License for SX3

I just downloaded Cubase SX3 from one the forums sites. I want to re-open some of my old arrangements. My old dongle doesn’ t fit my laptop. Does anyone know how to get/buy a Steinberg license that allows me to run SX3?

Hi and welcome to the forum,

Does it mean, it’s the old LPT dongle?

I’m sorry, it’s not possible to buy this very old version anynore.

I think its an LPT-dingle yes. Perhaps with a USB converter it is possible to connect the old dongle?

I think you may be out of luck, see this other post:

Perhaps you could upload a photo of your device? Is it the very old one with a 25-pin connector?

It looks like it´s the very old one.

Indeed it is. I don’t think this can be used to run Cubase SX3 anyway.

What type of files are these? (e.g. *.ARR, *.SNG)

Also, what version of Cubase are you currently using?

I guess it’s the dongle I used back in the early 90’s with earlier versions of Cubase.
The file is saved as cpr. It has partly been opened with Cubase 10, which is helpful, but it is very much some of the plugins from SX3 I miss, i.e. Neon.

If your license for Cubase 10 is on a USB-eLicenser, and the license is for Cubase Pro 10, it will allow you to run Cubase SX3.

Anyone think it’s about time this old old old old old old old old legacy software was allowed to simply run so that those (I’m still to jump through these hoops) can get at those old projects and have a look at them?!

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That would mean, some developer would need to spent lots of time to remove all the protection code, some tester would need to test it, new build would need to be created, tested with the current OSes. That would be so expensive!

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That sounds promissing. Is that SX3 with all the original plugins? Would it also be possible to achieve that with a Cubase 13 license? I haven´t been working with Cubase for many years, but I am considering a return because of my old productions. I am willing to aquire whatever licence that is needed.


Yes, the installer contains all the built-in plug-ins.

No. You need the eLicenser-based license to be able to start this old Cubase SX. So you need the Cubase 11 (or Cubase 11 updated to the new licensing system) license or older.

@srnclsn it would be much easier if you just told us exactly what version and edition of Cubase you currently have!

If you have e.g. Cubase Pro 10, then you must already have a license on a USB-eLicenser. If that is the case, all you need to do is install Cubase SX3 and it will run.

However, if you want to bring your old Cubase SX3 projects up-to-date, make copies of the original project folders and you can load them into any modern version of Cubase. Some of the original SX3 plugins are no longer available in newer versions of Cubase, however a small selection of them (including Neon!) are available as an unsupported download for use in modern (64-bit) versions of Cubase. You’ll find the “VST Classics” here.

One last note, keep backups of your projects; if you load a project (*.cpr) file from Cubase SX3 into Cubase Pro 10 and save it again, you will no longer be able to open it in Cubase SX3.

I do not have a license for Cubase, but I was a dedicated user from 1993 to 2009-ish. A month ago I payed a guy to check the old cpr-file and find out if it could be opened in a later version of Cubase. He partly succeeded in Cubase 10 and generated a standard midi file for me. But I miss the SX3 plugins and the ability to open my old stuff in general.

Thanks, This is very helpful. Any suggestions about how to get hold of Cubase 10 or 11 with the eLicenser USB? Used market. I guess…?

Unfortunately, as they say, “it’s complicated”. It’s not possible to buy a license for an old version directly from Steinberg, and new licenses use a different licensing system that no longer uses eLicensers.

There will be people selling USB-eLicensers containing pre-Cubase 12 licenses that have been upgraded, but you would be placing your trust entirely in the seller, with no guarantee you will get something that works, and you would have no support from Steinberg should something go wrong, so buyer beware.

I’d suggest you download a free trial of Cubase 13 (even Elements is way beyond what Cubase SX3 could do, and you could always upgrade incrementally later if you need the features), then work on copies of your original SX3 projects and see what’s missing (but you can still get some of the old plug-ins such as Neon ).

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It sound´s like that´s the way forward. Thank you very much for your help!

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