Cubase/Nuendo vs. Pro Tools

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by DocRoc, Aug 28, 2007.

  1. DocRoc

    DocRoc Guest

    I know its been discussed a million times, but most of the talks I've seen are pre-2003. Has anything changed in this argument?

    I have a 002 studio setup, and am debating whether I should upgrade it to HD (and be stuck in the Digidesign cage forever) and add an M-Powered mobile setup, or switch everything (the new mobile DAW and the studio setup) to powerful Nuendo or Cubase setups before its too late. Thanks for your suggestions...
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    I really think it has to do with what kind of work you expect to do?

    I really never cared for anything that required propriety anything, such as ProTools. But I figured, all the beginners think you're not a professional until you have/know ProTools. So I recently decided to upgrade the studio to include ProTools. And since Digi design recently purchased M-audio, I purchased an M-audio Transit which was ProTools capable. And for the control room I purchased an "M-Box 2" that included ProTools LE.

    I figured I could now run ProTools on my laptop with the Transit, so I could learn it in my spare time. But no no. For that, I need ProTools MPowered? I'm a little confused now because one would think that the Transit, which is ProTools compatible could run the ProTools LE, that was included with my "M-Box 2"? But no. The "M-Box" is not a M-audio product..... but a Digi design product. What am I not understanding here? Too many ProTools! And so far, I'm not as impressed with the capabilities of ProTools. Some of the most basic things we take for granted now in our "run-of-the-mill all-purpose audio software" is not included in ProTools. I'm not payin' nothin' extra to make a frigin' MP3 or to use a cartoon that resembles an 1176. If they can't provide me with the Tools, to construct a reasonable sounding compressor/limiter in their software? WTF?

    I still like Audition & Vegas
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    Lots of studios use ProTools HD these days. PT had a strong point when PCs were lousy performers and you actually needed the ProTools cards to do anything worthwile on an audio PC/Mac. It made PC/Mac recording reliable. Today with dual and even quadcore CPUs this point is passed.

    Cubase started out on an Atari 1040STf with midi only and came to PCs when they were getting better at audio natively.

    I bought an mBox2 to learn ProTools because it seems like a requirement these days. PT has a few handy things in it, but they're not very generous with plugins. To me it looks like Digi wants you to pay through your nose for anything extra like more simultaneous inputs and the mp3 conversion mentioned above. For me there is nothing in PT that would set it above Cubase or Nuendo. It's just another way to get there.

    Someone I spoke recently predicted that the next thing is going to be LogicPro, which is Mac only. I don't know about that. If you do buy into PT HD, you can still use that equipment with Logic. I don't think PT will get you the best converters though, but you can use most of Apogee's converters with PT's Core and Accel cards.

    my EUR 0,02
  4. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    Mar 27, 2007
    NY, USA
    Home Page:
    i recently switched to cubase sx-3. it took a few days of getting used to, but i'[ve found it to be much more stable, reliable than pro tools...better sounding too. and tons more pluginsand tracks
  5. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    Oct 28, 2005
    Maribor, Slovenia
    I tried cubase a couple of times. I honestly did... I really wanted to give it a chance. But it never worked out. :( Pro Tools on the other hand, I understood immediately and found to be very "logical" and intuitive.

    What it boils down to, is how you are used to working and personal preference. I constantly find myself thinking "man, I wish pro tools had this" when using Cubase, or "man, this is so much easier in pro tools" when using Cubase. :D

    Try it and find out. :)
  6. tifftunes

    tifftunes Active Member

    Jan 13, 2003
    The people I respect most and deal with the most swear by Nuendo and/or Cubase (almost the same thing anyway). I use Cubase.

    Can't say anything good about Pro Tools 'cause I've never tried it. A few of the peeps that use Steinberg's stuff say Pro Tools is a PIA, mostly due to proprietary software, gear, high prices, an a few limitations already mentioned above.

    If you plan to entertain clients who may already be using Pro Tools, it'd be wise to at least know the stuff. That said, I don't have time for that brand. Too many other products (including Cubase) "do it" better. This being hear-say, of course. My own experience is limited to 7 years of Cubase, and being as happy as I can be with a digital situation (that's a whole 'nother story!).

    You can try Cubase LE for a hundred bucks. It'll do quite a bit - at least enough to get the point. That's be the place to start...
  7. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    The main advantage of PTHD would be low latency tracking as monitoring/mixing is DSP based rather than native, but with core 2 duos, quads and dual quad cores, that's quickly becoming a non-issue.

    The downside of PT as mentioned before is the cost (factor about 4x that of a comparable Nuendo rig for similar plugin/track count), and being locked into a proprietary and expensive system (the same plugin in native form is normally around half the price, or less (Waves, UA, etc), for the same dsp algorithm).

    I've only used PT a few times, and it has some nice capabilities, but I much prefer Nuendo/Cubase - better workflow, far better midi, etc. You could always keep the 002 system in case a PT project comes in (you can always transfer to Nuendo/Cubase if so desired), and just to say you have ProTools if it really matters that much to your clients, though imho, an audio engineer should be hired for their work, not name brands in the racks and on the desk.

    Logic is a great midi app, but imho, is lacking in workflow for extensive audio editing, and a few other areas. I don't know what the next version holds - there are rumors of a significant makeover, at least in the interface, but rumors are just that.

    For sure, your personal preference should be the deciding factor, not industry marketing hype, or clients insisting on brands of gear they know little or nothing about, let alone why they should or shouldn't want it.
  8. DocRoc

    DocRoc Guest

    Well, I still haven't decided completely but I'm leaning toward cubase/nuendo with a custom built DAW. I am more familiar with pro tools, but that only takes it so far cause I'm sure it won't take long to get familiar with cubase/nuendo. And I hear the same thing over and over, cheaper and more plug-ins, more stable, more tracks, more versatile (I've always been scared of being stuck forever with no choices but the sub-par hardware), etc. Before I fully commit, anyone have some real strong arguments for Logic instead? Can anyone argue that its not as complicated as most people say? And that its flexibility outweighs its sometimes counter-intuitive format and the steep learning curve?

    Thanks all!
  9. DocRoc

    DocRoc Guest

    I know everyone says if you're a performer, go Cubase or Logic, if you're an engineer, go Pro Tools. BUT, my thing is I'm an engineer that is scared of being stuck in the monopoly with limitations on pre's and a/d conversion and having to buy completely overpriced hardware/software to get pro tools (even HD) to do pretty basic things. What do I do? Essentially I guess my question is, What is the most engineer-minded daw besides pro tools.
  10. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    DocRoc - imho, Nuendo/Cubase. Nuendo if you need post features, Cubase if you don't. Editing is great in both (Nuendo does have a more extensive crossfade editor - pretty close to Sequoia's, if not the same).

    Protools has some features not in Nuendo (Beat detective for one; the advantage of low latency monitoring during large tracking sessions if you go HD), but Nuendo's workflow is imho, noticeably better. You do have to contend with latency going all native if tracking large sessions, whether PT LE or Cubase/Nuendo/Logic. But for workflow, either Cubase or Nuendo would be a good choice (other than the post features, crossfade editor, networking, they are the same when it comes to workflow).
  11. DocRoc

    DocRoc Guest

    Thanks dterry. I'll most likely be getting Cubase. It'd be nice to have the better crossfades and the post production options when those instances come up, but for the most part i'll be sticking with audio for a while and can't justify that extra expense yet. Thanks!
  12. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2005
    and if you like to do both, get Tracktion:
  13. pollysix

    pollysix Guest

    I've been working with Cubase for awhile now and find it great. For now I have Cubase LE 1.07. They have this summer special going on right now where I could basically upgrade to Cubase Studio 4 for about $250 (can). So I've been thinking me and Cubase should tie the knot.

    I recently took a little 1-day workshop on Protools for all the reasons mentioned above--"all the cool kids are doing it". But I really do love Cubase.

    My only question is: Is there any advantage to using ProTools for film work? Does it somehow handle film post stuff better?

    Another question... is the jump from SX3 to 4 a big one? (i.e. worth forking out $ for?)
  14. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    Apr 14, 2006
    Nuendo is designed for film/post where Cubase is aimed at music production (both have the same music/midi/audio features but Nuendo adds post capabilities that Cubase doesn't have). Currently ProTools is of course widely used for post, but Nuendo is gaining ground quickly. I use and others use it for post with great success, and prefer it over ProTools. Nuendo 4 should increase its' prominence in post. What you miss in apps not designed for post are film sync editing capabilities (scrub events with film as in Nuendo); import/export formats (OMF, OpenTL, AAF, etc); expanded surround mixing options in some cases (thought I think Cubase 4 covers up to 5.1 at least); and a few other things.

    SX3 to Cubase 4 adds quite a few great features: control room; drag and drop inserts; instrument tracks (direct connect to VSTi's, if preferred over midi tracks assigned to VSTis); enable/disable VSTi outputs (use what you need, disable what you don't to eliminate mixer clutter); media bay, etc.

    I would wait for Cubase 4.1 - probably not far off. If you are serious about post, look into Nuendo. As far as the ProTools "standard" - use what you like and can do your best work with. The industry as become too enamoured with copying someone else's "recipe for success" by duplicating gear lists rather than great engineering.
  15. pollysix

    pollysix Guest

    Thanks dterry, that makes it all pretty clear. I was pretty unaware of Nuendo, I guess I've mainly been in music circles up until now. I'll look into it.
  16. ORSUP

    ORSUP Guest


    Go Cubase. I have worked with both and if you do either a cost analysis or a feature analysis you will see that the answer will be that clear.
  17. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    Jun 4, 2005
    I'm educated on ProTools, but i work on Nuendo today.
    My feeling is that ProTools is a rolls roys and Nuendo is a bently. They will both get you from A. to B. The difference is in what style.

    I dont know. I like both now.
  18. vailsy

    vailsy Guest

    having used protools for sound editing for around a year, i am absolutely desperate to get away from it

    while using protools it became evident to me that from the ground up it is designed by computer people, not by audio people and as a result even the simplest things are a nightmare. i also encountered some major technical flaws

    what annoys me as well is digidesigns business ethic. which is give them a cheap carrot (mbox) and then rope/lock them into the larger expensive evil empire. it really annoyed me for example that having purchased an mbox i still would have to pay for the next software upgrade from 7.something to 7.somethingElse

    sure purchase their crumby brick mbox and then use it on a laptop for learning purposes so you are literate with other protools users and for jobs. but use something more intuitive and flexible for real work that allows you to work with hardware of your choosing and not someone elses

    i've noticed that more and more employers are asking for nuendo, protools etc knowledge. often putting nuendo first. so that is my next port of call
  19. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Can't agree with you on that. I doubt that a computer geek with no knowledge of an analog mixer would be able to figure out ProTools. The routing is the most like a mixer than most other DAWs.

    I like Steinberg's products but they have their issues too. For a long time there have been issues with some machines where midi would not remain in synch. It's a common problem just go search the Cubase/ forums.

    Personally, I would prefer to work with both but if I had to pick one I would pick well.....I suppose Nuendo but I would spend the extra money on a UAD1 or equivalent DSP card for plugins.

    The one thing ProTools has going for it is it's plugins. There are way more VST plugins in the world and tons of free ones but, most RTAS plugins are of better quality IMHO. The downside of course being hardware dependency and some compatibility issues regularly as PC's (mac and windows) evolve.
  20. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    Perhaps one other thing that PT had over Cubase/Nuendo was side chaining in compressors and gates. But that is history since Cubase 4.1 I heard.

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