Broadcast Wave Timestamp Bug


I’m trying to move audio files from Cubase to Pro Tools. However Cubase seems to timestamp BWF files incorrectly. When I spot them in Pro Tools they are a second or so out. Is this a bug in Cubase? (using 6.0.6)



I’m using OMF for transfer from Cubase to Pro Tools and back. There is no problem, with any version of Cubase 6 on my Mac OS X.

Is this fixed? I can’t use OMF because I dont want to have to convert hundreds of tracks to mono. And Steinberg doesn’t have AAF support in cubase.

The next best thing is Broadcast wave with timestamping, but I’m reading that this doesn’t work either?!? jeez.

Ok, to eliminate confusion, because I found this to be a less than stellar “feature”, as someone moving tracks to and fro all the time…

With Cubase set to natively use Broadcast Wave (which ALL have timestamp…it’s what distinguishes them from WAV)…the files created in the “audio” and “edits” folder are not directly stamped. They rely on the XML file of the project to do their offset. So, what I’m saying is–if you’re taking the WAV from the project folder and putting it into a system “to timestamp”–you will get hit or miss “correctness”.

You HAVE to export Audio Mixdown to get them out of Cubase properly timestamped. I’ve had ZERO issues if you follow this. THey can be batched in one or two passed per song.

This is a downside to Cubase, IMO…but, not an unworkable one–they’ve done it to keep you in the app if you “don’t know any better”, which is why I think it’s crappy. Logic, you can “export all tracks” --select to ignore fader, pan, and plug in from the resulting menu and have the whole project, mono and stereo out in one pass. That said, I wouldn’t want to mix in Logic, so…

See the recent thread on exporting for mixdown for details on how to properly export without proprietary data. I wish that Steinberg would make an export tracks function that stripped all XML proprietary stuff and just rendered edits, etc–bypassed every mixer setting, and resulted in a folder of WAV files named for their channel names. Suitable to send to a mix engineer. :slight_smile:

Nice so as long as i manually export broadcast wave and it will import to protools at correct spot? Hooray!

I’ve never had an issue…my only issue, is that’s an extra step that shouldn’t be necessary and a little unintuitive (the mono/stereo thing). It is normal operation these days for tracking pieces in the big room…taking them home…remote collaborations…including mixing.

Broadcast Wav (or AIFF which does the same thing–linear PCM with timestamp) ARE the tech that enables recording now. The idea that someone starts and finishes a project alone in a single piece of gear (software in this case) is SO 2001. It does seem like Steiny is making it harder than it needs to be, while being able to advertise that they support the export/import. They do…there are just some hoops to jump through.

Logic? Literally “export all tracks”…i gives you a set of variables to tick or untick…go.

I guess for the future…the “recent post” I refer to with instructions is here:

Even cooler would be AAF support. Then, you get to preserve any automation on the files without having to export. Its available in Nuendo but I dont have $2,000. Please give us AAF support in Cubase, Steinberg. Or else I may switch to another DAW with this feature.


Why would you want to retain automation info?

What on earth could be the real world use of that? A mix…is a mix…a track is a track…if you want to take the tracks from one app to another, why would you want to retain automation for THAT mix to do another?

-it saves you from having to export stems manually to retain a fader move. Its wasted time and wasted hard drive space to re export stems.
-i think it facilitates transfer of tracks from one cubase project to another, once again, saving time and hard drive space.
-fader moves can be tweaked or repaired. If you do a complex automation or fade out and want to change it later its nearly impossible to correct on the dub stage. Having AAF means you are free to change automation later and dont remove information from the original file.
-all the other DAWs have AAF and steinberg could easily include it for cubase users.

I’m changing my original post because I finally figured things out. The time-stamps are actually correct for files recorded internally in Cubase, it’s just that the file is 1 second (or however) longer than what is displayed in the project window because of the punch-guard or whatever they call it allowing you to drag the beginning of an audio file out. The file will spot into protools differently because the file is actually longer than what you see in cubase’s project window. The actual audio material will hit the right timings however.

This is only an issue if you’re lining up files to a grid in pro tools that is matching the grid in cubase because the files coming from cubase will need to start start slightly sooner and therefore the start times won’t lock to the grid. This is completely understandable though. To have files line up to a grid you do have to do an audio export. This behavior imo is completely workable. Thanks Cubase!! It would be nice to mention this somewhere in the manual however.