I imagine everyone has received the Nuendo 13 announcement for November 15 (at least the presentation). The first piece of good news is that there’s no mention of design. The second piece of good news is that we’re hearing about new features for dialogues and immersiveness, which are two of Nuendo’s crucial orientations. Phew.
Corrected, thank you!
But I realize that this thread duplicates the one named Nuendo 13. Sorry about that.
Having said that, it seems that Nuendo 13’s interface has the same flaws as Cubase 13’s, notably the multiplication of 100% white characters. Terrible.
I don’t think it’s possible though. But it could be that Nuendo 13 offers more customization options than Cubase 13. And I can only see whether the surface is good or bad when I use it.
I read just as many reports that the GUI is now better.
Was this already announced for Cubase 13? Even now, the Cubase 13 website does not state that the GUI has been fundamentally changed. (There are only vague hints here and there.)
The integration of MPEG-H into Nuendo probably dominates this point. But if Atmos and object-based editing in general have been improved, that’s fine by me.
I don’t know why, but I don’t trust him. SB is better at being stubborn than at being flexible. I’m thinking of all the things users mention about Cubendo’s inconsistencies, shortcomings and malfunctions. There was no 5% effort to fix that. SB prefers to give what nobody asks for. As you can see, I’m getting bitter about SB, and every day I evaluate the competition.
On the GUI, I confess I had a hard time going from 11 to 12 (then on Cubase). But once I got used to 12, and now with Nuendo, despite major flaws so obvious you wonder where the designers’ heads are, this habit prevails, you stabilize and make music. But here, SB is at it again. And if boat 12 went under the bridge, boat 13 seems to hit the structure as it goes by. It doesn’t fit anymore.
At the time of the problems with the eLicencer, I wrote that there was a lack of lucidity and caution on the part of SB. Not generalized, but a weakness somewhere in the gears. Then, at the time of the bankruptcy of its online distributor, Asknet, I wrote that a second blunder in such a short space of time confirmed this weakness, a certain incompetence somewhere, a lack of vision, a lack of enlightened management (many companies are in this situation, but here we’re talking about SB, and particularly in comparison with its competitors). I was afraid of a third misstep. This one has just arrived and concerns the graphic direction. For the first two misstep, senior management apologized (twice in two years, as I recall). They won’t do so for this third one, but they should. For users, Nuendo has become a house whose owner SB can’t bend the stairs to his will, without considering his tenants…
I’m not a hunter who hunts down faults all the time, but I find that these 3 consecutive missteps break a relationship of trust. There are still a lot of good things about SB, but doubt has set in.
I can understand your frustration, but you can’t blame Steinberg for the bankruptcy of a service provider. That’s not very fair, if you ask me.
Major companies are responsible for checking the health of their subcontractors. It’s a company policy known the world over and part of good management. You learn this in business administration (MBA) or, like me, through experience.
Look, Steinberg is a conservative company, like many companies that have been around for a while, and they’ve developed a certain institutional consistency to their approach, for better or worse. In other words, they avoid rocking the boat too much and they prefer not to make brash decisions. There are exceptions, but even the exceptions are actually deliberate and calculated IMO. And this is unlikely to change. Once you wrap your head around this, you will know what to expect from them. Then you can decide if they’re still right for you.
This “formula” they are following means that every feature is well-considered. And you may not agree with a feature choice, or you may think that no one asked for that so-and-so new feature they introduce. But believe me, someone asked for it. And Steinberg listens. I used to think that they don’t listen. But I’ve finally come to the conclusion that they DO listen. Maybe not to you and not to me, though! Maybe not to this forum (which is a tiny warped microcosm of their userbase), maybe not to people that you and I know! But they can’t stay in business this long without listening. BUT what I realized was that as they listen, they are also running a giant spreadsheet and calculating how many development hours (aka resources) are needed to execute a request, and they also calculate how much money they will make from spending those resources. This is how mature, conservative businesses usually work.
But this explains pretty much everything they do, including what you are perceiving and experiencing, again, for better or worse. They’ve outlasted a bunch of their early competitors for a reason, and I think they have a mind to outlast many of their current competitors too. And how did they do all that? By sticking to the formula. And it’s not a bad formula. In fact, it’s a pretty good formula in many ways. Sometimes annoying, sometimes disappointing, but the formula keeps them ticking, and keeps giving us incremental, and sometimes underwhelming updates.
This conservative approach has its benefits, and one benefit is that they are predictable. Don’t expect any surprises, and you won’t be disappointed. Each version of Cubase/Nuendo is growing by small percentages in various areas here and there. Very rarely do they make a radical departure or introduce a radical new feature, unless it’s been carefully considered by the accountants, IMO. They usually do just enough to hang on to and satisfy enough existing users, while incrementally, methodically, and strategically expanding their market appeal bit by bit. Sometimes it seems underwhelming. I get it. Sometimes it seems disappointing, I get it. Exactly like a conservative business in any other industry. Even as for fixing bugs, etc., they fix exactly enough bugs to keep exactly enough people satisfied. It’s working on the margins of available resources to fix known bugs. And that can seem infuriating when a bug that affects YOU is not fixed.
See, it’s a giant balancing act of their resources vs. applying those resources judiciously to several different concurrent objectives. You may disagree with how they allocate their resources in different areas, but I will guarantee, they have calculated the returns on a giant spreadsheet and they spend their resources efficiently for their plan, again, for better or worse.
It’s almost as if accountants are running the business, and honestly, if it works for them, that’s okay, and more power to them! That means they’ll probably be around in five years, and ten years, and fifteen years, etc… Long enough for you to build a business on them and come to rely on them. Steinberg has learned very well from Yamaha. And Yamaha isn’t going away any time soon. That also means they are NOT on the riskier, more visionary side of the industry. BUT sometimes you don’t want risky or even visionary. Sometimes you want a generally consistent tool that evolves slowly over time. Now if you want visionary, then you’ll be jumping on things like Bitwig, which constantly takes risks. They are young and filled with fresh ideas, just now really hitting their stride. That was Steinberg back in its early groundbreaking days, like when they invented VST. What a stroke of genius. The echoes of that spirit still exist, and you see flashes of it from time to time, but Steinberg is a mature adult now, so they don’t tamper with wild new things like they used to. And as for something like Bitwig, I predict, if Bitwig stays in business another 5-10 years, then Bitwig will become conservative too. And let’s be honest, Bitwig doesn’t even bother competing with Cubase/Nuendo, and I personally wouldn’t be able to score or mix a feature film in Bitwig (although I might do a few tracks in it and do some sound design with it!).
Hope that all makes sense. Once you adjust to this, then you know what you will be getting with Nuendo 13 and 14 and 15, and so on. Again, for better or worse.
In my mind, the net total adds up to “for the better” though. And when I want Bitwig stuff, I use Bitwig.
BTW, the one competitor that might be a little more worrisome IMO for Steinberg, in terms of the “traditional” DAW market, is right down the road in Hamburg, over at Presonus. Studio One 6.5 introduced immersive audio/Atmos recently, and they’ve been eating up ground with Steinberg in several areas, and sometimes leapfrogging Cubase in some features. Personally, I’m a fan of the Hamburg DAW scene, some good stuff going on. It’s healthy competition. Steinberg needs to check the rear-view mirror for Presonus though, and they might find out that they have been surpassed in some surprising areas, not just in usability and workflow. But even in things like articulation management… And ironically, Presonus was started by some developers that left Steinberg. I’m sure the accountants are crunching the numbers. Is it any wonder that Cubase 13 introduced so many workflow improvements? Again, the competition is good and healthy for all of us.
Anyway, I’ll wrap up. I’ve been visiting the forums more recently since it’s “upgrade” season. And I’m posting more than usual, long posts for sure! I already upgraded my Cubase license, which was worth the $99 for sure. Now I’m waiting to see what’s coming for Nuendo, if it’s worth the $199 (or whatever the upgrade fee will be), then I may upgrade that too. I wonder if Steinberg’s accountants calculated in people like me in their spreadsheet. I guess we’ll see tomorrow. I sure hope they finally added ripple editing!!! (Probably not though… sigh.)
In addition to what the previous poster said (which I agree with) I’ll just add (?) that we often don’t notice what other users are asking for. Things that are on our radar are noticed when other people ask for it. Take the conversion of a track from mono to stereo or vice versa at the click of a button - I never really felt a big need for that but oh boy have people asked for it for a long time. Now it’s there. I don’t care that much about it, but other people do.
As for inconsistencies I agree that they’re there in terms of the GUI at least, but it’s similar to Microsoft in that it’s one step here and there to homogenize. This time around it appears to be among other things the key commands window and a few other things, but preferences still looks different. Not sure if that’s what you were thinking of but it seems a bit more consistent now overall.
About the choices they make I also think that we may have to remember that while it’s not a small company it’s also not huge. One way to look at it is imagining breaking out all the various functionality that exists in Nuendo and considering what use each gets in the userbase in general. I felt like I was one of like two people moaning about not having VCAs for like a decade before it showed up. Reading about how people use Cubase for example it actually still feels like a lot of people don’t use VCAs particularly effectively. So consider something like that and something like Atmos integration where at first you’re catering to a fraction of your customers yet it likely takes great care and a decent chunk of resources to code for it. I think that may also explain why we don’t see some things as soon as we want.
Well, we’ll see soon enough if upcoming features are exciting or not, and soon enough I guess we’ll be able to get the software as well. My experience has been that the upgrades have always had something that made them worth while. Always 2-3 features I end up using that saves me time one way or another. And since you mention the competition all I can say is that I’ve never seen businesses get more shafted than by youknowwho. So to me at least once you’ve bought Nuendo it’s just such a small additional investment to upgrade that it tends to be a no-brainer. Then again, I often feel like I have no brain so… what do I know!?
uarte, you’re right on many points, and I don’t disagree with you. But first and foremost, I deplore inconsistencies, incoherencies and malfunctions. SB is a forerunner in several dimensions, and the substance of its products is excellent (otherwise we wouldn’t be here talking about them), but it’s head over heels on its flaws. Just one example, although I can think of a dozen in 3 seconds: the impossibility of moving tracks from the Mixconsole. It’s ridiculous. You have to make them appear in the main editing window, where I personally hide groups, then move them, then hide them again. If I wanted to make a stupid obstacle, that’s what I’d do. If SB listens to someone to stay with this handicap, I’d love to talk to them. Same goes for the shameful lack of professional clip gain. Instead of copying Studio One’s faders and graphic flattening, SB should copy its clip gain (or that of Pro Tools and other DAWs).
And today, on the question of design, the accountants you’re talking about must not be happy. Like the majority of users. But anyway, I’m exhausted from all these threads on the forum and I’m writing too much, carried away by disappointment. As you say, at some point we have to see whether Cubendo is for us or not. I’ll get to the bottom of it with the first of my big (big for me) Atmos projects and then we’ll see. No big deal.
That’s an important point. These companies listen for two things: (a) their big customers (usually institutional and big studios and well known artists) who often have direct access to account managers. And (b) they listen for PR nightmares when they ignored a blind spot (e.g. when Waves miscalculated the move to subscriptions).
While forums like this one have a wealth of people and opinions, they probably only represent a small fractions of the users, and usually not the big or influential ones. After all, each of our opinions here only attaches to a single license for the most part, whose loss may have as little impact as a sack of rice on the other side of the world (as an old saying goes).
Forums favor people who don’t have access to these other channels and have to self-service as a result. And they favor outspoken people who are passionate about certain things of their worlds, which naturally makes them disappointed if they realize their little corner of the world didn’t align with the bigger picture. There’s a natural self-selection bias in forums.
PS: I’ve had the opportunity for premium access in other industries, and I’ve seen it from the other side of the chair. But here, with Nuendo, I’m just single and lonely license code…
I hear you, cmbourget, and I understand your frustrations. I think many people feel the way you do, including myself sometimes.
Some issues in Cubase/Nuendo seem to be such obvious things for Steinberg to change or fix, that it can boggle the mind that they don’t do it. And I used to spend too much energy being bothered by it. But now I’m much more pragmatic. I understand what is actually happening behind the scenes, and it is what it is, for better or worse.
Now I’m NOT saying to just accept it blindly and pay them and bow down to them and cheer them on like fanboys. Of course not! We still need to bring up the issues, provide examples of these inconsistencies, remind Steinberg about them every year, etc.!
And if we keep reminding Steinberg about these issues (preferably in a logical, reasoned, rational way), I can guarantee what is actually happening at Steinberg is better than you may think… and this is something I only figured out in recent years… the mind-blowing truth is that Steinberg is actually listening.
But why, oh why, is nothing being done about these things? Well… here’s the brutal, honest answer to that, again, something I only figured out in recent years. The long answer to that is basically what I wrote above in my prior post. But to put it a different way and elaborate a bit more for the heck of it, is the following:
Some of the issues we bring to their attention run deeper and are more complex to solve than we may imagine, and thus cost Steinberg many more development hours and resources to address than we may imagine.
Steinberg is frankly constrained by limited resources, more limited than some people may imagine. (Their development teams are not as big as some people think!)
And lastly, Steinberg has to balance out their resources across a myriad of competing forces to stay in business…
All that equals the big magical spreadsheet I talked about before.
Here’s the conundrum for us, sitting on the outside, without access to the spreadsheet, and also without access to the monstrous pile of millions of lines of code: there is no way we can possibly calculate – out here – how hard it is to fix or change something that might seem unbelievably simple on the surface.
Consider that Steinberg has literally built Cubase/Nuendo on millions of lines of code, much of it is legacy code with legacy frameworks with complex dependencies with fixes built on fixes built on new features built on refactored code built on new features built on fixes, etc… and Steinberg strives to keep project compatibility over years… surprisingly good project compatibility if you think how many features it has.
That results in more interdependent and perhaps – at times – fragile code, but that’s what you get when you have this many years invested in Cubase/Nuendo. It would require millions of dollars, many development years, and a complete rewrite from scratch, not to mention the adoption or development of a new cross-platform framework, to do some of the things that some people are asking for. And by that time, Steinberg would be out of business, or Yamaha would sell it off to the highest bidder before the brand value collapsed.
So what Steinberg has to do is strategically apply their resources in a slow process, balancing out all their resources carefully each upgrade cycle, sometimes picking low-lying fruit to change and improve, balancing that with new feature requests that can be fit within the resources to satisfy just enough users, while also going in and slowly changing out the plumbing (frameworks and dependencies for example!) over a longer period of time! What a job!
BTW, many developers go through old code and refactor it years later ( Code refactoring - Wikipedia ) and no doubt Steinberg is expending considerable resources doing this to bring it up to current standards. This can increase future maintainability, reduce dependencies, and make it possible to migrate to different frameworks. But it is tedious and prone to introducing new bugs. So Steinberg is likely doing this over time and very carefully.
This is all the balancing act I referred to previously. It results in making you feel the way you do, sometimes very frustrated. I sometimes feel that way too. But it is what it is.
And then you and I can just decide if we want to continue with Steinberg or not. For myself, I tend to keep upgrading for various reasons, but I also use a bunch of different DAWs. So I have my approach that works for me, you’ll have your own approach.
But I’m not operating under any illusions when I deal with Steinberg at this point. I know the basic theory of what is happening with them, and I accept it. (I may not like it all the time, but I do accept it!)
So I’ll share one example that I know is going on inside of Steinberg, and hope it makes the picture a little more clear.
As you know, the Cubase/Nuendo score editor is not aging that well right now. Nothing against it, it’s pretty impressive, has a great legacy, and has tons of great features, and it deserves huge respect for many years of service. But compared to some newer score editors out there, including Steinberg’s own Dorico, the current Cubase score editor is falling short.
So why isn’t it up to Dorico’s level? A typical suggestion from people in the forum is that Steinberg just add Dorico’s features, easy-cheesy, and that’s that… should be a breeze, right? Same developer, right? Why, oh why, hasn’t that happened?
Well, I’m sure you know that Dorico was developed by a totally different team, it’s origins predating joining the Steinberg family, but most people don’t know it’s also built on a different framework. Comparatively, the score editor in Cubase was started long before, has a different concept of how it works and relates to the timeline under the hood (from what I understand), and has been maintained by basically one super talented developer (as I understand the situation). And I read somewhere that the primary developer is getting closer to retirement. Uh-oh. That doesn’t sound good! So what happens to Cubase’s score editor? Will it just rot and decay into a heap of bugs and disappointment?
Well, Steinberg understood that they needed a long-term plan for this, and that’s part of why the Dorico team became part of the Steinberg family, among other reasons.
The spreadsheets all lined up, and numbers have probably already been crunched, and the solution is going to be a methodical transition over time. But consider the massive dependencies, frameworks, and other internal issues that will be required to be solved to pull off this huge transition… it is not a trivial operation. They can’t try to duplicate features in one versus the other, that will just cause all sorts of broken features and endless bugs. They needed the Cubase score developer lead and the Dorico team to sit down and work out a multi-year plan to make it happen, sharing their institutional knowledge, developing the internal pipes that bridge the fundamental differences in how the audio engine, the timeline, MIDI and notation works, and keep existing Cubase users satisfied, while also maintaining project compatibility!
This will require massive engineering efforts so as not to break user projects and have feature parity, AND not introduce more bugs, AND add some new awesome features that people want.
So I can predict right now that any new features we might be asking for in the current Cubase score editor, for example, will most likely be deferred for a long time (unless it’s easy low-lying fruit to serve as a stop-gap improvement!), because Steinberg already knows they need to phase out the old score editor anyway (may it rest in peace in honor and glory) and bring in some kind of integration with Dorico!
This is a multi-year project and we will no doubt see hundreds of threads complaining about how Cubase hasn’t improved the score editor… but some time in the future, maybe Cubase 14 or 15 is the target (I’m guessing), the Dorico features will be the headline feature for Cubase that year. And they will coordinate with all the usual famous dudes like Hans Zimmer scoring the latest Christopher Nolan film with the awesome Dorico features integrated in Cubase, or something like that.
But see, Steinberg IS listening, they KNOW they need to replace it, they KNOW what composers are asking for, and they ALREADY have the spreadsheet worked out, it’s obvious this is part of their plan with Dorico in the first place, and it’s going to take years to make it happen. And frankly, Steinberg should be commended for their foresight in bringing in the Dorico team as a long-term strategic move to transition, sustain and improve the Cubase score editor.
This kind of approach is clearly taking place in several other areas inside Cubase/Nuendo. Sometimes it’s hard to see, but you can see the plumbing being replaced over time, just like we see the interface changing over time, and I bet the UI changes are likely part of a slow transition in their entire graphical framework and a ton of refactoring too. My guess is they are probably moving to a more unified framework across more Steinberg apps, but this will take time, and we are watching it (and complaining about it) each release!
Anyway, the general point is, like it or hate it, Steinberg has a balancing act they are doing with each release. And it’s not so obvious sometimes.
That’s why I’ve relaxed about ripple editing. I know it’s happening. Eventually. But the spreadsheet didn’t line up yet. Adding ripple editing is most likely requiring a deeper dive into the code, confirmed in part by some posts in this forum from Steinberg, and my guess is that probably several core libraries are being refactored to accommodate it and other similar features. But that doesn’t stop me from reminding Steinberg about ripple editing all the time. Reminder to Steinberg: Ripple editing. Ripple editing. (Can’t let them get lazy.)
But this is exactly what is going on with your feature requests and why you see inconsistencies and have the frustrations you have. Especially for the “obvious” ones that multiple people have requested or complained about. They DO know about it. They have listened. It’s probably in the spreadsheet. They probably already calculated the cost and when/if they can implement it.
And BTW, almost ALL software developers get to this same conundrum of legacy code and old dependencies at some point in their existence. How they handle it determines whether or not they stay in business or fade out to nothing. Steinberg, so far, has remained in business. So as a conservative company, they are not about to change their spreadsheet approach. It’s basically keeping them alive.
That’s the reality. I have accepted it. But I don’t accept it blindly.
My attitude is to determine if an upgrade is worth the $99 or $199 TO ME. Does it save me money? Does it help me get more work done? Does it save me time? Can I be more creative? Can I make/mix/master better sound? And if the answer is yes and worth $99 or $199, I pull out my credit card. If the answer is no, then I skip the upgrade.
But Steinberg knows all that too, they know there is competition, and so they have a very smart guy working on their spreadsheets and quite often they make it worth my $99 or $199!
Anyway, wish you the best. I’m just grooving out tonight, taking a break from my stressful work, writing obscenely long posts, and looking forward to tomorrow to see what Steinberg offers for Nuendo 13, then I’ll see if I upgrade or not!
Much respect, and cheers!
Yours uarte! If you were a novelist, you’d be Tolstoy plus Wilde! Cheers!
About competition …Post covid, Every company is in a state of stress…where as Avid has been sold to Symphony Technology Group (STG) and is now being developed in Bangalore India. Atleast Nuendo is still with Yamaha who are into the business of Music.
That said, over the last 2 or 3 years, Pro Tools has corrected its basic shortcomings, such as blocking user shortcuts, adjusting the colors and contrast of its interface (without abandoning the old one), then unifying the midi function windows, not to mention its pricing structure, to name just 4 examples. And the people in charge respond (moderately) to users on the forum (a bit like Daniel S. for Dorico, who is an example of good communication). In this world, all businesses are owned by larger companies or holding companies. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. But there are no fixed rules to worry about.
Ha! Thanks, but I was shooting for Shakespeare, oh well, I got close though!
Agreed, and BTW, I’ll bet he’s on the short list to be Steinberg CEO at some point in the future. He’s really on the ball.
And on cue, here’s the example of someone Steinberg listens to when they prioritize what they add. That’s a multi-install, multi-location influential customer. Way more important than any Joe on this forum.
Johnnie Burn is very good, but that doesn’t prove wrong those who ask for something other than what he asks for on his side. Opposite him, there are 1,000 Pro Tools professionals (the ratio must be 1:1,000, after all) who like hardware integration. You have to understand that this marketing video aims to illustrate a dimension of Nuendo that may be a flaw as well as a quality. But I agree with SB that it’s legitimate. But you have to look behind the scenes.
That said, Nuendo is extraordinary in many ways. The problem lies elsewhere.