Choose the creative experience only SONAR offers: advanced technology, effortless workflow, and an inviting interface that amplifies inspiration. Fueled by over 25 years in the relentless pursuit of innovation, SONAR is re-inventing the modern recording studio.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (46 reviews) - 76% of the 46 user reviews for this software are positive.
Release Date: Apr 29, 2016

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Recent updates View all (34)

March 28

SONAR 2017.03 - Is now Available!

This month’s release for SONAR Professional and Platinum brings new features to the Piano Roll view and introduces MIDI Bluetooth Support using the new UWP MIDI Engine. This release also contains additional fixes & enhancements to many key elements of SONAR.

New Features
Piano Roll View Enhancements

Cakewalk reaches back to its MIDI sequencing roots to optimize SONAR’s core MIDI editing for today’s generation of virtual instruments. The SONAR 2017.03 update addresses modern MIDI music production needs through a redesign of the Piano Roll View (PRV) Track Pane and the Controller Pane. From efficient, simple controller editing to clean and focused MIDI track selection, SONAR has transformed MIDI editing from tedious to transparent.

You can now click any MIDI track to bring that data into focus, while Auto Lock prevents you from accidentally editing MIDI data from other tracks. Color-coding relates tracks to data for easy identification in complex projects. The re-designed Track Pane displays twice as many tracks in the same amount of space as before, and now allows you to take advantage of SONAR’s unique Smart Swipe feature that lets you select, mute, solo, or arm multiple tracks with a single, quick gesture.

Streamlined Track pane: The redesigned Track Pane now displays in single-height rows with track-color boxes and new controls for filtering, as well as an additional mode to Auto Lock tracks that are selected but not being edited. The Track Pane now also supports collapse and expand via the same controls as other views in the Skylight interface. Auto Lock and Filter Mode are exclusive to SONAR Professional and Platinum. Also, creating custom Filter Sets is exclusive to Platinum only.

Improved Controller Editing with Single Lane mode: It is is now possible to have a much larger editing area for controllers while also having access to many controllers on the same track. Switching this mode is done with the View menu by selecting Show Multiple Lanes. Single lane mode is now the new default when opening the Controller pane.

Select next/previous Note Event: Just like Tabbing to Transients in an audio track, in the Piano Roll view it is now possible to use the Tab key to select the next note or Shift+Tab to select the previous Note event.

Two-tone Color-coding of sharps/flats: When using the Piano Roll view, we’ve now made it easier to identify different notes by adjusting the hue of different Sharps & flats. Gb, Ab, and Bb are now shaded slightly different from Db and Eb to better separate them when editing. (taupe-color for Gb, Ab & Bb, blue-color for Db & Eb).

Aim Assist support for Controller pane: When Aim Assist is enabled it now extends into the Controller pane for improved feedback when editing the Controller data for a note.

New Collapse button for Controller Pane: The Controller Pane now features it’s own collapse and expand button similar to the Bus Pane. This can be opened or closed by simply clicking the button or using the shortcut [Ctrl] + [C] when the Piano Roll view is in focused.

UWP MIDI Engine & Bluetooth MIDI Support

Microsoft have introduced a new API standard for using MIDI on Windows as part of the Universal Windows Platform architecture. With this comes many new advantages including Bluetooth MIDI support and Multi-Client access to MIDI ports. UWP MIDI provides a modern way to communicate with MIDI devices and can be extended to support newer MIDI protocols/interfaces. To enable this in SONAR go to, Preferences | MIDI | Playback and Recording and set the MIDI driver mode to UWP

Fixes and Enhancements
  • Double-clicking a track could fail to maximize strip height in some situations
  • Track view no longer flickers when reordering tracks in large projects
  • Adjusting Take lanes height longer allows the Edit Filter to overlap other controls
  • Excluded synths no longer show in Instruments plug-in lists
  • SONAR no longer disappears behind other programs when switching Lenses
  • Help will now correctly launch from Preferences | MIDI | Playback & Recording
  • Exporting as Raw Tracks - No Automation/FX now preserves the Comp on an audio track
  • Fixed a possible crash when dragging a MIDI clip to Matrix in localized versions of SONAR
  • The power indicator for a FX Bin will now stay in sync with the Frozen/Unfrozen state of a track
  • VST3 plug-ins now display correctly in the registered Plug-ins list in Plug-in Manager
  • Aim Assist now displays correctly when using the arrow keys to scroll in the PRV
  • The mouse position no longer displays only in the PRV when Aim Assist is turned off

    To learn more about this update visit our Knowledge Base using the link below:

3 comments Read more

March 6

SONAR 2017.02 - Is now Available!

Comping Enhancements

Reuse existing Take lanes when recording

SONAR will now place newly recorded clips into existing Take lanes during loop recording or whenever possible. The result is that less lanes are created and tracks with lots of recorded clips when loop recording will have less lanes to manage.

Improved lane resizing

When resizing the height of Take lanes, the clicked lane will now anchored to its current position, ensuring the lane is always visible. This make working on Tracks with many Take lanes easier to manage and feels more intuitive.

Muted Take lanes are hidden in parent track when collapsed

When Take lanes are collapsed, any muted Take lanes are no longer shown in the parent track strip. This only applies to muted Take lanes, not muted clips. This provides a cleaner UI and lets you focus on just the clips that are audible.

Maximize / Restore lanes

Similar to track strips, you can now double-click a Take lane or Automation lane strip background to maximize/restore the lane

Additional Comping Improvements:
  • Recording, stopping, resuming recording is now sample accurate
  • Comping with the Smart Tool is now clearly delineated by the middle point of the clip
  • Cursors no longer get incorrectly changed if the Help Module is open
  • When comping with Melodyne, cropping clips now updates the ARA regions
  • Fixed an issue where fades sometimes appeared on muted clips

SONAR Fixes and Enhancements
  • MIDI Port assignments are now saved with the project and will map to the same device on another machine
  • Resolved a possible crash when Auto-deleting synths via Track-delete
  • Auditioning with Note Chase plays notes from excluded clips
  • Custom names of VSTs not saved
  • Browser Notes do not allow to tab between fields
  • Loop recording in different sections resulted in many additional Take lanes
  • Muted takes are displayed in collapsed track
  • View Scrolls Away When Zooming or Enlarging Lanes
  • View wasn’t correctly scrolling when Maximizing Track or Bus Strips.

2 comments Read more


“Very efficient, cutting-edge Windows DAW”
8/10 – MusicTechMag

“Although more in line as an advance on X3, this new flavor of SONAR achieves performance and capabilities that parallel any of its competitors.”

“SONAR remains a winner, very much in the top tier of Windows-compatible DAWs”
4.5/5 – MusicRadar


SONAR is a Digital Audio Workstation. For more information on DAWs please read the STEAM DAW FAQ.

SONAR Professional

SONAR Platinum

Dota 2 Music Pack Template

SONAR now includes a template to help users create their own Dota 2 music packs. Users can find it in their SONAR Tutorials folder. More information on creating packs can be found here!

About This Software

SONAR Professional and Platinum on STEAM are tailored for aspiring musicians, content creators and game sound designers. The program includes features like unlimited audio and MIDI tracks, VST3 support, virtual instruments, effects, editing and mixing tools, step sequencer, Matrix View, and much more.

2017 Season Passes
2017 pass holders enjoy Cakewalk's rolling updates to 12/31/17. After that time you can keep and use SONAR forever. Continued updates will be available via 2018 season passes.

SONAR Core Features:

  • Unlimited Simultaneous I/O
  • Unlimited Audio Tracks
  • Unlimited MIDI Tracks
  • Unlimited Sends/Buses
  • 384kHz Maximum Sample Rate
  • 64-Bit Maximum Bit Depth
  • 64-Bit Internal Mix Engine Resolution
  • VST 2.4 32/64-Bit Support
  • VST3 32/64-Bit Support
  • ARA Support
  • ReWire 32/64-Bit Support
  • Groove Clip Support (follow tempo & Pitch)
  • Windows 7/8/10 support
  • Windows 8/10 Multi-touch support
  • Project Tutorials
  • Mixing and Mastering Templates

Supported Formats:

  • Wave and Broadcast Wave (time stamped)
  • WMA, WAV, W64, ASF
  • FLAC
  • OGG, RF64
  • MP3* (via SoundCloud)
  • WAV RIFF, ACID, Rex, Rex2, Rex64
  • AVI, QT, MPEG video import/export
  • Dithering options on export
  • SoundCloud integration
  • MusicXML Export
  • 32/64-Bit VST3 support
  • 32/64-bit VST2, VSTi and DXi support
  • Bit Bridge (allows 32-bit plug-ins in 64-bit mixing environment)
  • PNG Track Icon support

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 7, 8, or 10 (32- or 64-bit)
    • Processor: 2.6GHz Intel or AMD multi-core processor
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1280x800 (1920 x 1080+ recommended)
    • Storage: 12 GB available space
    • Sound Card: WDM/KS, WASAPI, or MME compatible device
    • Additional Notes: Connection required for downloads, activation, and publishing features.
    • Storage: 30 GB available space
    • Sound Card: ASIO compatible
Customer reviews Learn More
Mostly Positive (46 reviews)
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