Best way to sync two computers

Hey guys,

What is the best way to synchronize projects between two computers: PC (large projects) and a notebook (which is not as powerfull, which i take with me for training with the band) ?

Problem is that larger projects is impossible to open on slow notebook, so i need a way to synchronize or open only part of the project.

There are ways:

  1. Render larger project as audio only, but doing so each time the project changes is too much work?
  2. Sync specific tracks using steinberg cloud, can i sync only part of project or will it automatically become a different project?
  3. Sync project folders using something like bittorent sync, but can I open only specific tracks?

What’s the way you use or you advise?

Cheers for the answers! :smiley:

It’s difficult to say what the ‘best’ method would be, but here are some things you might consider and try.

Use MIDI Time Code (MTC/MMC), and set one system as Master and the other as slave (See under the Transport Menu, “Project Synchronization Setup”). You could use a MIDI cable if you have interfaces on both computers, or use an rtpMIDI driver to do it over a LAN/WAN ( Find a free rtpMIDI driver here: rtpMIDI | Tobias Erichsen ).

You might also find success using Steinberg’s own VST System Link protocols. Check the manual, and here’s a quick article that helps summarize what it’s all about. Steinberg VST System Link

VST Connect (A Collaboration Tool) might be useful as well. It comes in an SE version with many Cubase versions, and can also be upgraded to a more robust pro version:

It is also possible to use plugins such as ‘reastream’, which can stream MIDI and/or audio over a LAN. Note that latency can be an issue with this method when streaming an audio bus output over a LAN, but it still might come in handy for bouncing tracks or monitoring various projects. You can find reastream for free here: ( REAPER | ReaPlugs )

If you have Cubase 8.5, and internet access, then “VST Cloud” is worth checking out as well. This won’t ‘sync’ the two systems in real time, but it might help with managing and moving things between the two systems in an organized and well tagged manner.

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It’s difficult to say what the ‘best’ method would be

Especially difficult when you don’t read the whole question :wink:

There is no partial sync…but possibly the import tracks from project might be helpful if you only need a selection of what’s in there.
Otherwise I think rendering is the best bet…if it’s only for training there is presumably no need to sync back from laptop to desktop?

Well, I sync using BitTorrentSync and my desktop has 2 UAD cards and an 8 core processor so its usually loaded with many hungry plugins. I render things down to new tracks so that when I open on my underpowered laptop then I can mute/disable all the tracks/VSTi’s which don’t sound right and just use the rendered tracks. It works well. I can also edit on the laptop, save as a new version, and then open on the desktop to see/amalgamate the changes. Pretty easy really, except that I have to remember to take the dongle with me :wink:


Im confused.

1, do you have access to your stronger computer when you are with the band?

2, If you do not have access to your computer when you are with the band, assuming that you have only your laptop, rendering to audio is probably your best bet. If you need to add something, just use a light sampler to add your midi values, or just record them.

  1. If you do not want to render your midi to audio files and open them in cubase, just render it to a wav?

  2. If you are in the same network that your main desktop is on while you are using your laptop, it is possible to update a file over wifi and linking cubase together. I have heard of doing this, but I have never done it nor have I looked into it. From my understanding, you would need two copies of cubase to accomplish this.

Mike so even if you have very huge projects and you open them on a shitty laptop, you can disable those unneeded tracks? But can you disable these tracks while or before opening the project and not after? So that when opening the project you don’t spend memory on unneeded tracks?

No i don’t have access to the powerfull PC.

This only works if i have both PCs connected to each other all the time? Because i need to synchronize the songs, then take my notebook with me to garage, and then come back and perhaps synchronize again.

Yes, I’m sorry…I should have read your initial question more closely. Using MIDI time code, SMPTE, or VST System link would be ‘real-time’ sync techniques that make both computers ‘work together’ in real time. I.E. Doing large projects where one PC isn’t powerful enough to run everything (or other reasons for wanting to sync gear that provides some kind of time-code support)…so you sync up another one and add more tracks. As an example, I sometimes use MIDI Time code and MMC to sync Cubase with an old standalone Boss 1600 digital recording console, and old Atari ST sequencers.

I had also forgotten that you would need two copies of Cubase to make this happen (or use some other DAW capable of time-code synchronization on one of the systems).

Agreed, Keep everything in project folder that way u only need a USB to move from laptop to PC. as for channel fx, if you’ve found the PERFECT settings then just save it as a preset in the project folder. otherwise remake the channel on ur PC – u might even come up with a better FX channel :smiley:

thinking to sync 2 machines ,one with nuendo 8 for vocals and real instruments audio recordings at 96 khz and other machine with cubase 9.5 mostly for midi and some audio loops at 44.1 khz.
will the machines conflict if working in different sample rates using midi time code or MMC or its OK to go ?

It should be OK to sync different systems to a time code (MTC, MMC, SMPTE) with hardware that has different sample rates. The Master device sends a regular heart beat (time code) for all the ‘slaves’ to use instead of their own clock. MTC/MMC does it all in digital format over MIDI. SMPTE can be used to create an analog/digital time stripe (I.E. Stripe a track on old analog tape, and divert that signal into the DAW…to your ear the track sounds similar to an old phone modem).

I.E. Provided I’m only using the analog audio connectors to jack the old BOSS into my DAW’s machine’s audio device (if I even need audio inputs from the BOSS to CuBase), it’s no problem to use MTC/MMC to sync my old BOSS stand alone multi track recorder that works at 44.1k with an instance of CuBase that I currently have set to 48k. In fact, before I had a powerful enough machine to do D2D recording via computer, I’d use MTC/MMC to sync this thing to MIDI only sequencers.

I.E. If you’re using MMC/MTC or SMPTE to sync multiple DAW machines connected to desk-top mixer via analog connections, then sample rates do not have to match.

If you are trying to sync multiple ‘audio cards/devices’ to the same clock using something like SPDIF or word-clock, then they need to all be set to the same sample rate. Technically, you’d typically choose one device as the Master clock, then set his sample rate, and the rest would slave to the same clock.

I.E. If I wanted to use the SPDIF connection on the old BOSS to connect it to my computer, I’d need to set the audio card/device in my PC to use the clock in the SPDIF clock in the BOSS unit. Note, this would NOT sync CuBase with the MIDI sequencer in the BOSS. I’d also need to set up MTC/MMC via MIDI cable between the BOSS and CuBase.

For Steinberg’s VST System link protocol, I’m not sure. There might be some cases where the sample rates should match (or it might even force the adjustments, or do sample conversion in real time), while it might not matter for others.

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Thank you Brian Roland for the detailed answer. very clear and informative

When I forget the Cubase dongle at home for rehearsals with the band, I connect via chrome remote to the home PC, and I send the Cubase audio to the Voicemeeter banana driver, to redirect it to the remote control service. Then to the laptop I have already attached a sound card that goes into the speakers and so on. It’s not the best because you depend a lot on the connection you have. But it solves the problem.