Hi all

So I’m going to buy a DAW, and from what I can tell, Cubase is best suited to my needs.

I am absolutely not going to make a purchasing decision without trying the product first, of course… which brings me to my current problem.

I have downloaded the 5GB trial. I have installed it.

It then says “enter your activation code”. No problems, I enter it from the email I received. It then says “you have no USB eLicensers connected to your computer”. Of course I don’t I haven’t bought the software yet, that’s why I have downloaded and installed the trial.

Can someone help me out please? It seems silly to have downloaded a 5GB trial only to discover it’s impossible to actually use it… What’s going wrong?

Pretty unimpressed that there is such terrible DRM software required to use Cubase in the first place, but the fact that it doesn’t even work… I feel like it’s a bit of a joke, unless I’m missing something?


Hi Nightcabbage

I am a Cubase 7 user (a mostly happy one) but I agree with you, I’ve just had a look at the Trial download page and it does seem to intimate that you have to have a USB e-licencer which I would have thought is a bit brainless, I can’t believe that that is the case however! I do know that some of the other products use an “e-licencer” which one downloads, have you tried to contact Steinberg customer service direct, it seems silly that one should have to but…

Best Regards


You do of course need a USB eLicenser to run the trial.
Or which part of

written directly underneath the download lin, is confusing you

Really? This doesn’t even make sense. How is one supposed to try it out then? You must buy USB thingy? I cannot believe this is like this. Are you 100% sure?

The part where it makes absolutely no sense for someone to have to purchase something in order to do a trial :smiley:

Anyways, dongles are about 20 years out of date, in terms of being used as a form of DRM… this is the download age…

Obviously not.

That´s why you can download the license to your dongle, once you have one.

Then you should stay away from any piece of software that use dongles (E-Licencer, iLok, etc.) for protection. They all require that you invest in a dongle in order to run the demos.

One could argue whether this is a good or a bad thing. I guess that we just have to accept that this has become an “industry standard”.

I just spent $40.00 on a bottle of 100 proof bourbon. It will probably be gone in a matter of days.

Seriously … this is an expensive “hobby”. If you are not willing to pay to play, you will not get very far. Sorry if that sounds negative. Just stating the facts.

The fact that the trial download page specifies the necessary requirement of a dongle pretty much voids your complaint.

Strangely this is why Steinberg has had hundreds and hundreds of £££ off me over the last 2 years.
The ONLY way for me to get into DAW’s for the first time, coming from nothing was to go the non-legal route.
I learnt Cubase well enough to fumble around but then came time to buy and I wanted to try Pro Tools.
Pro Tools requires an iLok device even for the demo, like many other plugins.

So the decision was made very easy for me…i’ll just stick to what I know.

Unfortunately how else do we demo stuff without steinberg having to lose out to piracy…even though in my case piracy means they now have a loyal customer.
It’s a crappy situation but maybe the Adobe route is the way to go…maybe its fine as it is?
I guess the main issue is , the e-licencer is useless pretty much if you decide you don’t want cubase, where as the iLok is much more widely used.

I don’t believe you are telling the truth. Although I do appreciate a good, honest criminal …

How do you mean?
2-3 years ago I didn’t even know what a compressor was.

Sure, we all have to learn the basics at some point. I started with Cubase LE4, which came with my Tascam interface. I never felt the need to go the criminal route.

I was just making a point that I don’t believe the “non-legal” route was your “ONLY” way to get into the DAW world. Many others have discovered alternative methods.

I’m an old Sound Blaster customer from years and years ago when I bought a Soundblaster Live! 5.1 with the 5.25" drive bay.
I got a Cubase Cd rom with it, must have thrown it away or something .
Back then I was trying to hook my guitar directly into a 3.5mm jack for recording.Ya Rly.

10 years later and a few PC’s down the line I decided it was time to actually start recording stuff and the only thing I knew that did recording on a PC was that thing I got with my Sound Blaster cards, Cubase.
I didn’t even look for anything else, just went straight for the latest version I could find.
Fast track 3 years down the line and i’ve spent thousands and thousands getting a proper set up and going 100% legit in every way, Music, movies, software, you name it.

You can be all high and mighty about my situation back then but it’s all a learning process and it’s like telling a smoker to quit. They have to see the reasons for themselves.
My conscience is completely clean and I really enjoy paying for things I love.

I’m glad you have made peace with yourself :sunglasses: .

Are you telling me I should quit smoking :mrgreen: ?

By the way, I am not “high and mighty”. If I ever come across that way, let me know.

So … what does this have to do with the USB-eLicenser and the Cubase 7 trial?

Because of E-Licencer copy protection I was a pirate, because I was a pirate I was a customer…all because of the E-Licencer/iLok requirement to demo Cubase and competing products like Pro Tools .All of which seems so silly to the new user like the fellow who started this thread.

Fair enough. Everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion.

Ask to borrow a hardware elicenser from you local music store.

That was an excellent idea. Perhaps Steinberg could find a new revenue stream by offering “rental dongles”. :wink:

I ran into this exact same thing, missed the notice on the trial download page completely. Mostly because I was downloading a trial and didn’t think there’d be such an absurd restriction on a trial.

Frankly, I find the idea of requiring a customer to pay money (even if not to ‘you’) to even try your software kind of disgusting. Any interest I had in this product is pretty much gone, even if the software is really good. I’ll be looking to your competitors instead.

Just wanted to chime that in for posterity.

Why would Steinberg release a demo version with a lower level of copy-protection than the paid version?