We've heard various rumours about Sonar, the popular Windows DAW, coming to Mac down the years, but never anything concrete. The news that Cakewalk is to release a free Alpha version of Sonar OS X later this year, then, comes as something of a shock.
Shipping with a set of Cakewalk plugins and ProChannel modules, the Alpha build will be made available in order to gauge interest in a full Mac port.
"Ever since Sonar appeared, Apple users have been asking for a Mac version," says Cakewalk CTO Noel Borthwick. "We're excited to explore Sonar for OS X, and open up our award-winning Windows software to a brand new audience of music creators." Along with this free download, a dedicated forum will solicit feedback on the program and provide support."
Good news if you've been wanting to use Sonar on the Mac, then, but there's potentially something even better for PC users this summer. Cakewalk has also revealed that anyone who purchases or upgrades to Sonar Platinum between now and 31 August 2016 will get free lifetime updates of any future core features, enhancements and fixes. That means no paying for a new version ever again, it would seem.
Prices for this deal are $199 for anyone who owns Sonar Producer/Platinum (if you're already renewed your Sonar Platinum deal this year, the price will be $199 minus the amount you paid), $299 if you own Sonar Studio/Professional, $399 if you own Sonar Essential/Artist, and $499 if you're completely new to Sonar.
Finally, in a move that's also likely to please long-term users, Cakewalk has revealed that its development team will be putting the focus on Cakewalk's performance and stability. Slated enhancements include a new ripple editing function, 'load balancing' to allow loading more plugins without sacrificing speed, and updated comping and take management.
Find out more about all of these developments on the Cakewalk website.