Best practice-messy project to new cleaned version for remix

I’ve been using cubase for a long time now, and have never found an efficient way to achive a proper clean up of a project to reduce file size and preven niggliong crashes when a project gets too complex.

I have a project that has been worked on in several sessions for several weeks and is now about 35 megabytes big and crashes frequently. This is due to general disorganisation - many tracks are muted and there are some VSTi’s that are orphaned (i.e. they have no midi data being sent to them any more) I work generally with midi channels routed to vst instruments and the occasional instrument track (but only occasional as they still don’t support multiple outputs) and a few audio tracks for good measure. I make use of complex routing in the mixer with several group tracks and fx busses.

Is there a good way of cleaning up a project so that I can continue to work on it? - ideally I’d like to export only the important tracks and have them keep their routing through their groups and fx? I’ve tried deleting the elements that aren’t in the track any more, but it doesn’t meaningfully reduce the file size and the project is still a crashy mess. I’ve tried exporting tracks, but this seems to be designed for audio, not midi + vsti - and the limitation of the instrument track (no multi out) means that it is pretty much useless (that and you can’t seem to route an extra midi track through an instrument track!)

how do you guys do this? - am I missing something really obvious?

I don’t want to bounce or export as audio as I’d like to keep finessing the track.

any ideas would be amazing!

T Shark

i usually just select tracks that are either muted or no events on and ‘add to new folder’ disable them and leave them just in case i need them at a later date.

hope this helps mate

Thanks for the reply - that’s kinda what I do already -

I guess what I’m looking for is an approximation of the following:

take all the tracks I’d like to use in a remix, stick them into a folder and then somehow export that folder to a new project and have cubase cleverly work out that it needs to:
1: keep midi tracks associated with their instruments in the instrument rack, and load only the instruments used
2: keep all routings - make sure that all group and fx tracks gets brought in if they are routed through, discarded if not
3: bring in all used autonmation, discard unused automation
4: bring in all used samples to the pool along with their tracks

I’d love this to be as easy as dradding the folder from one project into the other, but it just doesn’t work like that - to export a single midi/vstri instrumenyt track I currently need to save the preset, save the midi track and recreate the inserts/routing - it takes ages!

In the file menu: ‘Back up Project’

Manual page: 52


Thanks Parrot - I do sometimes use the backup project, but it doesn’t do what I want it to do, it still creates a large file and only really gets rid of pool elements as far as I can see, fine for clearing up audio based projects but that’s about it.

  • it doesn’t remove any unused tracks, or unused instruments/instrument tracks and it clearly doesn’t give you the option of which tracks to back up, it’s all or nothing…

as far as I can tell, backup is pretty much the same as copying the track folder and removing removing unused media in the pool.

Try Cleanup but make sure YOU POINT TO THE SPECIFIC PROJECT FOLDER or it can do severe damage. Go through the list of items and make sure there’s nothing you want to keep.

You asked how others do this?

Backup Project!!

Clear away the channels you don’t want and delete anything that is muted, DON’T SAVE. Then the Backup Project will consolidate any files in different locations, empty trash and reduce pool etc and retain all of your routing VSTs and outputs. If you need to, you can return to the original project to pick up any files you may have deleted in error. Just open both projects, drag and drop.


'Spain - you’re right - I did ask what do you guys do, but I must confess I was hoping for a more efficient method that I might have overlooked - and one of the key things to me is that the method you (and I) use doesn’t reduce the file size significantly, even if you delete a load of tracks and automation the resulting reduction in file size of the cpr file isn’t proportional.

I’ve found large cpr files tend to crash cubase more than smaller ones, and that files can bloat over time - it’s like they track your every edit rather than create a snapshot of a project. I was hoping to find a way of starting a new file (without any of the bloat) and copying just the used information(tracks) into it, with the hope of making a more stable basis to work from

Interesting that you say that large cpr files are unreliable for you - I’ve never come across that here.

I do quite a lot of remixing from audio stems and when these projects come to me they are often several gigabytes. Once I have rationalised the audio, cutting away large silences etc. I then use the Backup function and find that the same active content is typically reduced to a few 100mbytes. That’s possibly where Back Up Project works best?

I have only VERY rarely experienced any .cpr problems (I always save sequential numbers just in case). If Cubase does crash which in recent versions is extremely rare, I can normally pin it down to something specific like a VSTi. Unless it’s major software, I generally rule “fail twice and you’re history”.

On VSTi and FX heavy projects, I would agree that the project size reduction is quite small (mainly discarding out-takes) - but still useful. I like the function because it’s quick to do, slims down data, but leaves a previous version intact until I decide it’s safe to discard it.