Does this use old licenser, or new system?

I’m still on dongle system

The new one

can i use Backbone without dongle?

None of the Steinberg instrument plug-ins have required the dongle for years. All of them besides the full versions of Halion 6 and Halion Sonic 3 have also made the transition to the new Steinberg Licensing system.

I don’t believe that’s strictly accurate ? Some of the plugins only transitioned to SAM very recently (such as The Grand last October IIRC)

Some plugins are still Elicencer only (eg, Absolute bundle )

Some sound content still hasn’t moved across (eg. Iconica)

As you know, a log of SAM based sound content also has issues with licensing when using older hosts (cubase/neudo 11).

To answer the original question - yes Backbone has transitioned to SAM but depending on the exact setup (host version) it’s possible that going dongle-less might mean you lose access to sound content you have within SAM.

They have been on the soft-elicenser, so no dongle needed.


ahh yes - fair point

This only affects Retrologue 2 and Padshop 2 on Cubase 11 or earlier, because the current versions don’t have their own preset browser. Backbone isn’t affected.

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yes - my post wasn’t entirely clear ! (or indeed entirely accurate !!)

I was just flagging that moving licences to, or buying SAM content set licences may have ‘unpredictable’ results, resulting in missing content - but as you say Backbone doesn’t actually have any additional sound content sets (AFAIK?) so is unaffected.

Just to add to this as it’s slightly more nuanced - moving a soft-elicenser to a USB-elicenser is a one way process - no going back - so if your licences are currently ‘dongle based’ they remain ‘dongle based’ until/if you move to SAM.

For many (most?) that use a dongle it effectively means that using a soft-elicenser ceased to be an option - (if that makes sense?)