What are the differences between Cakewalk by BandLab and other legacy Sonar DAWs?

Cakewalk by BandLab is a continuation of the SONAR Platinum you know and love, and it’s significantly better. 

Cakewalk picks up where SONAR Platinum left off, and has continually evolved with regular updates delivering significant stability and performance enhancements. With a focus on stability, Cakewalk by BandLab is taking things to the next level. Advanced audio processing, integrated collaboration tools and cutting edge features, and hundreds of bug fixes are just the start of what users report to be the most stable version they have used.

The key difference is that Cakewalk does not include some of the 3rd party plug-ins that were bundled with SONAR Platinum. As Cakewalk is now a free program, it does not include any licensed 3rd party plug-ins. However, if you have SONAR installed, the 3rd party plug-ins will also be available in Cakewalk, ready to use in all your projects.

As a new and exciting update, Cakewalk is now integrated to BandLab - the social music platform! 

You can learn more about the integration here.



Here are some of the FAQs about the changes to Cakewalk by BandLab:

Is Command Center still active? Can I use it for installing Cakewalk by BandLab?

Command Center is now solely a legacy resource and cannot be used for installing Cakewalk by BandLab. All SONAR users who had set up a Single Sign On account with Cakewalk prior to the company's closure in 2017 are still able to see all original Cakewalk registrations via the My Products page of Cakewalk.com and Command Center. Our new program, Cakewalk by BandLab, as well as any future releases will be available exclusively via our BandLab Assistant app.

Will SONAR be updated?
No. SONAR software was officially discontinued, when Gibson announced it is ceasing active development and production of Cakewalk branded products in November 2017. Cakewalk by BandLab took over and is now the only software receiving updates and bug fixes.
Have existing bugs in SONAR Platinum been fixed in Cakewalk by BandLab?
Yes. We’re picking up right where SONAR Platinum left off, and have made hundreds of bug fixes since the initial release of Cakewalk by BandLab. Take a look at our Release Notes here.
Does Cakewalk by BandLab have any new features and enhancements that SONAR didn't have?
Yes! Since the release of Cakewalk by BandLab, there have been over 600 new features, enhancements and bug fixes. Here are some of the biggest new features:

  • ARA 2 support
  • zplane Elastique v3 audio stretch and pitch shift
  • Comping and take enhancements
  • Smart tool customization
  • VST sandbox scanning
  • Advanced Piano Roll editing
  • Ripple Edit indicator
  • Custom channel colors in all themes
  • Multi-clip slip stretching
  • Language switching
  • Export Control Bar module
  • Center Control Bar modules
  • Selection markers
Can I use the old Cakewalk Forum for Cakewalk by BandLab related support?
No. The old forum is now read-only, which means that you will no longer be able to post. However, it remains a vital resource for the long term and we intend to keep it hosted and to remain in its current place at https://forum.cakewalk.com.

With that said, we have released a new forum for Cakewalk by BandLab! The new site allows us to develop on a much stronger infrastructure and architecture, providing us the opportunity to introduce more forum tools, user storage, Q&A discussions for better technical engagement, community voting and more.

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