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Is Sonar still relavent?
#2994239 06/16/19 10:07 PM
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Long term Sonor user. In fact, I still have my Cakewalk vs. 1.02 3 1/2" disk from 20+ years ago. I purchased the lifetime upgrade a month or two before they announced that they were discontinuing the product. That really pissed me off and turned me from the product. Was excited when the new company announced ownership and offered sign up for continued free use. Then got aggravated when I signed up and found the product was not ready for download. Out of frustration I stopped using it and my Windows music computer has not been turned on in a year. Right now I am using Live, Reason and Logic on a MacBook Pro and pretty nice iMac. Should I give Sonar another chance or is it done? I never see anyone post about it anymore.

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
RABid #2994257 06/16/19 10:32 PM
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I mostly use Studio One these days, because Version 4 implemented features that are incredible for songwriting, which is very important to me. Specifically, their chord track isn't just for MIDI data, but for polyphonic audio data. In other words, I could play an E - A - B chord progression on guitar, and if I changed the chord track to A - F# - D, that's what the guitar would play. Blew my mind. Similarly, I can play a chord progression on guitar, drag it up to the Chord track, and Studio One will parse the chord progression (!) and create the chord track...which I can then use to "force" MIDI notes to the chord progression. You can just hit a chord repeatedly, and as long as the timing is right, it will follow the Chord track. Studio One also has a Arranger track where you can copy, drag, etc. entire sections of songs.

That said, I still use Sonar (now called Cakewalk by BandLab, or CbB) as well. It has tricks Studio One can't do, like analyze a mixed track and generated a tempo map. It's great for making material played free-form useable. It also can created and edit Acidized files, and only Magix Acid (which has been reborn - longest ever time between updates, but they did a great job) can do that. Also, of all the DAWs I've used, I like the way CbB handles mixing, particularly the ability to do real-time upsampling for instruments that benefit from it. Finally, because I still have Sonar installed, CbB recognizes all the plug-ins and ProChannel modules that ship with it.

Yes, it is indeed free. However, the elements that required paying royalties have been stripped, with one exception: CbB added elastique time-stretching, which is also used in Studio One, Acid, and other programs. CbB is also running ARA2 for Melodyne, and IIRC Studio One is the only other program that does so at the moment.

Perhaps what's most important about CbB is it continues to receive regular updates (although not on a monthly schedule) and the emphasis has been on bug fixes and workflow tweaks. So at least in my opinion, CbB is more relevant now than it was when it was Sonar Platinum. It basically has everything one would like about Sonar, but has eliminated a lot of the issues that bugged people. The only thing people complain about is about every six months or so, you need to go online and let BandLab know you're still there to keep CbB activated. I just don't see that as a big issue, especially since it's free, but you know how people are...

I continue to use other DAWs as well...right tool for the right job, and all that. For example, I doubt I'll ever use anything other than Ableton Live for live performance.

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
Anderton #2994263 06/16/19 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton

That said, I still use Sonar (now called Cakewalk by BandLab, or CbB) as well. It has tricks Studio One can't do, like analyze a mixed track and generated a tempo map. It's great for making material played free-form useable. It also can created and edit Acidized files, and only Magix Acid (which has been reborn - longest ever time between updates, but they did a great job) can do that. Also, of all the DAWs I've used, I like the way CbB handles mixing, particularly the ability to do real-time upsampling for instruments that benefit from it. Finally, because I still have Sonar installed, CbB recognizes all the plug-ins and ProChannel modules that ship with it.


As a part-time StudioOne user (Incidentally, I won my first copy during a Presonus workshop that you conducted at the 2012 NAMM Show :)), the greatest strength of CbB/The DAW Formerly Known As Sonar for me are the Instrument Definitions and the way it works with hardware MIDI synths, which StudioOne, despite how great it is otherwise, is totally oblivious to. Someone told me that nearly everyone who works at PreSonus is a guitar player, so they approach the DAW in that respect. StudioOne doesn't give me the flexibility to choose patches from all the banks in my hardware synths/rack modules and I think that's a shame (StudioOne only recognizes one way of selecting banks on MIDI synths whereas CbB/TDFKAS has multiple methods). Anyway, I'm not as torn up about it as I was during the Sonar Refugee Era (November 2017-April 2018) when I was forced to look for another DAW.

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
RABid #2994281 06/17/19 12:10 AM
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I have Studio One, but could never get close enough to it that I could rationalize abandoning DP.

dB

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
Dave Bryce #2994331 06/17/19 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
I have Studio One, but could never get close enough to it that I could rationalize abandoning DP.

dB


Too bad you're not a guitar player, DP's bundled amp sims are excellent...very underrated. I've imported tracks to DP just to use the sims, then exported the tracks back into wherever they came from.

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
elsongs #2994332 06/17/19 03:30 AM
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Originally Posted by elsongs
... the greatest strength of CbB/The DAW Formerly Known As Sonar for me are the Instrument Definitions and the way it works with hardware MIDI synths, which StudioOne, despite how great it is otherwise, is totally oblivious to. Someone told me that nearly everyone who works at PreSonus is a guitar player, so they approach the DAW in that respect.


I think a lot of Studio One's users are guitar players, based on the response to the Friday Tip of the Week I do for the Presonus blog. However, what you're saying about integration with MIDI hardware is something that gets brought up a lot by people in Studio One's equivalent of Sonar's feedback portal, so it wouldn't surprise me if there will be improvements along those lines.

And while we're at it, Studio One doesn't have an Event List, which I think CbB does well. I also wish it was possible to do custom graphics with the FX Chains, but SO's FX Chains have a splitter that can do 5-way multiband frequency splits as well as normal splits, which definitely rocks my multiband processing oriented world.

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
Anderton #2994431 06/17/19 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by Dave Bryce
I have Studio One, but could never get close enough to it that I could rationalize abandoning DP.

dB


Too bad you're not a guitar player

Perhaps you mean too bad I'm not a GOOD guitar player...? grin idea

[Linked Image]

dB






Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
RABid #2994465 06/17/19 05:46 PM
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Why did you put a picture of Trent Reznor in your post? smile smile

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
Anderton #2994468 06/17/19 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Why did you put a picture of Trent Reznor in your post? smile smile

Is he standing behind me? I didn't know he was a fan of my band... cool

dB

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
RABid #2994510 06/17/19 08:35 PM
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How does Studio One do with Acidized loops? I really loved early versions of Acid because it was so easy to compose. Being able to mix small clips of loops into a single channel to create customized parts was a breakthrough. For me, that is what Ableton Live is missing. The ability to easily cut and past small clips of loops into a new custom loop.

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
RABid #2994716 06/18/19 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by RABid
How does Studio One do with Acidized loops? I really loved early versions of Acid because it was so easy to compose. Being able to mix small clips of loops into a single channel to create customized parts was a breakthrough. For me, that is what Ableton Live is missing. The ability to easily cut and past small clips of loops into a new custom loop.


Studio One parses Acidized loops and conforms them to tempo. The main issues compared to Sonar are no way to tie files to Pitch markers, although the Harmonic Editing takes care of that. You also can't edit the acidization, which is a problem with Acidized files that weren't edited carefully.

Ultimately, the Acidized file format is being supplanted by DSP-based stretching algorithms which do the same thing, but without the need to edit. You can't roll out an Acidized file in Studio One the same way you can in Sonar, but you can select the clip and just keep typing "D" to duplicate. Once the file is there, you can cut and paste, and the file will conform to the tempo. So overall...Acidized files work in Studio One, and if you need to edit them, hey - Cakewalk by BandLab is a free download!

Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
Anderton #2994750 06/18/19 11:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Studio One doesn't have an Event List, which I think CbB does well.

Wow! I just assumed that every DAW would have that as a version 1.0 feature. I guess just about every DAW is missing some feature that almost every other DAW has had for years.

Pro Tools, for instance, doesn't have folder tracks. Somehow, I get by... wink

Best,

Geoff


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Re: Is Sonar still relavent?
Geoff Grace #2994795 06/19/19 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Geoff Grace
Originally Posted by Anderton
Studio One doesn't have an Event List, which I think CbB does well.

Wow! I just assumed that every DAW would have that as a version 1.0 feature. I guess just about every DAW is missing some feature that almost every other DAW has had for years.

Pro Tools, for instance, doesn't have folder tracks. Somehow, I get by... wink

Best,

Geoff


It's not quite that simple...Studio One uses higher resolution for MIDI data internally. This reduces, if not eliminates, zipper noise, but also expresses MIDI values as a percentage of full scale, as opposed to being quantized to 128 steps or whatever. So while SO could probably implement an event list, I assume it would not be as straightforward as it is with other DAWs.

As to folder tracks, the new version of Acid implements folder tracks. This is one program where I would consider folder tracks essential, because a part will often consist of multiple loops. But I have to say, folder tracks can be incredibly useful. When I do seminars, it's soooooo convenient to put ALL the audio examples that relate to a specific point within a folder. I realize that's an unconventional use, but damn, it would be hard to cope without it.


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