One of the most complete professional DAWs and its free now! However, updates with bug fixes and enhancements are faster implemented than ever before, making this already great DAW better everyday.
Like with any DAW you can encounter problems. It is impossible to have a DAW work problem-free on every configuration since there are limitless hardware and software combinations possible. In many cases the problem appears to be related to a plugin, driver or suboptimal Windows configuration which leads me to highlight the following:
An additional, not to be underestimated benefit of Cakewalk by Bandlab (CbB) is the very friendly and professional forum where many experienced users and CbB developers will try to help you out whenever you encounter an issue. Often you get answers to questions really quick and most of the time the issue is solved afterwards. Also users of other DAWs know to find it to get help on issues not directly related to CbB.
In case an issue appears to be a real bug, it is easy to report the bug and get direct help from the developers, which in many cases will have solved the problem in the next update (time between updates varies from a few months to one month, which is great considering that regularly new workflow enhancements and new features are included).
The same goes for missing features or improvements. In the past (when CbB was still Sonar) it could take a long time before feature requests and enhancements we implemented. These days however, improvements are being launched at record speed and the developers really look at your suggestions, regularly leading to implementation in one of the next updates.
I've had several other DAWs in the past but non of them could match my personal needs like CbB does (home studio with large projects: orchestral, jazz, traditional pop/rock as well as electronic music, so flexibility, speedy workflow and stability are key).
Some very useful new recent features:
Multiple arranger tracks including many arranger features including arranger sections and templates. This makes creating new compositions a breeze.
Advanced take lane and ripple editing. Making it fast and easy to record multiple takes and select and manipulate the takes you want to keep/use.
Import and customisation of articulation maps (key switches etc.) making convincing performances with sample libraries and virtual instruments much easier (currently in the "early release" v.2020.10 for test purposes, to be expected within one or two weeks included in the final release. Current stable release: v.2020.09).
High quality new Channel Tools, Prochannel modules and and audio effects (everything you need to make a good sounding mix is just there, no real need for external effects plugins).
Great multi-timbral instrument soft-synth implementation, a.o. very useful for Kontakt libraries.
Improved Mackie Control Surface integration with instrument control of parameters of all synths in your project.
Improved multicore support and other welcome speed optimisations, making handling large projects much faster.
Since this is a professional DAW, don't underestimate what it can do. It is a highly complex piece of software (like other professional DAWs), so you need to take the time to really master it. If you do that, you won't be disappointed. Most things you can think of and need from a DAW you can do with CbB, just dig a bit to find out how, or ask the forum.
It's so great to have the new Cakewalk visible here at KVR. As an example of the team's hands-on engagement with the user base, this listing itself was created by a BandLab/Cakewalk senior engineer, an active musician himself.