SONAR vs Pro Tools
I am SONAR/Pro Tools user for a couple of years now.
I am a SONAR/Cakewalk user since 1998. I have recorded my first album on SONAR 7. I am using Pro Tools 8 LE also, simply because the studio where I work uses PT, and most of the mix sessions I get from other clients as well are PT LE/HD sessions.
I have purchased 003R recently, and it works awesome with SONAR.
The main drawback for me with PT 8LE is the track count, even when I purchased Music Production Toolkit 2, which brings up the track count to 64.
Second drawback with PT in my own experience is working with EastWest PLAY sample libraries; they simply do not work in PT. I have to work in SONAR, then print the tracks and import them back to PT, which is major pain in the neck (I use EastWest Symphonic Orchestra and Symphonic Choir samples).
One other thing: Freeze tracks option is not available in PT, unless you print the tracks and make the original inactive to release some DSP power. I work with a couple of instances of PLAY engine per session in SONAR, so freezing tracks is the only option, unless I would have 8 core machine or a couple of computers.
PT HD is simply too expensive for me. If I get some extra cash in the future, I would probably purchase a Mac and Logic, since Logic is the best bang for the buck with the bundled software/plugins and audio quality.
SONAR has more advanced MIDI editing as well in general in my own opinion.
I am using 32bit SONAR, and I have tried 64bit version in Vista64. The main disadvantage of 64bit version is that not a lot of plugins are 64bit compatible yet (only about 5% of the plugins I use are compatible). Maybe this will change in the future though. I could use all of 6gigs of RAM I have in my machine, but I did not have a lot of plugins to work with, so I could not experience the full potential of 64bit version. EastWest PLAY works awesome in 64 bit version, which is the only plus from my side.
I am hoping that all this will change with the new Windows 7; PT8=64bit, and also I hope that most plugin companies will rewrite their software to 64bit as well, so I could fully utilize the 64bit version of SONAR.
My strategy is simple: If record my own music, I track and mix in SONAR 32bit (Windows XP). I work in PT when I have to, at work, or when I track less then 64 tracks per session. I will not argue which DAW is better, but for me, probably the one that makes my work easier, depending on the situation and circumstances.
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