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New Sonar X3 adventure !

Discussion in 'Sonar' started by pcrecord, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Hi guys and girls,
    I started the tests of Sonar X3c this weekend. (upgrading from X2
    I'm gonna let you know if I have any problems
    I did the installation on a new HDD, (so my X2 is still available if I have problems)

    First the installation went smooth.
    The cosmetic changes are very light so I'm lost at all.

    The new features tested to date are :
    -The integration of melodyne which is pretty hot compared to VVocal.
    -Tape simulation : I'll have to test it further but it seem nice so far (you can add it to every channel and to the bus.)
    -Channel coloring is a nice addition. It'll be easy when working on big project.

    The integration of VST3 was very due for cakewalk.
    I could not wait to use vocalign (a 3rd party) but the version I tested does not seem to register.. so I'll work further on that.
    All other vst3 plug-inswere detected and I still have to test most of
    them. Sad part, I have to replace the vst2 version in all my projects.
    (I use fabfilter collection and Voxengo collection)

    Any comments or questions, let me know !
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Looks exciting. I have Sonar here and keep wanting to like it. I hope this version is the one that changes it for everyone! Looking forward to your comments.

    Lets post a few more links:
    Cakewalk - SONAR Family - SONAR X3 Producer, SONAR X3 Studio And SONAR X3

    Cakewalk - SONAR X3 - What's New

  3. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I used cakewalk to record from Cakewalk pro audio 6 which was simple and solid. Along the years they had up and downs with stability and I was always able to tweak drivers and OS to make it work (with some crashes from time to time).

    My current test is with a fresh windows 8 x64 install with basic microsoft drivers (sata video etc) and no Sonar or OS tweaking. I'll let you know if it's stable ;)

    As for vocalign, I read that melodyne could sync a track with another.. I'll test that tonight!

    BTW, I'm not Cakewalk rep or expert.. just a regular guy in a home studio ;)
  4. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Little follow up, I made some tests yesterday evening about melodyne and Tape emulation.

    The integrated version of melodyne doesn't support appling pitch/timing from a reference track. But it support doubling and creating harmonies in a single windows when inserting it as a plugin. Pretty neet with double click solo play back.

    The tape emulation goes from very suttle to very obvious when pushing up the record level and especially if you go with speed 7.5
    It's a nice addition to handle with precaution.

    I'm still waiting for my Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 to come back from warranty so I will hold toughts about stability.
  5. CoyoteTrax

    CoyoteTrax Well-Known Member

    Cakewalk's Tape Sim has always been an awesome tool, going all the way back to PA9. I don't have this new version you have but can only assume it's the same or better, just a change in GUI. Very powerful IMO.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    So at this point, you're still forced to use V-Vocal for correction... hmmm.... I was never a fan of V Vocal.

    Did they mention the cost of the upgrade from the "comes with" version of Melodyne ( lol, let's call it "Melodyne Light" ) to the fully functional version?

    As far as tape sims, I've tried several miscellaneous tape plugs over the last few years...out of the ones I've tried, none of them have really impressed me.
    I've haven't found one yet where my response was"Oh yeah! Instant Studer B77 !!" LOL

    I would say that the one that came the closest - at least to my ears - was in the Harrison Mixbus program... and I really like that program for mixing... the downside is that there isn't any midi support of any kind, so if I'm working on a project with integrated audio and midi tracks, or vst instruments, I can't use the Harrison for those projects.

    I've been at Sonar 7 for a long time now, and have put off upgrading to any of the X versions, because I've been waiting to see what changes will be offered from version to version.

    Is there anything in particular that jumped out at you as being something that you really liked, aside from the Tape Sim or Melodyne?

    Do you like the layout in general? Any complaints of anything they've added ( or taken away)?

    And, is the general layout of the program somewhat similar to older versions of Sonar, or is there a big adjustment one should expect when upgrading from the higher numbered versions to the X versions?
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    DonnyThompson, you got me wrong. V-Vocal isn't part of Sonar.. It's gone !!! What I cannot do with Melodyne is to reference to another track. The pitch and quantize fonctions work just fine.

    As for what I like other than tape simulator and Melodyne :
    I like that you can now easily color the tracks as Avid does.
    That the plugin manager is better done and give you info at startup
    I like that it's easier to create a bus by selecting tracks instead of manually assigning them
    I have yet to test the comping tool for sorting takes.
    But is not a different DAW it's the same but enhanced.
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I wonder when they decided to ditch V-Vocal...not that I ever saw it as being all that useful.

    Are they still including that vintage compressor plug that they started using back around 6.0?

    I didn't use it all the time and it wasn't my first choice go-to compressor, but there were times I found it useful.

    Merci Beaucoup, PC. I'm gonna keep watching them...

  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Oh yes they still carry that old compressor that I never use..
    They added the sonitus suite that is more interesting :
    Sonitus Compressor
    Sonitus Delay
    Sonitus Equalizer
    Sonitus Gate
    Sonitus Modulator
    Sonitus Multiband
    Sonitus Phase
    Sonitus Reverb
    Sonitus Surround
    Sonitus Surround Compressor
    Sonitus Wahwah

    I specially use the gate the multiband compressor and sometime the reverb,
    But since they put up the pro channel, it as a compressor with side chain and the EQ in it (which I did'nt like before this new version)
    ProChannel :
    Tape Emulator
    Console Emulator
    Softube Saturation Knob
    QuadCurve EQ Zoom
    Tube Saturation
    PC4K S-Type Bus Compressor
    PC76 U-Type Compressor

  10. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Currently the upgrade to Melodyne Assistant from Melodyne Essential (Which I paid for) is $150.00. Not bad. I have yet to upgrade to X3. X2 works fine for me and is a huge improvement over X1. I expect that X3 will be as much an improvement.

    How are the Blue Cat plugins? Do you like?

    I never use the Saturation Plugins. Too much. The console emulation however is very nice. The PC-76 comp is also decent. Not sure that it is as good as the UAD equivalent but it's very good. Between those, I have all the plugins I need. What I really want now is real buttons and knobs and hardware summing. Need to save up for that console.
  11. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Just curious what you mean by having the pitch correction "reference another track". I use digital performer 7 which has an incredibly transparent pitch correction built in, but I don't think it has referencing capability. Just wondering what that was.

    also, how come you didn't have to tweak or optimize windows 8? Jw, I used Xp for many years and that was a crucial essential thing. Has Microsoft figured out that people use their stuff for more than office crap? I had to switch to Mac cuz that's what they have at the studios I work at, but I Like to stay in the know in case I get a call to fix something.

    ive never used tape simulation, mainly because I got an silly deal on an old tascam 34 reel to reel a few years ago. But even that thing I've only used once in te past few years. While I'm very fond of the results, I just don't get asked to record to tape. But I do love the sound of trashy machines like mine, the 34, and the portastudio. I find that the people who had to put up w tape are done w it, and the people who want a tape sound, want an exaggerated very tapey sound, that the cheap machines do, not the sublet super clean style of the very expensive tape machines like a studer. IMHO it's gonna be a while before tape sims are perfected, there's just so much chance involved, be it the tape itself, the buildup on the heads, just all the random things.

    To to me it's the same thing as using a console, or summing, there's just something that happens when you turn binary code into electricity again, that hasn't been fully replicated yet. I hope they figure it out soon.
  12. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I understand what you are saying when you talk about the variables of tape - the head wear, the tape, etc.

    For better or worse, I guess I base my ears on what I grew accustomed to with a nice deck, solid bias and alignment, fresh tape... there was just some kind of mojo magic that used to happen when we were pushing the envelope up near +3db (and above) that was "intangible"; a certain silk, warmth, resonance, edge... It's kinda hard to describe, yet old-schoolers ( yeah, okay, I'm one of those) still use it as a reference base from which all fidelity is considered LOL. I have yet to hear a plug where I hear that "intangible" mojo.

    It wasn't an accuracy or a "transparency" thing that made it attractive - and although we would strive for the best SN ratios, invested money into NR modules, all in an effort to get things as "clean" as possible - it was actually the lack of accuracy and transparency that ended up really defining what we liked. Analog is not transparent. Analog is colored. Many colors.

    We just didn't know it, until we actually got into digital and realized that the trade-off of having the "clean and quiet" and "accuracy" of digital was that it was also a lot more monochrome.

    I still find it humorous that the cats that got into digital and ended up clearing their racks and selling all those analog components, like Pre's, EQ's and Compressors, are now spending big money on plugs that attempt to emulate the same results. ;)
  13. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I have not tweaked any of my win 7 or my win 8 machines for audio. On my win 8 hp laptop I don't even shut off the wireless card. I think it is both better os and better hardware. With 16 gig of ram there isn't much taxing the machine. Of course I no longer do large track count projects either.

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
  14. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I love XP for its stability. I still use it on my desktop audio production PC. If it could accept more than 4 gigs of ram, I'd keep it forever. But at some point, I'm going to need to upgrade to 7 because there are things I want to do that are just not feasible with the small amount of ram that XP is limited to.

    I remember running into some problems with Windows 7; it came pre-installed on my laptop, and I faced some issues when configuring plugs and vst's that were 32 bit and then put into the 64 bit environment.

    Sonar's Bitbridge finally got most of them working, but a few still refused. For example, I couldn't get BFD 1.5 to work correctly in W7. I called them (FXpansion) a few years ago when I was facing the issue, and asked if there was a workaround patch of some kind available, and they flat-out told me that there was no 64 bit support for the original BFD 1.5, no future support intended, and that I would need to upgrade to at least BFD 2 in order to work within Windows 7/64.

    I don't know if this is really true - or if they were just trying to sell me a new version of BFD. ;) LOL

    I never did do the upgrade, because I don't use BFD ( or any drum program) all that much anyway; I prefer miking up my Yamaha kit, so it's not like I wanna burn the company down or anything, LOL, but it would still be nice to have it on-hand for those occasions when I want it. After all, I did buy it, so it'd be nice if it would work.

    Other than that, I've found 7 to be very stable. I have no experience with 8 at all.

    As long as it's not Vista, then I'm happy. :) Heck, I'd take Windows 98 over Vista...any day. Man... what a train wreck that OS was. facepalm
  15. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    While 8 seems to be a bit more spritely than 7, I only really recommend 8 if you have a touchscreen computer as that is what 8 was designed for. My newest laptop has a touchscreen and I was suspicious about how much I would use it but reluctantly confess to being converted to liking it.

    As to old plugs/programs, while we might like to use these forever it is unreasonable realistically to expect complete reverse compatibility with the latest hardware and software indefinitely, especially when changing something as fundamental as 32 bit guts to 64 bit guts. I too was a bit disgruntled but the advantages and potential of 64 bit wiped that all away.
  16. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm on a slow move to 64 bit and I just told to my cousin ( close friend) to get an Apollo and the rest of the stuff that's compatible. Can't wait to hook it all up and hear when he gets off his injury recovery time. So no tweaking necessary on new windows CPUs? I love that if it's the truth.
  17. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    K you utilize many more tracks and plugs than I do at this point. You may or may not find you need to tweak. Not much if you do. Are you doing much video?

    Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
  18. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I know your question was directed at K....I'm not doing much video at the present but I hope to change that in the near future. Any foreseeable difficulties with W7 and video editing software like Vegas?

    I have Adobe CS - I bought the whole CS bundle several years ago, but honestly I really dislike the CS version of Adobe Premier. I used to use the older Premier versions, but for CS, they really whacked with the functions and GUI.

    I'm sure it's what pros want and prefer, but it's a bit much for me to get through - I found that there were so many hoops to jump through just to render... and when all I want to do is edit and upload to youtube, it's just too deep of a prog for me.

    I know that besides ram and cpu, it also has a lot to do with the graphics card, too, right?
  19. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    For video work, yes the video card selection is important. IMO even if you don't do 3d video those cards still produce superior imaging over most 2d cards. Premier is now so integrated into the CS suite that if you are not an Audition fan then I understand why you don't care for it much. They really built it such that you export your audio to Audition then import it back. That said, our friend Remy preferred Sony Vegas I believe. I don't do any video at this point and in the past sort of had to be forced to do it so not my expertise. Also, the CS suites are really geared toward news and radio post at least as far as I understand through the veils of secrecy of the Adobe corporate crystal ball.
  20. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    Hueseph, I did'nt get far with the Blue Cat plugins yet. I'll do some more tests next week.

    KMetal, Time and Pitch correcting from a reference track would be nice to align back vocals or to make the vocal follow a midi track. Since I can't make vocalign to work with Sonar. I'm searching for aternatives.
    As for windows tweaking, I did'nt install anything but win 8, Sonar, some Vst plugins and some Vsti. Since my post, I disabled windows defender and windows search. I have no antivirus (this computer won't go online). And up to today I let windows handle the drivers except the audio interface one.

    TheJack, it's true that video cards are more important if you do video stuff, but video drivers will drive your audio performance really quick. I had problems with XP and win7 with them. (I went and changed my video card for a quadro and don't have problems since)

    I'm still waiting for my Focusrite saffire 56 to come back from warranty but today I'm getting a used ProjectMix and a UAD 4-710. I'll let you know how it goes with the control features of the project mix with X3.

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