Is SL10 a waste of time or is it ARA?

I was excited when Spectralayers 10 came out especially as I was going to be eligible for a discount upgrade. My previous version of SL, although a fantastic piece of software, was just incredibly unreliable and I gave up with it. However with it being taken under Steinberg’s wing and integrated within Nuendo with ARA I thought this would offer a new experience and immediately took up the offer of a trial. How absolutely wrong I was. I worked on an important edit and really made progress with the edit using ARA. It was amazing what I could do and happy to leave RX out of the equation. Then out of the blue my project crashed. It was a serious crash and I got one of those Steinberg messages which told me so. So I try to start the project up and it simply wouldn’t open, Nuendo just crashed . I then tried other projects in which I had used SL10, same thing, none of them would open, Nuendo simply crashed and it gave me a dialogue telling me SL10 was to blame. I restarted my machine, sacrificed a chicken but no…SL10 has turned out to be the same old, unreliable and useless software it had always been no matter what the reason. The only way I could get my projects working again was to uninstall SL10, lose a day of work and start again with the incredibly reliable RX. Am I once again the only person in the world to have this problem? Am I wasting my time with this software? Is it ARA that simply doesn’t work. I get so fed up with beta testing without being asked. Fail.

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It’s likely not a SL reliability issue in that case since the crash happens as soon as Nuendo connects to SL (as opposed to SL crashing in a middle of a session). So there might be something quite simple to explain and possibly resolve that issue.

  1. What happens when you assign SL10 to a clip in a fresh new project ? Is SL shown properly ? If so, what happens if you save that project (with a different name) and try to reload it ?

  2. Can you provide one of those projects that crash when opening ? You can send me a link in PM or to contact [at] divideframe (dot) com.

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Its prolly just you… :wink:

Steinberg finally admitted it was them

What was the source of the issue ?

Spectral Layers.

It had a bug which trashed a project I was working on. I had no choice but to uninstall SL, lose all the editing I had done and then put up with constant messaging, each time I opened the project and any clone project using any of the files present in the original project, telling me that SL data was not available. I have not been told what the actual problem was but was contacted to say it had been updated but I have been too scared to try it again because of the huge amount of problem it caused. As a beta tester for Izotope RX I am fairly au fait with the spectral world and like some of the features SL has which are better than RX such as stem separation and like the ARA integration. Thus my question to the group…is SL to be trusted?

Please read the thread again.
You opened this thread on August 10th to report your issue.
The same day, right below your initial message, I asked you a couple question, and told you it’s unlikely a SpectraLayers issue since it happens as soon as Nuendo connects to SL, according to your description (it’s not a crash while you’re working within SL, but something that happens when Nuendo tries to connect to it).
You never answered the 2 questions I asked you to help you with your issue.
FYI I’m the creator of SpectraLayers, so the one most likely to help you with that.


Hi Robin,

Thanks for the email. I appreciate you following up on this issue.

As mentioned in a previous post I do like SL which is why I want to get it back into my work flow. What I particularly liked was ARA integration in Nuendo but that is when it failed. With SL10 I never used it as a stand alone app, only within ARA. I was quite happily using it and getting great results within a project when suddenly it completely crashed my session. There was no doubt that it was SL10 as it told me so (I guess it could have been lying!!) and the only way I could get my project back and not lose the editing I had done (Apart from the SL10 edits) was to uninstall SL10 and continue working on the project ignoring messages telling me that there were files within the project that were no longer having SL 10 data applied. The project files simply would not open if I had SL10. Even when I made new projects, rendered files that had had SL10 applied, moved the files to other project the files retained SL10 information. Talk about sticky software! Today I received the mastered files back from my mastering engineer ready to cut the lacquer so finally that’s one project I will never need to open again. The amount of problems it caused was not appreciated.

I did go through an lengthy support back and forwards with Steinberg but it was pretty unsatisfactory. Steinberg tend to keep things vague when they know they have a problem

Here’s some of that conversation

Nuendo 64bit 2023.8.12 (1.11 MB)

Nuendo 64bit 2023.8.12 (1.1 MB)

@Digitalmixes that does not answer question 1, which is critical to understanding the problem. So asking again:

  1. What happens when you assign SL10 to a clip in a fresh new project ? Is SL shown properly ? If so, what happens if you save that project (with a different name) and try to reload it ?

If it crashes as soon as you assign SL10 to a a clip in a fresh new project, there’s a high chance something went wrong the SL10 install. Please uninstall and reinstall SL10 again.

Hi Robin,

Appreciate you chasing this up. The reason I was asking about other people’s experience with SL10 was because I had removed it after I had had so much trouble with it. I wanted to get peoples opinions on whether it could be trusted to work with ARA. It really compromised my sessions which took ages to recover and still when I open them they tell me SL10 data is missing etc In short I cannot respond to the question because it is not installed and until I hear it can be trusted within ARA that is how it will stay.

I do like the program a lot which is why I was asking for people’s opinion but have yet to receive any thumbs up.



I did send you the DMP files related to the crashes, did you not see them? Would this not provide some insight as to what the problem was?