The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Has Sonar Come of Age?
Old 31st July 2005
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Doublehelix's Avatar
 

Has Sonar Come of Age?

I have always kind of been one of those "Sonar Snobs" that felt it was not a serious recording tool and was more for loops and samples, etc.

Apparently, there has been a new version released (4.03?) that includes an entire re-write of their delay-compensation engine, along with tons of bug fixes and other goodies.

So, what is the word with Sonar? Has it finally graduated to the level of the other "big boys" like PT, Logic, Nuendo, DP, etc.?

(FWIW, I have no desire to switch to Sonar, I am just asking out of curiosity so I can shed my biasness)
Old 31st July 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Not a big fan of Sonar...
There always seem to be problems that I dont get with Nuendo or PT (the two programs I use on a regular basis). Sonar has already been given three strikes in my book and probably will never get another turn at bat.
Old 31st July 2005
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by De chromium cob
Not a big fan of Sonar...
There always seem to be problems that I dont get with Nuendo or PT (the two programs I use on a regular basis). Sonar has already been given three strikes in my book and probably will never get another turn at bat.
After spending the 80s producing and engineering in other people's commercial studios, I set up a 16 channel ADAT project studio in the early 90s and converted it to a harddrive centric rig in '96 using CW Pro Audio 6. So my perspective is from the inside.

However, in 2000, (even though I was happy enough with CW -- soon to be Sonar) since I wanted to move up to 24 bit, I looked into all levels of change, from a simple interface upgrade to a DAW software switch to a complete platform switch (to Mac, presumably).

After I did my homework, I was more than satisfied that I had the right tool set -- for me -- with CW/Sonar running in Windows XP. I didn't at all like the old Cubase interface (since substantially overhauled), in fact I thought it was gosh awful. And when I investigated the Mac OS, I realized that prior to OS X 10.2, it had no system level support for multichannel audio or even MIDI, let alone a plug in standard.

Now, clearly, Cubase and Nuendo have, indeed been overhauled -- but Sonar, too, has evolved substantially.

Sure, there are a few things I would change. But, using intelligently set up templates, I can get around the little nagging issues I have easily and move very quickly through my work (if I have to -- but I no longer take clients, so I have the luxury of fooling around as I work, too.)


Of course, everyone works differently and while today's DAW softwares are quite flexible and can fit a wide variety of needs, one may find that a given software/platform works better for oneself than another.

I will say this, since in this particular set of BB forums, Sonar seems to get short shrift on the respect front, that Sonar is well liked in other recording communities -- and continues to get very good reviews from professional magazines. (Electronic Musician recently gave it 4.5 out of 5, which is the highest rating they've given a DAW in quite a while, I believe. Cubase and Logic both received 4/5 in their most recent reviews, if I recall. Other mags also give Sonar high marks.)


OK. At fist I didn't find it, but the 4.03 revision is out now.(I don't see that there were any revisions to the auto plug delay (but I think that was fairly recently revised). I'm a little out of the loop, as I skipped Sonar 3 entirely because I was otherwise occupied and didn't feel like upgrading just to do a handful of projects in it. The jump from 2.2 to 4 was a bit breathtaking but pretty much all smiles.

It does look like the worked on the audio engine, though. They claim much smoother PB during real-time manipulations. And there are some bug fixes and a couple of 'workflow enhancements.' You can read about it here:
http://www.cakewalk.com/Support/kb/kb2005272.asp


I've been using 4.02 for a couple months now and I'm very comfortable with it. It's been perfectly stable on my machine (seldom an issue for CW in my experience... although one or two .00 releases had some issues, as one might expect -- but the fixes for them seemed prompt and on the money).


As always YMMV. But I'm a very happy Sonar user. I think it's worth a look.
Old 31st July 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Yeah, I think Sonar has come of age. The engine re-code is pretty amazing. I can add and drop UAD plugs on the fly with no hiccups. There is an improvement in the overall sound which makes it very detailed and less harsh. Auto-mute is finally working properly. The looping issues are all cleaned up. The midi implementation is the best in the industry. That said, it needs some more interface compatibility.

I like the preset templates for mastering and mixing. I can create my own SSL console layout (minus the compressors). If they could create an SSL buss compression plug in I would be a happy man.

I would say that Cakewalk is one of the most customer oriented companies in the game which sets them at the top of the list for many. They have definitely come of age, let's just hope they don't become decrepit, like some other companies.
Old 31st July 2005
  #5
Gear Addict
 
Durv's Avatar
 

i used SONAR 3 and 4...up to 4.02...i guess i can sum it up in ONE word (no pun intended): SUMMING.

i use Samplitude 8.2 now...and clearly there is a difference in the clarity and depth. I liked SONAR a lot, and still think its GREAT. but its NOT up there with ProTools, Nuendo/SX3 and Samplitude with audio specifically.

Durv
Old 1st August 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Durv
i used SONAR 3 and 4...up to 4.02...i guess i can sum it up in ONE word (no pun intended): SUMMING.

i use Samplitude 8.2 now...and clearly there is a difference in the clarity and depth. I liked SONAR a lot, and still think its GREAT. but its NOT up there with ProTools, Nuendo/SX3 and Samplitude with audio specifically.

Durv
I think you would be pleasantly surprised with the sound of the new engine. Increased clarity and depth were my first thoughts.
Old 1st August 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DAWgEAR's Avatar
 

I used Cakewalk until 1999, when I switched to Logic. When Emagic dumped me and 60,000 others in 2002, I seriously considered Sonar since I could have upgraded for a nice price, and I downloaded a demo from Cakewalk's site to check out.

After coming from Logic with extensive and fully customizable key commands, the dealbreaker for me was the limited key commands in Sonar at that time. Really. I just couldn't work in a manner that had me using the mouse and menus for almost everything. And CAL, as I remember, was a joke. I don't know if that has been improved since three years ago.

I ended up using Cubase SX and have been really happy with it.
Old 1st August 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durv
i used SONAR 3 and 4...up to 4.02...i guess i can sum it up in ONE word (no pun intended): SUMMING.

i use Samplitude 8.2 now...and clearly there is a difference in the clarity and depth. I liked SONAR a lot, and still think its GREAT. but its NOT up there with ProTools, Nuendo/SX3 and Samplitude with audio specifically.

Durv
I really wish someone could/would prove this.
Old 1st August 2005
  #9
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
We use Sonar 4.02, ran A/B with the most recent Samp demo. We use external summing. No significant diff,so shrug. Our own ears is the only proof we require.

We prefer the Sonar UI by far to Samp. Really hated Samp for our uses, but we do film/tv music, and Sonar is the balls for that.
Old 1st August 2005
  #10
SONAR is a professional app, IMO. I have to use PT and Nuendo/Cubase regularly as well, and none of them can touch SONAR's workflow. Of course, I AM a Windows user, not MAC, so I don't get along as well with things that are cross platform, as they lack the intuitiveness that I'm used to (I'm a right clicker, for example [and yes I do know about key combo clicking - not the same as it requires my drinking hand!]).

Sound wise, all the engines are subtly different. Some prefer SONAR, some prefer Nuendo. They do all sound a bit different. I've also used samplitude. Again, different, but not one of them has jumped out at me as better (this excludes versions of SONAR prior to 3 as they did not sound as good then, but neither did Cubase VST32) rolled around.

Just my couple of cents.
Old 1st August 2005
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAWgEAR
I used Cakewalk until 1999, when I switched to Logic. When Emagic dumped me and 60,000 others in 2002, I seriously considered Sonar since I could have upgraded for a nice price, and I downloaded a demo from Cakewalk's site to check out.

After coming from Logic with extensive and fully customizable key commands, the dealbreaker for me was the limited key commands in Sonar at that time. Really. I just couldn't work in a manner that had me using the mouse and menus for almost everything. And CAL, as I remember, was a joke. I don't know if that has been improved since three years ago.

I ended up using Cubase SX and have been really happy with it.
Sonar and CW PA before it have had "key bindings" for just about ever, both keyboard and MIDI -- you can pretty much set up an entire control surface on your keyboard, particularly if you're handy with ctrl, alt and shift keys. I just flipped through something like 600 different keys and combinations that can be mapped to Sonar commands, menu items, etc.

Or am I missing something?


PS... I've used CAL to automate some MIDI editing processes and it's been a godsend when I had to repeat the same steps over and over. It would have taken hours, otherwise. Also there are a few CAL programs I've used a lot over the years for manipulating MIDI. I like CAL; it's served me well.
Old 1st August 2005
  #12
Lives for gear
 

Yes it has, I never REALLY liked Sonar until v4, but at v4 it's a great program, in my opinion.
Old 1st August 2005
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Durv's Avatar
 

i hate to disagree with the great minds on this board.
But when i imported a track into SAM...one that was bounced IN sonar.
it sounded much more open. call me crazy. i might go A/B something today, just to make sure i am not crazy.
Durv
Old 1st August 2005
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Durv
i hate to disagree with the great minds on this board.
But when i imported a track into SAM...one that was bounced IN sonar.
it sounded much more open. call me crazy. i might go A/B something today, just to make sure i am not crazy.
Durv
I have been asking this question on a number of forums, and you are the first to state the he has actually detected a difference in the audio engines. (I too am very curious as to qualitative difference in the audio engines, particularily with respect to summing (which intuitively seems to me to be the most algorithmically complex part of the equation).

I personally have not A/Bd against samplitude (and I dont own a copy anyways).

I really would be interested in hearing people's opionions on this matter.
Old 1st August 2005
  #15
Lives for gear
 

Okay, I downloaded the Sonar 4 Producer demo, and imported a wav file into it, gave it a listen, and it sounded very similar to Adobe's Audition 1.5, no major difference in sound quality. The main screen looks a lot like Audition also, but Audition doen't have midi recording capabilities, where Sonar does...

So Producer's looking and sounding pretty good.

I may go for the Home Studio version though, as all I really need is a good midi program. For audio editing and recording, Audition 1.5 is doing it for me.

But for a completely different trip, I tried out Sibelius 4....

I'm also trying out Tracktion, Acid, Cubase.

Haven't made any decision yet though......

I'll also be looking for a new midi interface to connect my sound modules to the computer using USB, but that's another day......
Old 1st August 2005
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Durv's Avatar
 

i think there is a CD out there that has one particular project mixed in many different systems? anyone know what its called? AWSUM DAWSUM or something like that by 3dB.com or similiar.

Durv
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump