Cakewalk Software Pyro (Windows)

No longer available at zZounds
Cakewalk Warranty 30 Days via manufacturer.
If you have additional warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer at 888-CAKEWALK
(67 ratings)
Submitted January 23, 2006 by a customer from
"Excellent value despite some minor glitches/quirks"
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It does a lot for the money, although if you're planning on doing CDs for market release you probably will want CD Architect (which I think only comes bundled with Sound Forge nowadays).

Beyond the normal conversion process (several quality levels of MP3), it has some nice processing for red book authoring.

Very good set of features for an inexpensive product. I particularly like the loudness processing when burning a CD. This is helpful if you're putting together mix CDs from different sources, especially for use in a noisy environment (e.g., walk-in or background music for meetings, theatre, etc.) It will normalize all levels in the project much more quickly than normalizing individual files with an editor. It also has a cool little loudness maximizer that compresses and peak-limits the file, which is also great for keeping backgroun music audible without being too loud (like under dialog). These save me a lot of time. It also has other nice Red Book tools, like a waveform display of your CD project, graphical level, crossfade, and fade-in/fade/out tool. Hmmm, need to track down some files from some old LPs and see how well the noise reduction works.

My biggest issue is that it has trouble realizing I've put in a new CD. I rip one, pop in another, and wait, and about one out of three times it never recognizes the new CD until I exit and relaunch Pyro. It's often enought that read more I'm surprised when the CD tracks window actually populates. This is annoying and time consuming, especially since I'm in the process of converting all my library music to high-quality MP3s for portability (one DVD vs 30+ CDs!).

I have to admit, up to this point I was using Nero from two versions back, so this is a step up. I've also used CD Architect, and this is no CD Architect, but it's cheaper then either of those and has capabilities between them. It's definitely oriented toward music but does OK with burning data CDs and DVDs. I haven't tried burning any video projects with it yet, but you're better off using a DVD authoring program for that. That is to to say, this is a great value for the money, and except for the glitch when you change CDs, very cool and useful.

Manufacturer Support
I've only recently started using some Cakewalk products but they seem fairly responsive.

The Wow Factor
"Sex appeal" looks better on groupies - I'm more concerned if the software is functional and reliable, like a roadie. This is, mostly. I've used it constantly since I got it and don't see any immediate reason to get anything else.

Musical Background:
msucian/sound designer

Musical Style:
read less
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