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Make my own Cubase iLok?

coprhead6

Member
Is it possible to make my own iLok device using a cheap USB stick? Steinberg is charging $28 USD with Cubase 10 Pro!
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I seriously doubt it. It's not just something you can drop on a USB stick. Also if you're buying the boxed version, it should come with a eLicenser anyway.

N.B. - Steinberg calls it an eLicenser. iLok is a similar, but different thing. iLok itself wont work with Cubase.
 

WindcryMusic

Lemurite
I'm curious: does eLicenser also install some sort of drivers on the workstation ala iLok? Or is all of the functionality to talk to the eLicenser compiled into Cubase?

(I looked at this sale briefly, but for the moment had backed away because of the eLicenser thing and my concerns that it is too similar to iLok and risks my system stability ...)
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I'm curious: does eLicenser also install some sort of drivers on the workstation ala iLok? Or is all of the functionality to talk to the eLicenser compiled into Cubase?

(I looked at this sale briefly, but for the moment had backed away because of the eLicenser thing and my concerns that it is too similar to iLok and risks my system stability ...)
if memory serves, there is some sort of eLicencer management software that checks and updates your physical dongle. Similar to what iLok has, I believe. So yes, you need some software in addition to the HW stick and Cubase itself. You'll be prompted to install it during setup though. Never had an issue.
 

whiskers

Perpetual student
I will never understand this mentality. What problems have people had with iLok/eLicenser that causes them to be so hesitant to buy anything that requires these?
agreed. 0 issues encountered on either here. I can get the mentality that it's a hassle, but do you expect the companies not to protect their IP? Doing it in a non-separate utility generally makes the SW a lot easier to crack, from my understanding.
 

David Chappell

Active Member
I will never understand this mentality. What problems have people had with iLok/eLicenser that causes them to be so hesitant to buy anything that requires these?
A bug in the ilok software means it will often cause cubase to crash when reloading a project using ilok plugins, effectively making the project unrecoverable. The only solution is to stop using any plugins that use ilok in any project I want to load again later. I've spent hundreds of dollars on plugins that I can't use because of ilok.
 

WindcryMusic

Lemurite
I will never understand this mentality. What problems have people had with iLok/eLicenser that causes them to be so hesitant to buy anything that requires these?
Check my profile page if you want to know why I have problems with things like iLok. I don't want to clutter up the forum with yet another discussion on it, because I'm not trying to convince anyone else of anything ... I just know how I feel about it. I just asked a simple question ... if you can't or don't want to answer it, that's fine, but I'd ask that you at least not berate me for asking.
 

rudi

Member
The eLicenser looks like a USB stick, but from what I recall when it was first introduced, it includes some processing inside to store and verify licenses (I think it was originally designed by Syncrosoft).

It needs some companion software called eLicenser Control Center that acts as an installer and interface for the dongle.

It has been really stable for me over the years. Occasionally I have had to carry out some maintenance to optimise and sync the licenses (the Control Center does that for you) when a new versions of the software come out.

Steinberg also offer a software based version of the eLicenser https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-us/articles/115001583784
 

jbuhler

Senior Member
agreed. 0 issues encountered on either here. I can get the mentality that it's a hassle, but do you expect the companies not to protect their IP? Doing it in a non-separate utility generally makes the SW a lot easier to crack, from my understanding.
ILok in any case used to be very unstable and regularly throw up improper licensing errors that were very difficult to track down. I haven’t had an issue in several years now though. But the experience made me wary of any software requiring a dongle.
 

AlexRuger

Senior Member
Check my profile page if you want to know why I have problems with things like iLok. I don't want to clutter up the forum with yet another discussion on it, because I'm not trying to convince anyone else of anything ... I just know how I feel about it. I just asked a simple question ... if you can't or don't want to answer it, that's fine, but I'd ask that you at least not berate me for asking.
First: not berating, just asking. Apologies if you got that tone from me.

Also, your question had already been answered, and your reasoning that eLicenser could somehow "affect your system stability" is completely baseless. I highly doubt that Steinberg/VEP/etc would still be in business if their products left a trail of bricked computers in their wake.

Can you link me to a post of yours where you actually state your reasoning? I've Cmd+F'd my way through 10 pages of your posts and found only declarations that you don't use iLok, but none of the reasoning behind it.

I can get the mentality that it's a hassle.
I don't even get that. In what way is it a hassle?

A bug in the ilok software means it will often cause cubase to crash when reloading a project using ilok plugins, effectively making the project unrecoverable. The only solution is to stop using any plugins that use ilok in any project I want to load again later. I've spent hundreds of dollars on plugins that I can't use because of ilok.
Never in all my years have I ever seen or heard of projects being permanently corrupted by iLok. Not even close. Not saying it didn't happen, but this sounds far more likely to be something other than an iLok bug such as user error, or at least nothing that a reinstall of iLok's software can't solve.

I don't mean to come across as some staunch defender of dongles or anything (it's a so-so system IMO, I have no dog in this race), but this mentality of straight-up fear regarding dongles is SO pervasive on the internet, usually steeped in voodoo and misinformation and user error disguised as wisdom, and I find it utterly baffling that it persists. I mean, how many professional studios in the world are happily chugging along running Pro Tools and Soundtoys and who knows what else, all at the same time, without an issue to speak of? Probably 99%, right?

It does real damage because entire vendors who do great work are told to be avoided, which hurts both the developers' bottom line as well as your own work and enjoyment (Soundtoys alone is reason enough to use iLok, those plugins are magic). I can't even count how many machines I've been responsible for that rely on both iLok and eLicenser (hundreds, probably?), and I think I can count a single issue in about a decade where we had to use ZDT.
 

cqd

Member
Yeah, the only issue I would have with ilok is the e25 fee to move a license.. apart from that it's fairly handy..handier than having to go through emails to find registration details anyway..
 

David Chappell

Active Member
Never in all my years have I ever seen or heard of projects being permanently corrupted by iLok. Not even close. Not saying it didn't happen, but this sounds far more likely to be something other than an iLok bug such as user error, or at least nothing that a reinstall of iLok's software can't solve.
It was confirmed by a steinberg developer via their support:

'The crash dump hints at an issue we think is related to Pace (the iLok) and the QL Spaces plug-in. But it seems that Pace is to blame here as their protection and multithreading code don't go along very well in this case.
This is the very technical explanation: "On Windows Pace installs a hook inside the CreateThread call to temporary code during the authorization. A call to CreateThread from another thread might run through that temporary code, when returning from CreateThread the temporary code might have already vanished, i.e. freed, the result is such a crash." '

(Also, it's not the project itself that corrupts, just any ilok plugins in the project. But if a project is heavily reliant on ilok plugins then it's essentially the same)

Either way, that's enough for me to not go anywhere near any plugins that use ilok ever again. There are more than enough developers not using it I'll buy from instead.
 

WindcryMusic

Lemurite
Can you link me to a post of yours where you actually state your reasoning? I've Cmd+F'd my way through 10 pages of your posts and found only declarations that you don't use iLok, but none of the reasoning behind it.
Thanks for the detailed response, Go to my Profile page and click on the Information tab ... I explain my personal anti-iLok (and similar) policy there.
 

Geoff Grace

Senior Member
I will never understand this mentality. What problems have people had with iLok/eLicenser that causes them to be so hesitant to buy anything that requires these?
I've had multiple problems over the years with dongles and other forms of copy protection. Fortunately, copy protection has become much more trouble-free in recent years than it was when I had those bad experiences (during the '90s and '00s), Nonetheless, I estimate that I've lost a week of my life to copy protection gone awry.

I posted about more than one such experience back in 2001 in a forum hosted by the late Roger Nichols. If you're interested in reading about copy protection problems in the early days of software instruments, feel free to click on the link below:

Nightmare Experiences with "Copy Protection"

(My posts are under the screen name "soapbox" in that thread.)

My reason for posting this is to illustrate why those of us who've been around for awhile may be, understandably, a bit skittish about trying new forms of copy protection.

Best,

Geoff
 
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dzilizzi

I know nothing
My biggest issue with the ilok system hasn't been ilok so much as software using ilok tries to install an older version over the one already on the computer. Normally I get the error message that there is a later version already installed but not always. And just the attempt to install sometimes messes things up. Then I have to redownload the ilok software and reinstall it. They should just put a link and tell you to download and install it.

Edited - can't type on my phone.
 

kitekrazy

Senior Member
I will never understand this mentality. What problems have people had with iLok/eLicenser that causes them to be so hesitant to buy anything that requires these?
If you have more than one machine you have to move that dongle to it. iLok is often more user friendly with licensing. I have plenty of stuff that requires iLok with the option of the dongle or the drive and often allows more than one activation. EW, Wave Arts, and Slate are the only ones that only allow one install that I have. UVI has up to 3. As for eLicsenser products they are not so flexible. I still have my elicensers from GS4 and GVI. I like VSL but not their protection plan.
iLok had a bad reputation about 20 years ago. I don't mind iLok stuff. I had to use their support once and responded the next day.
I can understand why people don't want to use their USB ports just to use software. At least with iLok there is a compromise. I'm not sure with eLicenser.
 

robgb

I was young once
I will never understand this mentality. What problems have people had with iLok/eLicenser that causes them to be so hesitant to buy anything that requires these?
Past experience, lost dongles, limited USB ports (I personally have two full hubs), dongles that eventually fail (had this happen before), and the joy of living dongle free. Not everyone has the same experience. And an extra piece of hardware needed to run some software is asking for problems.
 
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