Reverse-engineer Cubase .cpr format

I don’t have an opportunity to buy Cubase, but my partner uses it a lot. I wanted to simplify his life and provide him with cpr projects instead of plain wav files, but no other software can open/save this format.

I looked at a sample cpr he sent me and it seems like the file does not contain audio data itself, it rather contains the mark-up and effects.

I wanted to know the following things:

  1. Is it legal to try to reverse-engineer cpr files?
  2. Is it difficult and who tried?
  3. If someone knows other ways to transfer project files between Audacity/Rosegarden and Cubase? The main thing is the support of several tracks and their timing in one project, nothing fancy.

Thanks

  1. I don’t think so
  2. I don’t khnow
  3. It is not possible to transfer project files
    Audacity has no possibility to use interchange formats (AAF, OMF)
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  1. I am pretty sure it is not illegal to reverse engineer cpr files for personal purposes, it might be if they are somehow copy-protected (which they are not afaik).
  2. As it is a proprietary binary format and no documentation exists, I guess it is a non-trivial task seeing that Cubase is a complex software…
  3. There is one software for cross-DAW file format conversion that I know of (https://www.aatranslator.com.au/), and it actually lists Audacity file format as supported, and can convert to OMF2 which Cubase can read. For what it costs ($200) you can easily afford some version of Cubase, though :wink:

Seeing that an Audacity’s project format is XML, and Cubase has it’s own Track Archive format for im/exporting audio tracks and according information to XML, it might be possible to write a converter between these two. I don’t think the Track Archive format is documented either, but at least it is somewhat readable.

if it is about transfering audio between 2 different daws, the simplest way to do this is render al tracks from the same startpoint (the beginning?..) and send this to the other daw user. This is what most users do all the time.
Trying to convert cpr files to anything else is probably impossible since you do not have access to the source code. Cubase is very complicated software, a cpr file is not just about “timing reference and effect settings”.