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Etienne Rambert

Anyone Using Bandlab Cakewalk/Sonar?

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This has been around for several months and it's had pretty good reviews. Apparently you need to download and install a Bandlab application in order to download the Cakewalk program (which would put me off, honestly) but the reports are that if you don't want to use the Bandlab features you can un-install that application once you've installed Cakewalk. There's no reason not to give it a try.

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I've been using the Bandlab Cakewalk for some months now - it's less buggy, less subject to crashing than Sonar Platinum was on my system. Sonar is/was a great DAW, but always had various bugs that just never got fixed in spite of endless new version rollouts. Seems like Bandlab is doing smart things with their acquisition so far. No huge changes, but improved.

 

nat

 

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Originally used Sonar Platinum, now using Cakewalk (which is essentially Platinum with bug fixes and less third-party add-ons). As nat noted, they have been doing a really good job of getting rid of the aggravating bugs that plagued earlier versions of Platinum. I can honestly say that I have not had any issues for several months now. YMMV as I typically use very little in the way of synths, etc.

 

A couple things to be aware of. Cakewalk is only 64-bit, there is no longer a 32-bit version. I still have an older version of Windows 7 that is 32-bit and so I can't use it on that machine. My main DAW is 64-bit Windows 8.1, so no issues there.

 

For the initial activation the DAW machine must be online. Yes, even though it is free, you need a BandLab account to activate the software, otherwise it stays in demo mode. I had to run an ethernet cable through my house to get to my DAW so I could activate the software, as my DAW is not connected to the internet. Once it is activated, any further updates will also be activated, so you only need to do this once. I also have to go elsewhere to download the software as my home internet connection is not the best in the world.

 

If you want access to a Help file, you must be connected to the internet as well. There is no off-line help. I have the old Platinum user's manual and use it, as it covers most issues I have. However, if the question revolves around a new feature I am out of luck until I can look it up elsewhere.

 

Overall, in my opinion it is a good product that has generally gotten even better. The need to have an internet connection to access the help file is aggravating, as is the lack of an off-line activation process. This may end up hurting Cakewalk with the more professional studios that don't have their stuff connected. Some like me get a stable DAW setup and never connect to the internet again. In my opinion Cakewalk doesn't play as well as it could in the area of off-line use.

 

Hope that helps! :music005:

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Been using CW/Sonar since CW Pro Audio 6's early release/beta thingie.

 

To say I was extremely skeptical of Bandlab buying it and flipping it to free would be a safe statement. But my attitude toward the old CW/Sonar had gone way south, anyhow.

 

Like others, I found I could ditch the Bandlab online collab/sharing applet thing (though I may re-explore it in the future) with no problems. And, like others, I found the overall DAW to seem to work better and have a subtle but somewhat pervasive better fit-and-feel. I'd never felt comfortable in X3, having jumped straight from 8.6 (or 8.7 if there was one). But the BL/CW seemed somehow more promising and I plunged ahead wrapping my head around a few architectural changes. I'd been pretty frustrated by the state of the embedded help system in X3 (and before) and often found I had to go online to get answers about changes from 8.x to X3, anyhow. And then my X3 installation had become corrupted somehow and wasn't reading MIDI input correctly. My old, still-active copy of 8.6 still worked. And after installation, the BL/CW worked fine with my MIDI devices.

 

So, overall, a win, from my point of view.

 

 

Edited by blue2blue

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Thanks.

 

I joined Bandlab & installed Cakewalk.

 

Then I uninstalled Bandlab - no prob.

It's certainly more intuitive than Presonus Studio One.

 

It works fine w/ my Presonus interface.

 

I'll use both & compare results. Why not?

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