• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23

Topic: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

  1. #1

    Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Well, the upgrade package was waiting for me when I got home yesterday. All evening plans were cancelled, as it was time for some serious play. I got a few hours in, and thought I'd share my initial reactions.

    Quick and painless for me. You do have to use a registration code that is emailed to you, and you need an internet connection if you don't want to call Cakewalk. But it all went pretty smoothly, including installing all my old plugins and preferences. The disk was a DVD, so you'll need a reader.

    Look and Feel
    The new interface is a logical expansion to Sonar 4's interface, so I could jump right in, and understand almost everything that was going on right away. One very fun and completely useless feature is the ability to select from different icons to display on each track. You can now put a little violin on your violin tracks. Wheee! No picture of a Chapman Stick yet, so I'll have to create my own. ;-)

    Piano Roll View
    I spend a lot of time in the piano roll view, and there are a bunch of changes here, most of them good, but they will take some getting used to. You can display all controller data on top of the note data (default setting)... I think I prefer it in a separate pane, which you can still do. I'll probably switch to the overlay just when I'm trying to line up sustain messages for legato playing in GPO.

    You can also display multiple controls simultaneously, choosing which one to edit. For example, you can view velocity, CC1, CC64 all at once on a given track. They each have a different color, so it's easy to tell what you're looking at.

    My big problem is that I couldn't find the line tool for MIDI controllers. I use that ALL THE TIME to draw in expression for GPO instruments. I hate trying to use the pencil, because I can't draw well with a mouse. I hope it's still in there somewhere, and I just need to find it. If it's gone, I will raise a stink!

    Feature -- Track Templates
    This is super cool. Set up a track or group of tracks how you like it, and you can save the setup as a "track template." For example, you can make a track for your vocals that includes your favorite compression, EQ, and reverb in the FX bin. Even save the track names, icons, routings, etc. Then in any future project, you can import the template for quick setup. It even comes with a ton of pre-made templates. I'm going to use this a lot!

    Feature -- Per-Clip Effect Bin
    Now you can key an effect to an individual clip, instead of to the whole track. Nice feature!

    Feature -- V-Vocal™ Vocal Processor
    I only played with the briefly, and haven't figured it out completely yet. Looks really powerful, though. I tried taking an old vocal track of mine and changing a few notes in it... it works! I'm going to try it on some solo strings to see what I can get away with. I was inspired by the recent thread on "extreme ensemble building" for this.

    See Cakewalk's demos on this at http://cakewalk.com/Products/sonar/vvocalextras.asp for an idea of how much it can do. The video walk-through is very impressive.

    Feature -- Perfect Space Convolution Reverb
    Amazing. Simply incredible. I will never use SIR again (though I'll keep all the impulses I've collected thus far, thank you!). They supply a huge number of very good impulses, including unusual and experimental ones to make strange people like me happy. For example, I played a GPO viola through the impulse of the inside of an acoustic guitar. Made a very unusual instrument! I also love the piano innards impulses. Try sending a loud bass drum thwack through that... sounds like someone beating on a Steinway with a sledgehammer!

    Perfect Space vs. SIR
    PS sounds better, loads faster, looks prettier, and is lighter on cpu usage. It is also virtually real-time, and doesn't have mix-down issues, as SIR does (especially when using automation envelopes). I tried chaining three instances of PS in series on the main buss of a mix, and had only minor latency.

    There is a lot more new that I haven't gotten to yet. I'll try to make a follow-up post after I get some more hands-on time.
    - Jamie Kowalski

    All Hands Music - Kowalski on the web
    The Ear Is Always Correct - Writings on composition

  2. #2

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    My biggest gripe with Sonar 3 has been the fact that only one controller pane can be open at once. Glad to know that's been taken care of! I expect I'll be putting my order in soon.
    Dan Powers

    "It's easier to be a composer than it is to compose."
    --Ray Luke (1928-2010)

  3. #3

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    My copy arrived yesterday as well, but clearly I didn't put enough time in<G>!

    The things that made an impression on me:

    Track presets - maybe the most important new feature for me. I am tired of creating templates that never actually work quite like I NEED them to. Presets makes all of that go away.

    Perfect Space - wow! I am impressed with the sound quality. I have a copy of Pristine Space Lite, and I think the two compare well. I've never really liked SIR, and now I can stop fussing with it!

    V-Vocal - ho-hum. I'm not a big fan of auto-tuners, but I was hoping that this one would be useful for special effects. I'll spend more time with it, but thus far I am underwhelmed.

    The PRV in the Track View - it'll take some getting used to, but I think this might be the second most important improvement for me.

    RXP - probably another yawn, but mostly because the only content I have is what came with Sonar5. I do get the impression that I need to take a look at some of the Rex loop packages that are out there, the concept behind them is, I think, a little more interesting than the Acidized wav format. It's cool to be able to pick out an element of a loop so easily!

    All in all I am really impressed, it was a worthwhile upgrade!


  4. #4

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    I guess the 'track preset' feature is an answer to Logic's 'channel strip settings'. Sounds like the track icon feature is and answer to Cubase and Logis as well.

    The reverb sounds really cool. I like Sonar/Cakewalk its just unbelievably ugly to me.

  5. #5

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Sounds very cool. I usually upgrade SONAR on the day it comes out, but this time around I went with GJABB instead. I'll probably upgrade to S5pe next month...

    Regarding the clip effects... Do you have a choice as to where in the chain these effects go? i.e. if you have Reverb/EQ/Compression on the WHOLE track, but you want a Delay on just one clip, can you choose to put it before, after, in between the track effects?

    And are the track icons visible even when the track is fully minimized?


  6. #6

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by wst3ae
    Perfect Space - wow! I am impressed with the sound quality. I have a copy of Pristine Space Lite, and I think the two compare well.
    There's a reason for that...
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  7. #7

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey
    There's a reason for that...
    care to share??? Perhaps I should make the obvious guess???


  8. #8

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by wst3ae
    care to share??? Perhaps I should make the obvious guess???
    Mainly circumstantial evidence:
    1. Voxengo stopped selling Pristine Space Light just before SONAR 5 was released
    2. Compare the feature set listed here for Pristine Space Light with the one listed in the Perfect Space help file (reproduced here):
      • Stereo convolution processing
      • Non-destructive impulse editing
      • Linear-phase impulse equalizer
      • Several latency options
      • Comprehensive routing
      • Serial convolution processing
      • WAV and AIFF format support
      • Built-in sample rate converter
      • Search paths mechanism
      • "A-to-B" comparisons
      • Support of all output sample rates
      • High convolution precision
      • SSE/SSE2 and 3DNow! optimizations
    3. The string 'Voxengo' appears twice in Perfect Space.dll

    Like I said, circumstantial, but it's certainly suggestive.
    -- Jeff Lee
    Etiam singula minima maximi momenti est - Even the smallest detail is of the utmost importance

  9. #9

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey
    Like I said, circumstantial, but it's certainly suggestive.
    They've been talking about this over on KVR - I don't think it's "circumstantial"... ;-)

  10. #10
    Senior Member Styxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    West Seneca, NY

    Re: Sonar 5 PE - Early impressions

    Is there an upgrade path from earlier versions of Cakewalk, say like HomeStudio, to Sonar 5 PE?

Go Back to forum


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts