Reducing the data amount of a video

Hello everybody,
I’m currently stuck with a problem with Cubase 12 pro.
I need to reduce a film score to 500MB. So far I’ve gotten over 1GB, so I created a new project and entered just the video file, the video’s soundtrack, and my score audio mix track. In terms of raw data, that’s 60 MB for the video, 60MB for the video soundtrack and 40 MB for my score. But again when I export the mp4 it comes out to over 1GB. I didn’t set Dolby Atmos or anything fancy, just 48000/26. Can someone tell me what Cubase is doing that results in such a huge amount of data and how I can get a mix that is under 500 MB? Thank you!

I think I’ve found the answer myself. Cubase doesn’t seem to be able to export compressed videos at the same size they had before. The only way to preserve the original size is to insert the audio files once again into a video editing program. Of course, this is a bit frustrating for film scoring composers and would be very desirable for Cubase to retrofit here.

It’s a feature of the new Cubase Pro 13 that the audio can be written back into the original video. If Cubase creates a new video file it always uses full HD, files always come out big. So your “solution” is the best solution for Cubase 12.
Sorry not to have better news.

1 Like

Thanks, that would be good news, though. I’m still hesitant to get the upgrade because I haven’t heard any real reason for it so far. Just for a new design or to brag about the latest software, 100 € is too much for me. But that would be a good argument for it.

That’s disappointing, but understandable. File size is a frequent concern for video producers. For some, it is just the hassle of dealing with bloated files and long processing/upload times. But in other cases, it is a killer. I produce videos in support of grants for some non-profits, and the granting agency often places a hard limit, very often 500 MB, sometimes as low as 250MB, and a max runtime of 5 min.

The most advanced prosumer video editing apps have many options for controlling the file size. (Codecs, fps, pixel dimensions, audio compression etc.) Cubase will need to support some of that if its video editing capability is to be taken seriously. Of all those factors, fps may be the most interesting. People tend to assume that more is always better, so you see a lot of cameras touting the resolutions they can produce at 60 frames per sec. But the fact is that 24 fps became a wide standard even back in the silent movie days because that is the point that the human brain sees it as motion instead of a bunch of separate flashes.

So what happens between 24 and 60, and would 120 be even better? Actually, no. People have seen so many movies at 24 fps that they perceive this as “the Hollywood aesthetic”. A higher frame rate may appear crisper, but less cinematic. So producers still go for the lower frame rates when wanting to be within the “Hollywood envelope” so to speak. It is like the difference between a dry recording and one with reverb. The dry audio could compare to a 60 fps video and the audio with reverb is more like the 24 fps video. In other words, an artistic choice, but more/faster/higher/bigger is not necessarily better.

But I digress. … Well, as long as I have digressed this far, here is a list of movies that have been produced at higher frame rates. Many had a lot of fast action, where the frame rate can make an impact.

1 Like

Thanks a lot, it helps me to understand more the video producer’s side. In my case they insisted to keep up 25fps. Fortunately, I was able to find how to customize it in my rather simple video program. My main concern was that anything of the original video was unwantedly changed but I hope, everything should be ok now.