Audio Warping in Nuendo refers to the use of the real-time time-stretching and pitch-shifting functions. You can use real-time time stretch to quantize audio and audio events can be pitch shifted in real-time, like MIDI events, using the Project window’s Transpose and Finetune fields.
You can also make audio follow the project tempo, again like MIDI events. First define a tempo for the audio using the Audio Tempo Definition tool. Then activate Musical mode by clicking the musical note button in the Sample Editor window. With this set, the audio clip will be time-stretched in realtime to match the new tempo when you change Nuendo’s tempo. Nuendo also supports ACID loops – which already have embedded tempo information. When ACID files are imported into Nuendo, Musical mode is automatically activated – so these automatically play at the project’s tempo.
To make an audio file containing a live performance with natural tempo variations conform to a specific tempo, you can use Nuendo’s Warp Tabs.
These are markers that can be attached to musically relevant time positions in an audio event, such as the first beat of every bar. These Warp Tabs can then be dragged to the corresponding time positions in the project, and the audio will be stretched accordingly. This warping – real-time time stretching or pitch shifting – uses a fair amount of CPU power during playback.
To alleviate this, you can freeze any real-time processing at any time to produce processed audio files for playback – which use less CPU power. And if you opt to use the MPEX 2 algorithm to process the audio, this usually produces better sound quality than the real-time processing.
In operation, Nuendo 3 has a slick, ultra-professional feel and can be customized to hide features that you don’t need – such as the MIDI or Network menus. The Network menu lets you network over a LAN or over the Internet – swapping suggestions using the ‘chat’ feature, then exchanging MIDI, video and audio data.
Nuendo 3 is aimed as competition for Pro Tools TDM for use in professional post-production, broadcast and music production. Nuendo has more to offer for music production on account of its excellent music-scoring features, which Pro Tools lacks, and its superior MIDI capabilities, inherited from Cubase SX. The Audition channel and pan law features bring clear advantages for broadcast work. The price is about the same for Pro Tools TDM software, were that to be sold separately. Pro Tools’s main advantage is its close integration with the Digidesign hardware supplied with Pro Tools systems. But if you choose Nuendo 3, you can buy equivalent or better hardware from third parties such as Apogee without being forced to buy Digidesign. You can always use Digidesign hardware with Nuendo 3 for basic audio I/O. Still, it’s a shame that Nuendo does not offer full TDM compatibility like Logic Pro and Digital Performer.