Piggy Back Cubase 12

Having used a 2012 Mac Mini i7 for many years, unfortunately it is starting to struggle to keep up with modern technology.
I’ve purchased a Mac Studio Ultra and was wondering if instead of filling the new Mac up with all my plugins etc, could I connect my old Mac as an external SSD with Cubase and everything else already installed and just use my new Mac as the O S X Operating System to access everything in my old Mac?
Hopefully I’m making myself clear and will get some advice.
Thanks to you all.


Yes, you can do so. But…

For example the Cubase Preferences folder is going to be created again during the very 1st Cubase start. So the Cubase Preferences of your old system are not going to be migrated. You would need to copy/move the preferences folder over to the new system.

Cubase Preferences folders are:
Mac: ~/Library/Preferences/Cubase X
Win: %appData% Steinberg/Cubase X_64

Similar could be with all 3rd party plug-ins. They are not going to be installed on the new system, so Cubase will not see them.

But you can run Cubase application from other but the internal disc, of course.

What could be more interesting, you can try to boot the old system (of your old computer) at the new Mac Studio Ultra (if the system is macOS 11 or higher). Or you can clone your old system to the new computer (if the system is macOS 11 or higher).

Thank you Martin for your reply.
Unfortunately old Mac is running OSX 10 Catalina, however shouldn’t I be able to use the new Mac and point it to the old Mac as a start up disc, but will I still need to move the preferences folders for all the plugins or can I leave them where they are?
If I use Apples migration tool, can I select what I want to migrate?
I’ve purchased mixing plugins ( waves, izotope and others ) over the years which I don’t use anymore as I prefer to create content so can I exclude these from migrating?
Will migrating Cubase and other 3rd party plugins cause problems with the licensing process ?
Thanks again :+1:t3:


I don’t know, what do you mean. If you do this then the system boots (starts up) from the old one, not the new one. Which is obviously not possible, if the old system is macOS 10.x.

You can connect the old drive and you can double-click to start Cubase from the old system. But the preferences are going to be created in the new system (the mentioned folder).

Cubase reads its preferences from the only one location. So you would need to move the preferences from the old system to the new one.

I’m not 100% sure, but I believe so.

Yes, you don’t have to migrate them or reinstall them, if you don’t want/need to install them.

No. Cubase 12 can be activated at up to 3 systems at the time. Or you can inactivate from the old system. The 3rd party plug-ins can also very often run at up to 2, 3, 5 systems or there is always a way, you can reactivate them.

Thanks again for your good advice, it’s given me a clearer idea on going forward with the migration process.

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