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Cakewalk SONAR 8.5 Producer

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Cakewalk SONAR 8.5 Producer gives you the software you need for recording, composing, editing, mixing, and mastering your digital audio. From exclusive features to ignite creativity and perfect your t... Click To Read More About This Product

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Cakewalk SONAR 8.5 Producer gives you the software you need for recording, composing, editing, mixing, and mastering your digital audio. From exclusive features to ignite creativity and perfect your tracks, to groundbreaking technologies that always keep you in control”it's all backed by 64-bit audio quality.

SONAR 8.5 Producer delivers the go-to production tools you want with a great collection of virtual instruments, and mixing and mastering effects for your DAW.

With unlimited tracks, amazing creative tools, incredible virtual instruments, the freedom to work with any audio interface or control surface, and the a complete delivery capability for collaboration with users of other DAWS, SONAR Producer is an excellent choice for your main digital audio workstation.

Create and Record

¢Start producing quickly with track templates that instantly load your favorite sounds
¢Make beats and synth lines with a dedicated Step Sequencer
¢Get inspired with a suite of critically acclaimed virtual instruments, now easier to use with new Instrument Tracks
¢Plug-in direct to access fresh and versatile tones using Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 LE and 41 other effects
¢Build audio and MIDI tracks fast using Groove Clips and the redesigned Loop Explorer

¢Capture all of your ideas with unlimited tracks of audio and MIDI
¢Record at virtually any bit depth/sample rate up to 24-bit/384kHz
¢Record an entire performance at once with support for multichannel audio interfaces
¢New responsive Transport for on-the-fly recording
¢Experience high track counts with low latency performance
¢Get more out of your PC with industry-pioneering multi-core/multi-processor support


¢Perfect your vocal tracks with Roland V-Vocal VariPhrase processor
¢Manipulate the timing and feel of audio, just like MIDI, with AudioSnap
¢Assemble the perfect take from Track Layers using powerful comping and editing tools
¢Quickly edit MIDI with state-of-the-art Smart MIDI Tools

¢Streamline your workflow and project organization with Track Folders
¢Edit multiple tracks at once with group editing
¢Freeze audio and instrument tracks for optimal performance

¢Retain every nuance of your mix with the 64-bit audio engine
¢Get hands on control of your mix, instruments, and effects with Active Controller Technology
¢Mix with a versatile Console view that looks and acts just like hardware
¢Get sophisticated mixes with flexible routing options, unlimited submixes and sends, internal sidechaining, and over 30 surround configurations
¢Find and correct mix problems as they occur with Bus Waveform Preview

¢Integrate DX & VST effects and external hardware with Automatic Delay Compensation

¢End-to-end 64-bit audio path: tracks, busses, effect inserts, file export provides pristine environment for mastering
¢Put a professional sheen on your final mix with the LP-64 Linear Phase EQ
¢Get dynamic mixes using the LP-64 Linear Phase Multiband Compressor
¢Add maximum punch with the Boost 11 Peak Limiter
¢Ensure superior quality when creating 16-bit audio for CD or MP3 from 24-bit master with POW-r Dithering

Collaborate & Deliver
¢Collaborate with studios who use other DAWs including Pro Tools, Logic Studio, and others

Save time with flexible export options and faster than realtime rendering
¢Import/export AIF, Broadcast WAV, FLAC, SD2 (Sound Designer II), QuickTime, and many other audio & video file formats
¢Upload music directly from SONAR to the web using Cakewalk Publisher to create online streaming flash players
¢Rip & burn CDs right from within SONAR

New features, optimizations, and enhancements include:
Loop Explorer 2.0 gives you a view that provides browse and preview of audio and MIDI groove clips and patterns; quickly drag-and-drop loops and patterns into the track view; and MIDI groove clips and patterns can be previewed with the virtual instrument of your choice.

Dedicated Instrument Track is a single track optimized for mono or stereo virtual synths which simplifies the process of working with virtual instruments. In the pursuit of offering you options of how you want to work, the multitrack method of using virtual instruments employed by previous versions of SONAR is still supported. In addition, you can split and combine instrument tracks to/from discrete audio/MIDI tracks.

SONAR performance optimizations focus on functionality, including improved performance at high track counts and low latencies, faster launch time, and the ability to change audio devices without restarting. Cakewalk has also streamlined communication with VST plug-ins and improved ASIO performance with output latency compensation.

User Interface optimizations include smoother display when resizing windows and panes, optimized metering, more responsive zoom and scroll.

Clip Selection Groups further SONAR Producer's multitrack recording and take management capability. Now SONAR automatically groups clips together across tracks after each recording pass. This is perfect for comping any multitrack ensemble performance, especially drum takes.

The Aim Assist Cursor gives you a visual guide to assist in lining up tracks for precision editing.

Split and Mute Tools can now edit multiple clips simultaneously.

The free Edit Tool lets you perform edits by clips or by time without the need of a modifier key.

Live Effects and Soft Synth Recording make it so you can play and record effect and soft synth output into audio tracks in realtime using SONAR's live bounce feature.

The Anytime Recording features means that while the SONAR transport is running or looping, you can now arm/unarm audio and MIDI tracks, punch in, punch out, and toggle between play and record.

Exclusive Solo Mode with Solo Override is a new solo mode that forces soloing to one track/bus at a time and prevents tracks and buses from being muted when other tracks/buses are soloed.

The Bus Inputs QuickGroup Command automatically groups all source tracks feeding a selected bus.

Mono hardware outputs makes it easy to assign tracks and buses to individual hardware outputs in addition to stereo pairs.

Transport Updates include True Rewind, Fast Forward and Pause buttons; Audition button; improved Jog/Shuttle Heuristics; and optimizations for control surfaces and scrub performance.

With the Control Surface Enhancements you can now Show/Hide Tracks, Surface can follow either the Track View or Console View, obey visible/hidden tracks, control surfaces MIDI port assignments retained/stored in SONAR, real-world VST parameter values are now displayed.

Track View and Console View Sync now automatically syncs visible/hidden tracks between the Track View and Console View channels.

Enhanced Sample Rate Conversion now employs the same fast convolution engine as the LP-64 series 64-bit mastering plug-ins.

SONAR 8.5 now includes Vista Audio/WASAPI support, which is compatible with any Vista audio device, including WaveRT PCI and motherboard audio, USB, and FireWire devices. It also has QuickTime 7 Import/Export support for the latest QuickTime 7 codecs, including H.264 and AAC audio.

The Insert Send Assistant provides a fast and easy way to create effect buses and insert sends to new or existing buses.

Updated ACT Presets now have mappings for popular plug-ins and controllers.

Over 400 new production-ready Track Templates and Project Templates.

Updated Drum Maps and Plug-in Presets enhancing the most popular SONAR plug-ins. New collection of drum pattern presets for the integrated Step Sequencer.


New-to-the-series features and workflow enhancements:
  • Matrix View provides simple and flexible cell-based, non-linear audio, and MIDI arranging with live triggering capability
  • Step Sequencer 2.0 provides the powerful step sequencing capability
  • Session Drummer 3 for easy-and-fast creation of drum tracks with stellar sounding kits and patterns from top sound designers and drummers
  • AudioSnap 2.0 audio quantizing and time-shifting technology with new look and refinements to all the core controls, significantly improving workflow, plus improved offline rendering
  • Integrated Arpeggiator on each track, which allows you to trigger live or from recorded material with in-depth control over all arp parameters Includes hundreds of presets
  • Media Browser: the new hub for SONAR content supports multiple formats so you can access all your loops, grooves, and MIDI patterns; features presets for quick access
  • PX-64 Percussion Strip: seven-stage processor designed specifically for use with drums and percussion
  • VX-64 Vocal Strip: seven-stage processor optimized for shaping and sculpting vocal tracks
  • Windows 7 tested, ready, and recommended for use
  • Engine optimizations and stability improvements for recording audio, and while looping
  • Hotswap audio and MIDI devices, including control surfaces, without restarting SONAR
  • VST plug-ins compatibility improvements
  • Native REX loop support featured in Track View, updated Media Browser, and new Matrix View
  • BitBridgeXR allows you to run 32-bit plug-ins in 64-bit environments and now access up to 128GB of RAM
Matrix features
  • Cell-based, non-linear arrangement view, and live triggering
  • Sync to SONAR Transport / Track View
  • One-step capture Matrix "performances" to Track View for more precise editing
  • Drag-drop any audio (multiple files at once) and MIDI content from the Track View or the Media Browser into the Matrix
  • Four triggering modes:
  • Triggering resolutions include Measure, Beat, 1/8, 1/16, and 1/32
  • Per-cell alternate triggering resolution option
  • Cells can retrigger while playing, or be toggled off
  • Trigger one cell per-row, or an entire column of cells at a time
Play Styles:
  • Global and Per-Cell modes for Looping and Latching
  • Cells can be set to always trigger from the beginning, or offset from the
  • SONAR Now Time
  • Each row in the Matrix routes to a track in SONAR
  • Multiple rows can be routed to the same track
  • Each row has mute and exclusive solo buttons
Completely MIDI controllable:
  • Cells can be easily MIDI-learned for ultimate control and playability
  • Learnable MIDI Modifiers to change cell trigger behaviors on-the-fly
  • Global MIDI channel selector
New in Step Sequencer 2.0
  • Enhanced SONAR integration: now every virtual instrument in SONAR includes a Step Sequencer button to easily launch and configure a Step Sequencer to work with that instrument
  • Add Flam to any step by simply double clicking it (just double click any step to activate flam, then use the flam time knob to adjust its timing)
  • Quickly change the output port and channel of any row to match anything in SONAR's Synth Rack to trigger sounds across multiple instruments
  • Easily load/save patterns from the Options button
  • Drag & drop patterns from the SONAR Media Browser
  • New Shortcuts to automatically fill a lane with every 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 steps
  • Redesigned Controller Pane allows simple and powerful per row articulations and controls, including Volume, Pan, Pitch Bend, Mod Wheel, Portamento, Per step parameter controls for Velocity, Time Offset, Probability, Lane-based MIDI articulations, Filter Cut, and Filter Res
From Step Sequencer 1.0:
  • Step Recording
  • Velocity Multiplier
  • Fit to Quarters capabilities
  • More
Session Drummer 3
    • Amazing interactive photorealistic drum kit page to load kits, programs, patterns, and tweak mappings
    • Dedicated Mixer page for fine-tuning your drum kits with enhanced control over mix, 12 channels each with volume, pan, width, and tuning controls.
    • MIX & MATCH kit components: All kit pieces are broken down into mix and match-able components for ultimate flexibility with 12 components per kit Ships with well over 200 different drum sounds across 20+ kits.
    • Drag-and-drop drum components: It's as easy as dragging any WAV or ogg file from the desktop onto a pad
    • Provides unlimited creative possibilities in the creation of custom kits using any sound source
    • Comprehensive collection of presets and MIDI-based loop files providing that creative jump-start
    • Flexible MIDI pattern playback.
    • 12 pads/12 outputs
    • 10 new super high-quality kits from renowned Sonic Reality ready to play in any track along with
    • 1 coupon for a free download of one Ocean Way Drums drum kit.
    • 2 ultra polished kits from Steven Slate Drums, fine tuned and tweaked to sound amazing in any mix
    • Newly re-mapped for Session Drummer 3 are the genre-defining original samples of the classic Roland TR-707, TR-727, TR-808, and TR-909 drum synthesizers, along with kits from Sequential Circuits Drumtraks and Linn Electronics LinnDrum
    • 2 Organic kits with hundreds of MIDI patterns from Smart Loops.
    • Over 700 new MIDI patterns from Steven Slate Drums and Groove Monkee
    • Over 2.5GB of Drum sample content
    AudioSnap 2 features and workflow enhancements include:
    • AudioSnap Palette presents all AudioSnap commands and options in one easy-to-read toolbar graphic
    • Simplified transient marker appearance reduces clutter and enhancing focus on relevant information
    • Transient Tool allows for dragging or snapping of transients without having to worry about inadvertently moving an audio clip; lasso selection for grouping transient edit
    • The Merge and Lock transients command in the Transient Tool context menu is great for editing, stretching, and quantizing multi-track drums while keeping your audio in phase
    • Grouped proportional stretching allows for the easy correction of fluctuations in a performance's tempo without losing feel
    • Tab to Transients is always available from Track View and Piano Roll View; follows Audio Clips, Groove Clips, Step Sequencer Clips, and MIDI Groove Clip
    • Tempo detection, tempo mapping, and tempo syncing audio
    • New tempo detection algorithm auto-detects the tempo of all audio in SONAR and the Clip Tempo Map feature allows for easy manual tempo mapping of non-rhythmic, non-constant or atypical audio
    • Enhanced fidelity with Radius Mix Advanced mode
    Additional miscellaneous new enhancements and "featurettes"
    • Convenient Freeze and Archive buttons on each track
    • Updated Insert Send Assistant, with matching track gain/pan while creating sends
    • Solo Button on all effects plug-in windows, to quickly solo and focus on the track being processed
    • New Track View grid lines options to present grid lines behind or in front of clips
    • New option to automatically lock scrolling during playback when initiating an edit
    • The Now Time cursor can be dragged to a new position during playback
    • DC Offset meter in the Cakewalk Analyst plug-in
    • SONAR 8.5 now includes the Project5 "Half-Rack" Tempo-Sync'd Effects, including the Alias Factor Bit Decimator, Classic Phaser, Compressor/Gate, HF Exciter, Mod Filter, Chorus/Flanger, Para-Q, StudioVerb II, and Tempo Delay
    • Installation has been simplified with an easy one-click install option that accepts all default settings and locations and installs the entire SONAR application, as well as plug-ins and content data
    System Requirements
      • Operating system: Windows XP/Vista (32-bit) (SONAR does not officially support Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP x64)
      • Processor Speed: Intel Pentium 4 1.3GHz, AMD Athlon XP 1500+ or higher
      • RAM: 512MB
      • Graphics: 1024 x 768, 16-bit color
      • Hard disk space: 200MB for core program
      • Hard disc type: Any
      • MIDI interface: Windows-compatible (Required to connect external MIDI devices)
      • Audio interface: Windows-compatible (for audio playback)
      • Media drive: DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD +/- RW drive (for installation because SONAR is presented on DVD media, so DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD+/- RW)
      • Webserver access: None
      • Operating system: Windows XP/Vista (32 bit)/ Mac OS X with Boot Camp (SONAR does not officially support Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 or XP x64)
      • Processor Speed: Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz, AMD Athlon XP 2800+ or higher
      • RAM: 1GB or higher
      • Graphics: 1280 x 960, 24-bit color or higher
      • Hard disk space: 30GB for program and content
      • Hard disc type: EIDE / Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SATA
      • MIDI interface: Windows-compatible (Required to connect external MIDI devices)
      • Audio interface: Windows-compatible (for audio playback)
      • Media drive: DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD +/- RW drive (for installation because SONAR is presented on DVD media, so DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD+/- RW)
      • Webserver access: Available web server space with FTP access privileges (Cakewalk Publisher requires you to have available web server space with FTP access privileges. An internet connection is required for music uploading. A broadband connection is recommended.)
      • Registration is required for continued use of product, and may be done by Internet or telephone. Instructions and Cakewalk's privacy policy will be detailed to you during launch of the product.
      • Customer Reviews

      Review Snapshot

      by PowerReviews

      (based on 4 reviews)

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      Reviewed by 4 customers

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      (63 of 63 customers found this review helpful)


      It Does It ALL !

      By Imtiaz

      from Jamaica, NY

      The upgrade from sonar 7 to 8 is immense, the biggest feature being the more stable mix engine, meaning it runs 10 to 20x's more efficient on your machine, it uses less resources but still pushes the same power, you have unlimited audio midi tracks, you can drop in your videos, and edit the audio with the 42 audio FX that come standard, use guitar effects with Guitar Rig LE, Make full compositions with Dimension Pro. This DAW has it all, if you haven't tried sonar, your missing out on one of the best DAW's out, on top of that, Cakewalk listens to the users, the upgrades you'd want on this software will be heard, its the best, just try it !

      (13 of 14 customers found this review helpful)


      Awesome Performing Software

      By kevhenderson

      from pevely, mo.

      what can i say about Sonar 8.5 producer? Nothing but good things. what else could you expect from product of "ROLAND" a leader in the music industry. Forget pro-tools. you don' have to play he monopoly hardware game with Sonar or any other Cakewalk product. It is any interface friendly and dumping tracks simultaniously from alesis hd24 via presonus light bridge is a snap. how cool is that being able to directly record to 2 hardrives at once with no latency issues. This is a professional product that is easy to navigate.If you are dead set on needing to collaberate with nashville or whoever you cam opt to send the files aiff so "any other Pro software can recognize it.why spend thousands just so you can record a full band in protools...i can record 24 tracks on the fly at once( if i so choose)Great Job from Cakewalk who started it all years ago. You CAN get commercial grade CD quality with this...but i am considering using a mastering software or plug in. althoguh this has great mastering features. you can't go wrong with this product.

      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)


      as good as pro tools and any others

      By chengno

      from sacramento

      people can say what they want, that Pro Tools is the best recording software out there. Well, I have recorded with Pro Tools and other good software out there and Sonar is as good as they are too. It's not the software, it's how good are you and the experience you had and it's at a good price too.

      (0 of 9 customers found this review helpful)


      Ok, but...

      By Stuart Ruby

      from St. Louis, MO

      I can't speak from experience about Sonar 8.5, but I've used Sonar 7 for several years. In a word, I would call Sonar "glitchy." I recently switched to Pro Tools LE and am amazed that, so far, the advertised features actually work. the beta version for 64 bit Windows 7 works fine, though a bit tricky to install. (For some reason I thought Pro Tools was this very expensive, difficult to obtain software. It's actually relatively inexpensive when you buy some version of the M-Box.) I was intrigued with Sonar because it was designed for 64 bit systems and because of its proposed ability to easily change the tempo and pitch of a song. I could never get this feature to work well. V-vocal had a lot of artifacts and would often totally ruin a vocal track. Doesn't come close to Melodyne. During the last year my soft synth plug-ins stopped working properly. I would have to click inside the synth's control window to change a sound or parameter and then click outside the synth to get Sonar to recognize the change...very tedious. I tried reinstalling Sonar, but that did not fix the problem. Here's the other thing to consider: almost no professional studios use Sonar. Pro Tools is the industry standard. You can take a Pro Tools LE file to almost any professional studio for mixing or mastering. If you have problems, you can easily find tutorials and massive user forums. That is not the case with Sonar. I hate to sound like a Pro Tools ad, but in the few weeks I've been using Pro Tools LE, I've been very impressed.

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