Cakewalk Project5
Cakewalk Project5

Project5, Electronic Music Sequencer from Cakewalk in the Project5 series.

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JeffTadashi 07/28/2012

Cakewalk Project5 : JeffTadashi's user review

« A live DAW worth finding! »

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Cakewalk's Project5 was the first DAW I ever used, and it can be very versatile, and it can be very useful, even for recording live bands. It is mainly designed with electronic music creation in mind, with advanced loop saving and loop triggering abilities. You can trigger loops live using the matrix page, and you have many options for how to set how the loops are triggered, whether the start time should be quantized or instantly played, and wether or not the sample should be looped or one-shot.

For regular midi input, there are options for quantizing the data, and even using an advanced arpeggiator. Project5 is very capable towards midi setups, as that is the medium for most electronic music. In later versions of Project5, they added the ability to record audio (as opposed to simply importing audio), which makes it capable of recording rock bands, which is what I did briefly. It is not optimized for this, and if you use a high-latency sound card, Project5 doesn't automatically adjust for the latency, and you have to manually move all of the audio back a few milliseconds, depending on the latency.


Project5 works great for live show, and live triggering of midi patterns and audio, which is what it was mainly designed for. It can handle many synths pretty well, and it even comes with a bunch of basic synthesizers (including some forms of Cakewalk's famed Dimension sampler). With these, you can start creating music immediately.


Overall, Project5 was a great side DAW created by Cakewalk, that had it's niche customer base away from their flagship SONAR DAW software. It is no longer supported, so it may be hard to find nowadays, but if you are looking for a live alternative to something like Ableton's Live, Project5 can be a great choice. It can inspire the mind.