Project File enormous size


I’m a bit shocked. Okay, the project is a test project where I added reference track, I use SpectraLayers to split voice and music, and have some added instruments to make my own accompaniment. I saved this project in June using version 11.0.20 and it is 249 MB big. Now I opened and saved it with version 11.0.40 and no changes. Saved the same big. Then I open another project and activate it so the first project goes in background (inactive). Okay, I close active project and then do “Save As…” on that first, inactive big project. Guess what size it was saved! 0.9 MB. I close that project and reopen it and all is working as expected. How is it possible? (explanation bellow)

Yes, I know - SpectraLayers use new technology and stores external wav filses to ARA folder. It means that these split channels are not stored in Cubase project file (.CPR). Right?

So maybe .CPR file is like Microsoft Word .DOC file that contains everything your grandma said for last 30 years? No!

I’m also working with Adobe Indesign, so there’s the same - if I want to store clean and small project, I should “Save As…” and it becomes much smaller than working version. I didn’t check what’s inside in low level.

So I opened that big Cubase project file with fileviewer and what I saw? First two percents of file contains Cubase information and the last two percents have something similar like plugin information. But between are the 98% of nothing. It’s filled with zeroes. For what?

Please if you have a little time to jump into this sandbox, check your projects - open, save as (is there difference?), open second project, activate, close, save first project that is inactive etc. I’m pretty sure it’s not the Windows nor computer fault.

The result - opening and saving cleaned project is significantly faster. I just tried this method on another projects.

Please comment this and give your test results!

P.S. I know, written a bit haotic, but I’m rapidly test projects now. I remember that with 9.5 project sizes was much smaller. So something is going wrong for years.

P.S.2. I post the same in Facebook’s group “Cubase Users” - Cubase Users | Facebook

P.S.3. Maybe this issue is only because of using SpectraLayers?


Sometimes, some plug-ins do this.

Some month ago, I remember Arturia VSTis did this. Do you use any Arturia plug-in by any chance, please?

No. I don’t have any Arturia plug-in.
In this particular project I loaded an audio song for reference, created chord track to fill in chords, added two Kontakt instances - one for Spitfire Audio Albion One, second for NI Rickenbacher Bass. Also Massive X loaded, but in disabled state. So I run SpectraLayers on the reference audio.

Probably this is the cause. Everything else I used before and never had similar situation.

Is this related to the oddity where I can have, say, 1000 disabled kontakt tracks and instant save times, but if I enable them the save time is horribly long? With our without actual data on the tracks?

@GPnicolett, that’s another story. And enabled tracks have some data about plugin and all track parameters even you don’t use them. It’s normal like if you drive a car and to transfer your body you can have only one tire, but car has four tires to transfer with you :slight_smile:

But my story is about huge size of project file where 98% of file is zero bytes.


The CPR file is big, right?

Do you have many items in the Pool, please?

Yes, CPR file is big. In one version 249 MB (after saving inactive project, it becomes 0.9 MB), after some manipulations on that big file (adding some Instrument tracks), it becomes smaller - 86 MB, but after saving it while it’s inactive, it becomes 2.8 MB.

The pool contains only three files - one wav file I imported and two additional wav files I got from SpectraLayers after splitting original audio. Both additional files are stored in …User\Documents\SpectraLayers Edits\ folder despite of existence of the same files, but with different filenames stored in ARA folder inside project folder.

So, the original wav file is 82 MB long and each of additional files have the same length. So in sum it is 246 and it’s close to the first filesize. But anyway the CPR file don’t contain any wav files, but only zero bytes in length of the sum of all three wav files.

So it seems that in both filesize versions Cubase puts in project file zero bytes in length of one or all three files - 1 x 83 and 3 x 83 plus some MB normally existing in CPR file.

Today after I start using that 2.8 MB file and add many tracks, after many saves, file now is 7.4 MB and it’s normal for such small amount of tracks. Project contains the same SpectraLayer active, the same original audio file and the same extracted audio files and additional audio file from my singer. So the pool shows that there are four files - 4 x 83 MB.

Same issue hero on Macbook Pro m2 max, Monterey, Cubase Pro 12.0.52
I used spectralayers only on 3 audio tracks.
My Project size is 234mb after delete all tracks.