Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer Music Production Software (Windows)

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Harness your PC's music-production power with Cakewalk Sonar. This DAW comes with 59 effect plugins and 20 software instruments, including the Rapture synth.

From start to finish, Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer music-production software offers everything you need to record, edit, mix, master, and deliver killer tracks. This Windows-based digital audio workstation (DAW) comes complete with numerous effect plug-ins and virtual instruments, such as the Rapture and Z3TA+ software synths, so you can make music right out of the box. Sonar X2 Producer's Skylight user interface lets you customize and de-clutter your desktop workspace, while touch functionality allows you to transform any touch screen into a virtual pad controller for hands-on interaction with loops and samples.

Shape your sounds with the expandable ProChannel mixing console, visualize stereo tracks and buses with the fully automatable R-MIX, add professional reverb via Breverb Sonar, get big tone with Overloud amp modeling technology, and more. When you've finalized your work, share it with the world: upload your songs directly to SoundCloud, export MIDI data to notation software with MusicXML, or utilize any of the convenient export options available. With Roland Cakewalk's flagship DAW, all your music-creation tools and instruments are in one spot.

Impressive Instruments and Effects Included

Think of Sonar X2 Producer as a virtual studio. It's packed with a total of 20 virtual instruments -- including the Rapture subtractive synthesizer -- along with 59 audio and MIDI effects, Overloud's TH2 Producer amp simulator with models of classic gear, an integrated per track read more arpeggiator, and more. In Sonar X2, it's easy to save sounds, stacks, and layers with Track Templates, and then open them up again with drag-and-drop simplicity.

Focus on the Music, Not the GUI

If you've used other DAWs before, you know that your digital workspace can get real messy, real fast. That's why Cakewalk introduced the Skylight user interface; this clean, configurable environment eliminates clutter, poor navigation, and annoying window management, replacing it all with an intuitive workspace that works with your high-res, widescreen display. With Skylight, you can instantly switch between configurable Screensets, dock windows wherever you want, navigate quickly with features like Timeline Zoom, and so forth.

Touch functionality allows you to "swipe," "pinch to zoom," or use other gestures to navigate through projects in Skylight. When it comes to working with your software, you won't be limited to a mouse or trackpad.

Use Sonar X2 Producer's Matrix View to organize audio and MIDI loops, phrases, and one-shot samples into cells and columns for real-time triggering from one (or more) MIDI controllers. Matrix View provides an easy way to arrange song sections and audition them at a moment's notice -- say goodbye to scrolling through menus or lists to find all your sounds.

ProChannel: Only with Sonar X2 Producer

Available only in the Producer version of Sonar X2, the ProChannel mixing console helps you work more efficiently: one click shows you every detail of a track's effects processing setup, while you can drag-and-drop to alter the signal flow. Likewise, VST plug-ins and effects chains can be freely mingled with any number of custom ProChannel modules. Sonar X2 Producer's Console Emulator boosts ProChannel with the big, warm sound of three legendary analog consoles.

R-Mix Sonar gives you better control over your work by letting you visualize stereo tracks and buses. Fully automatable and available on any track or bus, R-MIX uses Roland's V-Remastering technology to remove noise, isolate particular elements, or create unique filtering effects.

Tap in to Breverb Sonar to experience reverb inspired by classic hardware. Fully integrated into Sonar X2 Producer both as a VST plugin and as a custom ProChannel module, Breverb Sonar offers automatable control of four of the most popular algorithms from the full version, with no limitations.


- Flagship DAW/music-production software for Windows PC
- Unlimited audio and MIDI tracks mean unlimited music-making
- Skylight user interface provides a clean, organized environment
- R-Mix Sonar lets you visualize stereo tracks and buses
- Modular ProChannel mixing console is easy to use
- Breverb Sonar VST and Breverb Sonar ProChannel module offer fully automatable reverb
- FX Chains 2.0 plus FX Chains ProChannel Modules
- 20 Virtual instruments, including the Rapture subtractive synth
- 59 Audio and MIDI effects for instant playability
- Matrix performance view gives real-time arrangement and playback tools
- Integrated per track arpeggiator
- Includes Overloud TH2 Producer Amp Sim
- Linear Phase accurate Mastering EQ and Multi-Band compressor
- QuadCurve EQ and Softube Saturation Knob ProChannel Modules included
- Flexible export and delivery options, including MusicXML and SoundCloud
- 384 kHz/64-bit audio engine
- Native 32/64-bit application
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Minimum System Requirements:
- Windows 7 or Windows 8*
- Runs Native in 32/64-bit Windows
- Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.67 GHz / AMD Phenom Quad Core 9750 2.4 Ghz or higher
- 2 GB RAM
- 1280x800 minimum screen resolution
- 4.5GB for minimal install, 20GB recommended
- Broadband internet connection for download
- Cakewalk Publisher requires available web server space with FTP access

*Windows 8 support will be available through a free patch later this year.

For support or warranty questions, please contact the manufacturer:
Phone: 888-CAKEWALK

Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer (Windows)

From getting a great tone to releasing the final mix, today's musicians must master every element of the music production process. The Cakewalk Sonar X2 Producer is there every step of the way and takes each element to the next level of power and usability. And thanks to the revolutionary Skylight user interface, Sonar X2 lets you move seamlessly among the elements, instantly going from recording to editing to mixing and back again. Dial up the perfect synth sound with Rapture or a searing guitar tone with TH2 Producer. Record it, tighten it, chop it, and drop it in the Matrix for real-time triggering. Shape it with the expandable ProChannel. Warm it with the Console Emulator. And do it all with a single Smart Tool. It's genius.

- Unlimited audio & MIDI tracks
- Enhanced award winning Skylight interface
- Seamless usability & workflow
- Modular ProChannel
- Breverb Sonar VST and Breverb Sonar ProChannel module
- ProChannel Console Emulation Module
- QuadCurve EQ & Softube Saturation Knob ProChannel Modules
- FX Chains 2.0 plus FX Chains ProChannel Modules
- 20 Virtual instruments including Rapture subtractive synthesizer
- 59 audio and MIDI effects
- Matrix performance view
- Integrated per track arpeggiator
- TH2 Producer Amp Sim
- Linear Phase accurate Mastering EQ and Multi-Band compressor
- Automation & Take Lanes
- Flexible export and Delivery options including MusicXML and SoundCloud
- Pristine 64-bit/384KHz audio engine
- Includes all features in SONAR X2 Studio
- Native 32/64-bit application

Please note: Sonar X2 supports Windows 7 and Windows 8. Windows XP and Windows Vista are no longer officially supported.

Reviewers gave this product an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. (1 ratings)
Submitted June 28, 2013 by Vanessa P in Sedona, AZ

"A Little Lost, but Getting There"

Overall: 4.5 out of 5 stars
(see rating details)
Verified Customer zZounds has verified that this reviewer made a purchase from us.
This is my first real plunge into computer digital recording. Sonar X2 has more than enough features and capabilities to make me feel over my head but that's a good thing! I did have an older Cakewalk program on an older desktop running Windows XP, so transferring my old files was a snap. Sonar X2 obviously has many new and improved features since my 2004 program, and so far my older files don't seem able to access some of those functions (only some). I still have full capabilities with most functions. My pre-computer recording days involved good ol' analogue multi-track recorders and lots of outboard processors, modules, patches ... you know the set-up (unless you're around 20 years old). I also have used digital multi-track recorders. In my experience, analogue is still the best way to go. Everything is easily connected directly in a very sensible way, there are just dials, sliders, and busses to worry about - nothing to really get in the way of actually MAKING music. These days, computer-based recording forces you to spend extra time with a issues related to routing, drivers, compatibility and, most aggravating of all(!) - LATENCY -that frankly interfere with the creative process. But no serious musician these days can afford to not keep up with the times, so here I am plugging away and cursing the frustration of it. Admittedly, my old 8 and 9-year old digital recordings (from the older Cakewalk program) have retained their crystal clarity. None of the degradation that comes read more from tapes. I'm so far mostly pleased with Sonar X2. As stated, it has a tremendous wealth of plug-ins, effects, processing, and routing capabilities. I bought the 9-hour video tutorial, which I highly recommend (available on the Cakewalk site - I haven't found it here at zZounds). There's also a separate 5-hour video tutorial which I will probably also buy. My mind is still trying to visual the process through the analogue mindset, and that can get in the way of understanding the digital realm. The tutorials help me work through that. I've been very impressed with results I've been able to attain thus far. The editing functions are light-years ahead of what I could accomplish before. My main bête noir with Sonar X2 is with it's complete refusal to recognize my Motif XS rack module. The Motif came with a basic Cubase program (that I don't use - one DAW is more than enough!!) from which I can access editing and audio-recording functions in the Motif Rack via Firewire. Obviously, this is a collaborative matter between Yamaha and Steinberg as Sonar X2 is blind and deaf to the Motif Rack. One more painful lesson for this semi-newbie. On the good side, Sonar X2 comes preloaded with a number of presets for popular Midi controllers - just none that I happen to have. The ProChannel and 64-bit plug-ins and effects really shine in the Producer version. I've only scratched the surface of all that these tools can accomplish, and already I'm impressed. There's an effect called RMixTool that is incredible. It basically creates a "scattergram" representation of the audio, relative to specific frequencies of each audio message, and allows you to visually draw any shape and size of box around any part of the scattergram so you can contort and stretch the sound in unimaginable ways. Overall I'm very impressed, although that compatibility (driver?) issue with my Motif Rack will be a thorn in my side. Unlimited tracks, unlimited processing power (whatever your computer can handle, Sonar X2 can deliver) and a wealth of sounds and effects make it a perfect solution for home-based studio recording with a professional-quality sound.

It has a number of superior VST Instruments. Synths, drums, and sampled sounds ... so many patches - so little time!!

I would say their Skylight interface is one of their best overall features. With 2 or more additional monitors - provided your CPU and RAM are up to the task - you can pull different screenshots or modules onto different monitors to really take advantage optimized workflow. Add to that Sonar's compatibility with touchscreen monitors and you can create a near world-class studio set-up. Just be prepared to pony up the cash for a computer that can maximize these capabilities. Your physical sound space is obviously a totally different issue.

Ease of Use
For me - not easy at all. Thank goodness for video tutorials!! But then I'm computer-stupid and old enough to be able to start sentences with "Back in MY day ... "

No mechanical parts - just DVDs (or online downloads) and a couple of small manuals. The DVDs are in perfect working condition ...

I initially bought the Studio version of Sonar X2, with the idea of getting a basic understanding the software before later graduating to the Producer version. Then they sent me an offer for the upgrade to Producer at a $200 discount. Limited-time offer, of course .... So I went ahead and bought and downloaded the upgrade (thankfully I didn't upload a downgrade!) and so I got Sonar X2 Producer at a nice price. Long story NOT short ... I got a great value.

Manufacturer Support
The jury's still out on Manufacturer support ... I did email them with my tragic novel of questions and frustration related to the connection issues with my Motif Rack. They responded fairly quickly, but gave me possible solutions I had already tried without success. I sent them a follow-up email with more detailed information, including screenshots of points in question, but so far I haven't heard back (that was 3 days ago).

The Wow Factor
With today's 64-bit processing engines, higher-capacity RAM, and lightning-fast CPUs, DAW manufacturers are able to integrate more user-friendly graphics in the software. Sonar X2 takes full advantage of this with all VST plug-ins, and that makes the whole workflow much more intuitive for someone like me. And if even then I STILL don't get something, there's always a handy little help button somewhere.

Musical Background:
I play Keys, guitars, Native American Flutes, Clarinet, French Horn, Kazoos and even rubber bands.

Musical Style:
Classical, Jazz, Progressive Rock, Fusion
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