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Sonar X2 vs Cubase 7
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Mystic
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#1
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
  #1
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Sonar X2 vs Cubase 7

So I need to make a decision I've been struggling to make...

Background: I've been a Sonar user for a very long time. I've always liked Sonar despite its drawbacks and shortcomings and it's certainly true that over the years, Cakewalk has done amazing things with Sonar that no other DAW can really compare to. However, as my work became deeper and more complex, the issues with Sonar became more and more apparent.

The final nail lately has been with Cakewalks lack of caring about the things it's users want fixed (notation, an easier way to time stretch, proper BPM detection, the mass amounts of bugs fixed) and Roland who seemingly doesn't care about anyone who spent thousands on their V-Studio hardware enough to actually make proper software, fix things like Fantom in the 700r or even bother putting out new drivers for those of us who wish to move to Windows 8. My most recent email I sent them was responded with "At this point we do not have a projected date for Windows 8 Drivers. When they are available, you will find them on the VS-700 page at www.RolandUS.com." As someone who has spent thousands of dollars on their products, this answer is simply unacceptable considering they want to be considered a company that puts out professional recording equipment. Hell, they have all but forgotten the VS-700 exists since X1 came out as it is. It pisses me off to think I actually gave these people money.</background>

So now I'm left with a decision: dump X2 as well as the V-Studio gear I have and give Cubase a try or stick with Cakewalk/Roland and see how it turns out.

The problem with switching is, for one, the cost factor. I'll have to sell all my CW/Roland hardware and eat the cost of the software because they don't permit license transfers while learning to use a new DAW to the point where I feel comfortable working with it on a daily basis. Then there is also the issue of "maybe the other DAWs all have the same issues or issues of their own that cause their own horde of frustrations". I've seen enough complaints from Cubase/ProTools/Logic/etc users to make me believe that these other options may not be any better than what I'm using anyway.

If I choose to stick with Sonar, I'll have to wait to update my computer to Windows 8 till new drivers come out... IF they come out since Roland wants to be all secret about when they are planning on actually working on/releasing them even though we heard from a CW rep months ago that they are being worked on and would be released when Win 8 was released. This might not seem like a big deal waiting, but I would really like to update my studio to X2 since I've been using it on my home machine. I prefer doing a whole OS format when I upgrade my DAW software (mostly because I like a clean slate to work with if anyone can identify with that) and I don't want to have to format the computer twice so I can load Win 8 on it.

So any advice from the gearslutz hive mind on what to do?
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#2
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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If stability is a big issue I wouldn't be in such a rush to go to Windows 8 no matter what DAW I chose.
#3
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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I totally get it on the service from CW and in your opening you seem to have made up your mind about it. But may I point out it is you who has Win 8 and it is largely unproven as an OS for audio. Gee I have one machine still using XP because vista was such an assult on it's customers.

Then comes all the doubts about the new Cubase 7 which may or may not have bugs. It will have issues as it seems testing it as a release is the Quality control method acceptable for software designers.

For $99 you can upgrade to X2 and I am happy with it though I only scratch the surface with it's features.

Dual boot with Win 7 and stick with what you know.
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#4
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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I almost half expect THIS thread,to eventually turn out like a mac/windows fight

No,let's not even consider it!

However,after watching some Steiny vids,C7 does look very interesting,and of particular interest was the EQ/analyzer options,which seemed almost unbelievable,let alone the chord analysis thing,the problem for me is I love X2,and as I'm still only 18 months total,of ANY computer use at ALL,Cubase is just too much to learn[as well].

It[Cubase 7] does seem pretty astonishing,though I get the vibe that Sonar is still way better,with multi docking/screen use apparently?

I'm too wrapped up in X2's Pro Channel,FX chains module making,which is a thing of beauty,and like some people of another topic used to say:"it just works".
RK

Edit: As per usual,I didn't read the OP properly....sorry,yes the VS700,I always had some teeny suspicions about that device,mostly due to the timing of when it came out,the same time that they[cakewalk]were still locked into the 6-8.5 versions of Producer,and it seemed weird when X1 came out that this piece of hardware[which to me didn't seem exactly cheap]was concieved for the older versions of Sonar,but thats just MO,+ it used USB 2.0,before even RME had nailed down the UFX,it seemed?

I'm possibly wrong here?,as this was back when I was still wondering which direction of any platform,or Daw to go with,but starting with X1,was nowhere near the freakout many others,who were used to 6-8.5 seemed to have,it took a while[coupled with utter computer unknowingness],but all is well!

Good Luck
#5
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
  #5
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Hi,Sonar is the best DAW ,for me,and i have seen the new Cubase 7 photos.......it's very UGLY!!!
Good luck for your choice.
#6
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mystic View Post
The final nail lately has been with Cakewalks lack of caring about the things it's users want fixed (notation, an easier way to time stretch, proper BPM detection, the mass amounts of bugs fixed)
I believe Sonar has those deficiencies as consequence of how it built its customer base:
#1 old loyal TwelveTone Cakewalk MIDI & ProAudio users that kept upgrading every year
#2 hardware tie-ins such as Roland/Edirol

Sonar has never been a flagship powerhouse kind of DAW that would attract large numbers of ProTools/Logic/Cubase users to jump ship. Their user base mainly consists of the 2 groups mentioned above. Philosophically, they don't have the pressure to advance the state-of-the-art features like the other companies. This is not a criticism of Sonar but simply a matter-of-fact assessment of why they behave the way they do. As long as you understand that, you can continue to buy into Sonar/Roland and be happy.

Quote:
or even bother putting out new drivers for those of us who wish to move to Windows 8.
...
If I choose to stick with Sonar, I'll have to wait to update my computer to Windows 8 till new drivers come out... IF they come out since Roland wants to be all secret about when they are planning on actually working on/releasing them even though we heard from a CW rep months ago that they are being worked on and would be released when Win 8 was released. This might not seem like a big deal waiting,
Never buy hardware with the assumption that new updated drivers will be released to be compatible with new OS updates. It may take a long time or never happen at all.

Quote:
Then there is also the issue of "maybe the other DAWs all have the same issues or issues of their own that cause their own horde of frustrations". I've seen enough complaints from Cubase/ProTools/Logic/etc users to make me believe that these other options may not be any better than what I'm using anyway.
It seems like you're comparing a setup that's based on a major piece of expensive hardware (VS-700) with software DAWs.


If upgrading to Windows 8 is critical, you need to look at switching from Sonar/Roland.
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#7
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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As much as I consider Cubase 7 an extraordinary product that will set the level higher for all DAW's, since you have invested on proprietary hardware for Sonar, I would stick to it for the time being. I don't know how well Roland will support the hardware in the future though. So if you could sell it for a reasonable price then I would say go Cubase all the way. Don't know about 7 yet but 6.5 is the most stable DAW I have ever used.
#8
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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I have stuck with Sonar and upgraded to the X2 Producer version, but that is with Win 7 64 bit. I don't like Win 8 and as noted there isn't enough hardware support yet for Win 8.

Roland has issued Win 8 drivers for some of their hardware including my Octa-Capture. I don't know about other devices.

I also have Pro Tools MP9 and an MAudio Fastrack Ultra 8R that I use with Pro Tools but Sonar remains my "production" DAW. I had seriously considered switching to Pro Tools as that is the DAW most of my Nashville friends use but I just don't like it.
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#9
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason West View Post
If upgrading to Windows 8 is critical, you need to look at switching from Sonar/Roland.
Although I don't advocate using Win 8 for DAW at this stage, I have to disagree with that statement. Cakewalk/Roland are usually the first to adapt to new Microsoft OS's.
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#10
16th November 2012
Old 16th November 2012
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I actually use both. Cubase is clearly a much better DAW for scoring, not only because the notation page actually works (unlike Sonar's) but also because it has VST Expression/Expression Maps which let you precisely tailor the MIDI parameters of every note.

But when it comes to mixing and mastering, Cubase is sub-par for many reasons, and that's why I use Sonar (sure, I could use ProTools, but just like fireberd, I have a profound antipathy for that DAW. Really couldn't care less about it being a "standard", if I use an engineer who works on PT, I'll just export the tracks from Cubase.

Of course now that Cubase 7 has been extensively revised in the mixing department, things could change and I could actually retire Sonar.
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Mystic
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#11
17th November 2012
Old 17th November 2012
  #11
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The reason I want to move to Windows 8 is because it's a better under the hood OS than 7. I've always been an early adopter of new versions of Windows and the only bad experience I've ever had was with ME. Been using Win 8 for a while now and I was impressed enough to consider putting it in my studio.

I think my biggest issue is that we were told early on that a Win 8 driver would be out for the VS system when Windows was released. Cakewalk made a huge deal about X2 being Win 8 compatible, so it would only make sense that a major update would also be in the works for the VS system along with some new drivers to, ya know, make it work? I don't think it's too much to ask of Roland considering many of us spent around $4500 for this thing when it came out with lots of promises that never came to pass as X1 came out and Roland chose to forget that people actually purchased their console.

I would really like to believe there is hope for the VS system, but when I receive cryptic replies like the one I got from Roland, I honestly don't know what to think.
#12
17th November 2012
Old 17th November 2012
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VS support doesnt exist with Roland. Roland was TERRIBLE with VS2480 support which is why I sold mine and didnt go for Sonar and the VS. I dont understand knowing the track record of Roland how anyone would expect anything different. Just sayin. HOWEVER, If I had that VS, Id upgrade to X2 and keep trucking on W7. Id WAIT for 6 months to see what happens with VS drivers and also C7. Im a Cubase user BTW.
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#13
20th November 2012
Old 20th November 2012
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I was solely a Sonar user from version 5 all the way to X1d. For my needs, Sonar simply didn't cut it anymore, so I made the switch to Cubase 6. I have to say that I am extremely happy with the change and I don't think I'll ever look back. Cubase was very intuitive and has a ton of well implemented features that Sonar doesn't have (and now there's even more in C7). That's not to say I don't miss some of the functionality Sonar has. But, overall, I'm a happy Cubase user.

Having said that, I agree with some of the guys in that you should wait a bit longer before you make a final decision. At least wait until all of your hardware devices have W8 drivers before you make the final move, unless the wait gets to be too long for you. Also, I would suggest trying the trial version of Cubase before committing. It is possible you may not like it, as the workflow is different from Sonar. YMMV.
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#14
3rd December 2012
Old 3rd December 2012
  #14
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Interesting, I tried Cubase last year and while it was fun, X1 got fixed enough to stay. Windows 8 works quite well with X2 but I would not recommend it unless you like pain. Very few plugins are Win8 compatible. Roland did upgrade their keyboard, interface devices as mentioned. But lots of other things like UAD-2 are not Win8 compatible. There is no real advantage from Windows 8 and in some ways its not that good with audio - latency is an issue still. I always look at Cubase until I have to start working with iLok, which I own, and just quit. Life is too short for software companies that want to chain me in.
#15
4th December 2012
Old 4th December 2012
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Quote: "I almost half expect THIS thread,to eventually turn out like a mac/windows fight"

Look at your thread title mate!

Please do not mis understand me. My advice was based on the Win 8 unproven as an audio O/S and that you have the VS.

I have tried out many DAW demo's and I have remained with Sonar, only because it is a major pain to learn a new Program. I would say there is not much improvement from X1 and not as drastic an upgrade as X1 was from 8.5. There is a few tool adjustments and changes, a few more plugs and Rapture. But it is way more stable

All DAWs can do the job, there is alot to choose. Once when computers were a new thing hardware DSP units were needed and Protools ruled.

Now computers are powerful enough.

I would say trial X2, Also trial a bunch of other DAWs as well on the Win 8 and then decide.

Good luck. Cubase 7 does look good. I understand the lure. Trial it. Trial Reaper too and let us know how it is with Win8. You could let us know how all the trials stack up.
Cheers
#16
4th December 2012
Old 4th December 2012
  #16
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Well I was a Cubase user for a long time, when with the release of Cubase 5 and my purchase of a UAD2 I was totally left alone with Steinberg´s service, and I´m over here in germany!
It took them one year to get that freaking thing working, that time I tried SONAR 8.5 and it immediately worked with my UAD card, that´s what made me stay with Cake.

Now X2 is really a good DAW, best window management and many other things.

I can´t believe that Steinberg still didn´t make it possible to dock windows!
When I see that transport window in the new C7 videos floating around, it makes me throw up!

Drag & Drop?? No way. I mean common!
When working with a DAW, workflow is the no1 thing, and since I have both, Sonar is king in that matter, just look at the Channel Presets, FX chains and quickgrouping in Sonar!

One thing I have to say bout Cubase, is that midi is really very good and stability since version 6 amazing!
Version 6.0.0 was 99% bug free and all the other version were too.

When I think of the release of X1, it was a total nightmare with crashes. Cake needed 4 major patches till X1d to oget it running smoothly..

What it comes down to and to answer your question, I think X2 is a good product which finally works. So is Cubase, but if you´re after workflow better stay where you are...

cheers
#17
12th January 2013
Old 12th January 2013
  #17
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.

Definitely lovin' X2, so far. Lovin' the GUI, lovin' the stability and speed, and all the features.

As with most DAWs, it SOOOOO depends on what and how you produce and record, etc.

It's just too personal to get an answer from someone else, IMO.

.
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