Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases
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Old 01-14-2015, 01:52 AM   #1
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Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

So, today Cakewalk announced the new version of SONAR. Apparently, there's no product version releases anymore, and they're moving to a somewhat subscription-based model.

That's just beginning pricing, and owners of previous versions have reduced pricing, of course.

Apparently, their plan with getting rid of big numbered releases is that they want to work on one feature at a time and release them gradually rather than working on a bunch and putting it all together at once with their previous 18-month cycle. So they can QA the specific features better, and roll them out more frequently, I suppose.

What do you guys think about this? Weird shit? Maybe having SONAR available for purchase on Steam opened them up to wild ideas? Awesome industry-changing idea? Whatever?

I think it's an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how it's going to pan out. Definitely will pay for my upgrade when it's available. So, I suppose I'll see over time.

Obligatory overview video:

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Old 01-14-2015, 05:00 AM   #2
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Seems to be working for Adobe products.

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Old 01-14-2015, 06:03 PM   #3
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

I think this is a neat idea. Giving consumers the option to pay monthly or all up front. Giving the chance for any musician on a budget able to afford a great piece of software.

I would like to see other big names take this route but in reality that might be a ways off lol

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Old 01-15-2015, 07:41 PM   #4
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Thinking about it... I was thinking one of the things it might be cool for is working with other people. Like I can give my friend my project file of a song we're playing with and 20 bucks. So he can use it for a month and mess with it on his own time when I'm not around.

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Old 01-15-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Everything is going to be subscription-based eventually and that's been the tendency for quite a while.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Some good things in there. Reserving judgement until the first big patch after launch.

1) No indication if they're fixing their automation, it has sucked badly every iteration. I have to do work-arounds when doing basic things like copy/pasting automation because its so fecking buggy, even after all these years. For example, if an automation lane is not expanded when copy/pasting, even if you do a Copy Special, then the bloody automation does not copy with everything else. So in big projects this can become extremely painful if not careful. Also, sometimes copying automation deletes the source i.e. it does a move, rather than a copy. Painfully bugged and messes up workflow.

2) The main thing I want is the ability to control multiple VSTs from a single midi track for easy layering. I've wanted that for years. No indication if it will be added. You can frigg it but its unwieldy, inflexible and isn't quite the same thing in terms of output. I'm betting this feature isn't going on. It would be a killer workflow feature for pad-makers.

I still like Sonar a lot but these gripes have been with me for so many versions without much improvement.

The changes to piano-roll/midi-editing look great for workflow. The voice editing stuff is of real interest to me because I use so many vocals in my tracks. Meh on the VSTis. Yay on more ProChannel stuff, ProChannel is the bees knees.

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Old 01-22-2015, 11:20 AM   #7
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Got an email this morning, this product is now available. For existing owners, not bank-breaking either. Regardless, not seeing anything to make my change stance until the first major patch, even though its too early for anyone to have reported bugs in the release version. Watching with interest, may get this later in the spring.

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Old 01-23-2015, 09:41 AM   #8
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

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Originally Posted by Stercogburn View Post
Watching with interest, may get this later in the spring.
Yeah, there are a couple things I'm really excited for (like Mix Recall, for instance), but I'm currently saving my money to move out of my apartment. So, it'll have to wait for a bit.

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Old 01-23-2015, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

I'm not a Sonar user, though I do own some of their products. This seems terribly expensive to me. Say you bought your version of Sonar three years ago (let's say the equivalent of Pro) did it cost you $720?

If I had to pay $600 a year for a Logic "subscription" that would have cost me $7,200. Live, that would be $5,400. Komplete, $7,200. That's nearly 20K! In reality, I'd guess I've spent not even close to half that on licenses for these products. And further to that, even when I've been flat broke, I've still been able to use them.

Don't be fooled by the "upgrade" pricing AKA paying to revoke your current licenses and make them unusable without a subscription before your "trial" period expires and you get hit with the full fee.

Unless Cakewalk is offering some kind of web-based DAW that you can access and work with in any browser, this is a rip off. And even then, it's weak. You'll have to make sure that you bounce everything to wave when you're done with a project otherwise you're fucked in the future if you let your subscription lapse.

Subscription pricing works for Adobe because they've taken a ridiculously overpriced product and restructured it to be more affordable, while expanding on their services.

As for development, clearly they're switching to a sprint cycle, that's great for them because now they can charge you more without the hassle of major updates and the testing, marketing and distribution overheads that come with them.

If you're a Cakewalk user, and they previously used to update every 18 months, ask yourself, would you be willing to pay $180 (artist), $360 (pro) or $900 (platinum) to update your license?

I don't know any consumer DAW update that's worth that amount. If Logic or Ableton ever tried to charge me that much for an update, I would start looking for alternatives to move forward with.

I don't know, maybe Cakewalk doesn't think much of their users and figures they can't add up good, or maybe their suites were ridiculously overpriced. Although, I don't recall that Z3ta was too expensive when I bought it... Can anyone shed light on how this stacks up to their previous pricing model?

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Old 01-23-2015, 10:56 AM   #10
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
I'm not a Sonar user, though I do own some of their products. This seems terribly expensive to me. Say you bought your version of Sonar three years ago (let's say the equivalent of Pro) did it cost you $720?

If I had to pay $600 a year for a Logic "subscription" that would have cost me $7,200. Live, that would be $5,400. Komplete, $7,200. That's nearly 20K! In reality, I'd guess I've spent not even close to half that on licenses for these products. And further to that, even when I've been flat broke, I've still been able to use them.

Don't be fooled by the "upgrade" pricing AKA paying to revoke your current licenses and make them unusable without a subscription before your "trial" period expires and you get hit with the full fee.

Unless Cakewalk is offering some kind of web-based DAW that you can access and work with in any browser, this is a rip off. And even then, it's weak. You'll have to make sure that you bounce everything to wave when you're done with a project otherwise you're fucked in the future if you let your subscription lapse.

Subscription pricing works for Adobe because they've taken a ridiculously overpriced product and restructured it to be more affordable, while expanding on their services.

As for development, clearly they're switching to a sprint cycle, that's great for them because now they can charge you more without the hassle of major updates and the testing, marketing and distribution overheads that come with them.

If you're a Cakewalk user, and they previously used to update every 18 months, ask yourself, would you be willing to pay $180 (artist), $360 (pro) or $900 (platinum) to update your license?

I don't know any consumer DAW update that's worth that amount. If Logic or Ableton ever tried to charge me that much for an update, I would start looking for alternatives to move forward with.

I don't know, maybe Cakewalk doesn't think much of their users and figures they can't add up good, or maybe their suites were ridiculously overpriced. Although, I don't recall that Z3ta was too expensive when I bought it... Can anyone shed light on how this stacks up to their previous pricing model?
The upgrade cost for me is $199 for Platinum (their top offering), which at current exchange rates is £132.72 as a one-off fee. Pretty decent actually. At the end of a year I just don't get any more upgrades from them unless I sub, which I won't necessarily do until there's enough change to the product to make it worthwhile.

I haven't seen anything to indicate you need an always-on internet connection to make the DAW work but maybe i've missed something.

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Old 01-23-2015, 11:04 AM   #11
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Yeah, so it will be way more expensive moving forward. I wouldn't assume the upgrade pricing would remain in effect after the first year.

I doubt you would need an always on internet connection. But, given that it's a subscription, I'd assume the software would be deactivated when the subscription lapses.

If you're already a Sonar user thinking of upgrading, my advice is to make sure that when you upgrade you can still roll back to your previously purchased version when you unsubscribe. And of course, check for backward compatibility.

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Old 01-23-2015, 11:16 AM   #12
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

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Originally Posted by Jaded View Post
Yeah, so it will be way more expensive moving forward. I wouldn't assume the upgrade pricing would remain in effect after the first year.

I doubt you would need an always on internet connection. But, given that it's a subscription, I'd assume the software would be deactivated when the subscription lapses.

If you're already a Sonar user thinking of upgrading, my advice is to make sure that when you upgrade you can still roll back to your previously purchased version when you unsubscribe. And of course, check for backward compatibility.
I can't see a company being crazy enough to deactivate a product when sub expires. It would essentially just drive users away but its worth checking out.

I think the upgrade from X2 to X3 cost me £180-ish, so this is cheaper. I'd have to check my credit card history though as it was a little while ago now.

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Old 01-23-2015, 12:25 PM   #13
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Diggedy dig digging...

Found this:

[Only registered and activated users can see links. Click here to register]


Looks like the sub is like a credit model and on month 12 you own the full product. If you stop sub before then, just like any other rental agreement as pointed out in the thread, you lose the chance to own it.

If you buy it up front, you own it. Period.

What I'm getting from this is that Cakewalk haven't managed their communications very well and are causing confusion and concern, rather than genuinely having created a problem people need to worry about.

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Old 01-27-2015, 02:27 AM   #14
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

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Originally Posted by Stercogburn View Post
Some good things in there. Reserving judgement until the first big patch after launch.

1) No indication if they're fixing their automation, it has sucked badly every iteration. I have to do work-arounds when doing basic things like copy/pasting automation because its so fecking buggy, even after all these years. For example, if an automation lane is not expanded when copy/pasting, even if you do a Copy Special, then the bloody automation does not copy with everything else. So in big projects this can become extremely painful if not careful. Also, sometimes copying automation deletes the source i.e. it does a move, rather than a copy. Painfully bugged and messes up workflow.

2) The main thing I want is the ability to control multiple VSTs from a single midi track for easy layering. I've wanted that for years. No indication if it will be added. You can frigg it but its unwieldy, inflexible and isn't quite the same thing in terms of output. I'm betting this feature isn't going on. It would be a killer workflow feature for pad-makers.

I still like Sonar a lot but these gripes have been with me for so many versions without much improvement.

The changes to piano-roll/midi-editing look great for workflow. The voice editing stuff is of real interest to me because I use so many vocals in my tracks. Meh on the VSTis. Yay on more ProChannel stuff, ProChannel is the bees knees.
That's exactly why I stopped using sonar. I mean, I don't think in terms of "i want a kit of samples", it's a 90's era idea to me. I think "I want to live synthesize a kick drum, sample some hihats, and have a few fx. And I want it all in one midi channel. And i want to be able to layer instruments. But I found it near impossible to do any of this in sonar without considerable effort. I did like the midi editing, which is really good about velocities and such. The automation was awful too.

I also kinda wish they would stick with one layout for everything, you know? I mean, it's cool that you can choose how to lay everything out, but sometimes I think they should have just made a simpler interface so that you don't spend forever trying to get the right template, and can just get used to something.

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Old 03-06-2015, 06:20 PM   #15
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

First major patch has been out a week or so. They may now take a small portion of my hard earned.

Upgrading to Platinum at a one-off cost of £118.

I'll report back when I've got it installed and played with it

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Old 03-06-2015, 09:49 PM   #16
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE DO NOT INSTALL THIS GARBAGE

Holy fucking hell this is bad.

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Old 03-06-2015, 10:05 PM   #17
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

So. Now you have my first impression

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Old 03-06-2015, 11:41 PM   #18
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Ok where to start.

First up, the Command Center. This is pretty dreadful, even though at first it seems spangly and cool.

You can safely use the CC IF you have everything (and I really mean absolutely everything) installed in its default location on the C: Drive, or are happy for every product to be installed on the C: Drive.

Why?

Because you don't get a choice.

It just takes a big steaming dump on your C: drive regardless of if you have previous versions of products installed on other drives.

However...

You don't get to choose if you just wanna download stuff, there is only an 'Install' button, so you have to download and install, then reverse the install, and then manually install the product from the download folder. Which brings me to...

... the 'Gear' icon.

This lets you set your download folder and inexplicably, the VST folders... that it then ignores.

You guessed it, VSTs go on the C: Drive no matter what you choose because they will go into the folders that are set by Sonar

So how to get around it: This is not elegant but it worked for me. Note you only need this if you have an organised setup with stuff installed on different drives.

1) Within CC, download and install everything. You're gonna have a messy C: drive but no way around it.
2) Uninstall everything except Addictive Drums and Melodyne. Although they don't integrate too well with the CC installer, this actually means their exempt from the worst of its behaviour too.
3) Go to the CC download folder (note that this is not the same as your Windows download folder, it is set inside CC).

3a) Run SONAR_Platinum_UP1_Setup_21.1.0.38.001.exe and choose your settings, including file locations.
3b) Run SONAR_Platinum_UP1_Setup_21.1.0.37.002.exe, this is Update 1 "Braintree".
3c) Starting at the top, just manually install everything else in the folder.

This is a painful, painful installation that is appallingly put together.

Note that the products you install through CC don't even show up in Control Panel's Programs & Features, so Cakewalk have kludged like amateur fucks to make this work. I am appalled at the ineptitude of their installation programming.

Most painful installation I've experienced in years for any product.

I've not even got to testing the updates and features inside the DAW yet. Tonight has totally been spent troubleshooting the installation itself.

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Old 03-07-2015, 12:52 AM   #19
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

5 hours in, still not quite there yet.

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Old 03-07-2015, 01:03 AM   #20
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Re: Cakewalk SONAR is dropping numbered version releases

Ok am now setting up a new template. Creating an Audio track takes nearly 10 seconds. Right clicking on an audio channel takes about 5 seconds for the menu to come up.

In case something was going wrong on my PC, I closed Sonar Platinum and went back to X3. All above processes were instant.

In general Sonar Platinum is sluggish to respond at best. Not even finished setting up a basic template and its not performing well in the slightest.

Continuing on...

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