Well from my perspective the biggest issue now is understanding where the product is heading. I actually can understand why people want bezier curves for automation and midi etc, even though I never use it. I also never use the sampler or WWISE. But I understand that some users are in fields where those are valuable.
The issue for me is that when there was a relatively big change in terms of potential workflow, the addition of VCAs, Steinberg chose to go down two different paths for Cubase/Nuendo, and the screwed up Nuendo’s implementation of VCAs tremendously. After a while it wasn’t even that it was broken so much as it was some people’s questioning of our testing, and nobody really a) saying that they were truly, genuinely sorry, or b) offering something to compensate us for having spent this money for something that didn’t work properly for over a year (and is still having issues).
Now, I can actually understand that as a designer and/or programmer of something like VCAs you can get into some really tricky areas, logically. You’re basically programming changes to the core of the automation system. I would expect that to be tricky. But this was to be expected. Anyone could foresee how it would be more difficult to pull something like that off compared to building a new plugin. If the plugin doesn’t work, don’t use it. Done. If VCAs appear to work but don’t, you can be in an infinitely worse place.
So, I thought to myself that after the 14 or so months it took to get that working Steinberg would have learned their lesson. We’ve had years of users saying “Please release stable versions, add features later”, and after Nuendo 7/VCAs surely they’d have gotten the message, right? Well, after seeing DOP and the other issues with Nuendo 8, followed by the release of Cubase 9.5 so shortly after, I’m convinced that Steinberg is in a bad place. After all, if the lesson was learned from v7’s release, this last release wouldn’t have looked the way it did.
It seems to me that when dealing with very fundamental parts of the software, parts that can’t be replaced by third-party software, parts like the video engine, DOP or VCAs, it’s essential that it works on release. It has to, because those things are fundamental to the DAW. It’s what we use all the time in post. Updating plugins is nice, but not essential. Yet here we are, it took months to get close to get this working.
As far as the direction of functionality goes I’m again worried. I thought it was a good idea to investigate game-audio when that was done, and to get WWISE ‘integration’ happening. But many users pointed out pretty early on that 3d audio was coming and that that was something Steinberg should look into. While at AES however every single 3d audio company was really focused on Pro Tools and Reaper. That’s it. And that included Dolby!
When I asked Dolby reps about their products they were showing off it was all-Mac (that Nuendo is performing worse on) and all Pro Tools. I asked specifically about both PC and Nuendo, and the reply was basically a “No plans but probably never gonna happen” reply. So while Dolby Atmos and its tools keep developing it seems as if Nuendo is stuck in whatever implementation it has now, which means large-stage production Atmos with the RMU. But, that’s not the only direction of Dolby and Atmos, and that’s the point I’m getting at. If the 3d-audio industry is moving in this other direction Steinberg risks losing out on this. Pro Tools has made great headway in accommodating 3d audio production.
So, lastly, the final concern is the “complete” and utter lack of communication of where this product is heading and what the company’s goals are. Because I felt ‘burned’ by the Nuendo 7 release - which I admit was a personal experience that didn’t everyone - I decided to wait and see when it came to v8. I didn’t and haven’t bought it yet, because v7 made me more cautious. And not only didn’t it include a lot of features I’d pay for, it was apparently very buggy as well.
Now, this could all have been ‘fine’ if at least there was word from Steinberg about where they’re going. If someone showed up here and said; “Hey, we’re listening, and we’re implementing X, Y, Z formats for 3d-audio and post-production, and we’ll roll those into upcoming releases the next year as soon as we get this unfortunate v8 release stable” then I’d have invested in it. But this wasn’t the case.
So if I’m looking to spend my money I’d rather spend it where the direction is clear, and on companies where communication seems to exist. I know the grass isn’t greener, but I’ve already got Nuendo v7, and at some point I’ve got to cut my losses. With Davinci Resolve continuously improving Fairlight will become relevant. So it makes more sense for me to invest there. And/or get a Pro Tools rig. And Reaper is dirt cheap.
But why invest more in Nuendo? I’m honestly at a loss here… What are the arguments for it at this point? That it’s cheap?..