A few months ago I was in the market for better DAW multitrack software. I had previously been using Cakewalk Pro, which was lacking in a few areas to me. I already knew Pro Tools was out of the question, I mean ten thousand dollars for an entry level system, come on. That's when I was turned on to Nuendo. Jeremy Penick, a friend of mine who worked at Steinberg, was using it and offered to let me try it out. The install went so smooth I'd be confident in letting a chimp load it in my system. It automatically recognized my MOTU 2408, which I have connected to a Tascam TMD1000 digital mixer as my front end. Everything synced up perfectly, no crackles, pops or sizzle. With all the features built into Nuendo I thought it was going to be days before I felt comfortable using it in a stressed environment, but that wasn't the case, and within a few hours I had all the main functions down. The mixer is laid out nicely and feature packed, with four inserts, eight aux sends, EQ and automation for each channel, plus eight inserts on the master bus so you've got a lot to work with. If you want to do a project in surround sound, Nuendo has you covered, a few clicks of the mouse and you're setup to mix in any of the surround configurations. The editing side of Nuendo is equally impressive. You can add crossfades, adjust volumes, cut and move tracks to different locations, all without destroying any wave data. I know you can do this in a lot of other programs but Nuendo makes it easy. As far as live tracking, I had used Cakewalk for this previously and found that it wasn't very stable, but with Nuendo I didn't even encounter one system crash. That by itself impressed the hell out of me. Right after the session I was thinking to myself, finally here is a system I feel confident enough to rely on in a professional environment. With that said, I definitely think Steinberg has put out a product worthy of praise. Available for Mac or PC. ($1299 list, www.nuendo.com)

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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