Does anyone else HATE the new "Licensing" regime?

I recently “upgraded” to Cubase 12 and Wavelab 11 with the “new improved” (for whom?) licensing regime.

I’m constantly bombarded with nags and now WARNINGS on the 2 computers I run those programs on that my copies of Cubase and/or Wavelab will stop working soon and I have to perform some kind of authorization routine on each computer and/or the dongle using the eLicenser.

Folks, this is getting to be a HUGE PITA! And YES, I have scoured the FAQs, the instructions, etc. but am further from knowing WTF is going on than I was before buying Cubase 12…

Maybe it’s convenient for you but it’s been a major user hostile headache for me.

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In the interest of being pro-active and helpful, if anyone can fully and CLEARLY explain all of this to me (and us), I’d greatly appreciate it.

2 computers
eLicenser dongle…

And I’ve both entered activation codes here and there as well as run the activation software here and there…still getting warnings.

This latest scary warning is costing me AT LEAST a half hour of video/audio editing time! Sheesh…


(And yes, I am shouting!).

Oh, cute. It was the “activation manager” that was presenting the scary warning that Wavelab was going to stop working. I had to close it and try restarting it TWICE before the option to “Authorize” it came up.

Sheesh! Can ya’ make it any harder and less transparent?

First take a deep breath.

There is a good chance the warnings you are seeing are for trial versions that are expiring. Did you demo Cubase or Wavelab recently?

Can you show us the actual warning messages you are getting.

Also what products are showing in the Steinberg Activation Manager - like this


Please try to control the patronizing tone…

No, these were not trial versions - they were downloads of installation programs that I purchased.

And I DID take a deep breath and as I said in my other post instead of giving up I tried an additional 2 times to open the Activation Manager and found that Wavelab was not Authorized yet on that other machine. Then I authorized it and hope that’s IT…finally…

My objection and probably the objection of many others is a FOUR STEP PROCESS to finally get software downloaded, installed, authorized and then YOUR interests protected.

I’ve been alternating between writing software as a profession and playing/producing music for nearly 60 years. I’m not a novice to installing software. My remarks are based on the fact that your licensing scheme is among the most onerous and opaque I’ve encountered.

If that’s what you call ‘patronizing tone’ then you might just want to stop asking people online for help in general and check your own little hostile aggro-fest you’ve got going on.

This is a user forum, nobody here works for Steinberg, and if you want help you’re going about it the wrong way.


How would YOU characterize this lede from someone “trying to help”, hmmm?

I still maintain that a relatively opaque 4 step process to use software I’ve bought is excessive…

I agree that current licensing/installation sucks. OK? So what? Some of us believe it’s better than before when the dongle was still required. At least I was finally able to get Dorico 5 installed and authorized but it took way too long and all of the errors point to timing issues among the various apps and web pages required for the process to complete.

I had t do previous installations manually with the help of Suport — so this is better, IMO.

So… Do you need help or are you just complaining?

Neither at this point since I “solved” the situation and only wasted about an hour on this issue. I’m just providing an opportunity for others to express their opinion about the new scheme.

I never had any problems with the dongle – still use it and have a spare in case the one I’ve been using for well over a decade dies…

Back when I was writing rather large database systems with dozens of screens and reports, I took great pains to make sure that the end users wouldn’t have any significant problems. The fact that my phone rarely rang with a user who needed support told me that I was doing my job well. :grinning:

I really feel sorry for programmers today - the bar on “user satisfaction” has been lowered so far that “support’s” work level has rising significantly.

“others” have been expressing their opinions since the “new scheme” was introduced.

I can’t recall anyone expressing an opinion in such a way as you have.

It must be quite a gift as well as a challenge to be blessed with what you have to work with.


I think the willingness to want to use Steinbergs products and learn properly about the new multistep security system will be at play here . I personally haven’t had any issues with the way it runs but i spend time reading and checking before i jump and do , slow process at first but the more you do it the faster it becomes … just saying

I’d call it someone responding to this and several similar ones in the minutes before.

It is not infrequent to find someone new to Cubase starting to panic over something that is easily resolved. Your initial posts sure had that vibe. And I could see that you had just posted before I started to reply - so decent chance you were still mid-panic. I’m glad you resolved your issue while I was typing.

Of course I had no way to know you were such an experienced Cubase user. Much like how you seem to have assumed that I’m a Steinberg employee younger than you, rather than a fellow musician who is your elder and volunteers time here every day answering questions, often from new Cubase (and sometimes even panicked) users.

You seem to be upset that I suggested Trials could be the cause. The only reason I brought it up is because that’s the most common cause for unexpectedly getting these messages. I’m sorry if you felt patronized by that - it wasn’t my intent. I was just trying to point you to the most likely cause. Had you not resolved the problem I’d have asked you to post a screen-shot of your Activation Manager so we could see what’s what.


Simply not true. The quality of software today is much higher than it ever was. There’s a clear focus on the user experience that was pretty much absent before and there’s a level of interoperability and compatibility never seen previously.

Considering how much more capable and complex both software and hardware is today I think the level is pretty high and users have way less tolerance for crap. Applications and hardware is mostly ready to go and plug-and-play out of the box. Do you even remember the driver hell we all had to go through just to use an audio interface?

The new licensing system is one such quality of life improvement, albeit woefully late. It’s the best thing that happened to Cubase in years.


I would go back to the dongle in a heartbeat - the new licensing system does not serve my needs at all well.

I used to take my dongle with me to the studios where I worked and all was well. Now I have to license Cubase in all these locations, and it’s a PITA.


As someone who has used reaper for years I have to say the lack of all this nonsense is a massive selling point.


More Time wasted on this sh*t…

Check it out - “Steinberg License Engine is Not Responding”
An unknown error occurred while connecting to the Steinberg License Engine.
Please restart your computer and try again.
And the “activation manager” is stuck - can’t quit, can’t get rid of the window!

Tell the Steinberg techs, “NO, F*CK YOU! I’m going to edit my audio in Wavelab 10!”

Bought cubase 12 since it came out. never had any issues with licensing whatsoever.

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You are a big fan of the new licencing system then i take it