1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Sonar upgrade

Discussion in 'Sonar' started by audiokid, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    What is the latest version of Sonar Producer or is it called that anymore? I have 8.5 and hated the GUI. To cluttered and dark so I shelved it. I haven't loaded it in for a year. Is X1 the newest version?

    Does anyone here have it and what is it like?
  2. prsnut

    prsnut Active Member


    X1 is the newest version of Sonar. Like Version 8 and 8.5 they do have the essential, studio, and producer packages. I have been interested in checking it out, but I am having trouble parting with the money as I have only had 8.5 for about a year and have yet to scratch the surface of it's capabilities.

    I could be mistaken, but from what I'm seeing on the VST and plug-in side the improvements were minimal. It seems as if they spent most of the R&D on improving the GUI and workflow. They also claim it to be optimized for 64 bit Win 7.

    I haven't done an overly large amount of research, but I haven't read anything negative about it yet. The masses seem to be in love with it. Would like to give it a go and see how it does. Maybe Cakewalk will offer a trial version in the near future.

  3. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I haven't bought into the upgrade yet but I plan to. From what I've seen it looks a lot cleaner than 8.5. The price isn't too steep either. $99 bucks for the upgrade to Producer. A whole lot better than the $260 + tax that I paid for ProTools 9. There are some cool things about Sonar. Matrix for one is awsome for editing midi loops. I'd only use it for EZDrummer but that's a whole lot easier than copy and paste.
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hey Hue,

    Thanks for chiming in. The X1 looks better doesn't it. I just hate the dark and cheap look of 8.5. I loaded it all in again last night, tried it for 30 min and dumped it again. Man that is one ugly DAW program, but I want to like it. I'm tempted to spend $99. Let me know if you do and /or if you have the opportunity to see it in a store there.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi Jeremy,

    Thanks for chiming in too. This sounds like good news. I'm going to buzz around the web tonight to see if I can learn more.
  6. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Read this:

    Cakewalk Sonar X1 audio recording software not ready for prime time | NJN Network
  7. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Unfortunately, I am one of those few people that tends not to experience the many issues that others do. I don't know why this is the case but somehow my computer has avoided many issues with ProTools as well. Chance? I suppose so. I eat horseshoes for breakfast.
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Maybe you know what you are doing! :cool:
  9. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    I haven't upgraded to X1 as yet as I'm too busy work wise to get in the studio much. There was an initial outcry about X1 as there seemed to be a few bugs, I suppose undestandably from the point of view of it being a new paradigm in operation. There have been three free updates - X1a, X1b and most recently a "hotfix". These seem to have quietened the masses although some are clearly not thrilled with the new paradigm.

    Having said all that, your comments about the Sonar colour scheme are interesting. Sonar is very customiseable wrt colours. If you go on their forum, you will see plenty of "users" options that you can download and set up in your own copy. Here's a link if you want to try some out.

    SONAR Color Schemes
  10. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Thanks for the link MrEase! I've been there as well. X1 looks like they've really cleaned it up and make it look a lot better. That definitely makes me happy:

  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    here is a real look at it:

  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I gave my copy to friend who runs Cubase. He loaded up the 8.5 and dint like it either. Said it was extremely cluttered. He did, however, LOVE the plug-ins. Said they were way more detailed and usable than his Cubase plugs. So he stuck em of a thumbdrive and added them to his list. Theres a review of the X1 in TapeOp a couple of issues back.
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good to hear Dave,

    I think if Cakewalk got into the mindset of less is more from a Pro Audio POV (maybe they finally have with X1), they would have a serious DAW for the new generation and old. My first imprssion everytime I load it up is, OMG, clutter overload and so damn ugly. Way to much everywhere, bad colour no matter which way you look at it. For me, I want something that looks like a console and nothing else. I know everyone says you can remove the unwanted but even the basic is ugly.
    The skins / themes I've seen are no better IMHO. Sonar 8.5 reminds me of a virtual computer game trying to be pro audio. I know however, its far from that!
    I'm pretty certain it kicks Pro Tools 9 ass in most programming abilities including midi so if they can get a few things sorted this next year, I'm all over it.

    I think Avid is chasing the tail on electronic music software like this and they will not catch up, how could they. Companies like Cakewalk and Steinberg have been building and optimizing DAW's to work without external hardware for years. They just need to get their software to look better so we can actually see what it does and feel like we're not using a toy IMHO.
  14. MrEase

    MrEase Active Member

    As a long term user of Sonar (since Cakewalk for DOS!) I think it is a shame for Cakewalk that they don't set it up to load up much cleaner for first time users.

    I'm not sure how long it is since I have seen the "default" set up of a new version. This is because, for a long time now, Sonar has had many options for menus, toolbars and colours. I usually migrate my old settings when I upgrade.

    As a result I think many people who load it up to "take a tour" instantly get the feelings that have been expressed here. "Dark" and "cluttered" comments are common. The reason I think this is a shame is that, once a "personal" set up has been found that suits you, it no longer needs to be either. These are not things that are high on anyones list when first trying out a DAW so often get overlooked. As it is, just about everything available hits you in the face and it can look very intimidating. I personally would rather load up software that looks bright and easy and get a "wow" factor when I discover some really useful features. Something that Cakewalk should find easy to do. Of course if you go too far it could end up looking like a toy.

    I liken it to the pre-programmed effects you get on things like Guitar effects pedals. Many of these give you the "wow" factor when you try them out in the shop but when you get it home you quickly realise that very little is useful "as is" and programming is very necessary.

Share This Page