Your experiences with Cakewalk by Bandlab?

Plug-in hosts and other software applications discussion
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Tricky-Loops
KVRAF
9720 posts since 12 Mar, 2012 from the Bavarian Alps to my feet and the globe around my head

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:36 am

For many years I was a REAPER fan because of the ultimate flexibility of routing everything into anything and to put audio and MIDI on the same tracks. :lol:

But now I've seen that Cakewalk (former SONAR) by Bandlab is free and I downloaded it and it looks pretty professional IMO. It even has a German introduction and manual. (But I didn't have any problems reading the Californian manual of REAPER, either.)

What's your experience with Cakewalk by Bandlab? Is it worth to work with it? What are the pros and cons? Should I go back to REAPER as soon as possible or dig deeper into it?
To get a bigger picture, you have to fly out of your box and use your left-wing and right-wing simultaneously. :ud:

SneakyBeats
KVRist
184 posts since 29 Jun, 2020

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:44 am

It's the same as Sonar Platinum.. It's a full pro DAW if the workflow suits you. I'd stick with Reaper but you can't tell which one suits you better unless you try both. It's free, you'll lose nothing by digging deeper.

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Saffran
KVRist
461 posts since 20 Oct, 2018

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:03 am

Cakewalk have been very stable for me.
Reaper have also been very stable for me.
I do make small projects. Never had more than 20 tracks.
It's down to what taste you have.

rlared
KVRian
634 posts since 1 Aug, 2016

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 5:53 pm

Great DAW and they are releasing big updates with tons of bug fixes every few months

lfm
KVRAF
5441 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:23 pm

I switched to Cakewalk again since using Sonar before. Walked Reaper, Samplitude, Cubase and StudioOne in between.

I had a handful of feature request for StudioOne, but found I had it all in Cakewalk.

Dispite being free, they made major new features like arranger recently. Haven't used it yet, but been requested since 10 years for Sonar.

Manual is quite good as well, major leap they did on that compared to old times.

A couple of things I appreciate over other daws
- multi out VST instruments also have their own audio tracks, not only automation tracks like Cubase and StudioOne.
- freeze of instruments is the best I ever saw - you get visible audio right on these audio tracks and as easy to unfreeze. Cubase completely hide audio from a freeze to mention one, todo automation later that is a drag just having midi to look at.
- control groups - are true control groups, not only all pan knobs, or all faders - you rightclick and set any control to a group. Not the full track to a group, and then which controls for all those. I like this approach. You also have ability to flip like inverted, so some tracks can be mute on and others off in the same group, and flipping one flip them all to other state. And pan control can be assigned as inverted etc to have two tracks be handled as one stereo.
- getting peaks as numbers on each track, I missed that in StudioOne. Easy to spot a playthrough with any overs.
- I like the looks of the themes they have, both gray and dark theme. Reaper was a drag on this never liking the look of it.

Overall Cakewalk has been stable on Windows 7, even though from this year not officially supported anymore.

User avatar
planetearth
KVRAF
1829 posts since 10 Jul, 2006 from Tampa

Post Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:37 pm

lfm wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:23 pm
I switched to Cakewalk again since using Sonar before. Walked Reaper, Samplitude, Cubase and StudioOne in between.

I had a handful of feature request for StudioOne, but found I had it all in Cakewalk.

Dispite being free, they made major new features like arranger recently. Haven't used it yet, but been requested since 10 years for Sonar.

Manual is quite good as well, major leap they did on that compared to old times.

A couple of things I appreciate over other daws
- multi out VST instruments also have their own audio tracks, not only automation tracks like Cubase and StudioOne.
- freeze of instruments is the best I ever saw - you get visible audio right on these audio tracks and as easy to unfreeze. Cubase completely hide audio from a freeze to mention one, todo automation later that is a drag just having midi to look at.
- control groups - are true control groups, not only all pan knobs, or all faders - you rightclick and set any control to a group. Not the full track to a group, and then which controls for all those. I like this approach. You also have ability to flip like inverted, so some tracks can be mute on and others off in the same group, and flipping one flip them all to other state. And pan control can be assigned as inverted etc to have two tracks be handled as one stereo.
- getting peaks as numbers on each track, I missed that in StudioOne. Easy to spot a playthrough with any overs.
- I like the looks of the themes they have, both gray and dark theme. Reaper was a drag on this never liking the look of it.

Overall Cakewalk has been stable on Windows 7, even though from this year not officially supported anymore.
+1 for this.

Looooong-time Sonar user, and Cakewalk before that (for DOS and Windows!)...and now Cakewalk by Bandlab. It's been great for me, and I've tried Reaper (which is also nice) and FL Studio. I also tried StudioOne, and while I found it very close to Sonar/Cakewalk in its workflow, it didn't seem to have as many features as Sonar (which I was using in late 2018).

CbB has fixed several of the issues that were left in Sonar, and they've improved the DAW while they've had it, with several nice touches and useful improvements.

One interesting thing CbB offers is the app for sharing files with others. Makes it very easy to collaborate with others, and it's free.

Steve
Listen to some of my stuff here: https://soundcloud.com/shadowsoflife.

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antic604
KVRAF
5976 posts since 4 Jan, 2017 from Warsaw, Poland

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:36 am

Tricky-Loops wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:36 am
For many years I was a REAPER fan because of the ultimate flexibility
Then you'll love it. That's why I hated it ;) :D
MPC One / A4 Mk1 / OT Mk1 + Bitwig 3 / Reason 11 / Studio One 5 Pro @ Lenovo Y730 15'' i7-8750h
my music - https://soundcloud.com/antic604

User avatar
jamcat
KVRist
387 posts since 2 Sep, 2019

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:23 am

lfm wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:23 pm
multi out VST instruments also have their own audio tracks, not only automation tracks like Cubase and StudioOne.
Sounds like you just didn’t enable multiple outputs in the VSTi slot.
THIS MUSIC HAS BEEN MIXED TO BE PLAYED LOUD SO TURN IT UP

oneway
KVRist
237 posts since 11 Dec, 2017

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:29 am

jamcat wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:23 am
lfm wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:23 pm
multi out VST instruments also have their own audio tracks, not only automation tracks like Cubase and StudioOne.
Sounds like you just didn’t enable multiple outputs in the VSTi slot.
Correct, both Cubase and Studio One require enabling the additional outputs in the Console.

chk071
KVRAF
25505 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:30 am

I'm thinking about trying Cakewalk as well. TBH, I'm not happy with the release policies of the companies whose DAW's I used before (Cubase and Studio One), with such a quick release cycle that it simply leaves a taste of selling a couple of features to grab money, which also leads to a massive bloat, even though I want the DAW to stay streamlined (Studio One, looking at you).

So, ya, might dare a peek, and see if it may be for me. :) Last version I tried was Sonar X3, which was pretty buggy TBH.
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

chk071
KVRAF
25505 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:33 am

Is sidechaining as easy as in Studio One?

Edit: OK, seems pretty straight forward...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzzJaMSrDxs
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

chk071
KVRAF
25505 posts since 11 Apr, 2010 from Germany

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:46 am

Oh well... no way to use custom installation locations for Cakewalk and the onboard plugins, so, I'll pass for now. I really don't want all my audio software and plugins plastered all over my system drive when I usually have it all on my D: drive.
Plugins and a DAW. On a operating system. Which runs on a computer.

sping
KVRist
32 posts since 30 Aug, 2008

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:27 am

chk071 wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:46 am
Oh well... no way to use custom installation locations for Cakewalk and the onboard plugins...
True, but there are ways using mklink. See this thread:
https://discuss.cakewalk.com/index.php? ... -cakewalk/

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Erisian
KVRAF
1875 posts since 21 Mar, 2020

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:33 am

I love CBB. It's been very good to me. :)

lfm
KVRAF
5441 posts since 22 Jan, 2005 from Sweden

Post Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:22 pm

jamcat wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:23 am
lfm wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:23 pm
multi out VST instruments also have their own audio tracks, not only automation tracks like Cubase and StudioOne.
Sounds like you just didn’t enable multiple outputs in the VSTi slot.
But you don't get audio tracks at all - just automation tracks in arrange view, for the extra outs.
In Cakewalk you get full audiotracks for every out which can hold audio - like from freeze.

You get audio channels in mixer/console in Cubase and StudioOne - so yes you get multi out audio - but that is not quite what I meant.

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