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Sonar- what is it really?
Old 10th May 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Sonar- what is it really?

I realize that "noobs" are a pain with questions that everyone already knows the answer to, but I did do a search on this before asking, and was unable to find anything. I use Sonar PE5 because I could afford it. I notice that nobody seems to do "serious" work with Sonar. What is the reason for this, as to me it seems very powerful. Is it a sonic issue? Or am I mistaken about it's popularity?

Js
Old 11th May 2006
  #2
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Dave Peck's Avatar
 

IMO, it's comparable to any other good DAW software and it has better MIDI features than a lot of them. A good choice for a synth studio.

DP
Old 11th May 2006
  #3
I use SONAR and I'd consider its use "serious". Done some national releases for award winning religious artists, a grip of regional bigger acts, etc.

SONAR is Nuendo, but made with Windows users in mind (function, shortcuts, etc.). SONAR is Pro Tools with any hardware and any number of tracks. SONAR is the MIDI king of DAW's.

I also have and use PT, used to use Nuendo (now I use Cubase), Live, and I'm trying the Samplitude demo out.

So far, SONAR works for me the best, of course I'm a Windows user for years (since 3.1).

Last edited by Matt Hepworth; 11th May 2006 at 05:51 AM..
Old 11th May 2006
  #4
Gear Nut
 

Sonar is a full featured audio and MIDI system on a par with all the rest of them.

In my experience, its major flaw is that it doesn't support outboard delay compensation. If it's outside the sound card, Sonar doesn't know about it. So you have to nudge the recorded tracks if you use hardware compressors, fx, etc. If you stay in the box it doesn't matter.

-Naren
Old 11th May 2006
  #5
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insomnio's Avatar
 

I work in Sonar almost exclussively. Tried Nuendo and Cubase but realized that the perfect DAW is the one you know well. I work in Cakewalk since 3.1 and be outside it sofocates me like a fish out of water. Is a pretty complete package and most important: when I bring the final product to a Mastering Eng. he can't tell what my system was (really).
But Naren is very right. They have to deal with that right away. I tried to use a second computer as an FX devise and ended up very frustrated. Don't have Sonar 5 yet, so I don't know if they got that now...

____________________
Insomnio
Old 11th May 2006
  #6
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

Lightbulb

> I notice that nobody seems to do "serious" work with Sonar. <

Here's another vote for Sonar. I use Sonar exclusively and I consider myself a pretty "serious" audio guy.

--Ethan
Old 11th May 2006
  #7
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whosyourdaddy00's Avatar
 

Thumbs up

another satisfied Sonar user here....i run a small project studio using Cubase SX3 (due to the owner's ignorance against cakewalk) and i'm pretty fluent in both, but i run Sonar 3 PE at home and love it....i'm planing to upgrade to 5 when i get a new computer here soon. i guess cakewalk had a stigma about 5 years ago, but no doubt about it, Sonar holds it's own against all the major daws...
Old 12th May 2006
  #9
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DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Another satisfied Sonar user. I do have long term plans to purchase a PT HD rig to satisfy client requests, but I dont think there's ever been a situation where I've been limited by Sonar. I just wish it had a "beat detective" replacement. I know there is the "groove-clipping" feature but it does not work quite the same.
Old 12th May 2006
  #10
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KevWest's Avatar
 

Sonar is the ****. Tho i dont care much for its midi (its a lil stiff for me) I love its audio tools more than any other product out there
Old 12th May 2006
  #11
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DontLetMeDrown
Another satisfied Sonar user. I do have long term plans to purchase a PT HD rig to satisfy client requests, but I dont think there's ever been a situation where I've been limited by Sonar. I just wish it had a "beat detective" replacement. I know there is the "groove-clipping" feature but it does not work quite the same.
Hi DontLetMe,

quick question, i use Sonar 5 PE and find the audio editing to be quite frustrating when compared to the Tools and the of beat detective is very annoying.

have you ever tried to change a project tempo after you've recorded all your parts only to find that the audio regions are then misaligned? it's been really buggin me this as i didn't record to a click (the band were definately not up to that standard) but then i wanted to manually sort out the barlines to roughly match up with the song but every time i changed it the audio went mad and i gave up eventually.
Old 12th May 2006
  #12
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Alex Niedt's Avatar
 

I'm using Sonar 5.2 exclusively. Love it.
Old 12th May 2006
  #13
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leeja32207's Avatar
 

You might look at it this way...Sonar, Cubase, and such was designed to be used as a midi sequencers. Programs like Protools and Nuendo were disigned as audio recorders.

The lines between audio, and midi programs have blured so much that it only matters what or how you intend to produce you music that dictates what DAW software you use.

As a lowend geared musician its more cost effective for me to stick with Sonar for now. In the future i will be using both sonar and nuendo. I think having both is good if you want a well rounded DAW setup.
Old 12th May 2006
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by leeja32207
You might look at it this way...Sonar, Cubase, and such was designed to be used as a midi sequencers. Programs like Protools and Nuendo were disigned as audio recorders.
Disagree.

By Pro Tools, I'm sure you're referring to TDM, which is definitely designed for audio. If LE was desinged for audio it would have a reasonable amount of tracks, which it doesn't. Nuendo seems a little more geared toward film, although it does have the "tape machine" functions. SONAR has good MIDI, but it was designed to be Cakewalk's first pro AUDIO app.

So if you're categorizing, I'd say:

Audio - PTTDM, Samplitude, Sequoia
Any - SONAR, Cubase, Logic
Film - Nuendo, Digital Performer
MIDI - no idea - I don't deal much with it
Old 12th May 2006
  #15
Gear Head
 
leeja32207's Avatar
 

Yes, I see your point and I agree with you glitch. And yes, I was referring to the TDM version of protools. I only mentioned those two programs because they are used more often then not by big production studios. I was trying to touch on the topic of the thread ‘why is Sonar not used for more serious producing’. I took that to mean used by pro studios. I also wanted to establish my point that Sonar, Cubase, and Logic have blended midi, and audio exceptionally well. Which makes them perfect for doing all sorts of projects in small home studios. I use Sonar, and it has everything I need for now, but then I’m not on a pro level yet. So I’m not sure what will be needed once I reach pro status.
I also agree with audionautix, it seems powerful enough to do serious pro work.
Old 12th May 2006
  #16
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CassidyGT's Avatar
 

Another vote for SONAR here. I have used Cubase SX3 and PTLE 7.0 (as well as older releases) and I find that SONAR works best for me. I believe that any of these products are top of the line and can produce professional results. The only difference is how you work (i.e. your work flow). The only difference in the final product are your skills as an engineer/musician etc. I find that SONAR works best for me and my work flow. It is an outstanding program with outstanding customer support!!
Old 12th May 2006
  #17
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KevWest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by glitch
If LE was desinged for audio it would have a reasonable amount of tracks, which it doesn't.
damn how many tracks do u need
Old 12th May 2006
  #18
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KevWest's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CassidyGT
Another vote for SONAR here. I have used Cubase SX3 and PTLE 7.0 (as well as older releases) and I find that SONAR works best for me. I believe that any of these products are top of the line and can produce professional results. The only difference is how you work (i.e. your work flow). The only difference in the final product are your skills as an engineer/musician etc. I find that SONAR works best for me and my work flow. It is an outstanding program with outstanding customer support!!
i hate cakewalks customer support. if u can get thru its fine but they are only around during business hours and its like mountain time. for those of us that have day jobs during business hours forget about it
Old 12th May 2006
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by xabiton
damn how many tracks do u need
Depends on the project. Some will exceed 100 tracks. Most are in the 50 track range. I do albums primarily. It's not uncommon to have 60 active tracks in a project.
Old 12th May 2006
  #20
Here for the gear
 

Let me clarify my question when I said, "..it seems nobody seems to use Sonar for "serious'" work."

I meant that in my research so far, I haven't seen any "name" producer or engineer attest to using Sonar. If there were some "hit" recordings done with the program, you can bet Cakewalk would have it plastered all over their site.

I find this isn't the case, and since I like and use Sonar, I was wondering why. Could it be sonics? Or is it some other reason... Or ARE there some well known recordings (besides the Ray Charles re-mix thing) that I don't know about?

Js
Old 12th May 2006
  #21
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De chromium cob's Avatar
 

There was a time, like with most recoding software I suppose, when Calkwalk was a nightmare for allot of people. Around 2000 or so I was fighting with Calkwalk trying to get a usable system built with limited success and then I tried Nuendo when it first came out and the problems just disappeared. I've been using Nuendo ever since. It seems Sonor is quite a bit better now, but I've never liked the interface or how things are setup. It just doesn't fit my preferences or work style. I prefer Nuendo first, then ProTools.....

But if it works for you what do you care what other people use?
Old 12th May 2006
  #22
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CassidyGT's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by De chromium cob
But if it works for you what do you care what other people use?
BAM!!!
Old 13th May 2006
  #23
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audionautix
I realize that "noobs" are a pain with questions that everyone already knows the answer to, but I did do a search on this before asking, and was unable to find anything. I use Sonar PE5 because I could afford it. I notice that nobody seems to do "serious" work with Sonar. What is the reason for this, as to me it seems very powerful. Is it a sonic issue? Or am I mistaken about it's popularity?

Js
Funnily enough, even as a "serious" Sonar user, my biggest problem with this statement is it's first sentence...people that consider "noobs" a pain for noob questions have obviously forgotten they were once noobs themselves with people helping them. Very sad really.
Old 13th May 2006
  #24
Maybe not the biggest names, but...
http://cakewalk.com/Artist/default.asp
Old 13th May 2006
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

A quote from the link in the previous post:

“My name is Mike Broening. I’m a producer/keyboard player in Phoenix, Arizona, and a very happy user of Cakewalk software for the last 10 years"

"The reason I’m writing is that I’ve just finished writing and producing, all in SONAR, Marion Meadows’s latest CD, entitled Players Club. Two weeks ago the disc debuted at #15 on the Billboard Jazz charts and has since moved up to #12. This was Marion’s 10th CD (first six on RCA), and his highest selling week ever. The publicity and reviews for the CD have been outstanding. I also produced his previous CD, In Deep with Pro Audio 9 and SONAR 1, which also charted for 9 weeks on Billboard and was very well received. I plugged SONAR on the latest CD, as it has become the bread and butter of my studio."
Old 13th May 2006
  #26
AB3
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98% of dentists recommend Sonar for a DAW. That is good enough for me.
Old 13th May 2006
  #27
I've used Sonar (or CW Pro Audio, its predecessor) since CWP6 when I put together my first 8 channel DAW in '96.

By and large, I really like it. It's powerful. It's mostly got good... uh... (trying not to say "workflow" here)... uh it works well for me.

There ARE a couple things I wish it had.

The ability in PT to save multiple playlists is interesting. (You can do about the same thing in Sonar, of course, but it's not it's not as straightforward as the playlists in PT sound.)

Also, I REALLY wish we had the ability to lock a clip or segment in Sonar. Write-protect it, as it were. So it couldn't be accidentally moved or changed. As it is I HAVE to keep the clip-move dialog set to auto-fire because at least a couple times a session I try to slip-trim the start or end point of a clip and end up starting to move the whole clip. It's the damn "smart" cursor... I'm glad we don't have to change the cursor tool all the time... but sometimes its a little too smar-- or fast -- for me.



But the BIGGIE I'd like to see added to Sonar (and I DON'T think it will happen this year, dang it) is a "track alignment auto-compensation" (sometimes referred to as "hardware compensation") to compensate for conversion latency in interfaces.

Mackie's Tracktion (at least v 1 which I have) has an loopback calibration utility (hook a cable direct from the output to the input and hit the button. It sends a transient signal [a ping, if you will] through the system, measures the amount of time it takes to process out the D/A and A/D chain and then aligns the incoming audio with the outgoing audio.

(Cubase/Nuendo apparently accomplishes the same thing with its hardware comp ping utility.)

Sonar, OTOH, treats hardware conversion latency as something beyond its scope. So whatever latency there is in D/A for monitoring during overdubs is 'added' [the overdubber is listening to that analog output -- it IS the only sensible "now" for him] and then the A/D latency also delays the incoming signal -- and that results a "misalignment" of the incoming track by roughly the sum of those amounts. (IOW, if your D/A takes 4 ms and your A/D takes 4 ms, your new track will be about 8 ms 'behind' previously recorded tracks.)

If you have a fast, PCI based interface, those latencies have generally been small and your overall track misalignment might be as low as under 2 ms.

BUT for those of us who are using Firewire and USB devices generally have to deal with considerably longer latencies.

While my MOTO 828mkII can run successfully with 128 sample hardware buffers, resulting in a Sonar "Mixing Latency" buffer setting of 2.9 ms -- my track misalignment on overdubs is 8.1 ms (at 44.1 kHz) -- and that is simply outside my range of acceptable slop.

So I've pre-set a nudge value to that value (actually to 356 samples which is the precise misalignment) and have gotten in the habit of nudging all my newly recorded overdub tracks to bring them in line with existing tracks.

There's a thread in Craig Anderton's forum over at Harmony Central on the topic... but it takes probably 2/3 of the thread to actually get everyone on the same page and understanding what's being talked about. (Or, actually, to simplify the issues down to one.) There seemed at first to be MUCH confusion about what was actually being discussed.

Ron Kuper, the godfather of CW (I guess he is), popped up early in the thread -- but I hope he caught the end, since he seemed a bit perplexed by what was being said early on. [Uh... and it should be noted that a sidebar discussion on equal and just temperament breaks out at the current bottom of the thread. So you might have to skim around a bit.]

Discussion of track alignment issues in Sonar: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...readid=1242881

You can zero in a bit here, where the discussion starts focusing in on the key issues: http://acapella.harmony-central.com/...7#post16440417

UPDATE: actually, Ron Kuper acknowledges the issue (and says it involves a bit more than conversion latency) in the Sonar Forum at CW:
http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.asp?m=737506&mpage=1&%# POST # 11
Old 13th May 2006
  #28
Gear Addict
 

.

I'm by no means a "name". but i do make a living making music for picture using SONAR thats a little serious, isnt it?
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