Cakewalk Sonar X1 Expanded announced


Autumn is traditionally the time when Cakewalk updates its Sonar application, but in 2011, the company is doing things a little differently. Rather than releasing a new version of Sonar X1, it's offering customers an add-on pack known as Sonar X1 Expanded.

Existing users will be able to purchase this as a download this from late September for £35. Once installed, it will add several new features, including modular capability for the ProChannel (enabling you to customise your channel strips), a Saturation knob and FX Chains 2.0.

Other enhancements include SoundCloud integration, support for the Music XML format, and various improvements to the workflow and interface.

Cakewalk has also launched the PC4K S-Type Expander/Gate Module for Sonar X1 Expanded users. This will be available for purchase in a bundle with Expanded for £59, or on its own for £35.

Finally, you should be aware that October will see Cakewalk introduce the Sonar X1 Production Suite, which contains Sonar X1 Producer, Sonar X1 Expanded, the PC4K S-Type Expander/Gate Module and the Z3TA+ 2 synth. This will cost $499.

Read on for the official word on Sonar X1 Expanded and the PC4K S-Type Expander/Gate Module.

Sonar X1 Expanded highlights

ProChannel Modularity
SONAR X1 Producer's impressive ProChannel console strip already provides a number of options to get pro-studio sound in the box with its highly musical EQ, PC76 U-Type/classic FET and PC4K S-Type bus compressors, tube saturation, and flexible drag & drop routing. Now the ProChannel experience further expands with fully modular capability. ProChannel strips can be customized to have any combination of installed modules available on any channel. Favorite combinations can be set as default for tracks and busses.

Saturation Knob
Softube's Saturation Knob ProChannel module borrows from Softube's famous German FET distortion and compression circuitry modeling. And like their Passive-Active EQ design provides smooth, one-knob, frequency saturation for adding just the right amount of tube warmth to any track.

FX Chains 2.0
Introduced in SONAR X1, FX Chains provide a powerful and flexible way to organize and create combinations of multiple effects including DSP-based effects. FX Chains 2.0 expands the concept from simple effects container to fully customizable plug-in interface, complete with user-definable skins. Knobs and sliders are assignable to any effect parameters within the chain and are available for remote control. Drag and drop FX Chains from the Browser, between tracks, or to individual clips.

SoundCloud Integration
Adding to SONAR X1's exceptional audio delivery options, users can now upload finished songs in any bit /sample rate from SONAR directly to SoundCloud by simply connecting to their SoundCloud account from within SONAR. Integrated SoundCloud support provides a simple and efficient way to share music with family, friends, and fans automatically via Twitter, Facebook, and other popular social media sites.

Music XML
SONAR X1 Expanded supports Music XML, the universal digital sheet music interchange and distribution format. This new notation export capability is easily accessed in the Staff View.Once a composition is finished, simply export in Music XML format for use in popular notation programs such as Finale, Notion, and Sibelius.

Additional workflow enhancements include bi-directional drag & drop of data (audio, MIDI, FX chains, etc.) between the Brower and Track View, simultaneous replace synth in track while keeping all other routing in-tact, and a number of UI refinements applied across the entire application.


SONAR X1 Producer customers can purchase the SONAR X1 Expanded download for $49/€39/£35 (vat inclusive) from the Cakewalk store starting late September 2011. For more information visit

PC4K S-Type Expander / Gate Module

The PC4K S-Type Expander / Gate Module is expertly crafted by the Cakewalk DSP team and rounds out our legendary, vintage-style, ProChannel modeling. The PC4K S-Type Expander / Gate Module features a classic design providing gate function to remove unwanted sound from a signal and upward expansion, employed by countless engineers to expand the dynamics of vocals and instruments. The PC4K S-Type Expander / Gate can be toggled between Gate and Expander mode, has standardized Threshold, Ratio & Range controls, and switches to enable Fast Attack and side chain input.

SONAR X1 Producer's ProChannel console strip already provides a number of options to get pro-studio sound in the box. Its highly musical EQ, PC76 U-Type/classic FET and PC4K S-Type bus compressors, tube saturation, and flexible drag & drop routing make it a powerful SONAR X1 asset.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.