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Cubase or Sonar?

Discussion in 'Cubase' started by inkd, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. inkd

    inkd Active Member

    Hey, guys. I have come to the point where I must decide what DAW software to purchase. I plan to rely heavily on MIDI orchestration/instrumentation as well as live instrumentation for my music. Because I plan to incorporate MIDI, I have been told that it would be to my benefit to buy Cubase 5, as its MIDI capabilities are some of the best. On the other hand, I have been told Sonar's mixing tools are out of this world. So I was wondering, should I go with an FL Studio + Sonar combo to handle MIDI orchestration and recording/mixing, or should I just go with Cubase (and maybe the basic edition of FL Studio)? Any input/feedback is greatly appreciated. Thanks, guys!
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    It's hard to reply to this without some bias. I was a Cubase user for a long time but I'm about to become a Sonar user. It'll be a while since I have to read the manual but eventually, I'm going to try to do a step by step setup and basics blog. Both are great programs and don't doubt the efficacy of Sonar as a midi editor. Many people prefer Sonar for midi. But again, this may be a matter of bias and or familiarity. Either way, it will be a matter of learning the software so I don't think you can lose. I should say though that incorporating Fruity Loops into the mix may be overkill since both Cubase and Sonar have drum and loop capabilities.
  3. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I have used Cubase 4 for awhile now and record both audio and MIDI and it is a rock solid DAW in that regard....Cakewalk started out with MIDI sequencers and have a long history as a company that makes good MIDI sequencers...I used to use Cakewalk back in the day and I also have a copy of SonarLE now after my ZED R16 purchase. I totally prefer my Cubase 4 to the SonarLE and I'm still mentally debating on the upgrade to 5...I want to...but I guess my mind is set on upgrading my computer system from WinXP to Win7 first and then go to Cubase 5.
    If you have any experience with one or the other...I would choose the one your more familiar with...if you have no experience with either then price might be the decision. If you want to save some money and don't care about recording audio maybe just a sequencer is all you need....
  4. inkd

    inkd Active Member

    These were my initial thoughts and are probably what my decision will be based on. Once I get the money, I may simply buy both. But for now, I feel Cubase would be the best for my needs. Are there any features FL Studio has that Cubase lacks (aside from recording capabilities)?
  5. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    I've never used FL Studio so I would just look at all the features on each website and compare.
    If your buying full version of Cubase5 you're talking $500 and I think the latest version of Sonar8.5 is close although I haven't looked.
    That would be a big investment to buy both....if you're just starting out in this then look at Cubase Studio which is cheaper but doesn't have the full features.
    Cubase5 has incredible features (as does C4) and would definitely keep you learning for a long time to come!
  6. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Sonar Producer 8.5 is about the same @ $499. Sonar Studio is cheaper as is Cubase 5 Studio. Fruity Loops also has audio capability AFAIK.
  7. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I've used Cubase SX3 for awhile now, and I do like it a lot. Like any DAW, it has its little wrenches.
    As others have mentioned, my familiarity/experience with it is probably the biggest plus.

    However, I've recently teamed up w/ another engineer/musician who happens to use Sonar 8.5, and thus have had to assist/lead on a few tracking sessions (meanwhile implementing a new interface and OS!). I'm pretty impressed. Although I love how Cubase interfaces w/ me, I must admit the tools that Sonar has are better, IMHO.
    Of note are the Piano Roll View and the ability to customize almost everything

    I should also not that my co-worker does an @$$load of of MIDI, sequencing, and sampling when creating his own work, and he prefers Sonar for that.
    Maybe in his case it's a familiarity thing as well?
    Additionally, I am comparing an old version of Cubase to a new version of Sonar.

    I hope my rambling, non-conclusive argument for both DAWs has made my point.
    Based on my limited experience, i'd give the slight nod to Sonar. But you *did* read my post, right?
  8. rfahey86

    rfahey86 Guest

    Just want to throw my opinion in here. I bought Sonar 8 when it first came out and thought it was great, until a friend had me try out Cockos Reaper to see if I could teach him the basics of mixing (He couldn't afford Sonar, Reaper is only 60 bucks). Ever since then I have yet to even open up Sonar again. If your unsure of a DAW it is free for 30 days, and if you do buy it , the license is good to upgrade for two versions.
  9. brendanlynch

    brendanlynch Guest

    Hi All,

    Saw this post while I was looking for content on the Web about an alternative to Sonar for the Mac. I have been a Windows user for many, many years and finally decided to go Mac with the purchase of a laptop - MacBook Pro. This has brought a range of rethinks and reworks, not least the issue of a viable MIDI application.

    I have used Cakewalk almost since its inception, and pretty much the same for Cubase. The only reason I would want to stay with Sonar - and this IS the only reason, is the way it handles Sy*** data. Much of my work relies heavily on Sy*** data from the Tyros and I just cannot see a comparable way for Cubase to manage it the way Sonar does. For the rest? I'd rather stay with Cubase. But sadly, because of a whole lot of rearranging if the Sy*** information to manage it better, Sonar takes the trophy (for me) for the better MIDI file manager.

    It uses banks to manage and auto send the data - seems to have a more intuitive way of receiving the data. If only Cubase worked with the system of banks the way Sonar does . . .

    So for now it's Mac OS X and a bootcamp version of Windows 7 to allow me access to Sonar.

    Just my two bits worth . . .
  10. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    Although it is cut down, there is an evaluation of Sonar 8.0 (not the latest version) on their website. Always worth a look before you buy...

    Unfortunately I am not aware of any evaluation versions of Cubase. One person has mentioned Reaper and it certainly seems to be building a fan base. From what I am aware of though its MIDI capabilities are still limited. You can though, as already mentioned, also evaluate a copy of that.

    I always recommend trying evaluation copies of any software and do not understand companies who make no attempt to provide them.
  11. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    This appears to be a demo version. Not sure. It's located on Brothersoft.

  12. i used both for a while and definitely give my thumbs up to cubase 5. great interface, great features. Support could be better but i think thats the same for everyone.

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