Archive for ableton live

Ableton Live + Avid Pro Tools = My Divorce from Cakewalk Sonar

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on February 25, 2014 by Maskerade

As a longtime supporter of Cakewalk products, this has been hard for me to do.  I’ve been using Sonar since 2005 when Sonar 5 was out.  Since then, they have really stepped their game up and making it better and better with each version.  The support, however, leaves something to be desired.  Also, there just aren’t enough 3rd party collaborations that I personally like.

Three weeks ago, I decided to pick up a new midi keyboard controller for Sonar X2.  I bought the newly released M-Audio Axiom Air 49.  Long story short, using it in Sonar made it out to be just an expensive midi-keyboard with now useless knobs and faders.  I did some research and it turns out that hardly any of the midi controller manufactures care about their units working with Sonar. 

At first, I was going to take it back and make something work with Sonar. Then I thought, why? If Cakewalk doesn’t care enough to fight for controller compatibility, why should I?  When I went to Winter NAMM, there was no one (and I mean NO ONE) at the Cakewalk Sonar X2 set.  There was just no interest or excitement at all.  M-Audio, Akai, Ableton, NI, etc., all have big booths and lots of fans.  Cakewalk was just a lonely step-child.

It was then that I decided to divorce Sonar and learn these other DAW’s.  I had two criteria. One, it had to be available on both Mac and PC. Two, it had to be common in the industry, because I deal with a lot of industry cats these days.  If I could pass along my session to someone, that would make it a lot easier.

So I chose to try Ableton Live for my music production and Avid Pro Tools to record new songs.  Bad news for Cakewalk, because I could be happier.  Not only are these DAW’s more commonly used, but they’re just better. They sound better and they work better.  There’s still a bit of a learning curve for me, but its worth the hours of tutorials that I’ve been watching.  

In the beginning, I didn’t want to conform to what everybody else thought. I think that blinded me from actually trying other programs and just sticking to what I know best.  That was a bad move.  My advise to anyone from hear on out is to trying out a few things.  When you’re shopping for a car, you don’t just test drive one, you test many.  Find the one that works for you.  Make sure there’s a lot of support and video help to make your learning curve easy.  

Most of my life I’ve been very stubborn.  That stubbornness has prevented me, in a lot of ways, from achieving more success than I have in the past.  But, now I refused to be an old dog. I’m going to force myself to learn new tricks.