Importing very old projects

I’m currently running on my main system the 64bit Cubase v6.5 (Windows7)
I’ve got a pretty old project file that I was looking to import - it’s a .all/.arr file - and was wondering whether there would be any way to do that without having to fire up my G3 (Mac) with its accompanying quite old version of Cubase and exporting as a midi file…

Does this help?

I guess it will! :slight_smile:
Is it worth trying this for my really old Atari files too?..

Shouldn´t you know that…?

Generally the Atari files won’t work. I think this is because the Atari format (TOS) can’t be read by a standard floppy drive. If the diskette was originally formatted by a PC then used to save Cubase data then it could be read and the data transferred. I remember deliberately doing this in the late 90s when I made the transition.

I tried an Atari emulator (called Steem I think) a few years ago, but I couldn’t get it to work either.


If disk editors are available still you will find that to make the Atari formatted disk readable one needs only change the first byte on the boot sector to it’s other state. Forget which but if it’s “01” change it to “00” or vice versa.
You should, unless they’ve changed their boot settings, be able to read the disk with a Mac.
Atari and Mac used to use the same Motorola chips and thus, be able to read each others’ disks.

Perhaps gadg3ts already has his old Atari files on media that his current computer can read?

If so, I expect, gadg3ts, that you’d be able to open ARR files directly in SX3(?) and carry on from there. I believe SX3 won’t open SNG files, though.

There was an advantage in going via Cubase VST instead of SX3 - IIRC, all the old Atari files that I moved over to PC went via Cubase VST, even when I transferred them after getting SX3 - because there are some MIDI features in Atari Cubase that are supported by Cubase VST but not later versions. IIRC, these include parameters that could be set for individual MIDI parts in Atari Cubase and Cubase VST, but which operate only at the track level in SX3 and after.

I bought VSTi versions of some of my old hardware instruments (including Yamaha DX7, Korg T1, Emu Proteus 2) and re-created several of my old Atari Cubase sequences on the PC: where the Atari version used to send MIDI to those hardware instruments, the PC version did it all ITB. A remarkable experience, when you first hear it happening. The PC versions sounded virtually identical to the originals - except the PC versions had better sound quality.

The difference between an Atari floppy and a DOS one wasn’t very big. Eventually, IIRC, the Atari TOS formatted in a way that could be read by DOS. Before that, there were Atari utilities that would write something to an Atari floppy to make it readably in DOS, whilst remaining readable in TOS. IIRC, even the earlier versions of TOS would always read a DOS-formatted disk.

If your files are currently only held on Atari floppies in the older format, and if you can’t get access to an Atari, I’m not sure what you can do to read the Atari floppies in another computer. Of course, if you can get access to an Atari, there are ways of getting the files on to floppies readable in a PC.

Edit: I see now that Conman posted something about this - I didn’t notice til after I submitted this post.

BTW, a year or two ago, I tried to buy a USB floppy drive that could be used both for booting a PC and for reading 720K floppies. I got one, via Amazon, that claimed to do both, but neither was actually supported. In the end, after correspondence where Amazon assured me that the problem was with just one batch of drives, I also received (and returned) replacement drives from two other batches some months apart, neither of which would do either of those things. Frustrating. — And I know the problem was witht the drives, because I’d been able to borrow a USB floppy drive that certainly could be used both for booting a PC and for reading 720K floppies.

Steinberg, I would love to have a separate tool that has a sole purpose of converting ANY of my 300+ older projects to the latest version of a Cubase project!

This may seem like another b@i#t$c%h post, but I really think that this is something that should be available instead of the suggested solution.

I do not like to infect systems with an older version of Cubase (or any other software in the same situation) since they were not made for Windows 7 x64, and sooner or later the suggested version of Cubase will no longer execute? (And please, for anyone that feel like writing for us to start converting now… we are in the business of making music not converting projects for a living, BUT we need to be able to extract old projects when needed.) Also, if this was a constantly maintained tool, it would always update a project to whatever the latest version of Cubase is out.

Alternatively, are there any publicly available file specifications for old Cubase file formats (*.ALL, *.SNG, etc.)?

I wouldn’t label this a show stopper, but also not the best of long time customer care. Eventually even Cubase 6 project files will be an old file format and even more potential creative material unavailable.


I’ve got the SX3 install running and project imported. As the instructions mentioned, had to remove the current elicenser s/w, install SX, update elicenser and then it worked. So still does v6.5, which is great :wink:
For the VST route, I was given a while ago a G3 Mac with ‘Cubase VST’ (and a Korg 1212io card!), so that was in fact my first attempt, however the app has decided not to open and my OS9 knowledge is a bit rusty.
As for the really old Atari files, the biggest problem with that for me is finding floppy disks that are still readable after 20 years. The actual machine works fine. For getting the files over, I’ve got somewhere utilities that will make a PC-readable disk image of the floppies, primarily for use with the Atari emulators on Windows. When I’ve got a spare afternoon (probably in July!) I’ll see what I can get out of that. Mind you, I’m pretty sure I’d copied most of my files over when the 486 was cutting edge! :wink:

FYI… I’ve had good success importing old Atari *.all and *.arr files via SX3, creating a cpr and then loading into C6. Usually has worked out fine :slight_smile:

I don’t.
While trying to load very old ALL and ARR files, Cubase SX 3 blocks on reading the ‘song header’. For me, the discontinue of reading old files, is a nightmare.
Jan Lamberts

Is the SX3 file still available? I can’t seem to get the DMG file to load and the server continuously times out. I’m assuming that logging in as guest is acceptable on this server. Or perhaps someone can post their SX3 file to another site? I’m looking for the Mac file.


Thanks…apparently a server issue resolved via download mgr.

No , you’re wrong … Yes the pc couldn’t read atari formatted disks … but the atari could read & write on pc 720k bformatted disquettes … You copy your files from the atari on those 720k pc formatted disks and you could copy them on your pc harddisk … I did it myself when i passed from atari to pc with my .arr .all .mid .drm and also my .doc files …