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Thread [Getting started] Plug-ins, Key Features, and Free Trials

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1 [Getting started] Plug-ins, Key Features, and Free Trials
Plug-ins, Key Features, and Free Trials
In part 1 we covered technical requirements, pricing and versions, and copy protection. In part 2, we’ll discuss plug-ins and plug-in formats, talk about some key features that could influence which DAW you choose, and look at options for demoing DAWs before buying.

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the new sonar pricing model seems to upset some people needlessly but if you look into it there should be a lot of you who would want to take advantage of it. If you really understand what is truly being offered you will have to agree that using sonar is a total no brainer for those who want to use the best DAW out there or who lack the funds to plop down a huge chunk of change. I already have x3 producer so I can upgrade to the new offering for $149 (limited time) or pay $14.95 per month for 12 consecutive with no drop off at all to maintain my deal and own it outright after the 12 month.

Everyone who upgrades like this or who purchases or upgrades Sonar in the new model or paying full price for it upfront we all will get what is essentially all the upgrades made to sonar for the next year. That means we all get FREE of charge what essentially would have been otherwise called X5 since the upgrade we are talking about now is what would have been called X4 had they kept the x theme in their name. X5 is what would have been released a year from now so this for me is like paying for one upgrade and getting 2.

You can still pay up front and get whatever version for $99 Artist, $199 Professional or $500 Producer


pay it off over 12 consecutive months with no stopping and starting in order to own it at the end of that term, if you miss a month you go back to square one, They still have the free trial I think so try before you buy is always the wise thing to do.

So now you can pay $99, $199 or $500 and get the package you want with the ability to upgrade by paying the difference I believe or you can opt to pay for whatever package you want and do so with the following monthly payment.
Artist is $9.99
Professional is $19.99
Producer is $50

Lots of extras make it more than worth getting into Sonar.

As generous as they are with the new pricing to help you get into a full featured state of the art DAW they have the highest quality third party developer extras in the industry of any DAW, with significant software bonuses from

Applied Accoutics Systems ( Lounge Liz LE and Strum acoustic LE included in Sonar Producer),

OVERLOUD 3 diferent Lite versions that are far more than typical lite versions provide
1.TH2 sonar or the better producer version of TH2,
2. Breverb sonar version for producer and
3. Re Matrix solo is in both professional and producer versions)

NOMAD A suite of FX for use in studio and platinum versions of sonar

XLN Addictive Drums 2 plus in professional you get one additional add pack and in producer you get 3.

Melodyne Essential is now included in professional and producer.

True Pianos Amber

If you were to add up the price of these third party software bonuses the dollar amount has to be more than what Sonar is going to cost you to get producer version.

The additional new improvements made to sonar are worth the $150 I will spend to grab this upgrade and I also get 3 ad packs for use in addictive drums so again a bonus that makes it worth my investment.

Looks like I found my favorite DAW and it seems to work perfectly for me. I play guitar and love the reverbs and amp sims, I use revalver mostly and there is no lack of quality in the amps and FX included with TH2 Producer. I also play keyboards and I upgraded to Z3ta plus a while back plus add in Dimension Pro, Rapture and I even find use for Pentagon and the strings from studio instrument strings. I have plenty of other synths to use that I paid for separately such as IK Multi Medias total studio package which I paid $100 for on sale ( so proud of that deal) and Synthmaster plus tons of FREE VST and VSTI that are available all over the internet.

Look I know Reaper is essentially available to you FREE if you never pay for the demo as they will not cut you off. Been there done that before and left it to get with Sonar. The difference in performance and usability is to me considerable and the FX and instruments that come with Sonar are the most complete package in any major DAW bar none so if you can add and subtract and keep tabs on the value these extras represent you can only come to one conclusion and that is Sonar is the king of DAWS and all others lack the deal making muscle to knock them off that perch.

Add in the superior core product that can do things no other daw can now do and it is game over people might as well start planning your world around using Sonar because all the smart DAW buyers are going to be spending that money with Cake.

Look at the new technologies they introduced into Sonar this go round.

Audio Snap Enhancements
Mix Recall
Control Bar Enhancements
Expanable Sends
Pattern Tool
FX Racks
Quick FX
FX Chains
CA Amps

PLUS the biggie for future projects as HS sound comes out in the future
Direct Stream Digital (DSD)
SONAR is the first DAW to natively support DSD, a high definition 1-bit audio format commonly used to archive masters in high resolution

HELLO McFly!!!!!!!!!!

Are you kidding me they did it freaking again


The Cakewalk development team is just to good for the other DAWS to compete with. Use the best or loose like the rest people. If using the best is important to you and you want to avoid playing catch up like when everyone was catching up to go 64 bit ( remember that fiasco and Cake led the pack then as well )

Years back when I jumped from reaper to get with a real DAW I easily made the best decision of my DAW purchasing life.

I think I covered a lot of why it makes sense to go with Sonar and perhaps the best reason of all: they have the single best forum full of helpful people that will answer questions and help you figure out how to solve problems and issues that all of us seem to have with whatever DAW we end up using. The strange part about being a musician that records myself is that we all get frustrated because we forget how to use the software and Cakewalk includes tech support that rocks and every time I had to use them they were there for me to give me the right answer to whatever problem it was I was having.

I know I need to be patient and take it slow and learn as I go so I can do things on my own and I am amazed at how simple it is to learn the ins and outs of this program, especially with all the additional help available to me through the sonar forums and other online and optional resources. I also recommend investing in Grove 3 and the Scott Garrigus Power Books to learn it faster. I carry my copy of Sonar power with me so I have it to read when I wait in line. Then they have the blog the youtube channel and Sonar University all powerful online learning resources that are essentially free. Berkley even offers a course in Sonar if you want to go that route and add that to your professional resume.

With the leak on new features as they are being developed we can get new technology as fast as they develop it and so far they are letting us know that in the near future we can look forward to a built in drum replacer so we can improve drums and percussion mixes.

If it keeps up we may see all the other DAW developers just pull a camel audio and disappear without any word as to why. Though we can guess they sold out to some major player no word exists on who that would be. I was hoping it was Cakewalk but obviously that is not the case or they would have mentioned it with the release of their new version of Sonar.

I have all the VSTI I need and I was just needing more in the way of drums so for me Sonar is a perfect fit. The amps are usable and I am more interested in using Revalver as my go to amp sim. Synthmaster has every sound I need on keys other than pianos orchestral strings and organs and the stuff that comes with sonar fills that in nicely. Sampletank and amplitube plus T Racks/ CSR also helps out there as well as with additional guitar tones and fx I can use.

Now that my DAW is chosen and I have a few other pieces of software I can just take my time and add in other things as they go on sale without having to pay top dollar because I need to fill in a hole that was not addressed by the extras sonar gives me. Kind of like when I had that $100 sale on total studio drop in my lap.

Still unsure? Get a roland or Tascam audio interface if you need that piece of kit as well and test the free software that is Sonar le. It also was as a freebie in a past issue of beat magazine out of Germany and they are slow to ship to the USA so not an option for most people but still a free lite version may be all some people need if they have eyes to use other FX and vsti than what is available inside sonar it comes free with some audio interfaces. Its probably the most powerful lite version of a major DAW and could be all you need.

[ Post last edited on 01/18/2015 at 22:44:33 ]

You sure you don't work for Cakewalk? ;) Seriously, it's great to hear from someone with so much passion for a DAW, especially considering the amount of cynicism that's out there these days. And thanks for providing so much detailed info.

BTW, I will be visiting the Cakewalk booth at NAMM to see the new version of Sonar in action, and will post of video of it sometime during the show.