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Does anyone still use Sonar? DAW Software
Old 18th February 2019
  #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by androclave View Post
What DAW (with all those daw functions) would you recomend that's also good for Staff editing?
Check out Reaper's notation editing: YouTube
Old 1st March 2019
  #62
I'm using Sonar X3 Studio (the middle one between basic and more expensive). Mixed bag with lots of personal gripes. Used to crash a fair bit, but it seems to save projects and bounce audio a lot more quickly than the more popular DAWs of some of my more pro acquaintance.

At the moment I am engaged with trying to finish and consolidate tracking for any and all projects started in Sonar so I can get rid of it and try some other programs instead. Been using this version since 2013/14 I think. I basically use it for tracking and get my mixes done elsewhere with the help of others. At least so far.

I had one session become corrupted, and have to redo the song. Plus backward compatibility with sessions from earlier versions of Sonar (I used to have sonar 5?) Are frought with bugs and glitches.
Old 1st March 2019
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon K View Post
I'm using Sonar X3 Studio...
Why haven't you updated to Cakewalk by BandLab?
Old 1st March 2019
  #64
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
Why haven't you updated to Cakewalk by BandLab?
1) Never heard of it til now.
2) Like I said, it's kind of working for what I am using it for and I am looking at switching platforms once I have finished up the projects I am using it for.
3) In terms of priorities, I don't want to spend the time trying to figure out new features that aren't vital to me when I could be getting on with finishing tracks. I am aware I might be a luddite with this approach and am entirely open to being schooled.

For what it's worth, whenever I have had problems or difficulties with Sonar, I have emailed Cakewalk or tried to get support on their site, but after a couple of years they basically said the product is not supported anymore, go look on the user forums instead. The online tutorials have also been thin on the ground and not useful for the most part.
Old 1st March 2019
  #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon K View Post
1) Never heard of it til now.
2) Like I said, it's kind of working for what I am using it for and I am looking at switching platforms once I have finished up the projects I am using it for.
3) In terms of priorities, I don't want to spend the time trying to figure out new features that aren't vital to me when I could be getting on with finishing tracks. I am aware I might be a luddite with this approach and am entirely open to being schooled.

For what it's worth, whenever I have had problems or difficulties with Sonar, I have emailed Cakewalk or tried to get support on their site, but after a couple of years they basically said the product is not supported anymore, go look on the user forums instead. The online tutorials have also been thin on the ground and not useful for the most part.
Right. Gibson bought Cakewalk Sonar from Roland in December 2013, and abandoned the product in November 2017. In February 2018, BandLab bought all the intellectual property and hired Noel Borthwick the senior product designer/tech, and began distributing the renamed Cakewalk by Bandlab as a free download. The product is essentially Sonar Platinum without the 3rd party soft-synths and plugins. Everything from Sonar X3 will open up and work just fine for you.

Since the BandLab acquisition there have been about 7 significant performance, function and stability updates, and CbB (as it's abbreviated) is a stellar product. Unfortunately, it has the baggage of its provenance in the hands of Roland, the poor curation while in the hands of Gibson, and its public face is doubly marred by all kinds of soap-opera drama that happens online.

Nevertheless, it's a quite excellent DAW. Keep in mind that a Cakewalk user that goes by the name of azslow built a DLL for Reaper that allows direct import of Cakewalk projects. For me, that was the best thing ever, as it completed my dual-platform strategy of being able to run my DAWs and video NLE on either Win10 or macOS as desired.

There. I've saved you days of reading!
Old 1st March 2019
  #66
Well thanks for taking the time to save me time. Appreciated.

I have to admit I am reluctant to install anything at this specific moment in time that might change the operation of my daw, as there is more than a chance something will stop working and I am not pc-savvy enough to resolve it without grey hairs, shouting, and burst blood vessels.

I've downloaded it though for trying further down the line. Does it work on top of my existing Sonar, or do k have to uninstall one and install the other?
Old 1st March 2019
  #67
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
Since the BandLab acquisition there have been about 7 significant performance, function and stability updates, and CbB (as it's abbreviated) is a stellar product.
I do have to give props to bandlab. They've thoroughly embarrassed cakewalk in how much they fixed in Sonar within the small time they've had it. One of the first things Bandlab did was put the stereo interleave and phase buttons back on the track view. That's something even Cakewalk couldn't figure out how to do.

I originally thought bringing Noel over to bandlab would be a liability because of how bad Sonar got under his tenure at cakewalk but considering how much Bandlab improved it, either they aren't listening to him, or they just have him there in some kind of an advisory capacity. Whatever it is, Bandlab should keep doing what they're doing because, like I said, they've embarrassed even cakewalk. Kudos to them!

When Sonar went belly up, I moved over to Studio one, but after the improvements in Sonar, I've started moving back somewhat and using both DAWs in my work. Sonar is still an excellent daw for writing in with both notation and non-destructive midi.
Old 1st March 2019
  #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon K View Post
.... Does it work on top of my existing Sonar, or do k have to uninstall one and install the other?
It installs as a separate product, so there's no impact on your existing Sonar installation. You may have to customize some paths/folders in the Plugin Manager so it can see your whole plugin collection, but that's about it.

No blood vessels endangered in this process...
Old 2nd March 2019
  #69
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
It installs as a separate product, so there's no impact on your existing Sonar installation. You may have to customize some paths/folders in the Plugin Manager so it can see your whole plugin collection, but that's about it.

No blood vessels endangered in this process...
Cool. I'll have a go and let you know how I get on. Thanks.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
It installs as a separate product, so there's no impact on your existing Sonar installation. You may have to customize some paths/folders in the Plugin Manager so it can see your whole plugin collection, but that's about it.

No blood vessels endangered in this process...
be aware that it will update the "Shared Utilities" stuff - plugin manager etc - so it's not quite a separate product, more like an upgrade
Old 3rd March 2019
  #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwal View Post
be aware that it will update the "Shared Utilities" stuff - plugin manager etc - so it's not quite a separate product, more like an upgrade
Did the update to the "Shared Utilities" stuff have an impact on your existing Sonar installation when you installed CbB?
Old 3rd March 2019
  #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
Did the update to the "Shared Utilities" stuff have an impact on your existing Sonar installation when you installed CbB?
me personally, no, but you should be aware that it's not a new/seperate install, more like an update... you can find more info on the bandlab/cakewalk forums
good luck!
Old 3rd March 2019
  #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwal View Post
me personally, no, but you should be aware that it's not a new/seperate install, more like an update... you can find more info on the bandlab/cakewalk forums
good luck!
I have Sonar Platinum app [23.10.0 Build 14 (2017.10)] and CbB [2019.01 (Build 27)]. My Contour Shuttle Pro V2 control surface recognizes them as different programs (sonarplt.exe vs Cakewalk.exe). In my view, an update implies that the original product has been supplanted/overwritten, and doesn't retain its original independent functions.

I'm curious about why your installation experience is so different in this respect. As background, I have had forms of this product since the days of Cakewalk 8.5; then Sonar 1,3,5,7, X1,X3, then Platinum, and was the GaryMedia username in the archived Sonar forum.
Old 3rd March 2019
  #74
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
I have Sonar Platinum app [23.10.0 Build 14 (2017.10)] and CbB [2019.01 (Build 27)]. My Contour Shuttle Pro V2 control surface recognizes them as different programs (sonarplt.exe vs Cakewalk.exe). In my view, an update implies that the original product has been supplanted/overwritten, and doesn't retain its original independent functions.

I'm curious about why your installation experience is so different in this respect. As background, I have had forms of this product since the days of Cakewalk 8.5; then Sonar 1,3,5,7, X1,X3, then Platinum, and was the GaryMedia username in the archived Sonar forum.
it's an "update" in the same way Sonar 1,3,5,7, X1,X3, then Platinum were - i just wanted to clarify that it's not a completely separate install, if you have other sonars installed already
i was pwal, lawp and pwalpwal in the old forum
Old 3rd March 2019
  #75
Quote:
Originally Posted by pwal View Post
it's an "update" in the same way Sonar 1,3,5,7, X1,X3, then Platinum were - i just wanted to clarify that it's not a completely separate install, if you have other sonars installed already
i was pwal, lawp and pwalpwal in the old forum
I, too, haven't noticed any problems with CW by Bandlab regarding my previous installations. (And, for whatever reasons, I found it easier to get up to speed with the Bandlab version than I did moving from 8.5 to X3. I suppose because I was willing to bend a little more, new stewards and all that, not to mention big gratitude for saving the platform from Gibson.)

That said, while I found myself torn between going back to 8.5 and trying to get up to speed with X3 -- I've used CW/Sonar since CW Pro Audio 6 in 1996, so it was pretty vexing to find myself almost utterly at sea in the huge (and not always obviously logical UI remake).

For whatever reasons, while I was grinding my teeth virtually the whole time I tried to use X3, the transition to CW by BL was surprisingly smooth.

Maybe Bandlab should buy those classic Gibson guitar designs, too.
Old 6th March 2019
  #76
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
I do have to give props to bandlab. They've thoroughly embarrassed cakewalk in how much they fixed in Sonar within the small time they've had it. One of the first things Bandlab did was put the stereo interleave and phase buttons back on the track view. That's something even Cakewalk couldn't figure out how to do.

I originally thought bringing Noel over to bandlab would be a liability because of how bad Sonar got under his tenure at cakewalk but considering how much Bandlab improved it, either they aren't listening to him, or they just have him there in some kind of an advisory capacity. Whatever it is, Bandlab should keep doing what they're doing because, like I said, they've embarrassed even cakewalk. Kudos to them!

When Sonar went belly up, I moved over to Studio one, but after the improvements in Sonar, I've started moving back somewhat and using both DAWs in my work. Sonar is still an excellent daw for writing in with both notation and non-destructive midi.
I think that infamous "used to work at Cakewalk" thread on Reddit told the sad tale of Cakewalk at that time. The anonymous OP suggested that there was a dichotomy in direction and leadership. I got the feeling that it is probably the usual stuffed shirt management style where they have no idea what it is like to work on the tools. They just want sales and wind up setting new feature deadlines that were so tight that many other things had to fall by the wayside.

Originally I too thought the same thing as you about Noel still being involved with the program. So far though he seems to be captaining it along nicely. I remember after the Gibson collapse he stated that although he was in the chief seat, he was over ridden on some decisions.

I think he was being a mixture of both nice (professional?) and protecting his ego there. As I think it is likely from seeing how Cake was run back then, that the supposed over riding on "some decisions," were actually "most decisions." Either that, or he was given leeway. But that leeway was an incredibly small space in which to attempt to manoeuvre his plans, wedged up against the crushing wall of producing and prioritising new features.

If that wasn't the case, it certainly is weird that him plus a really small team can all of a sudden bang out some serious stability fixes and address long awaited design flaws. I don't want to curse it by speaking to soon, but it certainly appears that they have righted the ship.

Last edited by SluttyMcSlut; 6th March 2019 at 09:03 AM.. Reason: My sentence went missing!
Old 7th March 2019
  #77
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluttyMcSlut View Post
I think that infamous "used to work at Cakewalk" thread on Reddit told the sad tale of Cakewalk at that time. The anonymous OP suggested that there was a dichotomy in direction and leadership. I got the feeling that it is probably the usual stuffed shirt management style where they have no idea what it is like to work on the tools. They just want sales and wind up setting new feature deadlines that were so tight that many other things had to fall by the wayside.

Originally I too thought the same thing as you about Noel still being involved with the program. So far though he seems to be captaining it along nicely. I remember after the Gibson collapse he stated that although he was in the chief seat, he was over ridden on some decisions.

I think he was being a mixture of both nice (professional?) and protecting his ego there. As I think it is likely from seeing how Cake was run back then, that the supposed over riding on "some decisions," were actually "most decisions." Either that, or he was given leeway. But that leeway was an incredibly small space in which to attempt to manoeuvre his plans, wedged up against the crushing wall of producing and prioritising new features.

If that wasn't the case, it certainly is weird that him plus a really small team can all of a sudden bang out some serious stability fixes and address long awaited design flaws. I don't want to curse it by speaking to soon, but it certainly appears that they have righted the ship.
With software, it can be much easier to manage a small team than a large one.

Back in the late 70s, the first 'real' desktop database was written as a personal project by a guy (Wayne Ratliff) who had worked at JPL (the legendary Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, CA, USA). He wrote it for PTDOS for Intel 8080 processors to keep track of football pools and called it Vulcan. He found a small market for it but then took on a partner with business and marketing experience; they renamed it dBase and released it for CPM and then PC-DOS. Their first release dBase II was quite basic. They added several more programmers bringing the core dev team up to, as I recall it, 5 members who created what became dBase III. I think they added a bit more programming staff for the fix-it release dBase III+

And that product sold like hotcakes. Next to Lotus 1,2,3, it was probably one of the biggest hits on the desktop in the mid 1980s.

And THEN they added a bunch more staff for a massive rewrite for dBase IV.

The programming staff kept expanding -- at the end, I think, they had hundreds of coders. And deadlines kept getting missed. Meanwhile, dBase III+ had created its own ecosystem. It had opened up the world of relational databases to desktop developers -- and brought custom turnkey application development to small businesses and consultancies -- and created third party add-on markets dependent on it.

When dBase IV finally came out, well past a succession of projected release dates, it was woefully, incredibly buggy. It had, by one report, over 1000 potentially data-destructive bugs in the first release.

The company issued fix versions but never recovered -- though the basic dBase III data format still survives as a niche tool.
Old 7th March 2019
  #78
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

I'm just happy that Bandlab have take it on and have some investment in Sonar continuing to work.

I had prepared to my music computer completely offline (and lose several plug-in that want to "phone home") to avoid a Windows update suddenly screwing up my Sonar Platinum with no fix. Now I won't have to do that.
Old 7th March 2019
  #79
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bitman's Avatar
I use Cakewalk by Bandlab lustfully and exclusively.

Last edited by bitman; 7th March 2019 at 10:32 PM..
Old 7th March 2019
  #80
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norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SluttyMcSlut View Post

If that wasn't the case, it certainly is weird that him plus a really small team can all of a sudden bang out some serious stability fixes and address long awaited design flaws. I don't want to curse it by speaking to soon, but it certainly appears that they have righted the ship.
I got the impression that the Gibson Brands culture was simply not that interested in serious stability fixes and design flaws. It was a marketing oriented company that seemed to prioritize NEW! NEW! FEATURES (which marketing- oriented people love), over "boring" things like stability or glitch fixing. I saw the same thing when I was in the bio-med electronics industry. New features that could generate new sales were always prioritized over glitch fixing, until the glitches became so intolerable that existing customers started jumping ship.

The same strategy appeared to apply to the guitars. There were never more than about ten models of solid body electric guitars in the Gibson line in any give time until recently, when they started announcing that many new models in a year. Meanwhile, some fundamental QC and other production problems were ignored.
Old 8th March 2019
  #81
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
With software, it can be much easier to manage a small team than a large one.

Back in the late 70s, the first 'real' desktop database was written as a personal project by a guy (Wayne Ratliff) who had worked at JPL (the legendary Jet Propulsion Laboratories in Pasadena, CA, USA). He wrote it for PTDOS for Intel 8080 processors to keep track of football pools and called it Vulcan. He found a small market for it but then took on a partner with business and marketing experience; they renamed it dBase and released it for CPM and then PC-DOS. Their first release dBase II was quite basic. They added several more programmers bringing the core dev team up to, as I recall it, 5 members who created what became dBase III. I think they added a bit more programming staff for the fix-it release dBase III+

And that product sold like hotcakes. Next to Lotus 1,2,3, it was probably one of the biggest hits on the desktop in the mid 1980s.

And THEN they added a bunch more staff for a massive rewrite for dBase IV.

The programming staff kept expanding -- at the end, I think, they had hundreds of coders. And deadlines kept getting missed. Meanwhile, dBase III+ had created its own ecosystem. It had opened up the world of relational databases to desktop developers -- and brought custom turnkey application development to small businesses and consultancies -- and created third party add-on markets dependent on it.

When dBase IV finally came out, well past a succession of projected release dates, it was woefully, incredibly buggy. It had, by one report, over 1000 potentially data-destructive bugs in the first release.

The company issued fix versions but never recovered -- though the basic dBase III data format still survives as a niche tool.
That is interesting and I can see how too many cooks might spoil the broth of delicately balanced coding. I recall that Noel has also stated the main dev team for Sonar was small and talked about how a smaller team can be more effective. I would assume though that the effectiveness is only apparent in the direction in which they are told/financed/allowed to travel.

Whether the old Sonar dev team was as small as it is now at Bandlab, I am not sure? As I don't recall if he put an exact number to it and terms like "small" could be subjective.
Old 8th March 2019
  #82
Quote:
Originally Posted by SluttyMcSlut View Post
That is interesting and I can see how too many cooks might spoil the broth of delicately balanced coding. I recall that Noel has also stated the main dev team for Sonar was small and talked about how a smaller team can be more effective. I would assume though that the effectiveness is only apparent in the direction in which they are told/financed/allowed to travel.

Whether the old Sonar dev team was as small as it is now at Bandlab, I am not sure? As I don't recall if he put an exact number to it and terms like "small" could be subjective.
For sure. Not just ideas about ideal size but, also, where one draws certain organizational lines can affect how one talks about a given setup. For mass-release, commercial products that have broad or complex support issues, a core team creating the central engine of the software might be relatively small, but the teams who create support for different software and hardware interfaces/options/contingencies might spread out quite a bit. That lateral spread and (presumed resulting) increasing difficulty of oversight is probably one reason that support for individual drivers or platform APIs is one of the biggest, longest-running PITAs in integration of software with other hard and soft systems.
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