SL10 cache file locations

hi @Robin_Lobel - it would be good to get some clarity on where the various ARA cache files are created for SL10 as some can get pretty large.

I notice there seems to be a difference in behaviour between Cubase v11 and V12 (haven’t tried Nuendo yet).

In C11 if you add SL10 ARA extension to a clip a cache(?) file is created in the ARA subfolder of the Cubase project. Notably this isn’t removed when you remove the extension even if you close the project. You ‘need’ to delete manually.

In C12 the cache files are created in the folder dictated by the ‘cache preference’ (in windows it defaults to \appdata\roaming etc). These are deleted when you remove the extension and exit the project…which is correct behaviour i think.

Ultimately the question is what can be deleted manually…and when ? I feel these ‘temp?/cache?’ files moving about or being deleted are the reason some people suddenly find ALL their edits etc are missing when they reopen projects.

Any light you can shed on this is appreciated.

Hi @Dr.Strangelove the only cache folders used by SL are (as shown in Preferences > System):

  • the Cache folder (~/Library/Caches/Steinberg/SpectraLayers 10.0 on macOS, %userprofile%\AppData\Roaming\Steinberg\SpectraLayers 10.0\Cache on Windows)
  • the External Edits folder (~/Documents/SpectraLayers Edits on mac, %userprofile%\Documents\SpectraLayers Edits on Windows)

The Cache folder is only for SpectraLayers’ internal usage, and is cleaned at the end of every session. In case of remaining files it’s also automatically cleaned every 5 days, but feel free to clean it manually if needed, as long as SpectraLayers is not running.

The External Edits folder is where SpectraLayers stores a layer (as a .wav file) when sending it to Cubase or Nuendo during a drag and drop operation. But it’s then Cubase/Nuendo’s (and the user’s) responsibility to store it in a safe place along with your project.
However since SpectraLayers 8 there’s an internal mechanism to ensure no file ever gets deleted or replaced accidentally in that External Edits folder, and no file is ever deleted by SpectraLayers in that folder. But files stored there are no longer handled by SpectraLayers, it’s the DAW responsibility to handle it and move/delete if necessary.

Any other cache folder you might see are created and handled by Cubase or Nuendo.

Hope that clarifies, feel free if you have further questions.



I’m only really looking at the various files created when applying as an ARA2 extension.

It’s odd that the behaviours is different between Cubase v11 and v12 ?

if you open a project in Cubase 11 it seems the Cache directory \appdata\etc isn’t used in the same way as with Cubase 12. If you monitor the various file locations (including the /ARA folder in the Cubase project location) you can see the files being created.

I’ve seen lots of reports of ARA2 edits being lost on reopening (both with SL and Melodyne) . I’ve had this happen too and I strongly suspect it’s this file handling that is to blame. Early versions of SL seemed to store all the edit data in the .cpr/.npr which lead to massive file sizes.

It’s likely a cubase/nuendo issue - but it would be good to track down exactly why this happens - and what files are involved

For what it’s worth nothing changed in ARA file/data handling and archiving since at least SL8, on the SpectraLayers side. So if you observe differences in handling between Cubase 11 and 12, it’s rather something internal to Cubase.


Just trying to get a handle on what data is created (and lost !) when using ARA - what is temporary and ok to delete and what is necessary - and as I say it’s different in different versions of cubase and strange that the SL cache directory isn’t used in the same way in V11 - it feels like the host is telling the ARA plug where to save temp or working files.

Personally I’m always nervous using ARA because of these problems - I ALWAYS forced to bounce at the end of an edit - which is a shame. With Wavelab ARA just around the corner (thanks for the leak SB :slight_smile: ) I’d love to understand more about what is going on.

These are a few random threads with people using melodyne but I’ve seen and experience similar things with revoice pro / SL / etc. There are lots and lots of other threads reporting similar.

oh, a very minor issue - when I updated to V10.0.20 (windows) yesterday from v10.0.10 it lost/defaulted the audio preferences .