Review: Nuendo 6: Steinberg's Audio Post-Production Workhorse

With Cubase 7 being a powerhouse of a DAW, some might ask how Steinberg's Nuendo can better it. Matt Loel T. Hepworth examines all of Nuendo 6's new features and compares it to Cubase 7.  

With the release of Cubase 7 in late 2012, it was only a matter of time before Steinberg released an updated version of Nuendo. Historically, that interval has taken several months. But Steinberg have outdone themselves by releasing Nuendo 6 just four months after the release of Cubase 7. For this review, I'll only be discussing the new features that have been added since version 5.5, but I'll also clear up some misconceptions of the dueling Steinberg DAWs.

Nuendo vs. Cubase

One of the most common questions I get is "What's the difference between Cubase and Nuendo?" Even after fourteen years on the market, the confusion lingers on. I'll do my best to answer the question.

Both programs are DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) and have a nearly identical look and feel. In fact, users of one or the other usually cannot immediately recognize the operational difference. They're truly more alike than dissimilar. For those (like me) who switch back and forth from one to the other, the gentle learning curve is most welcome. For example, take a look at Figure 1:

Where's Nuendo?

Where's Nuendo?

Can you pick which of these projects is loading into Cubase or Nuendo? Enless you can see the menus, they're almost identical. (Nuendo is on the right.)

So perhaps the easiest way to differentiate the two programs is to describe the markets for whom each is tailored. Cubase is designed for musicians, composers, and commercial recording studios, whereas Nuendo is known as an audio post-production, or '

Matthew Loel T. Hepworth

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MATTHEW LOEL T. HEPWORTH has been teaching music technology since 1984. The son of educators, he has the ability to thoughtfully instruct people to get the most from complicated music products and software. He authors the Cubase and WaveLab tutorials for and authored several books including WaveLab 7 Power!, The Power i... Read More


Clelson Lopes
Interesting article! I didn't know the difference before reading this. But Figure #1 shows both Cubase 7 windows (opening the picture in a new window and zooming in I can read "Cubase Version 7.0.2 Project - Impasse R10"). The right one should be Nuendo, right? :D

That is correct! You win the Buick! ;-)
Adam Bov
Actually, "Cubase Version 7.0.2 Project - Impasse R10" reflects the file name and the original application (and version) the file was created in - it's not the application title. The image on the right is, in fact, Nuendo. The "tell" for me is the "look" of the MIDI event data and the arranger track. :)
As always, very clear and informative. Keep it up!
Also, the Crossfade window is more powerful in Nuendo, so is the marker track.

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