Section/Part/Cue versions

I have been working as a mockup programmer for another composer for some time now. Especially recently I have been encountering a time consuming workflow issue. We have, at times, several versions of cues. The differences are major enough to render track versions and lanes clumsy and unpractical. They are also minor enough not to justify a completely new project file. Besides jumping between projects with a lot of samples and virtual instruments is time consuming.

A function that would allow versioning a whole section or part would be wonderful!

I often use the Arranger Track to mark cues when I score a film in Nuendo. It would be a game changer for me and surely for many others, if We could just right click the Arranger Track event and choose a section version. This could be just linked to track versions. The down side is that the material on the whole track changes and the point is that the material changes only within the designated section. The function could also be linked to lanes, which would not affect the whole track. Changes to tempo and signature tracks should happen also.

Now, I don’t know the inner works of Nuendo, so the suggestions were presented in the light of functionality I know are present.

I am sure this function could provide significant workflow improvements and kill some waiting time when jumping between projects. Useful for both, composers and sound designers I am sure!

I would suggest something similar, though a bit further reaching, which would be project versions - essentially the same as a track version but for the entire project.
These could be tabs at the top of the arrange window, with a split view if needed to easily copy paste sections between different versions.
The new version would be a clean slate, keeping all the existing track setups/routing, but with empty tracks for everything (including tempo, arranger and marker tracks).

Versions in this case could indeed be different ‘versions’, or an entirely different cue. That way, all cues for a film could be held in one project file, with easy copy pasting between them…

Markus, for now, as a workaround, could you simply start new versions on the hour marks instead? In other words you do work and save and choose track versions as usual, but once you’re at a point like the one you describe you simply copy everything from 01:00:00:00 to 02:00:00:00. That way you have everything exactly the way you want it at different hours. Timecode will match except for the hour field which is often irrelevant.

Joris, What you suggest sounds like simply saving/recalling a template to be honest.

What Joris is suggesting seems to me to be more along the lines of how Digital Performer handles versions/chunks.

I’d like to see that sort of functionality in Nuendo, too. It’s one thing DP actually does really well (along with exporting video clips :wink: ) .


Joris, What you suggest sounds like simply saving/recalling a template to be honest.

Mate, if it were that simple!
I’ve been working on film(s) and large games recently and one thing they all have in common is very, very large templates.
We’re talking 400-500 tracks, 30-40 VSTi instances, of which a lot are multi-channel and multi-midi-banks (i.e VEPRO templates with 4x16 channels per instance).
Loading a template can take between 10-20 minutes, depending on the amount slaves being used. When working on multiple cues, that means on a day I can spent nearly an hour just loading stuff.
Top that off with Nuendo/Cubase’s tendency to crash when closing sessions, there is no way I can quickly reload a session.

A workflow where I can have multiple versions of a project, that uses the same template but it’s own project settings with tempo, markers, signature etc. would be a massive timesaver, as it would require no reloading of anything.
On film stuff, I find that if I’m working with an orchestral template, nothing much changes in a setup; and actually any additional channels/instruments added would be beneficial to have added to the other projects as well.

With multiple cues, I wouldn’t want them all in one session on the same timeline, as a re-cut or change of a cue earlier in the session would affect everything that comes after it.
Having them in separate project tabs within the same Nuendo project however would be a massive time saver.

And, as a major Hollywood film composer said to me recently (no name drops for fear of sounding like a tw@t), the abillity of having multiple cues in one session would make him instantly switch to Cubase, as no other daw seems to have this working in any non-buggy way, apart from Reaper.

Performer has it, but is apparently notoriously buggy.
Studio One has a scratch pad, which is some way in getting there but needs work.
Logic can’t even open multiple sessions at the same time.
Reaper as said, has it, but it’s GUI is an utter inconsistent mess and its midi capabilities lacking.

For nuendo/cubase, it would be my number one feature above anything else right now.


I think what confused me a bit was that we already can open multiple projects at the same time, it’s just that they aren’t active at once. I get that having another project as a “tab” is convenient, and I think getting to either would simply requiring ‘splitting’ a current project into two or more project files via “save-as”. I.e. load your template for the job and set things up the way you need to, and then save-as for different cues.

I have to wonder though how realistic it would be to have the various projects active simultaneously, which is what you seem to be looking for. If “We’re talking 400-500 tracks, 30-40 VSTi instances, of which a lot are multi-channel and multi-midi-banks” then having three cues open at the same time for example would see you initially load 1,500 tracks, and 120 VSTi instances. Of course, if there was a smart way to overlap then you could hypothetically load the VSTi once instead of three times, but surely the tracks all need to be loaded.

So I’m just wondering how feasible that would be given that you already seem to have issues with the performance of your computer.

Anyway, as almost always I’m not against this feature request, I was just thinking out loud if there were options available to use right now…

My feeling is that edit list/groups like Pro Tools has would be the solution here, not multiple sessions open at once (which would be impossible for the reasons you mentioned). With Pro Tools you can have completely different edit versions of your entire session or as many tracks as you need with the click of a button (including automation differences if you’d like). This way you can have any number of versions with any number of new/different sections. I can’t tell you what a game changer this would be – it’s one of the truly top-of-the-game things about Pro Tools.

Switching between gigantic sessions in Nuendo isn’t possible without first closing the damn thing first then re-opening, because it will often crash otherwise. Sometimes it’s OK if the sessions are exactly the same as far as instruments and plugins, but sometimes not. I have sessions about the same size as Jor, and this has been a problem on both Cubase and Nuendo since C8 (and from what I’ve read on the forums from plenty of other post-ers over the past three years, it’s been a problem for many years – it really, really sucks). So it would be many minutes opening and closing sessions for different versions, as opposed to clicking a button that gives you entirely different sets of track versions (with appropriate automation). There is no real workaround for this in Nuendo aside from entirely different projects or fiddling with different track versions for all or part of your entire session (very clumsy and very messy with big sessions like we’re talking about).

What Jor is talking about with tabs is a great idea, too, and doesn’t require any more resources than the single project has, because it’s only changing edits and track data.

Hey Guys,
this was exactly my point, and I think In_Stereo gets what I’m talking about.
The idea is not to have multiple projects with different VSTi’s and plugins open at the same time; I totally understand that wouldn’t be a workable solution and push program/system resources to the max.

What I’m suggesting is a multi-tabbed session that uses the exact same settings for the multiple tabs/project versions - same vsti’s, plugins, track layouts.
It would literally be to a project what track versions are to tracks.

For the reason that when you’re scoring lets say a film with an orchestral setup, you’re likely to use the same setup for the entire film. The only thing that might change are additional audio tracks and perhaps a few scene specific VSTI’s.
These would then exist in all project ‘versions’.
Delete one in one project version, they’re gone in all project versions.

The project version is essentially a track version for ALL tracks, including Markers, tempo, signature, arranger etc.
My hunch is that this would be quite an easy thing to implement, as SB already has a working design for track versions; it would just have to be extrapolated to all the different kinds of tracks.

This is essentially basic instancing of the project layout - I’m continuing to be amazed at what’s happening in the visual effects world and how they deal with instancing and massive data sets (let alone customisable GUI’s - a whole different topic) and how for some reason none of that tech seems to be making its way over to the DAW world.

On another note; some of my full orchestral sessions take a long time to load - between 10-15 minutes - this is one main machine with two 32gb VEP pro slaves.
I have no way of quickly switching between sessions, other than loading another session in Nuendo unactivated and copy bits over from there…but of course I can’t audition them.

I’ve tried setting up VEP Pro so it retains sessions, but this appears to be buggy; I sometimes get Kontakt flushes (empty instances of Kontakt) or double loads.