Cakewalk will be announcing a brand new SONAR product lineup and a revolutionary new model for buying and owning software at the 2015 NAMM Show. The company confirms the decision not to use “version numbers” anymore. The software at the time of purchase is always the latest version and there will be a new Membership model which is included for 12 months upon purchase of any SONAR iterations.
As Cakewalk explains, the new updates will include “a mix of new program features, original content, tutorials, new presets, and more”, delivered approximately once a month to members. Additionally, members have the option to choose either the traditional upfront payment, or make convenient monthly payments. But unlike “subscription” models (which are in essence just rental programs), after 12 months anything acquired during the Membership is fully authorized and never expires-regardless of whether Membership is renewed or not.
New users receive 12 months of Membership free, while for current SONAR users, Membership renewal — which is priced similarly to a traditional lower priced product upgrade — offers new updates every month instead of yearly (and sometimes overwhelming) updates.
The three new versions of SONAR, which will be introduced at the NAMM Show, are more clearly differentiated to focus on specific recording needs. All three offer the same core features — Touch control, unlimited tracks/FX/Sends/Busses, VST3/VST2/DirectX compatibility, video track, support for high-resolution audio via DSD compatibility and sample rates to 384 kHz, enhanced MIDI editing, Mix Recall for switching quickly among different mix options, advanced publishing options, innovative “one-stop solution” effects chains, amp simulations, advanced comping, and much more — all using the, now established, Skylight User Interface.
SONAR Artist ($99), adds to the sophisticated core feature set with 19 bundled effects and 11 virtual instruments that focus on music creation and songwriting.
SONAR Professional ($199) folds in the analog-style, expandable ProChannel Console Strip that allows creating/customizing virtual console architectures, as well as Melodyne Essential pitch correction with ARA integration, and Addictive Drums 2 Solo Edition — 50 effects and 18 virtual instruments in total, including the vintage sound of Blue Tubes effects, convolution reverb, and the surgical precision of linear phase EQ and dynamics.
SONAR Platinum ($499) features a spectacular array of tools, plug-in effects, and instruments to offer extreme flexibility to pros who need to handle any kind of recording or mixing production. With advanced tools like Console and Tape emulation, VocalSync for tightening vocals or matching dialog to picture, 21 virtual instruments, 57 effects for mixing and mastering (from vintage to cutting-edge), convolution reverb, step sequencer, and improved audio quantization/stretching, Platinum provides power tools that complement the superior workflow.
All three SONAR versions run on Windows 7/8, and are available globally through music and sound retailers as well as the Cakewalk Store. Each SONAR version can be purchased up front, or with a monthly payment option. Registered Cakewalk customers can download their SONAR upgrades directly from the Cakewalk Store or select music retailers.