Cubase Instrument license, use in other DAW?

What is the official license allowance for using the various instruments included with Cubase, in other hosts? we are talking about HalionSE, GrooveAgentSE, PadShop and Retrologue. The actual versions included with Cubase13.

I have found that they all will scan and present as available in other hosts. HalionSE, Padshop and Retrologue seem to even work fine, GrooveAgentSE does not it crashes the host when I try to use it in DP. Even Au versions are included with some of these…which would not be applicable to Cubase, so the underlying assumption is that its ok to use them in other hosts…presuming they don’t crash as GrooveAgentSE appears to.

I contacted Steinberg Support about GrooveAgentSE crashing when attempting to use it in DP11, and they replied that these instruments are only licensed to be used inside Cubase.

So the first question is, is that true, we are not actually licensed to use these plugins in other DAW hosts, even though they are installed as allegedly working VST3/AU plugins and are available to load into the other daw’s and even seem to work fine with the exception of GA5SE, which crashes when attempting to use. what is the official license?

Secondly, presuming we are licensed to use them in other DAW’s, what is the trick to get GrooveAgent5SE working without crashing DP11 or some other DAW’s.?

I switch around between DAW’s frequently…so…it would really be nice if I could continue using some of these instruments when I switch, but if Steinberg does not allow this per license, I need to know the correct answer to that. If that is the case then Steinberg should be blocking those plugins from being seen by other DAW’s IMHO. On the other hand ,if the license is there, but Steinberg is simply not supporting use in other DAW’s including they don’t care if they are crashing, then so be it, I will give up asking them about it, but I just want to know the official position.


For Digital Performer, use AU instead of VST3 if possible (if you’re on macOS). VST Support is newer to DP, and can be prone to issues. It’s AU support is far more mature and stable. Generally, treat DP like you would treat Logic Pro.

Steinberg plug-ins crash other software here and there due to how the authorization works, I’ve found. This happened with the dongle licenses, and it still happens with Steinberg Authorization.

Beyond that, you’re free to use them in whatever other software you own that supports them, as long as they are license and activated on that machine - either via Cubase or some other package like Dorico, Absolute, or discrete product licenses (HALion Sonic Collection/HALion 7, Groove Agent 5, etc.).

unfortunately neither AU nor VST3 version of GA5SE works in DP. VST3 passes validation but crashes DP immediately when inserting it on a channel. The AU version seems to pass validation but when you close the DP prefs window, DP does a final scan of some kind to build back up the plugin list or something and basically that crashes DP…and so the AU version never gets registered as a usable enabled plugin.

Retrologue, PadShop and HalionSE are working fine in DP, but GA5SE no dice… not gonna work. I tried hosting it inside some wrappers like BlueCatAudio Patchwork, unify and some others…they all crash when I try to use either VST3 or AU

I got curious, I just checked and GA5SE works fine in Logic Pro and Bitwig.
What does MOTU say?

It works in Logic for me too, but anyway, I tried also hosting inside some sub hostess such as patchworks, inside DP, crashes every time. MoTU is not going to do anything, its up to the plugin developer to figure out why. Steinberg is not interested to figure out why so I’ve pretty much given up on it, but I was just wondering the official status of licensing as Steinberg’s initial support response was to tell me my license does not allow it to be used in other hosts. Since then they have followed up a bit more, so we’ll see, but I doubt they are going to fix their own plugin as long as its working fine in cubase.

The built-in instruments are only designed to work in Cubase/Nuendo. Steinberg will not be “fixing” them for other DAWs. They want your money, so if you want to use these, you’ll have to buy licences for them all. Then they’ll work. (This is the above board option!)

They already got my money. I think it’s stupid and short sighted for them to not ensure their plugins work in most hosts. Many of us have to flip flop between different daws including cubase and others. I cannot use their useless instruments if they will not also function in the other daws I routinely work with

You only mentioned the SE versions. You need licences for the full versions.

The full version of groove agent and halion work fine for me in all DAWS

I am speaking about the se versions which i paid for when I bought cubase

with due respect, no its not the same thing. These instruments are SUPPOSED to work in any daw, and they don’t. Anyway I don’t want to argue with idiots about it. I was just asking the official licensing agreement, and it appears I am supposed to be able to use them but can’t because they are buggy in other daws and perhaps Steinberg doesn’t care. It is what it is.

No. Simply not intended. You get something free of charge, and Steinberg should support it for other environments? It highly depends on the content if it’s available in other hosts.
What about the DP or Logic instruments?


Excuse me, but Cubase was not free of charge. I paid for it. that payment included instruments that are allowed and intended to also be useful in other DAW’s, otherwise why would they include AU version. This was not a freebie. we paid for it. it doesn’t work in other daws as well as other third party plugins because of bugs. –If– the official standpoint from Steinberg is that these plugins are only “intended” for cubase, then why would they include AU also? Stop making excuses for buggy software. That is just really annoying. No chance I will buy the pro version just because this version is buggy, out of principle alone I won’t do it, I have plenty of other drum plugins anyway, all of which work perfectly fine in every DAW I own including Cubase. I don’t need to use GA absolutely… But if there is a way to make it work in all the DAW’s, as I often switch around for various work flows…then maybe I might. But as of now, no.

The official stance from Steinberg is not clear to me right now, which is why I’m asking here what the official license is. Is it, or is it not, licensed to use in other DAW’s? what is the official statement from Steinberg? (crickets)

That’s your own assumption, not a universal or objective one.

It’s their product, so that’s the authoritative answer. You mustn’t actually think an answer you might receive here in the user forum would be somehow more true than what you got officially.

Steinberg products are used throughout the world. They’re used in countries where the average wage is quite high, like the USA, UK, EU, AU, JP, etc., where it’s many times higher than, for example, a country like Senegal, where tons of amazing music is produced in daws.

If you’re from a so-called first world country, you pay a tiny, tiny fraction of your income for your Steinberg products compared to what people in the 3rd world pay.

Also, it’s perfectly reasonable for the company to want to turn a profit in this business, where margins have shrunk tremendously over the past couple of decades.