Nuendo's new release strategy is exactly what Cubase needs

I believe a great decision has been made for Nuendo, and I can only hope Cubase will get the same treatment:

A public beta, no more yearly updates but releasing them naturally when they’re done… This is exactly the direction I want to see. I might not be a Nuendo user, but this gives me hope that one day it will be like this for Cubase as well.

To clarify, I believe that the yearly schedule is what gives us unfinished updates that break old functionality. Having a perfect build out at an exact day every year has proven not to be viable.

I’m always excited about new features, and an early release of a beta is therefore great. But when a final Cubase comes out, we need Steinberg to have the time to fully QA and finalize it. Screw the yearly release, just give us good releases – and for Nuendo this now seems to be the plan!

PS: Nuendo 8 has the new video engine so that’s also coming for us soon.

I agree, this is the right direction to move in. More frequent small tweak & fixes updates would cut down on problems. And releasing major upgrades when they are fully cooked makes so much more sense than meeting a specific calendar dictated schedule.

Since the X.0 to X.5 upgrade cost + X.5 to X+1.0 cost = X.0 to X+1.0 cost, it shouldn’t impact Steinberg’s revenue (although it will somewhat mess with their cash flow).

I assume the Nuendo market is smaller than Cubase. So it makes sense to try this strategy there first. Hope Steinberg finds the results positive.

As a former software dev… and as an 18 year Cubase beta tester and user I respectfully disagree. The annual release schedule is actually a pretty recent development and if you were around in the bad old days, the overall software quality is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better.

The joke on the old Sparky forums whenever a major update came out was:

“You first!”
“Oh, no, Dear Boy, after -you-!”

Nobody who actually made money with Cubase -dared- use a .0 version. We -always- waited maybe 2-3 -months- to upgrade. They got so fed up with complaints about QC, me and several other prominent forum members/b-testers got the boot. I used Samplitude for a couple of years because, frankly, I couldn’t trust Cubase.

Somehow, don’t me how, they finally got the message. And now I can honestly say that I’ve been able to use the initial release of every major update since C5 to do real work. And I think the annual update system seems to be working in that regard.

Where I am LIVID is in the UX and in the -choice- of feature additions, but frankly, that is more a communication (or lack of) problem. And -that- goes back to those bad QC times. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they simply stopped talking to customers after the screaming got too intense. So now, they put out a better quality product, but which -often- has features and a UX that come from… God knows where.

So I -like- the predictable update schedule. Since SB does not communicate well with its customers, it’s the one thing I -can- count on from them.

The way they can help -me- would be to TALK TO CUSTOMERS, ie. let customers like me feel like we’re -part- of the feature cycle… that our needs are listened to. That right there would cut down on the ridiculous UI changes and the useless sexy features put in place of the useful boring stuff I actually -need- to do paid work.

What -does- give me hope is that Daniel Spreadbury–Dorico -does- seem to listen to users. If we’re talking about ideas ‘spreading’ I hope that his client-centric approach infiltrates the Cubase development team a bit.

In short: I like the predictable release schedule. I think the QC is pretty good. It’s what they -do- during the year (the feature choices) and the opaque way they make those choices that drives me NUTS.

@suntower - Times are a changin’. Agile product development is the model software houses are moving towards. It keeps customers happy as they see fixes and features implemented quicker and also smaller incremental releases can equate to less bugs.

How long have you been using Cubase? :smiley:

When people grouse about ‘schedule’ I think it’s mostly to get -their- bugs fixed or -their- FRs implemented. And that’s more about =listening= than speed.

SB used to be (cough) ‘agile’. It was a disaster. They went to the predictable boring schedule as a way to improve QC. Various people always grouse about ‘bugs’ but from my 17 year perspective, Cubase is now waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more solid than it ever was back in the day. And that matters -most- to me.

If they =could= get fixes and FRs pushed out faster, I’d be all for it. But I doubt it’s possible given how they work. So I’m just grateful the product is somewhat solid now.

As I said, what I think is more reasonable to request is that Cubase LISTEN more to what customers ask for. I think it’s their choice of new features and UI changes that aggravate customers far more than the ‘schedule’ per se.

This again? Um, since it was called ProTracker on Commodore Amiga. Wait, I mean Pro-24 on Atari ST. Yes, that’s it.

Anyway, you should have a little more faith in the developers at Steinberg. If they don’t have arbitrary deadlines, then there should be no reason why they would do a worse job than now.

You’re thinking exactly like I’m thinking about this. Hopefully it works out fine for them with Nuendo.

I’m a longtime Cubase user who is currently about to defect, because I simply don’t want to get sucked into the annual update cycle. To me, it’s essentially a covert subscription scheme, and I’m not having that.

Good to know Nuendo users won’t have to suffer the same treatment.

But maybe this is only possible BECAUSE Cubase users pay annually for the updates. They fund the development of (and to some extent beta-test) the features that end up in Nuendo eventually.

Agile development just means rushed, badly tested code.

What I am in favor of is abandoning the forced yearly schedule. Steinberg can then decide the optimal release date for each version, based on the progress of development.

Then buy a copy of Nuendo, problem solved.
This model makes more sense for Nuendo, as code gets tested in Cubase and once solid, can flow into Nuendo in a more timely way…

If you defend the exact yearly release then I’d like to know why you think this is beneficial to Cubase.

Releasing when it makes sense to release seems to work for Studio One, FL Studio, etc. You have to give a reason why this specifically wouldn’t work for Cubase, besides just stating that Steinberg should stick to the same business model for some reason.

Isn’t a few weeks before Christmas the best time to sell anything?

Isn’t it even better to offer a great product? How does a yearly release on an exact date, no matter the state of the program, help with that?

Then you can always hold a sale during Christmas. Marketing second, a healthy development cycle first.

Not true. It means smaller releases that go through (what should be) the SAME rigorous regression testing as any other release. If it is badly tested code, don’t blame the methodology, blame the testing methods of the development team.

I’d be OK with more releases and them being at random (suitable) times. But they definitely have to be solid bug-free! However, if this release cycle speed-up is precursor to introducing a subscription payment model then I’ll be seriously looking around at other DAWs. I really don’t like monthly subscriptions because I value being able to upgrade, and therefore pay, when I want to or need to.


I’m of course not advocating for a subscription model.

I don’t think you’ll find many (any?) here in favor of a subscription model.

I still believe Cubase (and nuendo) would be better overall if they tidied up the product lineup even more… Like getting rid of elements, for example. Or something like make .5 iterations free so that there was not the need to provide updates for bot .0x and .5x versions.
Do we really need Cubase Artist, Cubase Elements and Cubase Pro?

Personally, I’d think the logical one to remove would be Artist. I’ve owned all three versions and still own Pro and Elements. The latter is useful to have on a LapTop for travelling without the dongle.

I assume Elements is also useful to Steinberg as a way in to the software as it’s even littler version of LE or AI is bundled free with hardware and the upgrade from AI or LE is (currently) only £40.

But we digress!

+1 to the OP’s thoughts.

Two muso friends who use Artist and we swap projects… They upgraded from Elements because they needed lanes for recording. Artist provides everything they need except VariAudio pitch correction. I think it’s a good line-up of products which appeal to a broad range of people. Sometimes I think one single product with purchasable extras might be a good idea, e.g. buy VariAudio, buy Control Room, buy extra Sb plugins, etc.