Interesting Nuendo vs. Pro Tools critique

The user comments are also useful.

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Unlike some other DAWs Nuendo has SO many features, and a few of them are honestly not that obvious in use and thus almost unknown to even many existing users.

It also shows that there is a general need for more/better instructional videos for PT>Nuendo converts.

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I agree.

In addition to that I’ll repeat what others have recommended before which is to learn to use each DAW in a way that’s best for it, not just try to use Nuendo like one uses Pro Tools. I think we just have ‘accept’ the DAW we’re working on at the moment to do the best work possible.

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Pro Tools: If you want free or paid video tutorials for Pro Tools, well, there are incredible amounts of resources.

VS

Nuendo: If you want even paid video tutorials for Nuendo, well, at the time of posting this comment, seemingly, there isn’t enough money in the world that can make that happen.

That is my one and only criticism of Nuendo at this point. No matter how much feature-packed Nuendo may be, there are almost zero resources for Nuendo when compared to Pro Tools. Pro Tools is the industry standard for probably most of the professionals in the west for some significant reasons. I believe that this unbelievable unavailability of Nuendo video resources (again, compared to Protools, before someone decides to jump and defend Nuendo resources) is one of them.

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DAWs are so feature rich that it’s probably a bit difficult to single out what to make a video about, and covering everything would take an eon.

If there was a collected set of requests for topics or features that people wanted help with then I’m sure someone could probably whip something together…

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Moot, what with Cubase and Nuendo being virtually identical at this point - post tools aside - there are tons of videos online, Steinberg has also improved their tranche of vids available on Yotube, so there’s more tutorial content available than ever.

Nuendo sounds better, this is the major reason why I use not Pro

I am definitely talking about the ‘‘post tools’’ compared to Pro Tools! haha, there is not even a comparison for Music and Film scoring features of Cubase with Pro Tools. Cubase is much more advanced there.

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Like others, I agree that Nuendo is rather wonderful, technically (for the most part). However, some of the ‘cons’ listed in the comments section of the OP seem like fair enough criticisms:

Con:

  • The 3rd party market targets PT first. Tools might never get updated to integrate well into Nuendo. It is a direct consequence of Steinberg trying to do everything themselves. It makes things harder for small companies targeting a niche market (like Soundsinsync, SoundRadix, Non-Lethal, iZotope)

  • Bugs are often not addressed. When they don’t get a quick fix, they might not get a fix for many years (VCA, stuttering timecode issue).

  • Nuendo (other than Cubase) seems less important to Steinberg than PT Ultimate (compared to vanilla) is to AVID.

  • EuCon improvements have been non existent up to V11 and left many users screaming for updates

  • Stereo files cannot be split by dragging/copying onto two mono channels

  • Some editing operations are more complicated than they should be (like filling a gap with ambience)

  • AAF Import gives less options than PT (like open with rendered fx)

  • PT offers real snapshot automation (Nuendo only touch collects the first couple of parameters on punch preview), therefore copying and pasting scene or single plugin automation is a breeze on PT and always a potential threat on complex Nuendo mixes.

  • At the same time there is no real object based automation (other than rendering) like clip eq/dynamics in PT.

  • While AVID can be painfully slow in adopting new features for PT, they usually get them pretty right when they are released. Steinberg on the other hand has a history of releasing features that have very obvious problems that could not have been overlooked in a normal beta testing phase, which can be fun if you want new features to play with but painful if you just need things to work.

Personally, I’d also add that no longer being able to raise a support ticket directly with Steinberg is not acceptable & especially at this price point. Nowadays I am referred to ‘local distributor’ in AU (Yamaha) and that particular website is buggy, requests are not answered etc. This too is very unlike Avid Pro Tools support.

I suppose this is really an endless discussion. To me at least Nuendo offers more positives than it suffers negatives, in other words it’s all things considered better. But anyway, just a couple of thoughts of some of the above;

I don’t think the reason is Steinberg trying to do it themselves. Developers are more than welcome to develop for ARA or VST 3 and as far as I know there’s absolutely nothing SB does to prevent or slow that down. If anything my guess is that it’s in some cases that companies are based in the US and therefore see a bigger presence of PT, or end up having closer personal relationships with other businesses. I can see for example how Dolby would have been tight with Avid simply because both are based here. But if I’m not mistaken Atmos home is currently more or better integrated in Nuendo than PT.

Well, “seems” is personal. It doesn’t seem that way to me.

Is this with touch-assist engaged? Maybe I’m misunderstanding the process.

It’s not automatable within each clip though. It’s a clip-based effect. I get the convenience of it but it really is different if it’s possible to automate it. I’m curious about how people really feel it compares to DOP in practice. DOP seems to have several advantages over clip-effects so curious about the drawbacks.

Here I’d just add that maybe we need to consider the two different strategies that Avid and SB took. Avid went to subscription which essentially guarantees a revenue stream that is more predictable. SB relies on sales of licenses.

I think that all we really have to do is to take a look at what it costs to be on PT Ultimate and it’s easy to see that it really costs some money to get that support. If you pony up $2,600 for a perpetual license you get one year of support, and if I remember correctly it’s $400/ year after that. Or if you go subscription it’s $800/ year, every year. With Nuendo you pay about $1k to own it and then the upgrades are far less.

So really it seems to me that if support really costs a fair amount of money to offer us then we might have to pay more. Question is if we’re willing?

Just for sake of comparison, Dorico runs on the same licensing/financial premise as other Steinberg products yet the support I have received from the Dorico team has been outstanding at all times. The team are active on the forum and very quick to respond.

Compared to an average wait in excess of a month for help on a Nuendo support ticket the difference between the two support experiences is, with no disrespect intended towards the Nuendo team,
embarrassingly apparent.

I would also suggest that the price of the Avid support plan is not remotely proportional to their costs of maintaining that service. Avid’s business decisions over the last decade have been, arguably, focused around maximising profit and taking advantage of their market position with scant regard for the service offered.

I must admit one of the reasons I upgraded to Nuendo was with the, in my opinion mistaken, expectation that the extra cost would reflect an increase in the quality and speed of support offered (along with the extra features of course)
If an extra subscription charge is genuinely required to offer a better level of support then that’s certainly something I’d consider.

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What’s even worse is that we can’t combine mono-files to (any kind of) multi-channel format just by dragging them to the respective audio channel.

In the same vein, it’s a major PITA that Nuendo doesn’t allow for changing from (say) mono to stereo processing just by inserting a plug-in with the desired I/O options.

True … sigh … eg. Post-fader plug-in's routing gets lost in multi-channel tracks

Fair enough. I don’t have Dorico. Although are you comparing support on a forum with support through a ticket system?

Well with Dorico I’ve not needed a support ticket yet because the members of the team are so quick to answer on the forum! Most bugs/flaws/feature posts have a reply from a member of the Dorico team, whereas a brief scroll through the Nuendo/Cubase forums reveals a stark contrast.

So I’m more broadly comparing the support experience between the two and find Doricos (the cheaper of the two products) to be far more positive.

The VST Connect Pro team is also very present and on point here in the forum… very helpful during my last extended remote project. Dialogue is reassuring–and there was plenty of it!

Chewy

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This sentence hits the nail exactly on the head . Open and regular dialogue between the company and the users only seems to improve everyone’s experiences. I don’t doubt for a second that the Nuendo development team care about the product and its users, but seeing so many threads about long standing, unaddressed, bugs that have had seemingly no comment from any Steinberg representatives makes one worry at the disconnect between them and the community.

Even a simple “we know this is a bug and although we can’t guarantee it’ll be fixed in the next release it is on our radar” is far more preferable to complete silence, and would surely engender a more positive community spirit.

Not to say that this never happens, of course, but I’d really like to see more of it. They need a Daniel Spreadbury on the team!

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I couldn’t agree more, that’s what also makes Nuendo special in its different approach to a DAW which needs to be embraced in its ingenuity. I’ve seen a few engineers that have switched from PT to Nuendo hoping to do everything the same way that they are used too, which in theory makes sense, given how muscle memory works, habits, and or their workflow approaches etc. However many of the cons listed against Nuendo are hardly anything deal breaking against the countless advantages it has brought me over the years, most of them not even problems just different ways to do things. I would like to see a capture automation tool to make automation snapshots easier to perform on Nuendo though, and RX perform better, it still works on windows at least and that’s it, nothing else in PT to gain. And I have also used Pro Tools plenty in my career.

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In my studio, we run Adobe Audition, Harrison MixBus32C, Acid Pro Suite, Reason Suite, StudioOne, an old version of FL Studio (just in case we need to print files to import into a DAW that doesn’t suck the life out of the audio), and our main DAW that everything is focused around is Nuendo (currently v.11).
I think a little background before I begin will help people decide whether my 2 cents is worth considering so…

Nuendo is what I was trained on in Studio-B at P.A.C. Recording Studios back some time around 2003 and have loved Nuendo ever since. A few years later, I had to switch to Pro-Tools when I decided to get around to going to college to study Audio-Engineering formally (I know, weird to go to college AFTER completing an apprenticeship and working in a professional studio but that’s the order I did it in :man_shrugging:). We were trained on Pro-Tools HD with a C24 console in school so I switched to the shitty home-studio version of PT w/ an original M-Box at home, to do homework. So, I was properly trained on both Nuendo and Pro-Tools HD.
When I was finished with college, I had my shitty little budget homework studio (M-Box, Pro-Tools, Røde NT1A, shitty M-Audio monitors, Acer laptop w/ an Intel is CPU, ATH-M45 headphones, and a Casio keyboard setup as a MIDI controller) and the time soon came to begin upgrading. Swapped out the M-Audio monitors for some Mackie MR5s, Audia Technica headphones for DT770 Pro, laptop for a custom-built quad-core AMD Phenom II-based PC, added an Oktava MK319 and Grampian GR2 to the mic locker, Axiom49 for the Casio keyboard, and a Tascam 8+1 control surface via firewire. At some point I had to make a decision whether to stick with Pro-Tools w/ M-Box or go back to Steinberg.
The decision was simple. I went with Cubase and used the Tascam FW2816 as my interface. At the time, I simply preferred the workflow and hated that Avid forced users to buy particular hardware but hated most that they charged fees for customer support. I wasn’t charging for services during this period (obviously) so money was a factor but I was most concerned with the fact that Pro Tools simply didn’t mesh with my workflow as well as Cubase.
I later upgraded to Nuendo (v.4, I think) and switched to a PreSonus AudioBox (v1), which certainly with the new launch of StudioOne Artist. I REALLY tried to like StudioOne Artist. I upgraded to StudioOne Pro to unlock the “Project”/mastering Suite feature and ended up becoming a beta-tester for PreSonus (where I learned that PreSonus was pretty much a collection of former Steinberg employees lol). That’s where I was given my AudioBox 22VSL and then my AudioBox 1818VSL. The 1818 allowed me to build the studio up more with a little bit of hardware, so I began having to deal with routing and using my DAWs in a generally more elaborate way.
As a hardware tester I was also encouraged to use more DAWs and anything else that could be beneficial to test compatibility with. I ended up adding Reaper, Fruity Loops, Acid Pro, Abelton, and Reason. I needed them for testing purposes so I spent quite a bit of time using all of my DAWs inside and out in an analytical way.
Since then my studio has gradually grown. I’ve been through so many versions of so many DAWs over the years and so many hardware upgrades and plugins added. I (obviously) went back to professional work in that time as well. Today, I’m running Deadly Mix Productions Recording Studio. While I did turn ½ of my home into the studio to keep overhead down (amateurs masquerading as pros makes it hard to charge a logical rate and still manage overhead on a commercial building), it’s far from a “home-studio”. We’re running Lynx AES16e cards with Lynx Aurora 16 converters, the whole Waves catalog on a Soundgrid Extreme-C server with additional servers for other brands of plug-ins, the best vocal booth I’ve been in anywhere (and I’ve been in a lot of them), a custom-built hybrid mixing console built around SSL/Neve/and other top hardware processors, a mic locker that includes an all original first gen vintage Neumann U87 (late-60s)/RCA 77B/Sony C800-G, PMC monitors w/ a Yamaha sub and a pair of Auratone 5C powered by a Bryston amp… I could go on for days but the point is that DMP Recording Studio is as good or better than any larger studio in the Detroit area, for small projects (if clients need a large live-room, that’s the one thing we’ll be lacking until the real estate market gets back to normal so we can buy a new building, but we have a partner studio 1 mile away with a great one).
Anyway… So, to sum it up: I’ve tested multiple versions every DAW I mentioned and more in a learning environment, multiple professional studios, and every level of home studio from an approx. $300k setup to a shitty 2 I/O interface and a laptop amateur rig.

Now that we’ve established where I’m coming from (and hopefully enough people see this so I never have to give that background again), give me a little but to post my conclusions of a the DAWs…

• Nuendo:
Hands-down, the most capable DAW ever made. There is no project I can’t do on it. Recording/Mixing/Mastering pop/rock/hip-hop/soul etc, composing, creating instrumentals, Foley, audio for film, voice-over… Its a Swiss Army Knife. It’s a top choice for almost everything and still 2nd choice when it’s not 1st.
One thing that may be a problem for “noobs”, as I recall, it was very difficult to learn initially. What helped me a lot was my time using Cubase. Despite being trained on Nuendo and retaining that familiarity, when I went back to Nuendo after Cubase, I noticed my workflow was much quicker in Nuendo. Granted, experience certainly had a lot to do with it but it seemed like Cubase was training wheels for Nuendo.
I should add that, despite having so many years of experience with Nuendo, I still learn new tracks fairly often.
Another is that you need to remember to disable hyperthreading in BIOS or you’re likely to have CPU overloads that make it impossible to use it to it’s full capabilities.
• Pro-Tools HD:
A great DAW but Nuendo allows me to do more things more quickly. If your doing anything involving syncing video and audio, Nuendo is a no-brainer.
Reaper:
Your best option if you’re on a budget. Very much like Cubase.
Cubase: Its Nuendo for people who just want to record their own music and/or maybe mix it themselves. So, for most people, it’s your best option.
Reason:
If you’re not a fan of DAWs and really just wish you could compose instrumental music in an analog studio with countless synthetic, samplers, drum machines, etc available without the hassle of plugs, cables, and difficult routing; there is no better out there. I love that ReasonRack allows me to open Reason in Nuendo (or any other DAW) as a VSTi.
Abelton:
It’s the go-to for techno/EDM composers and that’s its lane. I gotta admit, it would take some incredible features for me to get over the hideous GUI, so it’s hard for me to look at, and it just doesn’t have enough capability to get past staring at that ugly screen.
FL Studio:
A great DAW if you have no talent and need fool-proof software that will allow you to close your eyes, click around, and hear music when you hit play. If you don’t need that level of simplicity, use literally anything else. Digitally recorded and processed music, as pretty much everyone agrees, is sterile in comparison to analog. With that said, Fruity Loops is even sterile compared to other DAWs. I’m not talking about the native virtual instruments and soundbanks, it’s the DAW itself. Something about the way its designed just sucks the richness and soul right out of audio, compared to other DAWs. Even when loading a sample of a song that was recorded on tape with all analog hardware, it looses its density and richness when it’s loaded into FL Studio.
I get singers/rappers coming in all the time with these beats their friend or whoever made and I can usually tell right away if it was made on Fruity Loops. I end up having to have them acquire and bring me stems so I can run each track out through hardware to breathe some life into them in Nuendo or MixBus32C.
MixBus32C:
Kind of a pain in the ass, to be honest. It’s just a difficult workflow and even setup is different from other DAWs, making me have to think a moment longer about everything but mixing, which adds up to too much lost time. For mixing, however, it’s great. Similar to using a console, if consoles were controlled by a mouse. I haven’t gotten our SSL Nucleus to control the console features in MixBus but I think, if I did, I might like it more.
The best feature in MixBus is also its worst. The whole DAW is an emulation of recording on a Harrison console. That’s great when you’re looking for that but otherwise it’s really muddy and dark. An issue I’ve noticed with it is that mixes often sound different after mixdown, even when played on the same system. For example, mixing down then closing the DAW to play it in a media player on the same audio driver through the same speakers in the same room and somehow it doesn’t sound the same. That cam obviously be a big problem.
Audition:
Unrivaled in native features. They basically just stole every plugin from every company to make them features in the DAW and, to boost, Audition is included in Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions. It would be crushing Avid, Steinberg, and PreSonus if not for one HUGE problem… The workflow is by far the WORST of any DAW out there. There is a well-defined way DAWs are setup. They’ve, for the most part, all been the same since Cubase first set the template that was copied by Pro-Tools and everyone afterward. There are often little details changed to the template from one DAW to the next but Audition is an entirely different tool. It’s probably less foreign if you’ve never seen a DAW before and are an expert on all the rest of the Adobe software but it’s still comes with awful workflow. Bad enough that it hasn’t replaced any of my DAWs, despite being otherwise capable enough for most jobs.
StudioOne:
I don’t like it for tracking nor mixing but it’s my favorite tool for mastering. I’m not sure what it is about the Song mode in S1 but it just doesn’t do it for me. It just feels less exciting for some reason. The project section, however, is an essential step to my mastering process. This, however, comes down pretty much entirely to encoding metadata. I process the audio entirely with a mixture of analog hardware and plugins through Nuendo and then I load the tracks of the client’s album into StudioOne to add metadata. In its defense, I haven’t upgraded it since StudioOne v2 but, if I’m gonna give it that, I gotta admit that I haven’t trade WaveLab in a long time either.
I had WaveLab when I first tried S1 Pro and PreSonus won because of the metadata embedding. If WaveLab can do this now, I’ll consider switching back… if Steinberg ever stops making customers wait a lifetime for a response.
Acid Pro:
A really basic DAW. Still pretty much the exact same thing it was before Magix, when it was “Sony Acid Pro”. However, when it comes to chopping samples for hip-hop beats, it’s the go-to for most of the successful hip-hop beatmakers I know. Thats its niche and it excels at it.

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Hey if I upgrade from elements to Cubase pro do I need to get one of those unlocking keys ?