What's New in SONAR 8.5
Cakewalk SONAR 8.5: Order New Units and Upgrades Here
Session Drummer 3 (Producer Exclusive)
Session Drummer 3 - Session Drummer has been a mainstay in
SONAR for easy and fast creation of realistic sounding drum tracks. Now, Session
Drummer 3 hits the stage with an all new look, sporting a sleek photorealistic
3D drum kit, along with routing improvements, plus 12 new kits and over 700 new
patterns for additional high quality drums sounds and grooves.
- Photorealistic drum kit page to load kits, programs, patterns, and tweak
- Dedicated Mixer page for fine tuning kits (12 channels each) with control
over volume, pan, width, and tuning controls.
- Mix and match kit components: all kit pieces are broken down into
individual components for flexibility in creating your drum sounds. Ships with
over 200 different drum sounds across 20+ kits.
- Drag-and-drop drum components: build kits by dragging any WAV or OGG file
from the desktop onto a pad.
- Comprehensive collection of presets and MIDI-based loop files to provide a
creative jump-start for your drum tracks.
- Flexible MIDI pattern playback.
- 12 pads/12 outputs.
- 10 high-quality kits from the renowned content provider Sonic Reality,
ready to play in any track along with 1 coupon for a free download of one
Ocean Way Drums kit.
- 2 polished kits from Steven Slate Drums, fine tuned and tweaked to sound
amazing in any mix.
- 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 from Smart Loops.
- Over 700 new MIDI patterns from Steven Slate Drums, Groove Monkee, and
- Over 2.5 GB of drum sample content in
PX-64 Percussion Strip (Producer Exclusive)
PX-64 Percussion Strip - is a seven-stage processor designed
specifically for shaping drum and percussion sounds. Like the VX-64 Vocal Strip,
the PX-64 Percussion Strip employs Cakewalk’s exclusive tube saturation
algorithms with unique filtering and auto-leveling circuitry technologies.
Combining transient shaping, compression, expansion, equalization, delay, and
tube saturation in one convenient plug-in, the PX-64 Percussion Strip
includes 70 go-to presets along with click & drag reordering of
processing stage routing, making it fast and easy to enhance any drum or
percussion track in seconds.
- Input — the Input/Gain stage simulates a tube pre amp.
- Transient Shaper —shape the audio signal’s attack phase independently of
the decay/sustain phase.
- Compressor — balance the overall signal level and limit the dynamic range.
- Expander — control dynamic range by reducing levels that fall
beneath a specified threshold.
- Contour EQ — 4-band EQ optimized for drums and percussion.
- Delay — adds space and rhythm to the signal with option to tempo sync to
- Output — output gain stage and specialized saturation control with a built
in soft-clipping filter.
VX-64 Vocal Strip (Producer Exclusive)
VX-64 Vocal Strip - is a seven-stage processor designed for
sculpting incredible sounding vocal tracks. Each of the VX-64's stages have been
fine-tuned to be vocal-specific, taking the work out of loading an entire chain
of vocal processors. The VX-64 features a new Cakewalk technology that employs
phase-coherent, multi-band saturation to avoid unwanted distortion; unique
filtering to avoid artifacts at extreme high and low frequencies; and an
auto-leveling circuit that prevents the tube saturation from sounding too harsh
when high gain transients are processed by it. VX-64 also employs a new
de-essing algorithm designed with Cakewalk's LP-64 linear phase effect filtering
technology to remove sibilance without creating any frequency smearing.
The VX-64 includes 64 go-to presets and click & drag reordering of
processing stage routing, making it fast and easy to get high quality vocals in
Processing stages include:
- Input — simulates a tube pre amp.
- De-esser — removes sibilance without smearing.
- Compander — vocal compressor with expander to reduce unwanted background
- Tube EQ — for adding character, ranging from subtle warmth to intense
- Doubler — advanced doubling effect providing the quality of actual
- Delay — preset delays useful for vocal tracks with tempo sync.
- Output — provide saturation control with a built in soft-clipping filter.
AudioSnap 2.0 - The original AudioSnap provided
powerful, non-destructive, multi-track control over audio timing. AudioSnap 2.0
provides a refreshing new look and refinements to its core controls,
significantly improving workflow. New features include a simplified UI,
dedicated transient tool, proportional stretching mode, and multi-track audio
stretch and quantization that maintains accurate phase relationships.
Proportional stretching can be used both to correct unwanted timing fluctuations
and provide gradual timing adjustments across several transients. In addition,
rendered audio fidelity is greatly improved using the new Radius Mix Advance
New in AudioSnap 2:
- AudioSnap Palette presents all commands and options in one easy-to-read
- Simplified transient marker appearance reduces visual clutter and enhances
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
allows for grouped transient edits.
- The Merge and Lock transients command is great for editing, stretching,
and quantizing multi-track drums while keeping audio in phase.
- Grouped proportional stretching allows for the easy correction of
fluctuations in the tempo of a performance without losing feel.
- Tab to Transients available from the Track and Piano Roll Views, follows
Audio, Groove, Step Sequencer, and MIDI Groove Clips.
- 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: new Radius Mix settings
improve “pitch coherence,” which preserves the naturalness of timbre in human
speech, vocals, reed and brass instruments.
Step Sequencer 2.0
Step Sequencer 2.0 - SONAR’s Step Sequencer view is known
for being the most advanced and comprehensive available in any DAW today.
Step Sequencer 2.0 takes this power to a new level with increased depth of
control over your sequences. Step Sequencer 2.0 was built with 3 goals in mind:
to simplify the interface for an elegant and musical workflow, to design a set
of useful and powerful per-lane controls, and to provide finer control over
New in Step Sequencer
- Add Flam to any step by simply double clicking it (then use the flam time
knob to adjust timing).
- Easily load/save patterns from the Options button or drag and drop
patterns from the Media Browser.
- New Auto-populate feature provides shortcuts to fill a lanes every 2, 3,
4, 5, or 6 steps.
- Redesigned Controller Pane for 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.
- Parameter values are now displayed as bars underneath steps in the
controller pane, making editing per step parameters such as Velocity, Step
Offset, Probability, and other MIDI articulations quick and easy.
- Exclusive Per Step Probability provides control over the probability of
how often a step will be triggered. Use it to create automatic variations
(make some steps only play occasionally) to keep repetitive patterns sounding
- All this is combined with the functionality from Step Sequencer 1.0
including: Step Recording, the Velocity Multiplier, Fit to Quarters
capabilities, and more.
Integrated Arpeggiator - Each MIDI and Instrument track in
SONAR now has a built-in Arpeggiator which allows you to turn even the simplest
chord progression into exciting new sound textures. The SONAR Arpeggiator is a
perfect tool for adding variety to any Instrument or MIDI track that repeats a
number of times in a song, or for creating complimentary parts using other
instrument sounds that follow your chord progression. The SONAR Arpeggiator
includes hundreds of presets, patterns, and classic algorithms, and provides not
only powerful controls over the rate, octave range, latch, swing, flam,
velocity, duration, and pitch offset of the arpeggiation, but also control
over mix, channel input, and shape.
Roland V-Vocal (New in SONAR 8.5 Studio)
Roland V-Vocal editor lets you achieve perfect vocals tracks
and is integrated right inside SONAR. It includes pitch correction, phrasing,
dynamics, vibrato, and Pitch to MIDI conversion.
- Based on Roland VariPhrase technology
- A unique technology that allows you to control the tempo and pitch of
audio phrases in real time with virtually no degradation of sound quality
- Powerful vocal processing: automatic pitch correction, vibrato, and more
- Adjust the phrasing or timing of vocals
- Control the dynamics of vocals
- Create harmonies by copying vocal clips, then applying V-Vocal pitch
shifting to copied audio
- Pitch to MIDI conversion allows you to create new synth parts based on
- Completely non-destructive processing
Media Browser - SONAR’s Loop Explorer View has been updated
and expanded. In its new form, Media Browser is now SONAR’s hub for
content. Audio Groove Clips, Step Sequencer Patterns, REX Loops and
Project5 MIDI PTN files can all be previewed in Media Browser and easily dragged
into any track. As well, video files can be viewed in Media Browser and
easily dragged into a Video Thumbnail Track. Users’ content folders can be
stored and recalled as handy Media Browser presets. SONAR 8.5 ships with
out-of-the-box presets that point directly to Beatscape REX Loops, Session
Drummer 3 MIDI Drum Loops, Step Sequencer Patterns, RXP REX Loops, PTN MIDI
Patterns, and MIDI Groove Clips.
Engine Optimizations and leading technology innovations
Engine Work - Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces and control
surfaces can now be disconnected and reconnected again or “hotswapped” while
SONAR is running without the need to restart SONAR. This is particularly
useful for plugging in a new MIDI controller while inspired to lay down a new
part, or in the event an audio interface needs to be power-cycled. SONAR
8.5 also includes optimizations and stability improvements for recording audio,
and while looping.
Open Support - Cakewalk has been, and will continue to be, a
proponent of open standards in software and hardware. SONAR 8.5 brings a
variety of compatibility improvements for VST plug-ins, as well as for
Cakewalk’s BitBridge technology, which allows for access to classic 32-bit “x86”
VST plug-ins in a 64-bit “x64” environment. SONAR Producer customers can
take advantage of the new BitBridge XR, which automatically provides up to 32
BitBridge servers, each capable of using up to 4GB of RAM, for a total of 128GB
of RAM access from 32-bit plug-ins! SONAR also now provides native REX
loop support, via the Track View, updated Media Browser, and new Matrix
Windows 7 Ready - Cakewalk was a finalist in Microsoft’s
2009 Partner of the Year Awards, and as you would expect from the
industry-leading Windows DAW, SONAR 8.5 is ready for Windows 7 right from the
get-go. Cakewalk has been testing SONAR from early Windows 7 Betas right
through to the latest Release Candidates, and we are pleased to recommended
Windows 7 as a platform for SONAR 8.5. Additionally, SONAR 8.5 was
evaluated at an independent Microsoft application compatibility lab and
officially passed the rigorous Win7 compatibility testing.
Matrix View (Producer Exclusive) Please note: The new Matrix feature in SONAR 8.5 is not accessible. We will continue to consult with the developers of SONAR on ways they might be able to make it a feature that JAWS can access. In its present form, access is not possible.
Other new features
During SONAR 8.5 development, Cakewalk engineers have added what we are
calling a collection of “featurettes” that we are sure SONAR users will
appreciate, since many of them came directly from user feedback, including:
- Convenient Freeze and Archive buttons on each track.
- Updated Insert Send Assistant, with matching track gain/pan while creating
- 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
- New option to automatically lock scrolling during playback when initiating
- The Now Time cursor can be dragged to a new position during playback.
- DC Offset meter in the Cakewalk Analyst plug-in.
- New FX -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.