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]