I’ve been battling with Cubase 8 on and off over the last few weeks, trying to get it to run reliably on my system so that I can make use of some of its new (albeit for me personally non-essential) features.
My experience has left me concerned about Nuendo 7. Obiovulsy my experiences are not universal, but there are other users who have given up on Cubase 8 and reverted to 7.5, and I can’t help feeling that some of the changes Steinberg have made may cause problems for many users for some time to come, especially now that Nuendo 7 is (seemingly) imminent.
First up, Cubase 7.5 and Nuendo 6.5 are both rock solid on my system. I use them (in fact mainly Nuendo ATM) for 12-14 hours a day, 5-6 days a week for primarily composition and editing work.
The main issues I see with Cubase 8 (and potentially, by extension, with Nuendo 7) are:
Windows Aero: If you want to use Windows Classic mode you can’t. Cubase 8 requires you to use an Aero theme, becuase of the new window mangement features it introduces. Personally I find Aero looks dreadful, fonts are less clear etc. That said, it’s probably worth putting up with this and the extra system load (margnial though it may be) for better window management. Problem is, the new window management in my experience is really clunky, causes more problems than it solves and ocassionally renders Cubase unusable (for me personally - you see, I’m learning Fredo!). Specifically, when I started using Cubase 8.0 the menu bar would regularly not appear at all. Sometimes it would be on one monitor, then on another, then it would just vanish and I’d have to try and use kbd shortcuts to do anything. Other times, my task bar would disappear and not return, forcing me to forcibly shut and reopen explorer. Often I would just see a white strip where my menu bar shoud be, and the menu items would appear, but only if I moved my mouse over them. Admittedly, things are better in 8.0.5 (the latest maintenance release) but I’ve still had instances where Cubase has become totally unresponsive, because the Devices window was open, but it also wouldn’t respond to mouse activity. I only managed to return to normal operation my using the escape or enter key to shut the front-most window.
At the moment (I had a session with Cubase 8 yesterday), trying to open my audio driver control panel (MOTU PCIe-424) from within Device Setup cause Cubase to hang or become unresponsive pretty much every time. Plain as.
Often (on my system) Cubase 8 hangs during launch saying it is ‘Initializing Video File Handling’. No way to circumvent this. Just force quit or restart and try again.
Moving from 1 window to another window within Cubase causes audio to dropout for around 2-3 seconds every time. I have been told that there may be a setting which fixes this, but because of the issues above I’ve not been able to get far enough into a session to actually try the fix. Again, this is presumably related to the way window management is now implemented: instead of everything sitting within a ‘master’ Cubase/Nuendo window, you can now have lots of orphan windows located wherever you want, outside the main Cubase/Nuendo environment - a bit like Logic on Mac.
Admittedly, because of these frustrations and the fact that I have to work, I have not spent more than a total of maybe 8 hours working with Cubase 8. But when the intial experience is problematic, and there’s a perfectly good current version which is completely dependable, there’s little incentive to persist unless you really have to. These are very basic functions, not sophisticated and specialised sync or post-pro specific functions, which (in my case) are causing serious problems.
I very much hope Steinberg are aware of these issues and, as has often happened in the past, Nuendo gets a load of extra QA time and energy, because if my personal experiences with Cubase 8 are anything to go by, it’s really going to need it.
Sorry for the somewhat negative post. I’m genuinely excited about the evolution of Nuendo and very much committed to this platform, but working with Cubase 8 has shaken my faith just a little.