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Charles Puckett

Why switch from SONAR Platinum?

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Okay, I live in a bubble. Had not even heard about Bandlab Cakewalk until Celemony told me they don’t even test Melodyne with SONAR Platinum any more. I’ve just been happily using SONAR Platinum with infinite updates. I’ve been a Cakewalk user for almost 3 decades, and always kept up with every upgrade, so this is a little odd.

But all that aside, now I need to know whether switching to Bandlab is the right thing to . I understand it’s FREE? That seems insane, and automatically makes me a little leery. I’ve always believed you get what you pay for. Furthermore, I’ve seen hints out there (since my antenna are now activated) that perhaps switching to Bandlab Cakewalk is not necessarily a positive move.

So I’d like to hear from those who’ve made the move. Recommended or not?

Also, one small issue is that one of my two Platinum installations is on a machine that can only be connected to the Internet with great difficulty. Does that figure in?

 

Thanks for your input.

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27 minutes ago, Charles Puckett said:

Okay, I live in a bubble. Had not even heard about Bandlab Cakewalk until Celemony told me they don’t even test Melodyne with SONAR Platinum any more. I’ve just been happily using SONAR Platinum with infinite updates. I’ve been a Cakewalk user for almost 3 decades, and always kept up with every upgrade, so this is a little odd.

But all that aside, now I need to know whether switching to Bandlab is the right thing to . I understand it’s FREE? That seems insane, and automatically makes me a little leery. I’ve always believed you get what you pay for. Furthermore, I’ve seen hints out there (since my antenna are now activated) that perhaps switching to Bandlab Cakewalk is not necessarily a positive move.

So I’d like to hear from those who’ve made the move. Recommended or not?

Also, one small issue is that one of my two Platinum installations is on a machine that can only be connected to the Internet with great difficulty. Does that figure in?

 

Thanks for your input.

If you like Sonar you will LOVE Cakewalk. It will cost you nothing. And the assets you have with  Sonar Platinum will be used in Cakewalk. 

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I think it’s something like 1,000,000 of us now. 
We all switched when Sonar died. CbB is Sonar Platinum with all the bug fixes and updates. 
Installing it will not erase Splat so you can keep everything as it was and jump right into the new version. 
Myself I could never go back as there are way too many features I now depend on. And for me it is 100% more stable than ever. 
There is an offline activation system in place you can look for. 
Cakewalk will run with out the internet for about 6 months otherwise. 

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20 minutes ago, John Vere said:

I think it’s something like 1,000,000 of us now. 
We all switched when Sonar died. CbB is Sonar Platinum with all the bug fixes and updates. 
Installing it will not erase Splat so you can keep everything as it was and jump right into the new version. 

In fact, DON'T uninstall Sonar Platinum! That way you can keep the full set of plug-ins and content that came with Platinum. Just install Cakewalk, they co-exist happily side-by-side.

Cakewalk is a much better program in multiple ways, because it benefits from additional years of development. You may have some initial confusion ("What's this arranger thing?"), but it will all fall into place as you work with the program.

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2 hours ago, Charles Puckett said:

Okay, I live in a bubble

You sure do. Gibson pulled the plug on SONAR over three years ago....

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3 hours ago, Craig Anderton said:

In fact, DON'T uninstall Sonar Platinum! That way you can keep the full set of plug-ins and content that came with Platinum. Just install Cakewalk, they co-exist happily side-by-side.

Cakewalk is a much better program in multiple ways, because it benefits from additional years of development. You may have some initial confusion ("What's this arranger thing?"), but it will all fall into place as you work with the program.

Brings up an interesting question.  Suppose I buy a new PC and opt to not install Sonar, just CbB. Would any of my archived projects suffer?  Because I have both on my current system does that mean I will need to have both installed on any future devices?

John B🙂

EDIT-I should add that my original setup was with Sonar X3 STUDIO and not Platinum so I really had much less goodies from the git-go.  But would I still be losing something in this scenario? I really would like somebody to answer this.

Edited by Johnbee58

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i install a bunch of stuff from sonar 7,8, and XL 2,3, and SPLAT if i do a rebuild on my OS/software drive. before installing CbB. this way i have all my stuff from those programs available. sometimes this means installing some of the patches and updates. i keep all the CW and Waves, etc products as "offline" installers as well keeping the command central. a PDF of my licenses etc. a few hours work at most and since i only rebuild every few years, it's not a problem.

thus i'm able to open projects from early 2000's to present with little or no issues.

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If you search there are plenty of threads on the topic of how to install the older versions to grab the goodies. There's even a document that list which versions came with what stuff.  

 For me now it's mostly just run Command center and I have everything ( all the Sonar goodies)  already downloaded to a folder I copy to the CCC download folder after I install CCC. Then the install goes very fast as it's not waiting to download anything. I could actually do this off line once CCC is authorized. 

 

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I too have been using CW for 30 years. Things have changed yes. Sometimes the old projects are a little problematic but that is just motivation to upgrade & fix them up a bit. I use external modules now to reduce drag on the computer. Anytime I have an old track that doesn't work because some plug has stopped working for one reason or the other I switch to the external module.

The new Cakewalk is good though it has some nice new features. My favorite is the Arranger.

But how did you not notice  there there were no new monthly updates for three years ?

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6 hours ago, Mark Morgon-Shaw said:

Wow, people still use SPLAT ?  😄  Jesus.

not so much as getting all the associated plugins and media... same for the older installs (at least my part). this way when i open up older projects in CbB i can get the settings from the older plugins, and then if i'm interested, swap in newer plugins and have a starting point. 

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7 hours ago, Mark Morgon-Shaw said:

Wow, people still use SPLAT ?  😄  Jesus.

I use SPLAT on a Win7 32 bit laptop with my Yamaha 01X / i88x / ADA8000 as a portable 24 track recorder.

I've got WIn10 64 + CbB on the laptop too, but I can't get the drivers to work properly in WIn10 64 bit on the laptop.  Pity, cos it works fine on my desktop in Win10 64 bit, but after trying out 5 different Firewire laptop ExpressCards, I've given up and I'm sticking with SPLAT.

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10 hours ago, Mark Morgon-Shaw said:

Wow, people still use SPLAT ?  😄  Jesus.

Still using SONAR Home Studio 6.
Due to ancient computer and interface combo.

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1 hour ago, 57Gregy said:

Still using SONAR Home Studio 6.
Due to ancient computer and interface combo.

I can relate to using a "legacy" PC to support a "legacy" interface. My E-Mu 1820m Audio Dock + PCI Card + Sync daughter card continue to work well under XP SP3, although I have both midi and audio connected to a Win 10 PC.  SONAR X1 Producer Expanded still works, too. An Ultra Sampler with an RFX-32 Module connected via ADAT also works. 

JMO: Long Live Legacy Gear--even if the manufacturers have toss their user base to the wind!  :P 

 

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I wonder if vintage DAWs will become a thing. Like vintage instruments & hardware.....

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I kept the original Hard drive that has Windows XP loaded for my Asus Netbook. I had upgraded to a SSD and W7 and upped the RAM to a whopping 4GB. 

But my Epson CD printer only has W XP drivers. So I just swap the drive back out and away I go. It still has Sonar 8.5 and X1 LE. And It will also run weird things like my old Microsoft  Sidewinder Joystick and LIfe Cam. The other use I have for XP is to go super vintage and run STeam on it and load up old Atari software. With the joystick and the Steam emulator I can play old games like Buggy Boy or Tetrus. I can also run my original DrT Keyboard Controlled Sequencer software. 

I also keep an older desktop loaded with W7 and that way I can use stuff that was made for that era. More or less gathers dust but you never know! 

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58 minutes ago, bdickens said:

I wonder if vintage DAWs will become a thing. Like vintage instruments & hardware.....

The last time I fired up my Amiga to transfer some stuff from Music-X was fun in a nostalgic kind of way, but I can't see myself firing up Cakewalk Pro Audio 5 on a win 3.11 machine and enjoying the experience!

Major studios will keep old machines with old operating systems and DAWs on them, just in case a client comes back a decade later wanting to remix their old songs.

But for the rest of us it's mainly lack of hardware driver support that forces people to use older operating systems and the older DAWs that still work on them.

A few of my older projects rely on the EQ/Dynamics settings on my DS2416, which is why I have a Windows 7 32 bit boot on my studio PC with SPLAT on it. Back in those days, I never used plugins as I could do pretty much everything I needed on 2 x DS2416's.  SONAR was basically being used as a MIDI sequencer, tape recorder and automation controller for my DSPMIx software.  I did go back and upgrade my projects at one point, replacing the MIDI tracks with SIT tracks using samples of the original hardware synth patches, but audio tracks were left as is.
 

 

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On 5/24/2021 at 2:00 PM, John Vere said:

If you search there are plenty of threads on the topic of how to install the older versions to grab the goodies. There's even a document that list which versions came with what stuff.  

 For me now it's mostly just run Command center and I have everything ( all the Sonar goodies)  already downloaded to a folder I copy to the CCC download folder after I install CCC. Then the install goes very fast as it's not waiting to download anything. I could actually do this off line once CCC is authorized. 

 

Oh wow, THANKS for reposting this list John. I missed this discussion obviously several times maybe even to the power of 10(?)

There may be newer and even more powerful (in terms of functionality)  FX out there, but I've also found a lot of the older SONAR bundled FX & ProChannel modules have a certain simple signature beauty and musicality that can't be replicated. For instance, I've always loved the sound character and musicality of the Cakewalk Concrete Limiter adds to a "channel" even without applying any limiting at all it has a GREAT color sound being used as a simple gain stage. I only use limiters to stop the stray peaks into the red, but even if it doesn't happen, using Concrete Limiter as a simple "coloration" gain stage that seems to give my Focusrite Scarlett preamps a very pleasant touch of the boutique vintage ISA preamp flavor while using the N-Type console emulator module. It wasn't included or bundled with SONAR, it was a Professional grade add on purchased separately so it has it's own installer and S/N.  And of course it also sounded very good whilst SMACKING a waveform into a SOLID BRICKWALL so most SONAR users knew at the time purchased it to win LOUDNESS WARS which was all the rave back in the time for those who's opinions and beliefs centered around "He who has the loudest song WINS!" But you don't need to install older versions of SONAR or Pro Audio for the Cakewalk add on power house plugins. But you do if you don't want to live without to purchase rather pricy licenses for other rather choice goodies from 3rd party bundled favorites like Softubes, BlueTubes, both XLN's Addictive Drums 1 and 2, both need to be installed because they have arsenals of different sampled drum kits and kit pieces all of which I still use and rely on today..

Now are there better limiters out there. Absolutely, and the Cakewalk Adaptive Limiter is so colorless and transparent it's been my go to Buss Limiter for years is one of them, and one of which I haven't found to be rivaled by any other vendor to date. But it nor any other have or adds the rich signature of color to the SOUND Concrete Limiter makes. I have had to keep several different versions of SONAR installed dating back to v8.5 to keep some of my favorite  FX plugins that I don't want to lose. So having this list of what FX came from where is truly a beautiful gift and think of beauty, I will hopefully never have to use. 🙏🏼 But never saying never is a double edged sward of a TRAP all in itself. 

 Typically I clone my system drives every 2 years or so to avoid simply wearing them out and up grade storage and as a result,  I lost track of what 3rd party plugins came with what versions of Cakewalk dating back 30 years or so, well beyond what CCC covers. This list not only is a great resource in helping communicate with others, no matter how careful we can be to avoid malware, virus's, exploits, and or simple system failure, keeping your computer off line or not, no matter how many backups we make, there is no such thing as being 100% safe. There is always a chance of losing or way and certain files disappear from having to start from scratch with a fresh clean OS system install. The "Ultimate PITA" having to manually search for, find and remember to reinstall everything. And in the case of CbC installing it all in the "right order" saves a LOT of problems and extra work. CbB will automatically search for and locate all your older plugins registered to Cakewalk and SONAR, but ONLY easy if they are already there before installing CbB.

One of my top and foremost things I love about Windows 10 is it's ability to perform a pretty much a clean OS install and update and keep all the apps, drivers and files in place. And most times if it can't, it won't update and roll back to the last successful installation. (Windows 7 doesn't do that) And if Win10 doesn't and crashes in the process that is typically ALWAYS the users fault for lack of maintenance, using illegally installed  (cracked) software running off of Key Gens that doesn't pass "Digital Signage" white lists security.😆 And so that basically means if your software is too old or stolen it won't be listed on the white list as registered from the vendors as being safe, and in most cases Windows will "disable" or simply won't install.

And unless you keep up with stringent and strict weekly maintenance and security updates schedule, like you SHOULD DO,  I typically DO NOT advise cloning system drives. 

And being if you choose to "Keep your File"  Windows 10 installer "clones" an exact "image" your system files and Windows Registry before updating, than checks and reexamines it before registering the update as "safe". And it does all this work in a matter of an hour or 2, what could take Win 7 users WEEKS of tedious, time consuming, & frustrating work to do. Of course Win 7 users wouldn't know that, so they can only compare it to rationalize excuses based on opinions, misinformation based on beliefs that everybody is out to get them. One of my all time favorite is Windows 7 x64 can run XP x32 at the same on a virtual machine, 10 doesn't. No is doesn't, because it has much better support for legacy support for drivers and x32 software so it doesn't NEED to run XP in the background and waist  all that CPU & RAM resources. Not only that, my CPU, memory, and buss speeds running in high performance mode are WAY TOO FAST for XP and cause critical stability issues so even older x32 bit apps run better and smoother on Win 10. And even the few x32bit programs I have left on my computer don't support ARA or VST 3 and I DAMN sure don't want to lose that MASSIVE boost of speed and power. And I don't know of any of my favorite music creation software that will even run on Windows 7 anymore. Win 7 users can't even upgrade to Melodyne 5 anymore, and boy oh BOY, even SONAR runs noticeably smoother and better on Win 10, and you can do things so much easier and things you haven't even DREAMED of with CbB then you could with SONAR.  Ya'all luddites don't have a CLUE to what you're missing out on.

A good example is while the latest release version of SONAR Platinum can't support VST 3 plugins it supports them on very thin ice. With SPLAT I can only safely run Reason 11 Studio by Rewire, and that means I have to run BOTH DAW's at once,  as the Reason Rack Extension VST 3 plugin which can handle up to 16 channels of Reason Synths/Plugins, but will only run a limited amount of Reasons synths before ALL 8 cores on the CPU meters start bouncing into the red zone and it crashes SPLAT. With CbB I don't have to Rewire and run Reason the DAW at all, can as many instances of Reasons VST Rack synths and FX, PLUS Reason's SSL 9000 mixing console entirely "within" CbB  as a VST 3 plugin(s) and never bounce any single core CPU over 50%-75% at once or EVER crash CbB.

And Melodyne 5 editor works so much better and "Region FX" loads crazy FAST. Last time I used it to correct an accidental major chord on a guitar track to a minor chord then bounce it back to an audio clip and shut down Melodyne, the whole process took less than 30 seconds. And it's pretty much the same converting and entire dull sounding poorly recorded in a garage stereo audio drums track to MIDI. Now nobody "needs" to do things like this, but if you care about higher PRO SOUNDING quality made insanely easier, you'd have to be out of yer rabid ***** mind NOT TO.

9 out of 10 times Win10 gets it updating right, and it will even tell you what went wrong and need to fix before you try again, and it WILL update successfully if you don't interfere. And if you get impatient and SHUT OFF your computer during the process before Windows says to.... Calling your computer stupid is stupid, and YOU just BROKE YOUR COMPUTER, not Microsoft. 🤯

And so to close this 'lil rant, yeah, SONAR is certainly more then good enough for rock & roll, and sometimes a Windows update changes my config settings back to default, it can be annoying, but only mildly so. And now I know it can happen it doesn't annoy me in the least because now that I'm aware it can happen, or not, I'm half expecting it so it only takes a minute or so to fix change them back in settings.

 And sometimes Microsoft changes and moves things around, but so does Apple & Google, and they always have valid and good reasons for it.  So if you're the type of control freak user that thinks you are smarter then the 1000's of developers at Microsoft, Apple, Google, and CAKEWALK and think you can come up with a secret plan trick Windows & EVERYBODY ELSE into doing what you want them to do, you DO NOT want to update to Win 10 or anything else for that matter, like the current and absolute BEST of the BEST version of SONAR/CbB ever created and continuing to EVOLVE and get better & better then any other DAW's out there. But you'll never know that unless you change your habits and give it a TRY! 😆 And until someone how to develop software that can read our minds, we're all going to have to keep up with THEM, they don't have to hold themselves back for us, nor give us an endless supply of support.   💯out of 💯 of Windows users using a decently configured mid grade computer without any "hacked" software manufactured in the past decade I know of that were reluctant to change gave Win 10 a 💯 after experiencing using it for a week. They all said it was a tad slow and sluggish at first, I originally thought so too about 3 years ago, but they ALL said the ONLY regrets they have is not doing it sooner. 

Because, like Windows, Apple, Android, and even Lennox, things can only IMPROVE thru CHANGE.

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On 5/24/2021 at 6:53 AM, Charles Puckett said:

I understand it’s FREE? That seems insane, and automatically makes me a little leery. I’ve always believed you get what you pay for.

Welllllll....in this case, we are getting what we paid for, it's just that we paid for most of it years ago. Our license fees funded the first 30 years of development, and now that code base is owned by a company that wanted to keep developing it and let everyone use it for free as a promotional, brand-building product.

There were some that were very upset that they had paid hundreds in licensing fees for a product that was now going to be free for everyone, but it's a fact that as a Cakewalk by BandLab user, I know that there is a lot of bonus material in that Platinum bundle that I can't get my hands on for any amount of money, and I also didn't get to use SONAR for all the time that the paid users did (although I did own a SONAR license back in the early 2000's before I set the hobby aside for a dozen years). I was using Mixcraft when Gibson pulled the plug. Mixcraft is a great little program, but a little program it is. I've found Cakewalk to be much more capable.

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