Thoughts on Track Versions?

Up front I apologizes for the lengthy character of this post? But I have been wondering about this for quite some time? And I need to point out some things that need explaining, so please bear with me?

Maybe I’m missing something or there’s another way to do this that I’ve missed but I have yet to find the solution? So I hope someone can shed some more light on the matter?

I’ve been playing around with ‘track versions’ ever since it was released but in my opinion the way it’s implemented isn’t very helpful in the real world? And it’s even doing more damage than good when used, if you ask me?

When a new version of a track is created the entire existing track is removed. Without relation to the left/right locators. Correct?

So I ask you, Is there really anyone out there that would want to delete an entire track and try a different version of a track of a 6 minute song??? It just doesn’t make any sense? Maybe if you had a really good musician that has a ‘vision’ that can only work from beginning to end? But normally I would just want to replace certain parts? Or maybe try different takes at starting a song? But what’s the point in using ‘track versions’ then? Because you can easily manipulate parts with cycled recording? So I fail to see the need of a complete ‘track replacement’ option at that stage anyway?

My plea is, wouldn’t it make more sense to make this option part related or make it behave between the locaters? Like trying different versus or choruses of a song as opposed to completely replacing a track from beginning to end? That would really be more helpful in my opinion?

And I’ll try to explain to you why?

Of course there is a way of using track versions in creating multiple choruses?…First you need to select all the tracks you want to replace (try different versions on) and then you need to make a new copy of the current version. Then remove the parts you want to be different. Record and that’s it! But before you think that’s it…? It’s not!

The beauty of it all would be to switch between different choruses with a single click. But unfortunately it’s far from being that straightforward? If you want to switch between ‘v1’ and ‘v2” it will start to nag you about version ID’s (of the tracks) and present you with 3 cryptic and completely useless options that will never satisfy your needs. However, in the project menu you can synchronize all the ‘selected’ tracks to the same version ID (but you cannot name them yourself). So how to manage when you plan to add an extra track to the new chorus version because you cannot name it to the same ID? You’ll probably have to make another copy of the tracks and then select all the tracks again and go back to the project menu to save them to the same ID? Sic…. Sic…Sic…

An extra reason to make this option only part/locator relevant would be: You have to be very careful in selecting all the tracks you want to replace in a session because it happened to me that I was just missing something later on but just couldn’t pinpoint it? After listening and looking to the last saved version it became clear I selected a track that I wanted only to be replaced In the region of the chorus but had more work before and later on in the project? But selecting the track deleted everything from the beginning to end! So while I was building a new chorus within the 4 bar loop, the rest of track just disappeared from beginning to end in this version!? So be very careful when using this on multiple tracks! It will NOT warn you when clicking on ‘new version’ or selecting existing ones, it will just empty all selected tracks from beginning to end’!! And you will have to go back and setup the tracks you disabled before you started to work on your chorus! You’ll usually find out later in your project that ‘a’ track is completely empty besides the chorus you worked on, where you know you had events before!? And this will start to haunt you…. because maybe more is missing that is not obvious at first…?? It starts before and after the chorus! Because you’re not sure if you removed tracks in this ‘track version’ that might contain data outside the loop you’re listening to in the chorus you want different options on? Switching back to ‘v1’ will bring you back to where you started but the new take on the chorus with its adjusted harmonies will be unavailable in this version.

There is a reason why this all sounds extremely complicated? That’s because I find this ‘track option’ a very complicated option to use that really doesn’t add anything I was hoping it would? And I have yet to find a benefit in using this? If anybody can point out a benefit in the given situation I will salute you?

I was hoping to use this to build different choruses in a song within the same timeline, but it’s obviously it doesn’t work for that? Or at least not in my world? Or again, maybe I’m missing something someone can explain?

For now I’ll just stick to the Arranger tool? It does the job but timewise it’s not correct because I have to place the alternative chorus’(s) outside the timeline where it’s supposed to be? Sometimes not an issue but with dedicated automation in some tracks it most certainly sometimes is and I have to be careful to copy it from the original region? But certainly not as cumbersome as working with this ‘track versions’ thing? At least I know I won’t be missing tracks that didn’t copy while switching from one version to another?

Maybe it’s just me being blond and maybe I’m missing something? But I can’t find a useful application for this “track versions’ option besides replacing a whole track from beginning to end and forgetting about everything else on that track of a 6 minute song? I fail to see the benefit of an option like that? Because we already have tools to deal with that?!

I must be definitely missing something?! So if someone is willing to point out the obvious I’m missing I’ll be much obliged?

Sorry for the ‘epic novel’, but I had to somehow make clear what I mean?

A typical use would be comping without affecting the original parts.

You use the ‘duplicate’ option to copy the entire track to a new version.

So record a vocal with multiple takes. ‘Duplicate’ the track version and then create a comp version. You can then create multiple comps if you wish.


I watched a tutorial some months back and it happened to be in protools. I think (but could be wrong) track versions is to emulate a feature protools uses, it seemed very similar, those jumping across will appreciate it more. Personally I prefer lanes, a much better and older feature. I always was confused to why they added track versions until i seen that tutorial in protools.

I don’t use the track versions for versioning like that, only for the aforementioned comping while keeping the original parts (or even Vari-Audio as well, before comping).

For different versions I use lanes. For say swapping choruses around I would use the arranger as the OP does.

Or if it’s not that complex I’ll use Audio Parts to ‘group’ events into an easy package and then mute/unmute them on the lanes to swap them over (multiple tracks can become a pain, but you can Group them and then mute/unmute them all at once).


the greatest feature-deficiency of this paradigm to me is automation not being part of the track version data package…

In my setup I use a Dbox & a 2Bus+ for summing and the resulting stereo mix comes back into Cubase via a pair of inputs and when I have the mix ready, I record enable a track with it’s input as the incoming summed file. I export that and toggle a new track version of that track. We listen to that mix on various devices/setups, come back to the mix, make tweaks and re-print a new mix on Track Version 2. I’ve not used them for anything else, but for that, it works very well… I make notes in the Notepad for each TV and can quickly compare mixes…

Yes, that would make a lot of sense? To accommodate Protool user wanting to switch to Cubase?

I now either use lanes or just do a copy range the data between the left/right locator to build another alternative chorus, using he arranger tool to compare. In theory I think lanes is better but, it can get confusing on what you actually replaced when having a lot tracks to work on. Anyway thanks for the input, I will look further into exploring that.

My only use for track versions is when I’m comping. I make my comp, then duplicate the track. Rename one as “Lanes” and the other as “Comp” and then I select all of the regions of “Comp” and click on delete overlaps. Now I end up with a nice clean version to crossfade & mix. If at any point I’m unhappy with a line or word, I can go back to “Lanes” to cut and paste a part into the “Comp” track.