Huge Project (audio & video): leave whole or divide into separate songs?

I am in the beginning stages of working on a (tribute band) live concert project where the final product will involve Cubase 10.5 audio sync’d to multi-camera video (probably using Adobe Premier). The current Cubase project is over 2 hours of 24bit/96hz of 32 tracks of original audio, about 20 separate songs. I probably will not involve video until all the audio is edited and mixed to stereo. The final videos will range from 3 minutes to the entire 2-hour concert.

Compared to my other smaller projects, I’m finding that this particular monster project presents a number of challenges. In spite of my very powerful computer, this project takes forever to do mundane things like SAVE or Backup, and it also takes forever to do critical editing such as Variaudio of 5 vocal tracks of 2-hour duration.

Because of this, I’m tempted to both keep the original project and to also subdivide it into separate projects, one project per song. I think that will make audio-editing more manageable. But video complicates things, and I’m concerned that syncing to 20 separate audio projects will be way more complicated than syncing to one project.

Any advise on how to proceed?

Is it possible to split off a single song into a separate project, then edit that project, and then import that entire single song project (or it’s tracks) into its exact original location in the huge project? (without throwing off video sync).

Or are there other things I could do (freezing tracks?) that would speed up audio editing if I stayed inside the huge project and did not subdivide?

I do not want to force your answers by the way I phrase my questions. Instead, I’m looking for work-flow advise from those who have faced similar challenges.

Thanks in advance,

Barry

What you describe is long form video/film.

Normal workflow:
You would cut it up in manageable pieces, like per song.
Use a template for all the songs.

In the end, sync up all the songs to the video.

For the sake of more convenient mixing I mix albums in one project. It involves some complications while it makes many things easier at the same time, key is to stay well organized.

A flow that’s working pretty good for me is to keep all common elements (drums, bass, rythm guitars, main vocals) on their set of tracks all through the project. Add ons that need very different treatment from song to song get their own set of tracks/groups (i.e. lead & solo guitars, backing vocal clusters). Using visibility management I hide anything that’s not in the song I’m working on.

I’m very attentive with all shared tracks’ automation to not create a mess. The addons are independent per song. FX channels are shared.

cpr-files can get huge with long VariAudio analysis and of course analysis for a two hour track takes forever. In such cases cut>bounce>analyse is way faster and remains more snappy compared to long chunks of audio.

Indeed save and load times increase drastically - which is bothersome but probably doesn’t take longer than opening/closing smaller projects individually.

If you decide to split the huge monster into individual songs, sync shouldn’t be an issue. Just select all and split at song boundaries, remove all but song #1, use backup project (minimize audio files/reduce unused files) and save to a new folder. Close and reopen the original project with the cuts, remove all but song #2, use backup project and so on. Leave all events in their original position and export the mixes from start to end, then they should be exactly back in place when played gapless.

Thank both of you for your replies. I think I’ll start with the cut>bounce>analyse with the VariAudio while in the big project as a learning experience. Maybe have Cubase backup less frequently while musicians are doing any overdubs or re-records.
The idea of moving original tracks to separate tracks/groups for song specific treatment is an obviously great solution that I hadn’t thought of in this situation.
All of this could be done, and then I could still eventually split the project into individual projects per song if I needed to.
So, nice to hear that syncing to video will not be a disaster.

Since this is live concert recording, there is considerable bleed in in some tracks. I am using Wilkinson Debleeder on drum tracks and Remove Silence on many instrument and vocal tracks. Here too, I wonder if the different songs will require different settings on Debleeder and Remove Silence, even on tracks that are “shared” on all songs?

Fortunately, I’m not on a deadline, not much is really destructive, and I have all the original audio tracks backed up on an additional SSD. So I can learn and evolve my own workflow without fear of a catastrophe.

Having a clear backup is always a great idea :slight_smile:

Here’s a real world project example of an album mix I’ve done ‘all in one’: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qfo1a2e3zwn18me/all%20songs%20in%20one%20project%20example.cpr?dl=0

Check the visibility management. Also it can be great to copy some things to new track versions and work with that (i.e. vocals which you’re going to process with VariAudio). In case something gets messed up you’ll have an ‘inline backup’ of the original right in place.

Debleeder, automations etc.: look at the drum tracks/groups in the example. There are automations for these shared tracks through the entire project. Which is a sort of ‘meta processing’ that makes it easier to get more consistency throughout the whole album.

If you haven’t done so check out the ‘export cycle markers’ feature. Setting cycle markers (gapless in your case of a live performance) you shouldn’t have sync problems at all. Sequencing the exported mixes in a gapless manner will give you the a perfect sync by default.

Thanks again, marQs. Yes, your visibility management is key. And thanks for the hints at automation of shared tracks and the export cycle markers idea. I will study all of it!