If you were a SONAR user you’ve had a rough last year or so. First of all, Gibson announced that it was shutting Calkwalk down and no longer supporting the software, then the company’s IP was sold to Singapore-based music tech company BandLab. That was a good thing, but the DAW was still in limbo as to what was going to happen going forward after the sale. Now comes the good news that SONAR is relaunching under the name “Cakewalk by BandLab.” Best of all, full authentication and unlimited feature-access will be available for free.
Cakewalk by BandLab will contain the entire SONAR Platinum feature set and core technology, and the “Early Access” download will have no functional limitations. What’s more, any bundled or independently purchased plug-ins or add-ons that worked with SONAR will integrate with Cakewalk by BandLab. That said, Cakewalk by BandLab is a streamlined version of SONAR Platinum, and certain third-party products and content bundles will no longer be included. Existing users who have already purchased bundles or individual third party products and plug-ins can still use those products with the software, however.
You can download an early access copy here, but remember that this version operates on Windows 7 or higher (Windows 10 features like pen, Bluetooth MIDI, multi-touch, Dial have been incorporated though).
For many PC users, Sonar was their DAW of choice, so the recent uncertainty about the DAW’s future was a nightmare. Now that Cakewalk is in the hands of a company that’s not only on the rise but has some deep pockets as well, the future looks a lot brighter for the software than it has in a long time. And best of all, you just can’t beat the price!