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Between Sonar or Cubase what would you choose and why?

Discussion in 'Cubase' started by audiokid, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    This may have been discussed recently, however, I would like very current opinions on which software to go with today.

    I'm adapting to PC and additional software other than PT which I've been using for 10 years on a Mac.

    Between Sonar or Cubase what would you choose and why?

    I have a choice on 32 bit or 64 bit system.
    I want the scoring feature of cubase but if sonar out performs cubase, sonar would be my choice. I'm looking for stability and quality. Either platform will be new to me, including PC, so it has nothing to do with what I am used to. Its all new to me.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I should add a few more points

    , this new system is for composing, and heavy midi production. if it was a good tracking system to boot, I would be even happier.
    Ultimately I will be teaching my oldest child the world of digital audio production.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Not sure if I should respond to this?

    While I'm a user of neither, I have been exposed to both. I nearly called the cops on 'em fer that but I digress....

    I'de be more incliened to go with the Steinberg/YAMHA product. From Cubase you can tightly intigrate to NUENDO & back. Yamaha will be around longer in the end I would also imagine?

    Cakewalk is well just a plain Cakewalk. Look out for all that sticky iceing. You don't want to time slip.

    Time keeps on Slippin' slippin' slippin' into the future.............
    Ms Remy Ann David
  4. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    I don't agree with Remy on this one. Cubase (V4) no longer supports DX effects or instruments and from what I have read, technical support is something you can forget with Steinberg.

    On the other hand I have used Cakewalk products for around 20 years and have never had a big problem with support - or indeed the product. Remy's Steinberg/Yamaha argument is also moot as of the start of this year as Roland now have a large stake (majority I think) in Cakewalk.

    In Sonar 7 Cakewalk introduced major revisions to their ageing MIDI editing structure and this seems to have addressed the vast majority of the gripes expressed on their forums.

    They have recently introduced V8 and although there have clearly been a few teething problems, these have already been addressed with two updates. For the lesser gripes, another update is apparently being worked on. I don't think you will ever see support from Steinberg like this. Indeed when Cubase 4 was released, promised updates to clear bugs in V3 were abandoned, this resulted in many users changing over to Sonar. I don't think I know of any "converts" who are dissatisfied. It seems the workflow differences are the only big changes other than relatively minor features being missing from one or the other.

    Overall, if you like good support and frequent updates from a company who seem to listen to their user base, I think Sonar is the only logical choice. JMHO!

    EDIT: P.s. From what you said about usage I don't think Remy's point about Nuendo is relevant either. Sonar can show video clips so you can sync to video, but a video editor it is not! Many users seem to use multiple software and don't appear to have major problems with import/export. Again these facilities have been enhanced considerably over the last two releases.
  5. fmw

    fmw Guest

    I chose Sonar only because I don't like dongles. If Cubase didn't have a dongle, I would have chosen it.
  6. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Yes, DX plug-ins are no longer natively supported in Cubase4 but they can be used just fine within a wrapper. Many plug-ins come in different varieties, VST, DX, AU, etc. This was really only a big problem for people who had existing projects that used DX plugins. When they loaded in the older projects cubase would not load the plug-ins. To fix that, users had to reconfigure their project with a wrapper and apply their DX plugs as needed. For people who used Waves, DX, they had to jump through a couple hoops to change from using the DX version to VST.
    BUT, for a new user, I don't see any of this being a problem.

    I haven't use Sonar a lot. The last time I checked it out was 4 years ago. At that time Cubase just simply blew it away as far as MIDI implementation/functionality was concerned which was one of my major concerns. I've heard great things about Sonar's 64bit implementation which has been out for a couple years now whereas Steinberg just released a 'beta' version with Cubase4.

    I'm not going to say alot because I can't really compare/contrast the two applications but here's what one recent convert had to say about his switch from PT. Check out the other posts there as well. There's plenty pointing out problems and plenty giving it props.
  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Assuming Cubase didn't require the dongle, why would you pick it over Sonar?
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    If I went with Sonar, what other scoring software is out there?
  9. quesne

    quesne Active Member

    Do you know what specific wrappers are available to use my DX plug-ins in Cubase 4? I have been looking and the only one I found is no longer compatible.
  10. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member


    There's another one called buzz or something like that. It seemed a bit complicated to set up.
  11. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Leisure Suit Larry?

    Fruity Loops?
  12. fmw

    fmw Guest

    It just has better placement among pro studios. I don't think it does anything Sonar can't do for my purposes. It would have to be really, really, really special to get me to buy a piece of software with a dongle.
  13. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    That's why I mentioned the overhaul of MIDI with Sonar 7. It really has changed almost beyond recognition now and I have seen very few criticisms of the new implementation. Personally I find Sonar more intuitive than Cubase, but that is probably because I have been using Cakewalk products for so long now.

    4 Years ago you would be comparing Sonar 4 to Cubase 3 (I think). Sonar 8 is almost unrecognisable from Sonar 4. I have a good friend still using Sonar 4 and whenever he asks a question (he's not very technical and calls at least weekly) I find I have to open Sonar 4 (still on my system for this very reason) just so I can work out how I used to do things! It reallly highlights the improvements that have been made.
  14. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for your opinions all.

    I'm going with Sonar 8. Sounds like its a step ahead of Cubase. From what I understand, it does have a basic scoring feature ( Staff View) that will hopefully be updated. If not, there are a few third party options out there. Has anyone used Sibelius, Finale or Overture..?
  15. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I suppose it's too late now but I use Cubase still. It's a great program. I've used Sonar in the past and it's alright. It has it's own issues. I can't remember but I'm pretty sure it had issues with my interface. The thing I don't like about Sonar is their insistence on maintaining DX plugins. It's one of few DAWs that still use this platform. Of course you can use VST with a wrapper.

    The support issues with Cubase I think have improved quite a bit since Yamaha took over and Avid(as in Pinnacle and Digidesign) dropped out of the picture.

    I think at this point it all comes down to personal preference.
  16. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    I have Sonar 7 (wrote a review of it), and use Nuendo (have also used Logic, Samplitude, etc). Imho, Cubase has a much better workflow than Sonar. Sonar has some good features, but Cubase is a better all around app in my opinion. Cubase/Nuendo's tempo/grid warp feature is better than anything on the market for adapting tempo grids and having clips follow, or remain locked to timecode (PT's elastic time is good in other ways). Nuendo's edit mode makes spotting effects and score to picture a snap. Not sure Sonar has anything like that.

    Also, imho, Cubase is much easier to grasp intuitively and to teach.

    Sonar 8 may have changed this, but having to reboot Sonar just to change ASIO latency was a complete no-go for any time-critical work. It probably does WDM on the fly, and if you are happy with WDM drivers, then it may not be a big deal.

    As far as DirectX - I haven't missed it in years and that whole basis for complaint when it was dropped made no sense to me. Really not sure what plugins are DX-only still that would require a DX host (other than an old version of Autotune, which is in VST format now). Especially when you look at soft synths and sample libraries - there are none outside of Cakewalk's own plugins.

    After the fact most likely, but fwiw...
  17. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    dterry, thats the kind of info I'm looking for. I still haven't bought it.

    Here is the other scenario.

    My computer choice sadly dictates what software I start with. I'm understanding Cubase is not supported by 64-bit systems now.
  18. dterry

    dterry Active Member

    Cubase 64 bit is still pre-release, but there are people using it. You can apparently use the 32 bit version under Vista 64 but without the extended memory advantages (I am going to be setting up a farm PC with the 64-bit version running EWQLSO Play 64 bit in a few weeks).

    The downside to watch out for with either app is running 32-bit plugins under a 64-bit app. Both use a bit bridge and performance varies there. I don't know how stable the 64-bit preview version of Cubase is vs. Sonar 8.

    If you have the time before committing, I would download the Sonar demo and see how it works for you. I don't like the workflow, but it might work well for you.
  19. Greener

    Greener Guest

    I don't the way Sonar makes you work, the wave editing is annoying. I'm spoiled by the simplicity of old-school Cool Edit and Audition.
    I find Sonar LE to be really annoying to set up the right tools and getting the mouse buttons to do the right thing. Makes me feel like it's giving me R.S.I.
  20. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    The post may be late but the info you give is well out of date too. Sonar has supported both DX(i) and VST(i) natively since Sonar 6. If you don't like Dx(i) then don't bother but if you DID occasionally want it, it is there - no longer so with Cubase.

    As of Sonar 8 there is no longer any restarting of Sonar (never was a reboot) for either ASIO or WDM. Sonar also supports the latest Vista audio spec's (can't remember the acronym off hand) for apparently even lower latency.

    If you have Sonar 7 then you should know that both DX(i) and VST(i) are supported natively. I don't see why DX(i) is a bad thing - at least it is fully specified whereas VST(i) has very many gaps in the spec's which often lead to incompatibilities (due to differing interpretations) on any DAW software.

    I'm not trying to tell the OP what to buy but I will try to make sure he is getting up to date info. Several of the comments about Sonar have been pretty dated.... to be fair one poster did mention Sonar 4 but any opinion based on experience even say only one year old is dated as I have mentioned. Sonar has been updated every year since 2001 (and beyond with the Pro Audio series) and EVERY release has made significant changes.

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