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Nuendo or SONAR?


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Nuendo. I tried a demo of Sonar and, whilst it seems very powerful, it didn't strike me as particularly intuitive. Nuendo is very easy to learn and V2 is being mooted as a massive leap forward - but I'll reserve judgement until I see it for myself.
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I haven't used Nuendo so I can't comment on that... But I will say that Sonar p***ed me off for not having standard rewind/fast forward buttons accessible on the keyboard like a regular tape deck. So if someone wants a Radar unit for getting a similar feel to the analog tape experience, until Cakewalk implements standard rewind/fast forward buttons accessible from the keyboard, Sonar isn't really gonna be the best choice. Other people don't have a problem with this feature missing, as I've found on these forums, so YMMV. ;)
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Different strokes I guess. I had similiar feelings as you Rog, but about Nuendo - not very intiutive, clunky interface, tries too hard to look like hardware, etc. Too be fair though, I really haven't used Nuendo as much as Sonar. I have no doubt that Nuendo is a great app, but when Sonar works as well as it does for me I don't see the need to spend the cash for Nuendo.
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For pure editing...Nuendo. If you are planning to do surround...Nuendo. If you need 88.2....Nuendo. If you want more of a multipurpose production app(soft synths, Acid style looping, MIDI)...Sonar. But…if you want the best of both worlds and less than half the price of Nuendo, the best way to go might be….Cubase SX. You also need to consider the hardware that gets you from Radar into the DAW. Is it stereo or multichannel, what is the bit depth and rate capability and is it compatible with your OS and with either Sonar, Nuendo or Cubase SX. Not cut and dry.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Nuendo has some high end features that Sonar doesn't and it should for $400.00 dollars more or whatever it is. Sonar is perfect for home studio and project studio work. I would like to know the differences between Nuendo and Cubase SX.
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Originally posted by posterchild: [b]I haven't used Nuendo so I can't comment on that... But I will say that Sonar p***ed me off for not having standard rewind/fast forward buttons accessible on the keyboard like a regular tape deck.[/b] I still don't know what you're talking about here. Every software I've seen has key bindings that you can assign to almost any function. I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, I just don't know what you mean. Like I said you CAN assign the top row of F keys to all the transport functions in Sonar and get one button control of the transport. If you go to View-Toolbars and check Transport (large) you get a traditional looking transport that you can control from the keypad or by MIDI.
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[quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b]Nuendo has some high end features that Sonar doesn't and it should for $400.00 dollars more or whatever it is.[/b][/quote]But what exactly are these high end features? I know Nuendo supports surround, but besides this I can't think of anything else pressing that justifies the price.
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[quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b] I still don't know what you're talking about here. Every software I've seen has key bindings that you can assign to almost any function. I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, I just don't know what you mean. Like I said you CAN assign the top row of F keys to all the transport functions in Sonar and get one button control of the transport. If you go to View-Toolbars and check Transport (large) you get a traditional looking transport that you can control from the keypad or by MIDI.[/b][/quote]OK, I'll explain [i]one last time[/i]... :D Yes, you can do the standard rewind and fast forward buttons via MIDI. In fact, Master Zap must've missed having those functions via the keyboard as he [url=http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=006629]converted an old drum machine[/url] to access those very same features which should be accessible by keyboard. There's no technical reason why those features shouldn't be accessible by keyboard in Sonar; it's just bad design IMO. When I mean "standard rewind and fast forward buttons", I mean the ability to hold down a key and skip forward or backward in the track, much like when you scan through a CD. To the best of my knowledge, [i]there is no way to do this via the keyboard in Sonar.[/i] Yes, you can set markers... You can do that in almost any DAW program -- but if I'm in a hurry, I don't [i]want[/i] markers. Yes, you can use the mouse, but that's not very convenient if you're also playing an instrument. I want to be able to scan forward or backward by pressing [i]one key[/i] on the keyboard. Lots of other software and hardware does this; why not Sonar? Cubase does this via the Page Up and Page Down buttons. Pro Tools Free does this via the 1 and 2 keys on the number pad. Logic does it, but I don't remember the keys offhand. All of my CD players do it. My VCR does this. Every tape deck I've ever seen except for my 8-track does this. Sonar does not. (Hopefully that clarifies what I was getting at! :) )
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OK but... isn't that mainly a pain in the ass when you're tracking? Barry says he's going to use a RADAR for tracking which has standard transport keys... and another DAW for editing only. So he might like Sonar. All the different DAW's seem to have their strengths and weaknesses depending on what you're using them for and how you work. So it's good to become familar with all the major ones if you want to be able to recommend them to customers. Then you can ask them the right questions about their needs and give them informed answers about which products will do what. --Lee
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[quote]Originally posted by Lee Flier: [b]OK but... isn't that mainly a pain in the ass when you're tracking? Barry says he's going to use a RADAR for tracking which has standard transport keys... and another DAW for editing only. So he might like Sonar. [/b][/quote]True... I just can't imagine using a program that doesn't have a quick way to cue backwards or forwards on the computer keyboard, even when editing. Like I said in my first post on this thread, your mileage may vary. :)
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I tried Nuendo and i didn't find it intuitive at all. I couldn't tell what buttons did what. It looked clunky. And i was frustrated VERY quickly. Right out of the box i've been able to use Sonar without even looking at the manual. Of course, i've been using cakewalk since pro audio 9 so that probably helps.
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The versatility of Sonar is wonderful. Sonar would really round out what RADAR has to offer. My sequencer experience is with Logic, Cubase (haven't tried SX), and Sonar; after v 2.0 came out, I do not even touch Logic, and the only reason I'm using Cubase is b/c it's popular with a few clients of mine. The main limitation of SONAR imo, is the lack of great Direct X plug-ins, but it's coming around. And it's my understanding that you can use "wrappers" for compatibility w/ vst plugins, though I haven't done this myself.

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PosterChild: I think what you are describing is scrubbing, being able to HEAR the audio as you go forward and backward in small increments. That is NOT standard forward and rewind. That is what is confusing everyone. Scrubbing IS available in Sonar for MIDI but not for audio that I know of. Anyway, good to talk about these things just to define our terms.
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[quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b]PosterChild: I think what you are describing is scrubbing, being able to HEAR the audio as you go forward and backward in small increments. That is NOT standard forward and rewind. That is what is confusing everyone. Scrubbing IS available in Sonar for MIDI but not for audio that I know of. [/b][/quote]Well, no, scrubbing (at least, my definition of it) is similar to if you are going back and forth with a tape on an analog head... That feature is in Pro Tools Free (there is a "scrub tool"), and I think there's something similar in Sonar too. Scrubbing on a DAW is usually done with the mouse -- I wouldn't expect to have keyboard shortcuts for that... I'm simply talking about fast forward and rewind. Wewus, since it appears we're not connecting on this point (on this thread and on the previous one), let me try one last example... Have you ever used a cassette deck? When you press rewind on a cassette deck, it doesn't take you immediately back to the beginning of the song. Nor does it take you back to some point in the tape you've defined. It just takes you back a little bit, and the longer the rewind button is pressed down, the further back it goes. [i]That's[/i] the kind of "standard rewind and fast forward" I'm getting at. Check out Pro Tools Free -- if you can get it to boot up on your system (it's picky about the hardware it runs on), record something and use the 1 and 2 keys on the number pad to rewind and fast forward if you want to see what I mean. IMO, once you get used to using something like that, you won't want to live without it. [quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b]Anyway, good to talk about these things just to define our terms.[/b][/quote]I agree -- I hope I'm starting to make sense! :) My apologies to Barry -- I had no intention of taking over this thread with my one comment about Sonar... This is something that goes back to a previous thread and was never resolved or communicated effectively. Hopefully I've cleared things up now. So... back to your regularly scheduled thread! :D
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You can do this in SONAR with Ctrl+ PgUp and PgDown. [quote]Originally posted by posterchild: When I mean "standard rewind and fast forward buttons", I mean the ability to hold down a key and skip forward or backward in the track, much like when you scan through a CD. To the best of my knowledge, [i]there is no way to do this via the keyboard in Sonar[/quote]
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[quote]Originally posted by steven dunston: [b]You can do this in SONAR with Ctrl+ PgUp and PgDown.[/b][/quote]Thanks for the info, Steven... At least I now know it can be done if I decide to give Sonar another try. So Barry... Ignore what I said above. Sonar's cool! :D (OK, back to Barry's question... :) )
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[quote]Originally posted by bhenderson: [b]If I was to use RADAR for tracking and a DAW for editing, which would be a better choice: Nuendo or SONAR? I don't know either system but I'm getting asked the question and I want to know what to recommend. Thanks[/b][/quote]Barry, I don't think it is a simple one or the other as you may have guessed reading the other posts. I own both apps and have done extensive projects in both. I have also recently upgraded my Cubase to SX. The old version was never useful to me. Nuendo, has better editing - it is much faster than Sonar once you get the hang of it - comping tracks is super fast. By fast, I don't mean code execution, I mean convenience. While it may be impressive to use Sonar without the manual, a few hours in the Nuendo Manual will reward you with superior results. Nuendo plug-in support is better - any DirectX plug that works in Sonar will work in Nuendo, but in addition you get VST support which has plug-in latency compensation - essential for the UAD and TC Powercore DSP based plug-ins which are almost unusable in Sonar on tracks because of latency issues. Additionally, on native systems, these plugs are the best thing going. Nuendo's interface does seem klunky and old fashioned - I doubt there is much hope there anytime soon since the new Cubase SX pretty much has the same goofy no toolbar, non-dockable windows style thing going on with slighty updated graphics. Sonar certainly looks cleaner. Sonar's mixer is horrible though - I don't/can't even use it. In Nuendo you can control the faders and pans with a mouse wheel or just type the value in, whereas Sonar is difficult to mouse mix to me in comparison. Both have issues and some of the ideas that Sonic Foundry's Vegas uses, they could both stand to take a look at. MIDI - both Nuendo and the new Cubase SX do have midi with CubaseSX being somewhat stronger but they both pale in comparison to Sonar which has a heritage of strong MIDI editing that I have used for years. Nuendo and Cubase have probably 90% overlap right now with Cubase having a bit richer MIDI and Nuendo better support for Video Post. They both have surround and Sonar does not. My preference for projects with little or no MIDI is Nuendo. I find the editing faster, and the program is more stable and less flakey than Sonar. As I get used to Cubase SX, I may actually prefer it because I don't need video post features. For projects that will use a lot of MIDI scratch-padding / idea brain storming, Sonar is un-matched - even though we find it to be often quirky - usually a shutdown and restart of the app will square it away for several hours. What I would recommend is that a potential buyer try the Sonar Demo and then get a good demo of Nuendo somewhere since there is no Demo to download. The Cubase demo for download, so far, is the older version which would not give you any idea of what the current release is like - a Nuendo demo would do a better job of that.

Steve Powell - Bull Moon Digital

www.bullmoondigital.com

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[quote]Originally posted by posterchild: [b] [quote]Originally posted by TheWewus: [b] I still don't know what you're talking about here. Every software I've seen has key bindings that you can assign to almost any function. I'm not trying to be a pain in the ass, I just don't know what you mean. Like I said you CAN assign the top row of F keys to all the transport functions in Sonar and get one button control of the transport. If you go to View-Toolbars and check Transport (large) you get a traditional looking transport that you can control from the keypad or by MIDI.[/b][/quote]OK, I'll explain [i]one last time[/i]... :D Yes, you can do the standard rewind and fast forward buttons via MIDI. In fact, Master Zap must've missed having those functions via the keyboard as he [url=http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=006629]converted an old drum machine[/url] to access those very same features which should be accessible by keyboard. There's no technical reason why those features shouldn't be accessible by keyboard in Sonar; it's just bad design IMO. When I mean "standard rewind and fast forward buttons", I mean the ability to hold down a key and skip forward or backward in the track, much like when you scan through a CD. To the best of my knowledge, [i]there is no way to do this via the keyboard in Sonar.[/i] Yes, you can set markers... You can do that in almost any DAW program -- but if I'm in a hurry, I don't [i]want[/i] markers. Yes, you can use the mouse, but that's not very convenient if you're also playing an instrument. I want to be able to scan forward or backward by pressing [i]one key[/i] on the keyboard. Lots of other software and hardware does this; why not Sonar? Cubase does this via the Page Up and Page Down buttons. Pro Tools Free does this via the 1 and 2 keys on the number pad. Logic does it, but I don't remember the keys offhand. All of my CD players do it. My VCR does this. Every tape deck I've ever seen except for my 8-track does this. Sonar does not. (Hopefully that clarifies what I was getting at! :) )[/b][/quote]All you have to do is hold CTRL-PAGEUP to fast-forward, and CTRL-PAGEDOWN to rewind. These keys are technically listed as 'go to next measure' and 'go to prev. measure', but the keyboard auto-repeat function makes them work fine as FF and REWIND. I personally found it to be a hassle to use a CTRL key function, and assigned the F2 key to do rewind, and F3 to do fast-forward. It works the same way, though - hold down F3, and the cursor zooms to the right... One thing I wish that worked better though - I assigned these same 2 functions to midi-note bindings, and, in this mode, you have to press the (piano) key once each time you want to move a measure, because the notes won't auto-repeat like a PC keyboard key does when it's held down. Phil Koenig Tangent Studios
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Glad posterchild will cease his assault on SONAR now (I find it rather silly to shoot down an app based on one minor "misfeature" which turns out in the end to be user misunderstanding anyway... but I digress :) ) :D (nudge / wink / e.t.c.) [quote]One thing I wish that worked better though - I assigned these same 2 functions to midi-note bindings, and, in this mode, you have to press the (piano) key once each time you want to move a measure, because the notes won't auto-repeat like a PC keyboard key does when it's held down[/quote]AH - but with the new "Generic Controller Surface" in SONAR 2 you can assign a midi message to "begin rewinding" and another to "end rewinding"... so pushing the key begins rewinding, and releasing it ends. It still has one minor bug though, the message must match exactly, even the velocity (!), so you kinda "have" to set it to 127 velocity and whack the key good ;) Luckily the drummachine I used wasn't velocity sensitive and always sent velocity 100... :D ..as for the [b]original question[/b].. I'm generally a SONAR advocate but in this case I dont know Nuendo very much... what does Nuendo do, really? I never got a clear explanation from ANYBODY what Nuendo actually *does*. Bad marketing, methinks ;) What I DONT GET with ANY of the steinberg offerings is the limitations they put in. They say Nuendo does 200 tracks. Why a limit? SONAR does as many tracks as your PC can do. Nuendo and Cubase both have a limited amount of plugins you can put on a track (4 I think, 8 in SX). Why? SONAR has an endless list, you can whack as many plugins in there as you want. Things like this makes me wonder if the Steinberg programmers know programming well enough to see beyond fixed-sized arrays. Thats [i]so[/i] 1982 :) Personally I find ALL music apps VERY limited in thinking like traditional mixers with traditional routings and traditional layouts. I FUCKING HATE TRADITIONAL!!! (sorry Posterchild :D ) This is a COMPUTER not a freaking TAPE DECK, not a freaking HARDWARE MIXER and not a freaking EFFECTS RACK! Use it to its POTENTIAL with a PROPER COMPUTER PROGRAM and not some lame "lets play hardware" emulation. My dream program works like this: I take a kick drum sample... I put some cool Direct F/X on it. I tweak it till it sounds cool. My Dream Software renders this to WAV instantly, never wasting another cycle to do identical processing on the same kick. I take this effected sample into my drum sequencing module. I add some more drum samples an I sequence up the drums. I make a pattern of kicks and snares. I clone this pattern throughout my track with REFERENCE CLONING, so that any change to ANY bar immediately happens in ALL the bars. (but the original is of course retained and all the info about it) These bars are immediately rendered to WAV not to waste another processor cycle rendering identical data again. (But the original is of course retained and the info about it) Then I make a new copy for fills, I delete two snare hits and add a couple others, and a tom roll. Now I put this track through some more DirectX effects. Now I realize I wanted the hihats to do sixteenth instead of 8:ths so I change this in my original bar. Now my DREAM APP would put this change through on EVERY drum bar, even the copy which I *edited*. It would *know* that tha drumbar was a copy of the original with the edit-operations "remove two snares, add three tom hits" applied to it. Then I take the whole drumsequence and decide to use it as a loop, so I take the sound and splice it up into smithereens and splash it about the track, reversing some bars, stuttering some, e.t.c. And *now* is the point where I realize "heck lets change the EQ on that kick". I go to the kick, edit the directX EQ on it. The program re-renders that effected kick wav, automatically re-rendering all drumbars containing that kick, automatically re-renders, the whole effected drumchain with all the edits. All in a background thread, of course, so I dont even notice it's happening and I can continue working as if nothing IS happening. Gimme that app, someone. I'm *this* close to writing it myself if nobody can do it. I'm tired of all this "lets pretend its hardware" *SHIT*!!!! /Z
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Hey guys.... I'm overwhelmed by all of these excellent responses. Thanks so much. What I'm taking from all of this is that I won't justifiably be able to recommend either one over the other but just say that "both programs are excellent, read the specs and decide which one will work better for you". My initial take was that Nuendo was more of a Pro app and that SONAR was more for home studios but it seems like SONAR is fast developing into a Pro app as well. (I hope I'm not being politically incorrect by saying that)

Barry, iZ President

www.izcorp.com

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I will raise a couple points on the side of Sonar II. No dongle and multiple installs. I can install Sonar II on my Sonar PC, my laptop, my GigaStudio PC and my work PC. Each time I register with Cakewalk and all personnel information including my email address reflects my name which is on the registration. No dongle to move around and Cakewalk seems to take the stance that as long as I am running one instance at a time and I own the PC’s, no problem. This allows me to have a backup in case my Sonar PC goes down, take Sonar on the road when I travel, and to pull it up and do a tutorial during lunch time at work. Acid files. I own SonicFoundry Acid 3 Pro and convert a lot of self-created loops to Acid format. These will load into Sonar II without the use of the Acid program. Very handy. DXi and VSTi. With a wrapper I can use both formats of soft synths and effects. While doing so I have run into no problems. Value. What can I say? For the price it is a great deal. I bought the XL version of Sonar and upgraded to the XL version of Sonar II. This, along with effects that came with SoundForge and Acid Pro gives me a wide variety of effects and instruments. Lack of weakness in any area. Other programs my work better in some areas, but I am not sure any program can beat Sonar II in every area. It is just a good, solid, all around program. Rewire support. One of the last issues was addressed in Sonar II. You can now run Reason within Sonar II. A feature once exclusive to Cubase I think. Sonar II may seem to be marketed, or at least and ideal program for the home studio but it is a program that can move into a professional studio if you get the chance to create the next major release. Robert
This post edited for speling.
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Like Steve Pow I own both and agree with his assesments for the most part.But I'm preffering Sonar for a number of reasons.Number 1 I like the sound of my mixes better,number 2 I think WDM is a better low latencet protocol than Asio.I can now get 1.5ms latencey with no track limit or crackles at 24/44 and that means a lot to me when it comes to live input of plugs.I also have Wavelab in the tools menu for any micro editing ect.My biggest praise is no USB Dongle which I won't go along with at all period.I'm not in love with the mixer either but I find it easier to use.I bought Nuendo before Sonar came out and liked the idea of VSTi support and a seperate Surround program but I just can't seem to work that fast in it and I guess I need the creationist thing happening which I don't really get from Nuendo.Theyr'e both nice apps though.My decision is to keep Nuendo for future surround projects and just mainly use Sonar which is what I'm doing these day's.Oh,as far as going to any point in the project you can just use the scroll bar(below)and just click on any part of the time line you like,or just right click and drop a marker.
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Steve Powell made some great points. Actually, almost all the posts provide useful info. I used Cubase for many years, but as VST started to get creaky and Acid didn't add MIDI, switched to Sonar. I've been very happy with it. The issue of soft synths is a non-starter, because with ReWire, I can use the Reason synth rack and that is soooo cool. Cubase, of course, does ReWire too. The wrappers work great, giving me access to all the cool VST instruments and plug-ins. BUT I just received Cubase SX for review, and it is a most impressive upgrade. A lot of things that annoyed me about Cubase VST are just plain gone, and some of the enhancements are wonderful. It has a well-integrated look, unlike Sonar, which still has "legacy graphics" (console view - ugh!). Also, Cubase SX will let you just keep on loading plug-ins. There seems to be a level of efficiency when dealing with a "virtual studio" that other programs just don't have. EQ on every channel is a nice feature too. I haven't used Nuendo so I can't comment on that, but Sonar and Cubase SX are both very strong programs. You'll make good music with either one. For straight-ahead "I used to have a 2" 24-track," I think Cubase SX fits the job better. For those into looping and beats-oriented virtual music creation, Sonar definitely gets the nod. I don't plan to switch over to Cubase SX, but I do plan to use both it and Sonar, depending on the task.
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