Back Up Project... or does it?

Hello all. I am using Cubase 12. Recently I have had a couple of instances where I backed up a project into a new folder with a new name. Then some time later I deleted the working projects which were part of the creative process. Upon opening the backed up project I am being told that certain audio files are missing. These are sometimes some of the “bounces” and sometimes actual samples. I haven’t had this happen before. I was always under the impression that “Back Up Project” created a copy of everything into a brand new audio folder. But this hasn’t been happening - it’s looking for audio in the original development projects which have been deleted. Any ideas how to make “Back Up Project” actually do that? At the moment it’s “Back Up Some of The Project”.

Something I am finding is that if I chop a drumloop and bounce that chop down to say, a single snare, and then drag that into Groove Agent - the audio for it is lost if I do a “Back Up Project” and delete the original project. Do I have to save a GA kit every time then? It would be a lot more useful if Cubase had the option for a “comprehensive backup” which did the same as “Back Up Project” only with every single sample and bounce included, regardless of how it has been used.

What settings do you use when you perform the backup?

What version was that and what version do you use now?

Hi, thanks for the reply. The settings are the standard ones that automatically come up:

OFF Minimize Audio Files
ON Make Direct Offline Processing Permanent
ON Remove unused files
ON Do Not Backup Video
OFF Do Not Back Up Mixdown Folder.

The version is the same one I’ve been using for a year now - 12. It has for some reason started asking for audio files which were in use but which have not been added to the audio folder of the newly backed-up project, or into Groove Agent. I’ve just lost a complex drum loop because of this.

It seems that in order to prevent this happening I need to keep all of the original working projects intact and in the same place to avoid requests for audio data.

A part of what’s going on in your case might be this:

Yes it does sound like it. There appears to be a black hole somewhere in the Cubase back up process which leaves samples (and bounced samples) lost in space. I have had this with Sampler Track and Groove Agent. It seems there are certain instances when an unaltered file path is required to the original development project - which can make things really messy. It is possible that Cubase is not “seeing” some files during the back up process. It’s not good when you can’t be 100% reliant on the back up process. Interestingly this never ever happened back in 2014 when I was on Cubase 8. Back then all the files and links remained intact, even with all development projects deleted.

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Right, now that you’re mentioning it, this has happened to me with Groove Agent patches too when I’ve pulled external samples into it.

That’s why I have a tiered, geographically and technologically distributed backup scheme for my Cubase projects and associated files.

I’ve had to go back countless times to pull files out of those archives that somehow got lost due to this Cubase issue.

Never trust computers.

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Groove Agent is an ‘external plugin’ and no different than any other ‘sampler’ in this respect. Regardless of where the audio you drag to it comes from, it has absolutely nothing to do with the Cubase project. Just like if you were to use Pigments and drag a sample in, or Halion, or Kontakt… That has nothing to do with Cubase.

Of course you need to save the Groove Agent kit and the audio with it if you really want it. Groove Agent does the same thing any software does. It simply points to the audio files location. If you move it or delete, you just ruined your GA Kit.

I use Kontakt extensively and I don’t need to save a “kit” or “patch” or anything else inside it in order to preserve sample access. My projects are littered with hundreds of Kontakt instances, and they are all preserved intact when I carry out a Back Up Project. The information required by Kontakt as to which sample to play, and where it is, is a part of the Cubase project and as such is saved with the back up.

This has randomly not been happening with Groove Agent or Sample Track, and with other audio data as well. If the filepath to the original development project is intact, it will work. If I back up the project and delete the original one, audio is lost.

This is something which didn’t happen when I was using Cubase 8, the Back Up Project function preserved all that information, including unsaved GA kits. But I have GA instances right now where half the samples have disappeared - and the only thing I can think of that is causing it is that these samples have been created by me, within Cubase, as a “bounce.”

Thinking that having bounced audio automatically saved into the project audio folder would be enough to reference upon deletion of the development folder was incorrect. Although it used to be OK.

There is an issue with Back Up Project, which is that Cubase 12 is disregarding audio which has been created within the project, rendered or bounced into the audio folder and subsequently used in GA or ST. I believe it ought to be “seen” by Cubase and a copy of that audio preserved with the back up. It seems I now have to bounce the audio AND export it as a specific file. Having it in the project audio folder is not enough.

In short, Cubase is not fully exporting the audio folder contents upon a Back Up Project, if it contains audio which has been created within Cubase and used in GA or ST. Deletion of the project in which this original resampling was carried out will cause this audio to be lost.

What this means is that, even with Back Up Project, I am not able to work with the back up in the way that I worked with the development project. This is a serious issue (and new) for me.

It does make me wonder what “Removed Unused Audio Files” means, if it is deleting the used ones.

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I guess Back Up Project will copy all contents inside the Audio Pool. Any samples used by a plugin that is not actually physically inside the project will need to be saved after the back up.

The thing I don’t understand is why it doesn’t back up files from the Sampler Track, as these actually are saved in the Pool. I believe this is an ongoing problem for some users here.

I’ve just done some testing and tried multiple iterations, including unchecking Remove Unused Files. What I have found is that, even if the rendered audio remains in the audio folder after the Back Up Project, the link is broken if the original project is deleted or moved. Bizarrely this time it happened to Amigo Sampler (third party) and Groove Agent but not Sample Track.

This is particularly concerning because with Amigo you have to navigate to the actual .wav file on your hard drive to load it. Of course, I navigated to the project audio folder, and loaded the render from there. It exists, as a named .wav file, in the audio folder.

But when I did the Back Up Project and deleted the original project, the link to the .wav file was lost, even though it still existed in the newly backed-up project’s audio folder.

There is definitely an issue with backing up data associated with in-project renders which are kept in the audio folder. Sometimes all data is lost on backup, and sometimes the link is lost, despite the audio file still being visible in the backed-up project.

What this means for me is that I am going to have to change how I work, and I am now going to lose all spontanaiety because I’m going to have to export every single in-project render and load it into whichever instrument from a folder in my sample directory, rather than dragging it in from where I rendered it.

Leaving audio in the audio folder where I thought it was safe is no longer an option, and Back Up Project cannot be relied on to save data.

As @snailcruncher said, this doesn’t seem to be a problem with other plugins.

It’s really pretty simple - if Cubase offers me to “back up a project” (note the choice of words here - “project”), I would like it to, well, back up the project, which means all. of. it.

If it’s leaving things behind, it’s sort of like bringing your car to the mechanic, and getting it back with a bunch of parts missing.

This seems to be one of the major “selling points” of the new CLAP plugin standard. It allows plugins to relay to the host which audio files they use so the host can back up everything correctly. I guess VST3 does not support this.

I think the sampler of a Sampler Track is in reality just a VST3 plugin. Therefore it exposes the same problem as aforementioned.

Just looking at Export Kit With Samples, instead of Save Kit - looks like I may have overlooked this. Hopefully it will solve the issue, although I am surprised that Back up Project doesn’t maintain links to actual audio files in the project audio folder. I’ll see how I get on.