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Topic: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

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  1. #1

    Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    Hey guys and gals,

    So, here's my question. I know that we have alot of Sonar users in here, but does anyone use Cakewalk's Home Studio? I'm wondering what someone is actually missing if they have Home Studio over Sonar.

    I realize that Sonar 4 is why out there in terms of features, but are the interfaces the same? I've been checking out Cakewalk's website and the screenshots for Home Studio 2 (and XL) look strikingly similiar to the ones for Sonar 4.

    Any comments would be great.

    Thanks a million,
    Jonny
    For more information, check out www.jonathoncox.com/intro.html

    "The trouble with music appreciation in general is that people are taught to have too much respect for music they should be taught to love it instead." - Igor Stravinsky

  2. #2
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    Jonny,
    I use from time to time Home Studio 2004XL. Actually, I don't know much about Sonar aside from what users on this forum have discussed. Home Studio has not been a problem for me and works well with GPO so far. I would like to see how it works with the new updates although I am sure there will be no major issues. I was going to purchase the upgrade to Sonar 4 Pe but recently will be testing GPO in Samplitude V8 and Sequoia V8. It should be interesting.
    However, I am an old Cakewalk user and will probably never get rid of my HSXL.

    Now, what was your question? Oh, yeah, well ... I use from time to time Homie Studio 100000+91/2 and three quarters......
    Styxx

  3. #3

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    I used Home Studio 9 for a couple years before upgrading to Sonar 3. The interface is nearly identical to Sonar, and it's a great inexpensive way to learn how the Cakewalk programs work before taking the big plunge. At the time, I upgraded because Home Studio only recorded one stereo track at a time, had limited plugin usage, and didn't have the same degree of MIDI editability. Plus, the Sonitus plugins and the Lexicon reverb alone were worth the price of admission. If I'm not mistaken, the latest version of Home Studio now has support for recording more than 2 tracks at a time. You can go very far with Home Studio, especially if you are just recording yourself. But if you are doing a lot of scoring for film, you'll probably want Sonar 4 Producer for the surround implementation. Check the pricing, it may actually be cheaper to buy Home Studio first, and upgrade to Sonar, than it is to just buy Sonar directly as a new user.

    Jim

  4. #4

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    I'm a Sonar user, and I have a freind with Home studio. HS seemed to be a lot buggier with it's VST/DXi plug-in support, but that could have just been issues on his machine. Anybody able to shed some light there??

  5. #5
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
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    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    Jonny,
    I have a Sonar unit off of an old sub if you want it. It woiks!
    Styxx

  6. #6

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by FredProgGH
    I'm a Sonar user, and I have a freind with Home studio. HS seemed to be a lot buggier with it's VST/DXi plug-in support, but that could have just been issues on his machine. Anybody able to shed some light there??
    Buggy would, unfortunately, be my assessment of Cakewalk's offerings in general these days. I started using Cakewalk in, I think, around the 3.x days when it was MIDI only, and a mighty piece of software it was. Somewhere around version 5 or 6 they added "me too" audio recording functionality, and their software hasn't been the same since in terms of stability. I currently have Sonar 3 Studio Edition, and it continues the tradition of being a bit on the unstable side. I've wished for years that they would release an additional "MIDI only" product that would return to their glory days of stability, but I realize that's just a pipe dream.

    I actually hate saying anything negative about these guys since Cakewalk changed my musical world years ago. However, this is not "disgruntled customer syndrome", but a relative assessment. I also own Pro Tools LE 6.x, Nuendo 2.2 and Cool Edit Pro 2.1 (Audition, too, just never got around to installing it). My observations of overall stability are in comparison to these other products, and that's the only fair comparison you can make. Very, very few audio products are bulletproof. And in the stability category, Cakewalk / Sonar products comes in dead last.

    Jonny, my point in all of this is to encourage you to evaluate products from as many different competitors as possible before making your decision. You'll find that they all offer pretty much the same feature set. Download some demos and play with them for a while, make a list of which ones actually play nice with your hardware, and then pick the one that suits your production style the best.

    And if on the extremely unlikely chance that any Cakewalk programmers are reading this, I feel your pain, guys. No programmer ever wants to release buggy code. It's like releasing an unfinished song - it's embarrassing. I blame not the developers for the continual stream of buggy software, but the middle and upper management people who force releases before they're ready.
    Christopher Duncan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Author of
    Unite the Tribes and The Career Programmer
    www.PracticalUSA.com


  7. #7

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    I used one of the original versions of Cakewalk (like 1.08 or something) and have steadily moved forward through the years to Cakewalk Express, Cakewalk Home Studio 2002, Cakewalk Home Studio 2004, and finally Sonar 3.11 PE (bought it approximately two months before they released 4.0...how stinkin' CONVENIENT).

    Anyway...Home Studio 2002 and 2004 literally changed my life for one reason and one reason only: ease of use. I played with various versions of Cubase, Logic, N-Track, and others and when I finally got to the Home Studio line of apps, I finally found a home where I could focus on the MUSIC and NOT so much on the technology. In other words, the Home Studio line allowed me to fully express myself and spend all my time tweaking the music itself rather than the various software issues.

    Quite frankly, I was (and still am at times) rather intimidated by Sonar simply because life was SO simple (yet powerful) in Home Studio. However, in my quest to take my music to the next technological and professional level, I knew intellectually that I simply had to get the power and sound quality that Sonar offers (I'm thinking of the effects like Lexicon reverbs, Sonitus EQ's and such). I also knew that when I FINALLY get to my vocal stuff, that Sonar will probably be a better choice than the Home Studio line.

    If I was never going to do vocal stuff, and if I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Home Studio 2004 could handle GPO, Soundfonts, and the Roland line of software synths (the HQ series) without a lot of hitches (and it probably CAN), then I would never have gone to Sonar.

    Bottom Line: Home Studio is an excellent app and I have produced 4 reasonably good albums with it (An Acoustic Christmas, An Orchestral Christmas, At My Father's Cabin, and I'll be Home for Christmas). I'm hoping that with Sonar and GPO, my next album "Orchestral Hymns" will simply take me to the truly professional level where even seasoned listeners/fans will be unable to tell that the album was produced through sound libraries rather than a real orchestra.

    As I've mentioned before, most, if not all of my fan base has been perfectly happy with my soundfont produced albums. I intend to raise the bar and REALLY blow them away with Orchestral Hymns (and then Palouse after that).

    I gave my copy of Home Studio 2004 to a friend for keeps, so I don't even have it installed anymore, but I am wistful about that. Hopefully I'll keep trudging up the learning curve of Sonar until I can whip out tunes quickly and efficiently. I will probably create several types of templates so I can quickly load various setups and begin recording.

    and there you have it...

    Kevin

  8. #8

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Duncan
    Buggy would, unfortunately, be my assessment of Cakewalk's offerings in general these days. I started using Cakewalk in, I think, around the 3.x days when it was MIDI only, and a mighty piece of software it was. Somewhere around version 5 or 6 they added "me too" audio recording functionality, and their software hasn't been the same since in terms of stability. I currently have Sonar 3 Studio Edition, and it continues the tradition of being a bit on the unstable side. I've wished for years that they would release an additional "MIDI only" product that would return to their glory days of stability, but I realize that's just a pipe dream.

    I actually hate saying anything negative about these guys since Cakewalk changed my musical world years ago. However, this is not "disgruntled customer syndrome", but a relative assessment. I also own Pro Tools LE 6.x, Nuendo 2.2 and Cool Edit Pro 2.1 (Audition, too, just never got around to installing it). My observations of overall stability are in comparison to these other products, and that's the only fair comparison you can make. Very, very few audio products are bulletproof. And in the stability category, Cakewalk / Sonar products comes in dead last.

    Jonny, my point in all of this is to encourage you to evaluate products from as many different competitors as possible before making your decision. You'll find that they all offer pretty much the same feature set. Download some demos and play with them for a while, make a list of which ones actually play nice with your hardware, and then pick the one that suits your production style the best.

    And if on the extremely unlikely chance that any Cakewalk programmers are reading this, I feel your pain, guys. No programmer ever wants to release buggy code. It's like releasing an unfinished song - it's embarrassing. I blame not the developers for the continual stream of buggy software, but the middle and upper management people who force releases before they're ready.
    Wow, talk about having completely opposite experiences...Sonar and Home Studio were both rock solid for me. Sonar is fantastic with GPO. This on a nicely tweaked Pentium 4 running XP Home, 512MB RAM. I stand by my recommendation.

  9. #9

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    I've been using Home Studio XL 2004 for a while now and find it pretty stable, with DXi plugins mostly. I don't record audio with it but often bounce tracks to audio to reduce CPU and memory load. The way it displays controller information is confusing - sometimes it is easy to lose track of where the events are.

    The only thing I find really annoying is the limited MIDI editing capability. Just not in the same league as Digital Performer over on the Mac. I don't know if Sonar is better in this regard; it should be, being more in DP's price class. What I am missing is the Groove Quantization and humanization, metrical selection, tap-tempo recording, etc. DP had this a couple major versions ago.

  10. #10

    Re: Cakewalk Home Studio Vrs. Cakewalk Sonar

    Jonny,

    SONAR 4 (and 3 before) also solid for me. I've been using Cake software for several years with very few problems. My only gripe is with the notation functionality, which is not anywhere near what Logic or other packages have.

    I'd suggest you post to the SONAR forum and ask what the differences are between HS and SONAR. There are folks out there who know the product line inside out of the tops of their respective heads.
    Bill

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