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Thread For all of the Cakewalk Users

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1 For all of the Cakewalk Users
I know there's at least a couple of cakewalk users on this site, so hopefully I'll get some good info.

I currently use Pro-tools (LE M-box system at home) and HD in the studio. The M-box system was fine for recording my solo acoustic stuff at home, but now that I have a band, I want to be able to capture more than just a stereo track. Well obviously Pro-tools hardware is a rip-off, so I'm looking at buying different software.

I just have a few quick questions about Cakewalk.

1. I was looking at the Home Studio 2, is it worth buying the XL upgrade package or just the regular version? I already have a pile of Direct X and VST Plug-ins collected from Pro-tools and the studio, so if Plug-ins are the case then no, any other features?

2. Are there separate mix/edit windows or only one window. I'm used to looking at the mix window in Pro-tools once all of my editing is done, I'd like to have that.

3. Is it compatible for any of the number of USB/Midi controllers for automation/transport duties such as the Mackie Control, Tascam US-428, or Behringer B-Control?

4. I very rarely use Midi and do more audio recording, however, I often use a click track as well as sometimes use my little Oxygen controller to throw in some effects and stuff. How user friendly is the MIDI use?

Any other thoughts or comments? Should I just bounce up to Sonar?

I like to record rehearsals for demo purposes or writing, and will end up bouncing everything to the MX-2424's in the studio if something 'amazing' came out of the practice.