N5.5 has a broken AAF import function-so disappointing!

Very disappointed to return to using Nuendo and still find that it has problems with importing Avid AAF’s.
I remember the OMFI issues with N3, but although I didn’t really have to use N4 much, it seemed to handle OMFI’s OK.
However I now have had to leave my beloved Fairlight system and therefore have upgraded my Nuendo 4 to 5.5 and dived into a series for SkyTV.
Alas we fell at the first important hurdle…Nuendo 5.5 wouldn’t import the AAF’s coming from the Avid Version 5 software, which is of course all MXF media.
My initial attempts were to go for embedded AAF’s and a couple of the 50 minute programmes did import, but with some long gaps in clip waveforms where they had failed to link to the media correctly and other AAF’s failed to import at all.
I therefore tried loading the ‘failures’ into Nuendo 4, but alas also with the corrupted waveforms on perhaps 4 or 5 long clips in each show.
Having browsed this forum for help, I resorted to asking the picture editors for ‘linked’ media and got the AAF text file with an adjacent ‘OMFI Mediafiles’ folder. These all opened in Nuendo 5.5, but had the same faults.

The programmes are simple chat shows and therefore have some fairly long, say 1 or 2 minute single clips. I would find that after starting OK, a few clips would either start repeating or else just drop to a mute waveform. By putting a cut into those clips and trimming, I could often start to hear the correct audio, without seeing any change in the blank waveform though …but I couldn’t reliably play it out. Single replacement AAF clips from the Avid still were faulty and therefore .wav files had to be used for the faulty bits, to complete the shows.

If Nuendo is to live up to the label of ‘Advanced Post Production system’ it needs to reliably import from the industries video systems and thus total compatibility with both Avid and FCP is a major concern.
I am now therefore more inclinded to look at Pro Tools instead of Nuendo because of this. A pity because otherwise I could learn to live and even love this DAW!

I’d love to hear how other Nuendo uses interface with these platforms.

David Taylor
Postfade Sound, Pinewood Studios.

Nuendo 4 and 5.5, Dell 390 PC, 4 Gb RAM, fast video and audio drives, Decklink SDI video card, Echo soundcard, JL Cooper MCS-3800 controller.

Hi David.

I’m am often in a similar situation with nuendo where it feels like I can’t get my Ferrari out of the driveway. So many +'s with crippling real world day to day issues. I have also moved to pro tools for TV work. the reality is there just isn’t time in the day to work around this stuff anymore and new clients expect things to work the first time. There are plenty of people as good or better than me that will happily take my place.


AAF out of media composer 5 does work and MXF does work. I would get a media folder and reference aaf from editorial and link up. Many times we’d get the empty regions issue and have to do it over. When I’d look in the media folder I would not see the file in question either. Turns out that there are issues on the avid side of this as well, but I could also be pilot error since they often had interns prepping the stuff. A new aaf and media folder created by the actual editor fixed it everytime and most often the missing files were offline on their side or on a drive that was asleep durring the export or something like that.

Once the AAF is imported… it was very common to see the wave form but not hear the correct audio… things play WAYYY out of sync. I accidentally found that if you import… save… close and reopen the session… it will play correctly and in sync. I have not tested this with 5.5 yet but that is what I did with 5.0.1.

next thing I always did was to go to my audio pool and Prepare archive to ensure that all the audio in the session was indeed in the audio folder.

Next I would convert all the MXF files to Bwav with in the audio pool. I don’t know if that step is really neccessary but I just felt better knowing that AAF was no longer involved at all.

Doing this every time became routine and we got through the whole season of the show on schedule with editorial in LA and sound in NYC.

I feel your pain…

But it’s always so hard to ascertain where the problem is… Nuendo or Avid AFF implementation? File format issue? Project corruption ? User error?

Our workflow was usually FCP to Nuendo via OMF. Worked well. Then recently we had an BIG job ( feature film) come in already in a Logic project. I wanted to put in Nuendo… But using OMF from Logic was a disaster. So I tried AAF ( from the same project) and it came into Nuendo 5.1 fine. There’s so many variables that problem solving is very hard. It just usually ends up with all kinds of gymnastics to get the job done, then hope it doesn’t happen again.

That said, Nuendo has to be one of the most expensive native DAW’s out there now… Especially if you roll in the NEK. I think that SB should be honor- bound to apply more serious ongoing support and development to it … Rather than have it pick up features from Cubase a year after the fact. ( I understand CB is a mass market app and probably makes more money… but Nuendo shouldn’t feel a bit like the poor, expensive sibling!)

Working with video in an audio app is a tough thng to do well… But Nuendo claims that this is the app’s strong point. It’s price promises a lot too. But there are still major gaps in it’s performance and capabilities. It’s been a long time since Nuendo migrated from the Silicon Graphics platform… I sometimes wonder if it will ever arrive… Really arrive.

I still enjoy working it it though…



Ihad this same problem yesterday with an AAF from avid…out of sync, missing clips truncated clips etc…
I opened up protools it imported perfectly… I then exported it as an omf into n5 …A work around that took 10min… but an uncomfortable 10 min as the director /editor was sitting in the chair beside me…
I prefer Nuendo over Protools for many reasons, but this kinda stuff is really annoying…

Tips for less or no problems with AAF from Avid MC.

  • use referenced AAFs with the media folder exported
  • Using MXF is ok, but import the audio into Nuendo
  • do prepare archive from the pool after AAF import
  • if you imported AAF with MXF, close, then reopen the project to get all in sync.

That should do it really.
And of course, sometimes it is the Avid editor that did a wrong export also, it does happen.

Not saying I’m not having problems with AAFs, just that usually they are solvable.
And yeah, for the record. The AAFs that are exported erroneous from Avid MC, also doesn’t work in PT.


Hi David,

sorry about the compatibility problems you are experiencing. We did solve AAF issues in each mainenance release of Nuendo 5. However, due to the complexity of the format there still seem to be error cases. We are willing to fix them.
As our developers and testers test archive AAF’s work fine with Nuendo 5.5, the only way to check the case you are descriibng is to look into the actual file.
Could you please get in touch with my by personal message about that?

Thank you,

Today I received a embedded AAF which crashed both Nuendo 5.1 and 5.5. I had to open it in PT, which reported 1 file missing, but converted the rest flawlessly. Thorsten, are you interested in receiving this particular AAF for testing? I’d be glad to send it over.



Hi Lee.

Have you tried Open TL from Logic? or even A-XML and from that to S-XML via AA Translator?
(Nuendo could open the Open TL format on it’s own as long as it is not too complex, but the AA Translator version might be your answer…)

I am having problems opening some AAF files from avid MC. The problem seems to be that they have an empty video track in them. When I try and import them into nuendo I get the message “No composition tracks found”. Now I am sure the editor could sort this out when he exports them, but he is never going to because “they open in pro tools fine” which they do, just with an empty video track which you can choose to ignore when importing it. Any chance you could fix this I am getting sick of having to open these in pro tools and re-exporting them.


+1 for AAF difficulty from Avid MC in N 5.5.2

I would be happy to host some none functional AAFs on my FTP as well, Thorsten. The current issue we are having is concerning a mutli-framerate project. OMF is not an option to fall back on. Are there any specific preferences on export in Avid anyone has found to cause issues?



AAF from Avid MC should just work, simple!! So Steinberg needs to fix.

On the other hand, there is several ways it can be exported from Avid MC.

Is it a referenced AAF? That is the best.
Does it reference MXF audio or WAV audio? Should not use AIFF
Does the AAF contain video? Sometimes doesn’t work.

Other than that, AAF from Avid MC usually works fine. With interleaved files also.

If you can give more info, maybe I can help.


ALWAYS import into 5.1!

Then I track export to Nuendo XML and re-import to Nuendo 5.5.

It puzzles me how a company can keep essential bugs unfixed for such a long time. Fortunately the workaround is simple.


I agree! All the breaks and fixes with omf and aaf over the years, doesn’t pledge confidence!

At the same time Avid keep changing their AAFs.

What I can’t grasp is that both omf and aaf are separate components in Nuendo.
Why isn’t there a weekly or monthly release of AAF patches???


Well if there was one thing I’d think they should fix “immediately” and “regularly” it’s .aaf / .omf stuff. After all, we’re in a PT landscape and the easier it is to deal with that fact the easier it is to work on Nuendo.


This is kind of distressing. Had a project with a tight timeline which only got tighter once these issues popped up.
N4.3 is a good enough work around though.