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Sonar vs. Protools DAW Software
Old 3rd December 2008
  #1
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skiroy's Avatar
 

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Sonar vs. Protools

I have used Sonar for years,but have recently moved over to Protools cause its the,"industry standard".Granted its not HD so I really cant make a real comparison,but it just seems Sonar is so much user friendly and has more capabilities.I havent scene that much more that Protools can do that Sonar can't.But there are things that Prottols do not have that I really miss from Sonar.Maybe you guys know something I dont and can help me out with this.

In Sonar there is built in EQs right on the mixer.Granted they are not high quality but they were deffinately useable as high pass filters to cut 70hz out of tracks.

Sonar has a Pre/Post option on each fader track.

And one I think is very important is the phase invert button on the mixer tracks.

And not to mention Sonar is just prettier and you dont have to know every damn keyboard short cut to get something done.And lets not even talkk about the midi sequencer.So generic.

Anybody got some info?
Old 3rd December 2008
  #2
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I'm curious of the responses that are to come as well.
I use Sonar, but am going to begin an internship in a studio with a PT rig.

What's the difference between PT and PT HD?
Old 3rd December 2008
  #3
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taturana's Avatar
if i have both choices, i would rather use sonar...
Old 3rd December 2008
  #4
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PT HD > Sonar PE > PT LE

I currently use Sonar 7 PE, might upgrade to v8 after the second Patch. Sonar just gives you "more" for lack of a better way to put it than Pro tools LE. Heck, Reaper gives you more and it's like $40.

My Favorite DAW of all time is still Cubase VST/32 with 2 Yamaha DSP Factory cards and a bunch of outboard gear. Ahh, the good old days of 1999 . . .
Old 3rd December 2008
  #5
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The only feature of Sonar I like is the Drum Map feature. Aside from that, I perceive it as ugly and bloated. Far too many widgets. Really, the Drum Map is the only thing I was able to do in Sonar that I wasn't able to do in a less complicated way in PT, for the way I work.

FWIW,
-Ben B
Old 3rd December 2008
  #6
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Tony Shepperd's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy View Post
Granted its not HD so I really cant make a real comparison
That pretty much sums it up.

You should really look into HD and see why it has become the industry standard.

If you spend just one day in the hands of someone who really knows PT HD, you will get a much better view of why people use it so much.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy View Post

In Sonar there is built in EQs right on the mixer.Granted they are not high quality but they were deffinately useable as high pass filters to cut 70hz out of tracks.
The Sonitus EQ is EXCELLENT for a no-frills EQ. Somebody was able to get it to null the Duende.


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/3537089-post21.html
Old 3rd December 2008
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
That pretty much sums it up.

You should really look into HD and see why it has become the industry standard.

If you spend just one day in the hands of someone who really knows PT HD, you will get a much better view of why people use it so much.
True, but is HD really a just a DAW? I don't think it is, it's a DAW with a built in digital mixer. The digital mixer is the awesome part, not the DAW itself.

NOTE: I'm a hobbyist, you're a pro. Take my opinion with the appropriate amount of salt.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #9
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Thread Starter
Exactly HD is hardware.It has nothing to do with my complaints.Of course someone that really knows PT is going to have an easy time but what it takes to get good at PT is the problem.There are some many options you dont know are there because its almost like they hide stuff from you.

So how do you fix phase problems in PT?If you dont have gear with phase inverters?
Old 3rd December 2008
  #10
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How Many Ways Can I Say This...

HD is not just hardware. It is software as well.
There are functions of software that reside with HD that are not in LE.
JD and LE do not have parity in their software.


PT is one of the most straight forward programs on the market.
IMO, the real power of PT is under the hood.
Once again, there is a reason it is a standard.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #11
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
The Sonitus EQ is EXCELLENT for a no-frills EQ. Somebody was able to get it to null the Duende.

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/3537089-post21.html
That's what I'd have said if you didn't beat me to it. All of the Sonitus plug-ins are excellent.

--Ethan
Old 3rd December 2008
  #12
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by skiroy View Post
So how do you fix phase problems in PT?If you dont have gear with phase inverters?
Audiosuite. A good start would be reading the manual. Nothing in PT is "hidden".
Old 3rd December 2008
  #13
hv_
Gear Nut
 

Here's an interesting article about Terry Howard, Ray Charles' former recording engineer, who has both Protools HD and Sonar64:

Recording Ray Charles | Interview with engineer, producer Terry Howard on recording Ray Charles and more

Found it interesting that he thought Protools HD flattened out his mixes unless he set up a direct-out for each track into a big board. I think he found less of a need to do that after he switched to Sonar64 because it has a greater digital mixing resolution.

Howard
Old 3rd December 2008
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hv_ View Post
Here's an interesting article about Terry Howard, Ray Charles' former recording engineer, who has both Protools HD and Sonar64:

Recording Ray Charles | Interview with engineer, producer Terry Howard on recording Ray Charles and more

Found it interesting that he thought Protools HD flattened out his mixes unless he set up a direct-out for each track into a big board. I think he found less of a need to do that after he switched to Sonar64 which has a greater digital mixing resolution.

Howard
I dont think Tony Shepperd's mixes sound flattened out at all. All ITB as well
Old 3rd December 2008
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
The Sonitus EQ is EXCELLENT for a no-frills EQ. Somebody was able to get it to null the Duende.


https://www.gearslutz.com/board/3537089-post21.html
is a null test sufficient to detect small harmonics and phasing? i found sonitus a bit phasey. but not bad, ya.

anyway, sonar rules. protools can kiss sonar's 64-bit internal processing ass.

only thing protools has that's special over sonar is beat detective, which i would like. but we've still got audiosnap/time-stretching and had it first. heh
Old 3rd December 2008
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
PT HD > Sonar PE > PT LE

I currently use Sonar 7 PE, might upgrade to v8 after the second Patch. Sonar just gives you "more" for lack of a better way to put it than Pro tools LE. Heck, Reaper gives you more and it's like $40.

My Favorite DAW of all time is still Cubase VST/32 with 2 Yamaha DSP Factory cards and a bunch of outboard gear. Ahh, the good old days of 1999 . . .
This isn't precisely how I'd put it but it's worthwhile to keep some perspective.

You can get into PT LE with an interface for a few hundred bucks. Sonar Producer will set you back over $500 for just the software.

Most HD systems probably run upwards of $10K. The advantages of hardware acceleration for powering big mixes in realtime (ie, without having to rely on freezing/rendering) as well as flexible near zero latency monitoring are hard to deny for doing big projects on a daily basis.

I'm now two versions back on Sonar (which I like very much -- but then I've been with it since putting together my first 8 ch DAW in '97) but there are some head down production oriented tools in PT geared to powering through big jobs every day that are not paralleled in my version of Sonar.

That said, in many ways, maybe most ways, I would have to say Sonar seems to mostly kick butt on LE. In a friendly collegial kind of way, of course. heh
Old 3rd December 2008
  #17
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
is a null test sufficient to detect small harmonics and phasing?
Yes! If two files null completely that means they are by definition identical.

Quote:
i found sonitus a bit phasey.
Phase shift is not what you heard. See this:

Equalizers and Phase Shift

The 6th paragraph addresses your comment.

--Ethan
Old 3rd December 2008
  #18
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taturana's Avatar
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiovisceral View Post
only thing protools has that's special over sonar is beat detective, which i would like. but we've still got audiosnap/time-stretching and had it first. heh
and freeze (ok so logic was first..heh) and scoring, (since the last millenium, i mean, twelve tone systems cakewalk 3)

plus the track management features, midi plugins, cal, and other assorted goodies...

HD is fine... it's just that sonar has payed its dues and the software as it stands today is definitely one of the most powerful daws out there... bar none.

the 64 bit mixing is excellent and a very strong part of this. the ability to create multiple files at the same time in any bit or sample rate, in real time or not, with 64 bit mixing and good SRC and dither (POW-r) is useful to me on a day by day basis... and what you mix is what you get ... exactly. with depth and good imaging. even on heavy processed audio.

i have been using my notebook as a dsp bay with sonar running on my desktop via gigabit network and teleport fx and it's a big mean mix machine...with very low latency, and i simply cannot max out my cpu.. there's always less reason to fork the big bucks for an HD system.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taturana View Post
and freeze (ok so logic was first..heh) and scoring, (since the last millenium, i mean, twelve tone systems cakewalk 3)

plus the track management features, midi plugins, cal, and other assorted goodies...
And midi track comping, which is a huge asset for some folks.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #20
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Is Sonar still PC only?
And AFAIK, predominantly so is Reaper.

When a tremendous amount of the industry runs on Macs, isn't it difficult to convince someone to use your system if you are on the opposite side of the computer world?
Old 3rd December 2008
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
Is Sonar still PC only?
And AFAIK, predominantly so is Reaper.

When a tremendous amount of the industry runs on Macs, isn't it difficult to convince someone to use your system if you are on the opposite side of the computer world?
yes it is PC only, you've got a very good point. God know what's going to happen in the future now that they are owned by Roland.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Shepperd View Post
Is Sonar still PC only?
And AFAIK, predominantly so is Reaper.

When a tremendous amount of the industry runs on Macs, isn't it difficult to convince someone to use your system if you are on the opposite side of the computer world?
exactly my case... nobody ever convinced me to buy a mac..

especially when the hardware you get is basically the same.. as a premium pc, or less, and both can read each other's files quite well.. ( the pc actually needs software for this but it is possible.) and things like bootcamp are pretty nice... as well as the idea to build a dual boot mac/pc ... hehe quite a few pretty nice pc-only aplications, and i would like to be able to run logic for example..

and IMO i think sonar is going to stay pc-only for a while... they did try the mac daw route once and it wasn't pretty. unquestionably Roland/Cakewalk are the big players along with Yamaha/Steinberg in the PC market. which is huge. and the idea of having more roland hardware interfacing with sonar is ok for me. And i have the biggest respect for the guys who programmed sonar, from the creator Greg Hendershott to the current CTO Noel, every update the made shows they were listening to the users. A++ on that... and were able to make something that good on windows. it was tough. and it wasn't until Cakewalk PRO came to version 10 and changed it's name to SONAR, that it really started to happen. on Sonar 6.2 i think the software really stood out better than the competitors with full 64 bit support... 7.2 was awesome and i am willling to try 8.02 as it looks very nice on CPU usage.

the non availability of good PC audio daws in the early days is one of the reasons we have so many macs in studios. this is not the case anymore.

how about reaper for linux? i would like that for remote recording, which is my favorite reaper application.. but that program works very very stable and well even in vista.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Winer View Post
Yes! If two files null completely that means they are by definition identical.



Phase shift is not what you heard. See this:

Equalizers and Phase Shift

The 6th paragraph addresses your comment.

--Ethan
'Some people claim they can hear phase shift in equalizers because when they boost the treble they hear a "phasey" sound. So they wrongly assume what they hear is the damaging phase shift everyone talks about. In truth, what they are hearing is comb filtering that was already present, but subdued. When a microphone is near a room boundary like a wall or ceiling, or when placed near the open lid of a grand piano, the delay between the direct and reflected sound creates a comb filter acoustically in the air. When the treble is boosted by EQ the comb filtering becomes more apparent. But the EQ did not add the phasey sound, it merely brought it out."

No ****? This for real?
Old 3rd December 2008
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
You can get into PT LE with an interface for a few hundred bucks. Sonar Producer will set you back over $500 for just the software.
Remember that you can get Sonar LE with an interface for a couple of hundred bucks too that does 64 tracks instead of PTLE 7's 32 or 8's 48 tracks. Plus it has PDC.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
yes it is PC only, you've got a very good point. God know what's going to happen in the future now that they are owned by Roland.
Roland has an interest in the company and CW has begun using the Roland brand (for reasons known only to them) but CW management is (supposedly) still the author of that company's destiny and all final decisions are made by them, according to their official pronouncements. (Unless something has changed in the last few months, always a possibility.)


With regard to the Mac/PC thing, as taturana pointed out, they did explore that route back in the heady early days of OS X, buying the Metro sequencer and, apparently, trying to develop audio capabilities around it, but then abandoning and, I believe, spinning off the company. Welcome To Sagan Technology. Makers of Metro

If someone with a Mac wants to use Sonar, they have the Bootcamp route. I've heard from a number of folks who've gone that direction and seem to have no problems. Obviously, at that point, your not really in Mac-land, anymore, but you don't have to buy redundant hardware.

It doesn't seem too likely that CW would venture back across the great divide any time soon. Developing for the Mac is very different than developing for Windows and many folks have problems switching hats. Developing an audio engine is nothing like developing a word processor or html editor cross-platform. Those tools can use libraries with common APIs to develop more or less parallel interfaces. But an audio engine requires an extremely tight integration with the OS at its core levels and Windows and the Mac are quite different beneath the surface.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #26
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
No ****? This for real?
Yes!
Old 3rd December 2008
  #27
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So how do you fix phase problems in PT?If you dont have gear with phase inverters?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontLetMeDrown View Post
Audiosuite. A good start would be reading the manual. Nothing in PT is "hidden".
Further, Insert a "Trim" plugin to check it. - It has a polarity button.
If you like it inverted, you then have the option of permanently rendering the file using Audiosuite: "Invert" process.

AV

Last edited by AaardVaaark; 3rd December 2008 at 09:08 PM.. Reason: clarity
Old 3rd December 2008
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by captain caveman View Post
Remember that you can get Sonar LE with an interface for a couple of hundred bucks too that does 64 tracks instead of PTLE 7's 32 or 8's 48 tracks. Plus it has PDC.
Mmm... good point. My bad.
Old 3rd December 2008
  #29
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I may be a little biased, but I really dislike Sonar. To me the interface is a little difficult to use. I know each DAW has it's own feel, but after years of using different systems it doesn't take me long to learn something new. (I have used PT's, Nuendo, Logic, Soundblade, Sonic Solution, Sonar, and Home Studio.) I tend to feel they all look and operate pretty similarly.

Now Home Studio, another Cakewalk product, is really easy to use. Sure it doesn't have the features some of the others do, but it terms of learning and getting things done it was about the easiest I have ever used.

To raise a similar issue, who's upgrading to PT's 8?
Old 4th December 2008
  #30
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I also REALLY dislike Sonar.
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