ARR files

Is there a practical method of opening an ARR file on a Windows 7/64 computer (Cubase 7 installed)?

I need to hear from someone who has researched the possibilities, including the free download of Cubase 3.1, and actually MADE IT WORK :slight_smile:

And this is how you do it.

The downloadable Cubase 3.1 for Windows crashes on ARR files. But it’s OK with ALL files.

There’s an Atari ST emulator called Steem. Cubase 3.01 for Atari can be obtained. It opens ARR files and saves them as ALL files.

You can take it from there…

I’ve found the best way to run SX3 under Windows 7 is to take the “Program Files\Cubase SX 3” folder from a working XP installation, zip it up, copy it across to Windows 7, unzip it (anywhere) and run the exe. I’ve just checked again and I can open old .ARR files and save them as .cpr, no problem. I can’t remember which version of Cubase they came from though.

Steem is a seriously good ST emulator though, and well worth investigating in its own right. There are thousands of ST MIDI programs out there that, compared to today’s offerings, are very innovative and imaginative.

Oh! That’s interesting, have boxfuls of Atari floppies from pro 24 that have been keot and would love to get the files off them, any one managed to achieve that?

I see two tasks here, namely to get the files off the floppies first, and then to convert them from Pro 24 format to something usable.

Atari disks were usually 720k format and slightly different from the format used by Microsoft in MS-DOS. The main problem here is that support for 720k has been dropped from Windows. Google is your friend here to find a way to read the floppies – there are free utilities out there if you look.

If you get over that hurdle, the next problem is how to convert the Pro24 files (which I think had the *.SNG extension) to something Cubase can read. One method, if you still have the Pro24 application, would be to run it on Steem and load the files; then either try to export the project as a MIDI file (I can’t remember whether Pro24 had that capability) or if all else fails, play the project out through a MIDI interface from Steem and capture it in realtime using Cubase. You could try using a “virtual MIDI cable” driver if you don’t have a physical MIDI interface.

On the other hand, if you still have the Atari Pro 24 application, you could try to pick up an actual Atari ST and play the projects from it’s MIDI out to a PC or Mac running Cubase.

If you no longer have the Pro 24 application disks, you’ll have to search for some utility out there to do the conversion – but I’m sure you’re as well able to Google as I am! :wink:

Thanks for that, hehe, forgotten all about the differing prefix that was used in the early days.

Actually seen a few 1040’s come up on ebay as it goes. Remember also seeing a post on here somewhere about a facility that actually do just what’s required, just post them the disks and you get a cd back with all the files on. Probably posted before the forum was trashed by SB

As you mention, the disks were actually readable on an early Compaq PC around the time SB released their first PC version, maybe first step is to get a floppy drive and find an early windows emulation or what ever, but will check out Steem and give google something to look for over the weekend.

Maybe SB could be kind and open the doors to their museum and offer people the use of early generation hardware & software :slight_smile:

To read Atari disks you can use a disk editor to swap the first two binary digits of the boot sector. Then it (the disk at least) will be read by PC.

Mmmm … now you’ve got my curiosity up :smiling_imp: … OK, I’ve just tried this and it works, even on Windows 7 x64:

  1. Plug in a USB floppy drive and insert the ST disk
  2. Download Gemulator Explorer from here – the version you’re looking for is 2.03 in GEMXPLOR.ZIP – unzip it and run GEMXPLOR.EXE
  3. Navigate to the A: drive (choose “Non-DOS floppy on A:”), wait a few seconds (remember how slooooow floppies were?) and then just drag-and-drop the files you want!

Once you’ve got the files, you can then get the Steem Atari ST emulator, install Pro 24 there, export as MIDI files and off you go!

There is one hurdle with running Cubase with an Atari ST emulator. Cubase was dongleprotected even then, and as far as I know no Mac or PC has the gaming port that the dongle used. So unless you use a cracked copy of Cubase, which I believe is illegal and not recommended, I don’t see how Cubase will run on an Atari ST emulator.

Reading the discs is relatively easy though, and requires no emulator. The Atari disc format was very close to DOS, so any PC should be able to read them. What might cause a bit of trouble is that the tracks on the Atari floppy drivers didn’t line up exactly with the drives in most PC’s, so not all PC drives can read them. If so, you’ll need to test several drives until you find one that works.

We’d been talking about Pro 24 and not Cubase, and so far Outsounder hasn’t said he doesn’t have the original. There is however a legitimate freeware version of Cubase Lite for ST that can be downloaded (RIP Tim) that could be useful for converting old files (scroll to the downloads section at the end of that page).

Yes, but don’t forget Windows no longer supports reading 720k disks, so believe me, you need something like Gemulator Explorer to transfer anything off them.

[EDIT:] For reference, I just found this other post from someone with a similar task in mind:
Atari Pro 24 floppy files into C6

Sorry, I thought this thread was about .ARR and .ALL files. The Cubase file formats! Laurence Paynes original question was about using Cubase 3.01 for Atari with a simulator, which I still contend is not possible (legally).

Thanx. Not being a Windows user, I wasn’t aware of that. However, that proves my philosophy “Never throw anything that works or can be repaired away!”. You never know when that old outdated useless junk will become a lifesaver, do you? :wink:

Regarding using the “Cubase 3.1 trick” to convert .ARR and .ALL files, let me tell you a little story.

Many years ago, did this. I used Cubase 3.1 for the Mac to convert the files, Then filed them away and forgot about them. Then, a couple of months ago, we decided to re-visit those old recordings. I loaded the converted files into Cubase 7 and…Silence! Cubase worked just fine. There just wasn’t any MIDI being played back!

It turned out that, during the conversion process, all MIDI values had been set to zero!

Fortunately, I still had had the old files left (never throw anything away, remember). I re-did the conversion. This times on a Windows PC I happened to have lying around, since Cubase 3.1 won’t run on my current Intel Mac. This time it worked just fine. All MIDI values were kept.

If the problem arose by using a Mac the first time, or not, is not important. What is, is this: Always check your converted files, less some error pops up and bites you later, and never throw the originals away, if it does anyway.

Still have the original “Cubase VST” box for PC, that was installed on a Compaq desktop which could read the Atari disks. still have the bloody big old dongles that screwed on the back with a printer through port as well, so probably the original Pro 24 and cubase disks are stashed away somewhere, never actually sold the atari, it had bombed out around the same time and scrapped not after Atari launched the ill fated falcon before they went all soft, shame really their OS was a wonder at the time compared to the multi windowed windows :slight_smile:

I had the same issue, I found an old hard drive with lots of old work. I tried to install Cubase VST5 on my XP machine (which has an LPT port for the big blue dongle) but it wouldn’t install. I contacted Steinberg telephone support where a nice man told me to destroy my LPT dongle and send a photo of it…I got a Cubase VST5 activation code for my eLicenser within half-an-hour. Slightly disappointed with the material :wink: but it was a great trip down memory lane. :sunglasses:

I’m not sure what early Cubase versions can read the *.SNG file format of the Atari ST version of Pro 24, but as far as floppy disks are concerned, back then if you formatted a 720k disk under DOS it was usable on the Atari ST, so many people simply bought pre-formatted 720k DOS disks and used those to simplify the transfer between ST and PC. I still have some “public domain” disks (remember those?) for Atari ST that are readable on PC.

As Svenne pointed out, you can’t get dongle-protected versions to work in an Emulator – at least not in any ST emulator I’m aware of. I tried the freeware Cubase Lite on Steem and it doesn’t appear to read .SNG files (I don’t have any I can test though … it defaults to .ALL).

The simplest method in your case might be to revive the hardware ST after all. I can testify that these things are great fun for a Sunday afternoon once you’ve figured out how to get MIDI software from the internet onto the disks and loaded. If you find something you like, you can continue to use it on Windows with the help of Steem and a virtual MIDI cable driver. I have to say, music software was a lot more adventurous and inventive back then …

Not sure where you’re located geographically, but if you want to get your Atari ST repaired in the UK, you could try here.

Oh wow! That’s very useful to know … should help Outsounder?

Oh! if I send them a photo of the box maybe they’ll send an activation code for nuendo before all the free hours run out :slight_smile:

I think he meant that you need to have the parallel port dongle, smash it with a hammer or something on Steinberg’s instructions, and then send them a photo. :stuck_out_tongue: Better still, think up some spectacular way to destroy it and put it on YouTube for us all to enjoy! :laughing:

Maybe also take a picture before the detonation, so that the sticker reporting the version is visibile :laughing:

Sebastian at Steinberg support asked me to make sure the sticker on the side of the dongle was visible, mine just said “Cubase” - no version number. I hacksawed it in half - Damien Hirst would have approved. The photo made Sebastian chuckle :0) I’m pretty sure I spoke to you a while back Fabio - you can see I got there in the end!

Yes, indeed, we spoke a while back :slight_smile:
Glad you got there and had your license transferred.

Kind regards,