Cakewalk is changing to a more modern DAW

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So I’m puzzled by the relationship between



I haven’t yet figured out the difference between ‘Next’ and ‘Sonar’

Just found a FAQ

Cakewalk by Bandlab is being phased out and will be dropped.

Cakewalk Sonar (old name for new product) will be not be free.

Not clear what will happen to those (like me) who had a (perpetual) Cakewalk Platinum Licence and were then dumped by Gibson.

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Sonar is apparently the pro version. Next is the basic level a step up from the free Cakewalk that will not be around eventually. The is a post about it at the composer forum I frequent.

Introducing Cakewalk Next and the all new Cakewalk Sonar - Coming Soon!​


From Jesse on the forums:
On behalf of BandLab Technologies and the Cakewalk team, I’m thrilled to announce the following updates and hope you share our excitement for what’s to come! The brand Cakewalk by BandLab is now Cakewalk, standing as an independent brand within BandLab Technologies, focused on delivering the next generation of music production software for desktop.
Since BandLab’s acquisition of Cakewalk in 2018, we made it our mission to prioritize stability and performance enhancements to make Cakewalk by BandLab the DAW of choice for Windows users. During that time, we’ve witnessed incredible adoption and an ever-growing user community. These forums remind us that one of the software’s best features is its community, and we’re supremely grateful for the positive engagement we see here daily.
In order to build our community further, the Cakewalk brand now encompasses two key products. So we’d like to introduce you to the newest member of the family: Cakewalk Next. Next is a creation-focused DAW, built from the ground up to better address the needs of creators and meet the demands of tomorrow. It’s designed to be easy to use yet powerful, suitable for creators regardless of where they are in their musical journey. Learn more about Cakewalk Next and request participation in the public beta. We can’t wait for you to experience it and share your thoughts!
Additionally, we’d like to announce a product with a name that is both familiar and new: Cakewalk Sonar. In deference to the audio production legacy that has been a critical tool of choice for so many over the years, this name reflects our continued commitment to serving core production workflows and providing the best all around audio solution on Windows. Cakewalk Sonar will bear a dramatic UI refresh and carry forward as a new product with ongoing improvements and features. Note that Cakewalk Sonar will install alongside Cakewalk by BandLab and any legacy editions of SONAR you may have installed in the past.
New products will be available later this year. These changes also bring a new visual identity, which you’ll be seeing across our products, website and everywhere the Cakewalk brand is represented. Check out some examples of our new logos (below) and more at our redesigned website:
So what lies ahead? Our roadmap is filled with some exciting updates, and we’re just getting started. But in short, our focus remains fixed on enhancing your productivity and joy of music creation. Stay tuned for more news to come!…ing-cakewalk-next-and-our-new-brand-identity/
From the FAQ:
Is Sonar replacing Cakewalk by BandLab?
Sonar builds and improves on Cakewalk by BandLab, offering advanced technology, effortless workflow, and an interface that amplifies inspiration. You can still access Cakewalk by BandLab here, but it will soon be phased out.
We will continue providing community support and maintenance for Cakewalk by BandLab until both Cakewalk Next and Sonar become publicly available. Existing Cakewalk by BandLab users will be able to continue using the software after the release of Cakewalk Sonar. In the meantime, Cakewalk by BandLab continues to be available here.
Will Cakewalk by BandLab be discontinued?
Yes, eventually. We will continue providing community support and maintenance for Cakewalk by BandLab until Cakewalk Sonar becomes publicly available. At some point after the release of Sonar, Cakewalk by BandLab will no longer be supported. Note that existing Cakewalk by BandLab users will be able to continue using the software after the release of Cakewalk Sonar. In the meantime, Cakewalk by BandLab continues to be available here.
Will Next and Sonar be free like Cakewalk by BandLab?
Next and Sonar will be offered at price points designed to meet the needs of different customers. More information will be provided as we approach the launch date for these new products.
What are the differences between Cakewalk Sonar, Cakewalk by BandLab and previous versions of Cakewalk SONAR?
Cakewalk Sonar represents a new brand identity, introducing a significant UI refresh with high DPI display support, feature enhancements and a platform committed to ongoing feature development. The latest capabilities of Cakewalk by BandLab will carry forward into Sonar, along with a continued focus on performance and stability. While hundreds of improvements have been made since SONAR Platinum was discontinued, Cakewalk Sonar will be able to open projects created in SONAR and Cakewalk by BandLab.
Will installing Cakewalk Sonar overwrite Cakewalk by BandLab?
No, the two applications install to different locations on your file system, so they can coexist on your computer.

Interesting. I hope it works out for the as longtime user until the Gibson days, starting out with Cakewalk in DOS, when they called themselves 12 tone systems. I’ve long moved on at this point and unlikely to return. But I wish them well.

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What the F***, I’ll have to pay for a daw, just after finding a free one. So they change the name again and now you have to pay for it… easay moneey made!!!

You don’t have to pay for anything! Your version exists right along side the new one if you want. If you’re happy with the free one just use it and you’re good.

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It’s a complex piece of software in a changing world, so expensive to maintain and develop. They also had to acquire it from Gibson. So you have to wonder what their business plan was.

One guess was that after the Gibson debacle, it was a means of getting to critical mass of users by giving it away. You lose some of them when you pull the switch to it costing money, but I guess the bet is that net net you land up in a better position than having a charge at the outset, where you have to compete with entrenched major players…