I will be working on a Collaboration with a buddy that has version 7.5 of Artist. I own Cubase 7.5. We will be shipping files back and forth and I am wondering if we exchange the entire project folder whether or not they will be compatible? I realize that features in Cubase 7.5 that are not in Artist, will not be working in Artist. But my question is based more on basic functions and compatibility.
We both intend to upgrade our respective packages to ver. 8 - Thus I am also interested in any issues doing the above in these versions as well!
Thanks for reading and any experience and or help that you can share.
Basically you should only use the features that overlap, so only use plugins that are present in Artist as well (or 3p plugs that you both poses), and do not exceed the channel limitations from Artist. For the rest there should be no compat issues. You might want to consider the final stages to be completed in the non-artist version, if only to use some exclusive plugins from the extended version…
Kind of common sense, sorry if this does not really answer your question. Mabe some other cubasista can add more tips?
I do that with two people who own Artist and I own the full version. We haven’t yet upgraded to v8 but all working well with v7.5. About the only problem we have is that I have to keep reassigning my control room outputs when I load a project, not a big problem. I avoid using FX that aren’t available in Artist and if I don’t want to then I try to check the project sounds roughly the same if I disable them (or I render down). We also use a few freebie plugins as well to expand the palette.
There isn’t any difference opening files on either version that I’ve noticed, they sound the same. If plugins aren’t there in Artist then that person can still work on the project, save it and the plugins are back working when the proj is opened in the full version again. We did have one problem when we tried to open a 7.5 proj in v7.0, it told us it was created in a different version… so don’t mix versions.
To share the files we use BitTorrentSync. We chose this because its not shared in the cloud, its synced directly between our Win7 machines (can also use Mac, and I do occasionally use my MacBookPro). I also have an extra PC which I tend to leave on so we can always sync to somewhere at unsociable hours. (with another group of composers I/we use GoogleDrive because it gives 15GB for free, used to use DropBox but not enough space!!)
We try and avoid working on the same songs… So we have a policy of ‘locking’ the project folder by creating a file called e.g. LOCKED_BY_MIKE.txt in the folder and manually eye-balling for this file. We also (try to) never save over the same file, always use SaveAs with an incremental version number. Sometimes we do end up working on the same projects though but at least with the version numbers we can always merge changes later!
Another thing is that we use FLAC files because these are compressed but not lossy. Syncing doesn’t usually take that long because we’re all on fibre broadband but certainly if you’ve recorded a whole day of audio then it will take some time, e.g. an hour or two. If you only write MIDI then this is simply a change in the project file, which takes virtually no time at all, so we try to keep keys in midi. Our top level folder is now nearly 20GB and we’re still only at the writing stage, it will get a lot bigger I’m sure.
I see there’s collaboration in ProTools now, and I expect its on the cards with Cubase as well…
Thanks for the comeback! Yes what you say makes sense and is along the lines I was thinking. I think one way around using Fx or other items in the full version versus Artist is to render these tracks to audio prior to shipping it off to the Artist user! I think one issue is going to be the routing limitations in Artist. I will post what I find out but it might be a while.
Great reply and on target for what I was looking for. Hey I wonder, you say plugs used in the full prg. come back after an Artist open. Are your plugin settings the same or do they change, possibly to some sort of default?
Incrementing files is a good idea and the same sort of deal I was using when sharing other types of files in non related productivity software. So this is pretty much the same ballgame.
I take it your text file is a log and may contain notes on changes made?
Since I intend to ship the entire project folder to the person I am working with, I will likely use wav files and just zip the entire thing down before shipment. Not sure how much compression I will get with the wav files. If that does not work then the FLAC file idea is great!
You said you do not work on the same songs. I think that might be a typo. Did you mean to say you folks do not work on the same version of the song and thus increment up each version and save of the project?
When you open a project and a plugin isn’t installed then it is greyed out so you can’t edit it or do anything with it. You get some warning about this, you have to click OK to keep the plugins present (IIRC). When you later open that project in the version with the plugin then nothing has changed, the plugins are back with the correct settings even if the project has been re-saved in-between in the other version. So, apart from the warning dialogue the whole process is seemless (it’d be nice if this dialogue display could be preferenced out).
Actually, we don’t put anything in the lock file (except a single character otherwise BTSync doesn’t flag the user about the file change). I personally keep the file on my desktop and I just copy it into the directory to warn others that I’m working on that project. We make notes in the notepad in Cb and leave it displayed so the next person can read it when they open the project, and we also email each other about things to be done.
FLAC can save up to 50% on file size. On the other hand, some sharing apps use compression to reduce transfer times so perhaps these work better with Wavs than FLAC, who knows??? We also record multitrack writing sessions so FLAC definitely helps reduce disk space there!
One advantage of BitTorrentSync is that you can load up two or more workstations with the same data, say using a USB stick or HD, and then share them with BTSync and it won’t transfer anything between them straight away because it checks the differences and it will find no differences as they’re both already the same. This doesn’t happen with DropBox, GoogleDrive (or OwnCloud if you do it yourself), they all have to load from one initial machine to the central cloud node then to the next machine - so there’s a whole load of internet transfer right from the start.
Aha, what I meant is we don’t work on the same songs at the same time! And by ‘songs’ here I mean the song folders rather than the actual Cb .cpr files. When we work on a song we first sync everything, then look in the song folder to check for the lock file, lock it it no-one’s using it, then work on it, save new versions, then delete the lock file and finally sync again. Generally I work with BitTorrentSync running and so it’ll be actually syncing in real-time while I’m working. This doesn’t seem to impinge on the performance on my PC so I just leave it like that.
In this group I’m collaborating with 4 people, 2 have Artist, one has Elements (although we haven’t tried much so far with Elements) and one has Cubasis on iPad (just MP3 transfer here usually). In another group I’m using LogicXPro shared with 5 people via GoogleDrive. In yet another group we’re writing between Cubase and StudioOne by transferring wav files from here in the UK to the gold coast in Australia and back.
Another really great, informative post and I cannot thank you enough!
For grins I looked at a song I have been messing around with. The entire project folder was about 2.5 GB. I did a test on it and zipped the whole thing. It went down to just under 2 GB. I was hopping for more like around 50% reduction in size. But not to be, so I think your method of using the FLAC file format is a VERY GOOD idea! Not sure why a wav file does not zip down that well as it would seem it should - go figure. Probably the best one could do is to use FLAC files and then zip it as well. Since FLAC is a compressed file there will likely be no reduction there, but other files may zip down a bit.
Gosh you are doing a lot of collaboration. I bet you are looking for the day Steiny makes provisions for this in Cubase! You are likely very correct in assuming that if PT has this feature it will not be long until it arrives in CB.
Ah, notepad for updates. I make good use of notepad inside of CB a lot. It makes sense to leave update notes there as you do not have to even more typing of version numbers and other redundant info if it was in a plain text file. I put in things like the lyrics to do the song under the lead vocal track. Chords under the rhythm guitar track and so on. Very handy and I wonder how many use this little tool…
I see my buddy already upgraded to Artist 8, so I will upgrade to CB 8 and we shall have a go of it. Any chance you have some magic to share that would improve my playing? -
I’d be interested in what FLAC will do for you, I reckon I might have been quoting the upper reach of its ability by saying 50%, it is probably more likely 60-70% of the original size… Of course its optimised for audio which zip isn’t so it should be better than zip.
I reckon the reason I collaborate so much these days is because internet is fast, petrol is expensive and there’s too much traffic on the roads! Whether it actually speeds anything up I’m not so sure
Ha, traffic and petrol, or gas as we call it in the States is enough reasons for me to e-Collaborate! Unfortunately they both keep going up. Though we are getting a break on gas for the moment. But my main reason for collaboration over the net is that the guy I want to collaborate with, MonsterJazzLicks - Lives on the other side of the pond in the UK, while I am in the Seattle area.
I will let you know what I find on the FLAC vs Zip size comparison. In the end there may not be that much difference but as you say FLAC was optimized for audio. However that brings up a question. I imagine one would want to set up the file format to be used right at the start of the song creation. Lord knows what would happen if you change in the middle of a project. Maybe it would go smooth but something tells me you might end up doubling up some files making an even bigger project folder.
I have converted a few projects from WAV to FLAC when they haven’t been started in FLAC - it works. You can set the project to record in FLAC (Ctrl-S) and then you can convert the existing files using the pool Convert function. I’d recommend backing everything up first just in case…
Yep, I’m in the UK, 40 miles south-west of London. Fortunate to be really close to the M3 motorway which can take me into London quickly or down to the coast in summer or 35 minutes on the train into London too. Unfortunately stuck in the middle of suburbia
So near Winchester? I did a teaching interview there but did not get the job (the guy was a complete prat anyway!).
Did King Arthur lay some stones down there once?
That’s my only experience with that neck of the woods. lol
Traffic in London! lol Well, it’s not exactly ‘lol’ when you are in the thick of it (after 8 x hours of teaching!). btw - how much is the Congestion Charge these days? When I was living there 10 x years ago everyone was up in arms because it went up to a tenner!
Thanks for the scoop on conversion from WAV to FLAC, that is good to know. But I wonder, did you check the project folder size before and after converting the file to FLAC? You have perked my interest and I will do some poking around with this and let you know what I find.
Ah, somehow I thought you might be over there. Cool as I almost went over there last summer but health kept me home. So you have the Beatles and we have Hendrix! Not a bad combo…
I have some results from converting a 2.5 GB project from WAV to FLAC. I did it kind of fast and only glanced at the size after the FLAC file format change and it was for the most recent active project files (no trash files). I got less than 500 MB of size reduction. I really have not been in the pool at all, so I started to look around and noticed a bunch of files in the trash. Mainly from older takes and what not. So I nuked those and my size ended up at about 1.5 GB. This, combined with the FLAC conversion yielded about a full 1 GB reduction in size! So FLAC is a good thing and it is also worth a look to peek at the trash and see if you can do away with that stuff…
NOTE: I further tested zipping the entire project folder and the resultant savings was about 400 MB and the file that started out at 2.5 GB ended up at 1.18 GB. So indeed there was more that was able to be compressed even after FLACing.
If you are still out there can you let me know what “free” plugins you are using in your collaboration with others? I am unsure of what is different between Artist and the full Cubase. I know I can look it up in the Op Manual but I would still not know what you substituted for them.
Thanks for the reply, but I must be missing something. The collaboration we are doing is between Cubase Artist 7.5 and full Cubase 7.5. I know plugins are missing in Artist, for one Curve EQ is only in Cubase.
Thus if you could let me know what free plugs your using to overcome the ones you use that are lacking in Artist that would be a big help.
Been away for a few days holiday! Here’s a few of my favourites. But TBH I just download anything that sounds fun from the KVR newsletter and keep it if its any good. Sometimes when I’m in need I’ll search KVR or other free plugin sites.
Bionic Delay - it has a great feedback sound
Antti &aurus + Easy Taurus - both v. useful for bass pedal and other bass sounds
Tapeworm - a very simple mellotron plugin, tame it with EQ
TAL - been using Uno60 for years, I’ve now bought it! Other plugs are good too
Peach - bleepy video game plugin, very 80s retro
Octaver 12B - simple octave plug, can be good for bass and guitar riffs
Camel Crusher - distortion, useful for gritting up guitars
KR Chorus/Phaser/Flanger - I don’t really use these so much as the built-in plugs
Steinberg legacy plugins - You can download these from somewhere, you get older plugins which are still good but just a little different from the modern ones
About the only free plugin I haven’t yet look for yet is a multiband ‘mastering’ plugin for the mix bus, but I’m sure they’re about.
Yeah I was wondering where you went, thought you might have found a girl or something to keep you busy
That is quite a list. I can see downloading some right away the giving them a try. I kind of stopped downloading a bunch of free ones as I had some less than desirable results with stability and such. Ah the mastering plug would be nice. One thing I do like in the 7.5 version of Cubase is the Curve EQ. Surprise to me that Steiny did not make their own in that kind of style. I really like that it has unlimited bands or points you can use and the nice spectrum analyzer. To me it is a nice EQ and I was glad to see it in Cubase!