Jan 14

It is definately that time of year again. Cakewalk have made an anouncement a week before Namm 2015, no doubt in readiness for the show to say they have a new Sonar family. No it is not Cakewalk Sonar X4. Roland Cakewalk have decided to drop the “X4” to reflect that the new SONAR will now get new features regularly throughout the year instead of a big annual update. The new family names starting from the smallest is Sonar Artist, Sonar Professional and at the top they have Sonar Platinum

Have a look at the YouTube clip to give you a taster:-

There are some significant changes this year in terms of costs and some people will no doubt like the new plan whilst others will be dead against the changes – read on to find out:-


Roland Cakewalk have introduced something called Membership at a cost. This means that you will receive all the latest features as soon as they’re ready. You will not have to wait a year or more for the next paid SONAR upgrade; you will be notified the instant new updates and customized content downloads are available in Cakewalk’s new Command Center. Members are also entitled to free technical support and discounted Membership renewals.

You also have two payment options; you can either pay upfront and you get your upgrade plus 12 months membership or you can pay monthly.

To upgrade from Sonar X3 Producer to Sonar Platinum it will cost me $149. I will go ahead with this but at the end of 12 months I will have to decide whether or not to shell out for another 12 months membership at $199. I have been with Sonar quite a few years now and personally think that they should give some loyalty discount to the membership based on how many years you have been with them.

OK Membership is going to be one of those long a drawn out forum discussions for moths to come. Roland Cakewalk have promised to provide some regular goodies throuhout the 12 month initial free membership period and I am sure will get some stick if they do not come up with the goods. They are currently working on a drum replacer which I like the sound of.

Lets get back to the update, which afterall is the main bit that we are going to make music with. The highlights according to them are:-

Analog-style ProChannel Strip with 9 modules
Cutting-edge VocalSync vocal alignment tool
Addictive Drums 2 Producer Bundle
57 professional mixing and mastering effects
21 virtual instruments including Rapture and Dimension
Plus, 12 months SONAR Membership

I haven’t yet seen any general improvements yet over Sonar X3 such as improved CPU usage but I am hoping they have.

I mentioned a new Command Centre and this sounds very useful. Apparently it is the easiest way to manage downloads, installs and updates to your software—get started with the included download card to receive the very latest software version and activate your SONAR membership. Something that caught my attention was that with the new Cakewalk Command Center you can now rollback a SONAR update. This is a great new feature for professionals. If an important project is temporarily not compatible with a new update, or if you discover that you do not have time to learn a new workflow, you will be able to rollback to any update from your active Membership.

I am sure most people will love the idea of having Addictive Drums 2 as a welcome addition. There have not been two many new effects that are different from Sonar X3 with exception to the Pro Channel Reverb called REmatrix Solo. This is a reduced version of the famous Overloud REmatrix. There are also some new Anderton FX chains, FX Stacking, a vocal alighnment tool, some changes to the control bar, a Mix recall facility, improved Audiosnap, a Pattern tool, 16 new virtual custom amps, expandable sends, MIDI enhancements, Recycle/Pin Plugin Windows, VST enhancements andDirect Stream Digital (DSD). I am sure there are other improvents and additions. You need to check it out with Cakewalk and I am sure the Namm show will provide more information and YouTube clips to convince and tempt you further.

The Minimum System Requirements are:-
OS: Windows 7 or 8 (32- or 64-bit)
Processor: 2.6GHz Intel or AMD multi-core processor
Memory: 4GB

Hard Drive: 5GB for minimal install, 20GB recommended
Monitor Resolution: 1280×800 (1920 x 1080 recommended)
Audio Interface: ASIO compatible hardware is recommended
Internet: Connection required for downloads, activation, and publishing features

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