Still using eLicenser?

Since I haven’t read anything on that topic and I’ve seen some posts talking about the eLicenser Control Center, having to do maintenance work tasks I guess N10 still needs the eLicenser and hasn’t moved on to Soft eLicenser or other means of keeping the license safe?


Timo wrote on this forum they’re working on it but it’ll take time. It seems they’re not ready yet to let the eLicenser go :frowning:

Chris! sorry. I dont understand the moaning.
In case of Cubase, with on the go laptop musicians, I would understand that - but absolutely not in case of nuendo!
The vast majority of users will use nuendo in their studios: with lot of hardware stuff, like Mixing Desks, Controllers and so on.
And there a dongle does not bother, on the contrary. These handling is one of the easiest.
So I´m PRO Dongle, I never had any problem with this - extremely stable and reliable.
Otherwise you have Logic or Repaer (knowing that these daws do not even come close to nuendo. No doubt)
On the edge, you certainly remember our FR discussion a few months ago: now I’ve built a macro in Nuendo/Cubase, which offers me Ripple Edit (!) - even better and clearer than in reaper or S1.



Hey Centralmusic

I’ve heard a lot about the pro points for the dongle here on this forum. I agree that most studios use Nuendo stationary in a facility with installed hardware and there, a hardware dongle works absolutely fine.

However, Nuendo also has a lot to offer for small project studios such as mine. I have a studio and mix indie short films and I work a lot on games. I don’t have enough large studio gigs to make a living so I need to travel a lot for lots of smaller projects. Here I mix a short film in my studio, there I travel to university to teach sound design for games, the next day I’m on the road to the game development team I work with part-time to do sound effects. I cannot take my studio with me. But nevertheless I like Nuendo, because it gives me functions all in one package no other software gives me.

But my style of working means that I rarely have the luxury of just staying in my little studio with all the fixed installations. And while I’m working on one thing, the other projects don’t stop, of course. When I’m at university teaching, I don’t take my dongle with me, I don’t need Nuendo there. But just that day I get a call and somebody has a question regarding the short film project I work on, spontaneously needs a preliminary render of the mix, or the game team needs a sound effect. And then I’m screwed. Because I cannot even open Nuendo if I don’t take the dongle with me EVERY TIME just in case. I don’t need it 80% of the time, but then I’m in the train and I COULD look something up, I COULD do another sound effect, I COULD bounce the mix for the movie on the train, but I CANNOT and I’m forced to sit on my hands. You know speed and fast turnaround is key in every business and it’s uncomfortable telling clients “sorry, can’t do until I’m in my studio in 2 days”. Unless I always and every time think of taking the dongle with me, put it in my backpack just in case, and hope to god I don’t lose it in the train, it doesn’t break when people on the train bump into my laptop. And then it’s in my backpack and when I get to the studio days later, I don’t have it because it’s in the backpack that I left at home, not thinking that the dongle is still there. I don’t need Nuendo every day, but when I need it, I need it! And the dongle is just this annoying thing that you CONSTANTLY have to think about that does NOT SOLVE ANY problem for me, but just CREATES problems and anxiety.

I already have to think about a thousand things in all of my projects, all the things clients want, timelines, milestones, project details, plus daily life and family. I don’t need even more things I need to think and worry about.

So I ask you, what problem does the dongle solve for you? I would say none. It solves a problem for Steinberg. The piracy problem. This is not my problem, yet I’m encumbered by their way of solving their piracy problem. Meanwhile, there are other companies who have solved this problem, which works fine for me. Native Access, Waves Software Licenser Thingy, even iLok with their cloud iLok solution. I never ran into the problem of not having internet access and the software not wanting to open. I don’t need to think of the dongle every time. It just works for me. It would be nice if there could be a hybrid solution. Dongle for people who love it and don’t want to fight with spotty internet access, and some software solution for road warriors.

So for the road warriors among us that don’t live in a studio and are on the road for different projects and try to make a living this way, it’s a real hassle. Unless Steinberg says it’s not interested in mobile users and only cares for big fixed studio installations. I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one working that way and such an edge case that I really don’t matter. It may very well be.

Speak for yourself.

Dongles are a relic of the past. No other professional fields use them any more.

I know a lot of indie game developers who work from their laptops, from cafés, from small offices, home offices, constantly on the move. Of course Nuendo has features that are a total overkill for these working situations with its Dolby Atmos mixing and many many more, suited for big studio productions. But Nuendo has great features for game audio and indie films, and is now more affordable than ever. Many of those projects get made “wherever it’s possible”. On the set, in the train, on the couch at the director’s place, in a café. Of course we could all use Reaper, which is also fantastic for game audio. But I would prefer using Nuendo as I like it better. And maybe a lot of people in game development would, too. But I think dongles are a no-go.

I asked around and it seems almost no other pro software uses dongles anymore. It’s something audio houses still cling to for some reason. Maya, 3DS Max (the 3D software packages that hollywood movies and AAA game titles are made with and cost several thousand $$$) use no dongle, the main game engines on the market Unity 3D and Unreal never used dongles, Adobe’s products don’t use dongles, PreSonus’ software, audio middleware such as FMOD or WWISE don’t use dongles and allow to have parallel installations of multiple versions simultaneously and manage projects so you can open specific projects on your drive with specific versions of the software for better management… Somehow, many industries moved on and have great solutions, yet in some audio realms dongles are still the thing.

And come to think of it. Why is it that the majority of users use Nuendo in the studio? Maybe because Nuendo is not fit for agile on the road work, precisely because of the dongle?

I use Nuendo for both, studio and live. I would also prefer not having to use the dongle. Also I once broke two dongles because after a relocation I used the wrong power supply unit for the USB hub (I had two that looked quite similar and none of them had proper labelling – I know it’s my fault for not checking properly). I had to order a new one and I must say the new eLicenser doesn’t have the same quality as the old one. I used the old one in many live and rehearsal situations and it never had a problem, the case of the new one broke although I didn’t remove it from the computer even once nor did I move the computer with the dongle inside. I fixed it with sellotape but I was shocked about the bad build quality. Having to rely on it doesn’t really make me feel comfortable.

Like in every other subject. People that don’t suffer from elicenser dongle on THIER workflow will say “I don’t see the problem”.
Moving around between computers, systems, countries, airport - losing it, forget it 20 times, wrap it with glue take the last usb place i have.
If you happy with it - fine. but it this thing is old and needs to die.

I put dongles on my key chain that I have my apartment keys on. And like I said earlier, it’d be easy enough to attach a note to the inside of your case or on your laptop reminding you to bring the dongle with you if that’s where it goes.

It is a bit peculiar to me that we’re talking about investments in the range of thousands of dollars and there’s a concern over remembering a dongle. I mean, I ‘get it’, it’s just that if it’s about me forgetting things then the solution is just for me to figure out a way to not forget things, which seems like an easy ‘sacrifice’ given that I’ve already invested all this money into this.

If I have to reinstall software any license that lives on a dongle is one less license I have to “install”. I recently did a full install / upgrade in a studio of one system and it’s super annoying to have to dig through emails or hunt for papers to get the million-letter strings of characters to authorize the plugin version in question. And then of course I need to be able to get online for that stuff. With the licenses on the dongle I just install the software and plug the dongle in. Done.

I also never have to think of the above when traveling between studios. If they have the software I need installed I bring my own license.

Ok, but if we look at the past twenty years we can see a pretty huge difference I would argue. There seems to be far fewer cases of cracked software out there for the software that uses dongle authorization. I don’t really think it’s all that fair to shift the blame to Steinberg - even if that’s not what you meant to do. We should blame people who ‘steal’ software for being where we are today. I can understand why some people are annoyed by dongles, but to me it’s a small price to pay for a healthy company that can make a profit and put out good products.

I agree. Giving the option would be best assuming it won’t hurt Steinberg’s finances too much.

Well, the only real competitor to Nuendo is Pro Tools and it too uses a dongle.

I think at least some of the other software you mention actually operate slightly differently and use a fundamentally different paradigm a lot of times and so it’s hard to compare. I think some of them are free until you need to do something professional with them, and some others are single-pay perpetual ownership and updates (like Davinci Resolve) beyond the free version, but ultimately make their money outside of the production stage of things (i.e. either selling hardware, cloud services or through licensing of other functionality).

But yeah, if it’s possible to get a dongle-free alternative then of course I’m not against it as long as it’s a net positive.

Interesting. I see it from the complete opposite side of the argument. If I invested thousands of dollars in a software, it should make my life as easy and productive as possible, not put chains on my feet. I don’t invest thousands of dollars to put post it notes everywhere so I don’t forget that dongle. For that money I would like Steinberg to figure out a way to create a solution that works so I can open Nuendo when I need it, wherever I am. Not only at times when I happen to have a dongle with me.

I’m not a Nuendo user from day 1, I started with 6 and paid full price, upgraded to 6.5, 7 and 8. And I could not use the software in many situations because I didn’t expect to need the dongle - and could not open it on the road. That were very frustrating moments. Maybe I should try your keychain solution. But my keychain is big as it is and the eLicenser ain’t a small thing.

But you still have to find the installer of that software on the vendor’s website and go through an installation and maybe update process, which is annoying in itself, as finding those latest installers is sometimes reeeeally hard and they’re well hidden behind logins or serial number mail bots…

And I absolutely agree that license numbers are the same relic of the past. I’m using a password and license key manager for a long time now and I put everything there from the beginning! Logins, serials, and license files. It’s easy for me to get to all of them. No searching emails or papers. But even then, when I re-install my system, it takes ages finding the latest installers, copy/pasting serial numbers, running into “you’ve activated this license too many times” problems. It’s a real hassle.

That’s why I really like the App Store. I just click on everything I would like to install, I get the latest version, no searching, no license key mess, it just works. Of course the App Store has its own problems for vendors, I get it. But from a customer point of view it’s a really good solution.

If all the vendors I mentioned that don’t use dongles had big problems with piracy, they’d use dongles. But they don’t, so I think they might have systems that prevent piracy AND don’t rely on dongles.
And yes, of course, I’m not blaming Steinberg that they want to protect themselves from piracy. I work with game developers and we constantly fight with pirated versions. I get it. And I wish Steinberg all the financial success with their software, this is not at all the discussion. In fact it seems they are in a healthy spot, hiring people where other companies are just laying people off. It’s great to hear, they seem to expand, which is AWESOME! It’s just how they implemented their piracy measures that really impacts how I am able to use their software in a negative way.

And I would argue, the pressure against the dongle will only increase. Timo wrote they lowered the price of Nuendo because they wanted to increase the user base. Meaning making it more affordable and “mass” market. I don’t know if Nuendo gets as mass market as Cubase or software like Reaper, Logic, Studio One that all play in a $200-$300 range. I think you agree that the price point of $2000 for Nuendo was probably never a problem for pro users with audio studios, as they invested several tens of thousands of dollars into their room and hardware, and the cost of Nuendo was ever only a small piece. But as Steinberg wants to increase the potential user base by decreasing prices, meaning targeting price sensitive users, users that most likely don’t have a studio setup and are much more casual and mobile, a stationary dongle makes less sense.

I think we agree that Avid is not the most progressive company. Besides, that’s what I said: In other industries like the 3D industry, game dev industry, image processing industry, video editing industry, vendors moved away from dongles a long time ago.

Anyway, Timo already acknowledged a dongle-less solution is planned. It’s only a matter of time until we see it. For me it could be sooner rather than later.

I actually keep my installers on a USB key as well as on my OneDrive account. So since I always need my email open for communications related to work my OneDrive is already logged into and I have immediate access to my needed installers (which to be honest aren’t that many).

I absolutely agree.

Fair enough, I don’t disagree. I’d even say it’s likely we’ll end up with an alternative to the hardware.

I find that after 2 or 3 years, when I do a clean install of my system, that most installers I keep on my NAS are outdated and I need to download the latest version that’s optimized to the latest OS etc. anyway.

But I think we brought this discussion to an end well. Thanks for the back and forth!

The thing is that, N.I, Waves and iLok have been cracked, even soft elicenser, dongle elicenser isn’t. The only software protection not been cracked is latest plugin alliance stuff. I think the dongle is good, I only wish you could have two licenses, so I could have one in my key ring all the time

I beg to differ,
You dont have PT cracked anymore, for long time now. ilock cloud works very well.#
AVID, Premiere, Finale cut (video editing) are not cracked anymore.
Waves and PA plugs are based around plugin manager without a soft dongle.

the point is that whatever I ilok or soft elicenser do - its very good against piracy. Must we have this piece of plastic?
I dont care, maybe to use it once as a product key, or once in a period of time…

What is it with Steinberg? Do a quick search on e-license issues and it will fill many pages of Google results and most of this forum. I just don’t get it. This was the primary reason I gave up Cubase (although I have now found a much better DAW, so I guess thank you) but would like to use some of the VST instruments. It is archaic and must take an inordinate amount of support time (and mine when I had to reinstall e-license every 3 to 6 months).

It really doesn’t have to be this way, as i have now joyfully found out.

  • Used to use Cubase.
  • Now uses different DAW.
  • Wants to use Virtual Instruments
  • Decides to post in the Nuendo section.
  • By bumping an older post.
  • On a topic we already discussed in different threads.
  • Where Steinberg officials already said they’re looking at alternatives.

Great first post.

Sad story, bro.