Cakewalk Sonar is Now a Free Download – Synth News Digest 15

Welcome to another edition of our look at a few interesting synthesizer and music technology news stories from the last few weeks. Hopefully, you find something to inspire your creativity and possibly make your wallet a bit lighter. However, that likely won’t be a problem with our lead story!

BandLab makes Cakewalk Sonar available as a Free Download

Way back in those halcyon days of the early 90s, I picked up a MIDI interface and sequencer for my PC. This morning, I am forgetting the name of the interface, but the sequencer software was Cakewalk. I remained a Cakewalk user until the poor implementation of audio tracks in Cakewalk Pro Audio made me embrace Pro Tools, which I’ve been using for nearly two decades.

I’ve kept an eye on Cakewalk Sonar over that time. We even reviewed their excellent iOS synth app, Z3TA+. As such, I was sad to see Gibson discontinuing the venerable sequencer application as part of an overall company divestiture. It appears that BandLab, a newer music tech conglomerate, is saving Cakewalk Sonar while making it available as a free download.

Sonar is essentially being relaunched as “Cakewalk by BandLab”, a free download available to users of BandLab’s music collaboration software. It is the full 64-bit Windows application and retains compatibility with Sonar’s plugin collection. If interested, simply click on the following link for more information.

Spitfire Audio introduces Hans Zimmer Strings

Hot on the heels of their Hans Zimmer Percussion sample library, which we reviewed here at TabMuse, the folks at Spitfire Audio teamed up with the legendary soundtrack composer for Hans Zimmer Strings. If you are in the market for orchestral string samples (and have the 184 gigs of hard drive space) you need to put Strings on your shortlist.

Spitfire brought together a collection of world-class string players and recorded their efforts in London’s venerable AIR studios. A robust cornucopia of violins, violas, cellos, and basses is the result. A dedicated plugin facilitates access to the right sample for your composition need.

We would have loved to review Hans Zimmer Strings, but frankly don’t have the 200GB of hard drive space to install it. If interested, check out Spitfire Audio’s product page for additional details. This looks to be one of the best classical sample libraries on the market.

Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers announces the Desktop Microvolt 3900

A leading American synth brand, Pittsburgh Modular Synthesizers continues to garner praise for their full library of Eurorack modules. The company recently introduced the Microvolt 3900, a desktop semi-modular analog synthesizer worthy of notice. The unit looks similar to the Moog Mother 32, and bears a slight resemblance to the Make Noise 0-Coast, as well as similar semi-modular synths from Arturia and others.


The Microvolt 3900 in all its semi-modular glory. Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Modular.

The Microvolt sports a unique dynamic VCA architecture that controls oscillator harmonics as the amp is open and closed. This adds to the organic character of the synth. The West Coast-inspired wavefolder circuitry also offers the means for sonic mangling.

A 39-point Eurorack compatible patch bay lets you integrate this Pittsburgh Modular unit into your existing modular setup. If interested, the Microvolt 3900 hits the market later this month at a street price of $629. This also looks to be a great intro to the world of Eurorack.


  1. […] Welcome to this edition of the TabMuse Synth News Digest. It gives us the opportunity for a few quick profiles of some fresh music technology product releases worthy of your interest. If you want to check out the last digest, covering the free version of Cakewalk Sonar among other news bits, simply click on the following link. […]