Keeping track of recorded files, .cpr versions, etc. - help!

HI -

I was wondering if some of you guys that do this day in and day out might share your tricks/techniques and work habits for staying organized as you work on a project.

This past weekend I needed to “send the raw multitracks” to someone who wanted to take a listen. Simple enough, right? Yet for a project I was working on for only 3 weeks, it took me most of one full day to locate them. The problem was that long after I’d done the initial audio recordings, I would do subsequent ones that made their appearance only in specific .cpr versions.

I try to label my .cpr versions meaningfully, with pointers as to what was going on, but even with my focusing on that, I found when I looked back the titles were NOT completely helpful.

Should I only record new audio into a .cpr project called “raw audio”, for easy access (Maybe one project called “raw audio- vox”, another “raw audio - VSTi”, etc.)? Can you guys please share your “learned the hard way” ways to stay organized?


Make sure you make a new folder for each project, so the recorded files will go in the audio folder of that project. With several projects in the same folder, their audio will all be dumped in the same audio folder.

Load the CPR you want and do a backup project, this will copy the relevant files into a new project folder for you.

Thanks, guys.

Stroph - at least I do that already - new folder for each project. But I save with either a .01/.2/.03 (CTRL-ALT-S) or a new name Save as (SHIFT-ALT-S) … a LOT … man, I have probably one or two hundered separate .cpr entries in there!

Split - I’ll look into that backup project, thanks. Are you suggesting to use the backup project function every time I record new audio … so if I ever need to locate a specific audio recording I can just focus my search on the .bak files?

Thanks -

No, just to sort out a mess that you may have got into?

Gotcha, thanks. I was able to collect all the raw multitracks and send them off, and now I have the luxury of being able (and need!) to step away.

I guess most pros like you, Stroph, and others, probably do all your recording early on at one time, then move on to editing/mixing, so you don’t have the file management problems that arise with weekend warriors like me who will continue to record while editing/mixing.

Any further thoughts and suggestions much appreciated - thanks!

I have an album project that has been on going for well over a year, recently we decided to record some guest vocals then add some strings and brass, then rerecord some backing vocals etc. etc… This is not uncommon. Pools can grow and grow to very large sizes, packed full of stuff. There are various strategies that we use to keep a track on things, but in general Cubase handles things like that very well, as long as you stick to a few simple rules.

Keep it simple, keep different projects apart, think before you act, don’t panic :stuck_out_tongue:

“Backup Project” is your friend but I think Steiny should have stuck with calling it “Move Project”, to make it less ambiguous. It’s been very handy this last week as I unravel my lazy file management mess! :angry:


Autosave is my backup! At first I was a little suspicious, since autosave features in a lot of programs are recipes for disaster, but Steinberg seems to have made a good job and it works!

The “back up” I almost never use as a back up. I use it all the time for going from say the sketch phase to the overdub phase IYKWIMAITYD and similar situations. Pick the cherries and leave the pie to die! :astonished: :laughing:

Hi Howling Ulf - cruelty to fruit pastry aside, can you explain a little more please how you r doing that (using “back up” when going from “sketch phase to overdub phase”)? Thx!

I dunno, I just do it :blush:
You bastard! You’re forcing me to think! :imp: :laughing:

Let’s say I do something like this:

  1. create a new empty folder for the project. key word: EMPTY or else Cubase will spit it out again!
  2. open the project.cpr file in the old location.
  3. open the Pool and check for unused files and put them in the trash.
  4. empty the trash.
  5. if you think you need any of them just use the “remove from Pool” option instead of “erase from disk”.
  6. Now your open project is purged and ready to be moved. DO NOT save the old project now!!!
  7. goto > file > backup project.
  8. in that dialog browse to the new empty folder in step 1. and save the project file there.
  9. the used audio files in the Pool will be copied to the new project folder into a folder called Audio.
  10. now you have all you need to open the project in a new location!
  11. close the project without saving and if you ever need to open the old project again it will be just as before step 1. Non destructively!
  12. open the new project and you should be good to go! :sunglasses:

I owe u big time dude - thanks, Howling Ulf!

naw, help someone else instead. what goes around comes around … even the helpful parts! :sunglasses:

I do, I try,thx!

I think you can create the new folder during the “Backup Project” process, can’t you? What I mean is, there’s no need to do it beforehand

I think

I rarely create a new .cpr for a song until I enter the mixing phase, after tracking is all done. Then, I might have dozens. I’m not afraid to delete ones I’m pretty sure I’ll never use again. I usually identify them by using the date and one or two short descriptors to help me remember what was different about that mix. Not always, but often, I also render all VSTi’s and reference every track to zero, and save those files in a folder that has “refzero” in the name

Hello twilightsong, do you mean zero on the timeline, or some other kind of “reference to zero”?

And for the group in general, do you think it would work to have all the recorded audio “separated out” from the other .cpr files?

Right now my files are all listed by date, but perhaps have a file: “Lead Vox”, another “Backup Vox”, etc., where only the raw audio is stored?

This is a search for a solution to the problem I had having a really hard time putting my finger on the raw audio tracks. Currently all my files are named by date and then a short descriptor, but I found unless one was 100% disciplined and accurate in the descriptor, it resulted in going through each project anyway to look for the audio.


(PS I definitely do keep projects separate, I thought I was doing well staying organized, but it was such a nightmare complying with the request to “Send me the raw audio tracks”.).

Yes, you can. It’s a matter of habits, I guess. I like to have some overview and create folders in Windows Explorer. The tiny window you get when you create the folder from within the process I have no sympathy for! :mrgreen:

On the timeline, so when another person imports them, they all start at the same point (usually the beginning, or “zero”)

And for the group in general, do you think it would work to have all the recorded audio “separated out” from the other .cpr files?

If I follow your meaning, yes, sort of. This is what I do, most of the time:

render all audio files so they start on zero, including VSTi’s. I sometimes even render a channel’s effect send to its own file if I really really must have that effect

Use “Save As” in order to create a new .cpr

then, using the “Backup Project,” move those rendered files and the new .cpr to their own folder and label it accordingly

Of course, you’ll be doubling up your storage so to speak, at least temporarily – I usually delete the separate folder with the raw files when I’m done with it. Make sure you save the .cpr, however – that way, if at some later date you need to reconstitute the folder with just the raw files, you can do it using the .cpr and “Backup Project” function (again)


The drive I use to store all my Cubase projects has two directories on it: “32-bit Projects” and “64-bit Projects.” This mostly coincides with a point in time where I began to use the 64-bit Cubase exclusively, because all the important plug-ins I use had finally become available in 64-bit versions (except, sadly, UAD-2 plug-ins). So, if I want to work on an older song, I roughly know which version of Cubase to use (but sometimes I do have to open the other version). Plus, if I’m just playing around, the version of Cubase I have open automatically opens the appropriate folder (32 or 64 bit) if I want to import a song

I also kind of miss the “Move Project” or “Move Folder” function in Cubase, but I think they dropped it in favor of “Backup” because more people wanted an easier way to, um, backup a project so that the files were not just moved, but duplicated (you know, like a back-up should :laughing: )

I also use an on-line back-up service. It’s relatively inexpensive. Although I haven’t needed it yet, I wish I;d had it in the past – I no longer have literally hundreds of songs (okay, dozens of songs) because the drive they were on failed (or because someone threw the drive in the creek behind my previous home :laughing: )