by Steve Cunningham
It’s been almost two years since we looked at Nuendo 2 (see the January 2004 issue of RAP), Steinberg’s last major version of what they call their Media Production System (or Pro Tools killer, depending on whom you’re speaking to). Since version 2 the company has been acquired by Yamaha, but Nuendo’s development has continued apace. It’s a slick and satisfying product whose only downside is it’s price — now a breathtaking $2499 list. This month we’ll take a look at what’s new and improved in what is arguably the most powerful and most expensive of all the native (or non-DSP) DAWs on the market.
Nuendo is a full-featured multitrack audio workstation that will handle an unlimited number of tracks at up to 24-bit resolution and 192 kHz sampling rate. It runs nicely on either Macs or PCs, but it requirements are somewhat steeper than version 2 — at minimum you’ll need a 1.6GHz Athalon with WinXP and 512 MB of RAM, but the manual suggests twice those specs for good performance. On the Mac side you’ll need at least a 1GHz dual-processor and 512 MB of RAM, but you’ll really want a G5 with a gig of RAM. Big computers for a very big program.
Nuendo is copy-protected with a USB dongle, which must be programmed and authorized via the internet during the installation process. This is true even if you’re upgrading from an earlier version as I did.
And Nuendo still prefers ASIO-compliant hardware, but will work on DirectX or Windows Multimedia hardware. But the very best performance, including low-latency operation, requires ASIO hardware and drivers.