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Where to start and should I switch . . . ?

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OK I've been using Cakewalk Sonar X3 Producer since it came out. It has been working fine and I didn't switch to the new free BandLab version partly because I didn't want to lose all the stuff I had and paid for and partly because I was concerned about losing / not being able to transfer all the music I have recorded over the years and partly I'm lazy and since I already had it installed why change?

This Covid shutdown has given me a bit more free time and I really started getting back into writing and recording new music. Well I'm starting to have a few issues with X3 and am thinking about jumping on the new (?) version here.

What am I in for? How's the learning curve? Can I keep all my olkd plugins and VSTs? How about Session Drummer and Guitar Rig? What am I getting into and what are the pros and cons of this "free" BandLab version of Sonar?

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Its basically a new Sonar. No learning curve. Its the same DAW with added features and updated bug fixes.

Keep your old Sonar installations where they are, don't remove them as Cakewalk by bandlab will work side by side still allowing you to use all the plug ins you had in Sonar. Its really that easy

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Posted (edited)

Zero learning curve and you lose nothing. So long as you keep X3 installed, the new Cakewalk will see all of the existing plugins (you may need to check the plugin scan paths are the same), and it's more or less X3 with years of features added and bugs squashed.

And it's free. The only caveat is you need to have an internet connection every 6 months or so, to check for new versions. That's basically it. :)

Here's a good place to start: https://bandlab.github.io/cakewalk/docs/FAQ/

Edited by Lord Tim

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Just now, chuckebaby said:

Its basically a new Sonar. No learning curve. Its the same DAW with added features and updated bug fixes.

Keep your old Sonar installations where they are, don't remove them as Cakewalk by bandlab will work side by side still allowing you to use all the plug ins you had in Sonar. Its really that easy

Snap! ūüėõ¬†

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Well then . . . that sounds just to easy haha!

Thanks for the info boys - when I get home tonight I'll download and install the current BandLab version and see about moving some existing WIP songs over.

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Really give it a try just alone for the over 1,000 bug fixes that the Cakewalk Team has done.

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56 minutes ago, InstrEd said:

@chuckebaby  Does it dice.    Sure it does.    Audio that is :)

Also as good as "Flex Seal" xD

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You don't really have to " move stuff over" you can open any project in either X3 or CbB. The only thing is once you open and edit in CbB X3 might warn you that the project was opened in a newer version and features will be missing ( a lot of features!!)  

CbB has been the most stable version of Cakewalk since 8.5 for me. Any issues I have are related to W10 and drivers,, not CbB. 

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There might be a bit of a learning curve related to default keybindings that have been altered or disabled (e.g. 'O' to toggle Envelope/Offset mode), and changes in modifier keys and hotspots to get different tool behaviors, and features that didn't exist previously like Ripple Edit and Workspaces. In particular, I recommend setting  Workspaces to 'None' in the upper right corner of the UI until and unless you decide to use them.

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