I am a Cubase VST/Cubasis user and am planning on buying a DAW this summer. I\'m not sure if I should upgrade to Cubase SX or use Sonar. Since I\'m primarily a guitar player (though I do play keyboards), I figure the best sequencer choice will be predicated on which sequencer can handle MIDI the best. I\'ve heard Cubase is the best for MIDI, but am not sure why.
I\'ve seen the MIDI control features in VST and Cubasis, so I guess I\'d like to know if and where Sonar falls short.
I have been using Sonar and other cakewalk products since my computer ran Windows 3.1. I started with cakewalk 3.0 and have steadily upgraded to Sonar 3.?.
I have recently, in the past couple of years, also started using Cubase SX and have good and bad things to say about both.
If you are going to be running a bunch of digital audio files recorded into your computer such as guitar, vocals, bass and you will be having midi files playing drum parts and a few synth parts then I would recommend Cubase. The digital audio portion of cubase is perfect with easy to use automation in mixing and great use. The VSTi standard also makes this great for plugin synths. The midi side of Cubase is a little weaker than Sonar. But that may be my opinion as I know the midi features in sonar so well. I am a keyboard player so the midi side of things I have always liked more than the audio, especially for live performance when the audio tracks are of course being performed and not being played back from the computer such as recording. Sonar 3 now has great connectivity to all the VSTi\'s out there through an adapter that is seamless. With sonar you can also easily add loops but you can also sync up Acid Loops with Cubase which I like to do.
If I was just recording midi files for live use I would probably use Sonar and if I am adding Digital Audio tracks for recording a song I generally use Cubase. But if I had to choose one for a desert island it would be Cubase.
Thanks guys! BTW, I just read a review of Sonar in Sound on Sound magazine and unfortunately it didn\'t cover the MIDI aspects very well. It did say that Sonar has a better EQ, better reverb, and better bussing, though it says Cubase is better for surround and video.
I haven\'t used Sonar so I cant give a relative comparison. What I can say is that I haven\'t seen much variation when it comes to the recording aspect of midi files. Recording midi is alot like recording audio. You click \"record\" and start playing. I\'d find it hard to believe that a program could exist that would make this process difficult.
Where the subtle differences start to matter is in the editing of midi parts. I like Cubase because it has tools to make editing easy and fast. You can stack as many controller lanes as you like, designate any cc to them, and with the various drawing tools (pencil, parabolla, line) you can accomplish robust and dynamic midi parts with little time and effort.
It just seems to me that this is the crucial issue about midi editors. It\'s the features that involve the editing of cc messages I\'d be most interested in when evaluating one program over another (the biggest reason I still use Cubase is because I know it so well).
Sonar has a feature that I really like, and it\'s tempting to buy the program just to get it: you can extract an entire tempo track from audio. This is different from Cubase\'s function which calculates a tempo from a clip. Sonar\'s goes way beyond this. If you add midi tracks to audio which was recorded without a metronome, this is a life saver.
Other than that, it seems to me Cubase SX 2.xx offers better midi editing.
Sequencers (from the major sw houses) are like word-processors: they have been around so long and have so many features that they are the same in general. I think Sonar handles audio very well, the midi editing is outstanding, and the Lexicon Pantheon is a great bonus. As a beta tester for the next (and last) version of Sonar, the next version will be a significant step. Whatever the case, with VST(i) and FXTeleport, the PC side is where the best sequencing is at and Cubase/Sonar is the best way to go.