Opinions on Mac for Nuendo?

Define which problems always crop up. Since Windows 7 there haven’t been any tweaks you should need to do to the system at the OS level.

Headlands, I’m sorry I’m not answering your questions, but I have to agree with likelystory here. You’re on a far newer system than mine so perhaps that’s the problem. Either way, I haven’t had serious issues on my system in a looooong time. I’ve had far worse issues with PT/Mac.

I’m not saying either is better, but I most definitely can’t say I’ve had your experience or even close to it.

Hi Headlands,

So many variables to consider…really.
I’ve been on PT since 6.xx on both Mac and PC. HD and LE.
Nuendo only on PC, now W7/64bit.
I do not upgrade often…all is lean and mean.
I have to say Nuendo on PC has given me way less headaches than PT on a Mac. I don’t even use it anymore, except to import/export projects.

IMO…latest drivers for all your devices should be updated often.
Audio / display interface type and driver is particularly crucial.

best of luck…let us know !

…i switched completely from windows (XP & 7) to mac, something like 3 years ago; had quite a bit of trouble with diverse windows-machines, it was just getting worse and worse.
i won’t say that the mac is perfect, far from this; but the amount of time i’m spending troubleshooting has been largely reduced. i have a lot of confidence in my nuendo-systems (one on an older macbook, running with merging’s HORUS via ravenna; the other is an actual trashcan loaded with a rme-madi-card - both running osx 10.9.5), have been using those in countless critical live-recording-situations without any problem ever - and went so far to take my ravenna/horus-system with me on large festivals this summer, mixing some specific projects live for FOH (you’d better don’t f… it there), plus recording the gig simultaneously, and feeding a broadcast-line for live transmission at the same time - all on the same machine. i would never, ever have dreamed doing that with one of my former W-rigs…

No problems with NVidia gfx here although now that I think about it I did have to change the NVidia power management mode to maximum performance in the NVidia control panel.

Totally agree, I use both (clients etc). Windows simply takes longer to work and customise. Mac OS on the other hand is generally very quick to install things, little customisation re. performance required & the plug-in location thing is completely consistent and sane.Otherwise I found N7 excellent on (former) Yosemite /Mac Pro 32GB 6 core 3.33, ditto Mac Book Pro. FYI, windows handling is also much better. ASIO performance seems about the same - and I use a lot of VIs for certain composition work, New 12 core mac pro runs Nvidia w/ 4 editing etc. All the Nvidas can be found flashed for mac, e.g.: http://www.macvidcards.com

Have been running all that on win 10 lately, v. nice system, aims to look and work a hell of a lot like OS X … but, that install and customise thing is still there under the hood. Simply, takes far more time to do the same thing to get going.

I don’t believe latencymon on Windows 8+ systems is accurate anymore. I do large music/song productions too.

Well, forgive me for saying so but isn’t it the responsibility of that vendor to sell you a system that works?

…well - if i’d counted the time i spent noodling with windows for years, and transform that “working”-time into cash, i could have bought a big stack of macs in the meanwhile.
i make a living dealing with audio and musical material, don’t bother to be my own IT-troubleshooter - at least not at that level.

Well, then again, I’ve had the same computer for a loooong time now - by computer standards - and I just haven’t seen the problems you apparently have. I just don’t think the issue is Win vs. OSX.

People make arguments one way or the other, or claim PT is the most stable, yet I see people have completely stable configurations in all four options. So in other words if I were you I wouldn’t be so sure I wouldn’t make a similar “mistake” or “configuration” that similarly makes your OSX machine equally unstable and troublesome.

im using both , n7 on a mac 8-core , 24 gb ram , yosemite and on an win 8.1 i7 24gb laptop…
on windows ( i used nuendo since N1) nuendo runs way smoother than on a mac , at least in my
experience , less trouble with latency on windows and more clicks and pops on mac ,
also slow file lists (open session on mac) which make me believe that steinberg development
is on mac always a bit behind the os and uses partly outdated programming libraries.
in the past i used tweaked xp machines which where pretty stable , also compared to mac ,
but , as above mentioned , since win7 there is nothing to tweak.
Since my main rig is a PT running mac , i use Nuendo mostly there ,
if i would use only nuendo , i think i would stay on win.

We all want a stable system that just keeps on rocking no matter how hard you push it and what we throw at it.
To be honest - and as we all know - such a system does not exist because we are working in changing environments where one small update of driver “A” can affect the performance of application “B”.

The two things that are strategically slightly better on OS X than on windows are that:

  1. Apple is a DAW manufacturer as well, so they will most likely NOT release a system update that causes major hassles to the low latency core audio architecture. (I might get wild laughs from the Steinberg dev’s here ?)

  2. The amount of different apple hardware systems is significantly smaller than the amount of combinations on Windows systems. So if there is a problem with a graphics card in one particular mac you will most likely see the pattern by people reporting similar problems with similar macs.

Although I am really happy with all the Macs I have used since 10.5, I really that from a freelance audio pro’s point of view Apple have made gazillions of “wrong” strategic decisions. A decent Mac Pro with all the new hardware that you want with it will set you back around $15k, that’s ridiculous. Why do I have to buy two high end graphics cards just because I want a fast processor? Why should I have to buy new USB3/Thunderbolt stuff when my pcie/firewire stuff works well?
Also a new OS every year is a nightmare as for a freelance audio guy who has to maintain his systems without the aid of an IT department.

Interesting discussion!

My first experience of sequencing was Pro 24, and later Cubase.
When it came time to start doing midi and audio, I then started using macs and used them for a long time (and on Logic and PT too!), and switched just during the transition from OS 9 to OS X.
I had a demo of Nuendo 2 at my dealer and was blown away; the familiarity of Cubase but with the audio editing power of PT and beyond, I switched to PC and that’s what I’ve been on for the last decade.

However, I’m about to get an iMac 5k, and relegate all Kontakt and softsynth duties to 2 slave PC’s.
I know I will loose a bit of performance, especially visually (Steinberg apps still feel a lot more sluggish on the Mac than on the PC…here’s hoping future updates will leverage things like Metal to speed up visual redraws under Os X), but I do enjoy the Mac experience a lot more.
It just seems a lot more consistent, and a really thought out user experience as opposed to Windows, which even in V8 and 10 still feel like a lot of cobbled together and imitated stuff.

And I can really echo the sentiments of some users here; I always seem to need to be fiddling with my pc, for whatever reason, from USB devices deciding to not show up one day, to some drives being ejectable and some not, inconsistent file selector behaviour (why does every application seem to use its own version?), driver and security updates…the list goes on.

Anyway, I’ll let you know how I get on when the Mac arrives:)


I agree with the Mac/PC price ratio, though the iMac 5k is an odd one.
It’s (the maxed out i7 with upgraded graphics cards) marginally faster than my 2 year old hexacore, but pricewise it works out to be only 10%-15% more expensive if you consider it has a 5k monitor screen, and a high quality one at that.
Coupled with the fact that you can attach another 2 screens to it, and that this maxed out version is better specc’ed than the base Mac Pro model (that is a few hundred quid more expensive and has no monitor) and you’ve got a pretty sweat deal.

Still on the fence about W10…it looks a fair bit better, but I do hear horror stories of obligatory updates that can’t be turned off and some serious privacy issues, but we’ll see…

Well, then it’s probably quite a good idea to stick to macs. Swimming against the tide can be a tedious thing, and I have the feeling that L.A. is pretty much PT territory, so maybe using a different DAW (for very good reasons!) is better than using a different DAW and a different OS.

Here, it works rock solid on a MacBook Pro. The issues to avoid are: buggy VSTs, using big USB hubs, and a soundcard with good drivers.

I meant “soundcards with BAD drivers” :wink:

By the way, the Steinberg UR that I have works pretty decent, even if there are better options.

FWIW, earlier I took the first discussion to be more about the OS, rather than the hardware.

Whichever, mac OS X is relatively friction-free (despite their i-devices spying platform) vs. Win xx which now looks even nicer as Win 10, but is still a long-winded dog under the hood (& which spies even more). Simply, it takes far less work and time to get going on OS X for media and sound production. Then’s there’s that awful crap shoot for where plug-in installers shoot their load; ditto prefs and patches etc.

On the hardware side (which is what almost all of this discussion seems to be about), there are plenty of less expensive options. The Hackintosh route is well developed and many media pros use that routinely, the specs being the same for motherboards and the rest that would normally be used in a good PC build. See http://www.tonymacx86.com

The other recent trend has been the outfitting of 2010 mac Pro towers, now becoming quite widespread and v. powerful for reasonable cost in Australia, the US and the UK (the last seems to be a bit of gouging there). Many also hate the Mac Pro trash can ( and GPUs for FCPX) and simply upgrade and use an older mac Pro tower. 2010-2012 models are all the same base platform more or less, but can be fitted out with 12 core 3.33 or 3.43 processors, big ram and flashed high -end GPUs (for those who might want video editing, 4k etc). e.g. see New & Used Mac Pro Towers from OWC

eg, mine is a 12 core 3.33Ghz, 48GB Ram, 4GB Nvidia GTX680, AUD $4000. Runs very well with OS X (and a Win10 Bootcamp with the same apps /plugs /DAWs, (just for time-wasting). OWC Mercury Accelsior 480GB boot on a PCIe, UAD-Card, Caldigit USB 3.0 & eSATA 6Gb card, a bunch of internal SSDs, an external 4 bay USB 3.0 /eSATS enclosure. Goes like a rocket, no tech issues with OS X Yosemite. FW800 is the only speed restriction, but is only running one UA Apollo. Otherwise, USB 3.0 performs with more than enough oomph.

I guess one of the points here is that I could easily migrate all my collected stuff (cards, disks, OS), plug in into the new tower refurb and get going gain in about 30 mins. Zero config.

Hope that’s of use.

I’ve been using the “Trashcan” for several months now. Once I got past having to invest a ton into external hard drive enclosures, USB3 hubs, a thousand new cables, etc., it’s running as expected. I ordered a similar configuration as my 2012 tower. I see about a 20% increase in rendering speed. That’s not really enough to compel me to upgrade out of the blue, but I was past my three-year mark for an everyday DAW computer. The biggest letdown is the video. I had a Blackmagic Intensity card in the tower. The trashcan has an HDMI out, which is nice. However, if I mouse out of Nuendo temporarily, the video goes away. This is irksome if I have talent in the booth watching and performing while I check email or something.

The other quasi-questionable thing is USB 3 speed. Mac seems to allocate the buses differently than Windows computers. Though I’ve not run into any problems yet, some say it created a bottleneck with several devices.

A few positives for using the Trashcan:

-It’s amazingly quiet. It sits on my desk behind my monitors, barely heard. The tower would drive me crazy with its fans.
-The SSD drive and faster memory speed are instantly noticeable. Programs that normally take 15 seconds to open, pop up in 2 or 3 seconds. Ironically, Nuendo is the slowest one to open because of all the drivers it loads.
-Thunderbolt is everything they say it is. I’m seeking out TB interfaces for all my future upgrades.

I build my own PCs and have been since the late 90’s. And I’m a self contained producer with my own room and enough rep to use what I want without consequence.

But for a Mac user making a living in LA, profdraper’s advice above is golden, in my opinion. If you’re a techie and want a ton of power cheap, build a Hackintosh. If you don’t like fiddling, get a 2010-2012 Mac Pro dual CPU and max out the CPUs. Performance will approach the new MP trash can. In the case of the Hackintosh, even exceeding it is possible.

The fact that a 5 year old computer (upgraded with used CPUs) is likely a better fit for most audio users than the newest model Mac Pro is a really strange back handed compliment to Apple, eh? :wink: