Film score arranger: Considering buying, but need help

Hello everyone!

I’ve never used Nuendo before. I’ve actually been using Cakewalk’s Sonar since version 1. I’ve been getting film score work lately and frankly, Cakewalk currently sucks at this for a few reasons. I noticed that Nuendo 10 seems to be MAJORLY focused on film and game aspects of DAWs and wanted to run this buy all the experts here.

I’m sure Nuendo excels as a DAW and I’m not worried about all the normal things a DAW should be able to do. I’m sure Nuendo does it. What I need to confirm is if Nuendo “arranger” has the ability to lock arrangement scenes / sections to absolute time (think for film reference - 00:00:20:01 for example) and that each arrangement scene has it’s own tempo / bpm that the start and ending points can be moved around (again based on absolute, not musical time) and NOT affect the other arrangement scenes / sections.

I have more specific details in a post I made for a feature request on the Cakewalk forums here: https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php?/topic/18026-feature-film-score-arranger/

If Nuendo 10 can handle this fairly straight forward workflow, I’d probably buy it tomorrow and start learning it.

Also, how is Nuendo support? I tried to find a sales contact number to ask them directly and couldn’t find one, which is not the best taste in my mouth right off the bat. I’m hoping I just missed it and it’s obvious on the website.

Thanks! I VERY much appreciate guidance here.

Cheers,

Josh

No there is no non-linear timeline in Nuendo. You can only lock individual events to time. The only program that kind of does this on a larger scale is Digital Performer with its Chunks feature, and even then the implementation is not ideal at all, because you have to use the special V-Racks to share instruments etc.

It’d be so nice to have the ability to create discontinuities in the timeline in Nuendo, kind of like you can already do with automation, and then each new section would have its own bar and TC offset as well as independent tempo information. But unfortunately that feature doesn’t exist.

But personally I still score projects in a single session. I just have to be really mindful to start every cue with a tempo change and two markers, one music based, and one time based & locked. Then I use Process Bars and Process Tempo to get back in sync with the help of those markers. If that seems too error-prone, then you need a separate session per cue.

Thank you VERY much for your reply. In general, how do you like Nuendo for film work? There are some nice features that shout out to me, like scene cut detection.

I’m still curious in checking it out if the general film workflows are better :slight_smile:

Cheers!

Josh

No problem! It’s certainly by far my favorite program for scoring. Retrospective record, MIDI channels showing the VST instrument channels in the inspector, mapping Logical Editor presets to keyboard shortcuts, excellent timeline, tempo and time signature processing tools within the Process Bars and Process Tempo windows, good CC and automation scaling tools, MusicXML export to have multiple voices per staff already when going into Sibelius/Dorico, cycle marker batch export for getting stems/tracks for every cue in the project… just to name a few features I can’t go without! (these all are Cubase features as well)

Also, I’ve gained quite a bit of trust towards Cubase and Nuendo in terms of session integrity, since I’ve used this single session per project workflow now for ten years, and I’ve never had to go back to a backup due to a corrupted session. That’s honestly quite surprising, and I’ve certainly always been prepared with elaborate backups. And of course I would still advise everyone to do that. If nothing else, you can screw up the huge session yourself, as I’ve found out a couple of times!

And yes scene cut detection has been great. I’ve used it for tracking editing changes when there’s no EDL file. It’s not a 100% exact tool, so if the color grading has changed a bit, it’ll detect slightly differently. But it’s worked good enough for that.