Mac N7 excessive read problem v2

Hello again on this topic,

We have 9 Nuendo 7 licenses and have just started updating the computers from v5.5.6. We have identified an issue during recording - on rare occasions Nuendo 7 will engage in excessive audio file reading while recording resulting in record failure. This is into sessions where there should be no audio file reading. The only workaround is to quit Nuendo and relaunch, not workable in live television broadcast. This has persisted through 5 or 6 drive wipes and MacOS10.10.x and 10.12.x. Details can be found in the other Mac N7 drive thread. This also occurs to a much lesser degree, although more frequently, with Nuendo 6.5.

This weekend an associate wrote an Automator script that engaged record in Nuendo, let it run for a few minutes, disengaged record, waited for files to update, then engaged record again. This ran through 130 cycles, on the 131st cycle Nuendo exhibited the excessive read problem.

With Nuendo in “failure mode” he grabbed the following -

  • A screenshot of Activity Monitor showing the Nuendo disk read quantity (should be far less) and multiple Nuendo failed records.
  • A text dump of an iosnoop capture showing it was actually Nuendo reading the actual audio files during the recording; this is different than the limited reading when closing files after recording.
  • A screen recording of Nuendo failing recording with the diag screens visible to illustrate Activity Monitor and dtrace. During the previous testing the screen capture was not running. Quicktime indicates i/o activity due to the screen capture.

Enclosed is a zip file containing the first two items, the screen recording is too large.

I’ve continued the support case with Steinberg, I’m hoping with this additional corroboration they can come up with some answers. I hate to be stuck permanently at v5.5.6 for acquisition, the OS is too old.
Nuendo crash (184 KB)
Thanks for listening and hope to continue using Nuendo in live television,

Although Steinberg people occasionally roam the forums I think your detailed error description should be looked at by dedicated support and not be passed along unofficial channels through the forum. I suggest contacting a dedicated support address


Jeff Deno of Steinberg US has been quite responsive on the topic, currently he’s attempting to get the German developers involved. Our N7 acquisition systems have been downgraded to N5.5.6 until this is resolved but I’m not happy about using an old OS without security updates.

Here’s a copy of what I most recently sent them -

Hello Jeff,

I figured I’d do my weekly problem check-in with some potentially helpful information for your developers.

I was testing hard drive performance today recording 192 tracks with different drive models. I noticed I could force N7 to do some unneeded drive reading during recording (a bad thing) by doing two things - scrolling vertically in the session, and resizing the project window by a small amount. Either of these would result in a few tens of megabytes of data being read off the record drive. This indicates to me Nuendo is thinking it needs to read waveform data off the drive to accommodate the new view. After scrolling vertically a few times the excessive read would stop, possibly confirming Nuendo had cached the data and no longer needed to read it.

In a previous version of Nuendo (N4?) the memory Nuendo required would steadily increase as recording continued because Nuendo would cache the waveform data in memory for fast navigation. I know this because Nuendo implemented that long before the 64-bit version for Mac was released causing us to not be able to use Nuendo for a period of time because we would run out of memory with large projects. Now with Nuendo 7 the memory does not steadily increase indicating the waveforms need to be read off the drive. This confirms my suspicion about drive reading during recording.

This is NOT the problem by itself because as I’ve previously mentioned the problematic reading is excessive with much higher read bandwidth which causes Nuendo to fail recording at high track counts. The previous failures have not involved scrolling or resizing, and they are at much higher read bandwidth. However it may be the vector by which Nuendo is thinking it needs to start doing a bunch of drive reading. Scrolling or resizing causes a few tens of megabytes of reading then stops the reading, when Nuendo 7 starts the problem originally described the read bandwidth is so high and continuous there’s no recovery except to restart Nuendo.

The N7 systems are on the east coast and have been downgraded to N5.5 for now, doing the Tony Awards and several other shows. I don’t expect to see them back for a couple of months but I look forward to testing any progress your developers make on our testbed system in the studio. Our other systems are still at N5.5 until this is resolved.

We’ll see what they come up with.