Should I switch from Nuendo to Pro Tools? Advice needed

In May I crossgraded from Cubase 10.5 to Nuendo 10 due to the excellent price and functionalities. I love Nuendo and what am able to do on it. It’s really amazing. Recently, I signed on for a production course at Berklee and I was introduced to Pro Tools (they teach mostly with Pro Tools). I got an excellent Student discount on Pro Tools and it comes with a XPand, Falcon 2, and a host of other instruments that are cutting edge. I’ve always agonized over Halion and some stock instruments that come with Cubase/Nuendo cos of lack of depth and realistic emulation (you have to do a lot of tweaking on halion to get real sounds). As I dig deep into PT, I understand that Cubase/Nuendo Midi is absolutely fabulous, second to none. The Variaudio is also the smartest and PT doesnt have that at all but depends on Elastic Audio which is no where near VarAudio. I also love to capture my vocals in Nuendo, cos I find editing vocals in Nuendo easier and intuitive. But here are the things I find attractive with PT:
(1) The Key Commands are intuitive (ave never figured this out much in Cubase/Nuendo)
(2)The workspace is massively intuitive…very user friendly
(3) The grid layout and functionality is cool…the snap to grid is easy
(4) The editing tools are seamless and the way they work together, you dont have to keep using the mouse or key commands to flip through ur chosen tool to be able to edit…as you hover on a clip, the right tools show up and you just keep cutting, draggin, fading and editing.
(5) I love the quantize function…it’s easy and works perfectly…I find quantizing a bit iffy in Cubase/Nuendo…takes some time to figure out mostly.
(6)The instruments are massively realistic (XPAND, FALCON etc)…I have almost abandoned my MOXF8 because the Virtual instruments in Pro Tools sound so real to my ears and am beginning to explore them massively. With Cubase/Nuendo, MOXF8 was my companion because Halion doesnt do it for me, and I’m not a sound designer, so ave not been able to get much out of Retrologue, or Padshop2. But in PT, I am still able to use MOXF8, although I can’t rely on it much as I did with Cubase/Nuendo.
(7) I noticed this warm analog sound from PT that I really love so much. Maybe due to HEAT (their analog engine add-on to PT).
(8) The Workspace browser and the soundspace library that comes with PT blows me away. I have so many loops to work with. I know Cubase has MediaBay…which doesn’t have any much sampled loops for modern music.
(9) Tempo changes in Cubase/Nuendo after having produced your tracks could be a pain in the *** if you are not a pro. With PT I am able to do that so fluidly and quickly and everything changes in a flash. The same with pitch shifting as well.

I dont know, but am confused. I love Cubase, I love my Nuendo. I mostly come back to it these days after producing in PT and then I export to Nuendo for mixing and mastering. I don’t think am ever gonna mix in PT at all…Nuendo is the ish in mixing and then i move to Wavelab to master.
With this level of confusion,
(1) How can one get the best of two DAWs like PT and Nuendo without messing his head up, like get things confused like key commands…ocassionally I find myself using Nuendo key commands in PT…lol.
(2) Can you really become so adept at two DAWs at the same time or should I just focus on Cubase/Nuendo which I have learnt so well and can use comfortably, although PT is really catching my fancy lately, and giving Cubase a run for the money.
(3) Should I just produce in PT and then mix in Nuendo? I fear that if this happens, I might lose my hard earned capabilities in Nuendo and may just be limited to mixing in that environment.
Any advice would be appreciated.

I don’t really do music production per se in either, but as someone who’s used both a fair amount this year;

The fact that you can remap key commands in Nuendo makes it much better in my opinion. My main frustration is probably that on Windows some commands become very clunky because of the Windows keyboard layout (just consider copy/paste for example - on a Mac keyboard it’s easier to use the thumb to hit command or whatever it is at the same time as “c”, whereas on a Win keyboard you have to use the pinky for ctrl).

I took some of the most important commands that I just had a really hard time getting away from in Pro Tools and remapped them in Nuendo. So cut head/tail to cursor, zoom horizontally in/out… those things are in the same place for both apps for me. But to give you one example where Nuendo then is better: I use a modifier key to then do zoom vertically - so in Nuendo “r” will zoom out horizontally, and “shift”+“r” will zoom out vertically. If you’re on Pro Tools you need to use keys on the right side of the keyboard which means your hand has to move either from left to right or from trackball/mouse to the keyboard.

You can do things like associate the letter “c” with click, and map “shift”+“c” to open RX DeClick, and then “alt”+“c” to apply (for example). Whatever seems logical to you is doable.

And then there are macros on top of that.

Curiously after all these years of using mostly Pro Tools I haven’t really delved that deep into it’s workspace. Perhaps I’m missing something. For sound effects every studio has relied on SoundMiner so far, so it hasn’t been necessary.

What are you missing?

I think the new “multi-tool” in the latest version of Nuendo helped quite a bit. I always found it irritating to have to switch between the tools in Nuendo compared to Pro Tools but now it’s better.

I’ll say this though: I can’t remember if it was Erik or Fredo who said it but it’s actually good to learn how to use each software according to its own strengths. You only get so far trying to do the same thing the same way in both. So likely as you learn and work more in each they get easier - but do it the best way in each.

Like I mentioned, I don’t really produce music in PT, but my impression is that using 3rd party software to a large degree is pretty standard, meaning NI Komplete etc.

If you actively added a plugin to process audio then of course it’ll sound different. But PT doesn’t add anything to the signal by default. “Heat” is an addon. So you could emulate the same by adding a plugin into your signal chain on all channels in Nuendo. I suppose the difference is global control.

If you already own Pro Tools and Berklee teaches on it then I would say use it. I personally don’t really care that much for Avid as a company so I would probably not invest in it (I still haven’t) and they have the subscription plans that allow for monthly licensing so…

I think generally it’s a bit easier to focus on one tool and learning it pretty deeply, and then move on to another tool. It’s just less stuff to keep in your head. Of course if you’re capable of doing both at the same time then go for it.

And perhaps another thought is what you’re going to do in the future, and where. If you’re in a region where most people aren’t using Pro Tools then it could either be a benefit to learn it (because you’d be one of the few that know it) or to use Nuendo, because it’s more common and there’s more work offered for it. Or it could be the opposite.

Generally at least on Windows I highly prefer Nuendo. Like, not even close in my mind.

I find almost all your points invalid because you are just not familiar with Nuendo.
For example point 1 is meaningless because key commands in Nuendo can be whatever you wish

Point 2 Workspaces- you put all your plugins and mixers wherever you want, and then recall them with the key of your choice. So how can that possibly not be user friendly unless you read nothing about Nuendo, and just spend your time hacking it?
On and on the same on the other points.

This reminds me of a friend that said he envisioned a guy that refuses to learn from the Nuendo manual, like a
person that seats on a c o c k p i t of a Boeing 747 plane, and then says: “ok, how do I fly this thing to Boston”

Most of your points just show that perhaps you just don’t know Nuendo.

@JDSStudios You grabbed the wrong end of the stick. I know Nuendo as much as I know Cubase 9.5, 10.5 (am pretty an advanced user). I don’t use most of the other functionalities of Nuendo which set it apart from Cubase. I just got it for the crossgrade price, curiosity and maybe for the future…just in case. But ave done tons of jobs on Cubase 9.5 and 10.5. I’ve read and used most of Nuendo Manual…it’s a life-saver.

I’m sure you know stuff around preferences, choice, intuitiveness, integration, navigation, etc etc…all of these are relative and subjective. You could come to Harvard and trash their methods, and you go over to Oxford and you are over the moon, but it doesn’t make Harvard any less Ivy League. Same applies to PT and Nuendo. These are two industry leading DAWs. A whole lot of user perceptions could also by psychological…I just find myself having more inspiration on PT…when producing. Period. When mixing, I reach out and pull out Nuendo. It’s my companion. So how do these opinions or realities of my production process translate into not knowing Nuendo? I’m not hacking or bashing Nuendo. I only wanted to know if any engineers here have difficulties using both DAWs cos am at a crossroads either to keep one and trash the other, or go with both. I can afford both (PT subs and Nuendo future upgrades), but the time investment required to get used to both DAWs at high proficiency levels is what’s really bugging me…I wouldnt like to be on the surface on PT if I commit…but I wont like to neglect Nuendo either…paradox.

There is a lot that Pro Tools get right and does far better than Nuendo. I use both as both are good for different tasks. You can map the PT key commands over to Nuendo so at least the muscle memory is almost the same.

I’m a former PT user and run a sound post department where we turned to Nuendo in 2007. PT from 1998 or so before that.
Yes it Probably was I that mentioned that you really need to learn and use the programs as they are and not try to do the same workflow in both.

My personal thoughts related to your post (take them for what they are, just my personal thoughts).

How things FEELS is personal and impossible to argue for or against really. I feel that Nuendo for me Is a way more creative platform than PT.
As an employer I don’t care what your education is or what grades you got. I have never asked to see a grade or a diploma, ever. So wether the course at Berkeley using PT will help you or not is entirely up to you as a person. If you are going to attend a course that is focusing on using PT as a tool then you really need to use PT during the course. If it is a compositional course rather than a tech course then you should use what you prefer as a compositional tool. Although I am not a composer by a long shot, the midi and compositional features in Steinberg products are seriously stronger than in PT. if you do rock n roll then PTs features will probably be more then enough.

If you are set on working with sound or music for film on the US west coast you will have to be fluent using PT as it is clearly the main tool in use (not for composition but for everything else).

Thanks @ErikG really helpful, your comments. I agree, Nuendo has great compositional tools. I love the Midi capabilities. It’s second to none. And there are so many other upsides. I’ve tried Reaper, Logic, and some other DAWs, but ave always come back to Steinberg, they have an industry leading midi interface on their DAWs. I would keep both PT and Nuendo. PT helps me a lot with Hip Hop, Afrobeat, Trap genre…I love the compositional tools in Nuendo when am doing Soul, Ensembles, Jazz, Gospel etc and then I love mixing all musical forms in Nuendo. Thanks for your advice, I appreciate.

Definitely. I’m already making a checklist of key commands to map over. I won’t leave my Nuendo for anything…lol

PIANO2000 you gave me that end of the stick with the first 4 points in your original post, and a few more points you made later.

As an example of what I think you are saying, I read the Manual for REAPER, and tried doing a couple
of projects, as well as using it live, because there is no need for the annoying license dongles.
Even though REAPER can do most things Cubase/Nuendo does, I could never get as fast or as comfortable,
mainly because of familiarity and muscle memory, even after using it for a few years.

So I think of Nuendo as an instrument that I learned, and continue to learn for the last 30 years, just like
my guitar or piano, and switching to another DAW feels like switching instruments. Great, but never as good
as to what you are already used to and like, even if a couple of features are better implemented in other DAWs

Regardless of a few better features somewhere else, launching Nuendo always feel like you are coming back at home,
because of the reasons above.

The Pro-Tools hegemony is the only reason Berklee make you learn it, they want you to have the best possible chance of getting an industry gig - good luck with that. If you want to really make yourself saleable, learn as many tools as you can, don’t get hung up on stuff like “which is the best,” the more you know, in terms of what is the best tool for the job (i.e. will get things done more quickly and efficiently) the more versatile you will be in a professional environment.

On your comparison question, your first 5 points are moot, and personally, never liked Pro-Tools sucky look and feel - which they have tried to improve, but there is only so much they can change when so many dinosaurs depend on it day to day to make a living.
Point 6, never choose a DAW for the VSTi bundle it comes with - when invariably they are subpar relative to standalone equivalents.
Point 7, you like harmonic distortion - wouldn’t want it across an entire mix when listening critically.
Point 8, their file management system has improved, it used to suck.
Point 9, it’s not as “complex” as you make it sound.

@PIANO2000 how do you like Pro Tools Folder Tracks compared to Nuendo?

Two things:

  1. If you expect to work in a professional recording studio, learn Pro Tools.

  2. If you do not expect to work in a professional recording studio, stay with Nuendo.

Either way, it is always good to learn PT, and how Berklee teaches it, you hopefully will learn a few new tricks for any DAW.

@JDSStudios Nuendo folder tracks are better. Pro Tools sucks on that front.

There are plenty of professional facilities, and many song recordings and full featured movies and series done professionally
in Nuendo and Cubase. World wide. For many years.

Worldwide, perhaps, excluding the industry centers in the United States. noeqplease’s advice is very sound for anybody seriously considering industry-level work in the USA. In-house can be different, as in the Zimmer operation on the musical side, but they’re not doing post, and they have PT as well. As of the last few years, the Nuendo-based national-level post houses, mixing stages and recording studios I’ve found myself assigned to for projects could be counted on one hand, with missing fingers.

For that matter, the same could be said for Toronto, at least in my experience. I worked on three major studio productions there last year. The post production managers for each of them insisted on PT as the delivery platform. And so, that’s what we delivered.

That having been said, back at home in PT-centric Los Angeles, as an independent operation I’ve been able to largely avoid working with Alsihad, with workarounds. Have only had real issues when delivering to the major stages who are exclusively PT, and where the finer details of transfer take more time and consideration than any of the parties involved have the patience, experience or discretionary downtime to troubleshoot through.

Bottom line: especially for working in the USA, and in regards to the practicality of knowing multiple platforms, noeqplease is absolutely right (He’s also an incredible engineer with the time, experience and stories to make him worthy of serious respect, and his advice is golden [Don’t tell him I said that; he’s also a humble fellow]).


I’ve never worked with Pro Tools, but I achieved cred and clients back in the analog era which allowed me to have clients who didn’t care what I used over the long haul. That is no longer possible, obviously. I went in-the-box very early on and have managed to use whatever I preferred (which has never been PT) to make a living . I am an outlier in that way.

So, when I agree with Chewy and Company about the wisdom of knowing Pro Tools for Post in 2020, it is certainly not due to fandom. If you enjoy working in Nuendo, do so whenever possible, but when not be prepared to use PT without acting (at least to your clients) like it’s inferior (which it kind of is for my purposes). If you are someone who does/can fly solo within the work you do,use Nuendo, but if you want a long term career in Post, you will want PT in your back pocket. These guys ain’t lyin’ to you.

Aw shucks… you made me blush.

Also: ALSIHAD!!!


Blush not, podner.

Getalife2: Fairly similar experience here–back in the day, well, Alsihad, and I had it. But dumped it by version 3, and got the newly hatched Cubase VST (wasn’t doing any post back then). Have bought in a couple of times through the years when working in situations where the Greater Production Team insisted it be at least on the shelf, but only very rarely had to crack it open. It was solely for the reassurance of exec producers who were willing to spend THEIR money for it. Here’s to outliers. Like you, not a fan. But have to keep current-ish with it so I don’t look like a dumbass while running a session in a studio where it’s the only thing there and there isn’t a practical rationale for getting down into the wires and messing with the house system to use Nuendo on an already set-up PT room. That, as a rule, does NOT make for an smoother job or a satisfyingly professonal experience for anybody involved.


lol… one of the original “memes”?

Feel like it’s 2005 all over again… or whenever it was…

Was delighted to find that ALSIHAD has it’s own Wikipedia page that redirects to Pro Tools.

God bless Fletcher!