Steinberg Media Technologies GmbH (trading as Steinberg) is a German musical software and hardware company based in Hamburg with satellite offices in Siegburg and London. It develops music recording, arranging and editing software, notably Cubase and Nuendo. It also designs audio recording and MIDI hardware interfaces and controllers and iOS music apps including Cubasis. Steinberg created several industry standard music technologies including the Virtual Studio Technology (VST) format for plug-ins and the ASIO (Audio Stream Input/Output) protocol. Steinberg has been a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha since 2005.
The company was founded in 1984 by Karl Steinberg and Manfred Rürup in Hamburg. As early exponents and fans of the MIDI protocol, the two developed Pro 16, a MIDI sequencing application for the Commodore 64 and soon afterwards, Pro 24 for the Atari ST platform. The ST had built-in MIDI ports which helped to quickly increase interest in the new technology across the music world.
In 1989 Steinberg released Cubase for Atari, and versions for the Mac and Windows platforms would follow soon afterwards. It became a very popular MIDI sequencer, used in studios around the globe.
Steinberg Media Technologies AG had a revenue of 25 million DM in 1999. It had 180 employees in 2000. A planned entry on the Neuer Markt (New Market, NEMAX50) of the Deutsche Börse failed. The company had a revenue of 20 million in 2001 and 130 employees in 2002.
In 2003 Steinberg was acquired by Pinnacle Systems and shortly after that, by Yamaha in 2004. With its new mother company Yamaha, Steinberg expanded design and production of its own hardware, and since 2008 it has created a range of audio and MIDI interface hardware including the UR, MR816, CC and CI series.
In 2012, Steinberg launched its first iOS sequencer, Cubasis, which has seen regular updates since then.
Steinberg has won a number of industry awards including several MIPA awards, and accolades for Cubasis and its CMC controllers amongst others.
Dorico Team Acquisition
In 2012, Steinberg acquired the previous development team behind the notation software, Sibelius, to begin development on a new, professional scoring software named Dorico.
Cubase was released in 1989, initially as a MIDI sequencer. Digital audio recording followed in 1992 with Cubase Audio, followed by VST support in 1999 which made it possible for third-party software programmers to create and sell virtual instruments for Cubase. Steinberg bundled its own VST instruments and effects with Cubase, as well as continuing to develop standalone instruments as well. Atari support eventually ended and Cubase became a Mac and Windows DAW (digital audio workstation), with feature parity across both platforms.
The WaveLab audio editing and mastering suite followed in 1995 for Windows, and the VST and ASIO protocols - open technologies that could be used by any manufacturer - were first released in 1997. WaveLab would come to the Mac in 2010.
In 2000 the company released Nuendo, a new DAW clearly targeted at the broadcast and media industries. 2001 saw the release of HALion, a dedicated software sampler. A complete rewrite of Cubase in 2002 was necessary due to its legacy code which was no longer maintainable, leading to a name change to Cubase SX, ditching older technology and using the audio engine from Nuendo. Since this time, Cubase and Nuendo have shared many core technologies. Cubase currently comes in three versions - Elements, Artist and Pro.
With the growing popularity of mobile devices, Steinberg develops apps for iOS including Cubasis, a fully featured DAW for iPad with plug-ins, full audio and MIDI recording and editing and many other professional features. It also creates standalone apps including the Nanologue synth and LoopMash. In 2016 Steinberg released Dorico, a professional music notation and scoring suite.
As part of the development of its flagship, the SequencerCubase, Steinberg defined the VST interface (Virtual Studio Technology) in 1996, by means of which external programs can be integrated as virtual instruments playable via MIDI. VST simulates a real-time studio environment with EQs, effects, mixing and automation and has become a quasi-standard supported by many other audio editing programs.
Initially developed for Macintosh only, Steinberg Cubase VST for the PC followed a year later and established VST and the Audio Stream Input/Output Protocol (ASIO) as open standards that enabled third parties to develop plug-ins and audio hardware. ASIO ensures that the delay caused by the audio hardware during sound output is kept to a minimum to enable hardware manufacturers to provide specialized drivers. ASIO has established itself as the standard for audio drivers.
Steinberg's first product, Steinberg Pro 16, was sold on floppy disks. This is version 2.3