Updating Cubase 11 to v12 or wait for next version

I just purchased the update from Cubase 11 to v12.

However, it occurred to me that Steinberg normally release a new version of Cubase in Oct/Nov

If I don’t download and activate v12 but wait instead for the next release (12.5 or 13?) will the update I just purchased still be valid?

I seem to remember you used to be able to wait a version or two before activation but was wondering if the new licensing system had changed anything.

Thanks for any advice.

This is just my opinion, so take it in that spirit.

There’s very little advantage to doing that – you paid for something, and you’re not using it, so you should account for the lost value there, and the amount of money you save is actually not much, since you didn’t use the product you bought. The only thing you really get is the sense that you got something for nothing, which is illusory.

This is not really the case, and they have not said they would continue this schedule.

Also doing this might complicate things for you when you go to apply the update when you’re ready in 2525 or whenever :wink: , i.e., you might have to contact tech support to help you, rather than just doing a few key presses.

If you’ve only got one installation of C11 and it’s working fine, and you want to wait and maybe give yourself a present for the holidays, while going completely cheapskate and grinning smugly, then go for it.

I know I did :smiling_imp:

The downside is, nobody will know why you’re grinning smugly, and nor will they understand when you try to explain it to them.

But seriously, I have numerous editions and verions of Cubase (LE, Elements, Artist, and Pro) across several devices, depending on need, portability and risk (of getting the USB-eLicenser nicked or lost). On one laptop I had Cubase Artist 10.5, which was more than enough for what I needed on that machine, so during a summer sale I bought the upgrade but didn’t activate it until C12 was released, mainly because I wanted to use it as an experimental platform for the new licensing system.

So yes, if it serves a purpose for you, you can save money, but, as Steve said, you’re paying for something and not using it in the hope that you’ll get better value for money at some point in the future, and be able to sit there with that smug grin on your face (I do admit, there’s a certain amount of short-lived pleasure in that …).

But you could also get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Or maybe, just maybe, your true calling is in hedge fund management.

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OK thanks…

Actually, I wasn’t worried about saving money - I just didn’t want to go through the hassle of installing a new version and then perhaps having to do it again a month or two later if they released another update.

Anyhow, I take the point that Steinberg may not adhere to the Oct/Nov cycle any longer so I’ll just go ahead as originally planned and install v12.

Be good to lose the dongle…

@steve With the eLicenser we were able to use old upgrade codes and it was always giving the latest version. For example you had Cubase 8 and bought the 8 to 8.5 upgrade, you would redeem the code many years later and automatically get the current version, not the 8.5.
That’s basically how we could save money, since the 0.5 upgrades have a lower price than major releases (60€ instead of 100€) we would wait for the annual sale and grab it for only 35€ then keep it for when the major version gets released. It would only cost 35€ every 2 years to get 8 → 9 → 10 etc :roll_eyes:

Are you implying that with the new licensing system this is no longer possible ?

@MW11 We should never have talked about that. If Steinberg have never figured this out before, now it’s too late :laughing:

I don’t think that will be happening this year, as C12 was only released in March. If I had to guess, I’d imagine Oct/Nov would see the ~40% sale prices.

In fact, Who’s to say we even see a C12.5? Personally, I wouldn’t try and second guess anything as it’s all change, and will continue to be with the new licensing and movement away from VST2 - I’m with Steve, use the software enjoy it now!

As long as Steinberg offer their reasonable sales once a year, that covers most users needs? The grace period has been vastly abused over the years, but as long as you can buy the code from stores, i’d imagine that will still be the case with future versions - as they can’t expect retailers to manage codes for different versions, as they will just stock less then.


That sounds logic. Generally when you redeem the license included with your hardware (for example Cubase AI) you always get the latest and current version, even if you bought the product six years ago and it shows an obsolete version on the box.

To answer the initial question, I’d wait for the next version because in its current state C12 isn’t in a good shape. As soon as the next version will be released, any updates for 12 will stop and any remaining issue will remain forever in 12. If all of these issues get fixed in 12.5 or 13, then you’ll be left dumbfounded by having to buy the upgrade once again.

That is such a lot of work, and for such a tiny gain by 1st world standards.

@Louis_R as you know, I’m not a Steinberg employee, just a long time user and admirer of their programs and skills. So the information I might have in regard to marketing, sales and that sort of thing is the same as that of any customer. To my knowledge the Grace Period policy has not changed.

Using the Grace Period is not a scam, a hack or a cheat. It’s the stated, contractual policy of the company, and it’s something that they have honored for customers for three decades or more, and they have always been open about their licensing policies, which are available on the website, and to my knowledge have always been reasonable when it comes to making exceptions for people who made mistakes while updating or purchasing.

Thanks for reading


Like others have mentioned here, I strongly doubt that the next version of Cubase is coming anytime soon. I also assume that the developers might want to explore what is possible/more practical now that the dongle is gone. This has already led to some improvements in Cubase 12, for example adding or removing VST plugins and tracks is noticeably snappier, which also leads to shorter audio gaps when done during playback.

I was only able to switch from Cubase 11 to Cubase 12 a few weeks ago. My personal experience is that 12.0.30 and 12.0.40 have mostly been working just as good as Cubase 11. Of course, your mileage may vary.

I don’t think that’s entirely fair to say. Normally, a few months after a new version of Cubase is released, Steinberg releases at least one last update for the previous Cubase version that includes as many fixes back-ported from the newest version as possible, as far as I know. This wasn’t done this year probably because Cubase 12 was released so late. 11.0.50 would probably have come out around June.

I don’t see it like this, if I enjoy the current Cubase version I’ll keep using it, just that I’ll buy the upgrade for cheaper and redeem it whenever I decide it’s time to upgrade.

The tiny gain is more when the new version doesn’t add that much things that would improve my workflow and creativity, so why spend 100€ and not be satisfied ? I prefer to grab it on sale and wait until there is real big changes :grinning:
It’s a subject that depends on everyone’s vision.

At least not for the end user :sweat_smile:

Well, it was all good until they stopped doing that starting from Cubase 10.
If you look at the Cubase 9 Version History, they kept making one update or two after 9.5 was released, and it inherited the new video engine from 9.5 along with many major bug fixes.
They did the same for 9.5 after 10 was released, and also for earlier versions.
This is what I actually call some sort of Long Term Support, because of this overlap.
But what about 10 ? Nothing. 10,5 ? Nothing. 11 ? Still nothing. Now it’s more like Short Term Support as the updates stop abruptly and any major bug will remain forever in these versions.

Can you clarify what you mean by that please, @steve ?

But it’s primary existence is based on two fundementals:

  1. To protect users who unknowingly buy before a new version is released
  2. To minimise lull in sales as new versions approach.

It’s not a scam, but I beleive it’s exploiting goodwill if you buy (x.5) updates in the summer sale and hold on for the grace period to the next full (x.0) release in winter to activate. Meaning you update every other year at around 70% off.

Personally glad it exists, and hope it continues. Not done it myself, but would do if money was tight, so I do like the option to be available… But best to be one of those “not talked about” methods (imo).


Steinberg have regularly released final “fix” updates for previous versions. That, and the fact that there even is a grace period, is one of the reasons I’ve stayed loyal as a customer.

If I compare them to MAGIX (who I only deal with because they bought a product I still use), each year a new version is released while known bugs in previous versions are abandoned forever. There is no upgrade even though they call it that … you have to effectively purchase the product again, which then comes with new bugs.

Compared to that racket, Steinberg are veritable saints.

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@MrSoundman But they stopped doing that starting from Cubase 10 as I wrote in my post above :neutral_face:

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Cubase 10.5 released: 13 November 2019; Cubase 10 last update: 26 March 2020,

Cubase 11 released: 11 November 2020; Cubase 10.5 last update: 11 March 2021

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The OP question has been answered with a couple different views, and I think this topic can be closed.