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Noize2u, the reigning HRC Cakewalk advocate, gives his take on the recently released SONAR, the next generation of Cakewalk multitracking applications.

This is going to be just a brief rundown on the new Cakewalk software SONAR, I will go into more detail about everything new in the program in the next article after I have run the program for a while longer and can give an honest shakedown to it. Well, I have two thing's to say about SONAR, the new program from Cakewalk, "Whoopee" and "What no ASIO yet?" I have to say I am very impressed with the program as a whole. It seems to be the most stable running version yet, at least I haven't crashed it myself. The control's are still about the same as Pro Audio 9 with the exception of the addition of some new tricks. Direct X automateable audio effect's and direct X 8.0. A word of warning about Direct X 8.0, if you are running an un updated version of Cubase, it will have a bad reaction to the installation of Direct X 8.0. So either get the update for Cubase or don't install Direct X 8.0. But without it you cannot run the automation effects in Sonar.

There are also some revamped midi plug ins, support for DXi software synths, and support for RealAudio, MP3, WMA, and now, thankfully AIFF. But still no support for VST or ASIO compliance. But even without ASIO my Lexicon Core 2 is running very low latency. For you remixers there is the new Loop Explorer, it lets you preview loop's at the projects tempo before you drag them into a track. For the Web you have the ablility to save files in real audio, MP3 and Windows Media Advanced Streaming Format. For film scoring they have improved and tightened up the support for digitized video for film and video scoring. The track pane is set up a little different, you still have the track's pane and the clip's pane, now there is also a bus pane to axcess fx busses and such.

I would highly recomend popping for the fully loaded version SONAR XL. You get DXi soft synths, VSC ( virtual sound canvas), LiveSynth Pro, Dreamstation, Tassman 2.0 (full version), and Revalver SE a guitar amp sim. All these DXi synth's are automateable. Also advanced tutorial's, allowing you to get deep into the bowls of SONAR , Sound font's by Sonic Implants and Sample-heads. Groove loop's by Smart loops, Square WAV and Numerical sound. And I saved the best for last, a large collection of loops and stuff from PowerFX, they are quickly becoming a leader in the sample and loop making industry. I have used a couple of them already and the quality is far and above what i have seen in the past. I will expand on the PowerFX story in my next article because they are well worth the time to check out. I will also get a little more in depth about SONAR in the near future.

All in all, with this advancement into the deeper technology SONAR is perched to compete with the big guns in a major league way. I was losing faith in Cakewalk but this version has given me renewed faith in this company as a leader in this field.

So long for now, and May the Noize B with U

Noize 2 U

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