Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer  - Audio Production Software (Educational Institution Discount - 5 Station Lab Pack)

Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer - Audio Production Software (Educational Institution Discount - 5 Station Lab Pack)

Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Producer - Audio Production Software (Educational Institution Discount - 5 Station Lab Pack)

B&H # CAS8.5PALP MFR # 10-CWSP8.00-90CL
No Longer Available

Product Highlights

  • Audio, MIDI, Audio for Picture
  • Record/Edit Unlimited Tracks
  • Surround Capable
  • Anytime Record
  • Multi-Track AudioSnap
  • Dedicated Instrument Tracks
  • Multiple Virtual Instruments
  • Active Controller Technology
  • Support for VST, DirectX, ReWire
  • Windows XP/Vista/7
Show moreShow less

NOTE: This product is an educational discounted version available to qualified, accredited academic institutions only (not for individual teachers or students). Proof of current educational status is required. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please contact us prior to purchasing.

Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 overview

  • 1Description

SONAR 8.5 Producer from Cakewalk is fully-featured software for music production, designed to cover every step of the production cycle, from composing with virtual instruments, to recording and mixing, both in stereo and surround. The Producer version includes all the features of the Studio version, but adds surround capabilities and a host of virtual instruments.

Optimization and workflow enhancements include the ability to disconnect and reconnect again MIDI interfaces and control surfaces while SONAR is running without the need to restart SONAR. The software now provides native REX loop support via the Track View, updated Media Browser, and new Matrix View. Windows 7 is also now recommended as a platform for SONAR 8.5.

The Roland V-Vocal editor lets you achieve perfect vocals tracks and is integrated inside SONAR. It includes pitch correction, phrasing, dynamics, vibrato, and Pitch to MIDI conversion. A host of other features guarantee that any professional project can be fully and quickly completed within the 64-bit double precision environment of SONAR 8.5 Producer Edition.

Note: This package is an educational discount for school and educational institutions only (not for individual students). Proof of status is required.

8.5 New Features

Session Drummer 3
  • Photo-realistic drum kit page to load kits, programs, patterns, and tweak mappings
  • Dedicated Mixer page for fine tuning kits (12 channels each) with control over volume, pan, width, and tuning controls
  • Mix and match kit components: all kit pieces are broken down into individual components for flexibility in creating your drum sounds. Ships with over 200 different drum sounds across 20+ kits
  • Drag-and-drop drum components: build kits by dragging any WAV or OGG file from the desktop onto a pad
  • Comprehensive collection of presets and MIDI-based loop files to provide a creative jump-start for your drum tracks
  • Flexible MIDI pattern playback
  • 12 pads/12 outputs
  • 10 high-quality kits from the renowned content provider Sonic Reality, ready to play in any track along with 1 coupon for a free download of one Ocean Way Drums kit
  • 2 polished kits from Steven Slate Drums, fine tuned and tweaked to sound amazing in any mix
  • Genre-defining original samples of the classic Roland TR-707, TR-727, TR-808, and TR-909 drum synthesizers, along with kits from Sequential Circuits Drumtraks and Linn Electronics LinnDrum
  • 2 Organic kits from Smart Loops
  • Over 700 new MIDI patterns from Steven Slate Drums, Groove Monkee, and Smart Loops
  • Over 2.5 GB of drum sample content in all
PX-64 Percussion Strip
  • 7-stage processor designed specifically for shaping drum and percussion sounds
  • Like the VX-64 Vocal Strip, the PX-64 Percussion Strip employs Cakewalk's exclusive tube saturation algorithms with unique filtering and auto-leveling circuitry technologies
  • Combines transient shaping, compression, expansion, equalization, delay, and tube saturation in one convenient plug-in, and includes 70 go-to presets along with click and drag reordering of processing stage routing
  • Processing stages include:

    1. Input - the Input/Gain stage simulates a tube pre amp
    2. Transient Shaper - shape the audio signal's attack phase independently of the decay/sustain phase
    3. Compressor - balance the overall signal level and limit the dynamic range
    4. Expander - control dynamic range by reducing levels that fall beneath a specified threshold
    5. Contour EQ - 4-band EQ optimized for drums and percussion
    6. Delay - adds space and rhythm to the signal with option to tempo sync to host
    7. Output - output gain stage and specialized saturation control with a built in soft-clipping filter
Matrix View
  • Simple and flexible cell-based, non-linear audio and MIDI arranging and live triggering tool
  • Sync to SONAR Transport/Track View
  • One-step capture of Matrix "performances" to Track View for more precise editing and mixing
  • Drag-drop any audio (multiple files at once) and MIDI content from the Track View or the Media Browser into the Matrix
  • 4 triggering modes with measure, beat, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 note resolutions
  • Global and Per-Cell modes plat styles for looping and latching (set cells to trigger from the beginning, or offset from SONAR Now Time)
  • Flexible Routing - each row routes to a track, multiple rows can be routed to the same track, per row mute and exclusive solo
  • Completely MIDI controllable
AudioSnap 2
  • AudioSnap Palette presents all commands and options in one easy-to-read toolbar
  • Simplified transient marker appearance reduces visual clutter and enhances focus on relevant information
  • Transient Tool allows for dragging or snapping of transients without having to worry about inadvertently moving an audio clip - lasso selection allows for grouped transient edits
  • The Merge and Lock transients command is great for editing, stretching, and quantizing multi-track drums while keeping audio in phase
  • Grouped proportional stretching allows for the easy correction of fluctuations in the tempo of a performance without losing feel
  • Tab to Transients available from the Track and Piano Roll Views, follows Audio, Groove, Step Sequencer, and MIDI Groove Clips
  • Tempo detection, tempo mapping, and tempo syncing audio. New tempo detection algorithm auto-detects the tempo of all audio in SONAR and the Clip Tempo Map feature allows for easy manual tempo mapping of non-rhythmic, non-constant, or atypical audio
  • Enhanced fidelity with Radius Mix Advanced Mode: new Radius Mix settings improve "pitch coherence," which preserves the naturalness of timbre in human speech, vocals, reed and brass instruments
Step Sequencer 2.0
  • Add Flam to any step by simply double clicking it (then use the flam time knob to adjust timing)
  • Easily load/save patterns from the Options button or drag and drop patterns from the Media Browser
  • New Auto-populate feature provides shortcuts to fill a lanes every 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 steps
  • Redesigned Controller Pane for per row articulations and controls, including Volume, Pan, Pitch Bend, Mod Wheel, Portamento
  • Per step parameter controls for Velocity, Time Offset, Probability, Lane-based MIDI articulations, Filter Cut and Filter Res
  • Parameter values are now displayed as bars underneath steps in the controller pane, making editing per step parameters such as Velocity, Step Offset, Probability, and other MIDI articulations quick and easy
  • Exclusive Per Step Probability provides control over the probability of how often a step will be triggered. Use it to create automatic variations (make some steps only play occasionally) to keep repetitive patterns sounding fresh
  • All this is combined with the functionality from Step Sequencer 1.0 including: Step Recording, the Velocity Multiplier, Fit to Quarters capabilities, and more
Integrated Arpeggiator
  • Each MIDI and Instrument track has a built-in Arpeggiator which allows you to turn even the simplest chord progression into exciting new sound textures
  • Perfect tool for adding variety to any Instrument or MIDI track that repeats a number of times in a song, or for creating complimentary parts using other instrument sounds that follow your chord progression
  • Includes hundreds of presets, patterns, and classic algorithms, and provides not only powerful controls over the rate, octave range, latch, swing, flam, velocity, duration, and pitch offset of the arpeggiation, but also control over mix, channel input, and shape
Roland V-Vocal
  • Based on Roland VariPhrase technology that allows you to control the tempo and pitch of audio phrases in real time with virtually no degradation in sound quality
  • Powerful vocal processing - automatic pitch correction, vibrato, and more
  • Adjust the phrasing or timing of vocals
  • Control the dynamics of vocals
  • Create harmonies by copying vocal clips, then applying V-Vocal pitch shifting to copied audio
  • Pitch to MIDI conversion allows you to create new synthesizer parts based on monophonic audio
  • Completely non-destructive processing
Engine Optimizations and Technology Innovations
Engine Work
  • Audio interfaces, MIDI interfaces and control surfaces can now be disconnected and reconnected again or "hotswapped" while SONAR is running without the need to restart SONAR
  • This is particularly useful for plugging in a new MIDI controller while inspired to lay down a new part, or in the event an audio interface needs to be power-cycled
  • SONAR 8.5 also includes optimizations and stability improvements for recording audio, and while looping

Open Support

  • Cakewalk is a proponent of open standards in software and hardware with SONAR 8.5 bringing a variety of compatibility improvements for VST plug-ins, as well as for Cakewalk's BitBridge technology, which allows for access to classic 32-bit "x86" VST plug-ins in a 64-bit "x64" environment
  • BitBridge XR automatically provides up to 32 BitBridge servers, each capable of using up to 4GB of RAM, for a total of 128GB of RAM access for 32-bit plug-ins
  • SONAR also now provides native REX loop support, via the Track View, updated Media Browser, and new Matrix View

Windows 7

  • Cakewalk recommends Windows 7 as a platform for SONAR 8.5
  • Additionally, SONAR 8.5 was evaluated at an independent Microsoft application compatibility laboratory and officially passed the rigorous Win7 compatibility testing
Other New Features
  • Convenient Freeze and Archive buttons on each track
  • Updated Insert Send Assistant, with matching track gain/pan while creating sends
  • Solo Button on all effects plug-in windows, to quickly solo and focus on the track being processed
  • Track View grid lines options to present grid lines behind or in front of clips
  • Option to automatically lock scrolling during playback when initiating an edit
  • The Now Time cursor can be dragged to a new position during playback
  • DC Offset meter in the Cakewalk Analyst plug-in
  • FX-SONAR 8.5 now includes the Project5 "Half-Rack" Tempo-Sync'd Effects, including the Alias Factor Bit Decimator, Classic Phaser, Compressor/Gate, HF Exciter, Mod Filter, Chorus/Flanger, Para-Q, StudioVerb II and Tempo Delay
  • Installation has been simplified with an easy one-click install option that accepts all default settings and locations and installs the entire SONAR application, as well as plug-ins and content data


  • Allows for recording and editing unlimited tracks of audio and MIDI, even using effects on input
  • Anytime Record allows for arming and un-arming audio and MIDI tracks, punching in/out, and toggling between play and record, all while transport is running or looping
  • SONAR's live bounce feature provides for playing and recording virtual synthesizer outputs into audio tracks in real-time
  • Editing
  • Audio and MIDI can be edited directly in the track view
  • Provides comping, editing and take-management tools to achieve the perfect take
  • Non-destructively fix audio timing, instantly make tempo changes to an entire project, lock multiple tracks to the same groove via AudioSnap, while retaining audio fidelity
  • Integrated MIDI Step Sequencer, Smart MIDI Tools and other MIDI enhancements for easy MIDI programming and editing
  • Mixing
  • Flexible mixing with 31 effects, on-the-fly bussing, vector envelopes, pan laws, configurable meter ballistics and more
  • New solo mode forces soloing to one track/bus at a time and prevents tracks and buses from being muted when other tracks/buses are soloed
  • Bus Inputs QuickGroup Command automatically groups all source tracks feeding a selected bus
  • Mono hardware outputs for easy assignment of tracks and buses to individual hardware outputs, in addition to stereo pairs
  • Control
  • Active Controller Technology (ACT) provides total control of virtual instruments, effects and mixing from MIDI controllers and control surfaces
  • Changing focus makes ACT automatically remaps parameters
  • Synth Rack delivers control and automation of virtual instruments
  • Controls from multiple instruments can be grouped together to provide huge control possibilities
  • Show/Hide tracks can follow either the Track View or Console View
  • Control surfaces MIDI port assignments retained/stored in SONAR
  • Real-world VST parameter values are now displayed
  • Instruments and Effects
  • Thousands of instruments sounds from Rapture LE, TTS-1 and Groove Synth (with genuine Roland sounds), PSYN-II subtractive synthesizer, Drop Zone and RXP REX samplers and more
  • Dedicated instrument tracks optimized for mono or stereo virtual synths, simplifying the process of working with virtual instruments
  • Users can split and combine instrument tracks to/from discrete audio/MIDI tracks
  • Backing tracks can be created quickly using MIDI groove clips, ACID-format loops and the RXP REX player
  • Loop Explorer 2.0 view provides browse and preview of audio and MIDI groove clips and patterns
  • Drag and drop loops and patterns into the track view
  • MIDI groove clips and patterns can be previewed with the virtual instrument of choice
  • Sounds and effects can be expanded with native support for VST and DirectX plug-ins and ReWire clients like Project5 and Reason
  • General
  • Optimizations includes improved performance at high track counts with low latencies, faster launch time, and the ability to change audio devices without restarting
  • Score to video with a thumbnail track and output to 1394 FireWire devices
  • Support for the latest QuickTime 7 codecs, including H.264 and AAC audio
  • Automatic file naming allows for backing up projects with time/date stamps for easy access to old versions
  • SONAR can be configured with custom layouts, color schemes and keystrokes from other audio applications
  • Any Windows-compatible WDM or ASIO audio interface can be used (including Pro Tools HD or M-Box,) along with hardware-based MIDI devices and control surfaces from Roland, Tascam, Mackie and others are easily integrated
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 specs

    Software Type Multi-track Audio/MIDI recorder/editor
    Audio Tracks Unlimited (hardware dependent)
    MIDI Tracks Unlimited
    Sends/Inserts per Track Hardware dependent
    Plug-In Support Support for DirectX and VST audio effects
    DXi and VSTi soft synths
    ReWire 1.0 and 2.0 clients
    Included Effects Audio effects, soft synthesizers and MIDI effects
    Score Editor Yes - staff view (music notation, percussion notation, and guitar tablature)
    MIDI Timing Resolution 960 ppq
    Movie Support Open AVI, MPEG, and QuickTime 2 Video formats
    Export to AVI
    Outputs to 1394 FireWire devices
    Sync Functions SMPTE/MTC support for syncing to film/video
    Automatically monitors for incoming SMPTE time code with no wait mode
    MIDI Sync (smart FSK) support (master and slave)
    Supported Hardware Designed to work with any audio hardware that supports standard Windows drivers
    WDM- or ASIO -compatible hardware recommended
    System Requirements Minimum:
    Intel Pentium IV 2.8GHz or AMD Athlon XP 2800+ or higher
    Windows XP SP3, Vista SP2 (32- and 64-bit), or Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit)
    1GB RAM
    200MB hard disk space for full program installation
    Dual Layer-capable DVD-ROM for installation
    CD-R OR CD-RW capability required for CD audio disc burning
    Windows compatible sound card
    Windows compatible MIDI interface
    1024 x 768 monitor resolution with 16-bit color

    Intel Core 2 Quad Core Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz, or AMD Phenom Quad Core 9750 2.4GHz, or higher
    Windows XP SP3, Vista SP2 (32- and 64-bit), or Windows 7 (32- and 64-bit)
    4GB RAM or more
    EIDE/Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SATA hard drive
    50GB hard disk space for full program installation
    Dual Layer-capable DVD-ROM for installation
    CD-R OR CD-RW capability required for CD audio disc burning
    Windows compatible sound card
    Windows compatible MIDI interface
    1280 x 960 monitor resolution with 24-bit color

    Does not support Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, NT or XP x64

    Specialties Ships as both a 32-bit and 64-bit application with the 64-bit double precision floating point engine accessible in both applications

    Dual-monitor support for expanded access and control of the production environment

    Multi-processor support

    Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 reviews

    Be the first to review this item

    Cakewalk Sonar 8.5 Q&A