Hear that? It’s the first shots fired in yet another round of Mega DAW Upgrades, this time from our friends at Cakewalk.
The banner headline is lots of new synths — not quite on the level of Logic Pro, but still nice to have. And there are plenty of time-saving little features in there, too, putting more polish on this already-slick Windows DAW. Basic specs on what’s new:




New synths: PSYN II subtractive synth (as found in Project5), Pentagon virtual analog synth, Roland GrooveSynth, SFZ SoundFont sampler, RXP REX Groove Box. Pentagon is the headliner here; apparently the name translates to “obscene number of knobs.” (See picture.)


Convolution Reverb: Pure Space, two words that are almost never applied to my studio


64-bit . . . but still enables 32-bit effects via BitBridge. (No idea what that means. I’m a liberal arts guy, you know — failed math.)


Vocal Editing: Roland V-Vocal Variphrase technology — pitch correction, but other vibrato, pitch, and tempo editing features, as well. No, it won’t just make you sound like Cher.


Everything in One View: MIDI, audio editing, the whole deal in one screen


Clip Effects, Beat-Synced Envelopes: Clearly Ableton Live-inspired, but with a Cakewalk spin, a la Project5


FireWire Video Output


Lots o’ other stuff: Go see what’s new


I have to say, SONAR looks like the full-powered DAW to beat on Windows. You don’t have quite the array of instruments you’d have with Logic Pro or even Reason, but there are plenty to get you going. And for workflow features and editing, this package is serious — and gives Cubase for Windows a real run for its money. Oh, except Pentagon is a really silly name for a synth. Let the smackdown continue.


SONAR 5, Shipping October [Cakewalk.com]

  • Symbiotic

    Gotta say, if I was looking for an all-in-one DAW for the PC, Sonar would be at the top of my list. This is the first release of a PC-based DAW that approximates the 'total' solution that Logic has become for the Mac…At least in terms of 'classic' DAWs – versus something like Live, which uses a somewhat different paradigm than Sonar or Logic.

    That said, I'm still very happy with Logic Pro on my Mac, and if I'm going to run something to compliment that on my PC, it will in all likelihood be Live. Sonar customers will be very pleased with this release I think.

  • Guest

    I have been a loyal user of Sonar Ver. 1 since it came out and have nothing bad to say for it. Finally I am considering an upgrade. The only thing that jars me is I wish they'd spend less on the synths. All I do and all I will do in the future is record real instruments. If Cakewalk would produce a program pakced to the gills with stickly digital audio features I would be extremely happy. However I will be upgrading to 5. 🙂