Interleaved workflow for post production in Nuendo

FWIW, I’ve been doing post production in PTHDX for a number of years, and have been using Cubase for music composition work for the past 5 years or so. I recently took advantage of the cross-grade from Cubase to Nuendo, and now I’m trying to see what kind of post production workflow I can get going with Nuendo.

At this point, one of my main issues has to do with handling interleaved files. Here’s a simple workflow that I can’t figure out how to accomplish with Nuendo without it taking quite a few steps (as opposed to PT):

Workflow:

Open sound miner and find the sound of a door closing.
The file is stereo.
I drag this file into Nuendo. Either by dragging it onto a stereo track, or letting Nuendo create a stereo track for me.
I ONLY WANT TO USE THE LEFT SIDE OF THE STEREO FILE…
EDIT: I’m hoping to find a single workflow that works with Sound Miner, or Media Bay, or by dragging in files from the desktop

Nuendo won’t let me drag this stereo file onto two mono tracks.

It appears I have three options.

OPTION 1) Open the file in the ‘pool’ and convert it to mono. The problem with this solution, is the function is collapsing the stereo file to mono. So it’s summing the two sides together and creating a new, summed mono file. This simply won’t work. I don’t want a mono summed file of the original stereo file, I only want to use the left side.

OPTION 2) Select the stereo track, and under the project tab, select ‘convert tracks --> multi-channel to mono’. The problem here is two fold. For one, I just want to convert this one single file, not the entire track. Two, even if i do convert the track, it creates two mono tracks each with their respective .l and .r files for each side…, however, these two mono tracks are panned hard left/right by default…, and there is NO PANNER on these newly created tracks. So now, I need to create yet another mono track and drag the left side file onto it. and now I’ve finally got a mono file of a door closing that I can pan where needed.

OPTION 3) In the preferences I can choose to have Nuendo ask me EVERY TIME I IMPORT AUDIO if I want it to be imported as multi-mono or interleaved.

This seems pretty convoluted for something that happens in a post edit a thousand times. IMO, option 1 above is simply not going to work as it’s summing both sides together. Option 2, while it technically works is a huge work-around, and option 3 is giant PIA to have to press through a dialogue box every single time you import a file.

Any suggestions???

Hi.

I use 2 methods to go fast:

  • the dialog box and I converted the file into 2 monos. I usually have several mono FX tracks. So I drag the stereo file on one of these tracks which converts me to 2 monos files on 2 mono tracks. You can program the conversion systematically without going through the dialog box.
  • or - when I’m in a hurry-on a mono track, I drag the stereo file and I use the stereo flip function. Nuendo reads the stereo file but treats it as a mono file.
    Indeed, I would like that we can import a track on a multitrack file directly from the mediabay. I hope it will be possible soon. The problem is the same with the 5.1 files or field recorder

Cyril

Why not do it in Soundminer before you transfer into Nuendo, Below the wave display select either 1 or 2 ( l or R)
Soundminer wave view.png
FYI, you can put a stereo or 5.1 (or hight multi channel format) file on a mono track, Nuendo will downmix it for you. You’re also then able to pan that file just like it would be a mono file on the mono track. Very cool way of working

Thanks, I like the idea of your first method, but I think I’m misunderstanding something here. Where you say "I drag the stereo file on one of these tracks which converts me to 2 monos’…, how do you make that happen in Nuendo? When I drag a stereo file onto a mono track, it downmixes the stereo file to mono, which is what I’m trying to stay away from.

Thanks,
Yes, you are right in that I can select only the left side in Sound Miner. However that’s only at work, at home I’ll be using Nuendo’s built in Media Bay. Does that also have the ability to drag only a single side/channel from a file into your session?

Yes, I know I can put the stereo file on a mono track and pan it, but that is then down-mixing the stereo file to mono, which I don’t want to do. I just want to take the left side of a stereo file and work with that. Not a stereo down-mix. Hopefully that makes sense?

I see what you mean, Media bay does not have that option that I know of.

Can I suggest to make a key command to turn the preference option for splitting stereo files on import? Just toggle that command when you need to drag a stereo file onto your timeline. It will place a Left and a right on your tracks and then delete the one you don’t want without converting anything.

I hope I’m making sense here :slight_smile:

I agree, and you are not the first person to ask for this.
We choose to only use stereo tracks for both mono a stereo clips partially for this reason, but also for flexibility.

Our workflow:
All FX tracks are default panned to mono and C.
So whenever I add a hard FX it will default as a collapsed stereo panned to mono (and pushed to full front so it stays at the front as a change the width of the stereo when routed to a multichannel destination. This has pros and cons:

Pros:
I can whenever needed just increase the width of a sound to get back some of that stereo width that I initially didn’t think I wanted (doing that with mono files only on mono tracks is a tedious manual process). This works well as Nuendo has a proper panner that can pan both sides as one so when collapsed to mono I have in effect a mono panner.
I can reuse the same imported soundfile and use it in different parts of the project as a mono file or as a stereo file with its “built in” width.

Cons: Phase issues are a thing of this world, or I only want to use a specific side of the stereo signal for creative reasons…

To remedy the cons I use the flip stereo command or a preset in mixerdelay using DOP to push the same L or R signal to both channels. As it is done using DOP I can undo or change this at any time, recreating the stereo file again.
Is this way of working stupid?
It is a litle more convoluted than it ought to be, and it increases signal level of 3db if stereo flip is used.
Is it more stupid than having to wrestle with mono/stereo tracks and weird track arrangments within a certain food group? Not in my experience.
I find that this way of working that we have used for a few years now is fast and efficient.


I still think Nuendos multichannel workflow needs to improve and thus fully agree with the original post.

Yeah, it would be a nice feature in Media Bay. I probably should have been more specific in my original post, but the idea would be to have the same workflow with interleaved files whether using Sound Miner, Media Bay, or dragging files in from the desktop.

Yes, perfect sense. That was my first thought but I couldn’t find anything in the key commands to change this preference. Quite likely I just missed it. I’ll look again today after work. Thanks!

Yes, phase issues is a big concern with this workflow of down-mixing stereo files to mono in order to pan accordingly. The other issue is that I work at a multi-room post house. We have 3 PTHDX rooms. I’m the one and only person here that’s invested my own funds into Nuendo (because IMO it’s got such great features for sound design, manipulation, etc.), and chances are I’ll be exchanging AAF’s back/forth with PTHDX, and I’m a little concerned as to how it will all shake down with interleaved files. I’m curious though about your workflow, especially when integrating the ‘mixerdelay DOP’ workflow. Thanks for all the info!!

I’m like you Benmrx, the only one doing all my sound design and editing in Nuendo at the Studio. All my deliveries go out as a Pro Tools session to the stage. I export via AAF but do the import to Pro Tools myself just to make sure all is good. Up to this point it has worked without issue except that the muted files do not make it across. It Is important as you know to keep your tracks organized, ie mono files on mono track and stereo stereo files on stereo tracks. If you don’t then things go funnt=y for sure. I use DOP all the time and when exported using AAF those get rendered during the process.
I’m not sure what your budget is but to make your life a whole lot easier and your workflow more efficient I invest in Soundminer or something similar.

Yes if you want to push stuff to PT then I understand that you have to conform to that work flow.
We never need to do that so it’s not something that I have to consider.

Not to jump your thread benmrx, but becaus Erik mentioned it:
I always wondered what your workflow is at the place you work, Erik. Seeing in your signature 11x Nuendo and 5x ProTools.
How is your daily workflow between those two and what kind of projects do you do with what? Are some rooms hybrid PT and Nuendo?

sorry for the Offtopic…

back to on topic:
I mainly do things similar to Erik. Using the Stereo Flip a whole lot, bur mostly with “Left-to-Stereo” or “Right-to-Stereo”.
Als FX Tracks I use are Stereo Tracks, Dialog and Foley are mono as they should be, routed to 5.0 or 5.1 Groups.

In your PT Session you have some Mono FX Tracks (where this door should be on as a mono clip) and some Stereo Tracks for “real stereo” Clips?

Hm, maybe a long shot, but why don’t you dedicate a certain number of Stereo Tracks as “Mono Tracks” where you put your stuff that is going to be mono in PT world. Set the Pre-Gain to -3dB and use the Stereo-Flip on all clips. When all the work is done convert the tracks to mono files and delete half of them. Then export the AAF. (never done that, but could be worth a try).

Hey there, I’m taking another look at this, but I’m still not seeing the option for splitting stereo files on import in the available key commands. I could use Keyboard Maestro to handle this task, but if the option is available natively I would rather do that. Any suggestions?

Well that is odd, I had a look and everything else is available except that, Maybe SB can chime in on this one.

Can you just use Process Audio, Stereo Flip, and choose Left to Stereo? Or am I missing something?

Staying off topic. :slight_smile:

My signature is a bit misleading. We still own and keep current five PT Ultimate licenses.
They are not used on a daily basis.
These are only used when we have visiting external clients in our dub stage or for the odd playback need when mixing. or when we need to trouble shoot a problematic AAF or PT session.

Most of the time those PT ilok dongles stay unused.

For all of our Own work in our eight studios (soon to be eleven) it is all Nuendo. Our dub stage has three Nuendo systems and a Optional separate video playback machine.
With three more studios we need to buy a few more licenses. They won’t be PT…

Incoming score or Foley are often delivered as PT sessions. Sometimes they need “massaging” in PT to be able to be brought into Nuendo.

Last year I actively used PT once as a music playback/render and edit station. Only because the score was edited using layers of region group edits making it to difficult to get across to Nuendo.

I think this could be the answer. First assign a key command for that (In Key Commands it’s under: Process -> Stereo Flip), like [ALT]+P, then every time you drag a stereo file from Soundminer, you just press [ALT]+P, then DOP will open and you can choose Left to Stereo or Right to Stereo from the dropdown menu. DOP will remember your last settings, so if you drag a new stereo file you just press [ALT]+P and your file will be processed immediately with them.

Good luck!

Thanks for chiming in!!

My concern with this workflow is that for one, I’d be using stereo tracks for mono sounds. So, if I’ve got 20 mono SFX tracks which are now stereo that would be twice the strain on the CPU when it comes to plugins, processing power, etc. The other, more pressing concern however has to do with exchanging AAF’s with our PTHDX systems where all these mono SFX would be coming in on stereo tracks. I’ll have a play around with this workflow over the weekend and see how it pans out (see what I did there.lol)

For now, it seems the quickest, most streamlined way of dealing with this is to have Nuendo ask me every time I import audio whether I want it to come in as multi-mono or interleaved.

Yeah, from what I’ve gathered this would be the best option. Hopefully SB can give use this as an available key command in a future update!

More event splitting options are in the works …

Fredo

That’s great to hear Fredo!! Thanks for the info!