When upgrading Cubase 10.5 Pro to Cubase 13 Pro are there any common problematic issues?

Hello all, hope everyone is well!

I am asking this question on behalf of my father to see if anyone else has specifically upgraded from Cubase Pro 10.5 to Cubase Pro 13 and if they have had any issues when loading a project created with Cubase 10.5 with Cubase 13?

I personally have recently upgraded from Cubase 11 Pro to Cubase 13 Pro (with a 3 month trial, and after 1 month I could not be more amazed or happy with everything Cubase 13 has to offer! My creative workflow has never been more streamlined with such proficient ergonomics. I have not had any issues opening Cubase Projects I did entirely on Cubase 11 Pro with Cubase 13 when I want to continue working on old projects, trying out different ideas or remixing and remastering different Cubase Projects that I originally worked on with Cubase 11 Pro.

Maybe the reason I am not running into any issues is because I had purchased “Absolute 6” from Steinberg during a Black Friday Sale, Absolute 6 from Steinberg comes with a tonne of stuff like HALion 7 and a HALion 7 Content Library of over 30GB. Absolute 6 also came with Groove Agent 5 and over a Groove Agent Content Library of over 30GB. Just by having both of these products, I don’t have the misfortune of opening up a Cubase 11 Project in Cubase 13 and ending up with errors. (I was reading a post about this earlier today, and somebody was having issues because their Cubase 10.5 project used HALion SONic SE instruments or something like that, and they could not load certian projects in Cubase 13. It was hard for me to troubleshoot ideas with such a vague post, this is why I am creating this new post on the topic.

Now I don’t believe my father has HALion 7 or Groove Agent 5 with Cubase 10.5 Pro, so can somebody please explain to me some of the issues he could potentially run into?
He does a lot of work, almost on a daily basis. His projects consist of original compositions using DI audio recording for instruments like Bass, Guitar and Vocals with the rest being Instrument Tracks using plugins. (Most of which I have shared with him as we live in the same household. Like Native Instruments Komplete 14 Ultimate, Spitfire Audio BBC Orchestra Professional.)

My father is 76 years old and has been a professional musician all of his life, he spent 20 years as a Professor of Music Composition at the Australian National University, he is a multi-instrumentalist, but he has easily put more hours and years as a Bassist, mainly in Jazz Trios, Quartets, ect. I had the fortune and advantage of growing up having both of my parents as musicians and professional music teachers.
This gave me a huge advantage when I did my BA with 2 Majors with one of them being in Music and the other in Philosophy.

Long story short, I am in my early 30s and I choose to live with my father so that he does not have to pay full rent. He is 76 years old and I would like him to have the best of everything when it comes to him doing a lot of work musically speaking. (This is why I have shared my Native Instruments License with him so that he can have access to 770GB the some of the highest quality and latest instruments, effects, expansions, ect. Same as sharing my Spitfire Audio License, I mean BBC Orchestra Professional is just incredible and I am learning a lot, but the way I see it, I believe that after dedicating his entire life to playing and learning music. Being both classically trained and trained academically in Jazz when it comes to Harmony, Composition, Musicology, Theory… He has put in the hard yards and deserves to have all of the products far more than I do.

With the current Steinberg April/Spring sale of 30% off Cubase 13, I am going to buy it as I am still absolutely awestruck with what Cubase 13 has to offer.

I have been encouraging my father to jump in and treat himself to a product like this considering the amount of hours he will put into his work every day.

The overwhelmingly terrifying concern he has about upgrading to Cubase 13 is somehow ending up in a situation where he loses all of his work, or somehow he is bound to run into issues like opening a recent file with Cubase 13 and having half of the audio and instrument tracks not work for him.

When I suggested the idea of backing everything up on one of the many portable hard drives we have around the place just in case, that seemed to further escalate his fear. So I was able to reassure him that I would do my research, that we still have a few weeks to iron out any concerns.

So what can people tell me about this transition?

Last Question… (With some back ground context first)

When I purchased a license for Absolute 6, I was able to use the Steinberg Activation Manager, which has been a quantum leap for me not to have to use another dongle along with Cubase 11. (I am very much looking forward to taking the dongle out of my PC tower when I purchase Cubase 13
When I log into my Steinberg ID, I am able to see what licensed products I have purchased and registered. (As well as any products I have had a free trial with) Which is no different to how things look for me when I log into my Native Instruments ID or Spitfire Audio ID.

My father can use all products I have purchased from Native Instruments because he is logged in under my username, same with Spitfire Audio. This is because the EULA allows for the software to be installed on a maximum of 3 devices. We have been able to use both Native Instruments Products and Spitfire Audio Products simultaneously all the time for the past 5 or so months.

Theoretically, since Steinberg has virtually the exact same language within their EULA (End User License Agreement) under the clause that states the number of devices (3 activated devices)

After purchasing and installing Cubase Pro 13 on my PC/Studio Set Up, then removing the USB-eLicenser from my PC for Cubase Pro 11 (then keeping it nearby and safe), would I then be able to remove the eLicenser from my fathers computer, and uninstall the Steinberg Download Manager and Steinberg Library Manager.
When I re-download and reinstall the Steinberg Download Manager, (which also downloads and installs the Library Manager and Activation Manager.) Finally, would I then be able to login to the Activation Manager, Download and Library Mangers with my personal Steinberg account to download and Install Cubase Pro 13 and Absolute 6 thus activating both products on a 2nd device?

I am hoping that before I even consider this, are there any known issues for anyone who has upgraded from Cubase 10.5 or below to Cubase 13 when it comes to opening Cubase projects created on C10.5 or below?

Because I can put a number of fail safe measures in place so my father doesn’t have to worry about losing any of his work by backing everything up on a external hard drive and possibly creating a Windows Restore Point.

Since we have had no issues whatsoever with sharing absolutely massive libraries from Native Instruments and Spitfire Audio using my login details on both my PC and my fathers PC, while being able to do this simultaneously, I am hoping that Cubase Pro 13 will be no different.

Please let me know you experiences with upgrading and if you have an any issues, and also how you have gone with either Cubase 12 or 13 with the new Activation Manager, and installing it on more than 1 of your own devices. (And being able to run both simultaneously. For example if you run a recording studio and a group of people have booked a slot for you to record them, then while they have dinner the software is still running, and you pull out your laptop and work on something else… Or if you have a spouse, sibling, parent, child, friend, ect where you have been able to activate Cubase 13 on 2 devices and have them running simultaneously…

I have read quite a few posts about people claiming to be able to have 2 or 3 devices running simultaneously…

Please let me know any experiences you have had, good, bad, ugly… I would greatly appreciate anyone who can share any of their own experiences that apply.

Many thanks,



Really, you shouldn’t be “sharing” licenses.

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In the same household between family members working on projects? Say if I have a ABN (Australian Business Number) and we were looking for work doing d grade advertisement music?
So we split the work in half to submit proposals…

It is in the same household, there could be many legitimate ways to set something like that up, otherwise why would they allow 3 devices… Assuming those 3 devices are used in the same household…

Alright, fair call.
Say we both purchase Cubase 13 pro, do you know of any issues for people upgrading from 10.5 or lower where they do not have HALion 7 or Groove Agent 5 and they upgrade to 13 and start working in a project created in 10.5
Do you know where and how this can cause issues or will every single one of the same instruments still be installed?

I didn’t read your initial post. I might get to it after I finished War and Peace. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’m pretty sure Steinberg’s licenses are “single-user” type licenses. I.e. they’re licensed to a person, not a household. But you’d have to read the fine print of the terms to be sure.

I would suggest you install Cubase Pro 13 on your father’s computer and test it out to make sure everything works properly. It will run fully functional in a demo mode for 60 days.

For the majority such an update process would work just fine.

From what I read here on the forums complications can arise from the many preferences files not being transferred from C10.5 to C13 totally correctly. One would notice such an issue by your father’s C13 behaving different than a C13 on your computer.
Another issue seems to be “disconnected” presets for plugins. This is a MediaBay issue. It woud show in MediaBay as entries that have a small “wrong way” symbol. I have stopped following the many details that were discussed when this problem ever occurs so I would not know how to fix it.
Some people report random CPU spikes. Whether this has to do with using project files that were created with former verisons of Cubase or not remains yet to be seen.
Following plugins and functionality are not part of C13 anymore, when coming from 10.5:

  • plugins: Prologue, Mystic, Spectre, Loopmash
  • functions: VSTi undo, Beat Calculator, Project Browser

The good news is that the installation of C10.5 will not be overwritten by C13 and your father should be able to use his current Cubase in case problems occur.
And most stuff would be fixable by having Cubase create new preference files for C13.

But, again, for the vast majority of customers the update has been smooth sailings.


LOL, that is gold!
I don’t blame you, I didn’t realise how long it was until I copy and pasted it into a word doc just in case I somehow stuffed up and lost my post. (With this being my first post here in the Steinberg Forums.) When I noticed it was over 1500 words I was like "no way, and who has the time to read through a War and Peace length post…)

Yeah I am pretty sure you are right, and I am certain that the fine print makes that very clear. I mean with Steinberg doing a complete make over when Cubase 12 was released, I am sure they were as happy as all the loyal and long term users were when that release came outwith the dongle.
Having said that, Steinberg still have to be able to protect their software and have a level of security they are comfortable with that they had with users having a dongle with all their products.

I have been using Cubase for about over 15 years and I am just as against people forming cracked versions of their software and having it stolen by thousands of people as Steinberg is.
At the end of the day, if companies who make very powerful software like Steinberg keep ending up with their software cracked and downloaded tonnes of times, that could not possibly be a sustainable business model and not only could that potentially have a massive impact on Steinberg as a company, but also all the legitimate customers.

But philosophically, I look at the idea of my father and I sharing the same account after we have both about $1000 AUD each in purchasing Cubase over the years.

Thanks for your reply, I will read the fine print of the terms to be sure.

So if I install Cubase Pro 13 on my father’s PC to test it out, how do I launch Cubase 13 in Demo mode? Would the be something that I have the option of selecting the first time I open Cubase pro 13?

It should be pretty straightforward. Use Steinberg Download Manager to install it and it will default to demo mode until you use the Steinberg Activation Manager to enter a license for it. SAM should also show you how many days you have left in demo mode.

Another interesting point is that starting with Cubase 12, you’re allowed to install and license the program on 3 separate computers. :wink:

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Thank you for your very well informed reply, I briefly looked into some of the details you mentioned with the kind of issues and problems people were running into as a result of doing the upgrade from C10.5 t0 C113 before deciding to write my original post here.

I am very comforted by hearing the point that for the vast majority of customers, this specific upgrade has been smooth sailing. I certainly know that from my own experience going from C11 to C13 has been a absolutely seamless transition.

Can you explain to me what you mea when you mention “most stuff would be fixable” by having Cubase create new “preference files” ?

Thanks again for your response.

Ahhhh right, yeah 100% I’ve got what you are saying now.

I just had a look and I have got until until the 5th of may 2024 until my trial finishes with Cubase pro 13 and the 30% off upgrade so that it only costs $200 AUD (About $130 USD) which is available until the 28th of April. So I will give that a go, I just got off the phone to my father and he is happy to go head and do it. I will try the Demo Mode first after backing up all of his Cubase Projects on a external hard drive. He is also very relieved to know that if for some reason he does run into a whole lot of issues, he can just reinstall Cubase 10.5…

Love it!! “Another interesting point is that starting with Cubase 12, you’re allowed to install and license the program on 3 separate computers.” and yes this the impression I have been under. that you’re allowed to install it on 3 separate devices. So since my personal login details are used on my father’s computer for Native Access, Spitfire Audio, iZotope and East West. (Which all allow activation on 2-3 computers), surely we can do the same with Steinberg.

Thanks mate, that is for sure going to be the way I do this.

There is no reason to uninstall it in the first place. They can happily live on the same computer. I have three versions of Cubase installed on one of my computers.

There is a folder on the hard drive where Cubase stores plenty of files collectively known as the preference files.
On PC its location is:
and for Cubase 13 Pro or Artist the name would be Cubase_13_64.

In case of an update the content of this folder will be created out of the folder for Cubase 10.5 or Cubase 11.
This folder can be moved out of its location to e.g. the desktop. If one starts Cubase again then Cubase will create such folder again using its factory defaults.
Of course, one could also delete the folder but moving it leaves room for the option to undo the step.

The main problems I had was 1 or 2 plugins stopped working, often it is a case of the VST2 version doesn’t work but the vst3 version works fine. So it helps to sort that out and just delete the version, or it may get blacklisted…

Some preferences like the play position after stop, and a couple other features, but for the most part upgrading to 13 is smooth, it even transfers over your templates now.

The other thing I had noticed is 13 has a lot of GUI changes so getting used to the new mixer, and left console is taking me a little to get used to.