Cubase 11 installation issue related to e-Licenser

After a year of enjoying the wonderful Bitwig as my main DAW, I decided to purchase an update for Cubase - a program I used extensively up to version 6.5. I have it installed on an old Windows XP machine, and while being a bit underpowered vs. a modern DAW setup, it worked perfectly, flawlessly.

One drawback of Bitwig is the lack of tools for audio recording. So I thought I’d upgrade to the latest version of Cubase on my new Windows 10 machine and use that for audio tracking and editing only, and then import the results into Bitwig.

Unfortunately, the whole process of installing Cubase 11 didn’t work for me. Most of the issues seemed to involve the elicenser system. The bottom line is my USB elicencer is now fried - and my old Windows XP won’t recognize it either, leaving 30+ Cubase 6.5 projects inaccessible; Cubase 11, even when I got it to run, crashed repeatedly and one of the functions (audio alignment) wouldn’t work at all. Also note that very little of the process of installation, and dealing with any issues along the way, is guided by the process - virtually no error handling - with a lot of room for error.

I uninstalled all the Steinberg software on the new machine, ran CCleaner, and will be asking for a refund. Please note that my new Windows 10 machine has been running perfectly for a year now. And it really was a joy to find out how easy it was to update around $30K worth of audio plug-ins, VST instruments and sample libraries when I got back into music recording a year ago. So these issues with Cubase are totally unlike anything I have experienced at all with this machine.

And one last thing - frustration is the enemy of creativity. I spent hours, days, weeks from 2000-2012 struggling to get a stable system based on Cubase running. So much time lost to crashes and dealing with other issues, it’s amazing that I got anything done. My impression now is that nothing has really changed with Steinberg. Cubase is still buggy and unreliable out of the box. The difference is that I just no longer have any interest in dealing with it. No interest in jumping though hoops to make this work.

I should also add that I have 2 other USB dongles, mostly for Waves plug-ins plus a few other things. No issues on using those on both the Windows XP and Windows 10 machines. I was so pleased with how easy it was to get all my audio SW updated and running on my new machine last year, and how Bitwig ran so smoothly and flawlessly. But I did miss some of the audio recording and editing features of Cubase, so that’s why I decided to get the Cubase 11 update recently. Sorry that I did. Oh and I almost forgot, I demoed Cubase 10.5 last year around the time I bought Bitwig. Ran fine, had no issues with the USB elicenser either.