We use lots of workstations. Nuendo, ProTools, Live, Logic, anything the client will pay us for. Here in the US that means we must have ProTools, then anything else that will get us paid or enable faster work. My preference is Nuendo, been using it since it came out for MacOS. We have 6 Nuendo dual- and triple-madi systems, along with HDX2, HDX3, and HDNative systems. We are what many in our small part of the industry call experts (we’ve faked it well!).
In the past I would often gloat over my PT brethren with Nuendo’s record performance. While Avid used to recommend no more than 32 tracks per record drive and most operators did 48, Nuendo was happy with 64 or more. With PT 10.3 Avid did something that leapfrogged well past what Nuendo is capable of, and anecdotal conversations with large scale PT11 users indicates the same.
OS10.6, 10.8, 10.9
MacPro various vintages
MacMini and MacBookPro with Sonnet and Magma expansion chassis, many flavors
PT 10.3.8, Nuendo 5.5.6, Nuendo 6.x
All combinations, all supported OSes, all hardware, it’s the same - Nuendo will record 128 tracks per drive on internal Sata but is not happy with many more than 64 tracks per drive using Firewire or eSata. ProTools is happy recording 128 tracks per drive using Sata, eSata, firewire, usb3. What happened?
The cpu utilization on Nuendo recording 128 tracks is around 18% (+/-) total cpu on most of our systems, the same on PT is around 10%; an expected difference due to HDX. You could argue that makes the record difference but that’s not accurate - there’s still a lot of cpu left over. Nuendo is half as efficient at record drive performance, PT is doing something different that enables a much larger margin for record drive performance. I suspect it has to do with drive buffer, interface buffer, and PT’s advertised “ram buffer”.
Factors accounted for -
I/O buffer size
drives and drive interface
For most folks I suppose this doesn’t matter - who the hell records 128 or 192 tracks at the same time? Well, we do. The client wants to walk away with the drive immediately after so they can jump into post overnight, we try to avoid copying if we can. If we must record to two external drives, or three in the case of 192 tracks, that’s more expensive.
Steinberg should take a look at Nuendo’s record performance compared to ProTools, unfortunately my favorite and most profitable platform has fallen behind and in today’s world that makes a difference.