Doubts about upgrading to 64 bit

I’ve been using for many years my Cubase SX2, which is still running well despite being installed in a quite newer system (Win10 64, i9 CPU, SSD, 32GB ram…). Periodically I am tempted to update it, not only to take advantage of the many new features but also to upgrade to a 64-bit DAW.

However I’m always… held back by the same doubt: will I be able to continue using the VST instruments and plugins with which I have worked so far?
Most important: will I still be able to work with “Hypersonic 2”, which despite being quite “old” is still more than suited to my needs and has been used in almost all of my projects?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

You’ll need to bridge older 32bit plugins that don’t come with a 64bit wrapper. jbridge is a popular option. While older projects should load into the newest versions OK, you might have to redo some track connections and remix a bit in the event that plugin-ids change (I.E if you intend to use jbridged variants of old plugins…the IDs will change, and Cubase will throw up options to reconnect tracks and such upon loading the old project).

For your brand new ‘starting from scratch’ projects, look forward and use the latest Versions of everything you can…use newer plugins that come with the DAW, or update things and add whatever modern plugins you might need that isn’t covered with the included setup, etc.

As far as I know, any newer key(s) you update into will also run the older versions. I.E. A Cubase Pro 11 key on the USB licenser should be able to run all older and lower versions of Cubase. One can have several versions of Cubase installed on the same system. Just keep in mind that they all might share common plugins (at the latest version you’ve installed) unless you keep several directories for each DAW maintained separately and train each version to scan the relevant directories you want for specific plugin versions.

Personally I’ve only rolled as far back as version 7 32bit with the latest Pro 11 key (When I need to use a lot of old VST2 32bit plugins)…and have used the Pro key to also run Elements or LE on secondary systems.

Do double check if one can roll back as far as SX. If not, get a new key and dongle (start fresh rather than upgrading), and keep your SX installation and dongle around for old projects that you just want to be able to lock and load reliably.

PS, I think the best late version to use that came in 32bit was Version 7? 7.5 kind of set the gold standard for Cubase in so many ways…stable, good at integrating older projects, came in both 32bit and 64bit versions, and a good mix of bread and butter features and plugins.

Maybe a good place to start if you want to transition to 64bit world is get Cubase 11, and also install the 32bit version of Cubase 7.5 for projects loaded with 32bit plugins? Seems like the 64bit version 7 also had a built in 32bit plugin bridge…not sure though. Still, the point is, having version 7.5 on the rig, along side the latest and greatest should give you sufficient ‘middle ground’ to get older projects using the old 32bit plugins into a newer DAW without a lot of manual tweaking. Hopefully Version 7 32bit would import those old SX projects and have them playing/sounding just like you left them in SX right away.

With a little luck, saving such an SX project loaded into 7.5 might clear up a bunch of ‘manual tweaking’ steps required to get it into even newer 64bit versions of Cubase, etc.

Keep your SX setup going as well for really old projects that you need NOW but don’t have time to ‘fiddle with’ in a new DAW.

Many thanks for your kind and helpful reply. :]

There’s one thing, basically, I must be sure of: the ability to carry on using Hypersonic 2, which is 32 bit and, having being discontinued, is not upgradable to 64. I’m not planning to buy other VST instruments and, anyway, I’d like to continue using Hypersonic not only to open and manage old projects but also to make new ones, as I still like quite much its sounds and its user interface (as you can easily guess, I have no big claims and I don’t produce music on a professional level).
Perhaps, to dispel any doubts and avoid making an inappropriate purchase, I could download and install a demo version and check out. Or maybe, as an alternative compromise, I could purchase and install the “gold standard” 32 bit Cubase 7.5 (is that possible?) and be happy with it.

As to the dongles, my SX2 came with an USB-eLicenser and also Hypersonic came with its own, so I actually have two of them, although I placed both the licenses on one single dongle to free up an usb port on my PC (and also to keep a “spare” empty key in case of failures).
So, as far as I understand, I should be able to purchase other products “online”, by just downloading, buying the new license and putting it inside the USB-eLicenser I already have, with no need to buy another one and wait for it to be delivered.

EDIT. I learned just this morning that the Steinberg “good prices” which… tempted me are bound to end in just 3 days and once that term ha expired, obviously, any decision will have to be paused again. So I decided to try installing the trial version of Cubase Pro 11, in order to check directly whether Hypersonic was usable or not. It gets detected but Cubase puts it in the blacklist.
I found in Steinberg support a page (“Using 32-bit plug-ins on 64-bit systems”) which says, amongst other things, that
“Cubase comes with a VST Bridge … Steinberg plug-ins are mostly bridged correctly”
Which seems to be good news, since Hypersonic actually IS a Steinberg plug-in.
Maybe the mentioned Cubase internal VST bridge needs to be activated or configured somehow.
I’ll try to find out.

Sounds good. Try a demo of the latest Cubase along with jbridge. An alternative to jbridge is something like 32bit bidule in rewire mode. Also, if Hypersonic can run in a stand alone mode, it’s possible to do that and route the MIDI and audio to/from Cubase using stuff like loopMIDI and ASIO Link Pro (both free). So…there are definitely ways to patch old plugins into the modern cutting edge versions of Cubase.

Unless you can find it still in stock at a reseller, or used somewhere, I’m not sure you can still get a 7.5 key for the dongle (but the software itself can still be downloaded from a Steinberg server). Any key newer than 7.5 will run it though. Cubase Pro keys can always ‘roll back’ to older/smaller versions.

You could buy the latest Cubase Pro @ Version 11. That key would let you run the latest as well as any version of Cubase that came before provided it’s compatible with the dongle/eLicenser system (also lower versions like Artist/Elements/LE/etc.).

If you did that, you could try something like jbridge with Cubase 11. Hypersonic should work out fine in such a bridge, just be aware that when importing old SX projects you might have to reconnect some things that’d be looking for the Hypersonic Plugin ID (rather than a bridge that is hosting it). My understanding is that most of your built in Steinberg effect plugins should find suitable replacements when importing projects into newer versions of Cubase (don’t be surprised if you have to manually sort some of those replacements on your own as well though).

I.E. If you try to load a project into Cubase and plugins or ports are missing, Cubase throws up options to connect to plugins and/or ports that DO exist on your installation.

So, you’d first get your bridged stuff working in fresh/empty modern projects…then with some luck the older stuff would be fairly easy to just ‘reconnect’ what is needed.

Also with luck, the 32bit version of Cubase 7.5 might just load your old SX projects right away and pick up where you left off. Maybe…

You could ALSO install 7.5 to give you the intermediary solution that might help when importing old projects that use a lot of third party 32bit plugins.

On ‘upgrading’ SX all the way to Cubase 11. SX goes way back…so I’m not sure if that dongle is compatible with the newest stuff? You could ask someone official at Steinberg. Personally, even if it’s compatible…due to the age of it, I’d probably keep your old SX dongle and license untouched, and start with a brand new key and dongle for version 11 rather than trying to ‘upgrade’ the SX key (probably would not be that much of a discount going that far back anyway).

PS, I’m not sure what to make of this…
For details on using Hypersonic you might want to contact Steinberg support directly. Also, try a demo while communicating with them.

The ISO download for Hypersonic 2 says one needs a Sonic 2 key…

Did Hypersonic come with its own key on the dongle? Or did that come with SX?

Do you have HALion Sonic 2, Or a full version of HALion preceding version 5?

Note, if you have Sonic 3, or HALion 6, you’ll need a special roll back key to run those older plugins. Only why I know to get one is to talk with Steinberg support. Cubase 11 ships with Sonic 3 SE for sure.

Steinberg will send a second key that has to be on dongle for rolling back to H5, S2, or before. Reason being, with Sonic 3 and HALion 6, they added an option for dongeless installation that isn’t compatible with the older stuff…so they send you a roll back key when requested.

If Hypersonic has its own key, and it’s on your dongle, or came with SX, you should be OK as long as that dongle is plugged in. If not…well…call Steinberg :slight_smile:

I’d stay with 32 bit if it works OK.
I’m using Cubase pro 10.5 (64 Bit) and we played some stuff that was recorded in 32 bit and it didn’t sound any different.
Also the latest version (Cubase 11) still doesn’t work on a pc.
So i’ve paid for version 11 but can’t use it and are still using 10.5.
I’d say don’t waste your money. especially as you seem quite happy with what you have

Thanks again, Brian, for your help.

I have two eLicenser USB dongles. One came with SX2 and the other, one year later, with Hypersonic. Then, later on, I moved the Hypersonic license to the first dongle to save usb ports.

The good news (I think) is that both the dongles seem to be compatible with the latest stuff: yesterday I downloaded and installed a Pro 11 demo and when I downloaded the 30-day license to the empty dongle everything went well. Moreover, everything went well also when, an hour later, I moved that demo license to the other dongle, which now contains all my licenses (SX, Hypersonic and Cubase Pro 11 demo).
I learned that Cubase no longer provides any internal VST bridges and so I tried the Jbridge demo, which seem to work with Hypersonic (but to be sure I should buy the full version).

Now, also thanks to your precious advice, I’m starting to figure out a possible strategy that could be successful, also in terms of ease (or… less complexity):
assuming that a Cubase Pro 11 key can actually run any older version of Cubase (although obviously, I guess, not at the same time), I could buy one as an update from SX (thanks to the promotion expiring on Sunday) and then install both Cubase 11 AND Cubase 7.5 64 bit (by the way, where can I download it?). I should be able, then, to open my old projects in 7.5 (which should run 32 bit Hypersonic thanks to its internal VST bridge) and work on new projects in 11, thus exploring all the new features.
In case of problems with 7.5 64-bit and old projects, I could also install 7.5 32-bit, as long as there are no conflict problems. And anyway, as a last resort, I could leave also SX installed…

Do you see any mistakes or pitfalls in such a… plan?

I well understand your point, Adrian.
I’ve been “staying” for more than 10 years and obviously, not being a professional user, I could carry on like that.
The fact is that, being my Cubase actually very old, I’m curious to see how much the program has evolved, what new features have been added and so on.
I also like to try new sounds and, among the legally free VST instruments that I find on the net, it is more and more frequent to run into stuff only provided in the 64-bit version.
Moreover, I’ve recently bought a new and much more powerful PC…

I am well aware that all this is largely a whim, but probably the same could also be said of my whole music making. :]

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Looks good as far as I know.

Only potential problem I see with the plan is to remember that HALion SE3 (Base GM compatible sampler/synth that ships with current versions of Cubase/Nuendo/Dorico I’m aware of) only comes in the 64bit flavor (but now works in ALL 64bit DAWS, not just Cubase). If you run with 64bit versions and use jbridge for Hypersonic, I doubt you’ll have any trouble at all importing old content that uses SE or Groove Agent, as SE3 is supposed to be quite legacy friendly (still comes with content going WAY back to Sonic 1, and even older legacy sounds can be downloaded from the ftp site).

If you decide to try a 32bit version of Cubase…Note that HALion Sonic 3 SE only comes in a 64bit version. It can be bridged down for a 32bit DAW using jbridge but then some Cubase specific features of Sonic SE might not work anymore. Older 64bit versions of Cubase from version 7 forward should work fine with SE3, so no need to roll back to SE2 there.

I’m not sure if you can have both SE2 and SE3 on the system at the same time using the Steinberg installers? Of course the plugin wrappers can coexist in Program Files/VSTplugins and Program Files (x82)/VSTPlugins and Program Files/Common/vst3, but I’m not sure about other elements of the software deeper in the Program Files/Steinberg directories. Seems like I recall that installing SE3 will replace SE2 if it’s already installed. If you try to install SE2 while SE3 is already on a system it simply says, “Already installed.” because there is something ‘newer’ on the system with the same plugin ID.

Hopefully there is a way to have them both installed at the same time if you’re interested in going back and forth between 64bit and 32bit versions. I’m just not sure though. Last time I tried it things were in beta and I had to go with one or the other (not both) on the system.

So, try 64bit with your bridged plugin(s) first. If you need to roll back to 32bit on the same system, you ‘might’ have to uninstall SE3 first so SE2 can take center stage. I think you can pretty much leave the content/libraries alone, or move Sonic 3 only content with the library manager ‘before’ uninstalling SE3 and installing SE2.

Seems like you could simply rename some directories and install SE2 when needed as well. Then just rename directories and/or move some stuff around to swap between SE Versions. If I were to try this I’d probably use windows file system junctions (mklink /j in a windows command line) to point to the different Directories…just change those pointers when I needed to roll back or step forward.

With your purchase you’ll get a link to get Stienberg Assistant. I think that goes back as far as Cubase 10.5.

If you already have the demo of Cubase 11, I don’t think you need to download and reinstall it, just activate with the new key. Check out the Stienberg Assistant for Cubase to see if there is any extra/optional content (sounds, synths, demo projects, loops, other bits) you’re entitled to that you ‘want’ to grab.

To get older downloads go to the Downloads page on the Steinberg website. For even older things they don’t have listed, there is an ftp site as well, which I think can also be found on the link above.

When I asked “where can I download it?” I was referring to Cubase 7.5, as I’d like to try installing it in the 64 bit version so to be able to load my old projects there, using Hypersonic by means of the Cubase internal VST bridge (without installing Jbridge). My primary goal, for now, would be to be able to work with my old projects with Cubase 7.5 64 and start new projects in the new Pro 11 environment, using just the VST instruments and effects which come with Pro 11 (plus some free 64 bit VST instruments legally available online).
The Steinberg Assistant goes back as far as 9.5, so the 7.5 can not be downloaded from there.
That’s the reason for my question.

As to Cubase Pro 11, for my testing purposes I downloaded only the “Cubase_11.0.30_Installer_win.exe” file (~500 MB), but I saw many other downloadable material there and I presume the Pro 11 license will allow me to install and use it also (well, maybe not all of it).

A final doubt arose about the purchase:
is the Pro 11 license I will buy as an “upgrade” from Cubase SX going to be exactly the same, in terms of permissions (what software can be downloaded and used), as the “full version” license intended for new customers or will it have some limitations?

You can find 7.5 on the downloads page under the “Unsupported/Cubase” tab. I think it’s the row that just says, “Cubase”…no idea why they left the ‘pro’ off…hmm. 64bit and 32bit installers are bundled into the same app I think…you just chose the one (or both) you want after launching it.

The Demo is typically the FULL version of Cubase, and the latest. It’s your ‘key’ that is a demo…it simply ‘times out’ and doesn’t work anymore at some point.

If 10.0.30 isn’t the latest, you’ll be able to use the Stienberg Assistants to update it. Sometimes updates are just a patch, and sometimes a larger download that replaces everything. Even when updating requires replacing all of ‘Cubase’, it’s rare that you’d have to re-download and install all the ‘instrument content’ as well…just the installer meat of the Cubase application.

From a technical perspective, all Cubase Pro keys are the same. From a technical perspective, there is no distinction between ‘upgrades’, ‘educational version’ etc.

What happens is, the registration process checks the dongle and verifies that the upgrade code you have applies. Once it checks out it ‘replaces’ the older key with a new one for the version you are upgrading into (I assume if for some reason you have more than one key stored on the same dongle for Cubase that qualifies for the upgrade, it’d ask which one you want to replace?).

So…my understanding is that if you get a valid and modern Cubase Pro Key for the latest version, you can run the older stuff with the same key too. In ‘some’ cases you might run into a plugin or something older that requires a special ‘second key’ request from Stienberg (I.E. Rolling back from Full flavor Sonic 3/HALion 6 to 5 or before).

I can try to get my hands on a download SX and see if my Pro 11 key goes back that far…stay tuned. I’ve found a disk image for SX 2 on the ftp site (didn’t see one for SX 3). Downloading it and I’ll see what happens when I try to run it.

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Sorry I can’t help verify if my 11 key will roll all the way back to SX. The disk image for SX I found on the Stienberg FTP site seems to be Mac Only. I don’t trust the mess at random share sites not to be cracked or incomplete.

Unless someone else comes along who knows for sure…Might want to check with Stienberg Support to see if the 11 key will work with that. As far as I know it ‘should work’, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Ugg, and weird that 7.5 all say ‘Artist’ on the downloads page too. Hmm…it might all be the same installers and just the key makes the difference. A pro key will run Artist as well.

I’m sure Support can fix you up if you need a 7.5 image. I could probably help you with a 7.5 disk image and might still have the .5 service updates somewhere too. If you really need that PM me.

Hi @MarcoRo, @Brian_Roland,

just in case, hope this helps:
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(1)
Last version of Cubase Pro x64 with the working VST bridge (32bit-64bit):

→ v.8.5.30 (via drop-down menu under “Support”, unified installer x32-x64)

https://www.steinberg.net/en/support/downloads.html

https://www.steinberg.net/index.php?id=14734&L=1
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(2) Useful links / Tools:

https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/115000019830-Download-sources-installers-updates-purchases-sound-content-drivers-and-more
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(3) eLicenser Control Center (most recent)

https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/360008841379#current_elcc
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(4) Project files format compatibility table - all relevant versions:
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https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/115000075750-Converting-Cubase-VST-songs-ALL-ARR-into-CPR-format
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(5) Legacy downloads table (up to Cubase Pro 8):

https://www.steinberg.net/index.php?id=14790&L=1
https://www.steinberg.net/en/support/unsupported_products/cubase/cubase_sx_3.html
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Cheers,
Markus

P.S.: (please do forgive me any links that had already been posted)

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I finally ordered my SX → Pro 11 upgrade and received a download code.
Meanwhile I downloaded and tried Cubase 7.5 and my old projects seem to load correctly, together with Hypersonic, inside the 32 bit version, while the 64 bit one, despite correctly detecting and listing Hypersonic, crashes at any attempt to actually load a project including that instrument.

I did not perform all the possible tests needed to be totally sure about my old projects, but I decided to take a little risk anyway. :]

Now I’m wondering about the best (and most correct) way to proceed, as I actually don’t need to download the Pro 11 installation file but I obviously don’t have the new Pro 11 “non-demo” license in the USB dongle.
I know I could go on using both Pro 11 and 7.5 with the demo license until it expires, but I guess I had better switch immediately to the new one I bought, just to be sure everything is ok.

Check out all the links Markus provided, closely before you activate and overwrite that SX key (if it does that?)

Wish I could be more help but I’ve never tried to roll back as far as SX. If the links Markus provided don’t answer enough questions, keep using your demo and contact Support if maintaining a path to use SX is still important to you.

In the least, convert your SX projects to the most compatible format for the newer versions before risking losing access to SX.

I can now confirm that the Cubase Pro 11 license lets me run also Cubase SX.
I’ve just launched the program with the dongle containing the Pro 11 trial license (I have not downloaded the purchased one yet) and it started straight away, without any… complaints.

The old SX key is on the other dongle, not the same one as the demo, right?

If so, you should be OK to activate the 11 key on the dongle that has the SX key. The SX key gets replaced, your demo key sticks around (even if it is on the same dongle as SX) and works until expired. Note, sometimes, to roll back, you ‘might’ also have to change eLisencer software versions as well.

I ask because ‘version upgrading’ usually replaces the old Cubase key with a brand new one. Seems like there are also cases where users must roll back have to get additional keys, or special installation instructions to ‘add’ to the dongle for some Steinberg things. Stienberg is usually really good with legacy support and roll back issues, it’s just good to know everything before bothering that SX key. Use the time left on your demo to become informed on the ifs and hows of rolling around between old and new versions.