I make films, photographs and electronic music. I build electronic musical instruments

Cubase 2.0 on Atari ST

Cubase: Atari ST and PC

Today I converted my old Atari ST disks to PC formatted disks that I could read on my PC.

On the Atari disks were old Cubase 2.0 files of tracks I made during the 90’s. I would like to import them in Cubase 6.5 on PC so I can play around with them a bit. I still have my old Atari hardware (520ST+, SM125 monochrome monitor and SF314 disk drive) which have been in storage for about 15 years I think. After connecting everything I vaguely remembered there was something wrong with the on/off switch of the SM125 monitor the last time I used it. And so it was. When switching the monitor on it came on for a second and then switched off again.

My "always-on" version of the SM125's on/off switchI opened the case, cut the 4 wires to the switch and measured the switch. It’s a two pole switch and one side didn’t work so I decided to bypass the switch and connect the wires in an always-on configuration. Braced myself for the white smoke test but everything worked fine and I closed up the case again. I switched on the Atari 520ST and it came to live without a problem!

I formatted a couple of 3.5″ disks on a PC which I used to copy the files from the Atari disks. The problem is that Atari formatted disks cannot be read by modern PC disk drives but PC formatted disk can be read on Atari ST.

Cubase 2.0 on Atari STThe Atari Cubase files are in .ARR format (Cubase arrangements) but unfortunately cannot be imported in the latest Cubase 6.5. I tried exporting as a MIDI file on the Atari but a lot of information was lost when importing this in Cubase 6.5.

To be continued…


2 responses to “Cubase: Atari ST and PC”

  1. Andrew Johnson avatar
    Andrew Johnson

    I’m about to embark the same exercise for a friend who possess some old cubase files Atari formatted disks which he would like to export to the PC.

    Did you manage to complete the task? if so, what steps were taken to achieve this.

    1. Well, at the Steinberg forum I was told to download Cubase SX 3 which should enable me to import the old Atari Cubase arrangement files and save them in the new Cubase project format.
      Unfortunately that doesn’t work for me. I tried to import a lot of files and all I get is an empty project window or an error message.

      So I guess my only option left is to connect the Atari to the PC by MIDI, play the tracks on the Atari and record on the PC. I will write an article about that experiment when I get it done…