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  • Sonar X1 Producer

    Finally bought myself a copy of X1 which is more expensive then the studio version. Its the only version of sonar X that will run on my current DAW running Vista. I'd have to upgrade to Win7 to use the others and even though I have Win 7 on another DAW, that box doesn't have enough horse power to run anything higher then 8.5.
    I've only run it for a few days and have spent allot of time just finding where my normal tools are buried in the new GUI.
    Some things are kind of neat, but much of the base program is exactly the same as the original Cakewalk 8. I was hoping some of the tools like the Envelope tool would be revamped but its the same tool. They added a bigger pen for drawing the fade points which seems to be less glitch, but how hard would it be to put stinking grid lines in there so you have some reference you can use. Its always been guesswork using that box and if you miss it on the first guess, the grid lines would at least let you know where you drew the line the first time so you can tweak it. Memory in that box would be a fine thing too. If you do allot of repetitive fades, like noise between vocals it would sure be a time saver
    I didn't find many new effects besides V Vocals. The program just grabbed the effects from the 8.5 version. The track/buss effects are pretty good. I put those to use fairly quick. The Comp works well. I'm not real keen on the EQ. The mouse drag tools frankly suck and the small screen without a frequency grid sucks too. It does have knobs and digital readings which I will use but its not a step up from the Sonitus EQ 8.5 used.
    I really don't like the fact the channel strips enlarge when you open it. I'd rather have a pop up then having to constantly resize the mixer channels. I have to right click to select narrow again. I once hit the hide buss tab which is right next to the narrow strip. I couldn't find a button to show the buss again. Spent a good hour or more before giving up. I could find them in the Track view so I just deleted them and started over with the busses.
    There's a bunch of stupid things like that. Stuff was just moved for no good reason. When you fond them, they did the same thing with some variations. I mean why change the curser in the track view to a dual cursor. That was one of the things that did work well, and now its glitch as all get out when you're trying to highlight/edit/move tracks. Why move the Process tab over??? Its got the same things in it, and you have to move the mouse over just that much farther when you're going for that tab.
    The biggest thing is, many of the right click functions have been moved to different places. They stuck a bunch of them on a new menu bar. Why, I haven't got a clue. There are a few good items. The snap to grid is a button on the top. The processing indicator is also at the top, which I don't see as being an improvement, just a move.
    I suppose I'll find others I like, I just saw many moved just to be different with no real improvement, just an illusion to make you think you're getting your money's worth.
    I can say I do like the sound quality. They must have revamped the engine a bit because files made in 8.5 sound more lively. Again, this may be an illusion too but I'll continue to look and see if theres some real foundation for it. The resources are still high though. The program crashed on me twice without using too many plugs.

  • #2
    I had Sonar 2.2, from 13 years ago, and got X3 last April. It is also a bit overwhelming for me as well. The screen is always cluttered with windows I never asked to open, and yet I can't find the things I want to use. INPUT , OUTPUT and routing is not clear. If I open the mixer , it seems to cover over everything.......but I'll figure it out.

    Probably , the most annoying thing is that it won't run some of my plugins from the Sonar 2.* days.

    Dan
    Last edited by techristian; 01-19-2015, 10:14 PM.
    http://musicinit.com/fastfingers.php An Experiment in 80's Technology

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    • #3
      Originally posted by techristian View Post
      I had Sonar 2.2, from 13 years ago, and got X3 last April. It is also a bit overwhelming for me as well. The screen is always cluttered with windows I never asked to open, and yet I can't find the things I want to use. INPUT , OUTPUT and routing is not clear. If I open the mixer , it seems to cover over everything.......but I'll figure it out.

      Probably , the most annoying thing is that it won't run some of my plugins from the Sonar 2.* days. Dan
      I don't see why it wouldn't run them if you tell the plugin manager to find them. The exception being is if you're running a 64 bit system. 8.5 and X1 picked up my original Cakewalk 8 plugins which predate sonar plus it picks up all my old plugins dating back to all the original VST's I've downloaded over the years. You have to have the plugin manager look in the right folders, find them, then customize Your plugins into folders instead of having a long list you have to scroll through.

      I Have folders setup for old plugins, New Plugins, Favorites, Comps, Reverbs, EQ's, Waves etc so when I right click on the mixer view the list pops up and they are all there and easy to find in sub menus.

      Mixer size is a problem. There are some things you can uncheck to make its vertical height smaller, but you're dealing with a slide bar on the right with everything in the strip checked. I have a 24" monitor and its still too large. I may try changing my screen resolution to see what happened. the controls are usually too small when I do that. I record live with my band allot using a wireless mouse and keyboard and if its too small I cant see the screen from maybe 5~10' away to hit the record button.

      Another item missing for no reason is the meter DB level tick marks, at least in the narrow view. That's one of the dumbest removals. I use those for ball parking the playback levels. Its still got the peak level at the bottom of the meter, but what good is a friggin meter without the darn db levels marked. Granted most DAW meters are not very accurate to begin with but having something there at least lets you set your input levels to a standard. The meters go directly from Green to red as well. I didn't see any yellow between the green and red. There is an analog meter in the wide view with the comp running but that thing takes up way too much space. When I have 16 channels recording I like having the DB tick marks so I can judge the dynamic levels of the signals.

      As I said before I'm being critical on the product and noticing the faults up front. Maybe there are some hidden buttons to bring some of those things back. 8.5 is a cluster of buttons on the task bar when you first install it. I did have to spend allot of time hiding the stuff I didn't need and moving buttons and modifying menus to make things handy. Maybe Cakewalk did the same thing. They did streamline the main task bar to something that looks like a recorder. I'm hoping with a little more digging I'll get back the main items I rely on.

      I haven't read the manual yet either. That's usually something I do to get to know the system. I'm just hoping this isn't another hoax. Microsoft Office does this same thing every couple of years. You get to know where everything is and become highly productive using the product. Then they jack with all the menus because "They" think its the best way to do things. The result is you spend months retraining yourself to find things that do exactly the same thing they did before. You don't have much choice in the matter because IT has to install the latest updates to products to keep them secure and to have the product supported. I don't have a problem learning new programs but playing shell games just to bilk you for more cash is just that and no more. If you feel you've come up with some great ideas, add them. If something needs a good work over to make it more efficient, go for it. Don't try and fake me out and make me think a product is better because you just move things around. People are wise to those tricks and will feel they've been cheated.

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