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TwelveTone systems' Cakewalk Professional 3 on wine

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Pro Audio 9 was the previous record for ancient, obsolete versions.

I remember one poor soul who was seeking help with a precursor to Home Studio that used to come with some audio interface or other. Despite having gone through the whole process of registering with BandLab and coming to the forum, which process, IIRC, has popups pitching Cakewalk by BandLab, he was gobsmacked to learn that he could just download this whole new advanced program and use it for free.

I'm not baffled by the affection for SONAR 8.5.3, and even wanting to still run it, I know that old workflows die hard, and SONAR users included many people for whom 8.5.3 was not broken, whereas X1 did not make the best first impression. I'm baffled by how people who have been using a program for that long come to this forum looking for help. And who sometimes aren't aware that what had once been the mighty SONAR is now the even mightier freeware Cakewalk by BandLab. How do you get as far as being able to post on this forum without learning that?

I never ran 8.5.3, and I started up again with CbB after my last dance with Cakewalk Pro Audio/SONAR being in 2002, a 16 year hiatus. I do know that whatever version of SONAR I was running at the time was rock solid on Win 98SE, whereas the initial release of CbB on Windows 7 was....not. Noel and Jon and Morten and Ben proceeded to hammer that code until 3 months later I could leave it running overnight.

In that 16 year break, I got some experience with Mixcraft and Pro Tools and FWIW, had little trouble adjusting to the UI and workflow paradigms of CbB. Despite the initial implementation, the industry was heading in the direction of take lanes, and IMO, the Skylight UI is still brilliant (and imitated, look no further than Studio One). It scaled wonderfully to the advent of multiple monitors.

5 hours ago, Kevin Perry said:

customisable PRV (shift/ctrl/alt+mouse clicks+regions all configurable so no need for switching tools ever).  I'd love to see that make a comeback (and equivalent for the smart tool in track view)

Once I figured out right click for marquee select🙄, I don't ever manually switch tools in PRV. I have the two thumb buttons on my Logi 705 configured to Ctrl and Alt, so I only go to the keyboard for Shift, in the case of constrained moves and copies.

Similar with Track View regarding manual tool switching. I set the Smart Tool so that the Comp function is turned off unless I'm actually using those features and it's good to go.

The current Cakewalk PRV is my favorite of the ones I've tried, which now also includes Ableton Live and Studio One.

What am I missing? Is there a feature request or two that could restore what you liked about 8.5.3's PRV?

Edited by Starship Krupa

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9 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

What am I missing? Is there a feature request or two that could restore what you liked about 8.5.3's PRV?

I can try reinstalling and showing you the config page - it was truly awesome 🙂

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17 minutes ago, Kevin Perry said:

the config page - it was truly awesome

I do loves me some flexible configuration ability.

One of the reasons I drifted away from Mixcraft when CbB dropped was its lack of keystroke assignment ability. It's very mouse-y. I like not having to hit the keyboard if I don't want to; the advent of the context menu in Windows 95 was love at first sight. But not to a fault.

I've even feature requested the addition of some keystroke commands in CbB (fit horizontal was one that was fulfilled).

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I have pretty fond memories of 8.5.x, in fact I would often use that for drum comping over SONAR for a while there because the workflow just felt better. The super compact track view was good too when I had a smaller screen, but I tell you what, even going back to SPlat now feels like a massive step backwards compared to CbB now. I couldn't imagine going to pre-X SONAR or earlier now.

If I needed something super lightweight, I'd likely throw in Ubuntu Studio and run one of the MIDI editors on that.

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On the other hand, CWPA9.x was... well, it was a workhorse in the studio that we recorded our A Rise to Power album but drum editing was horrific. Slip editing wasn't brought in until SONAR 1, so if you cut out a bit of audio, it was simply gone. Need to cut a bit off of the end of something? You deleted it. Gone. Clip fades? Nope - destructive or you had to draw an envelope in. Cutting together a multi-mic kit where the drummer was not exactly accurate and doing multiple takes of sections was something I absolutely don't miss.

We've come a long way...!

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7 hours ago, Starship Krupa said:

I do loves me some flexible configuration ability.

Here you go.

3 PRV tools:

image.png.229412bb365ec40a9c69b129b6c5a55f.png

And for each one, you have 5 hit zones on the note, plus background ("nowhere") and controller value, can use 3 mouse buttons and 3 key modifiers (all combinations allowed so 8 * 3 * 5 commands doable without changing tool!):

image.png.7cf805fdd75de8c74555e0730884c5e0.png

or if you clicked on a note:

image.png.7c38edda0fe4da0fb38795e3d9c87d22.png

A thing of beauty and power.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Lord Tim said:

going back to SPlat now feels like a massive step backwards compared to CbB now

It doesn't seem that way to us old dudes due to time compression, but 4 years is a healthy bit of time in the software development world. Back in the day, that could be a product's entire life cycle. If Cakewalk were being given numeric releases, IMO it would be up to 3.0 at this point.

I wouldn't want to use the first release of CbB. It didn't work too well on my system (to me, the audio engine was like a balky lawnmower that would poop out and I'd have to restart), and there are so many "smaller" features and fixes that I now take for granted because they made so much sense. I have shiny spots on Ctrl-Alt-F. CbB used to scramble up my takes if I recorded with the lanes closed (which I always do). Being able to use Aim Assist without the numerical readout obscuring the Ruler tick marks. Persistent note names in PRV. Right click and rename clip, for heaven's sake. Ripple Edit Indicator! Configurable Smart Tool! Select, right click and Process in the Staff View. The new amazing Export dialog. By themselves, maybe minor or less flashy improvements and fixes, but taken together, holy crap.

Think of this: BandLab has now owned the Cakewalk brand longer than Gibson did. People who started using CbB in college are now graduating or already have. I wonder how many people can now say "I used Cakewalk by BandLab throughout college." Yet we still get people who are dubious about whether the program can "survive" as freeware. It's already "survived" better and longer under BandLab than it did under the last owners. 🙄

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A thing of beauty and power.

No argument there. I haven't completely parsed it, but it looks like you could set up your mouse buttons to do just about anything.

Edited by Starship Krupa
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I wrote an MT32 editor back in the day. Ran under DOS and required ANSI.SYS! But hey, it worked! I converted it to Cscape at some point.

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On 6/5/2022 at 1:14 PM, Lord Tim said:

If you just want to run Cakewalk for DOS then the easiest thing is to grab Virtual Box and FreeDOS and run it all in a VM. Then go play Doom :) 

I checked out Virtual Box - it's very cool.  I was thinking of all the old software which could be brought back to life and then I realized - I'm into making music with best tools possible - why would I even consider going down that rabbit hole?

I remember longing to be able to use Logic PC again, but when you look at it objectively, we have it so much easier today, even with free and almost free DAW software available to us.  

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