Nuendo vs. Cubase (superset vs. divergent)

Please forgive if this is a redundant post; I didn’t find the answer by searching.

It’s sometimes posited that Nuendo is the flagship Steinberg product, and that it’s the “big brother” of Cubase. This tends to lead to an idea that Nuendo is a superset of Cubase’s features plus its own video-focused features. I’m familiar with Nuendo and the video/post features of Nuendo that aren’t included in Cubase.

What I don’t know is: Are there various features of Cubase Pro that aren’t included in Nuendo? I’m interested to know what these might be, if any.

In other words, if someone bought Nuendo, would they effectively have “Cubase Pro Plus”? Or would they now be missing features from Cubase Pro that can only be gotten in Cubase?

If there are any comparison charts or quick ways to view the differences, I’d appreciate links. Many thanks!

Have you seen this?

Events in the work area have a different look to them, but that’s about the only feature that is different, as far as the features they share go.

Hi -steve- - thank you for this. Yes, I had seen that announcement post. As it describes “new features from Cubase 9.5,” I didn’t feel I could rely on it to specifically state “At this time, all Cubase features new and old now exist in Nuendo.”

I think I remember at one time hearing that various MIDI-related tools were somewhat reduced/different in Nuendo vs. Cubase. The thing is, I know both programs, but I haven’t studied them in a nuts-and-bolts comparison to really see what may be missing from Nuendo that’s only in Cubase. Hence, the question.

You’ve obviously got expert experience; but I’m purposely being a bit of a stickler at this moment. The reason: With the new sale, people are interested in buying Nuendo but I don’t feel comfortable telling them, “Yes, just buy Nuendo, because it has everything from Cubase” without knowing precisely that it’s true. I wonder if there’s a definitive, exhaustive list somewhere that would explicitly state any features in Cubase that are truncated/missing in Nuendo?

I hear you! There’s no definitive list that I know of. The difference I mentioned is the only one I have noticed.

Best thing for someone focused on that would be to wait for 8.2 to be available as a trial, but you then risk not getting the promo they are offering now.

Maybe someone else will have more to say- it’s only been out for a day, so it takes time for it to get into the hands of a lot of people.

Hello ultradust,

there is one big Cubase feature that we haven’t implemented into Nuendo yet, and that is VST Transit.

Other than that, there is some functionality that works differently in Nuendo than in Cubase, e.g. the VCA Faders and some automation features (because of the simplified automation editor in Cubase, some features had to be designed differently). This doesn’t mean that Nuendo is lacking these, it only means that you may have to get used to working differently if you decide to change to Nuendo.

Also, as mentioned by Steve, you could try Nuendo 8 before buying it of course. The trial version is valid for 60 days and it will even update automatically to 8.2 during the installation process, given that you have an internet connection and select to download and install the latest version.

If you decide that Nuendo 8 is good for you, you have until May 31 to crossgrade from Cubase with a 40% discount.

I hope I was able to help you even a little.

All the best,

Hi Luis,

is the trial version conflicting with a production Cubase Pro 9.5 system? And what happens if I deinstall the Nuendo 8 trial? Are there possible errors occuring for my Cubase installation?

Is it a must to clone the productivity environment and install the nuendo trial on an external cloned hd? Or are there two really separated programme structures?

Thanks for your help in advance.

Hello cubass,

Nuendo is a completely different program than Cubase and will not affect at all on the Cubase Pro functionality. After uninstalling Nuendo, Cubase will keep working as well, as if anything had happened.

Please note though, that plug-ins and audio-content packages are shared by Cubase and Nuendo, so you should definitely not uninstall any of the content files but only the Nuendo 8 application.

All the best,

Hi Luis,

thanks a lot for your quick answer - thats good to know. So I can start quickly discovering the additional features of Nuendo vs Cubase Pro.

This is just because I am preparing a job change in direction of music for film/tv/games. As I am no direct experience with the workflow in the games or tv audio segment, you could perhaps give me a little help with the following essential question:

  1. Is it a must-have for a composer or sound-designer to have the adr/games-audio-connect/film functionality of Nuendo because the production companies want me to deliver not only single wav files of the main title, the hero-theme, the fight scene, the sound fx, a dialogue sequence… but need all the files in an adapted format?
    Or is Nuendo just needed inside the production company? And the supplier for audio/music/speech is best equipped with a DAW like Cubase Pro?

Thanks in advance :slight_smile:

Luis, you helped a lot! Exactly the info I needed.

And thanks again, -steve-, for your thoughts as well.

A suggestion: It might be helpful to have an ongoing published “delta chart” which keeps customers and prospects aware of the rolling differences between Cubase and Nuendo, just so they can make product-use decisions with precision.

For television and film you should probably check what the networks and distributors in your market demand as deliverables, because it varies. Some will just request .wav files, some will require project files (more likely session files from Pro Tools).

If what you want to do is compose/record/mix specifically music, for film/tv/games, then I don’t really see a need for ADR functionality. You might benefit from the game-connect features though.

I chose and bought Nuendo because my work asked for it. (Games and Audio Post-Prod)
To be honest i’ve never used Cubase. That’s why i can’t say nothing about this ‘‘Nuendo vs Cubase’’ thread, but I’m sure Cubase is a very AWESOME DAW.
After all it’s Steinberg :wink:

You Rock Steinberg!
You’re a great team.

My 2 cents: Nuendo is in general a far more advanced platform than Cubase, particularly in terms of post, ADR, film & gaming. Exact features are detailed here and elsewhere (personally, would hope for a return to a greater focus on film in particular, incl. bounce to video etc).

However, the primary stumbling block /annoyance for me is the non-alignment of upgrade cycles between Cubase and Nuendo. Cubase releases are always far ahead of Nuendo and then this later ‘trickles down’ to Nuendo. At the very least I suggest that SB should align the updates to coincide. Or that the ‘flagship’ Nuendo release should come out ahead of Cubase. Part of the argument /difference perception lies here - Nuendo owners always have to wait until last.

The other matter is version nomenclature. SB should bite the bullet and make the version numbers the same. eg: make the next versions of Cubase and Nuendo ‘v10’, and with the same respective base features /UI etc. Just like DaVinci Resolve recently skipped from v12 then to v14.

Or perhaps even better: the new trend for Pro Tools to go for year /month version IDs: 2018.4 etc or Windows 10 also identified by release date, eg: was 1709, is now 1803. But do keep the version numbers aligned between Cubase & Nuendo, and do present the release dates together or Nuendo ahead of Cubase.

Nuendo, Cubase, Reaper, Logic, in my experience this doesn’t matter in games. Nuendo has a Game Audio Connect feature but this is only useful (in my opinion) for bigger game studios working with a specific audio middleware for games called WWISE. Other than that Game Audio Connect doesn’t give you any advantage.

For games, you deliver raw WAV files. They are then loaded either into a middleware (WWISE, FMOD…) or directly imported into a game engine (Unreal, Unity 3D).

This means Nuendo is a choice you have to make. You need to decide if Nuendo saves you a lot of work and is worth the investment. To me it does. I have field recording sessions for game sound effects where I trim all recordings and create mutliple takes or variations of the same sound effect. Then I can just select all clips and export them in one operation. Nuendo routes each clip through the complete signal chain with compressor and limiters on the master channel intact, renders the file, names it after the channel and adds a number to it so I can have more than one file per track (which I use for variations, multiple takes). For a simulation game we recorded hours of vehicle effects and I can make a small change in my master channel’s limiter and export 1000 sounds in one go with proper naming. It’s really great. Reaper can do it too, but Reaper only routes audio through the current channel of the audio clip, meaning every channel has to have its own limiter for example. Good luck making one change to 100s of tracks.

Also in Nuendo, I can have multiple marker tracks. For more complex, designed multi-track sound effects, I create cycle markers and name them. Later, I can do the same and export all sections within cycle markers, mix them down to one sound file, and name it after the name of the cycle marker. It helps me save so much time, so for me it was worth it. And with the latest update to 8.2 it really feels snappy. Even the horizontal scrolling wheel works again :wink:

So this stuff is important to me in game sound. At the end of the day, I have to deliver WAVs. But I don’t work in a AAA facility in a team. Hope that helps.

Hi Luis,
Can you point me to anywhere where I as a cubase user can see these differences-like a youtube video or something? I prefer not to install the entire program right now to check it out, but I’m interested in knowing what the advance automation features are. Also, I saw that Nuendo had “advanced” batch export. Is the Nuendo batch export any different than Cubase? Specifically, is there any chance we are able to set up a few exports with slight changes between each export all at once (For example, an export with and without vocals, with bass guitar up and down 3db, etc)?


thanks to all who answered my question regarding the necessity of Nuendo and the possible plus over Cubase when working in the field of games audio, TV/Film PostPro.

That was a big help for a longtime Cubase user who wishes to change to that field. And yes, I switched today to Nuendo.

By the way - after checking both manuals, I found mainly the differences mentioned in the list in the older topic. There are also some other additional features in Nuendo, all regarding a better Workflow and functionalities in the way of games audio and Post-Pro. There seems to be nothing great missing from Cubase, so I would say, it is worth the change if you need tools not only for music-production but post and games.

For the final decision I installed the demo-version and tested it with Cubase projects. All worked fine here and some additional features of Nuendo come to live better when using it.

Have a nice production time :slight_smile:

Well I haven’t think about it, but I usually only use Cubase. It works perfects for me right now. Honestly I haven’t tried any other products so I can’t say anything. But I can say Cubase is great for me and probably gonna be great for you too.

Just enjoy both software.
Thanks for Cubase.
I will try Nuendo too if I need to.
Thanks for this details though.

I was wondering if the choice to get nuendo over cubase was a good one a few years on. Also the change of field. I am considering the same but am mainly a music composer. Not much into making 1000 recordings of a sword swish. Is there actually any work to be found? I am thinking of getting the crossgrade

Hi pmtm,

as often the answer lies between, some functions of Nuendo helped me in my work, others not or better said some important functions are still missing or would need a improvement. For PostPro, Nuendo is the better choice as it has some specialized tools for that segment, e.g. improved surround functions, sound design tools, the ADR function (also great for dialogue work in games), the import functions etc. The 3D and VR sound features are exclusive to Nuendo but very special as the market for this is not easy to reach because of big investments (tech and know-how) and the market is not the biggest. For Game Audio Nuendo is over Cubase as only Nuendo delivers the direct exchange with wwise (if you need it depends on the developer studio you work with, often they only need the wav files), better batch processing functions and has some sound design tools on top. For composing Cubase and Nuendo are mainly the same and have a good set of tools. For film scoring both would need some improvements for e.g. more comfortable tempo and hit point adjustements, score sheets with cue points, renovated and improved chord assistant,…

By the way - i did not change the whole field of work, i just added post pro and games audio :slight_smile:

Another help for deciding if you need the crossgrade would be installing the test version of Nuendo, worked parallel with Cubase at my test and helped me to decide. So you could get a better idea of the additional feature set.