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August 2014
Issue: November 1, 2003

REVIEW: STEINBERG NUENDO V.2.01

By: By Tor Rolf Seemann

PRODUCT: Steinberg Nuendo V.2.01

WEB SITE: www.steinbergusa.net

PRICE: $1,499

· Support for latest developments in surround-sound including 8.0 and 10.2

· Time-stretch tool allows fast snap-based stretching of material

· New automation modes: X-Over, Auto-latch, Trim, Overwrite

The audio group of Pinnacle Systems, known as Steinberg, has polished its media production multi-tracker app and released Nuendo V.2.01 - now head to head with other professional tools in the post market. Whether your job requires Dolby Pro Logic video mix down or 24/96 DVD 5.1 authoring to a 32-bit stereo master or even audio/MIDI music production, Nuendo is well equipped to get you over the hill and through the woods.

Designed to run on the Windows 2000/XP and OS X platforms, the $1,499 Nuendo software offers a realtime audio engine based on Steinberg's VST and ASIO technology, supporting both VST and DirectX plug-ins, as well as ASIO and ASIO2 audio interface (hardware) specs.

Nuendo V.2.01 lets you set up a project the way you want it. All program menus are user-configurable; enabling you to hide all features you usually do not use or just currently do not need for a specific kind of production. For example, if you don't need MIDI functions for a 10.2 surround mix, you can hide all MIDI menu entries, disable the corresponding key commands and assign these preferences to a template. All hidden features are still waiting in the background in case you will need them in the future. The key here is a well thought out, customizable GUI - that streamlines your workflow and makes use of every inch of your precious screen real estate.

With VST System Link and the new option to integrate IP network collaboration, Nuendo V.2.01 boasts a boatload of functions dedicated to maximize computer processing potential and "person" power for your project. Using any of the two technologies alone or combining them can vastly increase efficiency in your project completion and operational overhead.

Adding processing power to your project can easily be achieved with VST System Link, which was introduced with Nuendo V.1.6. This nifty technology is based on transmission of sync and transport commands via simple digital audio connections and allows multiple computers to run in sample accurate sync without the need for additional hardware. Not only can CPU-intensive tasks of larger projects - like effect processing, video or virtual instruments playback - be outsourced to designated computers, large projects can also be allocated to various computers in order to permit simultaneous playback of hundreds of audio and MIDI tracks from a range of different computers in sample-accurate synchronization. Sort of a DAW processing farm - but not the kind found in the rolling green pastures of Vermont.

SURROUND

From input to final mix, Nuendo V.2.01 is all about surround, with multichannel architecture through the entire signal path. Every input, audio track, effect, group and output now offers up to 12 discrete channels, ready for full-scale 5.1, 7.1 or even 10.2 productions. To make routing in the project even more transparent, Steinberg has developed a new way of organizing inputs and outputs, allowing the user to customize multichannel input/output configurations and switch between them with a single keystroke. Several input and output busses can also be used at the same time, with any type of configuration possible - mono, stereo or any of a wide range of surround formats - and any track can be routed to and from any of these busses.

Nuendo V.2.01 even allows switching between multiple monitoring configurations (speaker arrangements) and can simulate a wide variety of end user monitoring environments. I found this especially useful when working with projects that were slated for DVD mastering, I could instantly switch between Dolby Digital 5.1 to Pro Logic, two common options on theatrical released movies, in a stroke.

Nuendo's capacity for 200 channels of digital audio, plus an unlimited number of MIDI tracks, is further enhanced by a built-in "window" that can play a local video file, locking picture and audio tracks in sample-accurate sync. The "surround" option includes presets for various speaker configurations. Other features specific to video post include an open-framework media asset management system for organizing, searching and archiving media. There is EDL and control surface support (including CM Automation's Motor Mix), loop functions, infinite undo/redo, OMF import, a Pro Logic-compatible encoder/decoder and Timelock Pro.

All in all, no less than 200 new features have been implemented into Nuendo V.2.01. And most of these new features were user requests.

CONCLUSION

Nuendo was created to perform any task within the media industry. The new version delivers a complete media production system, designed with the needs of the user in mind and meeting the demands of working professionals in all genres of audio production: composition, film, broadcast, music, post production, surround, game sound and multimedia. Nuendo V.2.01 is the culmination of years of expert engineering research and user input. This release is the pinnacle of professional media production, offering you not just outstanding performance but the ergonomics and adaptiveness to channel that performance more effectively and creatively.