DAM (Digital Asset Management) - anyone using it?

Hello Cubase users,

I have a background in software engineering, where using version control systems is critical. These software packages enable the saving of incremental changes to projects, as well as enable multiple developers to work on the same project at the same time. The software developers who work on Cubase no doubt use such a system. My question is: does anyone use DAM (Digital Asset Management) software in conjunction with Cubase? If so, which software package? I ask about DAM software because it seems to be the area I’d most likely find the solution I’m after. Searching the web, I have found no information on music producers who use this.

The main issues for me are saving incremental changes and rolling back to prior versions. Suppose, for example, that I decide on April 1, 2012 to add a string part to my project, and add an instance of Kontakt to host the strings. On April 8, I decide to remove the strings along with the Kontakt VST, which I have tweaked. On April 15, I decide that I want to bring the strings back. In fact, I want to recreate the project as it existed on April 1. Is there a way to accomplish this short of saving the project with a different name each time I make a change like this? An added bonus would be software which automatically backs up my versions on a server, either hosted by me or on, say, Amazon.

In the software development world, this kind of functionality is, as I mentioned above, absolutely essential (e.g. one of the developers checked in code which contains a bug, and we have to roll back to a previous version that was known to be bug-free). One of the essential features of version control software is the presence of a change log, which enables users to find the version they’re looking for. I can’t believe that everyone out there is using the save-the-entire-project-for-incremental-changes-with-a-different-filename scheme. Another added bonus would be the ability for 2 or more people to work simultaneously on a project (e.g. my partner and I are working on a film score; he is working on cue 10, adding percussion, while I am working on another section, adding horns). Merge functionality would be great.

Can anyone suggest a software package which accomplishes this?


Sibelius 7 (and I believe Sibelius 6 too) have this kind of feature. You can save a bunch of versions under the same file name (every one dated and with descriptions). It is a very useful thing.

At work we use subversion. In particular we use the tortoisesvn frontend gui. Works great for work (VHDL, netlists, routes). I haven’t tried it yet with my cubase projects, but I think I should. It’s easy to install and use.


Of course incremental saving in Cubase is as simple as pressing Ctrl/Alt S and use the date/time stamp to see when!

Which is what I currently do. The nice thing about version control is it also acts as a server backup of tyour project (if your repo resides on a separate server). It makes certain all files of the subdirectory are version controlled (which is not as much of an issue for cubase - very important for code development).

Question. If you edit/change an audio file then do a Ctrl/Alt-S, when you open a previous version of the project do you get the old audio file?


I think so, all the audio–>process options are completely undoable.

Yes you do, as long as you let Cubase manage the files.

I thought that was the case. If it didn’t it would be a reason to use version control. But since Cubase handle’s it for you - version control could be more of a hassle than it’s worth. Might try it anyhow - after all, subversion’s free.


If you rename files, old versions won’t be able to find them, although you will be prompted to re-locate when you fire them up. Similarly, be careful about cleaning out unused files, even if you do it internally.

Best keep a text file of such changes to hand (new name, old name, …)

If you’re considering a serious overhaul I’d create a new folder, audio and all, for that and subsequent versions of the project.

In the given example though, I would push ‘mute’ on april 8 (no strings), and another time on april 15 (strings back like they were on april 1). Sometimes, problems are the size you decide them to be… :sunglasses:

Thanks for all the info, guys.

The Sibelius example is a good one. That’s basically the functionality I’m after. Let’s face it, with a big project, you can make a lot of small changes which, in the current model, are lost when they are removed. Who wants to keep around a fully-loaded instance of Vienna Instruments when you’ve decided you don’t want the big orchestral splash at the end?

What if those strings were added to replace a pair of acoustic guitars, which I’ve now removed? I guess your response would be, “just mute the guitars.” I understand your point, but things can get much more complicated, and simply muting parts no longer used leads, in my experience, to messy projects. Furthermore, what if instead of adding/deleting strings, you wanted to insert 2 measures in 5/8? You can’t mute/unmute those (though I suppose you could accomplish this with an Arranger track; but that’s beside the point).

I wonder what those who are producing film and commercials do. Suppose your client says, “hey, what happened to those tasty acoustic guitars and those 2 measure in an odd meter?” It would certainly be nice, and I believe this is what DAM software is supposed to address, to be able to call up a specific older version of the project on the spot.

Thanks again, everyone.

I did say ‘In the given example’ :smiley: In more complex cases, I’d save various files with date. Not against version control at all, especially since saving various files of versions are hard to combine into a final ‘best of’.