Idea - soft elicenser as an additional license

Wonder if anyone else is in the same boat as me here. I’d love to use the full version of Cubase on my laptop. Problem is - I just don’t want to use dongles on the laptop (they get forgotten / broken etc).

I’m not sure why only Elements is available to be installed as a soft elicenser, but I’m guessing that won’t change or they’d have done it years ago. But how about this - if we bought a 2nd license and registered it to the same account as the first, we’d then get the option to install the additional license as a soft. Yes, I’d actually pay twice for the same product if this could be done.

If anyone else thinks this idea is worth exploring, I’ll set up a proper request.

I’m not sure I’d buy a 2nd licence for the feature, but love to be able to licence to my DAW rather than the dongle. I would imagine though that this would instantly kill the dongle because no-one would use it ever again!!

I like the Waves licensing which allows you to quickly move the licence into the cloud where you can then move it to another DAW - very useful, but of course you need internet access.


D’ya know, I thought I was gonna love the Waves license thing, and it’s a slight improvement on a standard dongle, but it doesn’t help my predicament. If I could have two activations on two machines using soft elicenser, problem solved. But there’s just no way to use Cubase 8 Pro on a laptop without a dongle, and that’s a real problem for me… I may be an unusual case (my mum always said that…)

Same here. I haven’t even bothered installing Cubase on my laptop because I know I don’t want to risk the dongle. I’ll just use Logic Pro X for mobile jobs.

But no, I definitely wouldn’t pay for a second license. In this day-and-age, there’s no excuse not to have a software/internet registration option with a two-computer minimum.

Hmm, maybe I’m coming at this wrong. Perhaps iZotope is a better model than Waves. You can either have ILok or (I think) 3 hardware specific licenses. I’d be ecstatic with something similar for Cubase. Has there ever been any discussion of this, does anyone know?

Nope. Steinberg is emphatically and unwaveringly old-school when it comes to copy-protecting their software.


Do you (or anyone) know where I could find any comments from Steinberg over the years? I feel I want to get as well informed as I can about the history of this topic before I make any specific requests.

Both iZotope and Waves are two examples of companies who have changed tack with methods of copy protection, so of course it can and does happen. If Steinberg have unequivocally said “we’re not changing methods ever”, then that’s another thing of course. I can only presume a soft elicenser is somehow less secure than a dongle, and they aren’t so bothered about piracy for the bottom of the range product, but it’s all guesswork on my part to be honest.

The Best idea: two or three activations on one license for every Steinberg product. I have two licenses of Cubase 8.5, but Halion 5, Groove Agent 4 and others one license only.

Unfortunately they generally don’t entertain these sort of user requests. But I’ve been using Cubase for 17+ years and have a pretty good feel for their modus operandi by now… :wink:

We’ve been asking for this for years. I love how Plugin Alliance, Soundtoys, Eventide, DMG, etc. etc allow two (three) installs per license, even “soft” ones. As for Cubase, I’m using AI on the laptop. It’s not an ideal solution…


This wouldn’t make any sense as they would need to incorporate code into Cubase Pro that could bypass the hardware copy protection (dongle). Then it would just be a matter of time before a cracked version appeared - which would render all the time and money spent on hardware copy protection wasted. If they were to offer software based protection on all versions of Cubase, it would come as part of a transitioning period.

In 2016 this is really simple:

Either you allow your software to be installed on several devices without the need for an external, physical thingy; albeit with the added possibility for someone abusing this privilege,


you stick to the 2008 paradigm of non-mobile use and run the risk of alienating existing and potential customers who are lured towards alternatives that do not need an extra physical thingy to run.

This is a basic financial decision. Do a survey, do the math, draw curves and see where they cross. I’m guessing pretty close to origo on the x-axis…

As for myself, I’m getting old, I have a nice studio at a fixed location and I’m getting by with what I’ve got (read: have to use) on my mobile system. But if I started out today, I’d be looking long and hard at which packages provide the best fixed AND mobile experience. A 15-year-old today has no idea what a workstation is. But she does know how to make music on her Ultra.

Please note that I’m NOT against CP per se, by all means tie the install to my CPU, HD or whatever. It’s just that USB-wart I really don’t like.



Only that it’s Live instead of Logic in my case.

I don’t like “ilok software license manager” that soundtoys uses

I don’t care about dongles or copy protection really what i dont like is that company “pace” and how shady they are with trying to bleed you money from liscenses they didn’t even sell you

I probably wont buy that has anything to do with pace company

Come on guys let’s stop it. Anyone over 12 years old knows that Cubase will be cracked next day after the soft license version released. So stop all these “this day-and-age” sorts of manipulation they lead to nowhere, better think about how to not lose or not to break your dongle. No offense. I don’t wanna hurt anyone’s feelings, but this is all you can do about dongle.


Genuinely, I don’t know and I’m really rather a lot older than 12. Cubase Elements is soft licensed; Sonar is; Abelton is; Studio One is; Logic is; Digital Performer is etc. AFAIK the only two that aren’t are Cubendo and Pro Tools. I don’t know enough about how licensing and encryption works to know what material difference a soft vs a dongle license makes, but given how widespread soft licensing is in the industry, it didn’t seem a silly question to ask. Also, although I’m far from an expert, I don’t believe that using eLicenser has supplied rock solid protection for Steinberg in the past or even present.

There does seem to have been a trend in the past few years to move to soft licenses in audio products. A product like iZotope RX Advanced is an expensive fully professional host, but they offer a soft option alongside ILok.

I’ve already wrote “no offense” I can repeat it again. All the products you’ve mentioned were cracked. And yes, dongle has provided rock solid protection for Steinberg, the last cracked full version of Cubase is #5, since that time - nothing. So if I was Steinberg I would never ever go for soft license. They say that dongle has negative effect on Cubase’s performance because of very deep integration with the code, who knows… but it protects the DAW very well.


Winter Rat, I’d be delighted if that were true about Cubase since C5 - sadly from a cursory search I’m not at all sure that it is.

I appreciate this is the age old debate about dongles, and (yet again) I’m just noting the broader trend in the industry. I don’t have any issue with them in studio use, but for mobile they’re a disaster.

I dont know about you all but My dongle makes me feel important and if you have to worry about breaking it by moving it from your studio to your mobile set up you’re just to rough or careless with it. Steinberg is smart to have a dongle e-licenser, its the hardest Daw to crack and hasn’t been since version 5 for good reason. I was a ex pirate and Cubase actually made me go all legit for the simple fact that I heard how great it was and couldnt get my hands on it, but I was using every other major Daw on the market for free. As long as its nothing like ilok which sucks with all the downtime and re-installs im good. I just think Steinberg should allow us to activate 2 dongles with the same license at once and should insure our dongle e-licenser with lifetime replacements for damage, I mean we did pay $500 plus dollars for this software not to mention the dongle also cost 40 bucks, oh and not charge $50 for a X.5 update.

“a cursory search” says that there are billions of methods to earn 100 000 $ per hour in the Internet by doing almost nothing… :laughing:

I understand your troubles but there are no other solutions for Steinberg so far. Maybe one day Steinberg will produce as small dongle as Logitech’s Blue Tooth Mouse receiver is… who knows…