Sonar renamed as Cakewalk by BandLab and is now free

(Image credit: BandLab Technologies)

The trials and tribulations at the house of Gibson led to the US company having to let go of Cakewalk recently, leaving Sonar owners in the dark over the future of the DAW.

Things looked rather bleak until Singpore-based BandLab stepped into the fold to save the day and save it they have, or at least it looks that way.

In a stunning move, Sonar has been rebranded as Cakewalk by BandLab and better still, has made the DAW free. Most features are retained, such as the Skylight user interface, flexible ProChannel modules, and 64-bit mix engine. 

However, there is one slight drawback; the DAW loses its clutch of bundled third-party content. All is not lost, as the upside is that any bundled or independently purchased plugins or add-ons that worked with Sonar will integrate with Cakewalk by BandLab. 

CEO of BandLab Technologies, Meng Ru Kuok said, “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. We are making the software completely free to use to ensure that anyone, regardless of their resources, technology or stage in their career, can have access to the highest level of professional music production tools. This is part of our ongoing effort to empower musicians to make and share their music around the world. 

“Professional products like Cakewalk are essential to those who make their living in music production and the natural next step for musicians who use platforms like BandLab to simplify their creative and collaborative process. 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 version of the DAW will continue to run on Windows and it’s promised that it will support pen, touch and Surface Dial throughout the user interface. 

There is no word on whether a Mac version will be made available in the future, but we suspect so.

Early access to Cakewalk for BandLab is available to download now, for free. 

Minimum system requirements

  • Windows 7 or higher (64-bit only)
  • Multi-core Intel or AMD CPU
  • 4GB RAM
  • 3GB free disk space
  • 1280x800 screen resolution
  • ASIO compatible hardware is recommended
Simon Arblaster
Video Producer & Reviews Editor

I take care of the reviews on MusicRadar and Future Music magazine, though can sometimes be spotted in front of a camera talking little sense in the presence of real musicians. For the past 30 years, I have been unable to decide on which instrument to master, so haven't bothered. Currently, a lover of all things high-gain in the guitar stakes and never one to resist churning out sub-standard funky breaks, the likes of which you'll never hear.

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine