Cakewalk Sonar 3|
Conclusion While this review has covered the main new features of Sonar 3.0, it really is impractical to list all of them - Cakewalk claim over 100 new features in the new product, and Id guess they're not boasting. While retaining familiarity for existing users, some powerful new features have been added, in addition to their staple bedrock of solid audio and MIDI support, excellent automation and external control possibilities. The inclusion of the VST wrapper will be highly welcome, even with the glitches with some plug-ins mentioned above.
The new user-interface is a vast improvement, making working with the product for long sessions much more pleasurable. Numerous smaller tweaks have been made to the interface to make things work quicker - too many to list here. Technically, the changes under the covers are similarly far-reaching - the new bus architecture not only offers more flexibility, but is more uniform too, and the excellent changes to the mixing console make the extra power easy to grasp.
The extras provided with the Producer Edition are particularly compelling. The combination of a high-quality Lexicon Pantheon reverb, VSampler and sonitus:fx is particularly appealing - especially with the integration of the 6-band EQ directly into the mixing console.
|Sonar 3 System Requirements |
|Operating System ||Windows 2000 ||Windows XP |
|Processor Speed ||800 MHz ||1.2 GHz or higher|
|RAM ||128 MB ||512 MB|
|Hard Disk ||100 MB for full program installation |
|Hard Disk Type ||Any EIDI/Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SCSI Hard Drive |
|Graphics ||1024 X 768, 16-bit color 1280 X 960, 24-bit color or higher|
|MIDI Interface* ||Windows compatible |
|Sound Card** ||Windows compatible ||WDM or ASIO compatible|
| * Required to connect to external MIDI devices |
** Required for audio playback
Note: SONAR 3 does not support Windows 95, 98, ME, or NT
At the time of writing, Sonar had just released an online update to version 3.1. Highlights of the upgrade, freely available to registered users of Sonar 3.0, include:
Optimisation for hyper-threading and multiprocessor systems. High-quality sample-rate conversion during audio import and export. Placeholder plug-ins for missing plug-ins. Adjustable EQ plot resolution. Various control-surface enhancements. Over 100 bug fixes.
Also currently available to registered users for download are a triangleDXi soft synth and Plasma FXPad multi-effects unit (with a unique joystick controller interface).
Sonar 3 Producer Edition $719
Sonar 3 Producer Upgrade $399
Sonar Studio Edition $479