Nuendo 3 | Steinberg
It’s been nearly two years since we reviewed Nuendo 2, Steinberg’s last major version of what the company describe as their Media Production System, and it’s been interesting to watch the developments to both Steinberg and Nuendo over this time. Nuendo 2 was released in the months following Pinnacle’s acquisition of Steinberg, while Nuendo 3 ‘s release came just as Pinnacle sold Steinberg to Yamaha. And just when I started to write this review, a further interesting development happened when Avid announced their intention to acquire Pinnacle. It’s perhaps a shame that Pinnacle didn’t make more of Steinberg in terms of integrating the two company’s products, although there are at least signs in version 3 of Nuendo that illustrate the cooperation that did exist, as we’ll see in this review.
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It’s been nearly two years since we reviewed Nuendo 2, Steinberg’s last major version of what the company describe as their Media Production System, and it’s been interesting to watch the developments to both Steinberg and Nuendo over this time. Nuendo 2 was released in the months following Pinnacle’s acquisition of Steinberg, while Nuendo 3 ‘s release came just as Pinnacle sold Steinberg to Yamaha.
And just when I started to write this review, a further interesting development happened when Avid announced their intention to acquire Pinnacle. It’s perhaps a shame that Pinnacle didn’t make more of Steinberg in terms of integrating the two company’s products, although there are at least signs in version 3 of Nuendo that illustrate the cooperation that did exist, as we’ll see in this review. As a video company, Pinnacle had their greatest success in the broadcast market, and since Avid wanted a greater presence in this sector, the acquisition makes perfect sense.
Sound On Sound readers might be more familiar with Avid as the parent company of Digidesign, and given how large a presence both these companies have in the post-production market, Yamaha, as the new owners of Steinberg, still face a struggle to build up Nuendo ‘s share of this market. There are basically two important facts to consider when evaluating Nuendo 3: As Sound On Sound has already featured a Cubase SX3 review back in the November issue, we won’t be detailing this functionality here, except where it differs or is enhanced in Nuendo 3.
As a brief overview, the main new features from SX3 include: Audio Warping, which enables you to time-stretch and pitch-shift Audio Events in real time so that they follow the tempo of the Project or can be quantised; Play Order Tracks, allowing you to specify regions within a Project and create a playlist of these regions rather than playing the Project in a linear fashion as usual; MIDI Device Panels, to create editors in Cubase for external MIDI devices as well as plug-ins; In-place Editing, allowing you to have the Key Editor visible within the Project window for selected Tracks; Envelope Events, to create volume automation tied to specific Audio Events; and improvements to freezing plug-ins, MMC slave and master behaviour, and redesigned windows for Device Setup, Synchronisation and the Metronome.
Even without any extra improvements, Nuendo 3 would already be a great release, but Steinberg have gone further than Cubase SX this time — much further In fact, even since releasing Nuendo 3. As I was finishing this review, Nuendo 3. AAF With so many digital audio workstations on the market these days, each with its own proprietary file format, interoperability between different systems has become increasingly important.
Avid originally set out to solve this problem with the OMF Open Media Framework Interchange format sometimes referred to as OMFI in the mid-’90s, and while this format has been widely adopted, with Avid publishing a developer kit for third parties, it wasn’t an open standard, because Avid were the sole company in charge of OMF development. In the long term, this arguably impeded the success of OMF beyond Avid products and it became clear that another, more open solution was needed.
Nuendo now supports both the importing and exporting of AAF files. Here you can see the options available when exporting a Nuendo Project as an AAF file — similar options are also now available with exporting OMF files. AAF Advanced Authoring Format was devised by a group of companies including Avid, Microsoft and the BBC as a file format designed to aid the workflow of users who need to transfer both data and metadata between different systems.
Like OMF, AAF can either embed or link to audio and video files, and stores information about how those files are used in a project, as well as other project data such as start times, frame rates, automation and much more. For more information about the format, visit the AAF Association’s web site at www. Initially, using Nuendo 3. I created some simple test files in Pro Tools 6. Fortunately, though, after trying the same experiment in the beta version of 3.
The AAF functionality in Nuendo 3. Going the other way, when exporting an AAF file from Nuendo both version 3. The audio tracks imported successfully along with the frame rate and the basic start times of the Audio Events other than the offset from the start time. The start time of the Project was imported as Evaluating AAF support is somewhat tricky, because even if Nuendo ‘s implementation of AAF was completely flawless, you would still have problems if the application you were importing from or exporting to had a poor implementation.
Therefore, it’s impossible to know exactly where to point the finger of blame right now, especially as most applications have only just started offering AAF support. In conclusion, it’s great that AAF support has been added to Nuendo, and Steinberg have done tremendous work already in improving this since the 3.
However, I’d definitely advise prospective users to try experimenting with AAF transfers between the applications they need to communicate with before committing to Nuendo to avoid disappointment.
System 5 MC “Why use an Icon when you can have the real thing? Certainly the company hope their high-end control surface offering, System 5 MC, paired with Nuendo will provide a competitive alternative to Digidesign’s Pro Tools HD-based console workstations.
Steinberg first announced a strategic alliance with Euphonix, a high-end, large-format console designer who have products popular in the post-production and broadcast markets, back at the AES show in Los Angeles. While MADI is used to distribute audio throughout the various parts of the console, a protocol called Eucon operates over Ethernet to send control messages, such as when a user moves a fader on the control surface.
Following on from Nuendo 3 later this will be another release dubbed Nuendo Eucon, which will bring true Eucon support to Nuendo so that a Euphonix control surface can be used with Nuendo. Specifically, Euphonix are launching a product called MC, which is new control surface designed for use with desktop audio and video applications like Nuendo, featuring a keyboard, touchscreen, faders, programmable buttons, and a proper audio monitoring section.
The monitoring section features an application called Studio Monitor Pro, where Euphonix came up with the idea to create a layer of software that sits in between the audio application, say Nuendo, and the ASIO or WDM driver that controls your audio hardware. The System 5 MC combines the MC itself with eight-fader modules that are almost identical to those used on Euphonix’s System 5 console hence the name to create a truly professional control surface with a large-format console feel for Nuendo users.
Whether or not the Nuendo customer base is ready to embrace such a product remains to be seen, but it’s good to see development towards high-end customers using the Nuendo platform. We’ll bring you more coverage of Nuendo and System 5 MC later in the year. Working With Picture As mentioned at the start of this review, Nuendo 3 includes a large number of new features and improvements for those working in film post-production, and perhaps the headline feature in this area is called ‘Warp to Picture’.
Like many features in Nuendo 3, Warp to Picture is actually incredibly simple, and incredibly useful. Cubase SX2 and Nuendo 2. Nuendo ‘s Edit Mode enables the picture to follow the edits you make; moving an object on the Project window, for example, makes the picture track the start position to which you’re moving the object, allowing you to easily move an object to start at a specific frame of action.
Warp to Picture basically means that when Edit Mode is enabled, dragging with either the Time Warp or Warp Samples tool will cause the picture to track the position as you’re dragging the mouse, enabling you to effectively ‘warp to picture’.
This is pretty useful since it allows you to see exactly where you’re dragging bar 14, for example. Nuendo supports Pinnacle’s X-Send Protocol to make it easy to work on projects started in one of Pinnacle’s Liquid video editing systems.
The video playback features have been significantly improved in Nuendo 3, and a new Direct X video playback engine has been added alongside the older Direct Show engine and the standard Quicktime engine, which has also been improved in version 3. The Direct X and Quicktime engines no longer feature the three size options for the built-in Video Player window, since this window can now simply be resized like any other window, with Nuendo scaling the video accordingly.
These two engines also feature a new option for Video Playback Speed where you can select one of three speeds for the video playback: Normal Speed, for regular playback, and 0. These latter options are to compensate for the speed change that would have occurred in the video during the process of transferring the film to video telecine or back again compared to the audio, and are very welcome additions to Nuendo.
Originally, my conclusion about these new video playback speed option was that “hopefully the next version will include 4 percent pull-up and pull-down, along with the option to change the audio speed as well as the video speed”. So I was really pleased to see that while the video playback speeds don’t offer 4 percent pull-up and pull-down in the 3.
While Steinberg are no longer owned by Pinnacle, Nuendo 3 was developed during Pinnacle’s ownership, and clearly shows areas where collaboration took place between the two companies. Nuendo now support video playback through two of Pinnacle’s video cards via its Quicktime engine: Targa for Windows users and Cinewave for Mac users. If you want to use a non-Pinnacle video card, Nuendo 3 also offers support for the full range of Decklink cards from Blackmagic www.
Another Pinnacle-related feature is Nuendo 3 ‘s support of Pinnacle’s X Send Protocol which is also supported in Steinberg’s Wavelab 5 for better integration with the company’s Liquid video editing applications. ADR Studio basically controls Nuendo, turning it into a glorified tape machine in many ways, and remotely takes care of recording, in and out times, track naming, and general management.
According to Steinberg, this is the type of integration we can expect to see develop further in Nuendo in the future. Among the smaller improvements for those working with picture, Nuendo now supports a hour timeline and will quiz you if you change the start time of a Project, much as Pro Tools does: Do you want to keep the project content at its timecode positions? There are also two neat commands to add a one-frame fade-in and -out to selected Audio Events, and improvements to 9-pin sync behaviour.
Colour Customisation Since version 2, Steinberg have made it made it possible for users to customise Nuendo quite extensively, and in version 3 the appearance customisation features in particular have been extended to give you more control over the aesthetic of Nuendo. While Nuendo 2 introduced the idea of appearance ‘themes’ to adjust the colour scheme of the user interface, version 3 replaces this with a new set of sliders in the Preferences window where you can adjust the saturation, contrast and brightness of the interface and see how this will look in a real-time preview area.
Another colour-related enhancement is the ability to customise the start and end colours of the level meters in another new page found in the Preferences window — a feature that’s also made its way into version 3. I’m not sure if this is particularly useful or not, but if you happen to hold a grudge with the colour of Nuendo ‘s meters and I know a number of people who disliked the orange used in version 2!
While on the subject of colour, Nuendo 3 of course incorporates the new colour-related features of Cubase SX3, where colours assigned to Tracks can be displayed in the Track List on the Project window and on the corresponding channels of the Mixer window, in a space just below the Channel Strip.
However, unlike SX3, where a Track’s colour is indicated on the right of the Track List as a background for the level meter, in Nuendo 3 as in Logic and Pro Tools the colour is indicated to the left of the Track List. Existing users will remember that normally this space is used to show a colour that indicates the type of track used, whether it’s audio, MIDI, and so on, and this is still the case when Show Track Colours is disabled.
Once this option is enabled, however, the space to the right of the Track List now shows the colour for that track instead. As with SX 3. Both Nuendo and SX will now offer a Preference option for newly created tracks to have either the default colour as before , the same colour as the previous track, the next colour in the list of colours after the previous track, the last applied colour, or a random colour.
I think the user interface look for Nuendo 3 is the most appealing of all Cubase SX and Nuendo versions to date, and it’s good that the interface has been refined in such a way this time that doesn’t alter the way users of previous versions of the application have become used to working.
Media Management The organisation of audio files has been improved in Nuendo 3 and you can now add user-definable attributes to files, which can store data in one of three formats: As an example, you might want to add a Department attribute to specify whether an Audio File is Music, FX or Dialogue so that you can sort media in the Pool window or search for media by department, which is rather useful.
One small problem, though, is that these user-definable attributes aren’t saved with the audio file, meaning the attributes are only relevant for the files in the Project in which they’re used. However, there is a workaround. Using Nuendo ‘s Library function, which allows stand-alone Pools to be created, loaded and saved independently of a Project — you can’t save a Project’s Pool as a Library — you could add user-definable attributes to the Library and use this as your master Pool to make the attributes given to files accessible in all Projects.
The only other thing that would be nice with regard to user-definable attributes is the ability to use presets in the window in which they’re defined, rather than just being able to store and recall a single default set. Since most other areas of Nuendo now offer presets, it’s surprising to find one window that doesn’t offer this feature. Although it might seem fairly uninteresting on the surface, this simple addition has the potential to save hours of work over the course of a project.
If you’re working on a film, you might want to name these files with the name of the cue — ‘6m44’, for example — at the start, followed by the instrument name from the track and the version number. With Rename Objects you can now rename the files to be ‘6m44 Cimbasso v1’, ‘6m44 Spoons v1’ and so on, in a single operation, which is a real blessing when you might have 50 cues, each with 50 audio tracks.
If no Events or Parts are selected, the selected Tracks will be renamed; otherwise the selected Events or Parts will be renamed. One thing I initially found confusing about Rename Objects is that when you rename Events on the Project window, it’s the Description flag of the Event that gets renamed; the name of Event — which is to say the filename — isn’t affected by renaming process.
However, it is possible to use the Rename Objects window to rename Audio Files: The Rename Objects window allows you to batch rename tracks, Parts, Event Descriptions and file names based on certain conditions.
Speaking of the Description field of Audio Events, while it’s a small detail, I do think it would be useful if you could include this as the Description field in the metadata for the relevant Broadcast Wave file.
Instead, the Description field in the resulting Broadcast Wave file is taken from the entry in the Record — Broadcast Wave Preferences page, along with the Author and Reference fields.
One small improvement on the Broadcast Wave front, though, is that these properties in the Preferences window are now stored per Project, rather than being global as in version 2. Getting back to the germane issue, in the Rename Objects window you can choose eight different rename elements from top to bottom that affect the naming from left to right.
If you use Rename Objects from the Project window, each element can be one of five options: Free Text, literally a field of text added to the name; Original Name, which adds the original object name and can remove numbers or non-alphanumeric characters; Number, to add a number that increments or decrements within a specified range with each object named; Project Time, which adds the start time of the object in a user-specified time format; and Date, which adds the current date in a format of your choice.
All the options except Free Text include both Prefix and Appendix fields to add text before or after the text generated by the relevant option. If you use Rename Objects from the Pool window, though, you get all the options you have in the Project window, plus attributes that concern information about the file, such as the file extension, bit depth, sample rate, and tempo if musical mode is being used for real-time time-stretching.
Update information. Manual addendum about new features in Nuendo New Features Manual Addendum [ KB]. List of exclusive Nuendo features. Nuendo 3 in all its splendour, showing an imported OMF file from Avid Xpress Pro, the new, resizable Quicktime Video Playback window, and a slightly more. Free download nuendo 3 64 bit. Multimedia tools downloads – Steinberg Nuendo by Steinberg and many more programs are available for instant and free.
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Nuendo v3. With an extensive set of new features for audio post production including AAF support, a new set of media management tools, Pinnacle X-Send integration and Warp to Picture functionality, plus many new features for top-level recording studios and surround producers. Nuendo 3 is one of the most powerful tools for any kind of media production available anywhere. Nuendo 3 is designed to serve the needs for everyone producing sound for film, television, video or game.
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Nuendo is a complete audio processing and post-production suite developed by Steinberg. It includes all the tools necessary in the field of multitrack editing, including a complete set of effects to model your sound. A powerful tool in all the post-production process.
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