Any former Sonar users Here ?

Hello Awesome Cubase folks,
I am fairly new to Cubase - I had been a Cakewalk / Sonar User since the days of CW Pro Audio5 - and recently made a permanent move over to Cubase . I took the time to immerse myself in the SWA videos and the Groove3 vids and all the myriads of You Tube Vids , and even got hold of 3 different Cubase books to help push past the initial learning curve. And I am really glad I did , because I Love Cubase 7 - I wish I had had the temerity to make the switch years ago.

Anybody else here perhaps have anything to share that might be useful to a former Sonar user ?

Thanks a million - super happy to be here.
Cheers !

Nothing particular to share…but I made the jump in January. I should have done it years ago. I really dont think Cubase users know how good this DAW is compared to Sonar. I was with cakewalk since pro audio 9…around 12 years or longer. Look me up on their forum…same user name. I still pop in over there from time to time. I really wish I could get more of the guys to jump ship.

Hi there and welcome to the forum! :wink:

Sure, I used to use SONAR X2 as my main DAW too but I have years of experience with other DAWS and Cubase since Cubase on Atari, Cubase SX3, Cubase 4 and so on…

I love Cubase 7 and all the exclusive functions not found on other DAWS and all works great over here!
Extremely stable on WINDOWS 7 x64!!!
If you get stuck with Cubase 7 don’t hesitate to ask any questions.

Best Regards

Oh yes some of us do !
That’s why some of us have stayed loyal to Steinberg since pro 24 while others moved to Emagic later too a non logical program .
I personally never upgraded from the Atari until 2001 as I had all the sampling and recording capacity that I needed with outboard gear .
Ive worked in some very nice studio’s with every possible industry standard software possible but nothing beats Steinbergs MIDI implementation and Sequencing software :wink:

welcome aboard

Well - I am not a “former” Sonar user, because I have alway’s used Cubase, Sonar and Ableton Live together (in my case my location at a certain moment predicts what I have to use).

So - I am in the comfortable situation that I am not dependent on one DAW only. This gives me the opportunity to use what fits me at a certain moment (as long as I am at my home location that is).

At this moment I use Cubase most, because I think the MIDI capability’s are better than those of Sonar, and I am working mostly in MIDI at this moment. Overall I think Cubase is in many aspects a lot stronger than Sonar, but Sonar certainly also has some nice feautures. However - do not forget you pay a bit more for Cubase than you do for Sonar, so financial-wise the difference is less pronounced.

So - no “former” user, but more a case of “opportunity user”… :wink:

Oh - and @KarlSanders

Just ask here what you want to know (but -as always- give the manual a try first). A lot of people are very helpfull here…

And - as you can see - If you want to know how you do some “Sonar thing” in Cubase, there are a lot of people here that know how to use Sonar also, thus if is fully possible you can get some answers…

So happy I dumped Sonar. The only advice I could give a former sonar user is that a) small details count (eg., dragging a midi loop from media browser vs selecting via insert into project) and b) there is a ‘hierarchy’ to most functions that, once you get the hang of, make work in c7 waaay smoother than sonar.

Thanks Guys ! I appreciate the feedback :slight_smile:

Sir Vespian - OK - small details = what then is the crucial difference between dragging midi from the media browser VS inserting into project ? Perhaps Whether or not the midi clip obeys the project tempo /meter maybe ?

Thanks !

This is exactly how I feel. I am ecstatic right now beyond belief to be Now working in Cubase7; But I am still actually STILL steaming mad at Cakewalk. When I think of the cumulative mountain of time I have spent trying to get Audiosnap to work , or the utter frustration of trying to make Sonar tempo Detection do its job, or the billion hours overs the years waiting while exporting to Sound Forge just to redraw a simple waveform clipped peak , or the ungodly nightmare of something so simple as rearranging a song - ex. verse chorus bridge verse chorus lead - maybe I wanna try verse BRIDGE chorus lead bridge verse chorus. Well in Extreme Metal - every one of those sections is likely to be a different tempo , so trying to shuffle around the song sections with all the tempos and meter changes - and not make a mess of things is a real friggin pain-in-the-rear undertaking in Sonar. I asked them for years for non-linear playback - kinda like a playlist WITHIN the song ( which should be an easy task for a computer program) When I found out that Cubase actually has had an arranger track for quite some time - and I realized how easy the Cubase Arranger function would make it to come up with some creative arrangements for songwriting - then of course I was even angrier.

Although I had paid for the X1 and X2 updates - I was still working in Sonar 8.5.3 - cause it was stable , and X1 /X2 were subject to unexplained random freeze-ups and crashes . AND most importantly - X1 was when Cakewalk changed a lot of the Keyboard shortcuts. I had been using Cakewalk since 96 ; and had investing a sizeable amount of my life learning and using the Cakewalk key shortcuts . Changing them on us was like betraying our long term loyalty and even like cutting off my left hand so that I was never sure anymore what shortcut I was reaching for.

So if I had to relearn a bunch of keyshortcuts - I reasoned I might as well learn the Cubase shortcuts ( which have remained essential intact over many versions ) . So here I am - happily with Cubase- and I have discovered so many awesome things that Cubase does that Sonar was failing at .
Right now I feel about Sonar the same way I would feel about an ex-wife .

er sorry for the rant.
Thanks I am Happy to be here !

A Cakewalk/ Sonar user since 1999.

Frustrated & fed up with ‘X’ series I switched to Cubase a month ago, glad I did. Sonar has a lot going for it but it’s no longer my DAW of choice & haven’t used for a project since.

For the first time ever I won’t be upgrading any Cakewalk / Sonar products.

…stop teasing us with your yummy egg guitar…

it’s left handed too!

Hi Karl,

I recently moved over from X2 after many months of frustration, I love Sonar - it was so ahead of the rest in so many ways but X2 and to a lesser extent X1 - Cake have taken their eye off the ball.

Steinberg on the other hand have been engaging on forums, listening and providing regular updates. Love it. :smiley:


Another ex-Sonar user here, since version 5 up until X1. I think Sonar has some really cool features, like Bounce in Place (which is a big one I would like to have in Cubase) and the waveform preview on tracks/busses. But it doesn’t have enough to make me miss it. Things that I think you would enjoy in Cubase are:

1- This is a very simple feature, but oh so good. When you press and hold the middle mouse button, the cursor turns into a hand that enables you to drag across and easily navigate through the project. Like I said, very simply. But now I don’t have to use the directional keys as it was the case with Sonar.

2- If you use big Sample Libraries, like those from EWQL and VSL, then I advice to get into Expression Maps. They have incredible power when it comes to creating your own keyswitches and managing articulations in a cleaner fashion than the traditional multiout way (which is still a valid workflow, btw).

3- For multiple processes with a press of a button, nothing beats the Macro Editor. This is definitely not found in Sonar, and it is super powerful for speeding up your workflow. Must check out if you haven’t already.

4- Another nice feature in Cubase is Variaudio, which now lets you harmonize a melody on the spot with the help of the new Chord Track. Really nice when you wanna try out different harmonies or how something would sound harmonized. The quality and power of Variaudio is MUCH better than V-Vocal in Sonar. Since I mentioned the Chord Track, you can use it to try harmonic ideas for your songs without having to spend too much time recording, especially if you’re not good playing the keyboard.

5- The Audio Pool is something I use all the time to clean up my projects by getting rid of scratch takes that I will not use. Much simpler way of doing it than using the CWAF Tool, and you don’t have to leave the project.

6- Automation Lanes and modes. Nuff said.

There’s plenty more I could mention, but those are the ones I could think of for now (plus I have to get ready for a gig, :stuck_out_tongue:)

Hope these help!

“midiloops” - which are apart from midi files - contain instrument/controller setings; when dragged to a track from media bay, they automatically load the vst, fx/eq, settings, etc… However - if you right click the same file in mediabay (“insert into project”), as opposed to dragging, it simply loads the midi file alone…if, for example, you wanted to use a different vst, fx, whatever. :wink:

Muchas Gracias Jose !

Thanks for the very astute tips . Couple of follow-ups if possible…

  1. I am still trying to figure out exactly what the bounce in the Audio menu does ; for instance if I have several audio clips in a given Cubase track , I select them / go to Audio/bounce / and voila - I have a single clip . Exactly how does this differ from an actual new-file bounce like in Sonar ? Also , I have yet to figure out how to quickly bounce several tracks to a single track without going through a whole song and dance in the export file menu . Is this what people are talking about for the “bounce-in-place” macro ?

  2. Expression Maps ! OMG Yes ! I watched the videos on how to use them ; and when I tried it with a map I downloaded for EWQL Ra = I was BLOWN AWAY with how easy it was to finally make FULL and EASY use of my libraries ! And what a SIMPLE and Brilliant concept it actually is ; this was another " Nail in the Sonar Coffin" for me. And I bet it was probably not all that tough a software coding job either - its really just a matrix map style re-assignment of little bits of midi info - so why couldn’t the guys at Cakewalk also given us such a simple - yet powerful tool ?

This is EXACTLY like getting a new girlfriend - and she does some simple but awesome thing that makes you wonder why your ex-wife never bothered - when it all could have been so simple and easy . :slight_smile:

And just not talk about as simple as “clips” line up correctly after recorded in “BARS and Beat” in Cubase 7. :wink:
No need of resize clips and edit the length all day long in the studio with X2…

CTRL + D = duplicate, a nice feature not found in SONAR.

Best Regards

Yup, Cakewalk user since Pro Audio 6 and all the way thru X2. But Cakewalk ignored Staff View for years and years and years, and failed to make the sort of MIDI improvements that allowed Cubase to move forward in my thinking. What good is it to save a little money upgrading Sonar when what you really want is what Steinberg is offering? So I bit the bullet in April.

I know some longtime Cubase users are frustrated with the new Mixer view, but really, for someone like me who uses MIDI exclusively, Cubase has Sonar beat hands down. It has so many professional features that are lacking in Sonar. No complex program is without bugs or imperfections. But I’m really glad I switched.

As on orchestral arranger, it’s like the difference between VSL and Garritan Personal Orchestra.

I was a Cakewalk 1.0 (DOS) - Sonar X2 user. I purchased C7 in Jan 2013 and since then have only used X2 to export stuff for importing into C7. The cool think about Sonar was the ability to install it on multiple machines without a DONGLE. Other than the dongle annoyance, C7 does everything better for me. Cakewalk is the “Jack of all trades - master of none”. Over time they seemed to compete with too may types of audio production tools with a focus on looping, synths, etc. The fact that they are dragging their feet on VST3 is going to bury them. I wish them well because competition is good and this type of software development can’t be easy to profit with.

and so it goes…

Well well, and so goodbye Cakewalk. Thanks for the Gibson link, I had no idea they were connected with Philips.

Where’s your yummy (left handed) egg guitar gone?