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In-depth Feature:  Cakewalk SONAR 2.0
There’s no way I’m giving SONAR back, it’s my first choice now.
Rob G writes: .

Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Installation
  • First impressions
  • Softsynths
  • DirectX Processors
  • Drum Maps
  • File Management
  • External Devices
  • Conclusion
  • System Requirements .

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    Cakewalk have been a long term player in the PC sequencer market. However, before Sonar their reputation was more for the relative inexpensiveness of the product than leading-edge features. Sonar 1.0 changed all that, a totally new sequencer that, feature-wise, stood its ground alongside other leading sequencers.

    The initial release though was plagued by instability, but version 1.1 followed quickly giving the needed reliability. By the time the program had reached version 1.3, it had gained a reputation as a solid, easy-to-use sequencer attracting support especially in the dance community thanks to its integrated looping and time-stretching ability.

    Unusually, Sonar is a PC-only product. Cakewalk claim that this allows them to take better advantage of the platform - embracing standards such as DXi (DirectX Instruments) and WDM (Windows Driver Model). Several third-party VST-to-DXi wrappers allow user’s to integrate existing plug-ins. To this picture, Sonar 2.0 adds ReWire support - particularly attractive for Reason users.

    Sonar 2.0 proved easy to install - the installation application presents separate options for installing Sonar itself, and the accompanying MIDI effects from MusicLab and NTOnyx. A migration wizard after the Sonar installation allows you to bring all your options, key-bindings and instrument definitions from a previous installation of Sonar 1.0 along with you. The two programs can coexist on a single PC, allowing you to satisfy yourself that all your projects are running correctly before removing the older version.

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