SONAR 8.5: The Fine Print

borthwick2Cakewalk’s CTO Noel Borthwick has been hard at work creating this microscopic view of SONAR 8.5 for those of you who have expressed an interest in learning more about the internals of the new features. Throughout this post, Noel will uncover the new version from an engineering perspective. However, before we get started on the fine print, let’s  first clarify some facts and myths about SONAR 8.5.

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call SONAR 9 by any other name would sound as sweet.” I guess Juliet was misinformed, based on the wild speculation and reaction to our announcement of SONAR 8.5. To ease the anxiety for the next release I will let you in on a secret – the next product release will be called: SONAR 1C21B83D-EDCE-41b7-BBEF-31F912E88B1D. We think that a 128 bit version number will dispel all ambiguity the next time around.

FACT:
• The .5 release name for a major product reflects a change in our internal nomenclature for naming products, a business decision that was made after careful deliberation.
• Going forward this more accurately reflects our strategy of shipping products with high value for customers, while simultaneously planning for certain types of features whose depth may require a longer timeframe to develop and integrate.
• The 8.5 name is also indicative of the fact that 8.5 is available as an downloadable upgrade. i.e. unlike earlier versions it can upgrade an existing SONAR 8 install.
• Don’t be confused by the .5 in the name. 8.5 IS the next version of SONAR – It installs as a brand new version and lives alongside your existing SONAR 8 version just like any prior full release of SONAR.
• You can also simultaneously use 8.5 or an earlier 8.0 version just like any earlier full release of SONAR.
• If you purchased SONAR 8.5 as a downloadable upgrade, you must have SONAR 8 installed prior to installing SONAR 8.5. To reduce download size, the package doesn’t include all the content that you already have in your SONAR 8 install.
• You can also purchase a full set of 8.5 DVD’s even if you bought the download from our web store.
• If you bought the retail version of 8.5 from a store you already have the full 8.5 DVD set with all the content.
• There is no difference between an 8.0 install upgraded to 8.5 and a full retail 8.5 box install
• The depth of the new features and enhancements in 8.5 actually exceed what went into SONAR 8 coming from SONAR 7.

FICTION:
• The main SONAR 9 release was postponed and SONAR 8.5 is a patch or hotfix. Wrong – our maintenance releases are for compatibility and improvements only with the occasional bonus feature thrown in. We never add full blown features.
• A new version of SONAR is around the corner and 8.5 is an interim release. Wrong – We’re good, but not THAT good to be able to deliver a full new product just after shipping this one. Thanks for the compliment though!

So let’s cut to the chase shall we? There are several classes of new features in SONAR 8.5. I will try and focus on the pieces that are not covered in our marketing copy since by now you are already familiar with most of that.
You can read more about SONAR 8.5’s big features here if you are still catching up.

Disclaimer: The information below may be subject to errors and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of 8.5 features. It may be edited from time to time. You have been warned – nauseatingly geeky details follow. Stop reading now if this is objectionable to you 🙂

Continue reading SONAR 8.5: The Fine Print

Computer Music Magazine Reveals 11 Un-Missable SONAR Power Tips

Get more out of your favorite DAW with this list of the 11 Un-Missable SONAR 8 Power Tips by Computer Music Magazine. These tips explain the benefits that the latest enhancements made to SONAR’s audio engine and user interface provide to it’s users; with faster performance and more intuitive control. Featuring tips on Cakewalk’s new loop performance instrument, Beatscape, as well as SONAR’s new tools for arming and disarming tracks during recording and playback, this list will surely enhance the way you make music in SONAR.

Read Computer Music Magazine’s 11 Unmissable SONAR 8 power tips as seen on MusicRadar.com.

The Fine Print II: Updates Released for Cakewalk’s SONAR Platform

Here’s an excerpt from Cakewalk CTO Noel Borthwick’s report on the new features that exist in Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.3 and SONAR V-Studio 700 1.1 updates.  To view the entire discussion, Visit the Cakewalk Forums.

We’re happy to see so many of you enjoying SONAR 8.3. I know some of you enjoy the trivia that goes into a release so here is the unabridged version of what went into SONAR 8.3 aka “the making of SONAR 8.3” aka the 8.3 fine print. If details aren’t what you like wading through, just go ahead and enjoy using the product and skip this – what you don’t know wont hurt you 🙂

Disclaimer: This text is not an official Cakewalk endorsement of any features in 8.3 and has not been officially proof checked for accuracy, so I reserve the right to edit the content at will. The sole purpose is to provide more detail on the depth of some of the features in 8.3 that some of you have requested and to hopefully answer some common questions.

8.3 was a particularly intense point release for us and everyone involved spent a lot of long hours and effort to make this happen. Special thanks go out to our beta testers on this who spent long hours trying out all the new risky stuff. Posts from beta testers and Cakewalk engineers going into the wee hours of the morning attest to some of the dedication in this cycle.

As most who have been our customers awhile may know, the typical Cakewalk product lifecycle goes somewhat like this:
– We work on a major release
– Post release we typically do a quick minor point release to address any immediate or urgent issues that might arise
– We then hibernate a bit and do a major point release that makes some feature improvements and addresses any old or new issues that are common customer complaints.
– The cycle repeats

This time around when it was time to do our point release we wanted to continue working on the optimization theme we started in S8, but also revisit some common complaints and workflow issues with some of our existing features that needed some TLC. So we identified the following broad areas that we needed to work on in 8.3:

1. External Insert Improvements
2. Optimization and multi-core enhancements
3. VS-700 updates
4. New/Enhanced Features
5. Bug fixes
6. New content

Read Noel’s Fine Print In Full at Cakewalk.com

Tune Up Your Production Skills with SONAR 8 Help Guides

StreamWorks Audio Offers Complete SONAR 8 Video Tutorial

Whether you are a beginner, just learning the ropes, or a more seasoned veteran of SONAR, this video tutorial leaves nothing out and offers lots of valuable information to get you up and running quickly.

You will learn how to setup your computer for optimal performance, master SONAR’s new user interface & advanced recording and editing techniques, use effects, dial in software instruments, mix down tips & techniques, and much more!

StreamWorks’s SONAR 8 Tutorial: Now Available in HD

SONAR 8 Power! by Scott Garrigus

SONAR 8 Power! is the ideal reading companion for SONAR 8, featuring detailed information that even the most experienced user will benefit from. New users will start from the beginning and learn everything they need to know to use SONAR 8 for recording, editing, producing, mixing, and bringing their music to the masses. Upgraders will learn all about the new features in SONAR 8 as well as enhancements made to existing features that may affect their current production workflow.

Learn how to use AudioSnap, Session Drummer 2, and V-Vocal