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Cakewalk By BandLab’ is here. Free. Available for Windows now. [4/4/2018]

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Cakewalk By BandLab is here. Free. Available for Windows now. [4/4/2018]

You can read about it here. Cakewalk By BandLab Announcement

 

Not sure how many folks used Sonar, but if people are looking for a power DAW to use Native, Cakewalk (now by Bandlab) is free.  I don't know what their future plans are as they have to make money somehow, but for those of us that have been using Cakewalk for 25+ years, this is great news.   

I just wanted to share that Native works well in this new version of Cakewalk..    really well.    at least for me.  Also, this is NOT a stripped down version.  This is the full-blown, top-o-line Platinum version they have released.  

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Thumbs up on TDFKAS (the DAW formerly known as Sonar). I've used it for years and, while not without (minor) problems, it's one of the best! We longtime users are hoping that the problems of the past, caused, we like to believe, by TIAG (the idiots at Gibson) will be fixed promptly by the new owners, who seem to be honestly interested in making Cakewalk the best that it can be!

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I've been using Sonar since the Cakewalk days... before it had numbers...   as on DOS.  (damn I'm old).   While known for quirks, to be honest, those quirks were generally configuration issues.  I was recording 8 tracks CD-quality audio on a 386 machine..  yes... not even 486 yet..   (watching anyone under the age of 30 frantically typing DOS and 386 machines into google).

 

Cakewalk may not be for the timid, but trust me...  if you can think it, it can do it.   Honestly, after all these years, I haven't tapped into all the features ever.  But, there have been many times when something came up, and sure enough...  Cakewalk had that functionality to pull it off.   I just had to look it up in one of Anderton's books, or later hit up the forums.  In many ways it's like the Helix.  You can jump in and start recording, or as many have, dive in and record and produce Emmy and Grammy-winning works of art.   

 

I guess I'm most excited for my next recording project because of the proof-of-concept that led me to post about this here.  Native is so seamless...   I brought up a dry track, set it up to loop, and then just went on an adventure in Native selecting amps and effects and adjusting mic placement and and and and..   Now, in the end, I would likely end up using higher end reverbs and delays and such... but being able to work on a part and basically "spin the wheel" to "see what it sounds like with this or that" is really amazing.  

 

I'm sure Native is fine in other DAW's, but for those who want to get their feet wet with a professional proven DAW, this is one heck of an opportunity.  I have no skin in this, I'm just super stoked that Bandlab has made this available.

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I've been using and faithfully upgrading Sonar for awhile. It twerks me a little that something I put a bit of money toward is now being offered for free. Having said that, if it is a full blown version of what I have, I would STRONGLY suggest jumping on this.

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What I'm most curious about in all of this is what their pricing model will be going forward.  I took advantage of the deal offered by Sonar in the last couple of years in which I paid a single price for the upgrade on Sonar Platinum that would ensure I got all future upgrades for free.  I'm not expecting that deal will hold, but I do hope they have some level of consideration for those of us that have been long-time customers of their premium products.  But I guess we'll see....

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44 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

What I'm most curious about in all of this is what their pricing model will be going forward.  I took advantage of the deal offered by Sonar in the last couple of years in which I paid a single price for the upgrade on Sonar Platinum that would ensure I got all future upgrades for free.  I'm not expecting that deal will hold, but I do hope they have some level of consideration for those of us that have been long-time customers of their premium products.  But I guess we'll see....

 

Bandlab bought the "intellectual property" - the code. They did NOT buy the company, and have no responsibility, legal or otherwise, to those of us who bought the "lifetime upgrades" that Gibson sold us (yep, I bought into it too!).

 

That said, as near as I can tell from reading the twenty+ pages of posts about it on the Cakewalk forum, Bandlab is serious about keeping Cakewalk FREE and continuing to improve it, making it a key component of their shared music production concept/platform.

 

My hope is that, before they start adding features and integrating the shared production thing, that they FIX the many long running bugs that have plagued the program since Gibson owned it. Though mostly minor annoyances with well known work-arounds, it's the little things that will convince me to buy into a new version, should they choose to monetize it in the future.

 

Meantime, for new users, getting the product we paid for, for FREE, is the deal of the decade!

 

 

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Semi-OT, anyone remember Opcode's Studio Vision? Way way way ahead of its time, first "sequencer" I'm aware of that also handled audio side by side w midi. It had features that afaik still aren't available in modern DAWs, like independent looping of different tracks for different numbers of bars, loop each of them an independent number of times then continue...

 

Anyway, Gibson bought that too, then just up and killed it. No notice, no way forward for existing owners, just bang, dead.

 

I'm super pleased that Sonar seems to have parachuted into better waters post-Gibson, but I'll never forgive Gibson, don't and won't own anything by them ever again. They're a generic and despotic Corporation at the heart of it, nothing to do with music.

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At one time I owned a Cakewalk product called Music Creator 6 and I have numerous recordings in that program. Anyone know if those files would be compatible with this new Cakewalk by BandLab?

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1 hour ago, silverhead said:

At one time I owned a Cakewalk product called Music Creator 6 and I have numerous recordings in that program. Anyone know if those files would be compatible with this new Cakewalk by BandLab?

 

If they were compatible with Cakewalk Sonar (or X3) they should be compatible with the new Bandlab version, they haven't really changed anything yet, just new branding.

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1 hour ago, silverhead said:

At one time I owned a Cakewalk product called Music Creator 6 and I have numerous recordings in that program. Anyone know if those files would be compatible with this new Cakewalk by BandLab?

 

4 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

If they were compatible with Cakewalk Sonar (or X3) they should be compatible with the new Bandlab version, they haven't really changed anything yet, just new branding.

 

You could go onto the Cakewalk forum and ask in the Bandlab thread. At least one of the old time Cakewalk guys was picked up by Bandlab, and is very active there. I'll bet he'd know!

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On 4/16/2018 at 6:59 PM, silverhead said:

At one time I owned a Cakewalk product called Music Creator 6 and I have numerous recordings in that program. Anyone know if those files would be compatible with this new Cakewalk by BandLab?

 

From what little I've read, they should be compatible when going from Music Creator 6 to Cakewalk. Not the other way around of course. Even if it isn't you could just take all of the MIDI and wav files and click and drag them into Cakewalk. The only issue then would be to make sure the same instruments you use for your MIDI tracks are available in Cakewalk.

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Thanks guys. I think I'll install the new Cakewalk and test it. Nothing to lose, and if the files are compatible it's certainly an upgrade from Music Creator 6.

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On 4/16/2018 at 3:13 PM, zooey said:

Opcode's Studio Vision? Way way way ahead of its time, first "sequencer" I'm aware of that also handled audio side by side w midi. It had features that afaik still aren't available in modern DAWs, like independent looping of different tracks for different numbers of bars, loop each of them an independent number of times then continue...

1

 

I believe Cakewalk may have been first, because I was already using Cakewalk when Vision came out and I vaguely remember checking it out.  But in any case, the two of them lit the fire for everything that followed.   I did not realize they had the independent looping thing.  It was being done by others, but I'm not sure as well.  There was a product Acid that did independent looping and I was a Beta tester for "Wings for Digital Audio" which had something similar as well.  I always wondered why Opcode didn't go further then they did, because they were MAC based if I recall.  Pro Tools came out of the blue almost years later...  and I remember everyone jumping like it was something new.. and yet those of us using Cakewalk were like "what's the fuss, been doin that for years."..    Yes Pro Tools actually started just a couple years after Cakewalk and Opcode, but it seemed like it wasn't until the mid-90's that it all of a sudden HIT....

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On 4/16/2018 at 10:11 AM, DunedinDragon said:

What I'm most curious about in all of this is what their pricing model will be going forward. 

 

I am always skeptical of "free" myself... the general rule is "when you don't pay for the product, you are the product"... 

 

They do seem to have an aggressive "donation" campaign on their website. I would like to think that the people that use this software regularly won't take advantage of it and will make a reasonable contribution. I'm not likely to switch from StudioOne... but if I did I would certainly donate the equivalent funds to help keep the project moving. 

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This is very cool.  I used and maintained Sonar Platinum.  The new Cakewalk looks the same.  It even maintained shortcuts and previews to all of my old projects.

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I bought into the "lifetime upgrades" scam that Gibson perpetrated on us.

I was very happy that Bandlab had resurrected Cakewalk, but I want to see Bandlab's contributions to the product before I contribute to Bandlab.

If they fix the bugs and add value in some significant way, I'll be happy to donate.

 

The initial release still loses my MIDI routings and Control Surfaces, and still sometimes crashes when adding/deleting VSTs. These are problems I didn't have while I was trying out Reaper. The one real change I noticed was in the procedure for inserting "Soft Synth" tracks, and that has a bug! Not a good start, but It might have to do with the way it works with projects created with the original product vs projects created from scratch with the new version, I haven't gotten around to trying that yet.

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On 4/21/2018 at 9:55 AM, rd2rk said:

I bought into the "lifetime upgrades" scam that Gibson perpetrated on us.

I was very happy that Bandlab had resurrected Cakewalk, but I want to see Bandlab's contributions to the product before I contribute to Bandlab.

If they fix the bugs and add value in some significant way, I'll be happy to donate.

 

The initial release still loses my MIDI routings and Control Surfaces, and still sometimes crashes when adding/deleting VSTs. These are problems I didn't have while I was trying out Reaper. The one real change I noticed was in the procedure for inserting "Soft Synth" tracks, and that has a bug! Not a good start, but It might have to do with the way it works with projects created with the original product vs projects created from scratch with the new version, I haven't gotten around to trying that yet.

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If you get a chance and can download the free version, I'd like to hear what you think (maybe message me as it's not really "helix related").   I know it starts a bit quicker than my install of Sonar and you can run it side-by-side no harm no foul.  The only issue I have seen is that sometimes the install fails and you need to just execute the .exe files it downloaded.  That has more to do with virus protection and firewalls I think than anything else..     I will say this..  using the Helix as the interface, doing NO optimization for latency or anything really,  I had NO latency issues.   I loaded up a project and was recording 4 tracks while playing back 8 tracks...   I should probably try it in Sonar too, but I'm pretty sure I had to adjust for Latency that last time I tried it in Sonar on the SAME PC...    Anyway... they did tidy up some under-the-hood stuff.  

I hope the mods here don't jump me, it's just with so many getting into recording either with the Helix or Native...  you don't usually get access to professional DAW software, no restrictions etc..   It's an opportunity I just had to share.

 

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