Trouble Converting Old Cubase .all/.arr Files to .cpr

I quit music activities over 30 years ago and hadn’t touched any instruments since. Recently, I resumed my music endeavors using the latest version of Cubase, which I loved back in the day. I’ve kept data from that time (around 1990-1993) stored on a file server, and ideally, I’d like to reuse the old Cubase files.

In my research, I came across the article Converting Cubase VST songs (ALL/ARR) into CPR format. After several days of trial and error, I managed to set up a Windows XP + Cubase SX3 environment and was ready to convert the old files!

Out of approximately 100 old files, only a few successfully converted. Most files either load empty or cause SX3 to freeze during import.

Several potential reasons come to mind:

  1. File Corruption: Given that these files have been neglected for over 30 years and have passed through various storage media, it’s not surprising if some are corrupted. However, having only a few percent of them survive feels disheartening.

  2. Missing Resource Forks: The original machine was a Macintosh SE/30 running System 7. In the HFS disk format used by System 7, files have both data forks and resource forks. Unfortunately, other formats don’t support resource forks, so the remaining files may have lost their resource forks.

  3. Different File Extensions: System 7 stored file types in resource forks, so there was no concept of file extensions. My files lack extensions (whether .all or .arr), making it challenging to identify their format. I tried both extensions, but the results remained unchanged.

  4. Outdated Cubase Version: I believe the last version I used was Cubase 2.0. Although I checked the release dates, it aligns closely with that time. Still, can SX3 handle files from version 2.0?

As a solution, I plan to create a Windows 95 + Cubase VST 3.65 environment. Hopefully, this will allow me to load the files and save them again in a format compatible with SX3.

If you have any suggestions or advice, I’d greatly appreciate it!

I thought Cubase 2.0 was only on the Atari ST. According to Wikipedia, Cubase didn’t appear on Mac until 1996.

Could you upload a sample file here, so people could try converting it?

The Macintosh version of Cubase has been around since 1.0. I remember it well because in 1990, I worked at a YAMAHA flagship store and personally sold it.

At that time, the main sequencer software was Vision and Performer. These were sequencers that primarily focused on real-time input on a track-by-track basis, so the introduction of Cubase, which allowed for block-based input that could be copied and pasted, was very sensational.

I was using Roland (Come on Music) RCP and was considering YAMAHA C1 (the obscure DOS/V-based sequencer PC) when I decided to switch my production environment to Macintosh after trying Cubase 1.0. (Cubase 1.0 for Macintosh is also listed on Wikipedia.)

I have a clear memory of upgrading up to 1.5, but I am a bit unsure about version 2.0.

Wow, are you going to try the conversion for me? That’s very much appreciated!

sample files

  • sample1: This is a file that becomes empty when loaded in SX3.
  • sample2: This one causes SX3 to freeze during loading.

I will upload them without extensions. They are likely .arr files, but they might be .all files…

Sorry, misread Wikipedia!

I can’t download either of those files … can you attach them here to the post?

I couldn’t upload these files here. It seems like the types of files that can be uploaded are restricted.

My Dropbox folder
How about this?

Really strange … I’ve been able to download them, but Dropbox gives them the extenstion “.sql”. I copied and renamed them both to both .arr and .all, but haven’t been able to load them (yet). I’ll try again later.