Tried Sonar X1. Thank God for Cubase!

I played around with Sonar X1 a couple of days. And it only made me more in love with cubase 6. X1 was buggy, slow, and just messy. One thing they have got right is the windows handling. I would LOVE to maximize to windows left and right by just dragging them with mouse out of screen. Same thing as Windows 7 offers with all their windows. Think of doing this with mediabay and loopmash! At the desame time keep project window locked. And all windows have always on top to get rid of the blue windows (mediabay+pool manager). Oh ye MR816x hadware window ON top too!

Sonar have had a facelift but it still very “XP” in its file system. Thank God for cubase (6) :slight_smile:

I went away from Cubase like 2 years ago cause I got a cheap crossgrade to Sonar. I wanted to use Audiosnap, which was very cool back then and also the comping and layering functions.

After I upgraded to X1, only problems and actually they didn´t really rewrite the app, just skinned it.

So when C6 came out I upgraded as well and I´m very happy with C6 right now! So snappy and the new gui is really good.

You´re right, when Steinberg gets the windowmanagement done then C6 is as modern as Studio One or Sonar in that perspective.

So I´m back to Cubase and I love it!!!

God to hear music friend!
This is what remains to do:
1.Windows management
2.Pool manager fix = erase file from trash without need to mouse klick AND auto play files automatic (bug)
Thats it! HAHAHA
Feature request. Forget about F11 vst rack. Instrument channel with multioutput. Routing for example Loopashto dummy instead of audio export into project.
Moveable freeze events
Show insert and sends int he mixer at the samt time.

Thats it folks! Then just reaaly good plugins Halion 4, Groove agent 4 (waiting) Orchestra VST3, New VST Amp rack.
I am getting maniac, Better take a a chill pill :slight_smile:

Just made a deal and bought 8.5 producer for £129 with free upgrade to X1. Just to try it out. If it doesn’t fit me, I can use its plugins, can’t I?

Cakewalk is a good company with good folks – I have been a long time Cakewalk customer and I respect those guys very much, especially Greg Henderschott, the founder of Cakewalk many years ago. I’m also a Cubase and Avid/PT customer, and respect what they’ve done as well. However, Cakewalk’s Sonar X1 was a huge, mind-numbing disappointment, unfortunately, for so many reasons (not important or appropriate to get into here). One hopes that Cakewalk will fix X1 with the next patch (X1b) to deliver at least on the stability and quality issues that are plaguing some X1 users (including myself before I simply gave up and uninstalled X1 from one of my DAWs).

It’s good to have competition, though, and frankly, a healthy Cakewalk will help keep Steinberg on its toes! :slight_smile: So I sincerely wish Cakewalk well, even though I’ve personally moved on. I have several DAWs that I use for different types of projects, but sadly Sonar is now no longer part of my workflow. I’ll check in from time to time with them for X2 or X3, but X1 was missing so many key features I needed, plus the wide array of bugs and quality issues with the initial release, it no longer was worth the effort for me, even though I paid my yearly upgrade fee. :frowning: I do have many Cakewalk friends though, that are seeing it through, and hoping X1b solves their main problems.

To be fair, Steinberg had a rough time for a while too (I was particularly upset at them during the SX3 -> 4 transition, which is when I began spending most of my time with Sonar for songwriting), but I will admit that Cubase 6 is a masterpiece so far, a mighty relief, to be honest. It could have gone either way, but Steinberg did a superb job. I’m also VERY impressed with Steinberg’s new customer-service oriented approach re: Cubase 5.5.3. That is the type of commitment that I’ve been wanting from Steinberg for years. Between C6 and C5.5.3, Steinberg has turned over a new leaf, IMO. Well done, Steinberg! C6 is so good, in fact, it’s won back a level of respect from me to the point that I’m even thinking of buying a CC121 now. :slight_smile: Oh boy, I hope it’s good.

Then, when you add all that to how stable PT9 has been (which I have installed on a different, dedicated DAW), my studio is more stable than it has been in years – what a great time in DAWville.

Some yes, some no. Some plugins are tied to Sonar, some are not. Check the Sonar forum (obviously) for specific ones. The new ProChannel in X1, for example, is locked to Sonar, and is currently not a separate VST either. (Although there have been feature requests to get it separated out of the Sonar console and turned into a standalone VST).

There are some very good plugins inside Sonar, though, that will work outside Sonar, so you will be able to benefit from it, even if you never use the Sonar DAW app itself.

Sorry, Sonar IS LoopMash at its best. :wink:
this DAW offers a large quantity of kiddy-esk toy-ish would-be-a-star-DJ ready-made Loop-Tools and all-in-one Preset-Soundsynths.
Tip of the day: Sonar X1 Version “b” (buggy) is now available.
Try it out and have fun!


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C6 is so good, in fact, it’s won back a level of respect from me to the point that I’m even thinking of buying a CC121 now. > :slight_smile: > Oh boy, I hope it’s good.

I have the CC121 and its great for transport( jog function) and quick parameter change. The only confusing thing in CC121 is the EQ. In Cubase programm the parameters go from up to down: GAIN - FREQUENCY - Q, but in CC121 it´s inversed: Q-FREQUENCY-GAIN. Maybe they offer some kind of update, too bad, that Q, F and G are alredy printed on the gadget.

All the best.


Don’t get me started. I wasted way too much money having drunk the Sonar kool-aid. My first ventures into computer-music making and too scared to go for it with one of the real pro packages. To learn about Sonar just browse the forums. A Yahoo DAW for a bunch of Yahoos. They bolt and bolt and bolt and gold-plate and gold-plate and gold-plate so much crap on the program that it’s a mess. The American way I guess. Brandon Ryan’s hair says it all - about 10 years behind the time, woefully un-hip and wannabe. He’s the face of Sonar, a program which shares the same attributes.

I wonder if the reason that Cubase is still XP-esque old-school window management unlike Studio One would be because whoever coded the original has left Steinberg to work on Studio One and no one knows how to edit his code? :laughing:

:laughing: Kids these days.

He’s a really good guy for whom i have a lot of respect.


:slight_smile: Yeah, Brandon is a good guy – I’ve had several interactions with him and he’s a good representative for Cakewalk… but his hair really is stuck in another era.

I jumped on the SonarX1/8.5Producer upgrade offer for £130 recently.

At that price, to me, it was great value alone for the plug ins so job done.

As a DAW I am under the impression it the #1 in the US and unclear why, maybe the marketing?

To me it feels quite claustrophobic and bulky, if that makes sense to anyone.

Not that I’ve tried it yet, but will be experemnting with a few projects using Sonars channel strips and master VC to see if it’s worthy to use for mastering rather than DAW. Any advice on mastering in SonarX1 greatly appreciated.

Cubase is and probably always will be my main tool, it’s the one I have come to know, love and understand. It does have it’s short comings like any other DAW, but like any artist or workman…there’s always more than one canvas and foundation to arrive at a finished job :

•Maschine for Step Sequencing and building ideas. Experimenting with the 1.6 Beta with VST support and routing individual outs (16) into seperate channel/groups in Cubase/Reaper.
•Reaper for routing and utilising some aspects that Cubase doesn’t support like VSTi sidechaining for Virus and easy internal sidechaining without VST3 ie: Rocket, The Glue and others. Two features I would love to see in Cubase.
•FruityLoops again picked up on an offer…great for the laptop on the road for building some rhtyhms and ideas.

Well, so I caved in and ordered the CC121. I hope it’s great! I’ve been a bit annoyed at my Alphatrack, and have come to despise the button click sound, and the distracting grinding noise of the motorized fader in low-volume mixing sessions. I had a chance to see and hold the CC121 recently and the build quality was, IMO, easily superior to the Alphatrack. But don’t get me wrong, the Alphatrack is a fantastic product for the price, and I’ve been a supporter of Frontier for years… they’re a solid company.

But the CC121 really felt better physically, and the buttons didn’t bug me in the least. I also noticed the reverse EQ arrangement and at least on first look, it didn’t bother me at all. It seemed like twisted logic, and I can understand why some people would be bothered by that… but I sensed the reason was that the knobs you’d use the most are closer in. I do think everyone (here and in many other forums/threads) has a point, though, that there should be some option in Cubase for CC121 owners, to reverse the order in C6. Makes sense to those that are bothered by this.

Very few pros or semi-pros I know here in the US use Sonar… the vast majority of pros here seem to be using Logic and PT. In terms of raw sales over a long period of time, Cakewalk may have sold more TOTAL licenses of its overall product line… but the quantity does not mean number of professional users, by any stretch. There are vast numbers of hobbyists in there on the entry-level version of the program (nothing against hobbyists). So in essence, this is marketing blather, and I hate to say this (as a former Sonar user), but that marketing blurb is probably only very flimsily supported by US sales numbers in aggregate, not in current sales. PT9’s penetration here alone would probably swamp Sonar’s sales this year. Not to say there aren’t really talented people and and handful of very-much-hyped pros using it. In the end, it’s about the user, not the tool, though. So anyone with talent can work wonders with any current DAW app.

Yikes, I wouldn’t consider it a great mastering tool. There are plenty of other tools out there that would do far better. Yes, some of the plugins in Sonar are very decent and as a bundle worth the price you paid, but the mastering plugins themselves, I hate to say, are mediocre, at best. If you have nothing else, then try them out, but otherwise prepare to be disappointed. If not mediocre in sound, then mediocre in implementation, unfortunately.

Just try playing with the LP plugins (their in-house linear phase mastering tools) and adjusting parameters at low latency. If you don’t touch them, they sound reasonably good, but as soon as you manipulate them, you’ll soon tire of the choppy playback. Their VC-64 plugin is a good plugin – it’s basically the Kjaerhus Golden Audio Channel with a different (but lousy) skin. Unfortunately, Kjaerhus Audio is out of business now, so the VC-64 plugin is unlikely to get any updates or love soon (if ever). It’s still x86 BTW. And the Boost 11 peak limiter plugin is just one of the worst sounding limiters I’ve ever used. So frankly, I wouldn’t consider using any of the mastering plugins in Sonar. As for the new ProChannel, I wouldn’t consider that a mastering tool, and it’s currently locked to Sonar, so you likely won’t get mileage out of it, unless they de-couple it from the Sonar mixer.

Yeah, I mean he’s not even putting gel in it or styling it into a faux hawk (like the rest of us lemmings), how can you take someone like that seriously? :unamused:

I know Brandon and he´s a great guy!

Like I said before, IMHO Sonar is a great DAW in terms of workflow and ideas,
such as the really great step sequencer and the matrix view and so on,

but in the end as much as I enjoyed these features, the instabilty through all the versions pissed me off,

especially when you have clients around or in tracking sessions when the app just behaves odd…

To me when opening Cubase and working it feels so much more mature and stable, and this is giving me more joy then some little featurettes…

After getting Sonar rashly and reading through their forums I didn’t even make an effort with exploring it, put me off. Still perceive it as good value for some of the cross platform plugins (got to self justify the outlay), always handy to have a few extra soundbanks to hand for the deal. Maybe in the future it will pay off, too well seasoned with Cubase and it is a solid work horse for my needs. Only crashes I experience with C5/6 is with Beta software or when closing down with too many jbridge’d plugins running in the background.

Thanks for the feedback uarte all noted and pretty much confirming my instincts :slight_smile:

A lot of nice tools for less money, particularly including good sounding onboard plugins.

That is confirmed by many long-term sonar-users.

I totally agree with you!
I know almost all DAWs on the market and test them in detail. Mainly we use Cubendo and PT in the studio. But personally I prefer Cubase, since years.

Well, I read again and again in the forums that sonar-users plan to go back again to Cubase (!) (no kiddin) -> and these users were exactly those who complain and denounce about cubase, especially in recent years… :wink:

For many sonar-user the development was extremly terrible and frustrating, accompanied with bugs and half-baked features and dubious GUI-experiments.
Comparatively there was very positive developmens of cubase and nuendo. Thanks a lot Steinberg.


I have owned both Sonar and Cubase for many years and have really enjoyed working with both however in the end as Cubase has matured I feel like Sonar rides like a rickety old bike cobbled together opposed to Cubase that rides like a beautiful new Lexus with the smoothest of leather seats! :wink: