So, I get an email from a good friend about Sonar being done asking me what I’m going to do? You guys know about it also as we’ve talked about it on this forum already. I thought my answer to him may be something you may find useful, so I’ll post my reply to him. His question was “what are you gonna use now and what will you do now that Sonar is gone?” This is my reply.
"Half the problem with recording software is the constant updates trying to make it better. I can’t see me not using Sonar in 5 years because some other DAW comes out with more bells and whistles. I look at it like this…
I never upgrade my operating system on a pc. I buy a new pc and have the new OS on it. So that means, I have dedicated machines that have builds of the software I love and need on them. The latest and greatest of anything doesn’t always mean the best. I’m still not sold on Win 10…7 works well for me and I don’t have that box on the net. I use it for recording. Who cares if anything is updated?
I’ve spent more f@#$ing time updating and problem solving in the past more than anything. It’s nice to turn on one of my machines and use the stuff that’s on it without feeling the need to keep up with the Jones’. I’m sick of that really. Sonar works well for me on Win 10 and 7. I see no reason why I can’t use it indefinitely? Whatever the case, if I decide to switch to something else, I’ll buy another DAW machine. That’s worked well for me. As of now, this is what I have.
Cakewalk Pro Audio 9.0 on a box running Win 98 SE. Some cool early versions of Wave Lab and Cool Edit pro that can’t be replaced. The box runs great for as old as it is. Some cool old DX plugs too!
Sonar 3 to Sonar 6 running on an old XP box. Some cool older plugs and DX stuff that no longer works on today’s systems works fine there. The box has 4 gig of RAM and a 1 gig processor…but it’s in line with my other computers on my network, so I can always dump stuff off to have it rendered with no issues or time constraints. It works overnight and has saved my butt several times.
Sonar 8.3 to Sonar Platinum on a few Dell work boxes, Studio One 2.5, WaveLab, Adobe Audition, Sequoia, Cubase, Reaper and everything else on these as well as my two nuclear powered DAW machines. One running 7 one running 10. I’m set and almost have dedicated hardware in this respect. Nothing gets updated, so nothing gets corrupted. Think about it. You only have issues when you fk up, an update fks you up, or you’re troubleshooting some piece of software that should have never been released let alone sold. Keeping all that in mind, I’ve done more work than actual tweaking the second I switched my mentality to the above. Think it over…at the end of the day, you get the job done no matter what you use to get it done. I don’t need the latest and greatest of anything to finish a job, make it great and make my money. That’s where MY head has been for the past 5 years and why I believe part of my business being successful is because of this way of thinking."
So there you have it. Though quite a few of us may not be able to just buy another computer or whatever, there are really affordable options out there should you need to. I have these Dell Inspiron systems that I bought as a goof. i3 processor, 4 gig of RAM…I run huge projects on them if I need to without an issue. You don’t need much. Do they work as well as my nuclear boxes? Yeah…just not as fast and they can’t run as many tracks. But for what they are and what they cost, it’s nothing for me to send rendering jobs to them while I start working on other projects so that I’m not losing time.
For example, video rendering really taxes a system no matter how powerful it is. I don’t run anything else on a box rendering video. CPU’s heat up to 165 F, and you can tell even my 6 core and octo core are beading a little with sweat. When you get busy, it’s nice to pass that off to another pc and keep on working on your monster box. The good thing is, I also have everything set up in different stations to just use something if I need it. In my main room, there are two computers. One of those Dells, and a real DAW box. KVM switch, one monitor, mouse, keyboard and everything else runs though them. My Midas console runs through both so I can work through either.
In another room I have the same set-up. In another room, several computers with the older operating systems etc. So for me, it’s like I have the best of all worlds and after a while, when something works well for me and there are no crashes or anything major, I just retire the system from any updates. We kill ourselves with updates unless something major affects us.
I think of the whole update thing like updating bios. You don’t “just do it”. You have to have a reason to do it. I feel the same way with DAW software and heck, any software. If something works, leave it alone so YOU can work. We are so focused on updating because of “better”. Better for who? You or the person that programs that doesn’t actually use the software as extensively as you do?
I’ve fought with Cakewalk Bakers about that issue. They had this option they wanted to remove. I was totally against it because I actually USE the thing. The guy pushing FOR it was just a developer. If he had 100 hours of actual recording time on the DAW or finished a whole project or two, I’d be surprised.
Whatever the case…don’t buy into the hype people. Seriously. Ever hear people wanting to go back to hardware recorders because they’ve had so much problems with software? In a sense, that’s what I’ve done over the years. Once I made something work without crashes, I retired the system from updates. I kid you not when I tell you I have working versions of Win 98 and XP still up and perfect to this day to where you can literally use them…and for what they are, they are still quite fast. I like to tweak my systems…so they are all tricked out using info from www.blackviper.com
The stuff he shares allows you to make a Windows box perform 1000% better because you shut down all the unnecessary crap that doesn’t need to be there in a recording situation. I sincerely believe that along with proper maintenance, that these boxes have lasted this long. Never run anything that doesn’t need to be there…never autostart something that doesn’t need to run, and keep your system clean. At the end of the day, do what you feel is best. I’ve done the same things for years and have had the same outcome every time over and over.
System drive C, DAW drive D, Sample drive E, scan disc, defrag, blackviper tweaks, and stop updating if you ever have a stretch of about a month or two without a single crash or issue that stops you from working. Windows update too. They kill you.
Now that said, this is only for offline DAW boxes. My Dell work boxes go on the net, so I keep them updated with Windows…but even there, sometimes you get hosed. Keep the old cliche phrase in your mind…“if it ain’t broke, don’t even try to fix it.”