Asking for advice for large Nuendo quantities

I’ve been out of the Nuendo forum for a while due to Steinberg Licensing creating problems for our business practices, but unfortunately the time has come to start making the transition and I’m hoping for some advice from folks who have a lot of Nuendo licenses.

Background - we have a lot of Nuendo 10+11 systems that are deployed on television productions. Triple-Madi rack systems, laptop systems, analog systems - somewhere around 28 daws total with Nuendo, ProTools, Ableton, and a bunch of other software and hardware for audio production.
We are in the habit of moving eLicensers and iLoks around - WITHOUT CONNECTING TO THE INTERNET FOR DEACTIVATION - but we are starting to replace our systems and Nuendo 11 won’t run on some of them. Time to upgrade. We’ve resisted so far because forcing us to connect to the internet to move a license is really hard for our shop folks, they’re just not that smart. This promises to be a problem for us.

SIDE NOTE that REALLY ANNOYS US - we’ve already lost $400 because we paid a number of thousands of dollars for N11 upgrades from N10 for all of our systems a few years ago, but by the time the last two systems were available for the already-paid-for upgrades eLicensing was gone, we can’t use the upgrade codes, and we LOST $400 dollars already. Bad way to start. My accountant is still annoyed. She considers it fraud but she reacts strongly to folks who don’t keep their end of a sale. I’m just trying to run a business.

Current - I’ve read the site pages I can find regarding Steinberg Licensing and I have a few questions for those who are familiar with moving licenses around -

A - It appears each license can be activated on up to 3 computers. This could help with moving licenses - maybe we activate them on enough systems to mostly cover ourselves. Is this accurate? Any restrictions?

B - However - if my Steinberg account has 10 licenses, that’s 30 activations. Are they pooled or must I keep track of them per license? Example - if I’ve activated 3 times for a specific license purchase, but have 5 more activations from other licenses, do I need to keep track of specific licenses x3, or do I have 30 activations freely moveable without deactivating? I can picture having to keep an annoying spreadsheet of daws vs. licenses vs. number of activations. (Did I mention our shop folks will have to manage this? Ugh). Anyway, are they pooled or do I need to keep track of them?

C - What triggered this is a system died. Of course the eLicenser is fine and can be moved to a replacement system. Drive activations cannot. With a significant number of deployed systems statistically drives will fail. The Steinberg site lists a procedure for deactivating a license from a system that is “no longer available”. Does this work? Can I reuse a license from a failed drive that has no chance of recovery?

As hopefully you can understand I’m very worried about this transition. The fact is the shop folks will screw up, I WILL have to pick up the pieces, and things will be harder for me because eLicensers are gone. However if you can offer any advice for the above questions I appreciate it.


As far as I know there is no restriction.

I haven’t heard of a pool, the three activations are per license.

This is the easy part with the new Licensing system. If a system is dead just go to your Steinberg profile and deactivate the system as described by Steinberg. After that you can use the free activation for a new system.

It’s really a direct question for SB’s technical or commercial support. It’s in his interest to support you well. Here, I have a Nuendo 12 license which is an upgrade from Cubase 12. I have two production computers. I can open Nuendo or Cubase on each with the same license without any problem. Same thing with Dorico. I guess for 3 computers it’s like that.

At that point, for 10 computers, you could upgrade 4 licenses (instead of 10), which would be a saving after all. The other 6 licenses can either be sold, kept for future development, or abandoned (these things happen).

But I think this mechanism needs to be guaranteed by SB, even if I imagine his advice will be to keep one license per computer (for commercial reasons).

Why not try with just one license first? You’ll discover the possibilities through this process.

How many systems can you install Nuendo 13 on.

You are allowed to install Steinberg products on multiple computers, but you can only activate a product on three computers at any one time. A single-user license is intended for a single person, so it is not permitted to use the software on more than one computer simultaneously. If you run out of activations, you can deactivate a license from one of your computers before activating it on a new one.

I understand the rule, but in practice it’s different, it seems. I even think it’s generous of SB, who had to make up for the major problems we had with the e-licencer (no Cubendo, and for my part, no VSL products for days: that demolishes a production schedule!).

Note that SB doesn’t sell to one person but to a buyer-customer, which can be a company. This company can have several heads, and several hands at the same time. I’m not saying this to open the door to abuse or to invite cheating. SB must have thought of all the possibilities in terms of license use. There may be a degree of tolerance or acceptance of special cases. It’s important for a company to penetrate a market (in this case, the studio market) and create habits and loyalty.

But I could be wrong on the substance.


Before this spins into a cheating discussion I possibly should have been clear on this point - I’m not attempting to use more licenses than we have purchased. We have approximately 10 N10 + N11 eLicensers. I’ll install N-something on all the daws as I do now. I will activate them on the 10 most used daws. To save the abuse of our shop folks having to deactivate and activate every time a system goes out (not manageable) I’ll also activate on a number of the other daws but they won’t be used simultaneously. 10 licenses, 10 simultaneous uses. The terms are specific - one license = one user. This is the opposite problem - multiple licenses = one user.

However this means I’ll need to keep a list of licenses, activations, and daws to avoid sending something that isn’t activated. That was the basis of my “pooled license” question.

Question B reframed - how are multiple licenses managed in the account? I’m very concerned because our shop folks will have to log in to MY Steinberg account using MY password. My account creds will have to be known by multiple folks to manage activations. Someone may really mess up the account by accident (or deliberately) and I’m going to lose out. It’s an IT access issue and SB doesn’t appear to have multiple levels of admin access - you can either log in and potentially harm the account, or you can’t. I’m concerned.
I’m not being paranoid because we’ve already lost $400 on this transition when SB didn’t honor two of the paid-for N11 upgrades when eLicensing servers went away. If that’s indicative of response to customer loss then this account exposure is dangerous and concerning.

This promises to be a painful and potentially damaging transition. When this transition was announced I posted a list of why it was going to be a problem for us - similar to what I’m saying now. I was really hoping users would object and the eLicenser option would return, that appears to not be happening. So I need to understand and prepare for what’s next.