Padshop Pro 1 Activation Policy

Hello, this is an open letter to Steinberg customer service and management regarding their policy towards the Padshop Pro 1 software product.
There are quite a number of us Cubase customers who own Cubase Pro that have at some point in the past purchased the Padshop Pro 1 product, back when it was not included in Cubase Pro.

Now that the Padshop Pro 1 product has been migrated to Padshop Pro 2 and is now included into Cubase Pro, our old license purchase is a wasted purchase and is just sitting there in our account unused. I think the old version of Padshop Pro is still a good product and there is value in continuing to be able to use it.

I would like to request whether it’s technically possible to turn the PadShop Pro 1 product into a similar activation system as other products such as Cubase LE (or even other products I am not aware of), where we have the option to request “Software Reactivation” from within the MySteinberg web interface so we can deactivate Padshop Pro 1 and remove the license from a system that does have Cubase Pro 10.5 installed and move and repurpose that license on a system that does not have Cubase Pro 10.5 installed.

The reasoning for this request is that some of us have a setup where we have a main DAW workstation where the USB eLicenser dongle sits permanently plugged in and we don’t want to keep unplugging it and moving it to a mobile device or laptop just so we can use an old copy of PadShop Pro 1 if we need to.

In my particular case, I use Cubase Pro on my main system that has the USB eLicenser. I also own a copy of Cubase LE which I use on a mobile system that just has the software eLicenser which I use to make and tweak Cubase templates and Midi arrangements when I am not at my main studio desktop.

I already contacted my local Steinberg support rep and he said I should go out and just buy a new USB eLicencer so I can use Padshop on the other system. I don’t want to do that for 2 reasons.

  1. I don’t like using my laptop with a USB stick sticking out of it because there is a greater chance I may damage both the dongle and the USB port its plugged into if I move accidentally if I forget it’s there is a USB stick plugged into it.
  2. The cost of a new USB dongle eLicenser I about the same, if not more, than the cost of the PadShop Pro license I paid for. It just makes no financial sense.

In my case, running C10.05, I owned PadshopPro and upgraded to Padshop2. Because it was an upgrade (I will assume), PadshopPro was removed from my elicenser. I find it really odd that your PadshopPro remains in your elicenser. Have you updated you elicenser?

padshop2 is free in C10.5

Yes. i did updated elicneser.

yes. i know and understand and appreciate it’s free. my point is, for some people who want to use spare licnences on a 2nd computer. In my case, i was able to re-activate Cubase 9.5 LE from the products listed in my account and move and install it on second computer that uses software elicneser only.

It would be good to be able to re-activate PadShop Pro 1 and do the same. after all, it was a product we purchased before it became a free feature in Cubase 10.5

Yep, with you on the money spent for PadshopPro. I really didn’t think the license would disappear. But I’m sticking with C10.05 for now and I wanted Padshop2.

You upgraded your Padshop Pro licence to Padshop 2. When you upgrade a Steinberg licence, the original licence is replaced with the upgraded licence, so your Padshop Pro licence was replaced by a Padshop 2 licence. There is no Pro and non-Pro distinction for Padshop 2 - all Padshop 2 users have access to the old Pro functionality and more. Similarly, when I upgraded Dorico 2 Pro to Dorico 3 Pro I no longer had a Dorico 2 Pro licence and when I upgraded Cubase 10 Pro to Cubase 10.5 Pro I no longer had a Cubase 10 Pro licence.

Those who upgrade a Cubase Pro or Artist licence to Cubase 10.5 can run Padshop 2 using their Cubase licence. In this scenario, any separate Padshop Pro licence is left untouched unless it is upgraded separately. Similarly, those who own Absolute 4 can run Padshop 2 using their Absolute licence, though they might have to run Maintenance on their eLicenser before it works.

In most cases, an upgraded licence will run older versions of the product. There are a few exceptions - IIRC a HALion 5 licence will not enable HALion 4. In these cases you can usually get a free additional licence for the legacy version from Steinberg Support that cannot be used to qualify an upgrade.

If you own Cubase 10 Pro or Artist, I would have upgraded that licence to Cubase 10.5 rather than a Padshop Pro licence to Padshop 2. You can run Cubase 10 using a 10.5 licence if you would rather stick with 10 for now. I know the Cubase licence upgrade is more money, but the chances are that you will eventually upgrade Cubase to a future version even if you skip 10.5 completely, so it seems to make more sense to put the money towards upgrading the licence for the larger product. A Cubase 10.5 Artist or Pro licences not just Cubase but also Retrologue 2, Padshop 2, Groove Agent 5 SE and a content bundle for HALion Sonic SE 3. All of these additional products other than Groove Agent 5 SE can be used in other DAWs, though you will have to install the standalone version of HALion Sonic SE if you haven’t done so already.

No that is incorrect.

I purchased Padshop Pro 1 as a separate product on its own a while ago. I never purchased any upgrade to it.

I then purchased Cubase 10.5 Pro which includes Padshop Pro 2. When I installed Cubase Pro 10.5, the installer installed Padshop Pro 2 on that computer and overwrote the version of Padshop Pro 1 that was already installed on that machine.

That purchase and license of Padshop Pro 1 that is just sitting in my account got wasted when I purchased and installed Cubase 10.5 pro.

That is why I think it would be good for Steinberg to change their policy on Padshop Pro 1 and allow us to reactivate that license and move it to another computer if needed. I should be able to move that license to another computer if I want to as I purchased it and it’s no longer usable on the computer that has Cubase 10.5 installed on it. And no, i don’t want to keep unplugging the USB dongle and use it on a laptop just so I can use padshop pro 1 on the laptop as its a unneeded risk to damaging or breaking that USB eLicnese dongle or the USB port.

The message you quoted was a reply to mr.roos, who did upgrade his/her Padshop Pro licence, not you.

Your problem relates to the known limitations of eLicenser - you cannot move a licence from a USB eLicenser to a soft eLicenser, also licence transfers to another person must be on USB eLicenser. The first of these answers your original question - generally speaking it is not possible to reactivate a Steinberg licence once it has been placed on a USB eLicenser, even if it is a licence that would have qualified for activation on a soft eLicenser when purchased.

Steinberg are developing a replacement for eLicenser, as has been mentioned several times on the Dorico forum, but there is no confirmed feature set or introduction date. It is expected that any replacement will offer a dongle-free option for Cubase Pro/Artist, Nuendo and Wavelab Pro, also the ability to use at least two computers with a single licence without resorting to a dongle (presumably using some form of cloud reauthentication). Hopefully there will also be a way of transferring licences to another person without using a dongle, as that limitation makes the resale of many cheaper Steinberg products uneconomic.

The current system puts me off buying a used licence for an inexpensive Steinberg product when I will only save a small amount and the licence will be stuck on a USB eLicenser that I will have to buy specially. The only USB eLicenser I own has my Cubase Pro 10.5 licence on it, so there is no way I am mailing that to someone else in case the eLicenser comes back without the Cubase licence. This restriction also depresses prices of used licences. I have an Iconica Ensembles licence I might be willing to sell on, but I will sit on it for a while hoping for an improved licensing system in the future that makes it easier to sell on and perhaps also more valuable.

Thanks for the reply @DavidW. I have no issues with the dongle as I understand it is what it is. I just think Steinberg may not have considered all possibilities or implications of what including PadShop 2 would have in all situations.