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Cakewalk Sonar Home Studio 7 XL   

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Cakewalk SONAR Home Studio 7 XL software is a fun way to transform your PC into a completely developed music production studio. From start to finish,...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

A complete solution for creating and sharing professional quality music.

Cakewalk SONAR Home Studio 7 XL software is a fun way to transform your PC into a completely developed music production studio. From start to finish, SONAR Home Studio 7 XL will help you harness your creativity, and, once polished, share it with the world.

With SONAR Home Studio 7 XL you can record live instruments, vocals, or any other audio source. You can also edit audio, MIDI, and music notation with the easy-to-use editing features. The updated Loop Explorer gives you the tools to build backing tracks faster than ever, and you can add real instrument sounds using the included virtual instruments suite. Bring your entire mix together with studio-quality audio effects and mixing tools. When you are finished putting all the finishing touches on your compositions, SONAR Home Studio XL 7 makes it easy to share your music on the web or burn it to CD for fans, friends, and family.

SONAR Home Studio 7 XL adds more value by giving you the tools you need to take your productions to the next level. Enhanced features include Cakewalk's acclaimed Step Sequencer, Studio Devil VGA+ Guitar Amp Simulator, Cakewalk Studio Instruments backing band, and Cakewalk Audio Creator LE featuring the Editor and Burner Modules.

Step Sequencer
New to Home Studio XL, the Step Sequencer allows you to easily create beats, synth parts, and more.

Studio Devil VGA+
Leave your amp at the practice space. Plug in your guitar or bass for direct recording and get amazing overdrive and distortion sounds.

Studio instruments
Home Studio 7 XL has everything you need for your a built-in backing band: drums, bass guitar, electric piano, and a string section with more drum kits, electric pianos, strings, and bass sounds.

Dimension LE
A special version of the acclaimed synth with over 400 sounds including real bass, organ, electric piano, cutting edge synths, rhythmic grooves, and more. It also includes the Garritan Pocket Orchestra.

Boost 11
Get more volume and punch from your final mix with this easy-to-use limiter/maximizer. Boost 11 gives you professional results through a simple interface.

FEATURES
  • Get creative with 64 audio tracks and unlimited MIDI tracks
  • Track and project templates do the set-up for you so you're making music fast
  • Play and record MIDI parts in perfect time using Input Quantize
  • Record your whole band at once using multi-input audio interfaces at up to 24-bit/192kHz quality
  • Browse 2GB of loop and instrument content and preview audio and MIDI loops in time and key with your song to create backing tracks
  • Create instrument parts using Dimension LE with Garritan Pocket Orchestra and Studio Instruments
  • Expand your studio with VST, DX, and ReWire synths, effects, and applications, including Ableton Live and Reason
  • Arrange and edit your project with an easy to understand user interface
  • Recording, editing, and mixing tools are just a click away and always available
  • Print music notation, lyrics, and lead sheets
  • Keep projects organized with Track Folders and Track Icons
  • Assemble the perfect takes with non-destructive crossfades and other editing tools
  • Zero in on edits and navigate quickly with Fast Zoom
  • Freeze instruments and effects to get the best performance out of your PC
  • Score soundtracks to video in time with the action using the Video Track
  • Mix like a pro using the new Console view with built-in Sonitus:fx EQ on every channel and polish with Boost 11
  • New Send Assistant simplifies audio routing and effects busses
  • Effortless mixing with powerful automation tools
  • Sweeten your tracks with reverb, delay, dynamics, modulation, tape and amp simulation, and more
  • Control your mix, effects, and instruments from external MIDI devices using Active Controller Technology (ACT)
  • Burn your mixes directly to CD, or export your project to popular audio and video formats, including QuickTime
  • Upload songs and create custom streaming music players for your website with Cakewalk Publisher
SPECIFICATIONS

Sonar Home Studio 7 XL

  • System Requirements
  • (Minimum)
  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista (32 bit)/ Mac OS X with Boot Camp
  • Processor Speed: Intel Pentium 4 1.3GHz, AMD Athlon XP 1500+ or higher
  • RAM: 512MB
  • Graphics: 1024 x 768, 16-bit color
  • Hard disk space: 100MB program/application
  • Hard disc type: Any
  • MIDI interface: Windows-compatible, required to connect to external MIDI devices
  • Audio interface: Windows-compatible for audio playback
  • Media drive: DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD +/- RW Drive
  • Webserver access: None
  • (Recommended)
  • Operating System: Windows XP/Vista (32 bit)/ Mac OS X with Boot Camp
  • Processor Speed: Intel Pentium 4 2.8GHz, AMD Athlon XP 2800+ or higher
  • RAM: 1GB or higher
  • Graphics: 1280 x 960, 24-bit color or higher
  • Hard disk space: 6GB
  • Hard disc type: EIDE / Ultra DMA (7200 RPM) or SATA
  • MIDI interface: Windows-compatible, required to connect to external MIDI devices
  • Audio interface: Windows-compatible for audio playback
  • Media drive: DVD-ROM, DVD+/-R, or DVD +/- RW Drive
  • Webserver access: Available web server space with FTP access privileges. An internet connection is required for music uploading (broadband recommended)
  • Note: SONAR does not support Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, or NT. QuickTime support requires QuickTime 6 or higher.
Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
 
3.7

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

I'm Impressed

First and foremost, I am only a hobbyist when it comes to recording. I was previously using Cakewalk Pro Audio 10 and my computers standard sound card. I recently built a new recording...Read complete review

First and foremost, I am only a hobbyist when it comes to recording. I was previously using Cakewalk Pro Audio 10 and my computers standard sound card. I recently built a new recording PC (Intel Q6700 4GB RAM WinXP) with the M Audio Delta 1010LT PCI interface and Cakewalk SONAR Home Studio 7 XL. I have been through the entire manual and am starting to get more comfortable with the software. Features and plug ins right out of the box are adequate for most needs. Guitar tracks lay down nice and easy using my Line 6 Spider III pod output directly to a digital input on the 1010LT. Vocals are recorded through an MXL 4000 with the ART tube preamp going to an XLR input on the 1010LT. I commonly use the 'Dropzone' plugin to create backing tracks for percussion and such. It does take a bit of understanding your equipment, but once you've went through your owners manuals you will be set. I have read reviews of people having issues with this software, but a commonality I find with them is that they all seem to be using very basic hardware. That is why I included my setup for those of you who might be looking for a fail-safe budget setup. I have been having a blast creating songs, and they sound spectacular, barring any lack of talent on my part. If you are looking for a modest and budget-friendly recording setup, you might consider this heavily. It is quite a solid package!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Great sound, often frustrating.

I had hardly any problems with this software at first, and learning how to get the good sounds/plug-ins going was time consuming. Now that I have a good feel for how to use...Read complete review

I had hardly any problems with this software at first, and learning how to get the good sounds/plug-ins going was time consuming. Now that I have a good feel for how to use this product, my main problem is the fact that it frequently drops out whenever I try to record audio for more than 10 seconds. My 32 bit Dell just can't handle the type of audio going through its system. This is why I am switching to a Mac and getting Logic. So...If you have a fast processor, an OS other than Vista, and plenty of memory, you probably won't have the drop out problems that I am having. I wouldn't recommend this to beginners as it is very confusing. Midi is great, audio is terrible and many of the plug-ins don't work. I'm getting serious about composing, so I have high expectations. This is good software for the money, just be prepared to do some tweaking with your system and spend lots of time getting comfortable with the workings. Hope this helps!

Reviewed by 10 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Expected More

By PianoKid

from Sunny Florida

See all my reviews

From reading the reviews for Sonar Home Studio XL written at the time I expected a little more than what I was given, especially from a name like Cakewalk.Most of it works alright for what I need: I haven't experienced too many dropouts myself, but I have a decent computer that I purchased mainly to record music.My biggest complaints are for the drum step sequencer and the staff views. I have used programs like FruityLoops and Finale, so both of these parts in Sonar HSXL are a very low quality and very difficult to work with (like trying to make Norman Rockwell with paint by number). The staff entry won't even input the note values I want! I choose eighth notes and it puts in quarter notes; I want a dotted quarter, and it won't put a dotted note in until I get frustrated and turn off the dotted button and move on. Very frustrating.I used Cool Edit Pro for the longest time and was happy... I work hard on my music and expect to make it with few takes and to be able to actually play it myself. This was part of my process this year of expanding into more modern territory and make things easier, but I would have saved a little longer I think for a higher end program.

 
5.0

A decent studio that may need some tweaking

By Elithal

from Mesa, AZ

See all my reviews

Sonar Home Studio 7 XL is pretty good, even for producers that wanna go a bit further than "at home". The quality of most of the sounds are pretty good, and it comes with it's effects and fixes. You will most likely have to tweak the buffers a bit, as well as bit rate and so on, as you should with all studios. Volume can be a bit strange with the plugins this studio offers, as some tend to be overly loud in Dimension Pro LE while sounds from Groovesynth can be too low. This doesn't seem to have much that can work on your vocal skills, so you better bring some good vocals to the table OR download tuning plugins. As for actual instruments, the strings that come with "Studio Instruments" are the only strings that are worth a look, and are of decent quality (Not EastWest or Miroslav quality, but good). Drums from GrooveSynth and Studio Instruments are pretty good. Dimension Pro LE and a few other plugins that come with make the studio a good electronic studio, but outside of that area you may have to bring other virtual instruments in. There are no good pianos, guitars, a few "OK" basses, good strings, and good drums considering the price.

 
5.0

Guess I got lucky???

By Isaac -uLXMZ

from Nashville, TN

See all my reviews

I have had a home studio for years, and recently decided to switch DAW's. I was familiar with Sonar and the price sold me on it. I've read all the bad reviews and I have to say I think some problems people are having is just old fashioned lack of knowledge. I interface with this software using a Presonus FP10 and the computer I use is about 4 years old running XP. It has a 250gig SATA HD, 2GIGs Ram, 3.3GHZ CELERON without a hickup. I have never had a dropout due to lack of PC Power. I will say this PC is dedicated to music only with the bare min of XP components installed. I've ran up to 17 tracks with multiple effects unfrozen without any troubles. I will say computer based recording, is, was, and always will be a little tempermental. As for vista users...Everybody I know has had initial problems with their software before changing a lot of settings within their OS. In closing...I would definitly recommend Sonar 7 Home XL. It's not perfect, but its well worth a buck fifty. So when you find the software that is perfect...Let me know cause I've tried nearly all of them.

 
5.0

I'm Impressed

By Solitary Refinement-ULtvX

from Indianapolis, IN

First and foremost, I am only a hobbyist when it comes to recording. I was previously using Cakewalk Pro Audio 10 and my computers standard sound card. I recently built a new recording PC (Intel Q6700 4GB RAM WinXP) with the M Audio Delta 1010LT PCI interface and Cakewalk SONAR Home Studio 7 XL. I have been through the entire manual and am starting to get more comfortable with the software. Features and plug ins right out of the box are adequate for most needs. Guitar tracks lay down nice and easy using my Line 6 Spider III pod output directly to a digital input on the 1010LT. Vocals are recorded through an MXL 4000 with the ART tube preamp going to an XLR input on the 1010LT. I commonly use the 'Dropzone' plugin to create backing tracks for percussion and such. It does take a bit of understanding your equipment, but once you've went through your owners manuals you will be set. I have read reviews of people having issues with this software, but a commonality I find with them is that they all seem to be using very basic hardware. That is why I included my setup for those of you who might be looking for a fail-safe budget setup. I have been having a blast creating songs, and they sound spectacular, barring any lack of talent on my part. If you are looking for a modest and budget-friendly recording setup, you might consider this heavily. It is quite a solid package!

 
1.0

well, they said......

By steve f'n brashear

from your mothers

i told the good folks at my local music store that i needed something idiot proof and as plug and play as they come. i got this software alongside a m-audio fastrack usb interface. in my opinion, they're both pieces of ****. i've got 4gigs of ram and 2.1 dual core and all i can get this software to do consistently is dropout. hey, why not include an error statement that tells us whats causing the dropout..just saying. as far as the fastrack usb goes, not only is it a piece, but good luck getting anyone from m-audio to answer the phone or an email. i'm sure in the end they'll both blame vista, but, come on.

 
3.0

Fail-Nuff said

By J8zun09

from Alabama

I find that the description of this product(Cakewalk's Sonar Home Studio XL ver. 7) was misleading. As a graduate student tuition prices don't afford me too much flexibility in updating my musical equipment;therefore, the price appealed to me. I was led to believe all you need is a laptop and you are good to go. Actually, you need a audio interface, prolly a mixer, and my MXL 990 USB mic(that supposably plugs straight into your computer)requires phantom power. Also, I am not a recording studio engineer so this program was harder than it looked. It is a good program given that you do an exploratory study/do your homework before you buy because the description is very misleading ,and you wind up buying more than you bargained for.

 
3.0

Great sound, often frustrating.

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I had hardly any problems with this software at first, and learning how to get the good sounds/plug-ins going was time consuming. Now that I have a good feel for how to use this product, my main problem is the fact that it frequently drops out whenever I try to record audio for more than 10 seconds. My 32 bit Dell just can't handle the type of audio going through its system. This is why I am switching to a Mac and getting Logic. So...If you have a fast processor, an OS other than Vista, and plenty of memory, you probably won't have the drop out problems that I am having. I wouldn't recommend this to beginners as it is very confusing. Midi is great, audio is terrible and many of the plug-ins don't work. I'm getting serious about composing, so I have high expectations. This is good software for the money, just be prepared to do some tweaking with your system and spend lots of time getting comfortable with the workings. Hope this helps!

 
2.0

could be alot better

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

Home studio 7Xl has alot of bugs. Check out the website before you buy this product and you will see all the problems that people are dealing with. XL has dropouts and pops during recording and play back. The drum map manager is a mess. Burning your projects to cd's waste alot of time and doesn't even work sometimes. I had to completely reformat my computer and still have issue's. My computer is only 7 months old and wasn't cheap. The Positive's for XL is that it is inexpensive. It is easy to start new projects when you get the urge just to jam something new. Layout is nice. The moral of the story...I would pay alot more to have something that was more dependable.

 
4.0

Good for home recording

By Anonymous

from Undisclosed

I have a top quality interface and still have latency issues. I believe it's the software's fault. Also, the MP3 encoder will expire after 30 days, and you have to buy a permanent one if you ever want to make MP3s. Now why would any recording artist ever want to make an MP3 file?

 
5.0

Easiest to use

By The Mighty Quinn

from Michigan

See all my reviews

Cakewalk may not have the name of Protools, Cubase may be sent out with alot of interface devices, but Cakewalk is far and away the easiest to use and most compatible software that I have tried. The layout is easy to understand and work with, and the menus are geared with the right technical terms that musicians understand. The metronome was a bit of a trick to learn to shut off, but once I dug in, I found several other features that really helped me in recording multi-track performances.

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