Cakewalk SONAR Now Available As A Free DAW From BandLab

Singapore-based music brand collective BandLab has announced that it is relaunching Cakewalk SONAR as a free DAW.

Sonar – with the former SONAR Platinum feature set, is relaunching as Cakewalk by BandLab. Full access is now available for Windows users for free. The revived DAW includes all core premium features of SONAR Platinum, including the Skylight user interface, flexible ProChannel modules, and powerful end-to-end 64-bit mix engine.

BandLab notes that the third-party products and content bundles that were previously included with SONAR Platinum will no longer be included. Users who have previously purchased bundles or individual third party products and plug-ins can still use those products with the new release.

“We are excited to be able to continue development of SONAR in its new guise as Cakewalk by BandLab and have an aggressive feature development roadmap ahead,” says CEO of BandLab Technologies, Meng Ru Kuok. “We are very excited by the potential of Cakewalk by BandLab and think that many creators will benefit from access to a professional DAW with a long history of empowering music makers.”

The new installation of Cakewalk by BandLab via BandLab Assistant will not affect previous installations of SONAR.
All users can download Cakewalk by BandLab and access the full feature set for free, without access limitations.
Any bundled or independently purchased plug-ins or add-ons that worked with SONAR will integrate with Cakewalk by BandLab.

19 thoughts on “Cakewalk SONAR Now Available As A Free DAW From BandLab

  1. What’s with the complaining? I think the users who have paid for it should be happy that their software is still around. Jeeze, folks, let’s be positive here…it could have easily been Opcode all over again!

    1. When a company sells you a product, knowing (and not telling the customers) that it will be discontinued in a month (and then sold to another enterprise which will give it for free) it’s quite annoying.

      1. yeah… but that was the parent company Gibson selling the product and discontinuing it. Bandlab paid money to purchase Cakewalk, and are making it available currently at no cost (Presumably to increase marketshare, and for publicity).

      2. that’s a inherent risk when you buy *anything*… how do you think all those people who bought Pontiacs, Saturns, Hummers, Oldsmobiles, etc felt in 2007, and a year later those companies went out of business? Much like Graham mentioned, this could have been another Opcode debacle like Gibson already pulled. Opcode users got literally nothing. This is one of the best possible outcomes given the corporate decision to stop supporting the product.

      3. Keep in mind that that’s not how it happened. No one knew a month ahead of time that anything was happening. Work on SONAR 2017.11 was underway the day that Gibson walked in and announced that Cakewalk was closed effective immediately. I was there that day. I was one of the developers who lost their job. BandLab has done something great for SONAR users – we should all be happy it’s being continued.

    1. On the Mac side Logic user( and Opcode still running on an old G3 snow lol), on the PC side been using Sonar forever, very glad to see Sonar will not die just yet.

  2. This is GREAT news! I have Sonar X3, but I skipped the upgrades over the past couple of years since I rarely use my DAW. I’ll soon be getting back into recording and it’s nice to know that I can upgrade for free to the latest version of Sonar. I assume the new business model will be built around charging people for extra content and special features.

    1. they will probably sell packs and plugins – I don’t see it as fishy, it is the same model that magix uses with music maker

  3. Um, no. Free is not always great news. When a company is not making money allowing you to use its product, YOU (your data) are the product. Facebook is free because they get to use/sell your data. From looking at Bandlab’s terms of use (see below), I suspect at least one value they extract from their free loading users is the right to use content (eg. your inspired artistic creations) basically, however they like. Maybe “great news” to you, but scary to me. Hopefully, one can use their re-baked Cakewalk without for music production without using their social/cloud platform. I’d just recommend caution and reading the fine print if you give a damn about your creations.

    https://blog.bandlab.com/terms-of-use/

    3.2 Licence granted to us: By Submitting Your Content through the Services, you hereby grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, sub-licensable and transferable licence to access, use, reproduce, distribute, publicly display, publicly perform, adapt, synchronise, prepare derivative works of, compile, make available and otherwise communicate Your Content to the public, in connection with the Service and our (and our successors’ and Related Entities’) business, including the distribution of advertising or other promotional material through the Services.

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