Collaboration mac and PC

Is a PC and a MAC Cubase artist (both same version) can collaborate together. Are file compatible?

Can a mac with Element collaborate with a PC that have artist installed?


Any DAW on any platform can collaborate.

Let’s say I want you to add a guitar part to my song.

I send you an mp3 of my song, you drop it in your DAW then play to it.

You send me a mix of you playing to my song.

If I like it I tell you send it to me.

Then you export the wav file of your guitar playing then compress it with monkey audio and send it to me.

You export the wav file from the beginning of the song to make it easier for the receiving party to place it in their song.

That’s how they do it on the collaboration site I go to: MCS

I run Mac and PC Cubase (Full) versions and they’re fully compatible.

I also share my Cb Full projects with other people who run Artist and very early on they also used Elements. We’ve only had one problem and that was a new project I created on Cb Full which wouldn’t load on Artist. Didn’t find out why, but it only happened once, we dumped the project. It could actually have been because they were on 7.0 and I was on 7.5 at that time…


Tacman7 is absolutely correct with one important exception. Do not use Monkey Audio, or any proprietary format unless you are a hundred percent sure that recipient can open it! It’s best to stick with generic compression formats, such as zip and rar.

I found this in GS:

ZIP or RAR is a lossless scheme that reduces data size without affecting the sound quality at all. It is very effective on some types of data. However, it is nearly impossible to use schemes such as ZIP or RAR on audio, the data reduction rate is extremely low. The only option here is Monkeys Audio ( which is far better at lossless data compression. Monkeys Audio is PC only, not Mac.

That’s from 2006, they have a mac version now.

I see people just sending wavs, guess if your connection is fast enough.

Monkey Audio compressed archives has been known to cause problems on Macs. If the recipient can open the compressed archive, it doesn’t matter how high the compression ratio is. It’s useless!

This is not true. Remember, we’re talking about compressing “stems” here. Therefore it is all dependent on how much silence there is in the audio file. I did a quick check with a couple of stereo tracks that both clocked in at 52.2 MB. One containing a drum track that is playing through the whole song (there’s just a couple of bars silence at the beginning). The other an orchestra mix that only plays at the end of the song and contains, maybe, 75% silence.

The drum track audio file compressed to a 47,8 MB zip file. The orchestra track audio file compressed to a 22.5 MB zip file. Mind you, I used the “Compress” feature build into OSX, which is far from optimized.

I’d rather give a collaborator a file format that I know that he can use, than one he maybe can’t. So the it’s very simple. If you do want to be sure that the recipient can use your file, use .zip. If you don’t, please, go ahead and use Monkey Audio. I just hope that you enjoy having your collaborators complain.

A further benefit with using .zip is that you can be sure that you will be able to open the file at any time in the future. With Monkey Audio compressed files, you’re not. I’ve learned a similar thing the hard way.

About 25 years ago, the “big” audio file format was .sd (Sound Designer). It was regarded as the professional choice, while .wav and .aif was regarded as toys. Today it’s difficult to find a program that can open .sd files. .wav and .aif, on the other hand are all over the place. That why I always use .wav, .aif and .zip. I can open them in any DAW and I’m sure that they will be around till the end of civilization. I don’t trust that Monkey Audio will!

I use .rar all the time to compress things, usually stems going to mix stages. Stems invariably contain silence, and as Svenne mentioned it works really well for this.

I have been working with a friend who is a keyboard player. I email him the backing track on mp3 and he returns a midi file. It works seamlessly. You just have to remember to send the tempo info (and of course the chord chart). We use dropbox for any larger file or groups of files.

He uses Logic. I t has been a fantastic way of keeping a long distance musical relationship going.

While we’re on the subject of sharing files, I switched all my Cb shared projects to FLAC format (lossless compression), then I downloaded a free app called BitTorrentSync to share the top level directory of Cb projects with other people.

This app is like sharing on dropbox but it doesn’t put the files in the cloud it simply shares across the internet directly between computers running the app. The advantage of this is that there’s no size limit, therefore no cost for giant projects. The downside is that your limited by people’s upload speed (which is generally 1/10th of their download speed), and also you need to leave a computer on somewhere if people are to sync at weird times :slight_smile:

It works well though, they end up with an exact clone of my project or I with their’s, so much easier than working with MP3s or other things (which I do with another band because they’re on Logic). Our top level folder is currently only about 15Gig in size but getting bigger steadily.


You are aware that MP3 is a destructive compression format, aren’t you. It should never be used to transfer production audio. You should really consider using Wav or Aif when transfering files to your Logic-using partners.

On the other hand, if the audio files are only meant as a means to check something out (non-critically) or as temporary backing-tracks (that is not to be used when mixing), MP3 is an excellent format to use.

Just make sure that tracks that has been though the MP3 coding/decoding process are never used in the mix. Their audio quality is degraded!

Haha, yer, sound advice - no pun intended!! I actually send midi files for the Logic collaboration (after receiving MP3s) and I’d probably send AIFFs if I was sending audio files back - as it’s Logic on Mac.


Sure but it works fine as something to play to to create a usable track.

There is one thing about the mp3’s though, to get the timing perfect you need to cut off a little silence at the start of the file. I prefer to use .wma because they drop into a project and are ready to go.

I agree the CPR files should be fully compatible when both computers use the same version, can collaborate on Mac and PC.

It makes sense not to load projects created/completed with a more advanced version in an inferior version.
Keep in mind the missing features, FX and instruments.

You should check out the cubase comparison chart to plan your project It’s clearly listed:

It makes sense not to load projects created/completed with a more advanced version in an inferior version.
Keep in mind the missing features, FX and instruments.

Well, this is what we do and it’s actually fine - apart from the once mentioned above. Plugins which aren’t available in the Artist version are greyed out (and I try not to use them) but they come back when I load into the full version. And as far as I’ve noticed there’s no features which stop Artist from working and loading the project, we interchange projects on a very regular basis with no problems.

I think for a band it’s a great way to work because I’ve got the full version and I do all the complex stuff like time-warping, tempo-warping, tuning up, mixing, tidying, etc. and the two other people I work with can hear the project exactly as I do but they pay less for their version because they don’t need the features that I need. They simply need to record instruments tweak the arrangements, tweak midi etc, and that’s about it.


I use a dual monitor PC as my main system and store my Cubase projects in a shared folder.
I occasionally use these same projects on a 27" iMac (single screen).

All I do is connect to the PC using the OSX Finder / Connect to server
Then Open the project over my network
The change the Cubase workspace to one that I configured for the iMac - This is to fix the display # and size differences stored in the project.

When I go back to the PC I just select the PC workspace.

For songs that are using Kontakt I need to reselect the samples folder when I change machines since they are in different locations. Kontakt stores these locations in the Cubase Project (I think)

Sometimes I am too lazy to move the dongle to the iMac and just use Cubase 7 Artist which I also have in the iMac. Some of the plugins are missing in CB 7 Artist but when I go back to the PC using full Cubase 7.5 – none of the plugin stuff is lost.

And I run CB 7 Elements on an MS Surface Pro 3 because the dongle is to scary to use – and I can still run the projects later in the iMac and main DAW.

A friend in the US has been writing songs that we have been recording using Cubase Artist 7.5. As I live in the UK, we have been using Dropbox to collaborate and this has worked very well for us. The 5 hour time difference just about eliminates any conflicts but when one does arise, Dropbox gives us a ‘Conflicted Copy’ and leaves it up to us to straighten out, and that is pretty easy to do. We did upgrade Dropbox to the gazillion megabytes so we don’t have to worry about managing our space.