Music production package.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro SONAR Platinum without the 3rd parties like Melodyne, etc.
It is basically SONAR for free after they shut down.
It has an integrated Channel Strip on every track/bus with excellent and easy to use Audio FX: EQ, Comp, Reverbs, Saturation, Console Emulators etc.In addition to saving presets of the entire ProChannel chain (all modules), you can also save and load presets of individual modules. The per module preset controls are located on the left side of each module header bar.
Pro 32/64 bits plugin
The program itself is only 64 bits but it runs 32 and 64 bits plugin. If you still have a great plugin that never got to 64 bits this comes in handy.
Pro Unlimited tracks
No track and busses limitation.
Pro Best plugins
There are a variety of tools available, including the fantastic reverb plugin from Overloud, Breverb2.
Pro Basic set of instruments
Cakewalk comes with a basic set of VST instruments: A general MIDI synth, drums, e-piano, bass and a string section.
Pro Updated frequently
Pro Intuitive workflow
Cakewalk comes with friendly defaults and it has a similar workflow to analog studio gear.
Pro ARA 2 integration
This feature makes working with Celemony Melodyne and other ARA compatible plug-ins a breeze.
Pro Much improved stability of late, especially recent releases such as 2019.07
Pro Advanced comping workflow with Audio and MIDI Take Lanes and Automation Lanes
Easily create a final comp of all your recorded takes with simple drag and select gestures using the smart tool.
Pro Compatible with touchscreens
Pro Laptop-friendly interface
Good for people with a small-screened laptop.
Pro In-app updater
You can now download and install future updates directly from Cakewalk instead of using BandLab Assistant.
Pro Arranger Track
The Arranger track is an arrangement tool that provides several workflow benefits .For example, instantly swap the positions of the first and second chorus for all tracks, or copy the first verse in order to double its duration.Experiment with different song structures in a non-destructive and non-linear manner. You can Create arbitrary song sections anywhere on the project timeline and then stitch them together for seamless playback, sections provide an additional way to make time-based project selections and edits. You can also create an unlimited number of arrangements per project, which can all be exported simultaneously.
Pro Highly customizable user interface
The Cakewalk By Bandlab DAW comes with a new and improved user interface with an additional focus on being customizable.
Pro Edit MIDI Automation on Instrument Tracks
Pro Export to Standard MIDI File
Pro VST3 Support
Pro Cakewalk Theme Editor
Cakewalk Theme Editor allows you to easily customize the look of Cakewalk by editing existing UI themes or creating your own UI themes.
You can change colors directly and you can even customize images when used in combination with an external image editor such as Adobe Photoshop.
Pro In-app activation
You can now activate Cakewalk directly from within the app, without requiring BandLab Assistant. Cakewalk must be activate once every 6 months.
Pro Articulation Maps
Cakewalk by Bandlab recently added Articulation Maps If you work with sample libraries and virtual instruments, articulation maps are sure to improve your MIDI and articulation / keyswitch workflow Articulation maps provide a much easier way to change articulation, without having to manually edit events MIDI on the track.
Pro Step Sequencer
The Step Sequencer makes it easy to compose patterns using a grid, where each cell (step) represents a note. You create patterns by clicking the cells in the grid to turn notes on or off, or by using step recording.
Pro Mix Recall
Mix Recall allows you to save and recall multiple mixes for the same project, without having to save multiple copies of the project file.
A mix can be saved as a Mix Scene within the project, and each project can store multiple Mix Scenes. A Mix Scene contains all track, bus, hardware output, ProChannel and plug-in static and automation mix settings.
Con Windows only
Cakewalk by BandLab is currently available exclusively for 64 bit versions of Windows 7, 8, and 10. There are no current plans for availability on other operating systems.
Con Uses middleware for installation
It's a con for those who don't like having to use a program to install and update another program. The Bandlab's installer doesn't even have the courtesy to stop and ask you where you want the middleware installed.
Con Non-free software
Does not respect your freedom. Does not provide source code.also if it were really free, there wouldn't be any need for the Bandlab Assistant and signing up, and having to reauthorize every 6 months or drop into 'Demo' mode (get that? Demo mode in a FREE product :lol: :clap:), you would just download, install, done . . . there is a price to pay.
Con Unfinished features
Cakewalk has some buggy and unfinished features, probably due to marketing decisions and the changes of ownerships: Staff view, Matrix View, Audiosnap etc.
Con Crashes too often
For a complete and free package it is amazing what Bandlab is offering here. But crashes on startup or audio engine failures happen too often.
Con Doesn't always ask for or respect your drive assignment choices during installation
If you are squished for space on your boot drive, don't install this. It automatically sets up the Bandlab Assistant on C without giving you the opportunity to put it elsewhere. If you choose to use certain Cakewalkfeatures like the Drum replacer, it just starts installing all the drum samples onto drive C regardless of the fact that you've already set up a Cakewalk Content directory on D.
Con Obsolete VST
Unfortunately Cakewalk has a kind of philosophy of recycling old plugins under the DX and DXi code such as the sonitus fx and the newly added Classic Creative Suite audio effects (which were included in old versions of previously known SONAR) in its new update, which requires to new users or beginners to look for free or paid plugins, since these plugins are once again surpassed by the best vst in the market in addition to that they often sometimes block the software and disappear strangely, which is sad since most Of the DAW's on the market, both paid and free, include their own factory plugins so that the user does not have to spend any penny on third-party plugins.
Con Stability and unfinished features
Stability and tools are unfinished. As an example, AudioSnap simply does not work as it should when editing transients in the audio and staff view it does not work correctly.
Con Old code
Cakewalk is based on old code, that is why you see errors randomly. Since more than a decade ago no function has been improved - they were more concerned in the past with buzzwords and packaging third party software than in improving their own tools. The result is that it is now a decade behind developing competitors. There are better DAWs on the market that outperform Cakewalk. Free doesn't mean having the latest and greatest in technology - Cakewalk has never had it, there are important components of that DAW that haven't been touched for almost two decades, and they will likely never get the upgrade they need.
Con Incompatible hardware
If you like to work with external hardware, this software is not compatible with most software: when inserting an external effect on a track or bus, the DAW will crash and send you an error message. This is because Cakewalk has not fixed in years the problem with external insertions, which puts it behind the competition.
Con No future
Cakewalk by Bandlab does not have a promising future since the company that acquired it does not even market it. For example, Cakewalk's social media platforms are practically dead, the user base seems small and, in general, it seems past for high. The Bandlab pages are live, but without even minimal mentions of Cakewalk on your website or social media, it will one day die quietly.
Con No real support for synth hardware
SO3 cannot control your synth. You cannot see/control or access patches, their names, or SysEx. It seems that everything is centered around use of virtual instruments, and not hardware synth.
Con Frequent crashes
Cakewalk has constant errors such as engine crashing when working with songs with more than 100 tracks, it loses saved settings, BSOD, it randomly stops recognizing your midi controller and disconnects, do not try to disconnect it, the software goes crazy, your tracks are exchanged for other vst or midi clips known bug years ago.
Con Does not offer sampling instrument
Cakewalk does not have a sampling instrument for multisample playback and import. Third-party plug-ins exist but they often crash the DAW it is strange that cakewalk does not have a sampler for the modern musician
Con Does not have a Drum sampler
In the same way, Cakewalk does not have a drum sampler for playing and creating beats from jazz musicians to EDM producers.
Con Too laggy
It doesn't matter if you have a decent enough PC or solid and robust cakewalk is too laggy when one navigates between the mixing console the PRV. It is not optimized for windows 10
Con Unusable Pro-Channel
Unusable third party Pro-Channel modules such as Softube (Mix Bundle) and Overloud (BREVERB and REMATRIX) will not work properly when trying to open a project with them will cause Cakewalk to crash on the desktop.