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  • Sonar Vs Cubase

    after reading thru many posts. I figured that I need to get either Sonar or Cubase. I have a Core Due 1.6, 1GB ram. I will be recording multiple tracks, creating the drums track with EZdrummer. Right now I am just recording with my amp directly connected to the MIC-in of my laptop, it doesn't get any better than that. I don't think I will need MIDI. But I will need some good effects like Chorus, reverb, delay, compressor. I don't have limit as far as money. I have been using Audacity, but I just want something more professional.

    thanks again.
    Fender Fat Strat '02 MIM, Epiphone Elite LP '02
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  • #2
    Sonar. End of story.

    Edit: I'm unhelpful.


    • #3
      If Audacity works for you then keep using it. Getting work done is all that matters not whether something is "pro" or not.

      Cubase has more of a pro reputation than Sonar. Both are good programs.

      My personal apps are Acid Pro 6 and Cubase SX 2.
      Mojo Pie
      Reviews, forums, blogs about recording gear


      • #4
        I have used audacity, and it sucks. Try reaper, it is another free program. As far as Sonar vs. Cubase, I find Cubase a little easier to learn. Sonar just confuses me. but that doesn't mean it isn't any good, in fact, it may just mean that I am an idiot....


        • #5
          I'm with you on this question. It is very confusing and I am desparate for help. Here we go.....

          Okay, we want to make music in a computer based home studio, record real instruments and vocals, virtual instruments, use software effects effects, hardware digital and analog synths and we want to use controller devices and keyboards, and mix and master and burn a professional CD from the computer. I know I need a digital audio interface - that's not an issue. However, deciding on the right software for a digital audio workstation is much more complicated.

          Now that the reviews are out on Sonar 6 and Cubase 4, we've read several and they both sound great. It seems as if Sonar has more of a following in the Americas and Cubase more in Europe but that doesn't really make a hill of beans of difference. It also seems like most of the professional studios use ProTools HD or some related version which costs more than most of our salaries so that's really ruled out. Then there's FL Studio, Ableton, Live, Reason, Traktion, and a bunch of other lesser known hosts, an d they sound okay. Then we get to the pricier products but more realistic cost-wise than ProTools such as Saw Studio, Sequoia, and Samplitude, and they sound great too.

          But the feature sets advertised are never complete and it seems like each one is the best for what I want to do when I'm reading up on it. I am new to this and it is quite confusing to say the least. What make ProTools all that anyway? What makes Saw Studio, Sequoia, and Samplitude cost so much - are they THAT much better than the others? And why are FL Studio and the other lesser known products so much cheaper - are they missing THAT much compared to the others? Let's complicate this some more by asking why Cubase and Sonar seem to dominate the market. Do they give that much more bang for the price? From what I'm taking from my reading it seems like Cubase 4 doesn't do DX plugs and instruments but Sonar 6 does and also does VST (although not the new version of VSTs that are in Cubase 4 - but assumably will in the near future). Is that right? It seems like it would be a shame not to be able to use both VST an d DX plugs and instruments in a single DAW.

          So how on earth do we decide which of these products is best? We certainly don't want to plunk down all that money and invest all the time to learn it (and I'm getting too old to spend so much time learning multiple complex pieces of DAW software anyway - I need to pick the right one the first time) just to find out I don't like it or that it doesn't do what I want it to do or how I'd like it to do it. I've read the various forums and they don't really help. I've read the reviews and they're fair but certainly not a comprehensive review of the entire product - that would be impossible. So how do we figure out what's best for us?
          Any links to sites that provide extensive and comprehensive as well as solid and fair reviews and your own suggestions and recommendations would be really helpful too. I haven't been able to find any sites that are really thorough enough to make a good informed decision.
          I've also seen where multiple computers are set up via ethernet (clustering) to handle different functions and I am curious if this is really necessary and if it is really that mcuh better how this is accomplished

          Thanks in advance for any help....


          • #6
            i wouldnt touch cubase 4 personaly, its in the studio at college and it requires alot of processing power, i would roll back to cubase SX3 which is decent enough for anything. I also have Sonar 4 and have only used it once and my god it was easy to work around fast, people dont rate sonar high enough,m if your into directx plug-ins get sonar4 or newer! if your not botherd get cubase SX3 their will be more people here to help you with newer problems.
            i wouldnt openly say any is better or worse both are pretty simple. My main concern is if your programing drums and recording via the laptops soundcard your going to create latency issues, so you might want to invest in a jamlab by m-audio depending on what you want to do.
            Originally Posted by diy guy

            wires are the ultimate challenge to modernity. How many people think cables are inanimate. they are wrong. have you ever seen a pile of wires just sit there and behave themselves? no. of course not. they are always conspiring to tangle. wires slither, wrap, and entwine themselves in unholy orgies on my floor, tangled labyrinths of impossibly frustrating strands of Satan's own hair.



            • #7
              I'm a fan of Sonar but honestly I've used it so long that when I look at other DAWs, there might occasionally be a feature I kinda like -- but the notion of changing DAW platforms just seems like an ordeal -- and, frankly, from my reading and listening to opinions and stories by users of the other DAWs I'm thinking Sonar's still first choice for me, no matter.

              But everyone is different.

              I'd recommend trying to spend some time with ANY and ALL programs you're considering and make a calm, reasoned decision -- also taking into consideration the publisher's upgrade regime... with Sonar, you get yearly updates (that are not free at about $90-$100 [Producer edition upgrades are around $180-$190 but usually have enough freebies thrown in that the extra dough is a no-brainer.]) Of course, there are typically a couple of (free) slipstream/fixit releases during the course of the year.

              With Cubase, the upgrade schedule is considerably different. You may find that better or worse for your needs. (I know some Cubease users get pretty frustrated.)

              Anyhow, all the DAWs have their strengths and weaknesses.

              (And with regard to confusion... like I said, I've been using Sonar/CW forever... I do remember some confusion in the past... then again, when I tried to do some recording for a friend a few years ago using a lesser version of Cubase, I found that utterly perplexing. But I think they've streamlined things considerably since then.)

              Bottom line: if you do a lot of work in a given DAW, you're going to be a lot more reluctant to switch later, even if you're frustrated... try to make the right decision NOW...

              music and social stuff | currently listening to...


              • #8
                I have been using Sonar since the first version (XL) and plan on sticking with it indefinitely. You do not really need to purchase all of their upgrades. I have used versions 1, 3, and now 6. I like the practice of doing yearly upgrades. If there is something new that everyone wants, the next version of Sonar is likely to have it. If nothing appeals to you, just save your money and wait for the next version. It gives you more options than these other DAWs that are only updated every few years.

                Cakewalk also seems to be ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology. Sonar has been ready for Vista for a while now (even though Vista might not be ready for DAWs). It supports multiple processors and multi-core processors. There is a 64-bit version that you can use with Windows XP Pro X64 as well. That will give you a stable platform without the memory limitations of 32-bit XP until Vista is ready for prime time.

                Also, didn


                • #9
                  Well... there was the mute-automation thing (in Sonar) a couple years ago...

                  Of course, the fact that the major vexation that I can remember (now long-fixed) took almost a whole product cycle to finally straighten out should not obscure the fact that that product circle was a year, not three. And it should also be noted that longtime Sonar/CW users got so exercised over the ish because they were USED to having bugs fixed in a matter of months after the release of a new version.

                  The fact that I can only think of one really annoying issue-- and that it was fixed a number of years ago -- is something of a positive, I think.

                  music and social stuff | currently listening to...


                  • #10
                    "So how on earth do we decide which of these products is best?"
                    Mercanti- I'm in the same boat. I've been trying to decide which DAW platform to jump on for a while now. I have a Fostex stand-alone digital 8-track that I've been using for years, but I want the flexibility of a computer based sequencer/audio editor. I don't think I want to go Mac, so that rules out Logic & DP. It's come down to either Cubase or Sonar for me. For some reason I always figured I would go with Cubase, maybe it's because I've read a lot of posts on their forum. Although much of it is people complaining about the product. I wonder if they both have a free extremely limited version that would allow you to see how basic tasks are performed in each and the overall appearance and feel of the screens. Though I guess it would take really getting to know them both really well to determine which you ultimately would prefer, and therein lies the paradox. So yeah, I don't know, read reviews, visit forums... then flip a coin.


                    • #11
                      There is a free demo of both Sonar and Sonar Producer on their site. (The Sonar Producer demo doesn't come with some of the goodies [mostly FX plugs and virtual instruments that make up the Producer package, on account, I suppose, of an inability to properly put a time-out on them.)

                      As a matter of fact, I'm using the SP6 demo right now while I wait for delivery of my (somewhat tardy*) upgrade to Sonar Pro 6...

                      [FYI to Sonar 4 & 5 users: the upgrade price to Sonar 6 has $50 knocked off until the end of April. *Patience, in my case, appears to be its own reward for putting off the upgrade for half a year.]

                      That's one thing to consider -- although it actually cuts 'both ways'...

                      Sonar Pro's typical discounted price (around $600 from scratch as I recall; the regular package is a few hun less) is lower than that of some other software DAWs (Apple's Logic comes to mind at a cool grand)... but -- if you get yearly upgrades you can end up spending a fair amount of dough over the next few years.Of course, certainly no one says you have to, yearly, by any means... although it's possible, particularly in the case of the Producer package, that some of the one-time only inclusions are well worth the extra dough. (The basic pkg upgrade's about 90 or 100 bucks a year and the producer about $180.)

                      ALSO -- and this could save you as much as a couple hundred bucks on a full package if you qualify -- there are "competitive upgrade" deals.

                      Also, I'm not absolutely that there's a deal such as this month's special every year, but keep that in mind, too. If you feel like avoiding the .0 to .1 to .x maintenance cycle on upgrades, you may find that you can actually save some extra dough by waiting.

                      music and social stuff | currently listening to...


                      • #12
                        Sonar crashes constantly. Burden it with Kontakt software and the heavy sample load on the CPU and you're in for some major problems that just seem unavoidable. That is, EVERYONE that uses it in depth is bound to have it crash. Not only that, but instead of servicing existing Sonar customers by upgrading existing Operating Systems, Cakewalk puts all of their focus on developing the next O.S. so they can make money. I don't know if Roland will handle it any differently, but, being a large Japanese ccorporation I seriously doubt it. Regardless, Sonar is a magic tool that we're very lucky to have at our hands so despite the horrors that go with a computer crash, we still have a dream software program that can record and produce any kind of music with just a keyboard and a PC, so we're way ahead of the game. I just wish Cakewalk (or Roland) learns to get with the program and addresses both of these issues (crashes and updates) in order to resolve them once and for all. A crash-proof Sonar is not in the books right now, but when it comes, WOW!


                        • #13
                          I have used audacity, and it sucks. Try reaper, it is another free program. As far as Sonar vs. Cubase, I find Cubase a little easier to learn. Sonar just confuses me. but that doesn't mean it isn't any good, in fact, it may just mean that I am an idiot....
                          Reaper isn't free (it's free to try) but it is very cheap. I think the current non-commercial license is $55 (the Pro license allows you to perform recording work for others and is more expensive, but still reasonable by DAW standards).

                          Audacity is free and seems pretty limited (I just installed it for the first time recently; for instance, there's no way to automatically adjust for uncorrected sound card latency, a feature necessary unless one wants to manually move overdub clips by relatively tiny amounts in order to get them to sync with existing tracks [for many or maybe even most soundcard/driver combos which have such uncorrected offsets]).

                          But one thing I will say for Audacity (which is precisely what I was hoping when I installed it) is that it is extremely quick loading, making it a perfect tool for quickly capturing recordings through my system mic (Skype mic, if you will), so that I don't have to load up Sonar (which is set up to use my 'pro' audio rig, not the system sound, and which requires powering up my mixer and rack, yadda yadda).

                          music and social stuff | currently listening to...


                          • #14
                            I have not used sonar at all, but so far I have yet to see a DAW do midi as well as cubase does.


                            • #15
                              Sorry to walk that middle line and be of no help, but I use Cubase and I really like it. Have not tried Sonar. The reason I use Cubase is the LE version came with my interface and I decided to get the full version. I found that LE really did not limit me in the harsh way that some might think. I could have used it and been fine, but there were some cool, big boy features in the higher versions that I wanted.
                              My advice is to focus on buying an interface - you really, really don't want to keep using a line input on a laptop. Your interface likely will come with some DAW software for you to try. Presonus has divorced from Cubase LE and is now bundling their one Studio One DAW LE version with their hardware. The people who designed it are former Cubase people and it has gotten good reviews.
                              Anyway that was my approach and worked well for me. Had a version of Sonar been bundled I would likely be using that.