Please get rid of the dongle

I am a sound designer specialising in spatial audio working on some of the largest 3D audio soundscapes in the world and often my work either for theatre or installation takes me to some pretty weird places from rainforests to muddy festivals. The gigs are often a whirlwind and quite high stress and pressure. I use Nuendo a lot even preferring it to qlab for theatre and have been using cubase since 1993.
It is absolutely terrifying to me that my entire show , often attended by thousand sof people - depends on an easily losable badly made piece of plastic. It just isnt proffesional . I totally understand the need for steinberg to protect their IP but there are plenty of other software companies such as Cycling74s Max MSP that do not need a dongle and still havent been cracked for years. Can anything be done about this ? Its especially annoying now the new macbooks have hardly any usb ports. Its literally forcing me to consider reaper for some gigs even though Im not used to it and dont like its features as much. I realise some people just use Nuendo in the studio where this isnt an issue but as a longterm customer I would like to add my voice to a growing chorus pf people that want an alternative solution to the dongle.


+100, and counting.


Nuendo should only be used in the studio.

Well there seems to be a few people who see it the same way.Ultimately it depends on cost to Steinberg - they are already losing clients because of the dongle but perhaps theyd lose some if they got rid of it who knows (I somehow doubt it). I actually have a custom build 3xs laptop for audio but the real pain is the dangernof losing or breaking it when out and about. Is it really that hard to adopt a new security system ? I shant be upgrading to 10 unless this is sorted out which is a real shame as I much prefer Nuendo to Reaper or the other options.
Theres even rumours usb may be phased out altogether in the not to distant future on mac at least :

Well Ive made my request - good day to you all.

I feel your pain,
We do audio design for major themed parks, we use Nuendo for the majority of our work, however since we have to mix in very unusual spots, the dongle makes it awkward, i’m always afraid to lose it or to break it as it sticks out. For that purpose, I bought Reaper and it works great, plus it boots in seconds. I wish there was a dongle-free solution as I’d really like to use Nuendo for everything.

Aye. Any response on this mods ?

Yes. In the general section.

buy an extra one so you don’t have to wait if you lose it. Use a short female-male usb passive extender.

You cant - unless you buy an entirely new license.

huh? I thought you can buy elicensers separately online? You even need one just to demo the software.

Steinberg USB-eLicenser Software Authorization Key | Sweetwater?

…some people…

+1 for augustineL

Same here. I have a nice, Nuendo-capable 2018 MBP with a 6-core i7 which I won’t even bother to install dongle-d software such as Cubase/Nuendo. Due to the underlying issues with hardware protection augustineL cites, I use Logic Pro X for mobile recording sessions, and leave Nuendo at home in the studio.

I have no idea how humans managed to survive 100 years ago.

We can apparently not even manage a USB dongle the size of half of my thumb being connected to a computer, yet 100 years ago we managed to survive somehow. And between then and now we apparently went to the moon and back in a tin can containing far less computational power than any one of those portable computer you kids are using…

Maybe the past is all fake news…

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Keeping the status quo is not how man advanced technology beyond what was used to get humans to the moon and back. :wink:

That’s a different issue. Nobody disagrees with the above because of how obviously true it is.

My point was that if we can trust a tin can with very little computational power + some pretty smart people on the ground and go to the moon and back then taking care of a piece of plastic smaller than a thumb doesn’t seem like a) much of a burden because it’s b) a very simple task…

relatively speaking.

The silly thing about some of the comments here is that running a single laptop is far more concerning than a USB Dongle that could ‘break’ - for starters there’s zero downtime license transfer on the dongles if you register them, and it’s dirt cheap to have a second dongle in reserve. Plus, if you’re doing important shows you employ redundancy on anything that could break anyway - that’s already in place with Steinberg’s downtime policy.

It could be argued that the Dongle, if you’re running redundant hardware is a far more efficient way of getting the second machine up and running as you require no internet connection and no second license, no need to activate/deactivate anything - just plug it and go! - on ANY machine! So let’s look at the positives also if having this debate from a professional perspective.

Secondly, REAPER’s creators don’t need make money as it’s owner/creator Justin made his fortune many years ago, therefore they don’t have to manage such level of security protecting their software/income. It’s unfair to judge that model in relation to a company that relies primarily on it’s software sales and update cycles to maximise income to keep the cogs moving.

REAPER ‘could’ literally halt development overnight if Justin decided it was a hobby/interest he no longer wanted, Or something was to happen to him. It’s a very unique project. On the flip the e-licenser used by steinberg is keeping people’s jobs and the product secure. Therefore I think the fear of accidentally losing/breaking a (replaceable) thumb drive pales in significance.

That said, i do wish there was a way of buying a second license at a vastly reduced rate that you can put on a second dongle for your own use and it updates versions with your main license. i.e. i have my main studio machine, and sometimes i’d like to be able to load Cubase Pro up on my laptop but don’t have the dongle with me. But i don’t do that enough to make buying a second license worth it at full price.

‘If’ they could do a budget second license, i don’t know how Steinberg would stop that from being abused (i.e. ‘sold on’). In truth, we (users) are the greater problem. …Hence why a vast majority of REAPER users have never paid a penny for it!

+1 @ skijumptoes because start the software without an internet connection is very important. I just wish the dongle is better (like the ilock or the Codemeter Magix) because I walk for a few months and the connector moves in the plastic casing, which is not very reassuring. It should be possible to install the license on the hard disk of (1) computer in addition to the license on the dongle. A question: on the of Zero Downtime, Steinberg explains “We reserve the right to decline license replacements for repeated claims”: what does that mean? :frowning: