I’m a 20 year Cubase user. I produce music for Films and all kind of media in my studio, as well as audio post production jobs.
I currently own 2 Cubase 9.5 licenses (for 2 studios)
Now i want to upgrade one of my studios with a better suitable post-production system. Naturally I thought about Nuendo, but then i found out that the cross-grade from Cubase is more then double the price of a new Pro-Tools in a box! including add-ons and stuff. That means that not only i pay less then half the price, I can also keep both my Cubase 9.5 licenses for my home studio or a potential 3rd studio.
Please help me understand why I should go for the Nuendo. I’d really like that, but I am a business after all.
Actually the gap is so great that I guess I’m missing something, but I couldn’t find what it was.
Pro tools non hd version is ”cheap” but can not be compared to Nuendo featurewise…
You have to take a close look at what the version of Pro Tools you receive actually includes. When you write “post production jobs” and “including add-ons and stuff” I’m not sure what either means. With Nuendo you get everything that Cubase is plus the Nuendo-specific post features. Some of those that you can’t find in Pro Tools (unless it changed recently) are:
- Control Room
- Media bay
- ADR recording functionality
- Automation passes
- Built-in reconform
- Custom key commands
- A more custom configuration of the software
As far as I know you can’t get any of those in Pro Tools. In addition to that Pro Tools exists in different versions, and some have limitations. Since Nuendo doesn’t, it’s possible that “advanced automation” or whatever only exists in the more expensive PT version.
But - if you don’t actually need the above features then you can just ignore the above and in that case I think the decision probably comes down to a) short-term cash flow, b) long-term profit, and c) efficiency (in a different sense than “b”).
“Long-term profit” could increase if you’re in the US and expect more work interacting with people that either deliver PT sessions, expect to get PT sessions back, or demand you work in PT. In addition you’re more likely to find good engineers on PT in the US since it’s more common.
“Efficiency” is personal I think. Some are faster in one DAW than the other. If you’re fast on Cubase you might get off the ground faster in Nuendo and might be able to do more work in less time using that compared to PT, at least until you’ve got PT down to the same degree. But it could also be the opposite of course.
If anything I’d say that there seems to be more issues with the recent releases of Nuendo than with Pro Tools, and Avid has over the past few years gradually included a ton of features that made Nuendo unique before. So just looking at the two companies, especially with near-zero communication as usual here on the forum I’m not really sure I trust Steinberg to ‘deliver’ over Avid. Basically all you have to do is download the version history of Nuendo and look at the massive amount of problems in the first release of v8, and then look at when VCAs were first introduced and calculate how long ago that was and realize that they’re STILL not working properly.
Honestly I’d lean towards Pro Tools.
In PT nonHD you don’t have full 5.1, or field recorder workflow or any of the Nuendo specific features like this that I assembled a while back (the list is a bit old now and some things might have changed but many of these does not have a PT equivalent, and all are strong features of Nuendo):
PT users might ask why I chose to not use PT, and below are some of my reasons why. In 2007 the reasons where different but as far as I am concerned they have always been in favour of Nuendo. The below concepts are in no specific order.
PT = Nuendo
Bus+Aux = Group
Bus>output = Output with hw routing
Bus = output that have no hw routing
Group = linked channel
Clip bin = pool
solo and mute logic
This is my term for the fact that Nuendo keeps track of where the signal is routed via groups, sends and outputs.
So whenever I solo a track, any connected fx returns that this track is sending to will also be set to solo, as will the group and or output the track is routed to. This is a huge time saver. I don’t have to solo safe groups or returns (but I can if I choose to).
solo follows event and/or track selection.
If I select a event and hit my solo KC it solos this track (and all it’s destinations see above). If a select two events on different tracks and hit solo both tracks will enter solo.
preview or scrub any audio event.
You can listen to any audio event in the project using the play/scrub tool. It does not matter if the event is on a inactive track, if it is muted, if the fader is pulled down, regardless how the track is routed or if another track is in solo. I can always quickly audition any audio event whenever I need to.
I can place any number of tracks into a folder track to easily handle different section of tracks without having to resort to grouping.
I can have up to 32 marker tracks for various uses with unlimited amount of markers on each track. A marker can be a single point marker or a Range marker.
Markers can be automatically generated from video EDLs showing all cuts and scenes. Markers can be imported and exported as CSV files for further handling in other programs. Markers can have many different types of data associated to them not just a name, it can hold dialogue lines, actor & character names, various check boxes and many more.
Markers are also a vital part in the built in ADR taker part of Nuendo.
The ADR taker handles countdown beeps, monitor switching, playback and recording modes, displays the actors dialogue lines on the video output display, shows count down, streamers or punches and a lot more.
The control room is similar to a pretty extensive monitoring section in a large format film console. Here you can measure and or monitor the main mix, cue sends, different stems, listen to your mix in different width mixes (mono-stereo-5.1-9.1 etc) and on different speaker systems when chosen.
You can assign different processing or metering plugins to the different monitor paths. It also contains a automated talkback system that can be routed to many destinations. Main metering according to most standards are also found here digital/ppm/Nordic/BBC/R128-LUFS and more.
full latency compensation
No max delay compensation, Nuendo compensates as needed. Hardware inserts can be “pinged” to easily correct for I/O and outboard latency.
The built in reconform engine have features that no third party reconform tool can match. It handles overlaps, notifies if there are abrupt automation changes at the edit points, any edit can be previewed before it is committed to the project.
The actual reconform process itself is faster than any other as it does not rely on copy and paste of data.
multiple editing paradigms
Choose between editing data of events or using selection ranges or the cursor position to edit in the project window.
key commands and macros
Fully customisable according to your personal preference, although the macro handling needs some work still.
project logical editor (PLE)
The project logical editor is as far as I know very unique. It is a logic based editor that can select, move, transform (change) data based on logic, location, name, colour and more.
It can name and colour your tracks, it can select a specifically named track, it can select transform or delete all events shorter or longer than X, it can apply a certain color to all mxf events, it can select the current/previous/next scene and set the in and out locators to its boundaries etc etc etc.
It may seem pretty daunting at first but it can help you accomplish stuff in a flash if you spend some time to understand it.
Advanced panner, multiple choices.
pinned panner window
Whatever channel/group etc is selected this window will show its current pan position settings.
built in support for Dolby Atmos
The panner have recently been upgraded so it can switch between being a regular multichannel panner and to control Atmos objects. The panner itself can handle x/y/z positioning of mono, stereo and multichannel signals. In addition to all “regular” pan controls, It can rotate, tilt, change width and depth of the signal and also feeely move any multichannel signal to any pan position unlinked or linked to the other channels.
Regular linking of channels where the user can choose what to link.
Quick link allows the user to quickly via a key command or GUI button temporarily link any channel parameters. With quick link on, selecting two or several tracks any control will be temporarily linked as long as the quick link is active and multiple channels are selected.
This makes it extremely fast to route, control sends, eq or pan on multiple signals on multiple tracks without having to create and enable/disable fixed linked groups.
edit channel settings window
While a horrible name, whatever channel is selected, it will show most controls and gives you quick and easy access to any insert, eq, filters, sends, pan, fader and routing of the selected channel. And as with most things Nuendo you choose to see what you prefer, it may just be the EQ, but it can also show everything in the regular channel path including the faders of destinations. And using back/forward you can quickly move between various selected channels. Hard to explain easy to get addicted to.
Network based collaboration features so multiple editors can work in the same project at the same time. Locally or over the internet (project size and connection dependant).
game audio connect to wwise
For game audio wwise users this is pretty huge. Can be integrated with perforce versioning server.
Very high quality plugins created by Steinberg covering most uses.
Especially fun is the new quadrafuzz four band distortion/delay unit.
film style automation system, fill to loop (selection), to start, to end, touch, latch, trim, enable/disable automation data etc.
loudness metering and processing
Loudness metering standards supported including r128.
Loudness track that graphically shows loudness over time.
Loudness processing on export.
Loudness data stored in exported bwav files.
Any track, group or bus can be exported even at the same time. Multiple ranges in a sequence as well (episodes, cues, effects etc) advanced naming schedule defines filenames.
The mediabay is a general search system for everything from plugin presets to project files to audio files. You can preview and import files easily into the project. It may not have the power of sound miner but it is fully integrated and works very well.
Visibility and visibility agents
Most DAWs have something that allows it to deal with this, but this is extensive.
We can choose to create specific track combinations and store those. But the visibility agents can also be based on what is playing just now or tracks that have events within a specific range or type of tracks. Or you can from a group issue a command that shows all the connected channels etc etc.
Any track can have eight destinations that it can switch between (can be automated).
The equivalent of the PT clip bin and the session XXX. But it is more than that. It is also file management where you can organise your files in folders, you can create/export a pool for reuse in another project.
Eucon was a joint development between Steinberg and Euphonix. The integration is very good. Not as good as with Yamaha Nuage but still very good.
Using memzap a user can quickly “store” a location and zoom, move to another location and zoom level, and just hit zap to move between them. May not sound like a huge thing but very useful.
range tool A/B
Very useful and to me personally default implementation sightless annoying. But with Nuendo changing what I see as the annoying behaviour is just a simple macro away.
Picture follows event
Multiple sounds stored as a single clip package element.
Replacing all instances of a specific sound with a new sound. (Example gun 2 with gun 77)
Offline process history
Nuendos version of audiosuite does have a history “cue” so whenever a process (or several) has been applied to a file then the user can temporarily disable it, remove it or modify it. Regardless if it was the first or the last in a series of processes Nuendo do re-renders the processing with the necessary changes again.
alt-shift drag moves audio within the edit boundaries.
multiple projects can be opened at the same time.
All that Eric said.
Forget about Pro Tools vanilla for post.
In addition to limited surround, automation is severely crippled compared to Pro Tools HD.
There is no trim automation, glide, snapshots, convert clip gain to automation, coalescing, writing automation to start/end etc.
No destructive recording which is very useful when recording separate stems (Nuendo does not have it).
No multiple video tracks, no video editing on timeline…
nuendo over protools ?.. but really why not cubase ?
Do you want to keep doing music only / mainly or do some sound editing ?
because. i do soundtrack alot and sound design mix for docs mainly and shows.
make sure you need to do sound… and at a high level to go for nuendo. For music you can do all in cubase if you don’t go to 8 channels (that i remember. i bought nuendo primarly to reach 8 channels.) And for me music is on cubase rather than protools that i used for years (things have changed i guess… but the logical editor and all these things are in cubase since… 2.0 (on my atari)) and i use them everyday.
But now that i do lot of sound mix and field recording i was excited by advanced options of nuendo reconform, multitrack videos and markers… but really there’s lot of problems to say it’s great and sometime i regret the workflow i had on protools and how fast i edited / mix audio there. I have the feeling the nuendo UI has been pushed far so you can adjust everything… too many things make it unreliable always display changing… size windows…so i boughta protools 11 (?) on the side for years trying to edit audio on protools and music on cubase… nightmare.
and if you’r not convinced these types of things might help :
I am still surprised, that one issue is almost not adressed at all.
When you exchange nuendo-projects, by hard disk, by server, or even cross plattform, the risk of running in link-errors is extremely high with nuendo.
That is why in version 8 they have introduces sthg. like “unique id” especially for clip effects.
And the Current Version (8) is far from being ready
You really need to do a detailed check against ProTools Ultimate to make a judgement, plus there’s the annual licencing fee to consider. Apart from the post features, the biggest difference is in MIDI and VIs (assuming you are a composer who makes use of this). Tools is still very basic in terms of MIDI/VI control, Nuendo has all the features of Cubase but of course this in integrated in the one Nuendo platform. The Avid cloud features are excellent, but you have to pay through the nose. Editing, mixing and assembly is very slick in Tools, ditto the bussing, VCAs etc - is really far more oriented to the ‘mix engineer’ and live band tracking overall. Having said this, Steinberg’s Control Room is pretty hard to beat.
Another consideration may be where you live and work. If America /LA, the ProTools thing is pretty strong and being able to easily open and work on those sessions by others may be important buisness-wise. Accross the rest of the wolrd (there is one), not nearly so much & I continue to exchange with other DAW owners, eg: Studio One, Logic, Ableton Live etc. My copy of Tools is only really retained for such backward compatibility, but not so much these days. Nuendo has AAF, but not Cubase; however, Tools round trips much better with NLEs (video and audio), Nuendo is still very basic there but there are other options apart from AAF which work fine (eg, NLE export mult-track audio videos).
Personally, I’d go with Nuendo. Better company Yamaha/Steinberg, plus the Nuendo interface is much more familiar in terms of transiting from Cubase. Hope that helps.