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Stephen Rybacki

Man. I have missed SONAR (uhmm Cakewalk)

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I got started on SONAR with X2 Studio and Reason 6.5 back in 2013 for a Berklee class I was taking at the time.  I loved using both, albeit for different reasons.  When Gibson shuttered Cakewalk, I was SERIOUSLY upset since I by that time had SONAR Platinum with Lifetime Upgrades.  Not to mention the Pro Channel upgrades, Rapture Pro and other stuff to boot.

So, I leaned hard into Reason (currently have R11 Suite) even to the point of trying to learn synth programming (I am a guitar/mando player) which I do enjoy.  But Reason has gone the way of others and now offers a subscription model that they SAY will not supplant perpetual licenses like mine.  The good news is that Reason itself is a VST that can be added to any other DAW at will.  So, I've decided that R11 is my last stop on the Reason bus line.

I also spent $60 and got Reaper which is also cool, if maybe a bit arcane?  It is sort of like SONAR, but missing the elegance in my opinion -even if it is powerful as all heck.

I am not a professional in any way -- just an older music lover with  a genuine need to learn new things like recording.  Of all the software for this purpose I have ever used, I liked SONAR the best really.  And so I am back to really give Bandlab a decent shot since they've picked up the ball and run so well with it.  From what I see, it works and acts just like SONAR, right down to all the plugins from SPLAT working like they ever did in Cakewalk.

 

So I am looking forward to reengaging with this community at this point.  I am guessing you're all fans so feel free to beat me into submission sooner than later with effusive praise ;)

Edited by SiberianKhatru59
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I went with Reaper after Sonar fizzled out.  Once BandLab acquired it and made it free, I was happy to come back to what is now "Cakewalk" because I was still more familiar with it.  I'm still kind of puzzled why more people don't use it.  But I guess at this point it's a bit late in the game.  Those that were PT users and moved off of that went off into Logic.  Others are still hanging onto PT because it's the "standard".  And then the Cubase crowd, which I really don't get.

But...to each their own!  Welcome back.

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1 hour ago, SiberianKhatru59 said:

So I am looking forward to reengaging with this community at this point.  I am guessing you're all fans so feel free to beat me into submission sooner than later with effusive praise ;)

Welcome back to Sonar Cakewalk and welcome to the forum. No effusive praise from me other than: what took you so long! 😉

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Welcome back, SiberianK. You weren't the only one who panicked when Gibson locked up the office. Many migrated to other DAWs, with the most popular destinations seemingly Studio One and Reaper.  

I was not among the refugees. However, I did try just about every Windows-based DAW out there, just so I'd have a backup plan (I liked Samplitude, only because it was most similar to SONAR in workflow, but not nearly as sophisticated.) But I kept on using SONAR, knowing that a) it wasn't going to suddenly stop working, and b) already had all the features I needed.

The good news is that today's Cakewalk is in fact SONAR under a new banner. This would be, what, SONAR X6 by now? Same brilliant fellow is handling its development, except that now the focus is on usability  and stability enhancements rather than marketing-driven bells 'n whistles. Although there have been some truly excellent bells 'n whistles added that even a set-in-his-ways curmudgeon like me can love. Articulation maps!

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9 hours ago, bitflipper said:

Although there have been some truly excellent bells 'n whistles added that even a set-in-his-ways curmudgeon like me can love. Articulation maps!

Articulation maps! Yes!

The first thing I do after acquiring a new sample library is build the articulation map.  Then, using the same workflow I now use to manage all articulations I settle into exploring the new library.  Artic maps mean I don't have to remember the unique and varied methods that each library uses to control its articulations.

Edited by Steve Harder
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I do love this software.  I still have CTD issues from time to time when a project gets large or complex, but I work around it. Aside from that, my concentration is on the music and the software just makes it so easy to focus on that. I came into Cakewalk before there was Sonar.... so glad I stuck with it.

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I cannot join the fanboy symphony, though I really like the interface and concepts of Sonar Platinum.

Cakewalk by BandLab? For me there were not many useful changes, just the visual change of clip gain comes to mind (even if it is not always reliable). Things like the plugin browser or the export module seem redundant and useless IMO. I could never cotton up to the Articulation Maps and the Arranger, too sophisticated and intransparent (i.e. I often missed something, maybe my faults or I am too dull). Still there are some of the great, old features that would need some love: AudioSnap, Take Lanes, Drum Replacer, VocalSync, ...

When there was the Gibson debacle I tried different other DAWs, but I could not find a real replacement at that time. But the ongoing instabilities of clip editing in take lanes and AudioSnap in CbB forced me recently to invest in learning Reaper what I don't regret! Absolutely reliable, easy to install and lightweight! I also noticed that clip gain runs so much better and stable down to the maximum zoom level.

But for work with virtual instruments I still use CbB 2020.08 . I am too accustomed to its work flow! And for mixing I haven't decided yet!

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22 hours ago, marled said:

I cannot join the fanboy symphony, though I really like the interface and concepts of Sonar Platinum.

Cakewalk by BandLab? For me there were not many useful changes, just the visual change of clip gain comes to mind (even if it is not always reliable). Things like the plugin browser or the export module seem redundant and useless IMO. I could never cotton up to the Articulation Maps and the Arranger, too sophisticated and intransparent (i.e. I often missed something, maybe my faults or I am too dull). Still there are some of the great, old features that would need some love: AudioSnap, Take Lanes, Drum Replacer, VocalSync, ...

When there was the Gibson debacle I tried different other DAWs, but I could not find a real replacement at that time. But the ongoing instabilities of clip editing in take lanes and AudioSnap in CbB forced me recently to invest in learning Reaper what I don't regret! Absolutely reliable, easy to install and lightweight! I also noticed that clip gain runs so much better and stable down to the maximum zoom level.

But for work with virtual instruments I still use CbB 2020.08 . I am too accustomed to its work flow! And for mixing I haven't decided yet!

You are right about Reaper -- it's very lean and extremely stable for sure.

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Here's a quote from Freespace2 over on vi-control.

"I have been using Cakewalk for a long time and never stopped using it due to lack of functionality. It is true that some features of other DAWs do not exist, but on the contrary, some features provided only by Cakewalk made me give up switching to other DAWs.

For example, as an orchestrator, the following features are most important to me: It always shows dozens of different instrumental MIDI tracks at once on the right side of the Piano Roll, allowing you to switch tracks with one click, reverse the selected and non-selected tracks, and only select specific instrument parts. The ability to highlight, and if necessary, immediately call up the virtual instrument setup window associated with the desired MIDI track. All of this can be done right from the inside of Piano Roll window without going back to Track View or resizing the Piano Roll window. Any other DAW doesn't offer this features and requires a lot more mouse clicks and time to work similarly. The only digital performer was able to manage and display a list of active MIDI tracks on the right side of the piano roll, similar to Cakewalk.

If you are an orchestrator and need to implement an orchestra through MIDI and virtual instruments, I can confidently say that Cakewalk is the best choice. After Gibson abandoned Sonar, I tried to switch to other DAWs such as Cubase, Logic, Flutiloops, and Studio One, but I ended up returning to Sonar because other DAWs' MIDI programming work was too inefficient. So, I have no choice but to express my infinite gratitude to BandLab for continuing to update Cakewalk for free. And I deeply agree with the opinion that Cakewalk is underrated.

If you are curious about the music that can be made with Cakewalk and East West Hollywood Orchestra, install the recently released 'Marvel Future Revolution' game and listen to the themes of Captain America, Iron Man, and Storm, or listen the OSTs of these characters to the official YouTube channel. these are the songs I made with it."

 

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