Importing old project files ".all" et ".arr"

No one could ever excuse removing the import function. I recorded hundreds of songs with the .all/.arr file extensions and due to ridiculous life circumstances hadn’t been able to consider upgrading to the latest Cubase software till recently. And re-adding it couldn’t really be that difficult, could it? Now I have to struggle with the installation of yet another version, which I’m sure will leave all sorts of garbage behind that will slow my system down even more, like every program does. And not even the newest version of eLicenser is compatible with SX3? Why do I have to jump through all these hoops because someone decided to REMOVE functionality? It seems that this is all I do. I have major problems with all sorts of software because it seems that people are more interested in ‘new’ and ‘profit’ than in’ functionality’

This is not a slam on Steinberg, but the entire human race. I am so tired… I just want to create, not fight.

Sorry for the rant but I find people generally idiotic (look up the original Classical Greek definition of the word).

SX3 isn’t C6 and a lot has changed since SX3 was released?
It depends on how you look at it. you need to figure out a lot!

what should be included from ALL > CPR?
what should be excluded from ALL > CPR?
what already works in SX3?
how does it work in SX3?
how to transfer it to C6?
what works after the transfer?
what’s broken after the transfer?
how to fix what’s broken after the transfer?
what’s broken in C6 code after the transplanted code was inserted?
how to fix C6 after transferring the code?
how to iron out any bumps in the behavior?
how to optimize the code when everything seems to work?
back to the drawing board.

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About importing old ALL files via SX3. I’ve done this, too and it has also been hundreds of them, songs and tests, big and small. AND IT WORKS! A fair share of them was even converted from Alesis MMt-8 hardware sequenzer about 65 000 000 000 years ago! They also work haha. Kinda cool? I had ab Alesis DATADISK for floppy disk memory dumps and backup and it was unreliable as FÛCK! But I don’t think I lost all that much of what I intended to save.

I had this Korg MIDI clock/FSK clock sync box hooked up to the MMT-8 and recorded the MIDI output into Cubase Atari which was rock solid. After that there was this possibility to format a floppy disk in a PC and then I could save the files from the Atari on those disks and bring the ALL/ARR files into the PC.

It wasn’t until recently I began to make this final exodus out of the past and into my modern era computer. And it’s stable as a rock and I’m constantly amazed how well Cubase works in this machine! I started a few years ago migrating Atari files > PC. It worked but my old puter was way underpowered which probably made me not continue. But this last year I started again and have completed some of the songs that felt most urgent to bring back to life again. And it totally works now! In addition to that I of course have the new Cubase and all the silly plugins I’ve bought lately and finally my old songs starts to sound somewhat like I heard in my head back then! :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :sunglasses:

Furthermore the automatic tempo mapping command is amazing! I have an old box filled with cassettes I used in my PortaOne 4 track portastudio synced as above. These are converted into MP3 for easy access to songs and sketches. Cubase has done an immaculate job with the tempo tracking and stretching the audio a little for my old songs!!! Now they match up perfectly with the bar/beat grid and I can paint new MIDI on top of the old stuff before I mute the old tape. I can set loops and relearn my guitar tricks from the eighties haha and get fresh dry guitar WAV files for reamping.

I’ve been busy through the evenings all spring with this and it REALLY WORKS! So thank you Steinberg! :sunglasses:

Why not keep the import function? To be honest, I’m sure there are other programs that have dropped off an import feature, but this is the first one I’ve come across and I was a PC tech starting way back in 1987. In fact, I’ve gotten to the state-of-mind where I can see the personalities and ways of thinking that went into the design and implementation of, not just software, but hardware too. I’m a Polymath by way of Autism with an extraordinarily high IQ - I have intimate practical, hands on knowledge and experience that tells me exactly why they would not keep an import feature in their software and up-to-date.

Problem is, i can still open ancient Lotus 123 and WordPerfect files. I can even import my ancient DXF CAD files into almost any drawing software and photos taken on ancient digital cameras, but not my musical creations? Why would I even consider buying Cubase years ago if I were to know they wouldn’t support my older creations? I’d gone with someone else who wouldn’t even think of putting in place such a restriction on my creative works! That’s the purpose of this software; to enable the capture of a person’s creations. And if its the works of a musician - and musicians are notorious for going back to their old, unfinished, ancient works and bringing them back to life, why would I want to use a program that made it so difficult to do? I don’t have time for such crap! I don’t have time to deal with the new ‘phenomena’ of DPC storms killing my Cubase on my super-powerful Windows 7-64/i5/16GB system! Or the weird mouse/keyboard driver glitch that resets my mouse and keyboard right in the middle of a sentence or a critical keystroke in the middle of a video edit! I haven’t even had time to figure out why when I hit Alt-Tab, some random Firefox window will jump from the back, to the very front instead of the window I chose!

My point is this; for every step forward humans make, they take two steps back, and they’re incapable of even seeing it happen.

I quote German-Jewish intellectual Walter Benjamin’s “Angel of History”:
“This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. The storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress.”

Like I suggested in the other thread, I personally think that a utility tool(s) that converts ANY of the old Cubase files to whatever the latest appropriate file format is (or some standardized format that Cubase CAN import), ought to be created. This way it can be dealt with as a side project for Steinberg folks and not bog down Cubase itself. (Meaning not an “official” product that people should bitch about, but be happy about.)

Have lots of old projects myself, even from the Atari days in the late 80’s-90’s. Like I also stated in the other post, I have some 300+ projects and that’s just from when I started using Cubase on Windows, some time in 1997-98, just after I moved to the US.

Late to this thread but having started this process in past few days I want to share my experience and hopefully it can still help others.

I have a bunch of old Atari Cubase files I wanted to convert to modern (.cpr etc) files.

On Windows platform I started by following info, in this and other forums, by attempting to convert mostly ARR and PRT and some ALL in Cubase SX3 (had to put and old XP machine into use for this).

The process seemed to be going ok but I wasn’t seeing everything I was hoping too in the converted projects. In fact some files looked completely empty. For the PRT files Cubase SX gave message along lines of ‘can’t open file, needs to be VST 5 or later.’

Fortunately I have Cubase VST32 5.1 so I opened the ARR files there and could see stuff as I remembered it and could also open all the ALL and PRT files. Then I I saved them as new files (you could overwrite the old ones but I didn’t want to yet). All these opened in Cubase SX3 perfectly where I saved them as CPR files.

As for DRM (Drum Map) files, those loaded fine in Cubase SX3.

Hi There,

This is actually a resolution for anyone having mega problems converting .ARR files to .CPR. In other words converting your (very) old Steinberg CuBase SE3 audio + midi files to a newer OSX (Apple) Platform.

I had some songs in this format and really needed to convert them. To my surprise there was no previous resolution. Must also say that it’s pretty disgusting from a major audio/ recording company like Steinberg to leave everyone in the dark. I mean to develop such a audio/midi converter is not such a big deal, nevertheless the tag price one pays to get an upgrade Cubase or even new version. Anyways let’s get to it:

OS X Platform and what’s the trick. Note: I work on OSX MacBook Pro Retina ‘15’ V 10.95, so I have not tested this on Yosemite or Sierra, but I’m quite sure it will do the trick.

Before we start: This is what you need. Without that it probably won’t work.

Summary Requirements:

A. Your Mac Lap top (MacBook Pro or desktop, etc).
B. You need to have a Parallel Desktop version installed. (I used Version V11, business edition).
C. You need the Steinberg official License dongle. I still use my Steinberg Cubase V 7.5.
D.You need to have an Win OS (microsoft windows operating system) installed in parallel Desktop. I had Windows V10 even installed:-)

In a sense it doesn’t matter what Mac OS X version you use, the trick lies in the Parallel Desktop element containing (installed) Steinberg CuBase SE3.

How did I manage to have my files transformed/ converted from; .ARR to CPR./

Summary resolution:

  1. After you followed steps A,B,C, D (see notes above / previous).
  2. Download CuBase SE LE3 OR SE3 (from the link below). Download the Windows Version!


  1. After Successfully downloaded on your Mac, copy-paste the (extracted on Mac) Zip file (Download) to your Parallel Windows environment, assuming you already have installed Parallel Desktop!!!

  2. Install the License key that comes within the CuBase SE3 download.(I downloaded everything on Mac). Since you already have an official Steinberg Cubase License key/ dongle (hard copy-hardware), connect the USB Steinberg License Dongle (that you have) from the Mac OS X platform to your Windows Parallel platform. It’s easy as just connecting the dongle to Windows. You don’t even have to take it out of the USB socket.

  3. Let the previous installer under Windows finish (while your dongle connected) and you will see that (Parallel Desktop + Windows 10) successfully installed Steinberg CuBase SE3. It will say that you need a new license key. just continue the installation prices of CuBase SE3 till it;s done.

  4. Set the ASIO Audio drivers in CuBase SE3 (in your Parallel Desktop) Cubase configuration as audio preference.

Note: If you had an older .AAR file make sure it does not contain all recorded or implemented audio effects or plugins. Naturally by default the new installed Cubase SE3 version of Steinberg may not have all your cool (older) plugins. So use the .ARR version of your song which contained just the blanc MIDI file (bo effects) and audio recording files (no effects) within that selected song archive you want to convert.

  1. Now Drag & drop your .ARR file (containing the plain MIDI + just AUDIO) files into your Parallel Desktop, and then into Cubase SE3 version. When importing, within that import windows , select set to; ‘All Files’. Do not try to open the song in CuBase itself, because it will crash.

  2. Finally safe the arrangement now as '.CPR" file and say YEAH!!! Hell Yeah? Well that’s what I did and my girlfriend thought I won the lottery, I said…almost honey, it really feels as good:-)

  3. You now can retransfer the 'CPR. Cubase data file back to the OS X Mac  Apple platform and open the converted song into CuBase 7 or (maybe a higher version;-).

Cheers, and good luck. I figured, let me help out because I was super frustrated and can imagine you are too, I know you just want to open those good oldie potential hit tracks you then made right??!

Adding this incase it helps others: I am currently successfully converting old .all files and associated .wav I’d created ages ago in what I think was about vst3. I am using Cubase 8.5 on windows 10 64bit. I hadn’t used any fancy things like plugins or effects so simple midi and .wav so prob easier for me. I copied the original files from my old pc using a sat/ide to USB3 converter cable. Then I downloaded cubase SE3 from the Steinberg web site free, unzipped and installed without any problems. I had a temporary problem as I’d removed the Steinberg USB elicenser as I needed it’s USB port for the transfer. I wondered why I had no license then on realising my problem I replaced the licenser and was able to open cubase SE3 and 8.5 fine. IN SE3 I used file/import /cubase song with the browse all files types ( rather than just .arr) enabled and navigated to my old .all file. Voila, my midifiles and audio loaded fine. Then I used file/save/project to new folder and all files were copied to a new designated folder Took ages to do the last step so in future i just used the save option and save as a .cpr in the old .all folder. This kept the audio files where they where saving time.

If one does not have an SX3 license, how does one go about upgrading? I created my files on an old desktop machine with a parallel port - long since gone. Bought a new license but would like to access my old files…

Download Cubase SX 3 from here:

A Cubase Pro license can run all previous versions (starting with Cubase SX 1).

You might be able to move your old files to your current computer by using an USB flash drive, or by burning a CD.

Really hope someone sees this and has a solution.
I am running Cubase Pro 9.5 on Windows 10. Used Cubase on Windows since ver 1, but did skip several versions here and there.
I tried to install SX3 (compatibility mode XP SP2 and SP3), and then tried SE3 (same). Every time with either version it will freeze when it gets to “Installing c:windows/fonts/stein___.ttf”

Anyone else experience this? Any ideas to resolve?
I have soooo many old Cubase songs, and even though I have typically moved forward, I recently got the bug to revisit old stuff I wrote and never finished.

Found the answer on an old Steinberg support page: Run Windows in Safe Mode and install. I set Compatibility Mode to WIndows XP Sp2, and Run As Administrator, installed without a hitch this time!

Side note: I am using an SSD, and Win10 loads so quickly, I cannot get into Safe Mode using the old F8 press as easily as “the good old days”. Holding Shift + Click Restart from the Windows Home menu provided the ability to choose from a nice list of restart/reboot options.

Steinberg Knowledgebase page: Installation Hangs…