards no longer have the ability to import projects older than SX3?

I am extremely careful with the dongle, but still managed to crack the keyring loop just putting it in and taking it out. I use my laptop for recording band rehearsals; don’t need full function while I’m recording. I also have LE from an old interface that I don’t use anymore on a different computer, and it isn’t transferable, as far as I know. I also thought it was a different audio engine. Would love to have a solution to this. I thought it would be neat to have a usb port on the inside of the laptop so you could leave it in there permanently (for those of us who only use Cubase on one computer).

If you have LE1 and record something with it, the recording can be every bit as good as if you’d used the very latest version. The problem is that I don’t think you can import the resultant project directly into Cubase 5/6 … although there might be a solution here.

OP stated he wanted this for capture purposes. Also, .all files are the unsupported ones from VST days LE1 files are .cpr and open in C4 with no issue so they’ll open in 5&6. I mention all this in case someone has an opportunity to grab it somewhere. Even buying a cheap piece of used kit would be worth it, IMHO.

I have LE1 and C4. C4 opens LE1 projects as they’re .cpr’s. One downside is no 32 bit float, if that’s desired.

I hear you, but I think that although they do open in C4, they might not in C5/6 … I’ll try to test this.

i hope Steinberg considers this option carefully. A lot of ppl who use Cubase in the studio refuse to take it out onto the road live because of the usb key going missing and the whole nite falling through.

so they use Logic or Ableton Live on the road, and (dangerously for Steinberg) the more that they use other DAW sequencing programs the more they like them over Cubase…and then its just a matter of eventually dumping Cubase all together in the studio as well. The rot sets in and Steinberg are out.

one of the biggest things that helps Steinberg keep their customers is the fact that many dont want to learn another DAW and lose time and energy swapping over. But in a way they force their customers away to other DAWs when it comes to live gigs with the whole USB dongle thing and the way they are so ruthless if you lose the dongle.

i would like a “lite” version of Mediabay for registered owners on the go as well for my laptop. Standalone. that would be very handy on flights…


I think this would be a great idea as well. I am on SX3 right now but do plan to buy Cubase 6 when I can and even though I could just record my remotes on my laptop with SX3, I can’t tell you how nervous that dongle makes me in a live setting, even just the thought of remembering it when I leave the house.
I personally don’t even need the ability to do MIDI while doing live remotes but would definitely like the ability to record up to 24 or 32 tracks and then open those into my main DAW at home.


I see some most excellent posts here so far.
I’m glad that most of them are on target and carefully considered from each person’s work-needs-perspective.

The basic gist of what I see is this (feel free to supplement):

Main Ingredient: CUBASE 6 DAW (lite) software which can be imported into Cubase 6 full versions software and can playback (in a limited way) Cubase 6 files (see limitations below)

AUDIO: only minor editing capability (fades, volume, normalizing, exporting to basic types of files: wav, aiff, mp3)

MIDI: only minor editing capabilities similar to original midi software programs in the 80’s. Ex. cut & paste, move, velocity and basic cc in a single window (to fix on a performance/rehearsal break a major problem before going back to performing/rehearsing).

MIXER: Basic (like a live PA mixer for audio and midi)

16 Audio Input fader channels
16 Audio Output fader channels, 16 midi fader channels

Record, Mute, Solo, Read on/off buttons, Simple Pan knob (like a PA mixer - easy to grab and set)

  • INSERTS - a couple inserts (2 or 3) for using Steinberg limiter, compressor, eq and reverb plus any third party plugins

  • FX BUSSES - 2 (e.g. for reverb and more powerful eq or hum/noise cancellation, etc. )

  • GROUPS - a couple optional busses (2 or 4) in case you have drums, vocals, keys, other (to perform live) like a basic Mackie mixer for example

  • MASTER STEREO OUT - with some similar option to use a couple plugins on inserts before the final output (limiter, multiband compressor, eq for example)

Basic Transport
Marker Track (for those who do track playback live to setup different regions to playback different songs all on one time line (like a set list), but they are still able to go to a request that’s out of order (e.g. using the numbers in the inspector of the marker track)
Simple inspector for setting i/o, midi channels, pan, etc. (not as fleshed out as full version)

No Score module (don’t want this to be a replacement for Cubase full version do we).

A few basic audio menu and midi menu items as mentioned above.

Simple Tempo and Time signature editing.

Simple snap features in the edit and arrange windows (not a full featured editor).

My original concept was that this lite version was not a replacement for the full version.
But either or both a playback engine or simple record version that can swap Full Cubase 5 files back and forth.
And perhaps if you want MIDI back and forth, a kind of a Cubase only midi file output from the full version to this lite version that plays back all the fancy midi stuff, but doesn’t allow you to access and edit in detail all that stuff.
Similarly with the audio for playback. It might have all kinds of automation on the original full version but that stuff is bounced when placed in the lite version for playback though kept on its separate tracks so the automation is there, but not very editable, except for the mixer volume and pan faders. Any plugin and other advanced automation is either unaccessible or burned into the track for playback.

I’m hoping by all of us discussing this topic, that the Steinberg Developers (who are a pretty smart bunch) will consider this option for their full version users and toss about the value of this for their users.

Most of the long time users (I’ve been here since the very beginning in the 80’s in the USA) already own a lot of hardware. We really don’t wish to purchase any more hardware, just to have this capability. We’re all (new and old users) looking for some peace of mind that a software based license would bring to someone whose main Cubase work is done at home or in their studio and this would be a limited ‘ON THE GO’ version suited for just those occasions to record or playback (or that could even be separated into a Record On The GO version and a Playback On The Go version. Hence really limiting the features for each so that you’d get the job done while away from home/studio and own the full version to go back to at home/studio for any serious work on a composition.

On with the dialog!

el profe, LG

Just noticed that this was moved from the Cubase 6 list to the Music Lounge.

ok, I guess that works for me
Just hoping the Cubase developers read the Music Lounge threads, as 1/2 the purpose was for us to discuss this
and the other half was for the developers to notice the interest in such a item for their full version Cubase users.


el profe, LG

I agree with the majority that some concession could potentially be made by SB to accommodate customers who have the full version but need to go mobile occasionally. If Cubase Artist can open C6 projects to some level of basic functionality, then this might be a good option, however it isn’t free, after all, SB is a business! I am fairly certain this would be the party-line.

I don’t think they’d be viewed as unreasonable in this expectation either, however, if I was in their marketing department, I might weigh this as a consideration at grabbing a little more market share, if they were to allow a cut down mobile version free to full Cx users, as an incentive to purchase the full version.

Luckily for me, I still have my old Cubase SE license, which has gone mobile for me a few times.

One other suggestion: different physical formats for the eLicenser, e.g. ExpressCard or PCMCIA. This would remove some of the risk of theft or breakage as it could be fully inserted into the laptop.

Mmmm … does not bode well methinks … :unamused:

Hey, it’s their forum right. :wink:

…My copy of SE Studio Case bundle is capable of recording 24 bit audio and does not have dongle. I can use more inputs that I have preamps for and it runs in my trusty old laptop without a glitch. And I can transfer projects directly to C5.

my 2 cents.

But I love the idea OP gave :slight_smile:

While the LE versions are certainly a good option, you have to be really careful about file compatibility. The full version of Cubase 5 can open LE5 generated files, but I don’t think it works the other way round. So I have 2 suggestions

  1. Use the soft license method (LE4 and LE5 already use this) rather than a dongle.
  2. Full compatibility between C5/C6 and LE5 files.