[SOLVED] SpectraLayers 10 Trial (my bad experience)

Hello! I don’t know who wants to buy SpectraLayers 10 if it doesn’t work in trial mode. Did you test it on the focus newbie group of people with eye tracking, video recording and analyzing the whole process of their actions in the “golden hour”? I think not.

Ok, I will write a story about how you lost your customer.

  1. I saw a YouTube shorts video where a guy separates drums into different channels with Spectra Layers 10. (kick, snare, toms etc)

  2. I decided to try this software, because I have trust to Steinberg, as I am a Cubase 8-13 Pro user.

  3. I opened Steinberg Download Assistant and downloaded Spectra Layers 10 Pro.

  4. After installation I ran SpectraLayer 10 from my Desktop and saw the logo of SpectraLayers One. Wtf? I installed SpectraLayer 10, why I see SpectraLayers One? Is it a bug, or mistake? Did developers forget to rename the app name before building a new version? This confused me. I began to spend my time to figure it out, maybee I isntalled the wrong software? A minus in karma to producer of Spectra Layers for negligence product testing.

  5. Ok, I opened the standalone application SpectraLayers One. I imported simple drum loop (drum and bass genre) with kick, snare, hi-hats. In YouTube video guy pressed Unmix - Drums. I tried to reproduce this action but there wasn’t this button. There was only Unmix - Vocals. It’s confused me again. Do i have the latest version of Spectra Layers? I began to check everything again. A minus in karma to producer of Spectra Layers for negligence product testing on the focus group of people.

  6. Ok, I decided to watch some additional tutorial and went to official Steinberg YouTube channel, to the Playlist - SpectraLayer 10. I saw a video where another guy pressed Unmix - Drums. Wtf? I don’t have this button! A minus in karma to producer of Spectra Layers for negligence product testing on the focus group of people.

  7. I pressed Help - About and saw Spectra Layers One 10.0.30. Is it the final version of SpectraLayers 10 Pro? I was so confused and dissapointed. Is this a Steinberg product? I hope not.

  8. I pressed Help - SpectraLayers Online help (f1) and my browser opened the article for SpectraLayers 8: SpectraLayers One 8 Documentation

  9. I uninstalled this s**t as fast as I can and began to search a similar software. Thanks for wasting my time. Think about how much sales you lost to 1 guy producer and QA team lead, who didn’t do his job well.

P.S. This trial app doesn’t work even as VST3 instrument with Cubase 13 PRO. I wasted so much time to understand that this app wasn’t tested. Who will buy this?

1 Like

@arkdzo There’s really no need to be rude. I’m monitoring this forum every day and answer every question asked here.

The reason you see SpectraLayers One 10 instead of SpectraLayers Pro 10 is because you didn’t activate your SpectraLayers Pro 10 Trial licence in the Steinberg Activation Manager. The version of SpectraLayers that launches depends on the license you activated.

The reason you don’t see Unmix Drums is because you didn’t activate your SpectraLayers Pro license, Unmix Drums is not featured in the free SpectraLayers One.

You can see a feature comparison between the different editions of SpectraLayers here:
or here:


I did everything from the mail message, but it doesn’t work - :

Steingberg email message:

My Steinberg Download Assistant:

My desktop and SpectraLayers 10

There is no activation button in the Help menu

I agree Steinberg should add a message to inform users they have to activate their license in the Steinberg Activation Manager.

If you launch the Steinberg Activation Manager and activate your SpectraLayers Pro 10 trial license, then SpectraLayers Pro 10 should launch instead of SpectraLayers One 10. Unfortunately I have no way from SpectraLayers to auto-activate Pro licenses.


Ok. How can I do this? Can you write me the step-by-step what I need to do to activate my Trial Version of SpectraLayer 10 Pro?

1 Like

Hit the [Windows] key to show your start menu, and type Steinberg Activation Manager:

Click to launch it.

The Steinberg Activation Manager might ask for your Steinberg account email and password.

Then once logged, activate your SpectraLayers Pro license:

Once your license activated you can close the Steinberg Activation Manager and launch SpectraLayers again.


Thanks! Problem solved. I hope Steinberg will improve their process for product activation and make it more clear.


I’ve observed way too many users becoming frustrated with Steinberg’s activation management system and it’s no fault of The developer of spectralayers at all. This is 100% Steinberg’s fault and I myself have been frustrated with the activation process and have myself given Steinberg incentive to simplify their activation system and advised them to make it more INTUITIVE. However, I have become a lot wiser and learned to say what needs to be said ONCE and not repeat myself. I’ve come to the conclusion that maybe Steinberg doesn’t really care about their customers or customers experience nor care about improving themselves and probably care more about making a profit.

Hopefully this post makes it abundantly clear that in is in Steinberg’s interest to revamp their activation system.


The auth program seems fine. Yes, it took a bit to understand the new process. Sb may/may not tweak it as time goes on.

Which Steinberg products were you using in the 80s-90s? Seems they would’ve gone out of business long ago based on your conclusion that they don’t care about customers.

1 Like

I know of no other Program in the audio industry with the support you supply Robin , great program but you have just proved you go totally over and above to keep people happy following these remarks, you didn’t have too BUT you did :+1: Much respect to you


Agreed. I’ve had similar experiences when I first started using Cubase 12 Pro.

The download manager was the worst offender because it offered all kinds of downloads that seemed to be part of Cubase Pro 12. After all, why would they be there in the first place if I couldn’t use them?

I ended up downloading many gigabytes only to find out later they were useless because there were no licenses for them. But how was I supposed to know? Why was there no message explaining the exact relationship between specific items in the download manager and the license manager? The Steinberg experience was all spokes, no hub.

I want to see Steinberg create a download manager clearly integrated with the license activation manager and context sensitive help menus.

I was excited when Cubase 13 was released, believing the upgrade might be free given I’d bought 12 pro in July. I downloaded and tried to run it. Then learned I was required to activate the 13 license because there is no auto-upgrade. Then I learned I had to buy the license upgrade. Why didn’t Steinberg indicate these things from the start? I downloaded 13 for nothing and wasted my time.


@BJ_Dobbs All products listed when you click on “Cubase Pro 12” or “Cubase Pro 13” are usable with a Cubase license. What product were you not able to use ?

The usual grace period when buying a license for a product that gets a new major release soon after is usually 1 month, not 4 months (Cubase Pro 13 was released in November).

1 Like

That was extremely helpful, Robin_Lobel - thanks a lot for your effort. I just had the same problem as the OP and and thought I might get lucky finding an answer in the forums. And voila, here we are…
Thanks again!

1 Like

While I agree that improving on the user experience is a win-win for both, the provider as well as the customer, there are two things to consider:

  1. Just because a process isn’t optimal for me, dosen’t mean that it didn’t work flawlessly for many or most other people. This is here just one thread complaining about a somewhat confusing activation / user experience. Apparently, 99.9% of people didn’t have the same experience or managed it to solve by themselves.
  2. A company is in a permanent process of allocating and re-allocating resources to various tasks at hand, and to adapt priorities. Lets assume a hypothetical scenario, where a software product shows a serious bug that needs to be solved ASAP. Of course, this will place it at spot #1 on the to do-list and allocate most resources into solving this problem. A “smaller” issue that affects only a small number of users in s serious way will get worked on after the top problems have been solved. So, just because something has not been working properly for a longer period of time does not necessarily imply that the company is willingly ignoring users and their requests, but that there are far more important things to be done beforehand.

Don’t get me wrong: I know there are indeed ignorant developers out there who really don’t care the least about the customers. Abd there is nothing wrong calling them out.
However, Steinberg is definitely not one of those comapnies. On contrary, The cumulative amount of continuous high quality work that has been put into Cubase and other Steinberg products is almost unparalleled.

1 Like

I am not sure, why they don’t package all 3 software into 1!

SDA ( download manager), SAM (activiation manager), SLM (library manager).

Beised these eLicnecer that thankfully will be remove next year!


I have problem to understand (before trying everything out) why there simply is not TRIAL version listed separately. There is no way to know if that “not trial” is to be installed if trial is wanted. I tried to google spectralayers trial and then there was link “install”

Then I get:

Which leads to dead end talking about activation manager. What the…?

The link clearly stated:Try Spectralayers. But there emerges two steps more and second step is dead end:namely there is no trial possibility in the list.
There is only version without trial. No mention how the trial or demo would work out from there.

I think this is still very confusing despite…all the good effort.
I know it is marketing gimmick to force you get involved and then after few hours of wondering it all feels easy and you are supposed to be ready to pay. That is maybe the part i don’t like.

1 Like

The installer/application is exactly the same regardless of the license : Pro/Elements/One, trial of permanent license.
What decides what is launched is what you see in the Steinberg Activation Manager. If you want to test SpectraLayers Pro trial, just request a trial license for SpectraLayers Pro: Try SpectraLayers Now for 30 days | Steinberg

You could tell Steinberg to simplify the process, most of the problem is using different programs for different purposes, i.e. downloading and activating. I’ve got similar trouble of download and activation. On my win10 laptop The download manager refuses to dl Spectralayers, until total uninstall of download manager …

1 Like

I missed that part altogether. Where I can “request” the licence and where it will appear after it is requested. Again…which step of the guide gets that “licence for trial” to be established so that some later use case lets customer meet it? Is the trial licence some how visible on my Steinberg account? Your advice contains an endless loop. As that "Try…"command leads to step I already screen captured to my basic situation description. Those screen captured steps are the ones the customer meets in that order. Please consider this as friendly message. But sometimes this Steinberg system really gets me going. Can’t help it. After all it is not only Steinberg. Also IK does the same and almost all similar software producers are forced in this kind of product space. Some companies can differentiate trials to be easy going and then if you like it then install product manager. That is good marketing. There is bad examples of product managers which hog the whole plugin space in very rude manner like installing all of them in root of plugin manager root tree and connecting internet in lenghty manner when opened. MeldaProduction comes to mind first. No matter how good the plugins them selves were there was no way to get along with the hog.

1 Like