I am getting Giga Studio 3 and Sonar, along with SI lib, and one of the guys at a local retail store is trying to sell me on Sound Forge for Mastering and compiling my music. Anyone used this and can recommend it? What can Sound Forge do that Sonar can't, or rather is Sonar enough? Or should I look at Sonar 5 Producer? Sonar 5 Studio?
I've used Sound Forge for years- We're still on ver 5 actually, never felt the need to keep upgrading- and I think it's a terrific program. Since I don't mix sound in Sonar (we use a Roland VS-2480) SF is where all the stereo editing happens. To me it would be a much faster and intuitive environment than Sonar for stereo file editing and mastering, but I don't know that it would offer anything that Sonar couldn't actually do.
BTW, the CD/DVD Architect programs are really nice to have as well.
If you're just mixing down your midi music - Sonar should be enough - as you're not dealing with some of the oddities of live sound. Which version of Sonar? Depends on what you need. Sonar 5 PE just has a few extras over the Studio version - take a look at the website see if you "need" those extras.
I've used Cakewalk for many years and right now have Sonar-4. I've also got Sound Forge and Adobe for wave editors.
The way I look at it is that if you just get Sonar and use that for mastering you probably won't know what your missing. On the other hand, once you have a decent wave editor you would never have it any other way.