My Cubase 10 trial experience

So it’s been a while since I last used Cubase, and I thought I would download a trial of the latest version.

Frankly, this was not an encouraging experience:

  1. I found the trial page, signed into my Steinberg account, clicked the link, was told to expect an email. Nothing - even in my junk folder. Tried several more times with no luck.

I ended up having to create a new account using a disposable email address, just to get the download link and key. The new account itself needed verifying, so the whole thing was a multi-step pain.

-> Perhaps you could improve your transactional email system, since what you have at the moment would seem to be falling foul of Office 365’s automatic filtering.

  1. Finally, a download link. This turned out to be just an installer for Steinberg Download Assistant. Okay, so I assume this thing will manage the download and install for what is obviously a big package.

I decline the optional aria2 package (because I don’t want lots of extra stuff I don’t need - if it’s optional, I probably don’t need it, right?).

So, once SDA is finally installed and up and running, I select the Cubase Elements 10 trial and then ALL IT DOES is open up a download link in the browser! So I installed this whole SDA thing onto my system, essentially for zero benefit whatsoever.

-> Seriously, why not just email me the direct download link to the trial installer? You could also suggest installing the SDA as an optional download manager? This would have saved me a load more pointless steps and the frustration of installing a whole program that is essentially useless to me.

  1. Finally, the installer zip downloads. I unzip it, and install Cubase. I open Cubase and am greeted by the eLicenser error. I choose the option to open the licenser to register my trial key.

Then a litany of error messages about the eLicenser software being too old and now I have to download and install an update!

-> Ugh, this is a fresh install! Why not allow the Cubase installer to pick up an up-to-date install package for the eLicenser software?

I haven’t even opened Cubase yet, and I’m already seriously regretting this impulse to give it a try.

I’ll weigh in with my experiences that goes far beyond try before you buy. Your experience is typical of the Cubase experience. I love that it does so much. I hate that it does so little well. To me, as a 30 year engineer, work flow is everything. I want to compose with the tool without thinking about the tool. After 12 months of using Cubase, this has almost never happened and that’s not an exaggeration coming from frustration. Cubase is a mess. Too many functions, too much complexity, a very high learning curve and a very messy work flow is the result. I see now why people switched to Ableton, Logic, or some of the other “simpler” DAWs. They’re sick of it too. To be fair, I’m not sure there is still such a thing as a simpler DAW these days.
My humble advice is to stick with what works for you. (Assuming you have had a DAW that works.) Unless you need some functionality only Cubase offers, you might want to look elsewhere. If you do go with Cubase, be patient and prepare for a long journey before you’re confident and quick with it. I promise you, it will not make things easy.