Cakewalk Sonar X3 review


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They're all nice, but most of them already had close counterparts in X2's plug-in suite, so I can imagine that some upgrading users might wish that Cakewalk had expended their resources on improving some other area of the program instead.

Dyning Out If there's one plug-in-related development in X3 that will be universally welcomed, it's the addition of built-in support for Celemony's Melodyne through the ARA Audio Random Access protocol. This was first implemented in version 2. One nice feature of its implementation here is that it operates on individual regions or clips rather than on entire files.

The analysis procedure that Melodyne and comparable functions in other DAWs uses to prepare audio for pitch manipulation tends to change the way that the audio sounds, even before any pitch correction is applied, so the ability to isolate a problem area as a clip within X3's editing area and analyse only that clip makes working with Melodyne both faster and more transparent.

Once the analysis is complete, the familiar Melodyne editing window opens within the Multidock, and you can get to work. As in Studio One, it's so much easier and more reliable than attempting to run Melodyne as a real-time plug-in, or exporting files to the stand-alone version for editing.

ARA-based Melodyne integration is a killer feature, and one which would absolutely make me choose Sonar X3 over a non-ARA-equipped DAW for any project where a lot of pitch correction was likely to be on the agenda. Melodyne integration is a great feature. Here, the vocal clip selected in the main edit window is being edited in Melodyne Editor, which appears within the Multidock.

Going Pro Earlier on in this review, I mentioned some frustrations that attend X3's Console, of which only being able to view three insert slots at once is not the least. Increasingly, however, it is becoming possible to mix an X3 project without using these insert slots. For one thing, there is a reasonably sophisticated system of clip-based effects, allowing you to attach plug-in processing to clips within the edit page rather than their mixer channels.

This is not yet as comprehensive as in Magix's Samplitude, but has many uses. For example, suppose your vocal track is blighted by occasional plosive pops and bursts of sibilance. Rather than use automated EQ in the mixer to tackle them, it's often easier to isolate the offending areas as separate clips and apply a suitable clip effect, perhaps in conjunction withclip-based level automation. Those mixing in X3 Producer, moreover, can bring to bear the full resources of the Pro Channel in addition to its vast array of bundled VST plug-ins.

These resources consist at present of an EQ and compressor, tape and tube emulation, the Softube Saturation Knob, a simple but effective algorithmic reverb, and a console emulator; there are also some extra modules available as payable options. The tape emulator is new in X3, and although it doesn't drip authenticity in quite the same way as Slate Digital's VTM, it definitely adds a pleasing thickness and midrange punch to whatever you run through it.

The tube emulation achieves similar results, the compressor performs a more than serviceable impression of a Urei , and the equaliser is a lot more versatile than it appears at first.

All that's missing, to my mind, is a de-esser. A new feature in X3 is the ability to 'fly out' the EQ's editing screen as a separate window.

With its colourful click-and-drag interface and built-in spectrum analyser, this window is very reminiscent of FabFilter's excellent Pro-Q, and all the better for that. Active modules in the Pro Channel appear in a vertical column either in the track inspector or in the Console — which, if you use more than three or four modules, won't fit in its entirety and needs to be scrolled using the mouse wheel. Pro Channel modules can be set into any order by dragging and dropping, and what's more, VST plug-ins can be dragged into the Pro Channel.

Doing so creates a Sonar FX Chain — a container for one or more plug-ins which can be stored as a preset with all their parameters — at the given position. Though I was initially sceptical about the worth of yet another plug-in format, the Pro Channel quickly became my favourite feature of X3 Producer.

It lets you very easily put in place the staple processes that are the bread and butter of any rock or pop mix, and unlike conventional plug-ins, makes it easy to see and adjust multiple processes on multiple channels at once. On a conventional monitor screen, you can easily view half a dozen mixer channels with expanded Pro Channels simultaneously, which is perfect for tackling a drum kit or a wall of guitars.

In fact, having mixed with the full Pro Channel as supplied in X3 Producer, I'd be loath to downgrade to either of the other X3s. The base edition doesn't include the Pro Channel at all, and although Studio owners do now get a Pro Channel, it includes only the equaliser in its older, non-flyable-outable version and the Softube Saturation Knob, which was the one module that struck me as completely useless!

As supplied with X3 Producer, by contrast, I'd be very happy indeed to rely on the Pro Channel for four-fifths of my mix processing, only resorting to VST plug-ins for special effects or where more control is required.

Comp Together As luck would have it, the first couple of projects I attempted to do in X3 involved a fair amount of audio editing, and it took me a while to get my head round the way it works. Editing is carried out using a Smart Tool which changes function depending on whereabouts in a region it's clicked, or using a dedicated Edit Tool and the modifier keys, or by positioning the playback cursor and pressing 'S' to split.

Of the other DAWs I've used, X3's audio editing most closely resembles that in Reaper, but it has plenty of idiosyncrasies of its own. For example, you can't simply create a crossfade between two adjacent clips. Instead, you have to enable automatic crossfading, then adjust the clip boundaries so that they overlap. A preference lets you choose whether the clips created in a multitrack recording should be grouped by default or not. You can group ungrouped clips by selecting them all, right-clicking and choosing 'Create selection group from clips', but at present it's not possible to assign a keyboard shortcut to this Cakewalk told me they are looking into this.

Most editing actions affect only clips that are selected, which is fine except that even when you have made a selection group out of multiple clips, their bonding can be a bit ephemeral. If you want your action to apply across the group, you need to explicitly click in the header part of one of the grouped clips to make sure that all of its members are selected and highlighted.

If, on the other hand, you click and drag on an unselected clip to trim it, none of its compadres will follow suit unless they're already selected. One of the most common, and tedious, tasks for which audio editing is necessary is that of compiling a vocal or instrumental performance from multiple takes, and all three versions of Sonar X3 benefit from a new and powerful toolkit for achieving this.

As in most DAWs, overlapping or simultaneous clips on an X3 audio track can be displayed in lanes. When you hover the Smart Tool over the lower half of a clip on a take lane, it changes into a Comp Tool which can be clicked and dragged to 'swipe' a section of the clip. Doing so divides all the takes at the same points, promotes the particular section you've swiped to the 'master' comp lane on the track itself, and moves the playback head to the point where you clicked.

If you want to hear an alternative take for that section, just click on it; and if you swipe to create a longer section, X3 will automatically 'heal' any cuts created by previous swipe operations. I'd have liked the option to use Audition mode without soloing the track; you can engage Dim Solo if you still want to hear other tracks at a reduced level, but the minimum attenuation setting is 6dB.

Comping in X3. Hitting Shift Space enters Audition mode, where the cursor keys can be used to navigate and audition sections of clips within the take lanes.

Most DAWs now have editing tools specifically targeted at comping, and X3's implementation feels generally mature and well thought-out. I succeeded in tripping it up on occasion, mainly when working with grouped clips across multiple tracks, but overall it does an excellent job of taking the donkey work out of comping and allowing you to focus on the musical performance rather than the nuts and bolts of crossfades and so on.

As is always the case with DAW upgrades, there are also many smaller improvements in X3. One which caught my eye is that, if you're running Windows 8 on a device with a touchscreen, Sonar X3 permits multi-touch control of many parameters. I'm still running Windows 7 on a conventional monitor, so couldn't test this, but it's nice to see a DAW developer integrating multi-touch directly rather than relegating it to a separate iPad control app.

Other DAWs work fine on the same setup, so the reasons for this remain mysterious! Yet even so, X3 already feels like a fully mature application. It has its own ways of doing many things that took me a while to get used to, but ultimately, I've been able to complete the projects I started in Sonar without too much frustration, and there will certainly be features I missnext time I fire up another DAW.

Chief among these, for me, is the Pro Channel in the Producer Edition; its palette of analogue-style processors won't suit every task, but for rock and pop mixing, it's brilliant.

It's a shame that X3 and X3 Studio users can't upgrade this aspect to full Producer spec, as for me, it feels like a core feature in the way that bundled virtual instruments do not. The Melodyne integration will be a powerful attraction to users of rival DAWs as well as existing Sonar fans, and the addition of Addictive Drums, the Nomad Factory bundle, BiFilter, Strum Acoustic and Lounge Lizard Session means that X3 Producer buyers get a huge amount of top-quality bundled content for their money.

The flip side is that many core areas of the program, such as MIDI editing and notation, haven't changed at all in X3. Cakewalk's developers haven't emphasised innovation in the way that Steinberg have with advanced Cubase features like VST Expression and the Chord Track, but I think that the VST3 support and new comping functionality alone will be reason enough for most existing users to upgrade, even if the bundled extras don't appeal.

X3's announcement coincided with the news that Cakewalk have left the Roland empire for pastures new. The company has been bought by guitar giants Gibson, who will soon be distributing Sonar through their Tascam Professional arm. As users of Opcode's lamented Studio Vision will know, Gibson haven't always succeeded in making their technology acquisitions work, so some Sonar users might be understandably anxious about what the future holds.

But while nothing can ever be certain, there are good reasons to believe that the Gibson acquisition will prove more of a cause for excitement than concern. Not least of these is the fact that it has taken place under the watchful eye of Gibson's 'Chief Magic Officer': Over the last few years, Gibson's guitar catalogue has embraced digital technology as never before, and I hope and expect that innovation will thrive in their new DAW arm. Cakewalk's development team have certainly been busy during the review period, and by the time this review went to press, had already published three fairly major patches.

Ultimately, then, speculation about the future should not distract us from the fact that there's a great deal to like about Sonar X3 just as it is. It's comprehensively featured, friendly to use and versatile, and best of all, in its restructured line-up, provides real competition with Reaper and Studio One for the title of Best Value DAW. Ahead In The Cloud The last few years have seen many areas of computing embrace data storage and backup on remote servers.

Automated backup happens in the background and is intelligently halted when Sonar needs to do something more important such as play back a complicated project! I reviewed this when it came out back in www. Its inclusion here is a major coup for Cakewalk.

Their Lounge Lizard electric piano modelling plug-in has been around for more than 10 years now, and has received numerous updates in that time. The Session version included here offers a relatively restricted set of editing parameters, but this is sufficient to cover a pretty wide range of classic Rhodes piano sounds.

Lounge Lizard Session is a joy to play and creates a great sound without needing gigabytes of sample data to do so. Its most interesting and useful feature is the way in which it tries to generate convincing guitar playing styles from simple keyboard parts. For example, if you hold down an F-major triad on your keyboard, Strum Acoustic will not only recognise it as an F-major chord, but will translate it into a voicing that a guitarist might use.

This takes much of the donkey work out of attempting to recreate a rhythm guitar part in software, though a fair bit of tweaking is often necessary to fine-tune the results. These can be surprisingly acceptable in context. The Pro Channel in X3 Producer is great. Impressive new additions in the plug-in department, most notably the full version of Addictive Drums. Well thought-out new comping functions. Unobtrusive copy protection. Cakewalk sonar home studio free downloads and.

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Where do i go in. I can get the Sonar 7 Home Studio for half the price of Sonar 8. Which program is better or has more features, for home use? Cakewalk heeft de originele Home Studio nog flexibeler gemaakt met o. Please visit www. Cakewalk Sonar Home Studio - Download. Starting with version 6, Sonar can take advantage of bit internal processing, a bit audio engine, and a bit mixer on bit versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7.

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Most of the. You can easily. Beschreibung; Reviews. Find great deals on eBay for cakewalk sonar home studio. Shop with confidence.. EUR Musicpro Guides: List price Previous. Get creative with 64 audio tracks and unlimited MIDI tracksTrack and project templates do the set up for you so you're making music fastArrange and edit your project with an easy to understand user interfaceRecording, editing, and mixing tools are just a click away and always availableMix like a pro using the new Console.

Today i was in Sonar fooling around with the cakewalk tts and my laptop crashed, which happens occasionally i believe as a result of it being win7 and also 64 bit. But when i rebooted my laptop hooked up my controller and went back to sonar to put some more time with the soft synths, i learned the. Mixcraft 5. Cubase Studio 6. Studio 7 XL. Acid Pro 7. Multi-processor support. Number of audio tracks.

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Studio Instruments. Hey I got a question. I just purchased Sonar Home Studio 7xl and I'm waiting for a new lap top that has windows 7. Is 7xl compatible with windows 7. I have been hearing differing opinions. I'm using Home Studio to record my music. Any help would be appreciated.

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Cakewalk SONAR X3 Producer Edition X3

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