A Deeper Look at SONAR X2a – Native Windows 8 and Touch Support








A few months ago I wrote an article about Windows 8 and how it applied to music applications like SONAR.  In this article I will mainly cover what’s changed or new in our Windows 8 support as of SONAR X2a.

What’s New

~ We shipped SONAR X2a, our brand new Windows 8 native version of SONAR. This was exhaustively tested with Windows 8 and specifically takes advantage of new Windows 8 specific features like multi-touch. More about this below.

~ Windows 8 is widely available in the mainstream and appears to be selling well – even better than Windows 7, based on media reports from ZDNet. As of end November Microsoft had sold 40 million Windows 8 licences in a month (more than its predecessor Win7)

~ There is a large proliferation of Windows 8 PC’s available in the consumer channel, including several Intel Ultrabooks, hybrid’s and convertibles, laptops that can switch to tablets etc. Microsoft’s surface RT is also now available, although the much awaited Surface Pro (the version that can actually run classic Windows desktop applications) is yet to be released. There are also several interesting mobile solutions scheduled for early 2013. Its definitely an exciting time for users interested in mobile music platforms, since many of these have powerful Intel CPU’s and specs that are easily capable of running DAW software. It can also be confusing – there are so many products out there that you will have to do your research and look for something that fits your needs best.

~ Metro, the new application model from Microsoft which runs on both Intel and ARM CPU’s, is no longer called Metro. Perhaps not the most logical name, but the new official name for Metro Style Apps is “Windows Store Apps”. Windows Store Apps are not the same as Desktop Apps – they have somewhat limited capabilities, at least from a DAW user standpoint.

~ Many hardware vendor’s have tested and released Windows 8 compatible drivers for their supported hardware. (Although Windows 8 did not mandate any changes to driver’s, many vendors have to update installers and do compatibility testing before releasing their products)

~ Microsoft released its its latest Visual Studio development platform for building Windows applications. Applications like SONAR X2a built for Windows 8 typically use this platform for application development.


SONAR X2a is Cakewalk’s latest update for SONAR X2. While SONAR X2 and X1 are compatible with Windows 8, SONAR X2a is the first DAW release specifically designed to take advantage of new Windows 8 specific features such as multi-touch support. X2a was also built with the latest development tools and Windows SDK’s, bringing over various fixes from Microsoft. X2a is still fully compatible with Windows 7 and will continue to install on Vista (though not officially supported anymore).

X2a  includes the following: Continue reading “A Deeper Look at SONAR X2a – Native Windows 8 and Touch Support”

Free "Bells & Whistles" Bonus Holiday Pack for SONAR X2 Producer Content Club Members

Free Dimension Pro Holiday Expansion Pack for all SONAR X2 Producer users
Just in time for the holidays, we have added a new treat to the SONAR X2 Producer Content Club. When you purchase or upgrade to SONAR X2 Producer by December 31st, you will get the “Bells & Whistles” Dimension Pro Holiday Pack free of charge.

If you already own SONAR X2 Producer, the “Bells & Whistles” Dimension Pro Holiday Pack is already in your account as a bonus treat from the SONAR X2 Producer Content Club.

Bells & Whistles is a Dimension Pro Expansion Pack with holiday music inspired instruments sounds including; Bells (Rope Bells, Sleigh Bells, Bell Trees, Bell Shakers), Choirs, Harpsichords, Organs, Snare Drums, Cymbals, Strings, and a bunch of extra “whistles” (like a Nylon String Guitar, Grand Piano, Bass Drum, and a Double Bass). All sounds designed exclusively for Cakewalk by Tim Swartz of Digital Sound Factory. Includes over 50 programs guaranteed to put you in the holiday spirit!

Please note: Bells & Whistles will automatically be delivered with your SONAR X2 Producer order along with the Loopmasters 100 Artist Series Compilation through Dec 31st.

Try SONAR X2 Producer for free

Find a SONAR X2 retailer near you

Upgrade today with special holiday offers

SONAR X2 is a huge hit with the press – Read SONAR X2 Reviews


SONAR X2 is a huge hit with the press
The reviews have been pouring in from magazines all across the world and SONAR X2 is a certified hit with the press. We have put together a collection of the best pull quotes, with more coming in the next few weeks from other magazines.

Music Tech:

“SONAR utilizes the very latest in CPU and operating system technology to provide excellent performance.”

”All of this [advanced mixing and tracking tools, ACT controller technology, integrated per-track arpeggiators, 64-bit mastering plug-ins] makes SONAR arguably the most complete DAW around in terms of functionality.”

“For new users on the Windows platform, SONAR is an attractive proposition, more so since the old interface was done away with in favour of Skylight. You get a huge amount of bundled content, a DAW that utilizes the very latest in CPU and OS technology to provide excellent performance, and more or less all of the tools you’ll need.”

Tape Op:

“It’s a much more polished program given that Cakewalk spent the last two years refining the ergonomic changes introduced in X1. Moreover, it’s the most stable update from Cakewalk I’ve enjoyed.”

“SONAR X2 Producer adds Rapture to the list of bundled synths, which still includes Dimension Pro and Z3TA+ [Classic], so Producer buyers are pretty well covered in the synth department right out of the box.  Other new goodies include BREVERB SONAR (perhaps the best algorithmic reverb ever included with SONAR,) Overloud TH2 amp simulator, and Roland R-MIX spectral audio manipulator.”

Computer Music:

“Console Emulator sounds fantastic; Auto Zoom is most helpful; that Smart Tool keeps getting smarter; BREVERB and TH2 are winners.”

“The Console Emulator, BREVERB and Overloud effects are all stellar and very powerful enticements to upgrade from X1.”

“The icing on the cake is the inclusion of the stunning Console Emulator in the Producer edition’s ProChannel (SONAR’s superb in-built channel strip system), enabling users to avail themselves of the sound of three classic consoles.”

Electronic Musician:

“X2 is a refined, smarter, easier-to-use, highly tweaked update of X1…the more I use X2, the more I find I’m tracking and mixing faster, with less effort than ever before.”

“The more you dig, the more you find; the attention to detail is noteworthy.”

“Along with the new features and workflow improvements, Cakewalk has wisely prioritized stability, streamlining the audio engine, and revising older elements. It paid off: A quick glance at the Cakewalk forums find most users are not only very pleased, but calling X2 the smoothest rollout yet.”

Stay tuned for more reviews!


SONAR X2a coming soon


We are pleased to announce that the SONAR X2a update is almost ready for release and will be available later this month. The SONAR X2a update is free to all registered SONAR X2 users and introduces many new exciting features including:

  • Official Windows 8 support as well as Touch support for Intel-Inspired Ultrabooks and other touch-enabled devices
  • Over 50 UI enhancements and improvements
  • Accessibility support
  • Enhanced Play List experience
  • Enhancements and fixes
  • And more

Stay tuned for more information on availability!

Try SONAR X2 Producer for free

Find a SONAR X2 retailer near you

Upgrade today with special holiday offers

Free SONAR X2 Videos, Plus 50% Off Live Training By OBEDIA

OBEDIATake your mixes to the next level with SONAR’s unique Skylight interface and an impressive assortment of virtual instruments and effects like the classic studio sound of the ProChannel console strip. OBEDIA’s team of experts is always ready to help you understand how to effectively use the Cakewalk SONAR line of software.

Watch all 6 SONAR X2 videos by OBEDIA.

OBEDIA’s team of experts can help you delve deep into the Cakewalk SONAR software suite so you not only understand how to do something – you understand why. When you work with OBEDIA, you’re working with LIVE experts who can help you via phone, email, or remote desktop access. So, instead of flipping through the user’s manual or wasting time surfing the Internet, you can be drilling down to the topics you want to learn more about. Start making Cakewalk SONAR  work for you – contact OBEDIA today.

Save 50% off live one-on-one SONAR training.

Save 30% off Select SONAR X2 Extras Through Dec 13th

SONAR X2 Extras

Give yourself a little something extra this holiday season
Once you upgrade, customize your SONAR X2 setup with select extras and expansion packs – get 30% off or more. Fill up your mixing tool box with all 4 Cakewalk ProChannel Modules. Get premium drum kits for Session Drummer 3 from Platinum Samples, Sonic Reality, and Digital Sound Factory. Download fresh HD quality sounds for Dimension Pro & LE. In addition, you can save 50% off SONAR X2 video tutorials from SWA and Groove 3. These and other best selling extras are marked down for one week only. Hurry, offers end December 13th!

Shop for SONAR X2 Extras now

Don’t own SONAR X2 yet? Upgrade today and take advantage these deals!

Get Started with SONAR X2 – Watch Free Tutorial Videos Now On Cake TV


Explore SONAR X2’s Skylight User Interface
SONAR X2 takes its award winning Skylight interface to a new level. Learn the basics of Skylight and get up and running quickly with a brand-new CakeTV video series. The first four videos in the series show Skylight’s fundamental features including – workflow with audio and MIDI clips, zooming and navigation, Screensets, and customizing Skylight’s versatile workspace. Watch them now on CakeTV.

Get Started: Skylight
Learn how to arrange Skylight’s workspace in SONAR X2, from docking windows in the MultiDock to rearranging the positions of the Inspector, Browser, and much more.

Get Started: Screensets
Learn how to use SONAR X2’s Screensets, which are ‘presets’ that remember the position, size, and state of every window, plugin, and synth.

Get Started: Zoom & Navigation
Learn how the various ways to zoom and navigate in SONAR X2 like Timeline Zoom.

Get Started: Audio & MIDI Clips
Learn how to work with SONAR X2’s clips, from applying fades, creating Groove Clips, time-stretching, and much more.

Learn more about SONAR X2 and try it for free

Free TH2 Bonus Content For All SONAR X2 Users Through Dec 31st

Th2 Bonus Content

Holiday Bonus: Upgrade to SONAR X2 and get FREE TH2 bonus content
Our friends at Overloud have created a special bonus pack for all SONAR X2 customers this holiday season. Just purchase any version or upgrade to SONAR X2 today and then visit the My Account page on the Cakewalk Store.  You can then download this special bonus pack which includes 20 new Smooth Jazz presets and 10 new cabinets IRs taken from Mesa, Engl and Koch cabinet. In addition, they have created a video which shows you how to import new content into TH2 Producer and TH2 SONAR. Offer expires Dec. 31st.

Try SONAR X2 Producer for free

Find a SONAR X2 retailer near you

Upgrade today with special holiday offers


What is TH2 SONAR?  Watch the video!