To upgrade, not to upgrade 8.5 > 13 if so, how (fresh PC)?

Hi all, as per the title. I finally had to say bye to my Mac Pro and am in the process of rebuilding my studio with a new Windows 11 PC.

I have a license for 8.5 Pro (e-licenser) but wanting to keep things fresh am wondering whether to bite the bullet and buy Cubase 13.

I’ve not installed either yet. I’m very much a beginner at Cubase so will be pretty much starting from scratch so I guess there will be tutorials all over the web / you tube for v13 - there’s precious little around any more for 8.5

Is it worth the upgrade cost?
I understand that the e-licenser is no longer used (dongle) so is it just a matter of buying the upgrade version and the licensing will take care of itself ?

I want to avoid installing 8.5 as well as 13 just to save the PC resources.



Not sure what you are asking, just buy a C13 license and install that.
If you know C8.5 you know C13, just read up on new features.

Thanks for the prompt reply. As I mentioned - I’m not exactly a pro at Cubase 8.5.
I was very much just starting to use it and then things started to go wrong with 3rd party compatibility with the Mac.
I guess you’ve kind of answered the question though - just buy an upgrade license to CB13 and get cracking with learning that.
I guess there are a heck of a lot of features that I don’t know about on any version so just wondering about the best course of action for learning CB 13.

Thanks again.


Just use it, watch some YouTube stuff, read the manual

Hey, I was a user of Cubase to make Drum and Bass in the late 90’s then my life went another way. Came back to Cubase somewehere between 10 and 11 and now am on 13, moving up with every release since and although I have experienced a charming variety of issues (some mine, some the software’s and some the universes) I have been uber productive and moving from the verion I used to use (VST 3.5) to 13 was pretty much painless, even with my nearly two decades away.

I also got annoyed and frustrated a year or so ago and set out to research replacing Cubase but every other DAW I spent time in (FL Studio, Ableton, Reason and Bitwig) did not convince me, even with time, they would suit me any better and although they all had merits over Cubase in certain niche areas, I found them overall more infuriating to use in terms of getting stuff out of my head into a song (although I think Bitwig may be the new killer DAW in the not too distant, the sheer endless ways to combine tools are a little overwhelming, even at this early stage in development).

Although anecdotal and of course highly subjective, I think my two main points may be helpful to you 1) Cubase is still a powerful beast and 2) used one version of Cubase? The learning curve will not be too painful to move up, even after nearly 20 years.

Whatever your purchase good luck with music.

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Well there is a trial version available.

Especially if you don’t have a lot of older Projects created with 8.5 there’s not much reason to install it. If later on you decide you do want it, you can install it then. The upgrade process should leave you with a license on your dongle that can run any version from Cubase11 down.

It is important for you to know that if your 8.5 pro license will be used for an upgrade, you will need to install e-licenser software and plug the key on the computer (no need to install Cubase 8.5 Pro, just the e-licenser software). The new license system will look for the older license to run the upgrade.

Check it out:

Here is the link for the e-licenser software:

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