Steinberg Media Technologies
Steinberg has been providing award-winning, technologically advanced music and media production products for musicians and producers of music, video and film since 1984. Today, Steinberg is one of the world's largest manufacturers of music and audio software and hardware, with more than 1.5 million users worldwide. Steinberg also provides business customers with license-management and copy-protection systems. The Steinberg range of products has long since found world renown in all aspects of modern digital audio processing, and form the backbone of facilities specializing in music composition and production, mastering, restoration, broadcast, sound design, audio post for the film industry among many others.
Since January 2005, Steinberg is a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha Corporation, the world's leading manufacturer of audio hardware. For more information on Yamaha, please visit the Yamaha website at
Global Yamaha Portal.
The Steinberg Story
The MIDI standard was still new and computer technology was still in its infancy when Manfred Rürup and Karl “Charlie” Steinberg meet each other at a recording session for a German rock band. Rürup, a professional keyboard player, and Steinberg, an audio engineer, quickly realize that they have a common interest: the possibilities of computers in music production. Both see a huge potential for the then emerging technologies and begin developing the concept for a revolutionary piece of software: the first “MIDI Multitrack Sequencer”.
The two founders start to turn their dream into a reality, spurred on by their passion and idealism. Armed with a Commodore 64 and a self-built MIDI interface, Charlie Steinberg develops a multitrack sequencer. Meanwhile, Manfred Rürup begins using the new program and starts to win over ever more musicians to the possibilities of this emerging new technology. In the same year, Rürup and Steinberg found Steinberg Research GmbH and release Pro-16, the first software product to carry the Steinberg name.
With the advent of the Atari ST, a home computer becomes available that offers both a graphical user interface and a built-in MIDI interface. Using this new computer as a basis, a new software product is born: the Pro-24. The new software offers a range of, for the time, staggering new features: 24 MIDI tracks, professional scoring, quantization (automatic timing correction for “loosely” played notes) and editing for MIDI parameters like Velocity.
The company is re-christened Steinberg Soft- und Hardware GmbH, a name that is to become synonymous with innovation and creativity over the coming years.
Following on from several years of intense research and development, a new product arrives that will define a musical generation. Cubase 1.0 is significantly more powerful than its predecessors, with new technologies allowing a drastically improved graphical display for musical information and a much-simplified, intuitive new way of using the exciting possibilities of the software. This first version established Cubase as the often copied but never equaled standard for user-friendliness.
Cubase becomes available for the highly popular Apple Macintosh, establishing a Steinberg ethos of cross-platform compatibility that remains to this day.
Cubase for Windows completes the Steinberg product family, and Cubase becomes the first sequencer to be available on all three of the important computer platforms simultaneously.
With the aid of special DSP cards, it becomes possible to compute digital audio effects on a standard computer. Steinberg founds the Spectral Design GmbH company to develop plug-in effects.
This year sees a development that can only be described as revolutionary. Virtual Studio Technology (VST) is incorporated into Cubase, with Cubase VST becoming the first native software to incorporate this real-time studio environment including EQs, effects, mixing and automation. Using an Apple Macintosh, 24 audio tracks can be played simultaneously with an unlimited number of MIDI tracks.
Cubase VST is introduced for PC. VST and ASIO are released as open standards that allow third-party manufacturers to develop plug-ins and audio hardware, marking the beginning of a long-term commitment by Steinberg to open platforms and technologies.
As a market leader in the development of professional music software, Steinberg enters the consumer market. The new product “creative tools” line allows just about anyone to enjoy music in a creative way. Version 2.0 of the VST standard marks the second phase of the VST revolution with the advent of virtual instrument plug-ins for the VST environment. ASIO 2.0 and remote control allow even better integration of hardware and software.
Steinberg’s Nuendo digital audio workstation enriches the pro audio market by introducing a new paradigm. Using completely native technologies, scalability and flexibility are united with peerless audio and surround features within one application: Nuendo. Steinberg Soft- und Hardware GmbH is renamed Steinberg Media Technologies AG.
Steinberg presents HALion, the first integrated virtual sampler, at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. Steinberg also releases the Houston remote controller. In December, The Grand is released, a virtual concert grand piano incorporating an intelligent VST-based audio engine; the new product sets standards in sound quality and playability.
Steinberg presents a pioneering new technology: VST System Link. The new technology allows the intelligent networking and sample-accurate synchronization of audio computer systems, and restates Steinberg’s technological lead in professional audio applications. Cubase SX and Cubase SL, the new versions of Steinberg’s leading music production application are presented in the spring of this year. Other new products in 2002 include Warp VST, a virtual guitar amp plug-in and a new 4.0 version of WaveLab.
Steinberg announces its acquisition by Pinnacle Systems in January 2003. Steinberg continues to develop professional solutions for audio and music production as an independent business unit, “The Audio Group of Pinnacle Systems”. New products are announced at the Musikmesse in Frankfurt, Germany, including the innovative new Xphraze phrase synthesizer, HALion 2.0 as well as the Groove Agent virtual drummer. Cubase SX2 and Nuendo 2.0 mark two new milestones in the development of these award-winning products.
Steinberg launches the Steinberg Media Solutions product line with the introduction of Cubase System|4 at the beginning of 2004, which is extended by the release of Cubase System|2 in the spring of the same year. Steinberg celebrates its 20th anniversary at the Frankfurt Musikmesse; at the prestigious mipa awards hosted at Musikmesse, Steinberg receives a record six awards. WaveLab 5, HALion 3, Cubase SX3, Nuendo 3 and the Nuendo DTS Encoder are all released in 2004.
Although already announced at the end of 2004, Yamaha closes the acquisition of Steinberg from Pinnacle Systems in January 2005. From January 21, Steinberg is an independent company within the Yamaha group. Kaz Kobayashi becomes Managing Director, and a new phase of co-operation and co-development between Yamaha and Steinberg begins.
Steinberg publishes a new generation of Cubase. Cubase 4 and Cubase Studio 4 offer exciting new technologies, and represent the first products worldwide to offer the latest VST3 technology.
In early 2008 Steinberg releases the VST 3 software development kit (SDK). The third generation of the popular plug-in standard offers exciting new possibilities for developers of host applications, audio plug-ins and virtual instruments. In summer, Sequel 2 excels with new features for hobby musicians and live performers. Another outcome of the close cooperation between Steinberg and Yamaha is the release of three new hardware products. The MR816 CSX/X FireWire audio interfaces and the CC121 Advanced Integration Controller offer a unique level of integration with Cubase 4.5. All of them are soon praised by the press and valued by Steinberg users around the globe.
Steinberg celebrates its 25th anniversary and unveils the fifth version of its flagship Cubase at the NAMM Show in January, getting the year off to a good start. After acquiring the eLicenser technology in 2008, Steinberg is now providing a sophisticated license-management and copy-protection solution already used by many software companies. Introducing the third incarnation of The Grand as well as the two-in-one CI2 USB interface and AI controller rounds out the impressive line-up of Steinberg products.
Steinberg opens a new chapter in the 15-year-long history of its renowned mastering solution WaveLab. By following Steinberg’s cross-platform philosophy, WaveLab 7 is being released for both Mac and PC platforms. What’s more, the acclaimed VST workstation Hypersonic 2 gives way to its truly worthy successor, HALion Sonic, and the mobile CI1 and CI2+ units complete the CI series of USB-powered audio interfaces. Not to forget the release of Nuendo 5, the latest and greatest incarnation of the world’s leading native post-production environment.
This year starts off with the release of Cubase 6, the latest edition of Steinberg’s state-of-the-art DAW. By introducing VST Expression 2, advanced multitrack editing tools and a variety of valuable enhancements, the new version once again sets the standard for professional music production. Next up is HALion 4, the long-awaited update that transforms the HALion sampler into a universal sound creation system. Autumn arrives and Steinberg introduces further new hardware products: CMC is the world’s first modular controller system for Cubase, whereas the UR series comprises two unique USB audio interfaces. Other highlights of 2011 include the release of the RND Portico plug-ins, the Yamaha Vintage Plug-In Collection and Sequel 3.
With the release of Cubase 6.5., Steinberg is getting the new year off to a good start. Throughout the year several new VST instruments such as Padshop, Padshop Pro, Retrologue, Dark Planet or Neo Soul Keys are welcomed by musicians around the globe. In November, Steinberg establishes an R&D center in London to focus on developing software for the music notation and education markets. And if that wasn't enough, the year ends with the release of Cubase 7, a major update that introduces the brand-new MixConsole, VST Connect SE, Chord Track and dozens of workflow enhancements. Not to forget, the post-production world sees the announcement of Nuendo 6.