Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything?

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PeakMeter
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2008/06/19 06:28:08 (permalink)

Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything?

Hi all. I'm trying to get used to Sonar, but have run into something I don't understand. I've been using Emulator X as a plugin to play some midi scores. Along with that I sometimes save audio recordings. I need a way to save my entire project and all settings so that when I reload later it will load all plugins, Emulator X and it's sound banks and sometimes audio recordings. The only way I've found is to save as something called a CakeWalk Bundle file.

However when I go to reload everything I get this dialog box that's titled "Unpack Bundle" and wonder why it needs to unpack it somewhere. It has a line for "Project Name", "Location" and "Audio Path". It comes up with the previous name I saved it under as a "Project Name". But When I click the OK button it opens an error box which says something like, "C:\Cakewalk Projects\Test1\Test1.cwp. This File already exists. Please choose a different Project Name". The name I saved it under "Test1" is no longer usable.

So I have to give it a name like Test2. Then it all loads and works perfectly. I work on it, save and close Sonar. But later I get the same message, only now it says Test2 exists. So I have to call it Test3. Under another situation that didn't include EmulatorX it wasn't doing this, but sometimes it still does. I'd think that it should just simply load what I saved before, but that's not how it's happening.


The only reason I choose bundle is because it sounded like it would do the job of saving everything. But is this the right way to do it or am I doing something wrong? Is there a better way to save everything together? Thanks

It may look something like this. In this case my title is called "EXP-Strange2"

http://img372.imageshack.us/img372/7743/messageuj7.jpg

post edited by PeakMeter - 2008/06/19 06:32:20
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20 Replies Related Threads

    mudgel
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 06:42:58 (permalink)
    Welcome to the forum.

    Cakewalk saves everything apart from audio in a file with a .cwp extension. Cakewalk Project

    A .cwb file is a Cakewalk bundle file. It is a compressed file into which SONAR gathers all the various audio files and the .cwp file.

    All editing, plugin, layout, menu etc and midi info is stored in the .cwp file.

    Whenever you access a bundle file it has to be unpacked so that the .cwp file and any associated audio files can be accessed. If you unpack the file into a folder that has already been used to unpack that bundle before , well all those files already exist and it wont allow you to overwrite them by unpacking and creating those same files again.

    Either unpack it into another folder or rename it as you have been doing.

    The way most of us work is to tell SONAR to use Per Project Audio Folders. You access this menu from Options->Global->Audio Data tab - down the bottom of the window that opens.

    What SONAR does then is to organise your fiiles this way:

    You create a Project and the file gets the My Project File.cwp extension and it is put into a folder by that name {My Project Name} which is created. Inside is an Audio folder into which any audio associated with your project is placed.

    So you have a tree somethin like this

    D:\Cakewalk Projects\My Project Name\My Project Name.cwp (Which is the SONAR project file which you load and work on)
    D:\Cakewalk Projects\My Project Name\Audio (which is where SONAR will place any audio that you use edit create or otherwise import into your project.

    For archiving or storage you simply backup the whole My Project Name folder and all its contents.

    Mike V. (MUDGEL)

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    #2
    altima_boy_2001
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 06:49:35 (permalink)
    The major problem with bundle files is that if the file becomes corrupt you lose everything. With project files the audio clips get saved separately so you could reconstruct the project from scratch given time and effort. Any MIDI clips created are still stored in the project file so exporting them to a separate file would be suggested.

    You can use me as your eSoundz referral (altima_boy_2001).
    #3
    Nick P
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 08:28:24 (permalink)
    Garrigus advises not to save as bundle files.

    Cakewalk Forums - A Great Learning Resource For All Things Cakewalk!
    #4
    Funkybot
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 12:47:00 (permalink)
    I'm in the "don't save as a .bun" camp too. There's just too many things that can go wrong with a bundle file. I suggest the simple "Save As" into a backup hard drive with the store audio with project setting on, and then burning to a DVD to be extra safe.
    #5
    dantarbill
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 12:58:25 (permalink)
    I'm thinking that bundle files made a lot more sense back in the pre-per project audio days. If you need to share your project with someone, it probably makes more sense now to just zip up the project folder (which will then include everything under it, including the audio folder). It's the moral equivalent of a .bun file, but at least you are doing it "on purpose".

    I can't think of a scenario where .bun files make sense nowadays.

    Dan Tarbill
    #6
    calaverasgrandes
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 13:07:07 (permalink)
    I save as per project folders. then once a month or so I move old folders over to my offline storage. Once I get enough I burn a DVD backup of them. Inever use bundles since I had one go corrupt a few years ago.
    Disk space is cheap, DVDRs are cheap. There is no pressing need to save every bit of space. I record every day and it takes months to fill up a 250GB drive!

    Sonar 7.0.3, Mattel Synsonics, Motu 828MKII (BLA), TC-powercore, Stillwell plugins, Moog MG1, Korg Poly 800, DX27s, Moogerfooger Lowpass, Ovation Magnum, Stingray fretless, Mesa Bass 400, Waldorf Edition, DBA fuzz war, Summit 2BA221, etc
    #7
    bonster
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 16:15:13 (permalink)
    +1 for the "per project" saving... In my opinion, it's just easier and faster. At the end of a project I simply drag and drop the whole bunch of "per project" files to an external backup drive, and viola, done!!

    I never use the .cwb option any more - it seems pointless when you have the "per project"option available.

    cheers

    Bob Wijntjes - Auckland, New Zealand

    http://www.catch22.org.nz

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    #8
    calaverasgrandes
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 16:32:56 (permalink)
    I guess CWB's are okay for burning a CDR of project to share with someone. Not sure of the compression ratio? How much space you save?

    Sonar 7.0.3, Mattel Synsonics, Motu 828MKII (BLA), TC-powercore, Stillwell plugins, Moog MG1, Korg Poly 800, DX27s, Moogerfooger Lowpass, Ovation Magnum, Stingray fretless, Mesa Bass 400, Waldorf Edition, DBA fuzz war, Summit 2BA221, etc
    #9
    HotCoollMusicGirl
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 16:40:33 (permalink)
    It's my understanding that bundles are not compressed at all. If that's true, then there's even less advantage to using them, even for sharing with someone.

    In fact, if bundles are not compressed, then not only do they NOT take up less drive space, they actually end up using twice the space, since they need to be uncompressed somewhere.

    Even a non-compressed zip file is better than a bundle, cos at least you can view its contents.

    I just don't see how bundles make any sense.
    post edited by HotCoollMusicGirl - 2008/06/19 17:05:43
    #10
    Mick
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 16:52:04 (permalink)
    Bundles are indeed compressed. I feel confident in saying this, as I just saved a project as a bundle, and while the total size of the project is roughly 70 megs, the saved bundle file is only 30.
    post edited by Mick - 2008/06/19 17:13:17

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    #11
    HotCoollMusicGirl
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 17:32:42 (permalink)
    Hey Mick. I also tried to do a test, but the Save button was always grayed out when I tried to save a bundle file... except when there was *no* name in the File name field. Not sure why. Weird.

    I'm still not convinced that there's much size compression going on in buns.

    I just opened the demo bundle that came with Sonar 3: How We Do (Producer Demo).cwb. Windows says the cwb is 83.5Mb when I right click it and select Properties. After unpacking it, Windows says that the entire folder structure is 83.1Mb.

    Similar with the bun called Symptom.bun that came with Sonar 3. The bun is 121Mb. The unpacked project folders are also 121Mb (according to the Properties dialog.)

    In both, the buns are actually a hair larger than the unpacked buns. I would guess that the difference is bookkeeping overhead in the bundle. These are relatively small projects, so it's hard to say what happens when scale kicks in. But color me skeptical.

    The real test for whether bundles are size-compressed is to make a bundle of the project, and also do a Save-as of the project with "Copy all audio with Project" selected. That would exclude from the copy of the all audio that not currently being used by the project, which is also excluded from the bun file.

    My guess is that the size of the bun and the Save-as version will be virtually identical... but that's just a guess... I could be wrong.
    post edited by HotCoollMusicGirl - 2008/06/19 18:01:57
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    bapu
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 18:54:32 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: calaverasgrandes
    I guess CWB's are okay for burning a CDR of project to share with someone.


    My son and I did that a couple of years ago. The CDR was corrupted but not the bun on his system.
    He also had a bun that opened "ok" but a track was corrupted (all within his system, no movement anywhere).

    We NEVER use bun's now.
    #13
    mudgel
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 21:10:01 (permalink)
    And of course as soon as you do any AudioSnap work you can't save a bundle file anyway.

    Mike V. (MUDGEL)

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    #14
    tecton
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 22:07:00 (permalink)
    I agree with every one else, and would go further and say that I have found them to be the worst way to archive or backup your or anyone else's precious music.

    Don't Fight The Physics.

    #15
    Mick
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/19 22:53:39 (permalink)
    Well this is very strange and almost embarrassing. Windows was reporting the size of my project folder as 70 megs. I looked at it a million times. The folder was 70 megs, and the bundle was 30. Then, I went into the project folder and into the audio folder and looked at the one file in that folder, and it was only 30 megs. Then I went back down again and looked at the folder itself and for the first time windows reported the folder was 30 megs, not 70. I have no idea why it was saying 70 but I swear it was! Anyway, windows is now saying the project folder and the bun file are about the same size - so no compression after all. Sorry for the confusion.


    ORIGINAL: HotCoollMusicGirl

    Hey Mick. I also tried to do a test, but the Save button was always grayed out when I tried to save a bundle file... except when there was *no* name in the File name field. Not sure why. Weird.

    I'm still not convinced that there's much size compression going on in buns.

    I just opened the demo bundle that came with Sonar 3: How We Do (Producer Demo).cwb. Windows says the cwb is 83.5Mb when I right click it and select Properties. After unpacking it, Windows says that the entire folder structure is 83.1Mb.

    Similar with the bun called Symptom.bun that came with Sonar 3. The bun is 121Mb. The unpacked project folders are also 121Mb (according to the Properties dialog.)

    In both, the buns are actually a hair larger than the unpacked buns. I would guess that the difference is bookkeeping overhead in the bundle. These are relatively small projects, so it's hard to say what happens when scale kicks in. But color me skeptical.

    The real test for whether bundles are size-compressed is to make a bundle of the project, and also do a Save-as of the project with "Copy all audio with Project" selected. That would exclude from the copy of the all audio that not currently being used by the project, which is also excluded from the bun file.

    My guess is that the size of the bun and the Save-as version will be virtually identical... but that's just a guess... I could be wrong.


    I have not changed my signature.
    #16
    CJaysMusic
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/20 13:05:28 (permalink)
    CWB files suck @#%. The only time i would use them is if your doing a project with someone over the net and you need to send the project back and forth via the net, otherwise stay clear and use CWP and per project. Dont use CWB for backing up, dont use CWB fro saving projects, I do not like them Sam i am, just dont use them with green eggs and ham.
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    #17
    scook
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/20 13:15:50 (permalink)
    For those that want to know how bundles are made
    http://forum.cakewalk.com/fb.asp?m=653751

    Have not use them since PPF became available.
    #18
    PeakMeter
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/21 07:25:57 (permalink)
    Wow! Thanks for all the nice and informative responses

    Ok, I see what you mean Mike. So if Sonar has already unpacked the bundle it won't allow me to unpack again. I haven't tried it yet, but I was hoping there is a way to go to the unpacked folder and load everything from there. I guess what I'm saying is that I just wanted everything to load all my soft synths, samplers, audio tracks and all settings at the click of a name on a new day. The strange thing I've encountered in the past is that sometimes it wants to unpack everything to a new folder, but other times it just loads everything the way I wanted. I kind of thought that it would unpack the bundle into memory, but apparently it copies everything to other folders at some point.

    The paths example on D:\ makes sense, so I will take a better look at them later this weekend and try to understand what sonar really does when it does saving in either example.

    Also Thanks for the warning on corrupt files Altima_boy_2001. Also thanks Nick, Funky, danterbill, calaveragrandes, bonster, HotCoolMusicGirl, Mick, bapu tecton and CJaysMusic for the warnings on bundle files. I will be trying out per-project for sure as it sounds like everyone has probably had horrible experiences with bundle files. Hopefully per-project will save everything the same way. I was going to ask why Sonar ever had bundles, but it sounds like they've replaced it with better ways anyway. Not to mention they don't really compress as HotCoolMusicgirl points out.. . I can hardly wait to try per project and other ideas out this weekend. Thanks scook for the link on how they bundle files are made. It would be interesting to see even if they are not used that much.

    Thanks again for all the tips everyone! I really appreciate it.

    post edited by PeakMeter - 2008/06/21 08:03:28
    #19
    Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk]
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/21 07:36:45 (permalink)
    No, bundle files are not compressed in any way. A bundle file just contains what we refer to as "compacted audio chunks". All this means is that all audio at the same bit depth and interleave (stereo/mono) is packed into one chunk in the file. All clips in the project at the same bit depth and interleave are combined and written into a single chunk of data.
    A bundle file is basically a multichunk RIFF file where each chunk represents a specific wave format. The actual SONAR project file is appended to the end of the bundle as the last chunk.

    A typical bundle looks like this:

    <64 bit float Stereo Audio Chunk>
    <64 bit float Mono Audio Chunk>
    <32 bit float Stereo Audio Chunk>
    <32 bit float Mono Audio Chunk>
    <24 bit Stereo Audio Chunk>
    <24 bit Mono Audio Chunk>
    <16 bit Stereo Audio Chunk>
    <16 bit Mono Audio Chunk>
    <CWP chunk>

    Since a bundle is really a multichunk RIFF wave file you can even rename the file to a WAV file and actually play it or import it :-) Of course most software would only play the very first chunk in the file and ignore the others.

    ORIGINAL: Mick

    Bundles are indeed compressed. I feel confident in saying this, as I just saved a project as a bundle, and while the total size of the project is roughly 70 megs, the saved bundle file is only 30.

    post edited by Noel Borthwick [Cakewalk] - 2008/06/21 08:00:01

    Noel Borthwick
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    #20
    Elffin
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    RE: Are Cake Walk Bundle files the Best Way to Save Everything? 2008/06/21 07:47:37 (permalink)
    I use CWB files to move data from my school computer to my home. Works well and hasn't left me down yet.
    #21
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