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Does anyone still use Sonar?
Old 27th February 2020
  #121
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I use Cakewalk and I'm pretty happy with it, considering that it is completely free, but honestly I think it might be just a bit outdated. Ableton is really powerful nowadays with its automation features and FL Studio is practically a standard for many producers including complete beginners. Still, you can achieve pretty much the same results with Cakewalk. My hopes is that they continue fixing the bugs at least.
Old 27th February 2020
  #122
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I still use it, cause I got GB's of projects on it, dating back to 2006.

But currently, given how little promotion there is for it, and how BandLab doesn't even put it on their homepage, I'm really afraid it will just die quietly some day. Can't risk having Cakewalk specific projects anymore.
Old 27th February 2020
  #123
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snick View Post
... I'm really afraid it will just die quietly some day. Can't risk having Cakewalk specific projects anymore.
Sonar has already survived the ultimate risk of any software by going from a paid product to a free-but-supported product. Given the responsiveness of the support team to bug break/fix, it's being supported as well as many other DAW products.

As for the future, the Reaper-direct-project-import-from-Sonar tool created by Azslow has been very comforting to me. It allows me to tiptoe into Reaper in a stress-free manner.
Old 21st March 2020
  #124
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I am and have been a Sonar user for over 10 years. It has arguably the best sounding sound engine of any DAW exceopt ones that use banks of outboard multithousand dollar processors such as AVID/Digidesign Pro tools. Its native app doesn't sound as good as Sonar and is not a flexable or as powerful. Ableton Live has slowly gotten better, but still hasn't caught SONAR. MOTU's digital performer has a good sound engine. Cakewalk invented the DAW. Had Rolands release of matching hardware been done after the change to X1, Sonar may be much closer to the top than it is now, as fdar as sales etc goes. It(SONAR) is a linear based recording platform that can do looping very well also, Ableton is a looping platform that is getting better at linear recording. You canuse SONAR alone to record, produce, edit, mix and release a top of the chart record that could win prozes for sound quality. They never went after the Apple crowd and Fruity Loops was always really cheap, as sounds cheap. Presonus has made leaps and bouinds in quality, Steinberg is Quality, Reason is what it is. It can be quite good but not great deopending on what your doing with it. It is a sad story what happened to Cakewalk and SONAR, they have always been trend setters. They had the first dockable windows in GUI and many more firsts. It has a learning curve and is a HUGE powerful suite of software. When Roland bought it there was a bright light for SONAR, but they dropped the ball and released their matching hardware during SONAR8, Huge mistake. I think alot comes down to which program you feel comfortable with. If you need to make very high quality recordings it is in the top 4 or 5. For making music like you would with an MPC (loop based) Ableton has surpassed Reason and ACID, Adobe bought omne and made it boring, as did SONY, they bought ACID and then wouldn't let users use anything but samples from them. If you want pristine sound SONAR is one of a handful that can deliver. Hip-Hop and EDM, iot's Ableton then Reason. That's how I see it aqt least, lol.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #125
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Is there a way to support the guys at Bandlab by donating some dough or something to that effect? The whole thing just seems to good to be true and would love to support it and I'm sure a lot of people would want to do the same.
Old 23rd May 2020
  #126
Bandlab does make some pay-for products and services, and everyone likes new paying customers. I wouldn't buy something I don't need, but companies like new customers not just for the money -- but the numbers, as well.

On the latter count, you could also help them by letting folks know about (free) Cakewalk's many good points. Don't get crazy, people don't trust what sounds to them like over-the-top hype, but, you know, honest sincere praise for good features, an honest discussion of merits and, yes, even weak spots. (Choosing a DAW is a big commitment for most folks, it's important to have all the dope on an app. Hooking someone up with a program that works for them is also helping others avoid disappointment if an app won't fit their needs.)

Old 26th May 2020
  #127
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickey13 View Post
Is there a way to support the guys at Bandlab by donating some dough or something to that effect? The whole thing just seems to good to be true and would love to support it and I'm sure a lot of people would want to do the same.
You can hit up their tip jar at this link:

https://www.bandlab.com/cakewalk_team/tipjar
Old 27th May 2020
  #128
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Ed Driscoll's Avatar
Well, I just downloaded Cakewalk by Bandlab tonight, and I'll see how it compares in terms of features and stability to the version of Platinum I've been using since the Henry Juszkiewicz era of Gibson turned the lights off.
Old 27th May 2020
  #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
On the latter count, you could also help them by letting folks know about (free) Cakewalk's many good points. Don't get crazy, people don't trust what sounds to them like over-the-top hype, but, you know, honest sincere praise for good features, an honest discussion of merits and, yes, even weak spots. (Choosing a DAW is a big commitment for most folks, it's important to have all the dope on an app. Hooking someone up with a program that works for them is also helping others avoid disappointment if an app won't fit their needs.)
I guess I will do it now.

I really love built-in audio modules such as the Pro Channel thingy and its multiple saturation options are very satisfying and allow me to dial in the kind of sound that I want. The Pro-Channel module is a very cool idea, as one is able to quickly prep their sound with some very basic EQing and whatnot before proceeding to more invasive sound sculpting. Don't get me wrong, it's nothing mind-blowing, but the fact that the Pro-Channel is always there is pretty handy and cool, it's a nice workflow thingy. Other built-in plugins are very nice as well.

I find gain-staging in Cakewalk easier and more comfy than in case of something like Ableton for some reason. I think its metering is very adequate and fits my needs. Oddly enough, I don't think Cakewalk's GUI is all that confusing, it is admittedly kind of overcrowded and possibly a little bit too cramped, but I can usually find my way around, no problem here at all and that's coming from somebody that has never used Sonar before. It's probably not something I'd recommend to a beginner though, that's one overwhelming GUI lol. However, if you're familiar with DAWs in general, you shouldn't find this all that confusing.

One thing I believe they should improve to compete with other DAWs is their MIDI FX and MIDI implementation. Admittedly, I haven't played with MIDI too much, I probably just need to get used to Cakewalk-ish modus operandi and learn keyboard shortcuts and stuff. Notwithstanding, I've got to say most of MIDI FX is kind of on the cumbersome side, especially when compared with Ableton's MIDI FX for instance. If they improved their built-in MIDI FX or added a new arpeggiator module or a poly step seq, now that would be amazing. Also, I wish I could import external MIDI FX in the same way one is able to use external audio FX and instrument plugins, be able to just drag and drop it without further ado, but Cakewalk doesn't appear to allow that at the moment (maybe I'm missing something) which is a shame because I don't find these internal MIDI thingies to be much of use. Maybe I need to play around with them a little more to wrap my head around them, I dunno.

Last but not least, I hope they bring back Z3TA+, that was one beast of a synth, would be lovely to have that as a built-in instrument. Please guys, can you make this happen.

Other built-in instruments are very cool in the sense that they feature a lot of bread and butter sounds, sound nice and are very usable, no frills. But I would also love to have something like Z3TA+ to get more deep synth-y action without necessarily importing external plugins. Not that it's a problem, but ya know... that would be awesome. Bigger DAWs such as Ableton or FL studio have their own 'central' synth plugins which sort of helps them establish their own identity for lack of a better term and including Z3TA+ in the whole Cakewalk package or something to that effect would make a lot of sense from that standpoint.

I can easily see this as my secondary DAW and I hope guys at Bandlab continue to develop this, prioritizing stability above all else. It may not have all bells and whistles other DAWs have, but I really like it, it's got a no-BS kind of vibe to it which I really dig. If guys at Bandlab are smart about it (which is something they've apparently proven over the past couple of years) and develop it in the steady, reasonable and balanced way, this can easily become a rock-solid alternative to bigger DAWs. Some people don't need THE DAW, they just need A DAW that's stable, deep, its innards sound good and it readily lends itself to music creation. Some people are bound to utilize Cakewalk as their mixing DAW of choice because it's a pleasure to mix in it, very comfy. And needless to say, it's a no-brainer for people who use their DAWs primarily for recording stuff and mixing it.

Again, my two cents only. Check it out and see if it works out for you. As I say, if Bandlab continues to develop it and brings some more cumbersome features up to date, it can easily become a very serious competitor in the whole DAW biz and win over people who primarily prefer stability and rock-solid foundation over a frenetic influx of new features introducing stability issues later down the road.
Old 30th May 2020
  #130
HSi
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I just went to look for this, is it really free? I can't believe it.

It's funny, because I can clearly remember when this felt bloated, but now it feels so slick, but yet with a ton of features not in other stuff, like being able to set pan law etc etc.

I have a maschine set up at home. But I'm building something else now, I might just use this because I mostly need the model:samples to be the main hub, then just track a few hw synths with a bit of massive x and then a nice solid step sequencer. I had issue with syncrosoft and steinberg haven't replied still..

I find the cubase mixer fx really tiny and just overfiddly, theres no way I could use them in 4k on my 17" laptop, this, I could probably just about do, at least in 2k.
Old 30th May 2020
  #131
Quote:
Originally Posted by HSi View Post
I just went to look for this, is it really free? I can't believe it.

It's funny, because I can clearly remember when this felt bloated, but now it feels so slick, but yet with a ton of features not in other stuff, like being able to set pan law etc etc.

[...]
Yeah... it would have been a crying shame if it had simply been abandoned. Not a perfect DAW software for everyone, maybe, but what is? It has a lot of very good features, some excellent ease-of-use enhancements.

It had done reasonably well after Roland bought it, but went off half-cocked under Gibson's stewardship, with a major overhaul roiling and splitting the user base between those who liked the arguable enhancements, and those who felt like the company had all but totally upended its design and UI precepts -- with that upheaval poorly explained and documented.

When Gibson 'abruptly' abandoned the platform even before the grumbling over poorly explained changes was over, it looked like the end had finally come.

Bandlab seemed an unlikely savior -- but contrary to the expectation of many jaded, longtime users -- the Singaporeans stepped up smartly, fixed a boatload of issues, cleaned up the documentation (an ongoing process, I think, given the splintered, confused online mix of info), cleaned up a bunch of small stuff, and gave long-suffering users a reason to feel relief and even gratitude.

We'll see what the future brings -- but it certainly looks brighter for Sonar loyalists. (I used it on my first, 8 channel DAW rig in 1997, and mostly used it ever since -- though I'll freely admit I flirted pretty hard with Reaper, another 'people's DAW' that eschews a big price tag but still packs in features.)
Old 3 weeks ago
  #132
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Summer is almost over so my brain is heading instinctively to basement mode, which in recording mode, and I have a DAW (Studio One) but I get the itch to see what other work flows look and feel like, and the SONAR/Cakewalk thing caught my attention on the forum here. I believe I will give it a try, take it around the block. I went to the Cakewalk forum and there is a thread there about an update of August, 2020. https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.p...elease-202008/

I thought that I would post it here for interest. You never know when a company might change a thing or two which would resolve some of a particular DAW's shortcomings.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #133
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It's funny, I've paid for Studio One, Cubase, and Reaper, but none of them will go above 192 kHz sample rate. This free Cakewalk does 384 kHz and has a 64-bit double precision audio engine (optional). I plan to use it with the Mytek Brooklyn ADC to make stereo acoustic DXD recordings. Free is a lot cheaper than over $2,600 for Pyramix Native Pro. This doesn't do DSD, but will be good enough to start working at high resolution.

I wish I had a Sonar license, as I did like the Pro Channel when I tried the demo once. Oh well, I have a million VST plugins anyway.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #134
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn View Post
It's funny, I've paid for Studio One, Cubase, and Reaper, but none of them will go above 192 kHz sample rate. This free Cakewalk does 384 kHz and has a 64-bit double precision audio engine (optional). I plan to use it with the Mytek Brooklyn ADC to make stereo acoustic DXD recordings. Free is a lot cheaper than over $2,600 for Pyramix Native Pro. This doesn't do DSD, but will be good enough to start working at high resolution.

I wish I had a Sonar license, as I did like the Pro Channel when I tried the demo once. Oh well, I have a million VST plugins anyway.
So far I've read about some producers going to 96 kHz e.g. when creating specifically for video etc. Why do you need more than 192 kHz ?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michal.ochedowski View Post
So far I've read about some producers going to 96 kHz e.g. when creating specifically for video etc. Why do you need more than 192 kHz ?
There's a whole niche market (on the internet) for high resolution recordings, both PCM and DSD. Check out sites like HD Tracks and Native DSD. It's more for acoustic music than EDM and hip hop.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #136
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""Why do you need more than 192 kHz ?""

My dog might be interested.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdunn View Post
....This doesn't do DSD, but will be good enough to start working at high resolution.

I wish I had a Sonar license, as I did like the Pro Channel when I tried the demo once. Oh well, I have a million VST plugins anyway.
I'm not sure which "this" is referencing: The Pro Channel of Sonar/free Cakewalk by BandLab is still there. Some of the add-on Pro Channel plug-ins like the CA-2A compressor are probably not available for purchase if you didn't already have a license, but all the other Pro Channel functions are fully available.

By the way, although I've never used it, import and export of DSD files was/is supported since about the year 2015.

Did I interpret your comment correctly?

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentati...tures.123.html
Old 3 weeks ago
  #138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
I'm not sure which "this" is referencing: The Pro Channel of Sonar/free Cakewalk by BandLab is still there. Some of the add-on Pro Channel plug-ins like the CA-2A compressor are probably not available for purchase if you didn't already have a license, but all the other Pro Channel functions are fully available.

By the way, although I've never used it, import and export of DSD files was/is supported since about the year 2015.

Did I interpret your comment correctly?

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentati...tures.123.html
Good news about the Pro Channel.

I have read that link about DSD. Cakewalk imports it at the project sample rate. The DSD is converted to PCM, you do your edits, then it's exported back out as DSD. This is generally how it works, though I believe Pyramix can work directly with DSD files in their native format now.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #139
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Why does bandlab develop and support the thing? What's in it for them if they give it away?
Old 2 weeks ago
  #140
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorboy View Post
Why does bandlab develop and support the thing? What's in it for them if they give it away?
They were already in business as a musician-oriented social media and project collaboration site. This apparently seemed to them to dovetail with their own plans for growth. (Whether that made sense remains to be seen, we suppose.)

There is an enormous amount of development work in a complex suite like CW/Sonar. Gibson had thrown in the towel after alienating many longtime users and were essentially abandoning it.
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