After the first screaming loudly for help post last week I really tried to dig every possible source on the internet to find out what may cause our problems with Nuendo.
In case you missed the first post, basically we cannot record multitrack audio reliably with Nuendo 5 or 6. The issue is quite nasty as the DAW is “pretending” to be recording, but after a while it stops drawing the waveform, then drops the waveformless part of the recording completely.
Issues, bugs and possibilities
Since the first post I’ve been contacted by many active and former Nuendo users who know something about these bugs. Although I won’t mention everyone by name, but a huge THANK YOU for all of you for trying to help us out, give us valuable suggestions.
- Draw waveform during recording option. A very good idea is to turn off this option. Makes sense as we all know that drawing waveform during recording requires computing power and RAM. The only problem is after these recording failures we insisted on the visual feedback. Only had time for very short tests with this option turned off, everything seemed to be ok. Though I found users who turned it off and still had the problem.
- Switch off Multiprocessing. Nuendo has a long history of inefficient multithread usage. We’re still investigating the possibility, although it would require us to completely abandon some of our well working methods. Still, I won’t rule out the possibility that this may cause our issues, so I marked this as a necessary thing to check and test.
- RAM issues. I don’t mean the hardware. But as my research got deeper, I’ve found many users suffered from a insane RAM thirstiness from Nuendo version 4.
Investigating the RAM issue
I’ve found multiple tests and research at different forums (some archived) about the RAM usage of Nuendo from version 3 to 6. It seems certain that Nuendo 3 used much less RAM for the very same tasks. It seems quite obvious as from Nuendo 4, Steinberg improved the waveform resolution and started to make nicer GUIs. Though the test results made me wonder if this increase might have serious effect on our systems.
Some deep testing by long time users revealed that Nuendo 5 uses 400% more RAM than version 3. Yes, it’s not a typo, 400%!!!
For example, the peak file size in Nuendo 3 is 1/4 the size of Nuendo 5 peak files. Just to feel how serious this can be, it mean that if I record something with N3 and it would have a peak file size 25MB, then the same peak file would be a 100MB in Nuendo 5 or 6. It might seem small enough for a workstation to handle, but keep in mind that we try to use Nuendo to record 128 tracks simultaneously. Add up the numbers and you’ll see that there’s not enough RAM in the World.
Sadly the official response is more than embarrassing to put it at its mildest. Denial, banned users from their forums and not accepting that there is some problem.
The plan is to schedule some more tests at our facility and to contact Steinberg about our findings. The problem is though we have a very packed schedule so somehow we must find time to make these tests happen. Honestly I don’t know if we would be able to sort this out, or at least to find some leads, but I’m seriously think that the software developer should take these issues much more seriously.
Before anyone ask: I won’t post any names involved in these older or recent tests. Anyone with research can find the forums and archives on the web. Frankly I don’t know if I’m allowed to cite forum users freely, so I rather just don’t do this.
On a positive note, I’m back to my lovely Pro Tools world (I know we our problems too…) as I have many things to do there including blog posts. Stay tuned!