Jump to content
Christian Jones

Why/What got you started using Cakewalk (before it was free)?

Recommended Posts

I know a lot of new users are probably using it because it's free (for now) and that's cool and personally I'd still be using it regardless, but for those of you who've been using Cakewalk since way back when it was still just code.. just curious why you chose it, what turned you onto it?

For me, it was Doug Marks in one of his Metal Method guitar lessons that I had on VHS in the early 90s. In one of his videos he was demonstrating Cakewalk to sequence drums from an Alesis D4. At the time of the video he was using Cakewalk 3.0 and was explaining how if you got this software, a x286 and a sound card you'd have something handy to record your guitar and sequence drums. I had a little Tascam 4-track cassette recorder and a Roland MC-303 as my first setup, but in around '97 when I had a few bucks to upgrade it was Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 by then so that's what I got along w/ an Alesis DM5 drum module and some other stuff. The only time I've ever used any other daw was when I was forced to at school. I've been faithful ever since, and will be to the death. The death. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came from Music-X on the Amiga.

I first saw Cakewalk for DOS on my one of my dad's friend's setup. Out of all of the DOS sequencers it was the one that looked the most similar to Music-X for me.

The next time I saw my dad's friend, he'd upgraded to Cakewalk Pro Audio 5 and it really impressed me.

I got Cakewalk Express with some bit of gear (can't remember which one), so started using that. But when I got my Yamaha DS2416 DSP Factory card, Pro Audio 7 was one of the few that were offering early support for it... so I went for it.

I've never looked back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My memory is so bad I cannot recall the detailed answer to your question, but I do remember discussing Cakeswalk for DOS back in the day when it required the MPU-401.  I did not buy into Cakewalk until Windows 3.1 and I cannot remember what product I got, but I do remember being able to use it to upgrade from that product (thereby getting a discount) when I bought Sonar 3 Producer edition (not X3).  Then, I don't know how many years passed before I was able to use "3" to upgrade to X3 Producer.  Not sure how many versions there were between 3 and X3, but I think several.   Part of the reason I did not upgrade for long periods of time was because I knew, I could foresee, that I really would not be able to do what I wanted until I had a stellar PC which I finally built in June, 2014.

I think my first sound card for Cakewalk must have been one of those Creative Sound blaster AWE32  that came on a lot of PC's back in the early 90s, either Gateway or Dell.  I think I had to also get a MIDI cable that utilized a joystick serial connector on the other end of the cable.  Then when I got Sonar 3, it must have been around 2003 with Windows XP and I tried using first an internal card that was too complicated (famous brand and I cannot remember it now.  I think it began with the letter "L".) then I tried an external USB sound card with MIDI, but it was so bad (latency and other issues) that I returned it and got an internal M-Audio PCI card Audiophile 2496 that was actually fantastic.

In my current build from 2014 I got a great ESI Julia XTe internal card that I believe has been discontinued (not sure why).  Was rated near the very top of the list of best sound cards in Round Trip Latency by that guy who began to publish information on that  (can't remember his name).

Edited by Toddskins

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cakewalk 2.something or other came bundled with ye olde Sounde Blarster, with a EMU daughter board

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, msmcleod said:

I got Cakewalk Express with some bit of gear (can't remember which one), so started using that.

 

That's exactly how I learned about Cakewalk. Prior to that, I was using Acid Pro (a very early version) and was just playing with loops (late 80's o early 90's)....then I wanted do take it further and Cakewalk was easy to setup/use.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After a disastrous experience with something from Voyetra on my first PC back in 1997, I found Cakewalk Professional 6 boxed in a computer store, then soon upgraded to Pro Audio 9.

My first PC was a Pentium 1 running Windows 95, using a Sound Blaster Live (2 in/2 out) connected to a home stereo for monitors, and one of those serial joystick/MIDI adapter thingies for my Korg workstation MIDI in/out. I was also using an external mixer to mix audio output from the PC with the audio output from my Korg.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Back in 2000, I got a little inheritance and bought a TASCAM Portastudio and a Yamaha PSR-GX 65 keyboard with the goal of writing and recording songs. 
When I moved back to NC from TX in 2002, I was living with my brother the programmer and mentioned how I was limited by the number of tracks I could use (4) with the TASCAM and wanted to get a digital mutitracker and which one I should buy.
He suggested getting a program for my computer instead.
So, I went to Circuit City and checked out what they had. Music Creator 2003 was what I bought, because it had a cute girl on the cover of the box 😊. That was MC 2 with a MIDI-to-MPU-401 cable.
The rest is history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought a set of midi cables for my PC (ones that connected to a joystick port) so that I could experiment with connecting my Yamaha keyboard to my computer. The cables came with a copy of Cakewalk Express. I believe the package was called the Midi Music Pack. That got me on the gear/software/sample library treadmill, and I've never stepped off...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I wanted to get back into music and my arm still wasn't able to play guitar (nasty break in '84 - muscle and nerve damage), I was looking into MIDI gear and decided to try this new software that had just come out called Cakewalk v1.0!  I already had a couple fast (for the time) computers and just needed that overly expensive Turtle Beach sound card because it came with General MIDI (and no Major Problems 😀).  So, a few tests, including helping Greg Hendershot debug I became a loyal customer upgrading at every chance until SONAR Pro-Audio 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A review in Polyphony magazine, c. 1988 IIRC, for Cakewalk 1.0. I think Craig Anderton wrote that review, but haven't been able to get him to confirm it.

I got very excited by the prospect of a MIDI sequencer on my computer, but Cakewalk was selling for about $300 and that was a financial stretch for me on a $30k/year bit-flipper's salary. As luck would have it, I went to Los Angeles to visit a customer there, a little chain of 4 music stores called Guitar Center. Made friends with the IT guy, who offered to get me Cakewalk at the employee discount - $79. I was far from home, so had to be content to repeatedly reading and re-reading the Cakewalk manual until I got back. Even then, I couldn't use the software right away, because PCs didn't come with MIDI interfaces back then, so I first had to go out and buy one.

I already had two MIDI-equipped synthesizers, a Jupiter 8 and a Juno 106, and added a Yamaha TG-33 soon afterward. Audio was rendered onto a TEAC 3340S so I could add acoustic instruments and vocals, then mixed down to a Pioneer 2-track. All I had for drums was a crappy TR-808, which I used mainly for click tracks. Most of my compositions did not have drum tracks because I so despised the sound of that 808. Who'd have guessed it would be considered a "classic" today?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I got sucked in by the "Sonar For Life" campaign.  Sonar was my first ever DAW, and it lasted about a year.

Edited by husker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A music retailer, Kit Carson. He worked for a now closed music store in Costa Mesa, CA called, Sightsinger. Then, he branched off on his own and opened a shop about three blocks down the street. That's where he recommended it. Glad he did.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Early nineties, a friend who had upgraded gave me his old Cakewalk floppies (I think 3.0). He knew I would really like it and would buy in to the new version. He was right. Three days later I bought a new copy from a local music store. When I called Twelve-Tone to register it  they said they had just released another new upgrade and after confirming the purchase date with the store they sent me the latest version. So in the space of two weeks I went through three versions of Cakewalk. After that I followed the upgrade path to CbB. I don't think I skipped more than five versions from Pro Audio through SPlat.. Although I didn't get into SPlat until the Foxboro release (couldn't resist the deflate gate) I was in it for life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Cakewalk for DOS. What else was I going to use?

Beins I was a DOS user and all at the time. Used it for midi drums only as I had no synth or keyboard skills.

 

Edited by bitman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steam sales, I didn`t know what DAW is but I bought Music Creator because it was cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, look I'm a newcomer compared to everyone.
I was using TASCAM 688 for a long time and then quit musicmaking temporarily. After that, I determined making music again and looked for an Audio interface has 8ch input for importing from TASCAM 688 then I found Edirol UA-101 as a result. So I bought SONAR POWER STUDIO 101 because it was good buy. Its my first SONAR.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got hooked up with a friend (bassists) from church that wanted me to come over and check out his rig.  We were in the praise team band and he said his studio was all computer. It was Cakewalk Pro9.  I had seen it once before in a studio, but never worked with it.  At that time, I think you could add audio tracks and since I had only a Tascam 4 track at home, this was a treat.  I went over a number of times doing songs with him until he moved away.

My next run in was working in a small studio where they were running Sonar XL.  I liked working on it and vowed that when I set up my own rig, I would get Sonar.

I eventually bought a copy of Sonar Pro3.    I've been with Cakewalk/Sonar/Cakewalk by Bandlab ever since. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

My first ever DAW was a nice little program called Kristal Audio Engine or KAE. It was limited to 16 tracks but it was easy to use and work with. Their web site is still up (https://www.kreatives.org/kristal/) and it still works fine on older machines.

 

This was followed by a free copy of Cakewalk "Plasma" that was on a Computer Music DVD. It was a nice step up from KAE. Later I upgrade to Cakewalk Home Studio, and they even gave me a discount for having Plasma. Stayed with Home Studio for a while, then finally upgraded to X3 and then to Platinum.

 

 

image.png

Edited by Mandolin Picker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I had CW 3, and then got sonar 3 studio. came here ( the old forum) to find out where they hid the guitar tuner...

Edited by Joad

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×