Due to recent thread from Steinberg about changing the licensing system

I will wait before upgrading my second Cubase to last version, and also postpone any new instrument buy.
What a poor way of introducing this idea that this thread by @Matthias_Quellmann.
I hope it is not, as he said, the most important Cubase/Steinberg project,
I would prefer that the dev teams work on DAW features, non on a system for system managing system paradigm which is, from my 30 year dev experience, far from being interesting fo customers.
So my level of confidence is low after this thread and lead me to a no move position :frowning:

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We received a lot of positive feedback on the announcement. What are your concerns?


I know what I have now, and it’s working ok, even with constraints.
I don’t know what Steinberg intentions are.
I am not ok for a system where I will only pay for usage and be left with nothing when I don’t pay. With the dongles I can manage version evolution at my hand and I own the licenses, I have 2 dongles to run Steibnerg products on 2 computers in same time, one of the Cubase is one version behind last, because I don’t need the last version on my 2 computers and I will keep it at this level until I get a real reason to upgrade it.
If the changes Steinberg announces are breaking my actually ownership and system, I may use another DAW.
As I said, I would prefer that dev teams at Steinberg work on DAW system rather than on some external system not related to Cubase focus.

We are not planning to force anyone into a subscription nor breaking your ownership.

We have many different teams and roles at Steinberg. There are highly specialised teams that are working on the sequencers, the audio engine, DSPs and also our licensing and authentication systems. But apart from that we think that the license management system is also an important part of the product and the overall user experience. The goal of the project is to make this part of the product more reliable and flexible. Of course, the USB eLicenser has it’s advantages. But there are many downsides in regards to flexibility and mobility that we want to address.


This is very much related to DAW use by a significant portion of the Cubase user base.

Like you I am a fan of the dongle. But then, mine is sitting in exactly the same sheltered place as a couple of years ago.

However the folks who use Cubase in a performance context or otherwise need to travel are not so fond of the dongle. It can get lost, broken and just plain ruin a gig (like not getting paid bad).

So while you or I may not find dongle elimination important, it is huge for other folks with different needs and considerations. If Cubase appeals to a wide range of different types then it will have more sales. And if it sells more copies that increases the development budget - so we all benefit indirectly.

Sorry you don’t understand my thinking : I am not fan of anything.
I simply use a stable system now and don’t want to spend time installing, changing, understanding something not related to tracks recording, music composing, mixing and mastering.
Not fan of anything.

Sorry but I am not interested in Cubase sales increase or decrease, I am fairly confident that their sales team do a great job, but please, sales people, don’t break the tool.
Yes the Internet from time to time has some koff koff and it is related to this technical system that I have been working on intensively in telco , dev and consulting companies for many years.
This system is changing everything, even minds, even creating lot of fans, some king of homo sapiens connected…and fan.
I would prefer that Steinberg works on new areas as extending midi, incorporating new file format, inventing some, providing better display solutions, providing cheaper and better hardware extensions, etc.
For my long term knowledge of thechnical process related to IT and digital : there will always be problems in some situations and each new ‘solution’ brings its own bugs.
So when I reach some stable state, even not 100% Ok (which is impossible), I do not change for something which from on, angle appears ideal to fans or sales teams but could reveal later as an hidden covid process .



I can understand your concern but the same is true for a lot of other things that Steinberg develop for their DAWs. Any time there’s a fairly substantial change of the basics of the DAW the potential problems can be big. I think it’s fair to say that they’re probably aware that this is one of those changes and that they understand that it’d be a very big deal if it didn’t work.

Fortunately none of us have to upgrade to get a dongle-less system, and even for those that do there’s always the ability to upgrade, download and wait with using it in a production environment.

As for “sales”: I want Steinberg to do well. I want them to have resources to do this andother things that I care about. There are some features that make me scratch my head, but this one I can see could possibly bring in a few more customers. That money can then go to things that I care about.

So how about we wait and see how this goes before we get too worried?

Good luck with it, hopefully the system will be good in ease of authorization , protection, stable and bring new costumers that could not or didn’t want to Demo steinbergs products trial versions cuz they forced to have the dongle.

Yeah, I can see that. Sounds like you’ve got it all sorted, so good luck to you.

Great point - hadn’t considered that.

Unfortunately there is no perfect first time.

It can also raise the number of customers in such a way that it breaks some of the main Steinberg processes, new paradigm with low skills for it.

What else can I do until I see the announced move, have you any idea of timing ?

That’s great.
What about discontinued but used-today products like Virtual Guitarist 2 ?

Will they be transferred to new license system or will still require a dongle ?

Personally, I’m looking forward to Cubase without a dongle. The one I have is quite old (got it when I bought Cubase 4.5 Studio), and it’s currently held together with a piece of tape. I’ve been afraid to go through the process of getting a new one since it is still working. My main machine is a laptop, so I can take the dongle with me, but I’ve always been worried about losing it.

In addition to my current computer setup, I have a very old but very reliable laptop using firewire on WinXP that has been a great 16 track field recorder (a Steinberg MR816CSX with a MOTU 8Pre connected by light pipe). I have used this setup to capture 10 or more tracks of my band, and it’s never failed. And it uses the same fragile dongle. But I’m always afraid of either losing the dongle, or breaking it. I only use it for tracking. If you’re curious, this was done using the firewire setup:

I am probably going to need to upgrade my remote recording setup, and it would be nice not to have to think about the dongle.

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Hi Early21 sounds great !
if u do not need the control room included in cubase pro, u can use Cubase Elements or cubase Ai for basic audio recording on location without using the Dongle,and then use Cubase pro at studio to edit/mix

Nothing is forever, including your dongle. They break, become wonky, can cause crashes. The DAW has to report to the dongle and back, etc.

So, a new system could be an overall performance and stability increase, even if you aren’t having problems now… doesn’t mean you won’t be in the future with your dongle.

My only concern, is being able to be offline for extended periods of time… If I’m travelling in some part of the world without internet… I don’t want to have to cross a desert on camel fighting off bandits and ISIS, then take a small unstable plane with too many people, and then a leaky boat to reactivate my Cubase because it was “that time of month”. I don’t need to deal with that from my DAW when I already deal with that from… bites tongue

I would pay extra for an offline license of some sort, if it ends up being that some sort of recurring online verification is required.

I get the feeling that the ability to use my purchased software is being put in jeopardy due to the younger generation being unable to remember or take care of their things…the dongle works just fine…makes it really easy to switch machines as needed without jumping through hoops and my machine is not constantly searching online to make sure I have the right to use my software! Many companies allow different licensing schemes, please consider allowing users to continue using the dongle.


I can’t imagine that the way the software you are currently using is licensed will change

  1. It would piss off a lot of users
  2. It would consume development resources better used for almost anything else
  3. There is zero business benefit in doing that

No reason to panic

Left Pro Tools, due to subscription…I also use other daws…so I already have my plan if it goes to subscription

Stop talking a bout subscriptions. Nobody from Steinberg said they’d move to a subscription model!


Speaking of Subscriptions… iZotope just went subscription and will be phasing out updates for their non-sub previous products.

Terrible, these companies don’t realize that if they all go subscription… no one can afford anything. $25/month for izotope alone. How many other plugin companies are going sub? Alright, now someone also uses Adobe for their business/artwork… we’re already over $100 per month.

ummmmmmmm… I am trying to use my artwork and technical skills to pay rent, pay my cell bill, pay my car payments, afford a sliver of a social life where I can afford to take someone out for dinner…

If everyone goes sub… I will build my own DAW amd plugins before I give them money.

I think this plugin subscription movement is just a lack of business creativity and laziness

but also, this just might be a purge of bigger plugin companies. There’s a lot of talented 1-5 man developers out there. People more and more are becoming smarter and educated as single individuals and then in addition to that, the development technology is becoming better and more streamlined… Take for example Oek Sounds ‘Soothe’ and ‘Spiff’, those two plugins eliminated like at least 10 others of mine.