Cakewalk Sonar 4 Producer Edition review
Cubase SX3 is Sonar’s only real direct competitor (Logic being Mac only), and now that Cubase integrates real-time loop manipulation and Sonar includes surround mixing, the two are harder than ever to separate. Cubase has the advantage of being cross-platform, and this may be enough to make it the better choice for professionals working in different studios. It also benefits from a more attractive interface that’s less reliant on right-clicking for extended options, while features such as user-definable workspaces for quickly changing screen layouts make it quick to navigate.
However, Sonar is far from cumbersome in use. The main Track window is packed with controls while just about avoiding untidiness, and its open-ended mix architecture is as fast to use as it is liberating. There are small but significant advantages, such as two volume controls per channel for quick volume changes without grappling with automation data already created, and the ability to reorder plug-in chains simply by dragging and dropping. There are also bigger benefits, most notably the ability to cross-fade audio objects.
Considering Sonar’s fine bundled reverb plug-in and its considerably cheaper price, it’s once again our choice for the best audio sequencer you can buy.