Ready to move up from Sonar 3.x


Hi Jack,

I think one reason for the lack of responses is the fact that for under $500, you're really not going to find anything that is a step up from SONAR 3.x. SONAR 3 is a fully featured high end MIDI/Audio sequencer. It has all the features you'd expect from a "flagship" MIDI sequencer, although not implemented the way some prefer.

If you want to switch to another fully featured audio + MIDI sequencer in the PC world, you only have two options: Cubase SX, or Nuendo. These applications are more than $500. Although you can get Cubase SX for about $599 or less, so it's not that much more than $500. There is a "light" version of Cubase SX called Cubase SL for under $300 but I doubt you'd consider it an "upgrade" from SONAR.

If you are willing to give up decent MIDI implementation, you can switch to the Digidesign M-Box, which would be exactly $500, and comes with Pro Tools LE. PTLE is world class audio editing, but it's MIDI is very sub-par. Not only a step down from SONAR, but a step down from Cakewalk Home Studio! Of course, PTLE only works with Digidesign hardware, so you're "married" to the M-Box interface...if you don't like it, there's nothing you can do, except buy a more expensive Digidesign interface.

So basically, for under $500, your options are pretty limited. For a bit over $500, you could move to Cubase SX.

But of course...then comes the real question: what do you really need that SONAR doesn't offer you? Don't think I'm trying to sell you on SONAR, by the way. While I review most of Cakewalk's prodcuts for US and UK pro audio magazines, my preference is a Macintosh with Logic Pro. :) But it's a valid question--what is it that you think you will gain by moving to another application? In the end, that will govern the best option for you.

Hope that helps,

Scott Peterson

Co-Founder of TGP Administrator
Staff member
Orren speaks the truth, and wisely so.

I am a Cubase SX guy; but Sonar has all the tools. What don't you like about it?


Silver Supporting Member
Sonar is just incredibly buggy. You wouldn't believe the stuff I've run into.

However, I decided to finish up the current project with Sonar and even upgraded from studio to producer version. I'll probably switch to nuendo after I get my CD out.

You can get nuendo for $899 if you shop around.

Tim Z

I've used most of them, and when I first tried Samplitude I was sold. Been using Samp for about three years now and wouldn't ever consider anything else again. Version 8 is just coming out. I do entirely audio only work (i.e. no midi or VSTi) but version 8 is supposed to be vastly improved in these areas. IMHO, nothing can touch Samp :)

Check out this link:

I believe they have a crossgrade price from Sonar to Samp Pro.



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