Alternatives to Vegas?

randygo wrote on 4/20/2005, 12:51 AM

Anybody here using Sonar 4? I've looked at previous demos of Sonar, but prior to the latest version I have not been much impressed.

However, I am pleasantly surprised at the functionality of audio multitracking in the latest version of Sonar. It seems they have taken quite a few cues from Vegas. I swear if they just implement the scroll-wheel zoom like Vegas, or provide a customizable binding, I may be tempted to go the Sonar route.

The track and event handling is eerily similar to Vegas. They need to work a bit on snapping options, scroll zoom, and a few tweaks to their automatic crossfades and I think they will reach parity with and soon surpass Vegas's ease of use with audio.



jaegersing wrote on 4/20/2005, 2:30 AM
I'm also interested to hear replies to this. I've been using Logic for years, and am still running the very last PC version that was released before Apple bought emagic and cut off the PC product line.

I haven't done much serious audio work in Vegas because I need midi at least as much as audio. Since it is clear now that Vegas is not ever going to compete with products like Logic, I am looking out for a powerful midi sequencer/DAW program to replace Logic. The 2 main contenders are Sonar and Cubase. Since it seems to be quite difficult for me to get any kind of hands-on demo in Singapore, I would be very interested to hear what existing users have to say, and how they would compare the audio features with those of Vegas.

Richard Hunter
gjn wrote on 4/20/2005, 4:23 AM
But when do you go to understand that " vegas " it is for the video?

There is an exellente quality audio.but it is above all for the video.

Look at "audition". It is better and cheaper.
Either wait " acid 6!!!! ".
James Young wrote on 4/20/2005, 8:15 AM
"am still running the very last PC version that was released"

me too :) was a Logic user since version 2!

Another program seems to have taken a similar approach from Vegas is Tracktion - though the MIDI features aren't anywhere near that of Logic/Cubase/Sonar... it is a cheaper, maybe even better, alternative then Vegas.
PipelineAudio wrote on 4/20/2005, 8:45 AM
if sonar only had mouse wheel zoom......

and tossed out 99% of their screen clutter
randygo wrote on 4/20/2005, 10:15 AM
I was able to pare down most of the screen clutter in Sonar 4. If all you ever do is work with audio tracks, like Vegas, the screen can remain pretty usable.

I would hope the scroll-wheel zoom should not be far off in Sonar. Its unfortunate they did not add it to Sonar 4 after prior requests for it, but it seems to me they would be well advised to introduce customizable "Mouse bindings" like they have key bindings. The identical zoom behaviour is actually implemented in Sonar via Ctrl-UP and Ctrl-DN. We just need a way to bind the scroll wheel to this feature. I found more than a few posts on the Sonar fora regarding this issue.

I love the folder tracks in Sonar, the ability to hide tracks, and track freeze. My last few projects in Vegas resulted in about 50 tracks of comps, alternate takes, etc. It is simply becoming unmanagable in Vegas! In Sonar I could group related tracks into a folder track and minimize and hide as necessary to keep things sane.

I understand Acid 5 has folder tracks, so why didn't this feature make its way into Vegas 6 which was released much later? I haven't played with the video end of Vegas at all, but isn't there already something akin to folder tracks for the video tracks? Why can't the paradigm be extended to the audio tracks? And how hard would it be to implement a "hide track" feature in Vegas? This alone would help immeasurably!

It's ironic that an app that started out as a cheapo midi-sequencer is becoming a better audio app than Vegas which started out as a fantastic audio app.

Tracktion looks promising, but as others have noted there are some pretty goofy things about it. I would definitely be looking at Tracktion if I was not prepared to make a bigger investment in a prosumer application.

This release of Vegas should have been labelled "Vegas 5V" to indicate it was essentially a version 5 release with some additional video enhancements. The positioning as "Vegas 6" only serves to infuriate the audio users. Version 6 should have been a more rounded release to cater to all Sony's customers. Frankly, Sony may as well change the name back to "Vegas Video".

H2000 wrote on 4/20/2005, 10:31 AM
"how hard would it be to implement a "hide track" feature in Vegas?"

That's the most painful part. It wouldn't have really taken that much to make some of us happy.
drbam wrote on 4/20/2005, 10:37 AM
"that's the most painful part. It wouldn't have really taken that much to make some of us happy."

Yep! Give me a working metronome, VST, Rewire, tempo mapping and a grid that you can actually see and I'd be a happy camper for a long damn time (assuming that the above is bug free).

Rednroll wrote on 4/20/2005, 12:53 PM
"Frankly, Sony may as well change the name back to "Vegas Video"."

Totally agree!!!! I as well as some of you where mad as hell when it was strictly called Vegas Video, because we where doing strictly audio work. It seems like our voice was loud enough back then and Sonic Foundry listened to us. I was highly impressed with a lot of the audio features that got added to v5.0. I definately didn't get everything I wanted, but I at least considered it a significant audio update and made me believe it was still alive and well on the audio side. v6.0 clearly shows that the audio side features is not even a consideration. So change the name back to Vegas Video, so no more audio users will be confused of the market segment it's focused in. "Vegas Multimedia"? I don't think so, if that was the case I would expect at least a 50/50 development. I would be willing to bet that the last Final Cut Pro upgrade, got more audio features than Vegas. If FCP and Primiere really becomes concerned with the power of Vegas audio features, they need to only add one feature, Rewire to address that issue.
klyon wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:16 PM
Maybe they should have a two-tiered pricing scheme: video users can pay the full $149 upgrade price and audio users can pay for what they're getting... $19? $25? $30 tops.
Seems fair to me. Think it'll fly?
drbam wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:18 PM
"Maybe they should have a two-tiered pricing scheme: video users can pay the full $149 upgrade price and audio users can pay for what they're getting... $19? $25? $30 tops.
Seems fair to me. Think it'll fly?"

Probably not but its certainly the fair and right thing to do! I'd even pay a little bit more (not much tho).

jaegersing wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:28 PM
Hi James. Do you happen to know if there is a downloadable Traktion demo available?

randygo wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:31 PM

DirectiXer cost me $40, so I would be willing to pay $40 for similar VST support native in Vegas. I'd consider that fair and that's the only value I can see in this release for me. I'd pay $300 if they added folder tracks, hidden tracks, track freeze, and a few other dirt simple fixes that should be there (toggling "Show active takes"!).

But Sony doesn't care about me, so its not going to happen!

James Young wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:41 PM

I've never tried version 2. I have version 1 here, they were offering it for free just several months ago - not sure if they still are.
James Young wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:43 PM
oops, looks like the free version offer ended this new year.
James Young wrote on 4/20/2005, 5:48 PM
I should prbably add that no, Tracktion is nowhere near Vegas or Logic in either of their feature sets. It ain't cheap because of nothin'
TubeLover wrote on 4/20/2005, 6:22 PM
"But Sony doesn't care about me, so its not going to happen!"

Have you ever called tech support with an audio question? I've known that since 2.0!!!! Several times I've called them and told them of probs I was having and they'd act like I didn't know what I was talking about.Then, the next update comes out and....well what do ya know!!!!There is my problem listed on the release notes!!!! The phone support guys could learn a thing or to from the registration dep. let me tell ya!!They pop in and out of this forum, dodging real issues and leaving short answers ....many unanswered questions. I ended up paying the $199 for VST and metronome because I really don't have time to learn a new program with how busy the use of Vegas made me, and I need it to work correctly. I think its sad to be led on this way.If I only could have known that Vegas was gonna bail on us after raising our hopes with ASIO in 4.0 and Automation in 5.0. I have based my entire business on the speed and convenience of vegas, even defended it's honor in the face of Avid Protools users (holding a pretty good arguement based on the 4.0 to 5.0 update....which I've used to scare many protools users I know when they see how quickly I can work on Vegas) only to be made a fool now for the next year or so.I wish I would have known this before I got this far but it's too late to turn back now...too busy...SONY.....YOU WIN!!!!! YOU GOT MY $200 DOLLARS!!!! I HOPE YOUR HAPPY BECAUSE ALOT OF PEOPLE ARE VERY UPSET!!!!!!!!!
drbam wrote on 4/20/2005, 7:11 PM
"SONY.....YOU WIN!!!!! YOU GOT MY $200 DOLLARS!!!!"

Yeah Tubelover, I think you've nailed it here. A few audio people may move on to other apps but most will probably just suck it up and stay the course because they really don't have the time to demo and learn a new program if they're doing this for a living and Vegas has been their main app. Given the numbers that are really voicing their complaints here (less than a dozen), the loss to Sony at most would be less than $2000 (figuring the $150 upgrade). That's not even the cost of a full page color ad in a major mag. Bring in a few newby video folks with the new features in Vegas 6 and it actually pays off for them to lose a few on this side, at least from a "multimedia" marketing perspective. At this point in Vegas's evolution, WHY would they even want "audio only" folks in the fold?? I would think by now its more of a PITA for them than anything else. They can no longer ligitimately market to the audio world with any degree of integrity and as a result, they will primarily hear complaints from us. Anyway, easy math – easy choice.


Rednroll wrote on 4/20/2005, 7:38 PM
Wow, TubeLover I thought I was reading words coming directly from my mouth when I read your last post. That's the part that really burns our ass. We defended this product through thick and thin. They're not only losing a few vocal few audio users on this forum with this release. I've sold many copies of Vegas through my support.. Hell, I've even sold copies to video editors that i was doing audio post work with. Now the app that I vocally supported over everything has basically chosen to not support me. Well, abandonment is a two way street and yes I'm a tad bitter.
drbam wrote on 4/20/2005, 8:32 PM
Yeah Red, I too have been an almost rabid supporter of SoFo apps, especially Vegas. I have raved in other forums about how great it is, many times risking and receiving the rath from other audio "professionals." I have considered myself a very loyal customer, not only because of the products but because on several occasions I received incredibly wonderful technical support. A few years ago Dave Hill contacted me personally (I was surprised but delighted) to help me address a Vegas issue and worked with me until it was resolved. This experience as much as anything else solidified my loyality. But obviously times have changed. The ONLY response I received regarding my formal report about the v.5 metronome issue was an automated one. Nothing else in all these months (probably over a year now). Unfortunately, Sony does not seem to understand the fundamental principle that loyalty is gained primarily through RELATIONSHIPS, not the product itself or its quality. When customers are treated right and fairly, they will overlook almost any product deficiency or shortcoming. They will hang in there with the company when they have a clear sense that the company REALLY does care about them. Remember the overwhelming loyality that mobilized around these forums when it was clear that SoFo was in big financial trouble? However, for its Vegas audio customers, its pretty obvious where Sony stands on this issue. Even though I think I understand Sony's position, like you Red (and Tubelover), I'm feeling a bit betrayed.

canum wrote on 4/21/2005, 7:08 AM
I switched from Sonar to Vegas a few months ago. The difference in the audio engine implementations between the two are pretty profound. All other things being equal (which apparently they're not), the Vegas audio engine is reason enough to stick with it. Easy experiment... import a project you tracked in Vegas to Sonar 4 and do a side by side comparison. The differences will be apparent and remarkable, workflow and feature issues aside.


H2000 wrote on 4/21/2005, 7:59 AM
That's very interesting, cancum. I've been thinking lately what changing programs would mean to the overall sound of my Vegas productions. I'm getting results in Vegas that I am very happy with, and I don't take it for granted. When you say audio engine, what exactly are you reffering to? Can you be more specific?
canum wrote on 4/21/2005, 8:09 AM
By audio engine, I'm referring to the portion of both programs that deal with the recording and playback of audio data. I'm sure there's more to it than that, but from my experience, it seems that the Sonar engine "colors" the sound in a way that's apparent by doing a side by side comparisonwith Vegas. The Vegas engine produces a much truer result IMHO.

H2000 wrote on 4/21/2005, 8:27 AM
I've heard before that Vegas has a sound. I guess since they all handle processes slightly different, all DAWs sound slightly different. I personally really like the sound I am getting with Vegas (especially now with the addition of UAD plugins).
Bob Greaves wrote on 4/21/2005, 8:35 AM
The software that works best for you is the one whose paradigm you have absorbed perhaps even without realizing it.

All too often criticism of one platform by an experienced user of another says more about becoming entrenched in a particular approach than it does about the true capabilities of either program.

I have been a Cakewalk user since version1. I currently use Sonar producer 4.x. I am doing and have been doing with Soanr all sorts of things that many other users are saying they wish they could do. Like any program that has multiple capabilities, few users ever become aware of what all those capabilities are or how they can be usefully combined to create a smooth workflow.

I use Vegas for multi cam editing and extracting useful footage into a meaningful condensed edit. I use sonar for editing MIDI and audio. I have tried using Vegas for audio but have discovered that I know Sonar so well that it is just faster and easier for me to do it in Sonar. One feature I like in Vegas, however, is its format agnostic approach. I can mix different tracks using different sources without having to convert everything to a common format.

If your approach is a computer NLE adaptation of a traditional analog recording, then you cannot do better than Vegas for audio (bugs worked out versions that is). However if you are looking for ways to exploit NLE capabilities more conducive to a computer based DAW, Vegas is little more than a very good hosting base. But then these words come from a person who has used Cakewalk products throughout the technology phase that brought us the DAW.