Helpful ReplyIs there a DAW as good as Sonar?

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RishiS
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2018/02/08 11:27:27 (permalink)

Is there a DAW as good as Sonar?

Given the recent announcement that Sonar development has been stopped, I started looking (after using Sonar for 18 years) for other options, for the future. I am still somehow not convinced there is any other DAW that is as feature packed as Sonar. In the recent Future Music (or Computer Music ?) some producers were asked what  features they wished to  see in their DAWs and quite a few of the items in the wish list are already present in Sonar. Any thoughts on which other DAW gets closest to Sonar for its midi features, lane/track management features, comping features, plugin management and so on....
 
#1
azslow3
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 11:33:40 (permalink)
Have a look at software board...
And do not be surprised hosts will remove this thread from here

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#2
Zargg
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 12:12:22 (permalink)
Hi. My guess is that it is going to be moved, so I'll reply.
I got Studio One as my backup DAW (so far), but still use SONAR, and will continue to do so as long as it works (which may be for a long time). The reason for that is that there are things (IMO) that other DAW's don't, or have implement as well as SONAR. Region Fx is one.
But they (DAW's) are "just" tools, and I've found out that I can work in any DAW I've encountered so far.
It's all down to personal preference.
Best of luck.
All the best.

Ken Nilsen
Zargg
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#3
LJB
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 12:30:01 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jude77 2018/02/09 16:27:42
In my experience, Sonar wins hands-down on most fronts. It just does.

Ludwig Bouwer, One Big Room Studios.
-------------------------- 
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Check out my work at www.onebigroom.co.za

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Sidroe
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 12:31:56 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Bristol_Jonesey 2018/02/08 12:37:33
Answer to post: NOOOOO!!!!!!!!

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promidi
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 13:07:53 (permalink)
I need a DAW that handles instrument definitions as in-depth as Sonar does....  I need access to NRPNs and RPNs (breaking them up into separate CCs does not cut it). I need sysex editing.  I need all Yamaha SW1000XG patches to be accessible by name.  I want to be able to define NRPNs, RPN and controller names.  I want a DAW that allows MIDI scripting (like CAL).  I need a DAW that handles Studioware panels.    I want a DAW that has the MIDI editing capabilities that Sonar has.  I want a DAW that can natively load all my projects from 1998 to 2018. 
 
You get the picture?

Sonar wins hands down.

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#6
bitman
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 14:40:55 (permalink)
No. Use Sonar.
 
I drive a logo-ed Astro van because it suits my business.
Chevy doesn't make that anymore either.
 
Makes no difference. Use Sonar.
 
#7
BlixYZ
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 17:09:11 (permalink)
It's going to be a trade off. Nothing goes as deep in certain areas (like midi) as sonar. However, you'll find areas where your new DAW shines. I'm also using studio 1, and it comes with great VSTi s and is very stable.
I plan on using both as long as possible.
Unlike many others, I have not given up hope that someone will pick up the torch.
Sonar is just too valuable to leave on the curb.

James W
BlixYZ Recording Studio
BlixYZ Records

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#8
JClosed
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 18:13:56 (permalink)
Hmm.. It depends. I must say after an careful and lengthily consideration I "jumped ship" last year April to Cubase, because the MIDI implementation in Cubase is in my humble opinion better than that of Sonar Platinum. Don't get me wrong - Sonar Platinum is very, very good, but Cubase is just a level higher.
 
I tried Studio One also. And while it is a very nice DAW, I personally (as mainly MIDI user), found that program lacking in the MIDI department compared to Cubase. I think if you are more of an audio/recording person, then Studio One is a great choice. However - In my humble opinion nothing beats Cubase if you want to really use all MIDI possibility's.
 
Oh - and to be honest. Once you are used to the Control Room you will miss this kind of setup in about every other DAW. I am not kidding.
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cclarry
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 18:59:38 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby jude77 2018/02/09 16:42:26
JClosed is correct.  NOTHING beats Cubase MIDI-wise.  Nothing!
So, if you do MIDI Orchestration, or work heavily with MIDI instruments
then Cubase is where you should live.  MIDI in Sonar was ok, but very non-
intuitive in many ways.  Things that were very simple in Cubase, are not so
simple in Sonar, or other DAW's for that matter.  I'm sure those of you who
were "used" to Sonar's way of doing things may not agree.  But the consensus
from MOST "heavy" MIDI users is that Cubase is the place to be.

I seriously can't believe that Pro Tools has maintained it's foothold ( I'm sure being HD helps it ). 
It has always been severely lacking in the feature department.  The ONLY thing that keeps it
where it is is the fact that most Engineers are used to working in it...so just keep
working in it, but not for features, but just "because" it's easier to do what you already know
than to "relearn" how to do things, even if, in some cases, it might be easier.
 


#10
Jeff Evans
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 19:53:05 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby cclarry 2018/02/08 19:56:39
If you are prepared to switch a Mac then Logic is also a very deep program.  With the same pedigree as Cubase.  Also a longer pedigree than Sonar as well.
 
There are also some excellent options for Windows based machines such as Samplitude, Studio One etc..Cubase etc..  All great. The reality is you can get the job done with all of them. You are the only real limitation.

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cclarry
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 19:56:58 (permalink)
Jeff Evans
You are the only real limitation.



#TRUTH


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Amicus717
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 21:08:02 (permalink)
JClosed
Hmm.. It depends. I must say after an careful and lengthily consideration I "jumped ship" last year April to Cubase, because the MIDI implementation in Cubase is in my humble opinion better than that of Sonar Platinum. Don't get me wrong - Sonar Platinum is very, very good, but Cubase is just a level higher.
 
I tried Studio One also. And while it is a very nice DAW, I personally (as mainly MIDI user), found that program lacking in the MIDI department compared to Cubase. I think if you are more of an audio/recording person, then Studio One is a great choice. However - In my humble opinion nothing beats Cubase if you want to really use all MIDI possibility's.
 
Oh - and to be honest. Once you are used to the Control Room you will miss this kind of setup in about every other DAW. I am not kidding.


I would agree completely with all of this. Cubase is peerless in its MIDI implementation -- better than Sonar (which I liked a lot), miles better than anything else I've tried, frankly. 

Sonar Platinum, Windows 10 Pro 64, Core i7-5820K Haswell-E CPU, 32GB DDR4 RAM, RME Babyface, Adam F7 monitors, Mackie MCU
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azslow3
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/08 23:03:51 (permalink)
Since most other DAWs was mentioned... IF you:
* do not like dongles and do not really like online authorizations
* do not need new gigabytes of something
* prefer to test full version before buy
* like extensions, scripting and openness
* like limitless audio and MIDI routing flexibility
* like transparency in prices and do not want to wait for "the next sale" nor for "no-brainer" deals
* prefer to use programs written by concrete, known and top professional people (and only by them, without subcontracted, periodically exchanged, anonymous developers with unclear origins)
* have many old Sonar projects and want open them in your new DAW...
There is no choice. Download 11Mb DAW with the name "Reaper".
 

Sonar 8LE -> Platinum infinity, REAPER, Windows 10 pro
GA-EP35-DS3L, E7500, 4GB, GTX 1050 Ti, 2x500GB
RME Babyface Pro (M-Audio Audiophile Firewire/410, VS-20), Kawai CN43, TD-11, Roland A500S, Akai MPK Mini, Keystation Pro, etc.
www.azslow.com - Control Surface Integration Platform for SONAR
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Kev999
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 00:07:16 (permalink)
RishiS
..Any thoughts on which other DAW gets closest to Sonar...

Zargg
...But they (DAW's) are "just" tools...


If we regard software as tools, then a toolkit can be enhanced by additional tools that have different capabilities, rather than adding more similar ones. With that in mind I chose to ignore any DAWs that are too similar to Sonar and looked for ones that have specific features that Sonar lacks. I ended up purchasing Digital Performer and Mixbus32C. So I now have three DAWs which together provide a wide range of capabilities.

SonarPlatinum(22.11.0.111) + DigitalPerformer(9.5.1) + Mixbus32C(4.3.19) + Reaper(5.77)
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Audient:iD22|KRK:VXT6|+outboard-gear|+guitars+bass, etc.
Having fun at work lately
#15
RishiS
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 05:38:59 (permalink)
I am mostly into MIDI orchestration and VSTs and some minimal audio work , mostly vocals and percussion. I would never want to leave Sonar, but over the years Windows version will change and will need migrate to something else if Sonar does not upgrade itself.
Having said that , from the responses looks like Cubase is strong in MIDI. I know Protools is way behind feature-wise and is just too popular since it has a "industry defacto" status somehow in the market.
Its nice to hear Studio One is also a contender. Given Presonus' supporting hardware - from mixer to monitors and audio interfaces, it sounds promising.
#16
soens
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 07:39:19 (permalink)
cclarry
Jeff Evans
You are the only real limitation.


#TRUTH


Whew! This is really good news. If he's the only real limitation and he's no where near me... I must be limitation free!


How cool is that?! 😎
#17
Beeej21
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 09:11:48 (permalink)
azslow3
Since most other DAWs was mentioned... IF you:
* do not like dongles and do not really like online authorizations
* do not need new gigabytes of something
* prefer to test full version before buy
* like extensions, scripting and openness
* like limitless audio and MIDI routing flexibility
* like transparency in prices and do not want to wait for "the next sale" nor for "no-brainer" deals
* prefer to use programs written by concrete, known and top professional people (and only by them, without subcontracted, periodically exchanged, anonymous developers with unclear origins)
* have many old Sonar projects and want open them in your new DAW...
There is no choice. Download 11Mb DAW with the name "Reaper".
 


THIS.

I'm in the process of starting my Reaper learning curve after being with Cakewalk more than 20 years. So far, I'm extremely impressed. Plus, I can "skin" it to be as beautiful as Sonar is.

DAW: Sonar Platinum, Windows 10 Ultimate 64bit**Computer: Intel i7 980x HexaCore Extreme 3.33gHz, Kingston HyperX 24GB RAM, ASUS P6T Deluxe V2 MB, 2x 300GB V-Raptor HDD, 4TB RAID-0 VST/Sounds HDD**Hardware: VS 700 System, Kurzweil SP2XS, Akai MPK49** SoundCloud
#18
RishiS
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 11:34:33 (permalink)
Beeej21

I'm in the process of starting my Reaper learning curve after being with Cakewalk more than 20 years. So far, I'm extremely impressed. Plus, I can "skin" it to be as beautiful as Sonar is.

What about support for midi control surfaces in Reaper? Is it any better than Sonar. This is one area where I find Sonar slightly limiting. I use the Behringer X-Touch and did'nt have many options when I chose this one, coz Sonar was not supported by quite a few other controllers that worked just fine with Pro Tools, Cubase, Abelton etc.,.
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azslow3
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 13:23:00 (permalink)
RishiS
Beeej21
I'm in the process of starting my Reaper learning curve after being with Cakewalk more than 20 years. So far, I'm extremely impressed. Plus, I can "skin" it to be as beautiful as Sonar is.

What about support for midi control surfaces in Reaper? Is it any better than Sonar. This is one area where I find Sonar slightly limiting. I use the Behringer X-Touch and did'nt have many options when I chose this one, coz Sonar was not supported by quite a few other controllers that worked just fine with Pro Tools, Cubase, Abelton etc.,.

Sonar has quite good control surfaces support. It will be ported into Reaper during this year.
 
It is true, Sonar was not supported by controllers. The same with Reaper. Most controllers are product specific and after Roland no-one tried to make serious controllers for Sonar. That can be seen as Cakewalk/Cockos fault, but it is not. Try to use Ableton Push with ProTools or Faderport 8 with Cubase.
 
I have learned that most people do not want any controller, even if they have it and it works with the DAW. I am not alone, Nektar has tried to support Sonar. I guess they have stopped that activity after noticing sales (the same as with Roland before).
 
And those who want something, just use motorized faders for mixing plus a jogger/transport. That works with any controller in Sonar (which has corresponding control elements).
 

Sonar 8LE -> Platinum infinity, REAPER, Windows 10 pro
GA-EP35-DS3L, E7500, 4GB, GTX 1050 Ti, 2x500GB
RME Babyface Pro (M-Audio Audiophile Firewire/410, VS-20), Kawai CN43, TD-11, Roland A500S, Akai MPK Mini, Keystation Pro, etc.
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#20
pwalpwal
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 13:25:25 (permalink)

azslow3
* prefer to use programs written by concrete, known and top professional people (and only by them, without subcontracted, periodically exchanged, anonymous developers with unclear origins)

 
you must have a hard time with commercial software

just a sec

#21
Jim Roseberry
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 14:26:34 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Zargg 2018/02/09 15:12:38
If you're looking for a replacement for Sonar that's almost an exact "feature-for-feature" equivalent, there isn't one.
 
There are numerous great DAW software choices. 
No matter which you choose, there will be some areas that exceed Sonar... and others that fall short.
 
If more elaborate/esoteric MIDI features are paramount, then Cubase should be on your short-list.
Studio One has a clean UI with focus on drag/drop, gap-less audio engine, and a nice balance of audio/MIDI features.
If you're primarily working with audio, Samplitude's Object based editing is amazing.
I'd also checkout ProTools 2018.  Over the past several years, Avid has been slowly refining and catching up with some of the better features available in other native DAWs.
Reaper is another amazing DAW application.  The most CPU efficient of all DAW apps.  Configurable almost to a fault.
Reaper is the closest DAW you'll find to one that's, "everything to everybody". 
That amazing flexibility can be daunting at first... especially for those who are less DAW/tech savvy.
 
You'll be making a compromise no matter which you choose...
It's a matter of finding the best "compromise" for your situation.
 
 

Best Regards,

Jim Roseberry
jim@studiocat.com
www.studiocat.com
#22
WallyG
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 16:28:22 (permalink)
I've been using Sonar for several years and loved it! When Cakewalk closed their doors, I was depressed for about a week. (Ask my wife!) Then I purchased Studio One Pro, watched the videos, and decided to transfer the remaining songs I'm working on for our latest CD into SO. Quite honestly even if Sonar was bought by someone else and started supporting it, I would not go back.
 
I do learn from this forum though and will continue to check it out every morning.
 
Walt

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#23
azslow3
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 16:30:55 (permalink)
pwalpwal
azslow3
* prefer to use programs written by concrete, known and top professional people (and only by them, without subcontracted, periodically exchanged, anonymous developers with unclear origins)

you must have a hard time with commercial software

I was never thinking about it that way... But you are absolutely right!

Sonar 8LE -> Platinum infinity, REAPER, Windows 10 pro
GA-EP35-DS3L, E7500, 4GB, GTX 1050 Ti, 2x500GB
RME Babyface Pro (M-Audio Audiophile Firewire/410, VS-20), Kawai CN43, TD-11, Roland A500S, Akai MPK Mini, Keystation Pro, etc.
www.azslow.com - Control Surface Integration Platform for SONAR
#24
jude77
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 16:38:49 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby paulo 2018/02/10 10:48:22
No.  And that's why I'm still baffled that Cakewalk failed.
 
I have Presonus Studio One 3 (and why in the hell don't they just call it Studio 3????).  Anyway, it's easy-peasy to use.  But with ease comes lack of features.  I find the midi down right painful to work with, and I need midi to be quick and easy.  Plus, the darn thing looks like a box of gummy bears.  It seems like it's aimed at kids.  Whenever I use it I feel like I need to be in K-Fed's bedroom making beats.
 
Samplitude.  it's deep.  Complex.  Will probably do anything.  But it's a pain the the rear to use.  Get ready for lots of mouse-clicks.  It's the very opposite of PS1-3.  In PS1-3 you drag everything.  In Samplitude you click.  And click.  And click.  You get the idea.  Plus, everything is so blasted tiny.  It makes me wonder how in the world SONAR managed to put so much on the screen without everything being itty-bitty?  Anyway, SONAR has a learning curve, but it will do anything.  And the basics take about an hour to learn.  And it's beautiful.  That counts.

You haven't lived until you've taken the Rorschach.
 
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#25
jude77
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 16:40:42 (permalink)
LJB
In my experience, Sonar wins hands-down on most fronts. It just does.


Perfectly said.

You haven't lived until you've taken the Rorschach.
 
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emwhy
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 16:47:44 (permalink)
Reaper is another amazing DAW application.  The most CPU efficient of all DAW apps.  Configurable almost to a fault.
Reaper is the closest DAW you'll find to one that's, "everything to everybody". 
That amazing flexibility can be daunting at first... especially for those who are less DAW/tech savvy.
 
It took me 2 weeks to get Reaper adjusted to my workflow, but since turning that corner I'm very happy with it. It sees all my DX effects and synths, allows me to launch external editors like Adobe and Sound Forge with ease. That is very important to my broadcast work. The Item Editing coupled with Reapitch are on par with Samplitude's object editing, just not as elegant and not rolled into one window. But Reaper and Samplitude both use algorithms from Elastique for pitch correction. It's audio quantize functions are better implemented than either Sonar or Samplitude especially with stretch markers.
 
What I miss in Reaper from Sonar is relatively simple for my needs. I would love it if Reaper had a smart tool for the mouse for muting sections of clips. I rely a lot on Sonar's mute tool. I also miss how with Sonar you can click on a clip and it automatically sets a range for looping purposes, or highlight several clips for rendering without having to set a range if you only want to render/export just those clips. None of these are deal breakers, and once Cockos gets ARA 2 integration it will be as complete to me as Sonar. 
 
 
#27
Glyn Barnes
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 18:41:25 (permalink)
I think they all have their strengths and weaknesses.
 
I have bought Cubase as my future DAW based on the apparently superior MIDI features. So far I have not got too deeply into it and I am still mostly using Sonar. I have Reaper installed and intend to evaluate it as a candidate for second backup but I have not looked deeply at it yet
 
Yes, there is a dongle, but I already had a eLicencer for XILS4. 

Intel i7 3770K @4.4GHz, 32GB RAM, 240GB SSD System disk, 2 x 2TB and 1 x 1TB (with SSD Cache) HDD. Windows 10,  Sonar Platinum. Roland Quad Capture. 
Music - Switchwater on Soundclick
Music - Goldry Bluszco on Soundcloud
#28
marled
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 21:09:33 (permalink)
Since I read the announcement in the beginning of December, I have been depressed over and over again. IMHO there is no DAW that is nearly as good as Sonar (and I tested quite a lot). So instead of making music I am doing a lot of other things like upgrading hardware and so on and being depressed, f--- !
 
It is true, like someone said above, actually you could do the job with any other DAW. But I am not happy at all working with another DAW and missing things like emwhy said:
"I also miss how with Sonar you can click on a clip and it automatically sets a range for looping purposes, or highlight several clips for rendering without having to set a range if you only want to render/export just those clips."
And there are too many such small things that make working in any of the other DAWs painful, really!

... I was crucified ...
#29
azslow3
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Re: Is there a DAW as good as Sonar? 2018/02/09 21:49:54 (permalink)
emwhy
What I miss in Reaper from Sonar is relatively simple for my needs. I would love it if Reaper had a smart tool for the mouse for muting sections of clips. I rely a lot on Sonar's mute tool. I also miss how with Sonar you can click on a clip and it automatically sets a range for looping purposes, or highlight several clips for rendering without having to set a range if you only want to render/export just those clips. None of these are deal breakers, and once Cockos gets ARA 2 integration it will be as complete to me as Sonar.

Have you already checked Preferences/Editor Behaviour/Mouse Modifiers?
Notice different region / different gestures / different modifiers combinations. You can assign any action to any combination. F.e: Shift + DblClick default to "set time selection to item" (one!). But you can reassigne to "set time selection to items" (all selected). And so on...
 

Sonar 8LE -> Platinum infinity, REAPER, Windows 10 pro
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www.azslow.com - Control Surface Integration Platform for SONAR
#30
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