Worth Upgrading from Cubase 12 Pro to Nuendo?

I’ve had Cubase Pro 12 over 2 months now and I’m considering upgrading to Nuendo. I’ve worked in film editing and post for years with Final Cut Pro, Motion and Logic Pro. After looking at the Nuendo feature list, I’m impressed.

I like Cubase so far and I’m wondering if I upgrade to Nuendo, will I lose any Cubase features? Will Nuendo be like Cubase but with more features? How similar are they? Are there any editor/post people out there who have found the film oriented extras in Nuendo worthwhile?

I want to make a full transition from Apple to PC. Has anyone used Nuendo alongside DaVinci Resolve? Tnx.

Nuendo is a superset of Cubase. That simple.

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As stated, it is a strict superset of Cubase, meaning it includes all Cubase features. IT probably should be renamed to Cubase Ultimate. You lose no features.

As to are the additional features worth it? I dunno, depends on what you do. Since you are in film they might be. They have a pretty good list on their comparison page. It has a few more VST plugins, though nothing really to write home about, but mostly has support for some film and game features.

Also, historically, it gets some high end stuff first. It was one of the first DAWs to do Dolby Atmos and had the Atmos Renderer built in for version 11, Cubase didn’t get it until version 12, and Nuendo was doing higher order channel amounts for quite some time, whereas Cubase capped out at 5.1.

Version 12 is probably the closest I’ve ever seen them, feature wise, so the least you’d get from upgrading. Who knows what the next version will bring?

For me there wasn’t much point in the upgrade. I got it because I wanted the shiniest toy, and back when I got it (version 11) it supported 7.1 and Cubase didn’t. I like it though and it isn’t like I’m going back to Cubase.


Thanks! I saw all the comparison features list and screen shots but didn’t get a sense from them about UI comparison which I don’t recall was mentioned anywhere by Steinberg. Your answer fills the gap.

The AI dialogue, script, transcription and ADR functions are things I craved many times during long edits. Imagine sifting through hours of clips searching for a 10 second bit of dialogue on a documentary shoot.

I’ll download the Nuendo demo and perhaps upgrade before the summer sale concludes Sept 7.

Now, of only Nuendo could include a fully integrated, powerful video editing suite at least on par with Final Cut Pro. Dreams…

You can install a trial version of Nuendo on your computer which does not interfere with your Cubase install and see if you need the extra features.

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One thing should not be underestimated: Nuendo sounds better than Cubase.

Hogwash, you say?
Just listen:

“Cubase - Advanced Music Production System”
“Nuendo - Premium Media Production System”


Perhaps because Max sample rate is 192 in Cubase and 384 in Nuendo?

I can hear no difference both when processing 64bit float or 32bit float out from both.
If you do just music Nuendo is an overkill. Just get Cubase with Halion or NI with the rest of the money.
There are some excellent dialogue SFX and ADR features in Nuendo you know what I mean…if you are into Post Production there aren’t much to choose from. Nuendo all the way.

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Thanks. I installed the Nuendo 12 demo and so far it looks and feels exactly the same as Cubase 12 Pro except for some minor differences.

If I were still running MacOs, Final Cut Pro has a number of the audio and post features Nuendo offers and for a fraction of the price. FCP is a formidable audio editor on its own. Eg Auto syncing multiple audio sources, warping, full use of AU plugins, CAFs and much more. Cubase and FCP together would easily out do Nuendo, plus FCP is an amazing NLE.

You may be right about the economics of upgrading. At this point, I might want to fully upgrade Cubase and spend my money on Halion and Spectralayers unless a Nuendo upgrade can be justified. Then if only Apple would release FCP and Logic Pro for Windows, it would be ideal.

Since you have both installed now I would recommend taking a look at the VCA implementation in both. I don’t think it’s the same and I think Nuendo’s is “correct”. If you use VCAs or may use them in the future it could be a valuable difference.


Hi @BJ_Dobbs,

good point. In any case: go for it!

But please note these few aspects:

  • you won’t “upgrade” from Cubase Pro 12 to Nuendo 12, you rather crossgrade.
  • in the context of the new Steinberg Licensing which was introduced in early 2022, the Cubase Pro 12-to-Nuendo 12 crossgrade won’t “absorb” an existing single user Cubase Pro license path, as it was the case with the old eLicenser system (up to Cubase Pro 11 and Nuendo 11). So you can continue and work with both product lines / licenses / upgrade paths. However, this crossgrade can only be done once, per single user Cubase Pro license.

Best wishes,

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Good to know! Some forum members have said crossgrades are absorbed so that’s what I thought.

Thanks, I’ll check them out.

Wait, does this mean that a Cubase Pro 12 user can effectively get a Nuendo 12 license at the current sale price (about $240), and that the Cubase Pro 12 license and the Nuendo 12 license then exist independently of each other in the new Steinberg Licensing system?

This would be a big deal, because previously with the eLicenser, you would be moving from Cubase to Nuendo permanently, meaning (among other things) that you couldn’t run previous versions of Cubase (though I may be wrong here), and also that the updates cost more.


Hi @MrSoundman,

yes, that’s exactly what this means.
I’ve learned the fact from a thread where Ed Doll explicitly stated the following:

Translated to English:

(Post 4)
[Ed Doll] “Yes, the Cubase Pro 12 license remains updateable. [Only] Another crossgrade to Nuendo is no longer feasible.”


(Post 6)
[Ed Doll] “Before switching to Steinberg Licensing, the Cubase license was merged into the Nuendo license and could no longer be used separately.”
Here I think that we should be aware that this is a very generous move by Steinberg, and especially that the company makes this crossgrade even more accessible during these sales weeks.
I’m really, really grateful, in that respect. :heart: to Everyone @ Steinberg



Just … wow!


Ah, perfectly clear. Thanks to you, Markus and to Steinberg! I keep realizing I made the right choice.

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Hi @BJ_Dobbs,

thanks for the thanks.
However, I didn’t do anything, I’m just some kind of random messenger. :wink:

Yes, good choice!
So… let’s make good use of all the additional possibilities.


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With very few exceptions, one being the VCA implementation, moving from Cubase to Nuendo changes very little. There are a tiny number of default keyboard short cuts that are different, some of which I changed back to how Cubase works or just came up with something that worked for me. Other than these things, it’s really like you have Cubase with some extra features added in. To the point where if you were able to hide the name of which app you have open in the titlebar, you might have to dig around to figure out which one is currently open.
The best part to me is that either application can open the other applications files. So you can still open all your old Cubase files. And any other Cubase users could open your Nuendo files, although obviously they wouldn’t have access to any features that are not available in Cubase.


For those wondering why the naming and the confusion it is because there was a time that they were completely different products. Cubase goes WAAAAAY back to the early days of sequencers, originally being for the Atari ST in like 1989, later coming to Windows and MacOS. It, of course, progressed and got new features including become a full fledged DAW, developing the VST standard, etc.

Then in 2000 Steinberg introduced a new program: Nuendo, targeted at post production. It was at least partially new code, and I am inclined to think almost entirely. It looked different, worked, different, and cost a ton, like $3000. The two product lines were separate code bases.

At some point they realized that maintaining separate code bases was work that didn’t need to be done, and Cubase VST as it was called looked dated, so in 2002 they released a new Cubase called Cubase SX and reset the version number to 1 (was previously 5.1) using the Nuendo codebase. They weren’t the same product though, and Nuendo had a lot more features and cost a lot more.

Nuendo also tended to lag Cubase in features. Cubase would get new stuff and only later would Nuendo get it. Nuendo has more features, but not always the newest. Nuendo didn’t get major updates as often as Cubase, you’d get more point releases, which made some sense with its price tag. So you’d have Nuendo 7 contemporary with Cubase 9, that kind of thing.

That all changed fairly recently, they renumbered Nuendo to match Cubase with 10, and made it more of a strict superset. They also dropped the price to $1000. Still expensive, but not as way above as before.

With version 11 they seem to have a pretty direct version matchup, Cubase doesn’t seem to be doing the “.5” versions anymore which Nuendo never did, and the patch levels even match, like right now both are on 12.0.70. Nuendo still (at least as of 12) launches slightly after Cubase, so a new Cubase comes out with new features maybe a month or so before a new Nuendo, but they are essentially the same product.

So when you look at it now, it can be confusing as to why there are different products, but it is because of a very long and winding history.