Demo of Cubase 12 Pro and Elements 12 on the same laptop

Can I install both demo versions on the same laptop to try them both? Are there any precautions?
Will they install in the same folder?


Welcome ! :slightly_smiling_face:

I would avoid trying to install both on the same computer for just one reason, at least on a Windows based system : all Cubase 12 preferences are stored in the following folder :

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\Cubase 12_64

and there is no distinction between ‘elements’ and ‘pro’, AFAIK, which means that you are at risk to mess preferences of both versions in the same location when testing them. Something to avoid, would it only be if you intend to see how each version is behaving with specific use cases/requirements.

What are you trying to figure out by doing that?

Have you seen this chart

Nah, each edition of Cubase creates its own folder. For Elements it is called “Cubase LE AI Elements 12_64” (or similiar).
No worries about the preferences.


Cubase AI, LE and Elements are using other Preferences folder:

  • Cubase LE AI Elements 12 (on Mac)
  • Cubase LE AI Elements 12_64 (on Windows)

But you don’t need to activate Cubase Elements license. You can start Cubase Elements with Cubase Pro license. So activate Cubase Pro Trial license and download Cubase Pro and Cubase Elements from the Steinberg Download Assistant. Then you can start any of these.

OK, sorry for the mistake, @triton1970. :blush:

So, as I’m always willing to learn, and in the same way, is the preferences folder af an installed Artist version named Cubase Artist 12_64 ? If so, why do we have only Cubase 12_64 for the Pro one ?

I ask this, because both the involved Operation manuals and Steinberg Help page on the subject mention only <program name>, which is rather misleading, actually. From which, I always have thought until now that any version preferences folder of a given Cubase generation was named the same way…

EDIT - Another thought on the subject : let’s say that someone, after purchasing a hardware product of some kind, installed Cubase LE version which was bundled with it. He/She kinda likes it and wants to demo the Elements one. What happens, in this case ? :thinking:

Yes, Sir.


No. Cubase Pro and Artist are sharing the same preferences folder named Cubase 12_64. Cubase Elements, LE and AI are sharing I’ve preferences folder named Cubase LE AI Elements 12_64. Same as these applications are sharing the same executable file, they are sharing the same preferences folder.

So ? :thinking:

Beside this, it doesn’t answer the concern about eventual issues that could arise with different versions sharing the same preferences folder, while having both different features sets and one of the versions involved having been previously installed with already existing settings…

EDIT - Correction done : I get how they can share the same defaults.xml file, in example, even if they don’t have the same features activated. But this, ONLY if they are installed at the same time…

It does not matter when the install is done. It’s just a simple thing as Martin said, there’s really no more to it than that.

Any license is also valid for lower-cost derivatives of the same application executable. Hold down alt while launching to see what it does. (This also is part of the feature set that enables the ability to open a project in various different versions of the program.)

Cubase has two possible executables across the product line, one is for Pro and Artist, the other is for Elements, LE, and AI

OK… :slightly_smiling_face:

I was about to re-edit my last post to acknowledge it. So, I guess - the last time I’ve been concerned about this was more than 15 years ago (C Studio 4 to C4 upgrade) - that if an Artist version is already installed with its own settings, an eventual Pro installation will preserve what is in the existing preferences folder.

Always good to have all this in mind, as this could be helpful for other forumers…

Trust me. :wink:

In the past, there were 2 executables. One Cubase Pro/Artist (so called “Cubase-hard”, because it was using hardware key - USB-eLicenser). The second was CubaseLE/AI/Elements (so called “Cubase-soft”, because it was using software license - Soft-eLicenser). Every single application has own Preferences folder. “Cubase-hard” is using Cubase 12_64 (on Windows) preferences folder. “Cubase-soft” is using Cubase LE AI Elements 12_64 (on Windows) preferences folder.

Noted, Martin. Yep, the USB vs Soft e-Licenser explanation makes sense. Thanks ! :slightly_smiling_face:


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Actually, Martin is correct. Inside the folder Cubase creates some new files and folders for Artist and Pro seperately.
I assume it will be the same for LE, AI, Elements.

I got confused as I have Pro and when I started Artist in the past it would start in a different language and with different user settings. Now with 12.0.60 this is not the case. Not sure if my memory is poor or something got fixed with maintenance releases. I might have played around with trashing the preferences at the same time.

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Thanks for the acknowledgement ! No harm done… :slightly_smiling_face:

Thank you so much for all the info guys! Both demo versions are installed and working like a charm. Trying to decide if Elements will be enough for me or if I need to get Artist :wink: