David Kahne

From complex surround sound to basic recording, Nuendo and Cubase fit the bill.

Meet David Kahne, a multifaceted record producer, musician and composer who has worked with Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Kelly Clarkson, the Bangles, Sugar Ray, Fishbone, Sublime and Tony Bennett, among others. Kahne uses Steinberg Cubase and Nuendo software to compose and mix, and in this video, shot at New York’s Flux Studios, he explains why.

“I have a 38.2 [channel] surround room here,” he says, “It gets pretty complicated! So it’s great having Nuendo. I can load up matrixes upon matrixes and then easily render them, plus all the plug-ins are multichannel and surround-ready.”

“I started using Cubase when the Nuendo audio engine [was integrated into it],” he continues. “I use it more for recording because the MIDI functionality is perfect.” Kahne is a particular fan of the Cubase Delay Compensation feature. “When I’ve got several plug-ins running, normally I would think I’d have some kind of phase problem because of latency, [but with Cubase] it’s not there. When I ping out to a piece of external gear and back in, it figures out the latency and [the signal is] in phase.”

Kahne’s scoring setup is extremely sophisticated, with video running simultaneously on multiple networked computers and audio routed via MADI into summing amplifiers. This lets him access his wide array of analog audio gear directly, in real time, with immediate recalls. “For scoring, I would [normally] start with Cubase for the composition,” he says, “and then as the production went on I would switch to Nuendo. It’s really nice to [be able to] go back and forth between the two.” While he relies on Nuendo for surround productions, Kahne does, however, generally prefer to mix in Cubase. “It’s because of the way I have Cubase routed to all of my analog gear, so it’s faster,” he explains.

“The audio engine is why I switched to Steinberg DAWs,” Kahne says. “The frequencies were more clear, and the EQs — I was actually EQing the frequency that it said I was, with no phase problems. It was really a revelation.”

Coming soon: Ian Kirkpatrick

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