Cubasis AV and Cubase VST 5.1 ((?)


In the past I had a SoundBlaster audio card with Software Cubasis AV 1998 for Windows 95/98.
I created .ALL files with that version.

Later I got .ALL files from a friend … probably Cubase VST32 5.0 (or 5.1 ?)
All those files are midi files and some audio-tracks in it. (both versions).

On my new computer Windows 8.1 I can’t install Cubasis AV (neither on an older computer with Windows XP).


  1. How can I see the version of Cubase within the Cubase files of my friend … (WordPad ?? dump).
  2. How can I play both files on my old Windows XP computer or new Windows 8.1 computer?

I’ve read the forum-topic Cubase VST Song import in Cubase 4/5: a solution
In this topic I read: can be run with your current Cubase license >>> BUT… the old software from the SoundBlaster card - Cubasis AV - HAD NO LICENCE … and at this moment I have NO actual Cubase licence.

SO… how can I convert those two file-versions to something I can read and play and edit (without a new licence)

I’m sorry but none of the current versions of Cubase can import the files and the older versions will not install on the latest operating systems.

Thanks for the answer…I’m disappointed :cry:

Can you say something about the versions of the files… I mean: How to determine the version of a Cubase file (.all) …what was the version of the Cubase program that created that file?

And…if files are version Cubase VST 5.1 … can I run that version under Windows XP-pro?

Any suggestion???


Is there realy nobody for a good advice / suggestion ??? :cry:

Right, you’d need Cubase SX3 (and other variants of SX3) to convert your .all files. You’re simply out of luck where Steinberg is concerned, unless you buy a new Cubase version if you want to run those files on the newer Cubase versions that use the .CPR(?) file.

I wasn’t aware that you can’t install Cubasis on Win XP. I guess you could always install on a Win 98 system if that’s the case. I’ve seen Cubase VST 5/32 selling for next to nothing on ebay…and I know 1st hand it runs on Win XP. If you don’t want to buy a new/current version of Cubase, I’d suggest you keep your eye out for some version of Cubase 5 or VST 5/32. If you become a legal/legitimate owner of that version by way of ‘hand me down’ … MAYBE Steinberg will help you transfer that legitimately acquired license to a USB stick, otherwise, you’ll need a computer with a printer parallel port. You can likely buy an older computer at a thrift store or ebay for a pittance…maybe some family member/friend has an old PC in the garage.

If you’re still in contact with that friend who you believe may have been using VST 5/32, can’t you ask them for assistance? Are they willing to convert individual .wav files & individual midi files per track? Can they lone/sell/give you that VST 5/32?

Hi Sync,

THANKS for the answer!

After starting setup of Cubasis AV on Windows XP system it says: “need Windows 95 or 98” … then it ends executing with Setup.

Do I understand well that Cubase VST 5.1 needs an printer-parallel-port for dongle (hardware-device)??
If Cubase VST 5.1 needs dongle…any suggestion of costs to get it from Cubase… any experience?

btw: IF files are Cubase VST 5.1 version >> you say that version will run on a Win-xp pc >> in that case I can use my (old, non-internet) Windows XP pc, In that case I will be lucky :slight_smile:

Friend: “good” contact lost for many years (went other ways)…gather information is no option.

Still question: can I examine a Cubase-file to determine the Cubase version of that file? :question:


Yes, you will need a parallel printer port on your computer to run VST 5/32 because it came with a hardware dongle for that… UNLESS Steinberg will allow you as a ‘legitimate owner’ to put your license onto a USB stick…which I understand that they then force you to destroy your parallel dongle. They actually suggest the USB license transfer in their site here, as a way to run VST 5 on a computer without a parallel printer port.

I’m not ‘aware’ myself of any way to determine if any particular song file in .all format has any means for you to identify what specific version it was created on. This does not mean that capability doesn’t exist, it may or may not(?) but I tend to doubt it. Maybe someone else can chime in on that. I don’t know for sure, but I would THINK that as long as you’re importing a .all file in a Cubase version that uses .all format, or can import .all files - SX3 being the last version to import .all files but uses/creates .cpr files - that it should work regardless :question:

As far as not being able to run Cubasis on Win XP, I don’t if this will work, but have you tried to run Cubasis in a Windows backwards compatibility mode? I used to do this several years ago for a couple of programs/drivers? (I forget what they were :confused: ) and it worked.

In my opinion, VST 5/32 is still a very good program, as long as your set up can run it. The slightly less older SX3 is even better if you can get a hold of a used copy, and it will also allow you to import projects that were created with the .all format…in fact, this is the last version to be able to import a .all project. With SX3, a few of my friends feel this is the last Cubase version ‘they’ really will ever need. plus, with SX3, you don’t need a parallel printer port, so you can use a slightly newer machine & OS than that old thing you have laying around. Then again, VST 5 may be all you’ll ever need, depending on your own criteria. Both can be had cheap, if you’re willing to hold out for one to pop up on ebay or something.

Steinberg probably doesn’t particular like the above statements & suggestions, as they’re not making a new sale :wink:

Compatibility mode: I’ve tried that also. But that does not work. (Cubase AV also wants the Soundblaster-Live Card…. After installing that card it results in a blue screen after reboot)

For Cubase SX3….I suppose you mean: Cubase 3.. (all sub-versions of Cubase SX 3..)?
Can I assume Cubase SX 3.. can read any older .ALL files? :question:
I’ve read Steinberg Cubase - Wikipedia , I see Cubase SX 3.1.* is from about 2005.
Is that version running with Windows 8.1 (64bit) ? Do you have any idee? And does it need a “parallel-port-dongle”?

and: is Cubase VST32 5.1 running with Windows 8.1 (64bit)?

If there are other people that know something about this stuff please answer, I appreciate that! :bulb:

I’ve mostly used VST 5/32 with Win XP, as far as I know, much of the OLD Cubase versions don’t run on the newer Win 7 & 8…though I’ve never tried it mind you. A compatibility mode may or may not work, but I wouldn’t hold my breath! My solution would be to install old Cubase versions on the OS and equipment it was designed for. That’s why I’m still on Win XP…well, mainly because I have older audio interfaces that will only run on XP.

I did mean Cubase SX3, and YES, this is the LAST Cubase version to be able to convert the old .All Cubase song files to the new .CPR. SX3 did not use a parallel printer port either. If I haven’t said so already, with a new Cubase version & license, you can download SX3 for FREE from the Steinberg site directly, and can convert all your older songs created with the older .ALL song file format.

If you haven’t before, read this!

And YES, by all means, anyone else chime in. I may not have actual experiences with everything, but I do read a LOT :wink:


Thanks sofar, with this information I can temporarily continue :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

But if someone else has ( other ) suggestions ??? I’m curious :wink:

Realy nobody any suggestion ??? :bulb:

in order to open files created in Cubasis AV …
im pretty sure that Cubasis AV is based on the old Windows Cubase Version…
which means that the files created by the “AV” version of cubasis should be compatible with
these versions of cubase:

Cubase Audio 3.05
Cubase Score 3.05
Cubase Audio XT 3.05
(these 3 older version installers are located on the Cubase VST 3.5 + Cubase VST 3.7 discs
but were excluded from 3.71 onwards, if you have a green cubase parallel port dongle u can download
cubase audio XT from the steinberg ftp they have the full installer hosted there)

if it was my problem what i would attempt to do is
load the files into Cubase VST 3.5 or 3.7 first

and then load the files into Cubase VST/24 4.0

and then load the files into Cubase VST/32 5.0

just to be safe that the versions would properly convert the files…

from Cubase VST/32 5.0 you should be able to import to Cubase SX
and from there, into Cubase 4.0 & Cubase 5.0 & Cubase 6.0

basically all ive done here is try to illustrate the different steppings + versions of cubase iterations…
but in general when dealign with software like this they usually only confirm that the last version can talk to the
next… which is why its important for the serious composer to own all the versions going forward from whatever platform they did any serious work on

Compatibility mode: I’ve tried that also. But that does not work.
(Cubase AV also wants the Soundblaster-LiveCard….
After installing that card it results in a blue screen after reboot)

This version of Cubasis AV was bundled with the Sound Blaster Live! package…

written up here in this article in May of 1999… so you have to think… which
operating systems were released + public then?
Windows 98 (First Edition) was the prominent windows OS then… With windows 98SE (Second Edition) being Brand new + just released around that time… on the mac… Mac os 8.6 was Brand new + just released at that time.
XP would not be released untill October of 2001… some 2+ years later, while Mac os 9 was released in October some 6months afterwards… So you want to be using Windows 98SE or Mac os 8.6/9.0 to properly install + use that version of Cubasis AV. It may work also with Windows 95… but that is not reccommended to say the least :laughing:

what you need to do is install windows 98SE (WindowsME should work aswell) keep in mind that these old operating systems need to have less ram installed in order to boot up + function… so you may need to disconnect some RAM in order to boot the os. For windows 98SE the limit is 512mb, for Windows ME the limit is 768mb
but go for 512mb to be safe. then you can install your SBLIVE! card + your software and access the files you want to access.

Cubase VST/24 4.x & Cubase VST/32 5.x are the last of the old cubase codebase… the same as WindowsME is the last of the old Windows codebase… the “Cubasis VST” versions (1-4) are based on the same code as VST/24 4, and VST/32 5. so you might be able to use a version of Cubasis VST aswell to open your Cubasis AV files. Cubasis VST will work on XP, as will Cubase VST/32 5.1r1, but u may need to use an update or patch to achive stability on XP…
and also use an original 2001-2002ish version of XP. getting your files on XP opened + working on XP is the first step… then you can try to open on Cubase SX… Cubase LE 1.0 is based on the same code as Cubase SX so you might be able to use that… so to recap

STEP1 > Cubase Audio Codebase apps: > Cubase Audio 3.0, Cubase Score 3.0, Cubase Audio XT 3.0, Cubasis AV Operating System windows 95 or windows 98

STEP2 > Cubase VST codebase apps: > Cubase VST/24 4.0, Cubase VST/32 5.0, Cubasis VST operating system original version of XP

STEP3 > Cubase SX codebase apps: > Cubase SX (original), Cubase SX2, Cubase SX3, Cubase SL, Cubase SL2, Cubase SL3, Cubase SE1, Cubase SE2, Cubase SE3, Cubase LE 1.07, Cubase LE 1.08 Operating System Windows XP SP2

STEP4 > Cubase 4, Cubase LE4 Operating System Windows XP SP3 or Vista

STEP5 > Cubase 5, Cubase LE5 Operating System Windows Vista or Windows 7

STEP6 > Cubase 6, Cubase LE6 Operating System Windows 7

i’ve colored the options in green that i think u should take… i hope this helps

There’s an additional problem with Win7/8 and older Cubase/Cubasis stuff. Some of the VSTs were 16 bit, so they won’t run on Win7/8. So unless you’ve got 32 bit VST equivalents, you’ll run into problems trying to play some of the old .all files.

If Steinberg would publish the specification of these obsolete file formats, the open source community would take care of the rest. I cannot think of any commercial reason why these formats could not be made public domain, now that even Steinberg no longer use them.

Just as an experiment, I still have Cubase Audio Lite that came free with issue 1 (!) of the UK Computer Music magazine in 1998, and on that CD (!) is a demo song in .ALL format, which I was able to import with the (downloadable) SX3 and save as a .CPR, which then loaded into Cubase 8.

The audio tracks imported without any problem, but it wasn’t possible to know what instruments the MIDI tracks would have originally been assigned to (there were no VSTi back then, so it would have been external MIDI instruments or Soundfonts). The MIDI information came across intact, though.

I realise this doesn’t help the OP, as he can’t run SX3 without a license, but it’s good to know that it’s at least possible.

I’m running CUBASIS VST 5 on my Win8.1 laptop. It will run on XP and Win7. It comes from the short period when Steinberg was owned by Pinnacle. It uses .all files.

You can sometimes buy copies of this on ebay, often cheaply (say under £10/$15/15Eu)). It doesn’t use a licence dongle,just an installation code which is printed on the CD.

While I can’t guarantee it will run your .all files (Cubase VST32 Version 5.x has extra VSTs, Cubasis Audio files should be OK) it would be a cheap way forward. But remember the warning about 16bit VSTs above.

If the .ALL files contain only MIDI data, and if you really want to try some hardcore hacking, there’s a freeware Cubase Lite for Atari ST which will work fine in the Steem emulator …

if you have a full cubase license you can use Cubase SX3 provided for download by steinberg; the only problem being that you probably need to install it on windows XP Vanilla or SP2 to have it work properly?

actually the documents from steinberg reccommend using Cubase SE3 to import the older version cubase files to create new files that will open/work with more modern versions of cubase (compatible to be opened with the limited versions LE/Elements/Studio/Artist all the way up to Pro)

try these official steinberg resources on this topic:

Converting Cubase VST songs (ALL/ARR) into CPR format

How to convert ALL and ARR files into the current project format CPR