Travelling and the dongle

I have a band now and I would like to use Cubase on my notebook as well. Since I can use the dongle to switch between my desktop and notebook, no problem.

But - two issues:

a) What if I lose the dongle? Will I get reinstated by Steinberg? How long will it take to get my licenses back?

b) What if the dongle doesn’t work properly anymore (mechanical abuse by plugging in / out often)?

Having Cubase + Halion (which I’m going to buy in a few days) always with me when we meet for writing songs would be amazing, but the copy protection method used makes me really second guess the idea…

Buy a backup dongle, check out this thread:

And you should buy a usb cable extension like this:ängerung-USB-A-Stecker-Buchse-schwarz/dp/B00BFUR0RK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1370523884&sr=8-2&keywords=usb+verlängerung+10+cm

It prevents the dongle from being cracked in a small café or train.

It’s not cool but helpful! :wink:

And some duct tape. :slight_smile:

Bringing that dongle “on the road” is a risky proposition. You seem to be aware of this, however, so please trust me when I say those worries you have now will be magnified 10x once you actually start doing it.

If you have a mac, just use Garageband (or whatever the equivalent is for PC) and then import the audio/MIDI tracks from your songwriting sessions into Cubase when you get home. It’s actually the least stressful option, IMO. In regards to Halion, best to use a non-dongle solution like Native Instruments or other VI (depending on your needs).

Another possibility is to look into Cubasis for iOS/iPad. This looks like a promising mobile solution for songwriters married to Cubase…

Good luck!

If Cubase Elements does what you need on the road, it may be a perfect choice. $99 I believe…
A broken dongle is still alot less expensive but something to consider.

Yeah, I sometimes take my dongle about, but if I were to lose it then the best I could do would be to claim on insurance… It’s stressful, I hate doing it.

Steinberg have an agreeable policy on transferring licences from damaged dongles, but I don’t know about lost dongles.

Note that buying a 2nd dongle doesn’t get you a 2nd Cubase licence. The 2nd dongle would be ‘empty’ unless you transfer the licence. So no good if you’ve lost the 1st dongle or if it’s damaged. In fact, no good really having 2 dongles at all, unless you want to split Cubase from say instruments (e.g. Korg or Halion).

In this world of total internet connection, and especially since we now have the Hub, I would like to see an ‘online’ dongle licence option (and I mean an opt-in option) where the licence on the dongle becomes time-limited but is extended by periodic online verification. And if I lose the dongle or it breaks then I’d go online, cancel the licence on that dongle, wait for the dongle licence to expire (and if someone stole it then they can’t use it because it’s cancelled or expired!), and then download the licence to a new dongle. This would give me peace of mind for carrying my dongle about with my laptop!!


Actually, this is not entirely correct. Steinberg will issue you a replacement license if you lose your dongle, they do it on a case by case basis, and it is even noted in the knowledgebase. (Has it been suggested in this thread that a second dongle equals a second license?)

The benefit of having a second dongle is that

  1. if there is a trial version of Cubase available (and there is now) you can activate a trial license on the empty dongle and get back to work with zero time down.

  2. If you live a great distance from a store where you could buy a replacement, the distance would not create an additional barrier to getting back to work quickly, and reduce the stressfulness of the situation.

My original dongle is from 2004 I think…in nearly 9 years it looks worse than any piece of equipment I have ever owned. It had been bumped and torn from its usb mount as things were moved around the room over the years. This worried my a few years back and I bought the second dongle, brand new in its case, waiting for the day this one truly disintegrates. I wish they were reduced in size to that of the receivers for a wireless mouse. It would be protected from these types of damages so much more.

I transferred my licence to a new ‘smaller style’ dongle several years ago because my old ‘large’ version was showing signs of wear. Couldn’t really contemplate having to go through all that rigmarole of getting the licence back from Steinberg if it failed! But I have to say the new one has weathered much better because it’s smaller, more compact and therefore much more sturdy. More easy to lose/steal perhaps? I thought I read somewhere that the new style dongle was faster in responding to licence queries as well, could be an urban myth :wink:


Mike, you got me interested…I did not know there was an option for a smaller plug. I have the new one as the exactf same original but it will probably face the same fate as the original. Might you say where you acquired it?


:slight_smile: Aha, it depends on your age I reckon! My ‘new’ stick is square ended and about 1.5 inches long, whereas the old original one I mention is about 2.5inches long and slightly wider… Therefore it got in the way more, got dinged a bit more, didn’t really hold up so well. The new one is the same size as my Microsoft keyboard+mouse wireless dongle. I bought it from DV247 for maybe £25.


I only occasionally travel with my dongle. But when I do, I attach it to a USB extension cable (as previously suggested) and then I put a rolled up sock over the dongle and end of the cable which gives it a lot of padding and protection.

I keep mine in a zipped pocket at all times when not in a USB socket, whether that’s in my shorts/trousers or my backpack… Could do with it being supplied with a cap too, but I found an old 15 1/2 KByte memory stick with one that fitted :wink:


Surely there has to be a better way to protect the software!

I travel and produce from a macbook pro… My dongle broke in less then a month of buying Cubase

The need to have a dongle plugged in all the time is so infuriating .

Cubase is the best DAW in my opinion… but the need to have to have a dongle attached 27/4 is making it very impractical to use.

I hear Studio One by PreSonus is similar to cubase :confused:

Studio One is in many ways similar. But so much less capable.

Do what you need to keep the dongle safe. Or don’t…

all solutions were mentioned
1/ they will replace it normally, but it’s judged case by case
2/ other option is to drive a car over an empty dongle and send it in and ask for a new one. Be shure they can not read it. :slight_smile:

In fact. You’ve bought it so you are a client of them, and they will recognize this.

dongles are out of date imho
kind regards,

My dongle came with a small crack in the plastic. It split open within a month of getting it. It is now taped together and I don’t think it will last. The real pain in the ass is that when I’m in my basement and I think hey let me turn on my studio and do some stuff…crap my dongle is upstairs with my mobile setup…forget it…les see what’s on Netflix.

Thanks dongle-base.

I guess it’s the only uncrackable way so to keep cubase pirate free.