I recently started a new job and one of my tasks has been to learn Nuendo, primarily for sound design and mixing. I’ve always been a Pro Tools user and I have a deep working knowledge of the program and specific workflows. Switching over to Nuendo was a bit of a jolt, but as I work more with the program, I see a lot of value for game audio workflows. Cycle marker exports, the control room, quick controls, robust project management, extremely detailed and searchable track organization, customizable key commands/macros, and many more reasons put Nuendo ahead of Pro Tools for me in terms of relevant game audio workflow features. I’m only three months into using Nuendo and still learning more every day.
At first, transitioning was extremely frustrating. I couldn’t accomplish simple things in Nuendo and had a hard time digging through resources looking for solutions. If you’re coming from another DAW and interested in checking Nuendo out, hopefully some of these tips will save you some time and frustration. Also, if you have the patience and time, reading through the Nuendo manual is very helpful. It’s comprehensive and pretty well written.
If you’re a Nuendo user and have tips and ideas of your own, please share them in the comments.
One of the things that makes learning Nuendo a bit harder is the shift in vernacular. It’s hard to Google a solution or search the official manual if you don’t know the Nuendo lingo. Here are a few common Pro Tools to Nuendo analogs.
|Edit Window||Project Window|
|Region or Clip||Event|
|Region or Clip Bin||Pool|
|Timeline Selection||Locator Selection|
|Memory Location Marker||Marker|
|Memory Location Selection||Cycle Marker|
|Bounce||Export Audio Mixdown|
|Undo History||Edit History|
|I/O Setup||VST Connections|
Initializing basic key commands
Unlike Pro Tools, in Nuendo all the key commands can be re-assigned. Nuendo includes some presets to help accommodate users coming from other DAWs. I started off by switching my key commands to the Pro Tools preset. To do this:
While the Pro Tools preset is definitely not comprehensive or perfect, this should give you a familiar starting place.
When using Nuendo you’ll run into commands you want to re-assign. Simply open the Key Commands dialog, find the action, and re-assign it. You can save your own presets under the Presets menu.
Move cursor when clicking anywhere in the timeline
In Nuendo by default, you can only move the cursor by clicking up in the ruler above the timeline. In order to fix this, you need to check an option box called ‘Locate When Clicked in Empty Space’. To find this option:
- Go to File -> Preferences..
- Click on the Transport section on the left
- Check the ‘Locate When Clicked in Empty Space’ option
Select Track On Background Click
This is a good option to know about. Often times you’ll want the track to automatically highlight and select when you click on it in the timeline. To enable this functionality:
- Go to File -> Preferences
- Click on the Editing section on the left
- Check ‘Select Track on Background Click’
Enable video scrubbing when dragging an event
If you’re designing to picture, it’s extremely helpful to have the video scrub while dragging an event. This is crucial for spotting. In Nuendo’s default mode, the video will not scrub when dragging an event. To enable scrubbing, you need to activate ‘Edit Mode’.
In the Key Commands menu I’ve also set Ctr+Alt+E to toggle Edit Mode on and off.
Note: You can also scrub by clicking and dragging directly on the video window itself.
Changing the horizontal scroll direction
Unfortunately, Steinberg has decided to reverse their horizontal scrolling standard from every other DAW. By default, Shift+MouseWheelDown moves the timeline backwards in time to the left, and Shift+MouseWheelUp moves forward in time to the right. Even more unfortunate, this is not a changeable preference. In order to solve this you will need an extra bit of software. On the PC (Windows Only), there’s a great free program called X-Button Mouse Control that can fix this major annoyance.
- Download and install it from here: X-Button Mouse Control
- Launch X-Button. You’ll see the program’s icon in your start menu.
- Open it up to set your preferences.
- Add a profile for Nuendo. With Nuendo running, click the Add button.
- Select Nuendo and press OK
- Go to Layer 2 and reverse the Mouse Wheel settings
- Click Apply
- Click on Settings, then navigate to the Modifier Keys tab
- Check Enable modifier keys and set the Active Layer 2 to the Shift key
- Now go to the General tab and un-check Show layer switch balloon notifications. This will turn off a pop up that tells you when you have activated Layer 2. It can be helpful for troubleshooting your settings, but unnecessary and distracting otherwise.
- Click OK
- Click Apply back on the main window and close
Now the scrolling will be more natural and similar to Pro Tools or Logic. And,because we made the modifier the Shift key, only during a horizontal scroll will the mousewheel reverse. Normal scrolling without Shift will still be correct.