Massive Cubase Folder on hard drive

Hi - I’m not sure I understand the saving process with Cubase. My Cubase folder is a massive 17 gigs and I’d like to minimize that as much as possible. When I just looked inside the folders I found audio files for everything I’ve ever done in Cubase (guitar tracks). There’s like a million audio files of different takes I’ve done but never purposely saved. I don’t need all these audio files, I only need the final recordings I was happy with.

Moving forward, how can I prevent Cubase from keeping all of these unwanted files? Also, if I was to delete all of these audio files and the billions of .bak files I see will there be any problem from doing so?

Any help is appreciated.


It sounds like you have been creating all of your projects under one folder. This would result in different .cpr files sharing the same Audio folder, which can be very confusing, particularly if you name tracks similar names (guitar, vocal, bass, etc).

Typically, it is best to create a new folder for each new project. This will create a dedicated audio (and Edits, Images, Freeze, etc) folder within that project folder, which will keep all of the audio files for that project.

If you are looking for a reliable way to remove the undesired audio files, I would suggest first opening each project you want to keep, going to File, Backup, and saving them to a new location. This will copy the audio files for that project. Again, make a new folder for each new song. Also, be sure to backup all of these files to an alternate drive.

Then, when you have verified that you have moved all of the desired projects and they are working properly, you can decide if you want to delete the originals from that folder. I hope this information is helpful.

Yes, very helpful. After I posted this earlier I was thinking about it as I drove to work and what you suggested is exactly what I was thinking.

Problem was I did not realize Cubase automatically saved every little audio file of every attempt I made at recording a song. I just assumed the only things saved were the current audio files of the project after I did “Save As”.

Thank you very much for taking the time to respond.

There is one more thing you might want to get accustomed to. When working in a project, open the audio pool once in a while, and select ‘remove unused files’. You can chose to put them in the trash and then delete them. This will clean up your project folder from all unreferenced (not used anymore in the project) audio files. Usually takes that were deleted or no longer used.

Too funny. I just came here to post something similar.

I’ve had all projects saved in one folder called Mike’s Projects. It was here where the Audio folder was the size of Rhode Island. I just opened each project, created a new folder for just that project, and checked the box “remove unused files”. That way only the files that made up the final take were saved in the new folder. Then I deleted the massive audio folder that had all clips from every take I’d ever done.

So I’m thinking I can just keep doing what I’ve been doing (saving a project in Mike’s Projects) but then when I’m done save the new project and relevant audio files in it’s new folder and delete the rest.

Appreciate you guys offering some input. I just gained back a huge amount of hard drive space.

It’s better to start with a new subdirectory in Mike’s Projects, and point Cubase to this new directory when starting a new project (best done from a template). That way, all relevant files are already where you want them and mistakes can be prevented. Also file names make more sense that way - i.s.o. a new guitar track being called ‘Guitar_05’ because in other projects there were 4 completely different guitar takes. By using ‘remove unused files’ and deleting them via Trash, you make sure that you remain with anything that’s used in the project, and when done you can move the whole directory to a backup drive.

I agree with Arjan on the project setup advice!

Can anybody here tell me what the steps are to setting up a new folder for each new project, within a master folder? When I try to do it I keep getting a message saying “this directory is read only! please select a dfferent location!”

That must be something in your OS, not giving you the rights to write in that location.