USB Dongle revelation!

I’ve been having a few problems/crashes with Cubase loosing connection with the USB key, so I took a punt and bought a new eLicensor key. My previous one was probably 10 years old, possibly more. And wow, what a difference! Cubase now loads up in about 5 seconds and shuts down instantly. With my older USB key, Cubase would take 20+ seconds to load and even longer to close down. I have yet to have a crash, so clearly these USB dongles become unreliable after a period of time. Wish I’d have tried this years ago!

Anyway, thought I’d share this here for those of you with the older, longer USB dongles.

This has also been my experience – not with crashes, but with startup time. I think this is because the older USB eLicensers are USB1, whereas the newer ones are USB2 (but happy to be corrected by someone from Steinberg with knowledge!). All USB2 ports should be compatible with USB1 and fall back to that mode when such a device is detected, but it’s pretty ancient these days – my first MP3 player almost 20 years ago was USB1.

[EDIT] See also this post, from 2017: Cubase slow to start up, any ideas?

Yes I replaced mine a few months ago. It was about as old as yours. It made a noticeable difference.

What’s the process to move the license to the new dongel?

Follow these instructions. :slight_smile:

I tried to order one last month, OUT OF STOCK!! LOL, no surprise

ah. my dongle is from when Nuendo 2 was new. Gonna try this :slight_smile: btw, Steinberg site says dongle is available

Ridiculous to have to spend to upgrade your ball-and-chain dongle in order to enjoy the software upgrade you paid for… :unamused:

Blame software piracy. Having paid for all the software I use, I don’t mind the minor inconvenience of a device which prevents others stealing it, and ensures there is a viable financial future for the company that produces it. There are plenty of threads about this, so let’s keep this about the technical improvements in the newer USB eLicense hardware, shall we?


I’ve got a couple of extra dongles that came with software. I think at least one is newer than I’m currently using, wonder if it is new enough to matter (expect not).

Plenty of other software companies have figured out how to do software-based copy-protection.

There are plenty of threads about this, so let’s keep this about the > technical improvements in the newer USB eLicense hardware> , shall we?

Lol… that’s one way to spin it, I guess.

Sorry, but the “upgrade your dongle for better performance” is a horrible status-quo to promote.


Can I have one?

Dongless in Oregon

Just ordered a new one, hopefully it will rid the Cubase Artist not authorized stupidity when I have NEVER used ARTIST

Interesting ! Thanks, Steve…

But, according to this link :, responsiveness improvements can be expected only if the licences tranfer is done from a 1st generation key. Mine is obviously a 2nd one (acquired with Cubase SL2, something like 15 years ago…).

So, I wonder if it is worth proceeding in my case and would help speeding up the projects loading time which is the main problem I have with C10, presently…

Perhaps I had a first gen key. I really can’t say. But I have noticed a dramatic increase in load speeds since swapping to the latest one, and I haven’t had any USB error crashes since.

You can buy the dongles in most music stores, also Amazon.

I made the same change (basically, from the “longer one” to the “shorter one”) and it help with the startup time of the application .

and would help speeding up the projects loading time which is the main problem I have with C10

Possibly not – moving the VST Sound libraries and your projects to an SSD might offer the most help here.

OTOH, it looks like the 2nd gen is a 1st one with simply a reduced size. Go figure…

Actually, the first issue I have is that Cubase 10.0.20 takes 50 seconds to load : not great, but well, is just once at each session…

More irritating : an empty test project with 22 tracks (with 7 VSTis in it - among which there are 3 samples based ones - and 3 external instruments) takes no less than 1 mn 30 s to open. The exact same project (or more precisely, with the same number of tracks and components -> same libraries) takes 25 seconds to be loaded with Reaper. So, I doubt that it has to do with the drives : IMO, something else is considerably slowing down the opening of a given project in Cubase, and I suspect the copy protection to have something to do in the process, from which my inquiry about the e-Licenser key.

Well there’s a first-world problem if ever there was one. For me, after boot-up on Windows 10 x64, it takes about 40 seconds with no project loaded, and subsequent starts are about 15 seconds. Reaper starts in 5 seconds, but I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison.

Comparing the launch time of both applications, no, it isn’t.

But comparing the opening time of projects with exactly the same components, yes, I think it is. How to explain that one is nearly four times slower than the other as, in both cases, the same VSTis and libraries are involved ? Beside the copy protection getting in the way during the process, I have no clue…

Back to topic, I’m probably going to follow Steve and your advice : 25 € isn’t that much and I can manage if it’s every 15 years… At least, I’ll be able to lauch C10 more quickly and I’ll know that everything concerning the e-Licenser is up to date, hardware included.