Cubase 13 - Any word on new update cycle?

I’ve seen a few odd flickers on the latest MacOS that went away with the graphics acceleration. In fact, I’ve got several apps where if you enable the metal support they flicker, Apple clearly have work to do in this area.

Was yours similar to this?

These other artefacts were on my windows machine though, with an Nvidia card. Never seen it before and I use Cubase the most on Windows for past few years.

No artifacts here, just good old flickering. I was looking down at something (probably my phone or playing with one of the cats) and caught the mixer flashing real quick. Noticed it a couple more times throughout the day and your post instantly popped in my head thinking ‘Oh no not me now!!’ haha.

I wonder if the Metal version has something to do with it. About a year ago, there was talk of more machines getting left out of the upcoming OS’es due to lack of support for Metal 2. I have a 2018 Mac Mini with an eGPU connected to it, so I immediately ran out and replaced my RX570 with an RX5500 XT (and now an RX6600 XT) just to stay ahead of it. Could still be a Cubase thing though, I’m on this Mac pretty much most of my waking hours and haven’t seen it anywhere else except that day in Cubase.

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yes still on 11 here

Cubase 12 has been added to Splice as a monthly payment where you rent-to-own over a 34 month period.

So, I’d be surprised if C13 is anytime soon.

You may be right. But it could also be the case that Steinberg has been wanting to add that purchase option for V13 and decided there was no reason not to introduce it now for V12 customers. If they did that, there would surely be a provision that payments made toward V12 would transfer to V13. I mean, it doesn’t make any sense that V13 would be 35 months away.

It does seem peculiar that Steinberg did not address the question of what happens when they introduce a new paid version. That’s a rather obvious question. It would be foolish for anybody to commit to a 34-month payment plan that leaves you 2 major versions behind when you make your final payment.

No, but I think the new life cycles will be 24 months between versions, or perhaps that they will move to a 12 month style service agreement plan rather than paid-for updates.

At that point there is no rigid release schedule which can lead to a better development and bug fixes as you’re not racing time to get feature x to market.

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If they are thinking of anything along those lines, they’d better have a look at the mess that Waves created for themselves recently when they tried to force everybody onto a subscription basis. A riot ensued and Waves was forced to retreat, but probably lost many customers in the process.

Here’s the thing. I have accumulated a collection of Waves plug-ins over time – not a large number, but 6 or 8 that came in handy on certain projects. They were priced at a level that made sense. I really don’t use them very much because the capability built into Cubase and StudioOne covers most of that well. Nonetheless, I previously chose to upgrade the support plan every couple of years, “just to stay current”.

That’s one proposition. I made a choice without a gun to my head, and I was OK with that. It really had nothing to do with price. It was the proposition of free choice versus a gun to the head. But once Waves declared that you had to subscribe to the whole library or you were cut off, that’s a whole different proposition. And actually, their “offer” might not have been quite so brutal, but that’s how it sounded to the user base. Many of us looked at the various Waves plug-ins and said, “a) I barely use these. b) you haven’t made any appreciable improvements for years. Why should I start paying you monthly for a bunch of stuff I will probably never use.”

Some people are OK with subscriptions. A lot of us will fight to the death to avoid subscriptions. So Steinberg had better be careful. Good customers are hard to earn. It isn’t smart to anger them arbitrarily.


A 12 month Update plan isn’t a subscription though, as you own a perpetual license - hence why I could see Steinberg going this route, as it then falls on them to maintain a product that people are happy to pay for across a 12 month period of updates.

I think they’ve always struggled with the annual sales drive whilst having the added pressure of bug fixes and maintaining the existing feature set. It’s too much to cycle through in a 12 month period, and this approach would help alleviate - which in turn could see a better maintained product.

But importantly it allows the 12 monthly payment cycle to continue for them.

That’s indeed even another marketing strategy …
As long as I feel free to choose out of all available offers, I am OK.
I mean I will ‘buy straight away a perpetual license’ as I dislike being attached to monthly or yearly obligations.
Of course, until now the Cubase maintenance updates were free …

Perpetual license with an annual support & update plan is something I prefer.
But in this approach support has to be top-notch, and my perception is that this isn’t Steinberg’s strong point.

Okay, but what are you willing to pay for then?
Just an honest question, in perspective of Cubase users.

No idea, honestly. I guess it depends on the quality of support, otherwise should stay as it is: you pay some reasonable sum for an annual upgrade and God help you if you need support.

I spent a lot of my professional life as a visual effects guy and I’m used to some software there (Houdini, specifically). The software in that field lives in very different price brackets.
You would spend 2000USD on a perpetual licence and then 1000USD / year for support and upgrades.
They would have new builds each week with minor fixes and developments. Once in 2 monts there would be a milestone “Production build” that becomes the new bottom line build and so on.
When you submit a bug, you have access to a customer portal that lets you track the bug. Usually, if it’s not some huge thing, it’ll be solved in the next build (that is, a week or two). The whole customer support thing is stellar and I actually became friends with people in their team.

I have no idea if the customer base of Cubase / Nuendo can support something like this. For those needing it, should be worth 3-400USD/year (5-600 for Nuendo).

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I guess it all depends on the exact terms of the offer. Anything that comes across as a mandatory subscription is going to really anger a lot of customers, and I suggest no company can afford to do that in such a competitive market.

If I purchase a perpetual license for a particular version (and that is the only basis I’m willing to consider,) I expect bug fixes to be provided for free. I don’t expect functional enhancements for free, but I also don’t expect to be cut off from bug fixes if I don’t sign up for some support plan. Bugs are product defects and the company has a responsibility to fix those “under warranty” so to speak.

But those bug fixes cost money, and to bring that revenue in to pay staff you either go monthly sub, paid updates every year, or a maintenance update plan.

The problem of course is that monthly subs you don’t own the software, and paid updates each year means that you must add in new features as a sales push - and I think that’s had a negative effect on Cubase across the years.

This is why many companies have success with the 12 monthly update plan, as it’s not making you too rigid to meet sales schedules, and you still have the perpetual licensing. It’s also an incentive for the developer to better meet the needs of it’s users.

I get what you’re saying though, it’s very much eye of the beholder if anything like this did happen - and what the response may be.

The bug fixes should be priced into the original purchase. I realize some bugs are so structural that they can’t be fixed without a major update, which would be a paid thing. It is a simple model that has worked pretty well for 30+ years.

The only real point of subscriptions is to get more money out of customers. Personally, I would rather they just ask a higher price for the paid releases and be honest about it. At least in that case, I know what I am paying for. With subscriptions (or support plans or whatever name you want to give it) one has no idea what they will actually get for their money.

Of course, but we’ve previously had a yearly update cycle - one that Steinberg are looking at changing, so if they no longer do that, the option is to pay for a $200 update every two years to maintain that revenue, or $100/year for an update plan.

Either way, whatever is planned - there is an annual revenue gap which they need to make up AND keep development as efficient and meeting the needs of users as best possible.

While that suits you, subscriptions offer the option for people who can’t afford to put $600 on the table, and would rather put down $20/month and not have to worry about paying for updates on top of that.

Just different methods to suit different people, really. This is all hypothetical, anyway! :slight_smile:

Those are two completely different things.

They are whatever the vendor says they are. We’re talking hypothetical cases here. I hope none of this comes to pass because every time I’ve seen a vendor try this kind of thing, nothing good has come as a result.

Companies like Avid and Waves struggle as they make foolish decisions in the eyes of their customers.

Bitwig and Studio One show that good things do come as a result - one offers a subscription model and the other is using the 12 month update plan method.

Both DAWs offer perpetual licensing, and both receive decent updates, and both are on an upward trajectory.

Historically , when a ‘paid for’ update of Cubase is released every 12 months the door is shut on updates for the previous version. There’s normally one final update - and that’s it… Very rare do you even see 12 months of updates.


Cubase 11.0.0 - Nov 2020
Cubase 11.0.10 - Jan 2021
Cubase 11.0.20 - April 2021
Cubase 11.0.30 - June 2021
Cubase 11.0.40 - Sept 2021

You can see there’s not even 12 months of active updates there, 0.41 was just a fix for 0.40.

So it’s not all that different than a 12 month plan, except that it the pressure on development to add new features in and release on a certain day each year is removed. Things can be added in over a more controlled period.

And revenue scattered throughout the year, depending on when users decide to renew.

I agree it is a marketing minefield. Part of what makes it challenging is that some users might be very deeply committed. For example, some people score movies professionally using Cubase (or some other DAW.) Some people run a commercial recording studio or mastering service that depends on the DAW.

I’d wager that the vast majority of licensees for any DAW are hobbyists who don’t depend on a DAW-based business for their livelihood.

The person who runs a business that revolves around the DAW probably welcomes a subscription if that means there are frequent updates, up-to-date technology, and good support for problems.

But that may not fit the majority of users very well. I imagine that it is easy for a vendor to create a vision in their mind that their idealized customer is creating Grammy-winning recordings all day long, but that just isn’t the reality. The fact is that they need all those hobbyists to help pay for the technology. So I really hope they don’t get too caught up reading their own press clippings, such that they put the hobbyists in a position of having to leave.