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sonar
Old 19th July 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
whosyourdaddy00's Avatar
 

sonar

ok i've been working with cakewalk since '98 (sequencing on Pro Audio 8) and have followed the upgrade chain all the way up to Sonar PE3, after gettin' a job as the house engineer at a local studio, the owner asked me what software do i prefer, i told him Sonar, and for some reason he didn't take it seriously.....i don't understand this, he's from the 'tape' days and just associates cakewalk with 'toys'......so we compromised and settled on a Cubase SX3 setup ( i need my sequencing), well i've had it for about a week now, and can get around the basics, but i'm not seeing ANYTHING outstandingly different here. i've talked to friends at The Sound Kitchen, and they all agreed to stay away from cakewalk products when recording professionally. is this bias just because they don't use it themselvs? or is there something seriously inferior that i don't know about? other than compatability with other studios i have yet to see a reason to leave Cakewalk......i bought a 002 a year and a half ago and ended up sellin' it because i could work faster in cakewalk, hardware aside, again i didn't see ANYTHING in PT that i couldn't do in Sonar (except run an RTAS plugin).......

my question to y'all is why does Sonar have such a bad rap in the Pro Audio world?
Old 19th July 2005
  #2
Gear Maniac
 

Well, the original Cakewalk apps weree sequencers first, audio came later, and I guess they never beat that rap.

I personally use both Sonar and Cubase. They're pretty much interchangeable for me. If there are major differences, I haven't run across them.

People I have done mixes for have had no complaints at all. And I have lost exactly ZERO jobs due to not using Pro Tools.
Old 19th July 2005
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Well, I didn't like Cakewalk's stuff until Sonar came out. I just always thought the sound quality stunk...with Sonar 1 it improved substantially, as did the rest of their product...it's now almost all I use...so it could be old prejudices...
Old 19th July 2005
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Smile Sonar is Great!

I've been using Sonar since 2.0...For the money, it is one of the best, most full-featured sequencers out there. It may not look as "slick" as Cubase, but I find it to be very intuitive to use. I personally have it skinned to look sort of like Pro Tools.

A few months ago I started working at a digital audio retail store...hardware-wise most of our long-term customers use macs and as a result we sell a ton of digidesign (as a result Pro Tools), Logic, and Digital Performer stuff. The only PCs we sell are MusicXPCs....being the only PC guy working at the store, I was amazed at how little the rest of the staff actually knew about Sonar. In fact, I'm still trying to convince my "superiors" to get a few current copies in the store (all we have are a few dusty copies of 2.0...yikes!)...I think I've made some progress by installing an slightly more updated 3.0PE NFR on the Demo XPC on the sales floor...I'm determined to convince the masses!

I've found lots of snobbish attitudes towards Sonar, mostly based on misinformation or lack of information. Mac users have an excuse: Sonar is PC only. But PC users who don't want to be tied to Digidesign/M-Audio (and Pro Tools LE) should check out Sonar. It blows the pants off of PT LE, and can do pretty much anything Cubase can...feature-wise they are very similar (did I mention Sonar is cheaper?).

Sorry for this plug...I'm just a very happy Sonar user.


Matt
Old 19th July 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
heathen's Avatar
 

Sonar is a top program,I've been using it for years it is extremely easy to use,much easier than logic,I've mainly only used sonar for midi and sync my hdr and mixer to that,recently though I'm thinking of selling my hdr and going sonar and nuendo all the way,after a while I'll pick which I like the most and stick withit. I don't want to sound rude but I find a lot of mac/logic users are very bitter people,never ending os updates and compatability woes,I'd be bitter too.When they see the way you can get a pc to run these days they almost turn green,things just work with minimum fuss and cost.If a mac dies its usually weeks before they are working again ,with pc any troubles and you can fix it the next day. Cubase I've used but rarely,I can remember syncing analog mtr's to an atari computer with cubase,almost seems another life away..Does anyone here still do this out of interest?
Old 20th July 2005
  #6
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
We just went Sonar 4 and I am so in love with it! We do film and commerical work on it fine, totally comparable to all the usual suspects. The ADC works great, and I fully expect them to impliment hardware DC soon. Otherwise, the sound is the same as any other program out there, and pretty much comes down to your AD/DA. We sum externally. The main thing is the interface, which I prefer over any other. It is very fast, and working quickly is the key of our business.

I don't really run into any industry prejudice. Most folks know I do sequence work and expect me to be using Sonar or DP. When I say Sonar, they never even blink, it is just normal. Sonar and Giga work very well together.

Now, if I can just get this damn new copy of DFHS we just bought installed. The whole VSTi/Re-wire thing is a different ball of wax. I am hoping it goes well. Will letcha know.
Old 20th July 2005
  #7
I started using SONAR along side my hard disk, mixer and outboard gear when SONAR 1 came out. I was just using it for after the fact editing and overdubs. I was very pleased with it and shortly I was tracking all my projects to my recorders through my outboard gear, then transferring digitally to SONAR and then editing and mixing in SONAR. Well, not long after that SONAR 1.31 XL came out and had fixed those few little bugs and gripes and I started doing projects compeletely in SONAR. Working in the computer was awesome, so I got SONAR 2 XL when it came out. And sold my hard disk recorders,

Then I got a Pro Tools system. Well, since I'm not a MAC user I found the Pro Tools interface very counter intuitive, used it for a few projects, and now pretty much only use it for transferring sessions from other studios into SONAR 4 Producer Edition, or for those few times where mucho drum fixing is needed (sound replacer and beat detective). Over the past few years I've also become very comfortable with Cubase and Nuendo since several of the studios I freelance at use them. One bonus that they have is you don't get any sort of gapping and stuttering when inserting effects and such (this will be fixed in SONAR on the 26th, hopefully). Also the Steinberg products have the very effective W button for writing automation that's more efficient than SONAR automation. Also, unfortunately, Steinberg products have that one mouse button MAC vibe that I find highly counter intuitive.

But, all of these little gripes with SONAR are WAY overshadowed by its flexibility, ease of editing, tools, and workflow (particularly if you've been a Windows user for a while). SONAR rocks and is my main sequencer while PT collects dust and Steinberg can stay at the other studios. Your experiences may vary.
Old 20th July 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

the first professional gear purchase i made was sonar 4 producer.

i had NOTHING else and i was still able to make some good tunes.

i find that i am replacing most of my initial gear purchases, but sonar will be with me unless cakewalk screws it up bigtime in 5.
Old 20th July 2005
  #9
Gear Maniac
 
whosyourdaddy00's Avatar
 

WOW!!! lol i got the exact opposite of what i expected here!

props to ya!

yes some key words i was hearin' were 'intuitave' and 'fast workflow' i agree very much, although i must admit i have not fully 'adjusted' to Cubase to a point where i can work as efficiantly.....perhaps in a few months. the one mouse button and no wheel support SUCKS!

another happy Sonar user
Old 20th July 2005
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

Add me as another fully satisfied Sonar 4 user.

--Ethan
Old 20th July 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 

Sonar IME still isn't 'ROCK SOLID' when it comes to heavyloads (high track and plug counts)

So for mixing I use samplitude 8
Old 20th July 2005
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
Sonar IME still isn't 'ROCK SOLID' when it comes to heavyloads (high track and plug counts)

So for mixing I use samplitude 8
I regualrily use it with 30+ audio tracks and plugins from 2 AUD-1 cards. No complaints here.
Old 20th July 2005
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
whosyourdaddy00's Avatar
 

yeah the project i'm dooin' now has 38 24/44.1 tracks gooin' to 11 busses with roughly 30 plugins (counting eq)....and it's runnin' pretty damn good, my hardrive is gettin' taxed the most, but as far as CPU goes, i'm chillin' at 50%.

cheers

wyd
Old 21st July 2005
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Curtis Franklin's Avatar
 

i like the freeze unfreeze synth/track options. i realize that most software has this now, but it is soooo easy in sonar that i dont even mind doing it.

i do alot of stuff with gigastudio and I have no prob running giga thru rewire and having effects on audio tracks.

sonar!!
Old 21st July 2005
  #15
I've been using Cakewalk Pro Audio / Sonar since I moved my 16 track ADAT project studio to hard drive recording in 1996 and, by and large, it's been a very comfortable fit.

I don't think I've ever had to contact tech support (though it's free for registered users).

I did actually look at switching DAWS and even computer platforms -- not because I was unhappy with CWPA -- I wasn't -- but just because I think the unexamined life is boring. I was willing to switch computer platforms as well and talked to several Mac-centric music vendors. When I did my homework I was kind of surprised that, prior to OS X 10.2, the Mac didn't have OS level support for multichannel audo, or even MIDI, and had not plug-in standard. I looked at the pre-SX Cubase and was bewildered at the design and interface decisions they had made.

The only upgrade I've missed since '96 was Sonar PE3 (or whatever it was called, the expensive spread) and I have to say that I've always been pleased with the updated features.

Sure, there are some things I'd do differently. (Sticky-choice pulldowns. Sticky-choice pulldowns. Sticky-choice pulldowns!) But there are usually workarounds. I'm an ad hoc kind of guy who likes working however he feels at the moment, but I have learned that templates are a huge time saver and almost certainly necessary in a production environment. (I'm back in dayjob land, now, but it's nice to be able to get a new session up in a half minute even if I've got all day.)


On the 'respect' front... it's a funny thing.

I've been recording in studios and on my own for a quarter century (and before that, too, but not professionally; I recorded my first overdub when I was in junior high.) I'm pretty much self-validating there.

But it does ultimately bug me when I see Sonar not getting the proper respect in certain 'internet neighborhoods' that I think it deserves. Because that means that people who might like Sonar really well might not even consider it.


Mind you, that doesn't seem to be a problem with the recording press. They tend to give Sonar good-to-very-good reviews vis a vis other products.

And other BBs I frequent don't tend to have the same DAW spitting contests that happen around... uh, some places. heh

Anyhow, while there is one DAW software I think I probably wouldn't buy (though even that has many cool features and strong partisans), I think, by and large, most of today's major MIDI/audio multitracking software platforms seem to be quite usable and, overall, similarly featured. I don't think anyone has to feel like a sucker or second class citizen for their choices.
Old 21st July 2005
  #16
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
Wishlist for Sonar 5:

1) Better notation support---particularly annoying and present since Sonar 2 is that in Treble Clef, notes above a certain point literally disappear out the top of the frame and I cant drag them down. I can rewrite them in bass or alto cleff, but still, it is a big hassle. Several other things about the notation are pretty prehistoric.

2) Quantize function seems really wacky. It never lines things up the way I expect them to, and the way that would seem most intuitive. There is always a few notes or more that was wacked out in some weird space that has nothing to do with the groove played in.

3)Resolution above 32nd notes (64ths plz).

4) Hardware delay compensation.

5) more control over outer edges of the skin colors and appearance.


I'll think of more later :-) Still, I am totally loving it so far and it has already boosted my work speed a ton from 2.2XL.


BTW, PUMADRUM, how are you getting Giga to rewire back into Sonar? Don't you have sonar open already as in instance inside Giga acting as the sequencer? I'm not following what you are doing, but am very interested.


Thanks


KT
Old 21st July 2005
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1
I don't think anyone has to feel like a sucker or second class citizen for their choices.
Amen.
Old 21st July 2005
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Xestenz's Avatar
 

One of the best features of Sonar, IMO, is the lack of crazy copy protection schemes or dongles. They either seem to trust that audio professionals will use their software in a responsible way, or they have just resigned themselves that the software will be cracked regardless. Love this aspect of Sonar though...
Old 21st July 2005
  #19
Gear Addict
 
dhughes's Avatar
 

Sonar 4 Producer love love love
Old 22nd July 2005
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
Sonar IME still isn't 'ROCK SOLID' when it comes to heavyloads (high track and plug counts)

So for mixing I use samplitude 8
I've had the occasional odd crash, but it's not related to large projects. I've had plenty 'o crashes in Steinberg programs and don't even get me started on PT.

I commonly run 60+ audio tracks and 50-100 plug-ins including UAD-1. IMO, it's as stable as the Big 3 (Logic, PT, Cubase/Nuendo).

One more note is that I'd recommend using a control surface, even the cheap StudioMix (designed for Cakewalk). Those times I've had a crash, the save button on the control surface will still save my work! Without it, you can't click save in SONAR (or any other program) because you have to click OK on the windows crash screen.
Old 4th September 2005
  #21
bap
Gear Nut
 

I had Logic originally and liked it.

Then I moved to Sonar [2] XL and on to Sonar 3 PE.

I too, use Samplitude 8 Pro and love it. The more comfortable I become with Samp, the less intuitive Sonar becomes.

I have recommended Sonar to a number of people who have purchased it and adore it.
Old 5th September 2005
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Surely it can be put down to the fact that there are just so many gear snobs in this industry! People who are far too fast to put down a piece of equipment (or software in this case) which they have never seen/heard/used!

It really is quite rediculous.

Just my 2c

Matt
Old 5th September 2005
  #23
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fraz
I regualrily use it with 30+ audio tracks and plugins from 2 AUD-1 cards. No complaints here.

how about those suck azz pauses when you try and change something on the fly? my computer will pause for like 5-10 seconds and thats with a minimum amount of plugs if any....I run XP PRo Athlon64 3400+ with 1 gig of ram. Samplitude no Pause....YMMV
Old 5th September 2005
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch
I've had the occasional odd crash, but it's not related to large projects. I've had plenty 'o crashes in Steinberg programs and don't even get me started on PT.

I commonly run 60+ audio tracks and 50-100 plug-ins including UAD-1. IMO, it's as stable as the Big 3 (Logic, PT, Cubase/Nuendo).

One more note is that I'd recommend using a control surface, even the cheap StudioMix (designed for Cakewalk). Those times I've had a crash, the save button on the control surface will still save my work! Without it, you can't click save in SONAR (or any other program) because you have to click OK on the windows crash screen.
No odd crashes in samplitude it just works....YMMV

sonar rocks for production IMHO though
Old 5th September 2005
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
how about those suck azz pauses when you try and change something on the fly? my computer will pause for like 5-10 seconds and thats with a minimum amount of plugs if any....I run XP PRo Athlon64 3400+ with 1 gig of ram. Samplitude no Pause....YMMV
Yeah, you're right, that used to be the case when you added or removed a a plugin or the like while a track is playing, but I don't think that is the case anymore. At least it isn't with me.
Old 6th September 2005
  #26
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher
how about those suck azz pauses when you try and change something on the fly? my computer will pause for like 5-10 seconds and thats with a minimum amount of plugs if any....I run XP PRo Athlon64 3400+ with 1 gig of ram. Samplitude no Pause....YMMV

Never even remotely have any probs like this and I often use as much stuff stacked on. Weird. Sorry u havin such probs bro.

I do keep my comps extremely clean though with frequent clean installs and nothing but Sonar, UAD1, and misc. plugs on my DAW--Period! (GIGA and DFHS are on their own comps, I removed all internet ability, etc from my DAW--self built).
Also, I do admit to using 2G of Mushkin 2-2-2 which really seems to help
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