Dorico SE Install hassles

Windows 10 64. Got Dorico SE ‘free’. I’ve had Cubase Pro and Wavelab for 18 years, FWIW.

OK, so I install it and a few problems:

  1. It keeps bringing up the ‘Try/Buy’ dialog… even after I added the eLicense Activation Code.

  2. Each time it starts up, it hangs on various Cubase plug-ins that had trial licenses that I decided against (Eventide, Softube). How do I ‘blacklist’ them (as automatically happens in Cubase and Wavelab) ?



It sounds like you have an “all applications” time-limited license on your USB-eLicenser, which Dorico is picking up and using. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a mechanism to avoid using that license: it just gets the best available license that the eLicensers on your system can provide.

As for blacklisting, it should be the case that any plug-ins that don’t load are blacklisted automatically, but if you need to add them to the blacklist manually you can do so in %APPDATA%\Steinberg\VSTAudioEngine3_64 where you will find the blacklist files. I’m afraid you have to edit them manually outside of the software at the moment.

Same problem here:
“all applications” time-limited license on USB-eLicense always starts Dorico 3.1 Pro with ‘Try/Buy’ dialog instead of Dorico SE.
Not very user friendly to be honest.

What exactly does that -mean-? Is there a way round it? Or am I stuck with that Buy/Try thing forever? Or… will it just time-out as it says?

Please elaborate.


It should time out at the end of your 30-day trial license or 100 hours’ use of the Cubase add-on trial license (not sure how that add-on license works even though I may have it hiding somewhere on my own eLicense dongle).

I suppose the most drastic solution would be just to delete that trials licence with the eLicenser Control Center. After all, if you have had it for 18 years and never used it, you might not miss it!

Of course doing that would be irreversible.

Each time I start it, the countdown timer says “You can use it for another 20 hours and 5 minutes.”

So… when it gets to zero are you saying it will stop working? My understanding was that SE is not a ‘trial’… it’s a permanent license, but just stripped down feature set. Not true?

The web page says…

"We are delighted to introduce a brand new member of the Dorico product family today: Dorico SE is a completely free version of Dorico, available for Windows and macOS, which anybody can download and use with no time limits."

No. There’s a conflict between the “All Applications” time limited trial, and the SE license. The “All Applications” trial is for Dorico Pro, so until the time runs out, it trumps the SE license. When the time runs out on the “All Applications” trial the SE license will kick in and will work forever (unless you purchase Elements or Pro, at which point that license will take over).

I hope yer right! :smiley:

I was going to hold off trying to do anything ‘real’ until I felt confident it was truly ‘forever’.



Its smart offer from Mr Steinberg, and I understand that - this is business. First you will have to become accustomed to Dorico 3 Pro, then after trial is over - painful jump to SE version which will make you to consider buying pro version.

No, Jankres, that’s not at all the intention. The “all applications” license included on USB-eLicensers with Cubase Pro is intended to allow you to try any of our other products for a limited time. My recommendation would be to put the Doico SE activation code on your Soft-eLicenser and disconnect the USB-eLicenser before you run Dorico SE. That will ensure you use your Dorico SE license and do not run down the clock on your “all applications” license.

Thanks for reply, however activation is already done on USB, and cannot be transferred to soft elicencer, other way - yes.

OK, now I’m afraid again.

Daniel: I tried what you say and it does not work. Are you saying that when the timer runs down to 0, the ‘permanent’ license will NOT kick in and I’ll be locked out? (My previous understanding was that, while annoying, all I had to do was keep using with the Try/Buy dialog and then when it counted down to 0, the permanent license would take over.)

Please confirm.


Dorico uses the highest-level license that is available. When the All Apps timer runs down to 0, the permanent SE license will kick in.

If you don’t want to run down the timer, your best bet is to get your hands on another SE license, put that on your computer, and unplug the physical eLicenser. Theoretically you should be able to apply for as many licenses as you like through your Steinberg account, but there have been problems with that. You can always sign up for another Steinberg account using a different email address (such as a temporary one or a free Gmail account).

No need.

The Try/Buy nag isn’t deal-breaker. (Although it’s kinda amateur-time and I hope it gets sorted for customers less invested in SB products. If I didn’t trust SB from years of use I might think this was a bit hinky.) I just don’t want to spend a bunch of time doing something ‘real’ only to lose it.

Thanks again.


Steinberg’s motive is to let you try programs for which there may not be a trial version, like Nuendo or WaveLab or Dorico before SE became available. It’s unfortunate you immediately installed the SE softLicense on your USB eLicenser, but I doubt Steinberg was trying to trick or pressure you.

If on macOS, you can force Dorico to run in SE mode by pressing CMD+ALT then click on Dorico icon.

(I don’t know how to do this on Windows.)

I’ve been with Steinberg since 24PRO running on ATARI ST [I bet you haven’t seen that one] , so quite a long time. For me It always was and is still is respectable and trusted company. Also I know today’s reality, there is always pressure on revenue. I just think it should be mentioned to place activation on soft eLicencer to skip pro version trial, or to give choice of running SE or PRO version to form view on limitations and features.

I’m very happy to provide anybody who wants one with another Dorico SE activation code so that they can put it onto their Soft-eLicenser, and then disconnect their USB-eLicenser, and verify that Dorico SE will continue to run. If you want me to do that, just drop me a private message here or an email at d dot spreadbury at steinberg dot de and I’ll send you another code. They’re free, you can have as many as you want.


First off, if you guys are referring to -me-, I -never- said anything about bad intent on the part of SB. All I meant was that, if I were new to their products, this kind of install problem would make me skeptical of the company. As a former software developer, I’m -really- sensitive to ‘first impressions’ from users.

Personally, I’ll just wait until the timer goes to zero. And if it’s a problem, I’ll contact you again. Hopefully any projects I create will not disappear–that’s all I care about.