It's a constant source of amazement to me not only that some of the products I used to mess around with in the late '80s are still around, and have progressed so far that they beg comparisons between shopping trollies and Lambourghinis. Back then, we had green CRT computer screens and did our MIDI editing in DOS programs, that had to use ASCII characters for graphics. There was absolutely no possibility of editing audio on the computer. None.
And yet it all worked beautifully. My 8 track tape recorder would sync nicely with my MIDI sequencer. You could achieve great things with a bank of keyboards, sound modules, a half decent microphone and some rather dated sounding reverb from a new company called Alesis.
And now: well, it's like falling asleep and waking up on a different planet. To the extent that the latest software can do stuff that isn't just difficult, but should be downright impossible!
Cakewalk's SONAR is a very complete music composition platform. The latest release brings clarity to the complicated process of soloing Aux Tracks that have Patch Points. "Smart Solo", manages track muting in complex setups, visually dimming muted tracks.
But perhaps the biggest news is that "Manchester" incorporates the latest (and by all accounts the "greatest") release of Melodyne Essentials. Version four is a radical reworking that has improved facilities especially for transposition, tempo editing and very high quality pitch shifting and time stretching. The new processes sound so good - with minimal CPU usage - that they can be used to modify entire mixes.
The new version of SONAR includes improvements, fixes and enhancements submitted by customers, to address stability and quality.