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Cakewalk SONAR Producer $499


SONAR 8.5 has incredible new features like the Matrix view, Step Sequencer 2.0, Session Drummer 3, per track arp and much more. sonar 8.5 Producer combines it's powerful audio and MIDI DAW capabilities with new creative tools. The Matrix view give real-time performance of audio and MIDI. The new Vocal and Percussion strip plugins provide amazing sonic control of your tracks. Session Drummer 3 features content from Steven Slate and others. Be one of the first to get your hands on this new DAW from Cakewalk. Version 8.5 is available as a free download to version 8.0 customers.

SONAR Home Studio XL











Click on the images for a largerview:

Console view Effects Arpeggiator
Matrix View PX 64 Session Drummer 3 Ste Sequencer 2

SONAR 8.5 Producer gives you what you need for recording, composing, editing, mixing, and mastering. Get innovations that matter, from exclusive features to ignite creativity and perfect your tracks, to groundbreaking technologies that always keep you in control, all backed by the industry’s leading 64-bit audio quality. And SONAR 8.5 Producer delivers the go to production tools you want with the best collection of virtual instruments, mixing, and mastering effects found in any DAW.

With version 8.5, SONAR continues to innovate on all fronts. New beat creation and arrangement tools, a new drum instrument loaded with stellar kits, enhanced audio quantizing, new multi-stage effect plug-ins, and more combine together to make SONAR the most complete, most professional, and best sounding DAW to deliver your productions

  • NEW! PX-64 Percussion Strip 7-stage multi-effects processor

  • NEW! VX-64 Vocal Strip 7-stage multi-effects processor

  • NEW! Session Drummer 3 with bonus content

  • NEW! Matrix View non-linear arrangement tool

  • NEW! AudioSnap 2.0 – Fix audio timing issues instantly

  • NEW! Step Sequencer 2.0 – with exclusive probability feature

  • NEW! Per Track Arpeggiator – adds new sonic possibilities to your productions

  • NEW! Windows 7 support and more

SONAR 8 is the latest version of the award winning SONAR line of DAWs. Packed with new features like the Synth track, Loop Explorer 2.0, an updated audio engine and editing tools like Aim Assist and Free Edit. If that was not enough Cakewalk have added a new collection of VST synths and effects. These new VST synths include Dimension Pro, Beatscape, and True Pianos Amber Module. New effects are the TS-64 Transient Shaper, TL-64 Tube Leveler, Channel Tools plugin and Guitar Rig LE.

New virtual instruments:

SONAR 8 Producer comes with 14 virtual instruments, below are the new ones.

Beatscape- Beatscape is looping/performance instrument that uses rex files. One any of the 16 pads you can load a rex file and trigger it in time to the tempo of your song. This instrument is built by the same team that made, Rapture, Dimension Pro, Zeta and other famous RGC synths so you know this is a powerful instrument. Beatscape comes packed with onboard step generators, slice editing, mixing and effects for each pad. To round out this instrument Cakewalk have included 4 gig of content just for Beatscape.

Dimension Pro – This is the same version as the stand alone Dimension Pro, a $249 value included inside of SONAR 8! Dimension Pro comes with 8 gig of pristine samples combined into over 1500 presets.

True Pianos Amber Module – The Amber Module give SONAR 8 an amazing piano inside of the package. The interface is deceptively simple. With the click of the mouse you can switch to the edit page and take control of the different aspects of the piano’s responsiveness, tone and the room it is in.

New audio effects:

SONAR 8 includes 42 audio effects, below are the new additions for version 8.

TL-64 Tube Leveler – The Tube Leveler can be used on an entire mix or on individual tracks. StudioDevil is the engine behind this tube emulation. You can add a subtle warmth to a mix or overdrive a single track. The TL64 does not just model a piece of equipment it actually goes down to the tubes themselves. If you overdrive the input the engine will take this into account and change the behavior of the virtual tube.

TS62 Transient Shaper ¬– If EQ and compression can’t seem to get your drums to cut through a mix then you need a transient shaper. This tool can actually change the attack of a sound to make it bite and cut through a mix. Additionally, you can change the characteristics of the sound itself with the timbre controls.

Channel Tools – With the Channel Tools plugin you can place both the left and right signals of a stereo track anywhere in the stereo field. Take your mix from narrow to full stereo using this plugin. The plugin also features Mid/Side decoding which is very useful for acoustic guitar recordings and delay controls so you can offset and individual channel.

New application updates:

The new synth track will make a new user very happy and existing users who care about managing tracks on screen pleased too. In SONAR 8 and previous versions a synth that is patched has a MIDI track and audio track(s) created by default. This allows for extensive control over both the MIDI information and the audio outputs. For example you might want an MFX on the MIDI track and different audio effects like reverb or the new Transient Shaper on the different audio outs. However, sometimes the project calls for a more streamlined solution and the simple instrument track delivers. Inside the simple instrument track the most commonly used controls are available (MIDI routing, audio FX patching and audio routing). If the project calls for a more complex control of the VST you can always use the advanced features. This combination provides an extremely flexible and well thought out host for VST instruments.

The audio engine for SONAR 8 has some significant improvements over SONAR 7. The latency has been lowered allowing for improved performance of VST synths and faster (effectively immediate) response times to gestures like mute and solo. Mixing is truly a breeze inside of SONAR 8 thanks to the improved audio engine and improved latency. The whole application always “feels ready” for you next command.

Speaking of always ready, Cakewalk have added a live record and live bounce feature to the program too. Now you can arm a track at anytime, even while playing back and jump into record. The real time bounce feature allows for a synth’s audio output and effects to be printed to the track during a take. This prevents having to do an offline bounce or freeze a track; of course you can if you want.

The Loop Explorer has been updated to allow for MIDI grooves to be auditioned in the same manner as Acidized wave files can. Simply click on the MIDI clip and the Loop Explorer will play the MIDI clip back, through the synth of your choosing at the correct tempo. If you have pitch markers in the project the MIDI Groove clip will follow those too.

AIM assist and Free Edit free you to focus on your work. AIM assist provides a visual reference for making precise edits with the feedback of where the edit will actually take place. Free Edit allows entry into edit modes that used to require a modifier key.

Take the existing features in SONAR like V-Vocal, Audio Snap, Step Sequencer and high quality 64 bit audio engine and you have a production powerhouse right on your desktop.

SONAR 8 is available in two formats, Producer and Studio. The chart below displays the main differences between the two applications.

Check out the comparison chart below to see the differences between SONAR 8 Studio and SONAR 8 Producer.

Feature: SONAR Studio SONAR Producer
Maximum Audio & MIDI Tracks  Unlimited Unlimited
Maximum Sends & Busses  Unlimited Unlimited
Maximum Simultaneous Effects & Virtual Instruments  Unlimited Unlimited
Number of included Audio Effects  31 42
Number of Included Virtual Instruments  11 14
Maximum Audio Bit Depth / Sample Rate  24-Bit/384 kHz  24-Bit/384 kHz
Audio Engine  64-bit 64-bit
Track Templates for quickly loading sounds  X X
Step Sequencer X X
Updated Loop Explorer for audio & MIDI loops  X X
New Instrument Tracks  X X
AudioSnap multitrack audio quantize  X X
Track Layers and Comping & Editing Tools  X X
Track Folders  X X
Smart MIDI tools  X X
Active Controller Technology for hands on control from MIDI devices X X
Inserts External Hardware with full delay compensation X X
Flexible File/Import Export Options  X X
Cakewalk Publisher for uploading music directly to the Internet  X X
Integrated CD Burning and Ripping  X X
Completely Customizable User Interface  X X
Lexicon Pantheon Reverb  SE Version  Full Version
LP-64 EQ Linear Phase Mastering EQ  X
LP-64 Multiband Linear Phase Mastering Compressor  X
TS-64 Transient Shaper  X
TL-64 Tube Leveler  X
VC-64 Vintage Channel  X
Roland V-Vocal 1.5  X
Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3 LE  X
Sonitus Surround Compressor  X
Dimension Pro w. DSF Classic Keys Expansion Pack & Hollywood Edge FX  X
TruePianos Amber VSTi  X
Beatscape Looping Instrument  X
Z3TA+ Waveshaping Synthesizer  X
Surround Mixing  X
POW-r dithering  X



System requirements


System Requirements Minimum Recommended
Operating System* Windows XP/Vista (32/64 bit)/Win7/ Mac OS X with Boot Camp
Processor Speed Intel Pentium 4 1.3 GHz, Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz,
AMD Athlon XP 1500+ or higher AMD Athlon XP 2800+ or higher
RAM 512 MB 1 GB or higher
Graphics 1024 x 768, 16-bit color 1280 x 960, 24-bit color or higher
Hard Disk Space 100 MB program/application 4 GB
Hard Disc Type Any EIDE / Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SATA
MIDI Interface** Windows-compatible
Audio Interface*** Windows-compatible
Media Drive**** DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD +/- RW Drive
Webserver Access***** None Available web server space with FTP access privileges