11/06/09 Open Letter to Sonar

“Despite all the hype, Apple computers still make up less than 10% of total computers in the market.”

– Cakewalk (makers of Sonar Digital Audio Workstation).

That was part of a response to an inquiry I sent to Cakewalk, the entirety of which is posted here:

I have been a long time Cakewalk user and currently run Sonar Studio 5 on a Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66 GHz XP SP3 Pro machine, 3 GB RAM, large drives with Presonus FirePod. Yeah, I am several versions behind, which is where my question comes in…

I am interested in upgrading to Sonar Producer 8, but I have been hesitant. I have a set of songs that I am working on for a project. I have hundreds of hours invested in it, and I do not want to lose time reconfiguring things with a new Sonar version. Is this concern warranted? I’d really like to have the track EQ that Producer offers (instead of adding additional instances of EQ on each track). I’d also to like to have the side-chaining from Producer, as I have found it impossible (even with various tricks and third party plug-ins) to do so in Studio 5.

What would you recommend? My original idea was to finish out this project in Studio 5, which at this rate may not be until next summer – then upgrade. I know my machine can handle either version.

The other reason I have held off – and I’m being honest here – is that I am very disappointed that Sonar doesn’t run on Macs. And I’m not even your average Mac-head. I have been a PC user for 15 years (much of that using Cakewalk/Sonar), but I am experimenting with Macs now for fun, and it’s a shame that I have to start with a new platform. Granted, the Mac DAWs are great, but now it is a matter of selecting one. I’m not impressed with Cubase and while Logic seems like the best choice, that’s a hunk of change.

I’m trying to consider this as a chance to have a new beginning from a creative standpoint, but will Cakewalk ever bridge the gap? I saw that there is a VS Roland partnership product with at least one Mac version, but I am just interested in running Sonar – not all the VS stuff.

I’m sure there are more people like me. Ideally, long-time Sonar users should have a cross-platform solution. So many of us have to battle the myths about music being “better on Mac” and this myth is perpetuated by vendors who do not venture into new markets and at least give us a choice. I really do like my Mac and the interface, but I hate having to learn a completely different DAW. Sure lots of techniques translate, but why can’t I capitalize on the extensive experience I have with Sonar while using a Mac?

Another part of Cakewalk’s response:

“That is not to say that we don’t take the Mac platform seriously, we do and you might notice that in addition to all of our hardware products, our software instruments are also Mac compatible as well. However, currently there is not plan to make an OS X compatible version of SONAR 8.5. It is something we have considered and something we continue to consider for future versions. Alternatively, it is possible to run SONAR on a Mac if you install boot camp and Windows. This allows you to boot up your computer in a Windows environment.” …


By jjdeprisco

Sonic explorer, sound artist, guitarist in Fricknadorable, software designer.

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