This online bonus material supplements the Cakewalk Sonar 7 Producer Edition review in the May 2008 issue of EM.
Although Sonar 7 includes plenty of new and improved features, in a perfect world there would be several things that worked better than they do now. In the interest of giving Cakewalk some food for thought and Sonar users some constructive work-arounds, here''s my wish list.
- Some windows, especially V-Vocal, steal the focus, so when you hit Ctrl-Z to undo or Spacebar to play, you donâ??t get the desired reaction. Solution: use Ctrl-Tab to toggle between the floating window and the main application. If you have a lot of windows open, you can go directly to the Track view by pressing Alt-0 (zero on the QWERTY keyboard) and back to the V-Vocal window by pressing Ctrl-Shift-V.
- To make multiple or sequential I/O assignments, you must first select the desired tracks. Unfortunately, you canâ??t select tracks from the Console view. Solution: you have to switch to the Track view long enough to select tracks, so do it efficiently. Again, press Alt-0; Alt-3 returns to the Console.
- When using sends to address sidechains, prefader behavior does not ignore track mute as it should. (Since when is prefader postmute?) Solution: edit your aud.ini file to set LinkPFSendMute=0 to rid yourself of this holdover from preâ??Sonar 4 days.
- The new step sequencer doesnâ??t directly expose soft-synth parameters for assignment. Solution: hopefully, this capability will be added in a future release, as right now the solution is old school. You must manually assign a continuous controller to a parameter in the synth and then assign the same controller within the step sequencer. Take advantage of Pentagonâ??s ability to save MIDI configurations to speed the process a bit, or save a Sonar template (or three) with your favorite synth(s) and step sequencer set the way you like it.
- The Lexicon Pantheon Surround reverb is no longer included with Sonar. Sadly, it was dropped as of Sonar 6. Solution: if you have Sonar 5, you can install Pantheon Surround from that disc, and it will still work in Sonar 7.
- When Shift-dragging across a row in the step sequencer to draw Velocities, the only visual feedback is the numeric Velocity display on each note. Solution: if you want to see your Velocities, open the PRV.
- Some settings that you would expect to be global, such as meter options and default fades, end up being project specific. Solution: set up a blank session with your typical minimal track configuration, tweak all your favorite preferences the way you like them, and save that as a template (CWT) project. Save it as normal.cwt, and it will be the default when you press Ctrl-N, bypassing the New Project dialog box.