Steinberg has released a downloadable 64-bit Preview version Cubase 4.1 for Windows Vista 64-bit editions (A 64-bit Preview version of Nuendo ships on the Nuendo 4 installer DVD). (NOTE: Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not supported).
The key advantage of the Windows Vista 64-bit editions is their capability to address more than 4 GB of RAM and make it available to applications. In fact more than 128 GB can be utilized (depends on the used Vista version) and the computational maximum amounts to 1 terabyte of main memory. Being able to utilize more RAM for the application can have a positive effect on overall performance for large and complex projects. Please note that the actual amount of memory you can put into your system is determined by the technical specification of the used mainboard.
The 64-bit editions of Vista also allow you to run 32-bit software applications. 32-bit programs are able to use up to 4 GB of RAM (instead of the maximum usable amount of 2 GB on Windows Vista 32-bit editions).
The VST Bridge for plug-ins and Virtual Instruments
The 64-bit Preview version of Cubase/Nuendo for Windows Vista 64 contains VST Bridge capability, which allows you to run VST plug-ins and instruments, even if they are not (yet) available in 64-bit format. This is meant as a transitional aid until your favorite plug-ins are replaced by true 64-bit versions.
Almost all of the plug-ins included with Cubase/Nuendo are installed as 64-bit versions and do not need to utilize the VST Bridge, thus saving performance by not operating in a bridged mode. By replacing bridged plug-ins through native VST3 plug-ins installed with Cubase/Nuendo, you can see the great potential and quality of the generally reworked plug-in set, introduced with the release of Cubase 4/Nuendo 4, for yourself.
All drivers for the hardware of your system have to be explicitly compatible with Windows Vista 64 bit editions. They should be digitally signed/certified. The operation of unsigned drivers is possible but inconvenient and not recommended.
It is crucial to create a checklist of all necessary hardware drivers, applications and plug-ins. Then find out if the necessary 64-bit drivers and components are available. Also find out as much as possible about known problems with these components. Only then decide if the time is right to switch to 64-bit for your production environment or if it's better to wait until all components needed are available. You can always continue using the Nuendo/Cubase 4.1 32-bit version for the time being.
NOTE: You can install a 32-bit and a 64-bit version of Cubase/Nuendo side by side. Both versions reside in their own folders automatically and will not share their preferences, they remain independent from the other.
Current list of limitations and known issues
In comparison to the 32-bit version of Cubase 4.1 and Nuendo 4 there are some limitations in the current 64-bit Preview versions, most of them due to 3rd party components not yet delivered as 64-bit component. A true 64-bit application needs also true 64-bit 3rd party components to be entirely complete and functional, the operation with a mixture of 32-bit components is not possible (except for the VST Bridge, see above).
- Euphonix EuCon adapter (Nuendo only): There is not yet a 64-bit EuCon adapter available from Euphonix, thus EuCon users should continue using the Nuendo 4 32-bit version on a 32-bit Windows system.
- Apple Quicktime 7: There is not yet a 64-bit Quicktime 7 for Windows component available from Apple. Quicktime movies can only be used within the 32-bit version of Cubase/Nuendo on a 32-bit or 64-bit Windows Vista system.
- MPEX 3 time-stretching and pitch-shifting: There is no 64-bit MPEX 3 component available from Prosoniq. Time-stretching and pitch-shifting is possible by using Steinberg's own realtime algorithm in the 64-bit versions of Cubase and Nuendo.
- zPlane SOLO for Pitch-shifting: There is no 64-bit SOLO algorithm available from zPlane for pitch-shifting
- Stepdesigner MIDI plug-in: The MIDI plug-in StepDesigner is currently not available in the 64-bit versions of Cubase and Nuendo and can be only used with the 32-bit versions.
- Dolby Digital Encoder: The Dolby Digital Encoder from Steinberg can only be used with the 32-bit version of Cubase/Nuendo, there is no 64-bit version available. The VST Bridge does not cover encoder plug-ins.
- dts Encoder: The dts Encoder from Steinberg can only be used with the 32-bit versions of Cubase/Nuendo, there is no 64-bit version available. The VST Bridge does not cover encoder plug-ins.
- Pinnacle X-Send (Nuendo only): There is no 64-bit component available of X-Send, therefore this functionality can be only used with the 32-bit version of Nuendo.
- Video codecs (general): The 64-bit versions of Cubase/Nuendo require 64-bit video codecs installed to playback specific video content from within the application. Check the respective websites of the codec manufacturers.
- ReWire support: There is not yet a 64-bit ReWire component available from Propellerheads. If you need to connect applications through ReWire into Cubase/Nuendo, the 32-bit version must be used instead.
- ReCycle file import: There is not yet a 64-bit REX Shared Library available from Propellerheads. ReCycle files can not be imported into the 64-bit Preview version of Cubase/Nuendo, the 32-bit version must be used instead.
For all users who are not in possession of Cubase 4.1 / Cubase Studio 4.1 DVD installer media Steinberg offer a separate installer containing all needed data for installing a 64-bit Preview version of Cubase for Windows Vista 64-bit editions (Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not supported). A Syncrosoft dongle and Cubase license are required of course.