Your experiences with Cakewalk by Bandlab?

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10240 posts since 12 Mar, 2012 from the Bavarian Alps to my feet and the globe around my head

Post Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:36 am

Thanks for all the answers!

So far, it's a mixed bag. At the first glance Cakewalk looks familiar to me as a long-time REAPER user, but then there are things which have to be handled totally different. :neutral:

At the moment, I have to update all plugins I have collected over many years to my new Windows 10 computer which is a lot of work, then I'll try to dig deeper into the Cakewalk documentation and tutorials.

Adding paths and scanning plugin folders works like a charm, so far, even the stock Sonitus plugins look like they could compete with the REAPER basic equipment (there cannot be less included instrument plugins than in REAPER, anyway :lol:) but I cannot find any option to choose a key, scale or mode in the piano roll? :?
Tricky-Loops has left KVR because of erratic moderators. Thanks for all amazing people who helped me and were good to me. Good luck!

KVRist
98 posts since 19 Jun, 2013

Post Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:41 am

Tricky-Loops wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:36 am
Adding paths and scanning plugin folders works like a charm, so far, even the stock Sonitus plugins look like they could compete with the REAPER basic equipment
I still use Sonitus plugins even though I have many good third-party ones.
I think if you get used to Cakewalk's GUI it actually turns out to be a great DAW.

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KVRian
576 posts since 20 Oct, 2018

Post Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:42 am

I have them both installed.
Reaper can then take advantage of Cakewalks plugins. I had good use of that when i began with Reaper and tried to get sound from a downloaded midisong. I could use CbB's multitimbral gm-synth for that.

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KVRian
546 posts since 14 Nov, 2005 from León, Spain

Post Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:07 am

Tricky-Loops wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:36 am
Thanks for all the answers!

I cannot find any option to choose a key, scale or mode in the piano roll? :?
Those are in the midi tab of the track inspector.
Cakewalk by Bandlab with all Sonar Platinum plugins and Melodyne Essential, Live 9, Komplete 12, a handful of hardware and software synths and some guitars. Currently obsessed by VCV Rack.

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10240 posts since 12 Mar, 2012 from the Bavarian Alps to my feet and the globe around my head

Post Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:10 am

JoseC. wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:07 am
Tricky-Loops wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:36 am
Thanks for all the answers!

I cannot find any option to choose a key, scale or mode in the piano roll? :?
Those are in the midi tab of the track inspector.
Thanks for the hint, seems to be this one...

https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation? ... ml#1084377
Tricky-Loops has left KVR because of erratic moderators. Thanks for all amazing people who helped me and were good to me. Good luck!

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10240 posts since 12 Mar, 2012 from the Bavarian Alps to my feet and the globe around my head

Post Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:25 am

Saffran wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:42 am
I have them both installed.
Reaper can then take advantage of Cakewalks plugins. I had good use of that when i began with Reaper and tried to get sound from a downloaded midisong. I could use CbB's multitimbral gm-synth for that.
For this I used the sfz+ player but it seems to be abandoned now, I cannot find any 64 Bit version... :(

Image

This is the only (free) 64 Bit alternative?

viewtopic.php?t=532700

I have tons of soundfonts (even several GM) collected over all the years but I was never happy with the sound quality und rarely used them. A percussion soundfont might be of good use but in a trumpet soundfont, for example, I miss the expression, it never sounds like real playing.
Tricky-Loops has left KVR because of erratic moderators. Thanks for all amazing people who helped me and were good to me. Good luck!

KVRian
689 posts since 22 Apr, 2004 from Switzerland

Post Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:45 pm

There's also sforzando and a few others

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KVRist
366 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:21 am

New Cakewalk user here, never used it before. I really liked it, switched from Ableton Live for the time being. The only thing I kind of dislike is its MIDI editing system and that it doesn't detect external MIDI FX, its built in Cakewalk Arpeggiator is outdated and slow to work with in my case. I prefer Ableton in this regard. Other than that, it's very neat. I love the Prochannel EQ, insanely useful. Looks slick as well.

KVRian
502 posts since 27 Nov, 2003 from UK, Polegate

Post Fri Aug 28, 2020 5:02 am

Reaper is the buggliest of uggly buggly. Cakewalk is alrighty.

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KVRist
366 posts since 27 Aug, 2020

Post Fri Aug 28, 2020 7:04 am

I forgot to mention Cakewalk's metering system which I find to be a lot more useful than the one in Ableton. Half of the time, I don't even need to open up a dedicated VU meter to make sure that I remain in the -18dB sweet spot. The visual feedback makes it a pleasure to mix and gain-stage in Cakewalk. Possibly not the best metering system out of all DAWs, but it's quite adequate and superior to the one in Ableton in my view.

KVRer
9 posts since 29 Aug, 2020

Post Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:55 am

I switched from Cakewalk to Reaper and like everything's better now... track routing, CPU usage, automation, etc. Sure, the workflow in Cakewalk's more flexible than something like LMMS, but it's still slow overall.
i need an ocean where the blood i lose can flow
i need a place where i can go to let go

KVRer
9 posts since 29 Aug, 2020

Post Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:57 am

Tricky-Loops wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:25 am
Saffran wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:42 am
I have them both installed.
Reaper can then take advantage of Cakewalks plugins. I had good use of that when i began with Reaper and tried to get sound from a downloaded midisong. I could use CbB's multitimbral gm-synth for that.
For this I used the sfz+ player but it seems to be abandoned now, I cannot find any 64 Bit version... :(

Image

This is the only (free) 64 Bit alternative?

viewtopic.php?t=532700

I have tons of soundfonts (even several GM) collected over all the years but I was never happy with the sound quality und rarely used them. A percussion soundfont might be of good use but in a trumpet soundfont, for example, I miss the expression, it never sounds like real playing.
Have you checked out JuicySF? I use it to play my soundfonts
i need an ocean where the blood i lose can flow
i need a place where i can go to let go

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10240 posts since 12 Mar, 2012 from the Bavarian Alps to my feet and the globe around my head

Post Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:11 pm

fyrebreak wrote:
Sat Aug 29, 2020 10:57 am
Have you checked out JuicySF? I use it to play my soundfonts
I got the hint for Sforzando by Plogue (thanks, @Blazer) and it looks more elaborated than JuicySF. Or has it any advantages?
Tricky-Loops has left KVR because of erratic moderators. Thanks for all amazing people who helped me and were good to me. Good luck!

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10240 posts since 12 Mar, 2012 from the Bavarian Alps to my feet and the globe around my head

Post Sat Aug 29, 2020 12:22 pm

Unfortunately I still didn't have time to read the Cakewalk tutorials and manual because I'm tidying up my VST and VSTi folder which is filled with some hundreds of older 32 Bit instruments and effects (several bought and many free ones).

The good thing is that I backupped everything from my old PC to a 1 Terabyte external hard drive. Which is also the bad thing because now I have to update/upgrade and sort out all that stuff and write emails to get new 64 Bit versions or have to decide whether to keep the old 32 Bit version...
Tricky-Loops has left KVR because of erratic moderators. Thanks for all amazing people who helped me and were good to me. Good luck!

KVRAF
5382 posts since 24 May, 2002 from Tutukaka, New Zealand

Post Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:38 pm

I used Cakewalk for a few months last year - long break from music, didn't want to splash out on a big DAW until I knew I was going to properly do music again, so as it's free, gave it a whirl.
I suspect I'm probably skewed, as I used Cubase for 15 years or so and that does cement in some workflow habits.

TBH I found Cakewalk looked OK, did most of the stuff I wanted it to do...but:
1. I found it a PITA for midi editing (too many clicks and too few tools that do what you want quickly). It actually got in the way of quick editing IMO. Probably cos I got so used to Cubase - maybe if I'd come to it new, it wouldn't have been so awkward?
2. The plugins and that side of things were actually OK - a bit limited and dated, but did what they said on the box. In some ways it was good not to have a plethora of fancy FX - too much choice sometimes stops creativity. It has pretty well everything you actually need in sonic terms.
3. The mixing/automating was mostly OK, but I did have some issues with automation. Sometimes it would do weird shit with VST automation - took a while to get my head around all the lanes, then I got recordings down, automated some synths - sometimes it'd save OK, next time I fired it up, some automation lanes completely disappeared. SOmetimes the missing ones were still in there somewhere doing what I'd written, other times they just vanished and stopped. Just could not figure out what it was doing.
4. The help pages/manual. The help pages were awful. Very occasionally the help led me to a proper page of manual with instructions, other times I got linked to web pages that had almost nothing to do with Cakewalk. And without a manual, some parts of cakewalk are almost impossible to figure out (to me anyway). maybe they have a proper manual now? They def need one.
5.Mixing - just too complicated. Too many of the little subpages for adding channel FX etc just seem really clunky - no common method that I could get to grips with.

Overall...I could get some stuff done with Cakewalk, but too often found it clunky, disorganised and random workflow. Slow workflow.
It's free, therefore not to be sniffed at. It certainly can be powerful. TBH it's amazing you can get all that stuff for free. But I ended up buying Cubase again - and workflow is way easier even though it's changed A LOT since I last used it.

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