Mac Record performance Nuendo 7 part 3


I recognize this is not a support forum however we’ve had a v7 support case in with Steinberg since April. I have been very patient, polite, and thorough in my documentation. After an initial few encouraging responses from Steinberg here in the US they have stopped responding to my emails since August 2nd which I don’t understand since I have been quite helpful in giving them clues on where to look. My last email to them I was still polite but emphasized the number of television shows these systems are used on, our IT department’s concern about us using such an old OS, and soon we will be forced to use an OS that does not support v5.5 making these systems obsolete.

We have 9 dual- and triple-madi Nuendo systems used in television production. Some licenses have existed since v2, the most recent purchase was v7, all are currently at v7. We didn’t need v6x at the time and early this year started clean upgrades from v5.5 to v7.

In March we discovered a problem that prevents us from using v7. While recording Nuendo will occasionally start reading files off the record drive. We’re writing perhaps 10-25 MB/s and when this occurs Nuendo is attempting to read up to 40 MB/s off the same drive. Obviously this doesn’t run for long. Stopping record and re-engaging results in the same behavior, only restarting Nuendo will correct the condition. This problem is not predictable in it’s recurrence. Sometimes it may not occur for many record engagement events, sometimes it occurs after a few record engagement events. Usually it starts in the middle of a record session, other times when first engaging record.

I installed v6.5 for testing and the issue occurred more often but to a lesser degree - instead of attempting to read up to 40MB/s off the drive Nuendo would attempt to read up to 10MB/s. This would not be a huge problem if it was brief, waveform updates for instance, but reading continuously causes failure.

In an attempt to reduce variables and help Steinberg my brilliant co-worker set up an automated script that does the following -

  • Engage record on 64 tracks in Nuendo, let it run for a few minutes.
  • Stop record, wait for the files to update, save the session.
  • Increment an event counter.
  • Repeat.
    On one instance it took 131 record engagement events to occur, on another instance it took 5, and another it took 8. Once the problem starts and the record fails Nuendo will fail on records until restarted. During this problem state we did the following -
  • Ran Activity Monitor to confirm Nuendo is trying to read excessively off the record drive.
  • Ran dtrace to monitor R/W activity from Nuendo.
  • Ran iosnoop to generate a text output listing every dtrace event, providing hard evidence of what Nuendo was doing.
  • Did a screen record of Nuendo, Activity Monitor, and dtrace to show the correlation.
  • Sent all this to Steinberg.
    Note that these extra activities were not done during non-problem events, only after they started.

I was able to guess a possible vector for the malfunction. Unlike earlier versions (v?) it appears Nuendo is not caching the waveforms in memory. I’m guessing this because during long record sessions with high track counts Nuendo’s memory footprint does not dramatically increase as it did in some earlier versions as the waveform is cached. While recording now, without the problem, past a certain point if we scroll back in the timeline we can see a few MB of data read off the drive, presumably waveform data. This stops immediately when you stop scrolling but I question whether a malfunction of that process could be causing the problem we see.

I will reluctantly purchase 9 upgrades to v8 if that fixes the issue, but Steinberg has indicated they don’t know anything about this issue so I’m a bit reluctant to devote another 15-20 hours testing with v8 if it has not been fixed. Especially with the various v8 issues that currently exist and presumably will be fixed.

And a small side confirmation - the mixer for AGT was using his personal Cubase 8.5 for recording and it “was trying to read off the drive” and crashing the recording. I explained what we found, had him downgrade to Cubase 6.5, and he was very thankful.

Summary -
There is an occasional record problem with v7 and v6.5 that crashes Nuendo forcing a relaunch.
We have tested far beyond what most other users would have done and proven Nuendo has a problem.
This occurs on various Mac models and is definitely not machine or OS specific.
When I lose my ongoing battle with IT we will be forced at some point to retire these Nuendo machines resulting in expensive transitions to something else, which will really annoy our accountant.

I apologize for posting all this on a user forum but as far as I can tell Steinberg has given up. Jeff Deno was very helpful however his promise to get me in touch with the German developers never occurred, and even if it had I provided them with such extensive documentation and proof there’s not much else for me to test.

Thanks for listening and I hope this generates some results,

Sadly sounds like a pattern. Have heard similar stories here on the forums. I hope Steinberg starts engaging their hyperdrive at some point. Soon. Because currently, customer mood here on this forum is quite bad.

It’s been over two weeks since I posted this and over six months since I filed a support request and thoroughly documented it for Steinberg. I have not heard acknowledgement of Steinberg’s problem nor a timeline for correction.

I don’t know how to proceed.

  • I’ve followed the officially stated methods for software problems.
  • I’ve demonstrated beyond any doubt a problem that occasionally prevents large-track-count recording.
  • We are professional Nuendo users in large scale television production.

I’ve been an audio engineer for many decades. I’m typically not an arse but usually know the error spread for my accuracy. When presented with an entity that holds the control and refuses to acknowledge their problem I feel a bit freer to say more than normal. Here’s a copy of my last email to Steinberg support. If it sounds a bit pretentious it’s because they haven’t responded to my support case for two months.

Hello again Jeff,

It has been over 5 months since I reported this problem with recording in Nuendo 7 and then with Nuendo 6.5. I have documented the issue beyond what any other user would have done to help your developers track it down. I have spent probably 40-50 hours attempting to find recreations, using iosnoop listing of dtrace, providing documentation, and sent all the results to you. It eventually manifested on every Mac on which we used Nuendo 7 and several colleagues have found the problem as well.

Five months with no report of progress indicates I have been extraordinarily patient - I am, but I’ve also been extraordinarily busy. I’m not a bedroom laptop beat maker. I’m also not one to brag about what I do for a living, but just for fun and to give your developers an understanding of what they’re about to lose, here’s a partial list of the television shows on which we’ve used Nuendo systems as the PRIMARY BROADCAST DAWs the past 12 months in no particular order -

  • Academy Awards
  • Grammy Awards
  • Emmy Awards
  • Country Music Association Awards
  • Academy of Country Music Awards
  • Billboard Awards
  • Tony Awards
  • BET Awards
  • Espy Awards
  • The Voice
  • American Music Awards
  • Kennedy Center Honors
  • CMA Music Fest
  • Several Apollo Theater Specials
  • Breakthrough Prize
  • Women In Music
  • PBS Holiday Celebration
  • New Years Rockin’ Eve
  • People’s Choice Awards
  • Presidential Inaugural Concert and Ball
  • SuperBowl Halftime Show
  • World Of Dance
  • House of Blues broadcast
  • iHeart Radio Music Awards
  • Various game shows
  • America’s Got Talent
  • Fox Network Upfronts
  • Survivor Finale
  • NBA Awards
  • ACM Honors
  • BET at the White House
  • PBS Memorial Day at the Capitol
  • PBS Capital Fourth
  • National Museum of African American opening

If it sounds like I’m bragging that’s not the intention. I’m attempting to give you and your developers a scope of the high profile shows we do and how we single-handedly have promoted and made acceptable the Nuendo platform as a viable, dependable, and client-preferred live television tool. We can use any platform we want and have a number of ProTools HDX3 systems in use, the platform choice determined by what the client wants. We even use Fairlights for a few clients that want them.

Since this Nuendo problem has been so well documented there’s not much else I can do. I’m waiting for your developers to tell me they’ve found the issue and are fixing it with a rough timeframe. If that’s not possible we must move on to other platforms and Nuendo will lose it’s nearly-unique position in live television production. I’m not one to whine and say “this is unacceptable, blah, blah” - I am an engineer. However the fact is we cannot keep using Nuendo 5.5.6 forever even though it’s the last version that successfully records high track counts on the Mac. Our IT folks won’t allow such an old OS around for much longer and our die will be cast.

Please send me progress on this. Our 9 dual- and triple-Madi Nuendo systems are in danger of being obsolete and no one wants that.


It may sound pretentious but it’s simply factual about how Steinberg has a problem past Nuendo v5.5 and we can’t use that version forever due to old OS support. I’m not the “squeaky wheel” type, I tend to be more performance-based, but I have no control in this situation and therefore I feel free to complain.


It doesn’t sound pretentious at all. Best of luck getting that solved. My bet is on it not being solved in 7, ever, and possibly it’ll be fixed in 8.

I mean… look at what a pain it was to get VCAs working… and they still aren’t 100%.


Bumping this, waiting for Steinberg’s assistance.

Moderately encouraging news - Jeff contacted me, I sent him a new link with the problem documentation and he’s forwarding it on. Could be good…

Good luck!


I haven’t heard anything yet but I sent an email to Jeff Deno about it and he responded within a day. So that’s progress… I hope. We’ll see.

Still on v5.5 with our 9 systems until this is resolved.
I really want to move on and will happily buy 9 v8 licenses.