Steinberg Introduces Nuendo 11 with New Tools for Dolby Atmos Mixes and AI-Powered Intelligibility Meter

December 10 2020, 00:10
First revealed in November 2020, Steinberg announced the immediate availability of its much-anticipated premium media production software, Nuendo 11, now adding Audio Definition Model (ADM) authoring file support for Dolby Atmos mixes, Netflix Loudness Meter, plus many other features and workflow enhancements. The latest Nuendo is a more complete professional audio production tool for media content creation, including a new Intelligibility Meter, based on algorithms developed by the Fraunhofer Institute.

With two decades of technological advancements at its heart, the new Steinberg Nuendo software is one of the most advanced and sophisticated DAWs available today. The first version of Nuendo introduced native technologies with peerless audio and surround sound tools to the pro audio industry. Now, Nuendo is at the heart of countless audio production and post-production facilities, and Nuendo 11 delivers new and enhanced features, including dedicated tools for Dolby Atmos and Netflix productions along with new design tools. 

Authoring for Dolby Atmos is one of the highlights included in Nuendo 11. With the new Dolby Atmos module and its integrated Renderer, content can easily be created according to Dolby Atmos specifications, allowing producers to work within Nuendo while eliminating the need for further software or external hardware. Nuendo 11 allows users to import Audio Definition Model (ADM) files, such as those exported from a Dolby Rendering and Mastering Unit (RMU) or the Dolby Atmos Production Suite software, for further mixing and editing. Users can import ADM files in Broadcast Wave Format (BWF), for example, Dolby Atmos premixes, with bed and object audio into new or existing projects, preserving the hierarchical structure of the ADM file and all pan automation.

"Nuendo 11 is a huge step forward for Dolby Atmos content creation. Having all this functionality inside of Nuendo really streamlines the workflow, as you no longer need to toggle between applications or wait for your final output file to print in real time. I think this release is definitely going to make a lot of Dolby Atmos content creators very happy," says Jordan Glasgow, Senior Product Manager, Content Creation, at Dolby Laboratories.

Nuendo now includes an entire metering plug-in suite with SuperVision (pictured above), providing more than 20 different display modules for level metering, loudness measurement and analysis, all with customizable settings and layouts for up to nine module slots. And more metering options are integrated with the Netflix Loudness Meter and Intelligibility Meter, to ensure consistency of content production when delivering content for Netflix distribution. The new Netflix Loudness Meter in Nuendo 11 is calibrated to the official Sound Mix Specifications and Best Practices, measuring the dialog-gated loudness as required by Netflix (the company is now becoming so powerful in the media world that they write and impose their own quality standards that content creators need to follow).

And Nuendo 11 also introduces a new AI-powered Intelligibility Meter, based on human perception algorithms developed by the Fraunhofer IDMT Institute in Germany, indicating in real time the effort of the listener to understand speech in the mix. The algorithm detects if speech is present or not, based on the identification of phonemes, and then uses automatic speech recognition technology to compute a scale that corresponds to the cognitive effort that is required to understand speech - as measured in hundreds of hours of listening experiments. For the algorithm to work robustly, Fraunhofer exploited deep learning with many thousand hours of training material with real speech and highly challenging backgrounds.

Job Queues is another tremendous time-saver included in Nuendo 11, allowing engineers to enter up to 20 different tasks in a list. This means that stems are individually exported together with all the settings available in the Export Audio Mixdown dialog, but the tasks are processed in one single action.

And Nuendo 11 also adds many enhancements to its sound design and dynamic processing tools. The MultiTap Delay window now supports up to 7.1 surround sound. Frequency 2 offers dynamic EQ, with the filter nodes of the eight available bands responding to the input signal and also offering independent side-chaining. The new Multiband Imager places up to four bands in different locations within the stereo image. The new Squasher compresses the input signal in up to three bands, with an individual gate, saturation effect and independent side-chaining. The enhanced Sampler Track now slices samples and includes two global LFOs.

Also included is SpectraLayers One, a simplified version of the acclaimed spectral editing software SpectraLayers Pro 7, which offers a spectrogram view of the audio tracks in Nuendo, including selection, editing and display tools that allow intricate editing to improve dialog and location audio.
VST Connect SE 5, the remote recording plug-in already included in Nuendo, now supports HiDPI and offers a redesigned interface with scalable window.

Nuendo 11 also has several new tools for musicians, including the Scale Assistant that lets users set the scale of the music, which is then adjusted accordingly within the newly enhanced Key Editor, which now displays Global Tracks. Along with other improvements, the Score Editor includes Note Length and Velocity Overlays to edit notes, the new Property tab for easy access to notation settings and support for Dorico’s beautiful new Bravura and Petaluma fonts.

Finally, Nuendo 11 adds many additional workflow and performance enhancements, including ARA improvements, variable DPI on Windows 10 computers, optimized GUI on macOS computers, extended Eucon integration (AVID protocol), and marker lines for an improved display of marker events. Rounding out the extended feature set, Nuendo 11 comes with over 750 game sound effects by Soundbits, six loop and sound sets, more than 200 plug-in and track presets, and the seamless integration with the Soundly cloud library of sound effects, allowing users to tap into a variety of premium sounds.

"We’re delighted to be launching Nuendo 11 during its twentieth anniversary year. It’s a major update and a giant leap forward that provides new opportunities for producers and engineers working on commercial audio productions,” comments Luis Dongo, Steinberg’s Marketing Manager for Nuendo.

Nuendo 11 is available for $999.99 (boxed version) or $972.00 (download). Various downloadable updates and upgrades, crossgrades, and education versions are exclusively available through the Steinberg Online Shop.
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