Steinberg's VST Live

I bought VST Live as I have recently moved from windows to an iMac, and I wanted something lightweight to run VSTs rather than me having to fire up Cubase all the time. (I still have my windows laptop for live work running with Cantabile).

The Steinberg product is currently very flaky and unreliable, although they are emitting fixes at a fair old rate and the product is getting better with each iteration. They also seem to be very responsive to issues raised on their comments board. Also, unlike others here, I have always found Steinberg very quick to respond to any problems I have had with any of their products.

So for me, it does a lot of what I need it for on my desktop machine - i.e. host VSTs. It is nowhere near as sophisticated as Cantabile, but it does at least run on Apple machines, which of course Cantabile does not.

I would certainly not want to use it for live work at the moment, but I am sure that given a little more time, it will become a capable piece of software.



I use Dmxis for a year now.
Very easy to control with C4 !! Emu is going to cost a lot…I’ll stay on Dmxis !

I’d like to see if vstlive pro is doing good things with DMX…

Maybe Cantabile should open a door to the dmx world. That’d an idea for C5​:blush::blush:

See you


OK, just tried this morning with a friend…
My opinion

Some Nice features like the metronome in very BIG ! Yes that is a cool thing to be able to bring the metronome to every one in a band. I’d like that in C4 ! 1 2 3 4 is better that flash on 1…

Liked the way you can create and link the songs parts to the media player by just 1 click. It’s really intuitive and fast ! Well, C4 can quite do the same…

Dont like the way to create midi track… I didn’t see if we can record…

Don’t like the way all the différent windows appear… It’s really hard to find place… Not readable…

And… Arggghhhh
3 crashes in ten minutes !

Not really interested in testing more because of instability…
I’ll try another day… Maybe… Or Not.

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It depends whether they hamstring it with their infamous licensing system! Although I have heard rumours that Steinberg are going to move away from it.

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I spent a lot of time researching DMX control options in Cantabile. In the end, the simplest and cheapest method that worked for me, which didn’t require the purchasing of expensive hardware and software, was to just use a generic Chinese DMX 512 controller, program all my lighting scenes and just trigger them in my backing track playback via MIDI - all inside Cantabile.

I’ve invested too much time and effort learning to program things in Cantabile and have everything where I need it, I don’t want to start from scratch on another platform. Also Brad’s support of Cantabile is another big drawcard, hence why I continue to pay my annual fee.


Since this thread seems to be looking for opinions not a review, here is mine: I’m sticking with Cantabile and Brad and this community. Cantabile does everything I need and I’m really happy with it.

When I saw the VST Live announcement a few weeks ago, I quickly decided that, for the same reasons that I don’t want to change DAW’s, I’d rather leverage the investment I made in learning software into making music, not testing another piece of software that might make things better, or more likely worse, until things stabilize.

Rock on Brad (and Garth)


They moved from eLicenser to a software licensing mode since Cubase 12. Internet is require only for the first activation. Each license can be installed up to three devices.
That makes me happy, I have no longer the elicenser dongle.

Steinberg’s new licensing system has been a PITA for me. I had two dongles, one of which travelled around with me. Now I’ve had to abandon the second dongle and I can only have three licenses. But the worst of it is that to free up a license it has to be done on the computer in question - no centralised license management!

Since I work in studios all over the world this becomes a trap for me. The first time I forget to de-authorise a computer I rarely use I have a license stuck on that machine until I (if I) go back to it. Or I have to contact Steinberg support (yeah, that’s not going to be a problem… :rofl:)

Not good.

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What is this crap? Anyone can do it: Arturia, Native Instruments, Toontrack, U-He, … all have a functioning central license management system. Why should Steinberg take this as an example? That’s a bit embarrassing. What happens when a computer really breaks down. License gone? The dongles were the reason why I said goodbye to Steinberg years ago, the new license system will probably be one reason (of several) not to return.

It’s already happening. I see people with defunct computers are having to contact Steinberg to have licenses de/re-authorised. And you can imagine that this isn’t happening instantly - or sometimes at all.

I think Steinberg have shot themselves in the foot with this one. I would have happily continued paying for two licenses, but I’m very wary of trying to have two licenses on one account - that’s a recipe for disaster. So I get a poorer licensing system, and they get less money from me - loses all round.

Neither do I dare try to sell my second license as I’m convinced that something would get screwed up with my working license - the potential for confusion and disaster is too great.

The loss of the dongle is a bad move IMO. Sure lots of people seem to be happy about it (all it does is free up one USB port, so I can’t see it’s such an advantage), but I believe that they haven’t yet hit licensing problems. It will come…

I’ve asked Steinberg to re-think it. Hopefully some common sense will prevail, but we will see.

Of course none of this would cause me to abandon what I consider to be the best linear DAW available. Nothing is perfect, and the alternatives don’t bear thinking about.

I have never had problems with either the eLicenser or iLOK, so think this new model licensing is a step backwards. I appreciate I am probably in a minority view there.

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I’ve had nothing BUT problems with iLok - always a nightmare.

But the Steinberg eLicenser always worked fine for me too.

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I guess Steinberg can’t win here - for decades, people have been complaining about the eLicenser (fragile, easy to lose on the road, …), now that there’s complaints about their new non-dongle copy protection, because it’s bound to a machine and not so easily movable…

There will probably not be a way to have copy protection (unfortunately necessary) and please everyone. I guess we’ll get used to it…

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Well I wasn’t one of the ones complaining about the dongle - and I certainly didn’t see any great groundswell of criticism leading to its demise, so my interpretation is that this move saves/makes money for Steinberg - no more, no less.

Steinberg’s ‘win’ was to just leave well alone, but that didn’t suit them for some reason. Well, at least it’s saved me money.

I just hope the masses (and I’m seeing a lot) of requests to reset licenses leads them to create a centralised licensing control application available to users.

Well contacting Steinberg to re-licence your software doesn’t work. I had long email interactions with one of their trainers and tried everything he suggested to no avail.

Then he told me to remove Cubase and re-install it, and it never fired up again.

I even got a completely new set of licence keys (for Cubase Ai 10, Halion 3, Halion SE and Olympus Choir and none of them worked. So after abput 3 months of tearing my hair out, I
Was now unable to play - I had transitioned from keyboard sounds to VSTs and now none of my songs or set lists were any use.

I now have Presonus Studio One, which works better than Cubase ever did for me in the past, as it is much more user-friendly for someone who hasn’t grown up with a DAW.


It’s such a shame. Cubase, as a piece of software, is sublime - easily the best DAW out there, IMHO - but the licensing system is alienating people.

It is complex to switch over from dongle, and it’s made me so wary about keeping what I have working that I’ve halved my outlay to Steinberg (from two dongles to one license), and am terrified of trying to sell my (now) spare license.

I use Studio One from time to time. It does the basics OK, but it lacks the really good stuff, such as VariAudio (Melodyne doesn’t come close for ease of use), that make Cubase the gem it is.

The best DAW is probably always the one that is the easiest for you to use. The features are very similar across the best DAWs and VariAudio can also be replaced by Melodyne which is included in many DAWs. For me, things like workflow, including drag and drop wherever possible, flat menu structure and keyboard controls everywhere and customizable, are what count most for me. Add scalable hardware controllers and you’ve landed at Presonus StudioOne. For me the clear heir to the throne.

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I switched from Cubase to Studio One about 12 years ago because I had the impression that with Studio One I don’t have to click to death to reach what I want and no hassle with the licensing system.

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I’ve just rid myself of one useless, money grabbing POS licencing system in cancelling my Roland Cloud Subscription. Should have learned when they shafted me over Cakewalk Sonar!

I certainly don’t need any more of that sort of thing.

I’m increasingly sticking with a small number of trusted software developers such that, even if a plugin/application looks amazing on paper, I will not touch it if it comes from a source I have no experience or bad experience of.

Makes life much simpler.

In Brad we trust.


In Brad we trust! :joy:Super! And you’re absolutely right :slightly_smiling_face: