Cakewalk and associated needs ?

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Hi all, 
I want to start some 'one man band' recording and then stitch together with a video to be able to start some 'showcase' type performance to put on a youtube channel - I am an amateur and forever beginner guitarist primarily !!!!
I have a Scarlet focusrite and a windows laptop. Also have headphones/monitor speakers if needed as well.
I am advised that Cakewalk will be a 'good for beginners and beyond' place to be - it has to be straightforward for my PC level, for the music recording where I want to concentrate first - making some sort of video can come later.
Just looked at the Cakewalk website, and already unsure of what I should be downloading/buying there.
Can anyone give me a brief, simpletons, step by step guide to getting myself up and running.
Much appreciated ..

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Comments

  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 6865
    Cakewalk is a free DAW, I think you just need to set up a Bandlab account and download their installer to get it.

    About three years ago, cakewalk was a company owned by Gibson which developed the Sonar DAW, which was a decent if slightly buggy DAW that cost a fair amount of money. Gibson led them to bankruptcy, at which point Bandlab bought the product and made it free... And by most accounts I've read, more stable. It doesn't have the big library of bundled instruments and effects that the old Sonar X Professional did, though.

    And slightly confusingly, the old Cakewalk website is still in operation, allowing those who have paid copies of now defunct cakewalk software to authorise their licenses etc.

    Personally I'd look at the cheaper version of Studio One if I thought I'd like something that's still in continual development/ has more professional bundled effects etc in the upgraded versions, but if you want to start with a free and will featured DAW Cakewalk by Bandlab is a fine way to dip your toes in.
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  • Thank you Cirrus - that explains my confusion looking at the Cakewalk site. I like what you are saying about Studio One but think I'll take your advice on dipping my toes via Bandlab first to try and get started and then when I can appreciate the process will then look at Studio One.
    Much appreciated, I had no idea where to start, and now feel more confident and next job now is to set up Bandlab/Cakewalk !
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  • icu81b4icu81b4 Frets: 151
    Cakewalk by Bandlab, is a fully functioning DAW, lots of free tutorials and has an easy workflow. 

    I’ve been using Sonar for years and CbB has just extended it and is constantly being improved. 
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 5150
    edited December 2021
    Go to the Bandlab website and just follow the instructions for installing Cakewalk. It has all you need in it. I've been using Cakewalk/Sonar since 1996. As a result I know it well. The new free version is fully functional and comes with a lot of included plug ins, everything you need to recording, mixing and mastering. AND IT IS FREE! It's hardly any different in terms of what's included, to the top version of the old paid for Sonar Platinum,

    It's continually being developed and is fully supported. There are regular updates released, and the software prompts you when they are out. the included instruments and effects are good. Perfectly good enough tbh. I still use them a lot, despite owning numerous expensive plugins. 

    on workflow - this is important. Cakewalk is very easy to get around so as a result you can start to make useful music quickly.

    Don't hesitate, there is nothing like it for free, anywhere. Yep, it was buggy but by and large it is very stable now. 
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  • I have been using Cakewalk for years.
    No reason to change.

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  • FazerFazer Frets: 461
    I installed my Cakewalk Sonar on new computer a few years ago but I've barely used it.
    Does bandlab version install in new locations/names, should I uninstall old "sonar" version first?

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  • DPCDPC Frets: 26
    +1for Cakewalk. Been using it for 20 years and its better than its ever been thanks to Bandlab's constant improvements. Easily as reliable and feature laden as the majority of DAWs on the market.

    I know that reads like an advertisement but those bastards at Gibson took Sonar (as it was formally called) to the grave so I'm particularly pleased Bandlab revived it. As a neat twist, about 6 months before Gibson killed it they sold everyone 'lifetime updates' for a bargain price, thereby conning everyone out of a few quid before pulling the plug.
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  • mrkbmrkb Frets: 2933
    Fazer said:
    I installed my Cakewalk Sonar on new computer a few years ago but I've barely used it.
    Does bandlab version install in new locations/names, should I uninstall old "sonar" version first?
    Most of the old Cakewalk Sonar vst plugins need Cakewalk Sonar version installed for the licences to work, so suggest you keep old version installed if you want to use them.
    Karma......
    Ebay mark7777_1
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  • Jimbo55Jimbo55 Frets: 6
    Thanks for all the great support - I now (at last) have cakewalk installed on a separate windows laptop than my usual work one, and just started playing with it ! Not quite finding my way round it yet but managed a couple of minutes of guitar recording (not sure I was happy with my strumming on first attempt !). Will I find everything reasonably 'intuitive' to work it, or are there some simple tutorials and/or 'dummies' type books ? !!! Is it easy to adjust the scale of the timeline, seems to fly along so fast on default setting ?
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  • IMC1980IMC1980 Frets: 82
    Jimbo55 said:
    Thanks for all the great support - I now (at last) have cakewalk installed on a separate windows laptop than my usual work one, and just started playing with it ! Not quite finding my way round it yet but managed a couple of minutes of guitar recording (not sure I was happy with my strumming on first attempt !). Will I find everything reasonably 'intuitive' to work it, or are there some simple tutorials and/or 'dummies' type books ? !!! Is it easy to adjust the scale of the timeline, seems to fly along so fast on default setting ?

    Hold down the CTRL key and use you left and right arrow keys to adjust the timeline. Scott Garrigus does some tutorials I think. 
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  • SnapSnap Frets: 5150
    Jimbo55 said:
    Thanks for all the great support - I now (at last) have cakewalk installed on a separate windows laptop than my usual work one, and just started playing with it ! Not quite finding my way round it yet but managed a couple of minutes of guitar recording (not sure I was happy with my strumming on first attempt !). Will I find everything reasonably 'intuitive' to work it, or are there some simple tutorials and/or 'dummies' type books ? !!! Is it easy to adjust the scale of the timeline, seems to fly along so fast on default setting ?
    There are a ton of tutorials on the cakewalk community site - it's on cakewalk.com. Shedloads of stuff. There are also little buttons on the bottom right of the track window to size it.
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  • Jimbo55Jimbo55 Frets: 6
    Thanks for info IMC1980 and Snap !  cakewalk.com seems 'sort of'disabled but redirected to bandlab who own them now - is there a bandlab(/cakewalk) community site ?
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  • McSwaggertyMcSwaggerty Frets: 590
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  • icu81b4icu81b4 Frets: 151
    Jimbo55 said:
    Thanks for info IMC1980 and Snap !  cakewalk.com seems 'sort of'disabled but redirected to bandlab who own them now - is there a bandlab(/cakewalk) community site ?
    Yes, a quick Google search for Cakewalk forum will provide you with an extremely useful support resource 

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