Homebase for Sonar users

Post general topics related to Cubase Pro 9, Cubase Artist 9 and Cubase Elements 9 here.
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Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Ed Doll » Mon Nov 18, 2013 3:28 pm

Welcome to the Steinberg forum. This should be a dedicated place for all of you who are coming from the Sonar platform.
We like to encourage Sonar users as well as Cubase customers to stimulate the conversation about workflow, features and techniques - simply to make possible what we are all aiming for: creating great music.

Cubase is the DAW that has a massive and possibly the richest feature set one can think of. Don't expect to become an expert for such a DAW overnight. You don't have to be in a hurry - your Sonar works today as it has worked a month ago. Give yourself some time to explore your new home for creativity.

Every DAW has its workflow and there are obvious differences. Even the same feature can have a different name and vice versa.
With all the experience you have gained with such a fine product as Sonar, don't try to use Cubase as if it were a second Sonar. You won't succeed on several occasions.

There are a lot of questions and queries that we are taking care of so please be aware that we might not able to answer every question immediately.
But we can assure you that we will do our very best to help you as much as possible so that this journey will find a happy end.
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Questions from a longtime Sonar user

Post by mspielz » Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:02 am

I currently use Sonar Platinum, and have used Cakewalk products for many years. Cakewalk has recently gone belly up, so I suppose it's time to look for a new DAW. I'm completely new to Cubase, so I have some questions prior to purchasing.

Would I need an i-Lok, or some type of dongle in order to run Cubase? I've noticed some other folks in the forum discussing a dongle. I found the crossgrade offer for owners of Sonar Platinum on Sweetwater, and it states that the software is delivered electronically. Would I need to purchase the dongle separately, if indeed the dongle is needed?

Is the Sweetwater crossgrade offer the best deal for Sonar Platinum owners? And is this crossgrade offer the full version of Cubase 9.5 Pro?

One last question: I am able to use a piano roll view when writing or editing music for virtual instruments, but I much prefer to use a staff view. Does Cubase have a staff view that can be used while writing a song? As in, could I write in a staff view, and then replay the song, edit, replay, over and over, seamlessly?

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Re: Questions from a longtime Sonar user

Post by jaslan » Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:37 pm

I will try to help answer some of your questions. Cubase uses something similar to iLok but called Steinberg eLicenser. The Pro and Artist versions require the USB eLicenser (a physical device). Elements can be on a software eLicenser (license stored on the hard drive) OR on the USB eLicenser. You can get an electronic delivery if you already have a USB eLicenser which can be purchased seperately (I believe Sweetwater sells them as well as others). The “boxed” version comes with the eLicenser and a code and download instructions in the box. I saw some posts talking about an option for the “media” DVDs as well if one wants those.
Cubase does have a score view built in that I know absolutely nothing about but I know that some use it for composition.

Lastly, there is a trial so you can test it out and see if you like it. You can trial Pro if you havea USB eLicenser or you can trial Elements without one. Just check the product page.
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Re: Questions from a longtime Sonar user

Post by mspielz » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:27 am

jaslan wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 3:37 pm

Lastly, there is a trial so you can test it out and see if you like it. You can trial Pro if you havea USB eLicenser or you can trial Elements without one. Just check the product page.
Thank you. I'm downloading the Elements trial now. I did find the eLicenser on both Sweetwater and Amazon, so I'll purchase it separately if I decide to buy the full version.

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Re: Questions from a longtime Sonar user

Post by djw » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:59 am

mspielz wrote:
Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:02 am
One last question: I am able to use a piano roll view when writing or editing music for virtual instruments, but I much prefer to use a staff view. Does Cubase have a staff view that can be used while writing a song? As in, could I write in a staff view, and then replay the song, edit, replay, over and over, seamlessly?
Pro does, it's called the Score Editor. Artist has a very basic version of this.
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Derrek » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:35 pm

It will be interesting to see which Sonar plug-in's will work smoothly with CuBase and whether those that pop up as "Cakewalk Only" when I access them in Finale will be released by Cakewalk now that Sonar is phasing out.
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by soundhog » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:52 pm

I have an eLicenser that I bought with Vienna Orchestra software for its authorization - will this work for a Cubase license, or do I need to purchase a "Steinberg" eLicenser USB dongle?
Thanks!

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by raisindot » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:08 pm

Hi, I'm a Sonar using evaluating both Cubase and Studio One, and as I am primarily a songwriter who creates in MIDI and then bounces to audio, I think that Cubase is probably the one I'm going to go with.

Question for Cubase support: I'm currently using the 9.5 demo. If and when I decide to actually purchase the competitive crossgrade, should I first totally uninstall the demo before I download the "purchased" version, or is it simply a matter of "authorizing" the trial version to become a "purchased" version? In either case, will either uninstalling the demo and reinstalling the purchased version (or converting the trial to a purchased version) automatically do whatever needs to be done to the e-licenser card? I just don't want to get in a situation where I miss a step that screws the e-licenser up.

Also, while we're talking about e-licensers, do the Cubase one that I have work with other programs like an iLok? I'm hoping Cubase is the only program I ever use that needs this kind of thing, but I'd hate to have to buy a separate dongle in the future.

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Ed Doll » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:52 pm

soundhog wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:52 pm
I have an eLicenser that I bought with Vienna Orchestra software for its authorization - will this work for a Cubase license, or do I need to purchase a "Steinberg" eLicenser USB dongle?
Thanks!
Yes, that is also a USB-eLicenser which is compatible with our licenses.
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Ed Doll » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:59 pm

raisindot wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:08 pm
Hi, I'm a Sonar using evaluating both Cubase and Studio One, and as I am primarily a songwriter who creates in MIDI and then bounces to audio, I think that Cubase is probably the one I'm going to go with.

Question for Cubase support: I'm currently using the 9.5 demo. If and when I decide to actually purchase the competitive crossgrade, should I first totally uninstall the demo before I download the "purchased" version, or is it simply a matter of "authorizing" the trial version to become a "purchased" version? In either case, will either uninstalling the demo and reinstalling the purchased version (or converting the trial to a purchased version) automatically do whatever needs to be done to the e-licenser card? I just don't want to get in a situation where I miss a step that screws the e-licenser up.

Also, while we're talking about e-licensers, do the Cubase one that I have work with other programs like an iLok? I'm hoping Cubase is the only program I ever use that needs this kind of thing, but I'd hate to have to buy a separate dongle in the future.
Thank you for your interest! You do not have to remove anything when going from trial to retail. It's the same content and you just need to activate the new license you will receive with the purchase.
Installating or uninstallating Cubase does not affect any of the licenses stored on the USB-eLicenser at all. The trial license will expire after 30 days and if you already have the retail license on the USB-eLicenser as well, that will take over seamlessly.

Our licenses cannot be used with iLoks but there are other companies also using the eLicenser technology (exclusively or as an option):
https://helpcenter.steinberg.de/hc/en-u ... eLicensers
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by raisindot » Thu Dec 07, 2017 4:10 pm

Thanks Ed!

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by simeon » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:56 pm

Hello,
I have been a long time Cakewalk user since Pro Audio 6 December 1997. I have also worked with Steinberg over these years to help SONAR users with Steinberg's wonderful VST instruments. I now find myself joining many other SONAR users in trying to learn Cubase as an DAW option going forward and I have really found it difficult at first but like anything with the help of the community we will weather the storm and continue to enjoy doing what we love; making wonderful music.

I have been watching a lot of YouTube and Groove3 videos to help me get up to speed. Some of the issues I am dealing with presently are:

Understanding the STUDIO setup:
* METRONOME ROUTING: I am racking my brain trying to see how to adjust something as simple as how to route the internal Metronome to a BUS so I can adjust the volume. Some of the HELP files are not really clear in how to find a particular feature. I am looking for how to route CLICK but ai am not seeing it in the SETUP dialogs.

PROJECT INFO SETTINGS:
I embed a lot of information in my Standard MIDI Files such as Title, Date of composition, Copyright info, original artist info, etc.. I am wondering exactly how to accomplish this in Cubase. I see something like a SysEx Editor that exposes some of these but wondered if there was an easier way to do this.

GM SMF LYRIC HANDLING:
My SMF Library files have a melody and lyrics always on TRACK 4 (per the GM standard). I have been having a very hard time trying to understand how to work with lyrics and melody track in Cubase using the SCORE EDITOR. SONAR had a dedicated LYRICS window that was linked to a selected track. When I copy and paste the lyrics into the SCORE EDITOR I get very mixed results. Sometimes only partial lyrics are placed and some are in the wrong positions.

GENERAL NAVIGATION AND CUSTOMIZATION:
I am getting more comfortable with this and have sort of tried working on a color scheme that matches my SONR layout to feel somewhat familiar. SONAR gave us a lot of detailed options for color customizations. This is limited somewhat in Cubase by only allowing a base HUE setting in the 9.5 COLOR SCHEMES settings that lock you into a certain range of colors.

HERE TO HELP OTHERS:
I know I am very grateful to the help I have received over the years from the Cakewalk community and look forward to carrying on that tradition here as we all work to help each other and share our collective knowledge to encourage and strength each other.
I am willing to help where I can during the learning and transition. Ed's advice about not viewing this as a "second SONAR" is spot on as that is where a lot of frustration will occur but we must just Keep Calm and Carry On ;^)

All the Best,
Simeon
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by ChrisDuncan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:40 pm

raisindot wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:08 pm
Also, while we're talking about e-licensers, do the Cubase one that I have work with other programs like an iLok? I'm hoping Cubase is the only program I ever use that needs this kind of thing, but I'd hate to have to buy a separate dongle in the future.
My studio has an A and B room so I have to move the dongle between the two. However, I also have an iLok for some of my plugins as well as a regular USB thumb drive which I use for my Waves licenses.

I bought a very small 4 port USB hub that has a six inch cable, and have plugged all three into that. This allows me to just grab "one thing" when moving between rooms, and has the added benefit of letting the six inch cable take the abuse of plugging / unplugging rather than applying stress to the USB keys.

While a perfect world would require no licensing (cloud based activation has its own adventures), I've found this to be the easiest way to manage things since every company has their own way of doing things.
Studio A: Cubase 9.0.10 Build 150 64 bit | Windows 7 64 bit | 24 gigs memory | Yamaha TF5 | Mackie MCU
Studio B: Cubase 9.0.10 Build 150 64 bit | Windows 7 64 bit | 24 gigs memory | UR 44 | CMC TP-QC-AI-CH
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by ChrisDuncan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:55 pm

Derrek wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:35 pm
It will be interesting to see which Sonar plug-in's will work smoothly with CuBase and whether those that pop up as "Cakewalk Only" when I access them in Finale will be released by Cakewalk now that Sonar is phasing out.
I was a Cakewalk user, and then Sonar, dating back to the Windows 3.1 days when it was purely Midi. When I finally moved to Cubase I kept Cakewalk installed for quite a while as a safety net. This was in the 32 bit days, but I never had any problems with Cakewalk plugins not running well in Cubase.

There was a learning curve to be sure, but it was actually pretty easy for me to get going and be productive again. A lot of the basic recording and mixing stuff is pretty obvious in both environments, and the manual is well written for those "how do I do X?" moments (which I encounter no matter what software I use).

I've been through PT, Cakewalk / CW Pro Audio / Sonar, Logic, Nuendo, Cubase and I think a couple of others. I work in Windows (and thus got kicked to the curb when Apple bought Logic) and have found Cubase to be everything I need as well as being much, much more stable than Sonar ever was. Of course, no software is perfect so that latter statement varies from user to user depending on your environment. That said, there isn't anything I had in Sonar but found lacking in Cubase, so hopefully those making the transition will have a good experience as well.
Studio A: Cubase 9.0.10 Build 150 64 bit | Windows 7 64 bit | 24 gigs memory | Yamaha TF5 | Mackie MCU
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Romantique Tp » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:35 pm

simeon wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:56 pm

Understanding the STUDIO setup:
* METRONOME ROUTING: I am racking my brain trying to see how to adjust something as simple as how to route the internal Metronome to a BUS so I can adjust the volume. Some of the HELP files are not really clear in how to find a particular feature. I am looking for how to route CLICK but ai am not seeing it in the SETUP dialogs.
Depending on how you're planning to use the click, the easiest way to adjust its volume is by just clicking the side of the Activate Metronome button (to the bottom right). You can adjust the Audio Click level on the second tab.

For studio use, the Control Room feature gives you advanced control over the metronome sounds sent to each set of headphones/monitors. I don't have much experience with it so I can't help you much.
PROJECT INFO SETTINGS:
I embed a lot of information in my Standard MIDI Files such as Title, Date of composition, Copyright info, original artist info, etc.. I am wondering exactly how to accomplish this in Cubase. I see something like a SysEx Editor that exposes some of these but wondered if there was an easier way to do this.

GM SMF LYRIC HANDLING:
My SMF Library files have a melody and lyrics always on TRACK 4 (per the GM standard). I have been having a very hard time trying to understand how to work with lyrics and melody track in Cubase using the SCORE EDITOR. SONAR had a dedicated LYRICS window that was linked to a selected track. When I copy and paste the lyrics into the SCORE EDITOR I get very mixed results. Sometimes only partial lyrics are placed and some are in the wrong positions.
You can use the list editor for this: http://a.pomf.cat/snztjk.png

You can also insert text directly into notes using the piano roll's info line. I don't know if these show up in Karaoke machines, but they do show up in some MIDI players. http://a.pomf.cat/uihrep.png

Note that these SMF features are considered archaic and are rarely used, so most modern DAWs didn't waste time trying to make this stuff easy to access/use. Actually Cubase's implementation of this stuff might be the easiest to use outside of Sonar.
GENERAL NAVIGATION AND CUSTOMIZATION:
I am getting more comfortable with this and have sort of tried working on a color scheme that matches my SONR layout to feel somewhat familiar. SONAR gave us a lot of detailed options for color customizations. This is limited somewhat in Cubase by only allowing a base HUE setting in the 9.5 COLOR SCHEMES settings that lock you into a certain range of colors.
Color customization has recently been altered and the current method is still a work in progress. The current limitations are there to help you pick an usable color, where all interface elements are easily visible. Customization should become deeper and more flexible in future versions.
;)

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by ChrisDuncan » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:50 pm

Romantique Tp wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:35 pm
Color customization has recently been altered and the current method is still a work in progress.
I work as a developer using Microsoft's Visual Studio. The fonts and colors customization has a massive amount of options. And that's neat and groovy for those who don't mind a multicolored environment that looks like Mardi Gras threw up.

As for myself, I prefer a simple scheme with black text, blue comments and very little else. I'm able to understand code without the training wheels, so all the flashy colors are distractions that work against readability.

I mention this because it's an absolute nightmare to accomplish this. I have to step through a gazillion options, one at a time, and it's tedious beyond belief. I'm sure the MS devs can't imagine why anyone wouldn't want their code to show up in glorious technicolor, so they made simplicity extremely hard to achieve.

I offer this as a cautionary tale. Power and flexibility is great but as you guys work on this, please don't flexibility me to death.
Studio A: Cubase 9.0.10 Build 150 64 bit | Windows 7 64 bit | 24 gigs memory | Yamaha TF5 | Mackie MCU
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Sycraft » Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:16 am

Derrek wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:35 pm
It will be interesting to see which Sonar plug-in's will work smoothly with CuBase and whether those that pop up as "Cakewalk Only" when I access them in Finale will be released by Cakewalk now that Sonar is phasing out.
Right now the answer is I'd say around half work. There may be more that are unlocked in the future.

So the ones that for sure DON'T work are any of them that are DXis like TTS-1 and the Sonitus FX, since Cubase doesn't do DXi. There is a DXi to VST adapter out there if you really need that. Also any of the ones that are 32-bit only don't work like Dropzone and RXP since Cubase has no 32-64 bit bridge, you'd have to get something like jBridge. Also none of the pro channel modules work, nor can they since they are customized. Have to have a non-PC version for them to work.

Past that, some work, some say "Cakewalk only" and some can be fixed.

In the "can be fixed category" there is the Overloud stuff (TH2, Breverb, REmatrix) the AAS stuff (Strum, Ultra analog and such), and TruePianos. All those companies have offers where you send them proof of your Sonar ownership, they'll give you unlocked version.

In the "works" category is most of the older Cakewalk plugins like Boost11, Channel Tools, LP-64, PX64, VX64, and so on. Bifilter also works, as does the new LP EQ and LP MB. Rapture Pro also works fine, if you have it. So does CA-2A.

Right now the biggest one that doesn't work is probably the Adaptive Limiter. Cakewalk could fix that, and maybe they will, but for now it doesn't work. Also none of the Nomad Factory plugins work, they all complain about needing to be in Cakewalk.

All in all it isn't too bad, particularly if you go and get some of the 3rd party ones unlocked. Plus Cubase Pro at least comes with highly competent replacements for most stuff. You won't at all miss Cakewalk's old convolution reverb when you have REVerence, and Halion Sonic SE is a competent replacement to TTS-1 and so on.

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Marmaduke_8 » Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:32 pm

Looking at the versions comparison table I see that Cubase Artist would be the best bet for me, a home studio Sonar Platinum user (in the UK).
But when I follow through to 'Buy' the cost is £282 as there is no crossgrade option. Is that correct?
Cubase Pro 9.5 [In Test!]
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Sonar Platinum [RIP]
Addictive Drums 2
Halion Sonic 3
Sample Tank 3
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Rhenn » Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:53 am

Hello,
Not sure if this is the best way/place to ask this question, but here goes:
I’m a very long-time Sonar user, and am considering the Cubase leap. Orchestral composer, high track counts, etc. Notation/score view very important to me. I expect to download trial ASAP. In the meantime, I have heard that Cubase score view/editor has some scrolling limitations that could be a show-stopper for me. In particular, another Sonar user stated the following on the Sonar forums in re: Cubase:

‘You can't select a passage longer then the view. It doesn't continue scrolling to the right when you reach the edge. You have to go out of score view and use another view. There goes my workflow. They told me you can switch to page view. True, but then you only have one instrument. But I need all the instruments, as I frequently copy/paste to hear a passage on various intruments”

As I interpret this, it sounds as if you can’t view/scroll/playback multiple tracks in the score editor (ie., an orchestral score) on a continuous linear basis throughout the length of a project. Is that correct?

Many thanks for any help!

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Sycraft » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:52 am

Doesn't look like they offer a crossgrade to Artist that I can find. However Cubase Pro is a superset of Artist, and with the crossgrade costs less. So I'd probably go that route rather than buying Artist for full retail.

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by swamptooth » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:55 am

Marmaduke_8 wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:32 pm
Looking at the versions comparison table I see that Cubase Artist would be the best bet for me, a home studio Sonar Platinum user (in the UK).
But when I follow through to 'Buy' the cost is £282 as there is no crossgrade option. Is that correct?
I'd definitely take Pro over Artist. You'd be downgrading from Sonar Platinum if you didn't. I learned the hard way that if I have a full feature set that I don't use, I'm better off than having a more limited feature set that I wish could do more.
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Romantique Tp » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:41 am

Plugin stuff.
Sycraft wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:16 am
TTS-1
TTS-1/Hyper Canvas is based on the Roland SC-88Pro Sound Canvas sound set from 1996. Halion Sonic SE should replace this really well.

Halion Sonic SE uses a mix of select instruments from the following sources:

Yamaha MU-100 (1997, General MIDI soundset)
Motif Classic (2001, all of the sounds are included in Cubase Pro)
Motif XS (2007)
Motif XF (2010, Cubase Pro only)

I think most of the instruments in Halion Sonic SE sound a lot better than their TTS-1 counterparts. The only weak points to me are the chromatic percussion and the oboe.
Sonitus FX
These are really old (from around 1999?). Cubase's stock plugins don't have all of their features in some cases, but they should sound better.
Dropzone and RXP
The Sampler Track and Groove Agent SE 4 are definitely a lot better.
Adaptive Limiter
Cubase's new Maximizer can emulate the Adaptive Limiter's different modes by using the Recovery and Mix knobs. The freeware Limiter No.6 is also worth taking a look at and may work better on some material.
Nomad Factory plugins
The Blue Tubes series is quite infamous, and a lot of people hate them with a passion. The dynamics processors in particular don't really sound anything like vintage hardware.

For the easy color/warmth that these plugins were supposed to provide, you can use either Magneto or Quadrafuzz v2 in single band mode ("SB"). And of course there's also the Tube Compressor. All of these plugins give you much more control over the saturation/distortion than Blue Tubes.
;)

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Sycraft » Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:45 am

Ya I'm not losing any sleep over the lost plugins, just trying to help give people a list of what doesn't work (I have Cubase 9.5 and Sonar Platinum, I just switched over). Realistically people will have no issue.

Adaptive Limiter is really the main one people might miss because it is a very nice transparent limiter with a good interface. Surprisingly good for an included plugin. We Platinum owners were quite pleasantly surprised when it got released as something of that caliber is often going to be an extra charge.

I doubt many will care about TTS-1, the only reason someone might is that stuff from the GM days was far more often than not composed for a SoundCanvas and thus the balance and timbre Roland chose sounds right. That said, TTS-1 is not the most competent implementation of that and if it really matters, one would probably get SoundCanvas VA which is a bang on accurate implementation.

I think most Platinum owners probably own at least a few 3rd party plugins, and probably more than a few, so between that, the plugins that do carry over, and all the stuff Cubase comes with, I doubt anyone is going to be in a hard place.

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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by Denis van der Velde » Sat Dec 09, 2017 1:03 pm

For me Soundcanvas VA is like roland at its best. And i looked at sonar but still ok with Cubase 95 and how its running with Groove Agent 4 and Halion. Though i sample everything to them. I use synths to fill them. Cubase and Wavelab are still the toys to do so.
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JohanSabatianGremlin
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Re: Homebase for Sonar users

Post by JohanSabatianGremlin » Sat Dec 09, 2017 8:21 pm

Although the post hasn't been approved yet, I asked this in another thread. I'll ask here as this thread seems more appropriate.
1. Is there anything in Cubase that replicates Sonar's Big Time?
2. Is there anything in Cubase that replicates Sonar's Navigator view?

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