Several months ago, we promised to deliver a SONAR Mac Alpha. To build it, we collaborated with a company called CodeWeavers. CodeWeavers has a technology called CrossOver that is basically a Windows-to-Mac translator, allowing native Windows applications to run on a Mac.
Together, Cakewalk and CodeWeavers used CrossOver to enable a native Windows version of SONAR Home Studio to run on a Mac. We’ve packaged this product for release as a SONAR Mac Prototype, available now as a free download to all who are interested.
Since our first announcement of this product, we’ve learned three important lessons…
First, building this SONAR Mac Prototype took more effort than we had hoped or expected. There has been a constant stream of UI/UX details, and performance tweaks to resolve — just to deliver this prototype.
Second, we should have been more transparent with the Cakewalk community about this initiative; and set clearer expectations. We have recently made some organizational changes that we hope will improve our ability to communicate in a more effective and timely manner.
Third, we realized that trying to bring the full SONAR experience to the Mac would take away from what we do best – create the world’s finest software for the Windows platform. With Microsoft’s renewed commitment to creative applications for Windows, we’ve been able to carry out several important improvements in the past few months.
In November 2016 we launched SONAR Home Studio, the first DAW to support WASAPI shared mode using Microsoft’s low latency API, resulting in latencies as low as 3 ms on supported devices (10 msec otherwise).
In January 2016, we appeared on stage at CES with Avid, Microsoft, and Autodesk for Dell’s announcement of their new Canvas product, highlighting what musicians will soon be able to do with large-screen touch interfaces built for their Windows PCs.
In March 2017, we released a SONAR update to become the first Windows DAW to support Bluetooth MIDI controllers natively, stemming from a close collaboration with Microsoft.
In fact, Cakewalk has a long history of innovations on the Windows platform, from being the first DAW to natively support 64-bit Windows, to the first DAW to support Windows Touch, to a patent-pending plug-in load balancing solution.
Next month marks Cakewalk’s 30th anniversary, a major milestone in our industry. We’ll be celebrating every month, looking at our past, present and future, with stories, free content and more innovations.
We are proud to continue our investment in SONAR as the leading DAW for the Windows platform. The SONAR Mac Prototype is the end of the line for SONAR on the Mac.
One more thing… (couldn’t resist the Steve Jobs reference) while we’re not going to bring the SONAR product line to the Mac, we have begun to explore new ideas and initiatives that will reach more musicians on more platforms than ever before, and we’re all very excited about our future!
So, stay tuned…and let’s make some noise together!