SONAR x64: Everything You Need to Know

Last updated on 1/20/2017

What is SONAR x64?
SONAR x64 Edition is a fully native 64-bit version of SONAR , the definitive audio production environment on the Windows platform. SONAR Studio and Producer include installation packages for both 32bit and 64bit environments. You can only install SONAR x64 under Windows Vista x64 edition or Windows 7 x64 edition.




What are the benefits?




Windows x64 combined with 64-bit capable Intel or AMD processor-based workstations provide significant advantages to musicians when running native 64-bit music applications like SONAR.


  1. SONAR x64 Edition allows access to 1 terabyte (1024 GB) of RAM, well beyond the current 2 GB limit offered by today's 32-bit applications. This provides users with nearly unlimited potential for working with RAM intensive projects that make extensive use of samplers and numerous audio loops and tracks.

  2. SONAR x64 Edition provides users with the ability to load large sample banks, libraries, and audio clips into RAM, thereby eliminating the latency introduced by disk streaming.
  3. SONAR x64 Edition sees CPU performance benefits from the increased number of internal registers included with x64 processors.The increase in processing performance can result in more simultaneous tracks, realtime effects, and virtual instruments, along with closer to real-time latency for mixing and performance.
  4. Intel and Microsoft have created a special video hosted by Cakewalk's Brandon Ryan that explains the benefits of 64-bit computing for musicians. A highlight of the video is SONAR running an enormous project by film composer Shawn Clement, that utilizes 17 virtual instruments, 42 effects, 150 tracks, and full screen digital video—all running simultaneously on an Intel multi-core workstation. Watch the video on YouTube.

What if my favorite plug-in maker doesn't make 64-bit plug-ins?
This is where SONAR's BitBridge™ comes in. BitBridge enables the use of 32-bit VST effects and instruments in SONAR's 64-bit environment. BitBridge technology extends the viability and use of your favorite VST plug-ins; ensures future compatibility of freeware, even for the most obscure, independently developed shareware plug-ins.

In some cases installing the 32bit version of SONAR on your 64bit OS is necessary. Install the 32-bit version of SONAR by reinserting your SONAR installation disc and choosing the 32-bit option during the installation. This version can run along side the 64 bit version of SONAR so you can use it when you need to work with 32 bit plugins.

Note - SONAR was made jBridge compatible so customers could have a second option to BitBridge if needed. The free jBridge download does work as a good test to see if its performance is better than BitBridge with specific plug-ins.

What Cakewalk programs can I install under a 64-bit operating System?
Any application that is specifically supported under Vista or Windows 7, has also been approved to function under Vista x64 or Windows 7 x64 (in 32-bit emulation mode). This means that if an application such as: Guitar Track Pro 4, Music Creator 5, or SONAR Home Studio 7 does not list 64-bit OS support on the packaging or system requirements, this is only referring to native 64-bit support.

Unlike SONAR, the fore mentioned programs contain only 32-bit versions of the program, whereas SONAR contains separate 32-bit and 64-bit applications on the disc. If you are running a 32 bit program under an x64 Operating System you should expect it to work just as well as running under a 32-bit OS; however, you will not see the same benefits as a SONAR x64 user, such as increased RAM utilization. 32-bit applications are still limited to accessing 2-3GB of RAM even in a 64-bit environment.

What features are not supported under SONAR x64 at this time?
The following features are not supported in SONAR x64 at this time:


  1. ReWire support for 32-bit clients like Project 5 V2, Reason, and Fruity Loops
  2. 32-bit DirectX plug-ins
  3. DreamStation DXi2
  4. MPEX time/pitch stretching. A 64-bit library is not available for the MPEX time/pitch stretching algorithm, so this feature is not supported in SONAR x64. Use iZotope Radius or SONAR’s internal time/pitch stretching instead.
  5. Apple has yet to release QuickTime for Windows x64, so QuickTime import/export is not yet supported. Note: MPG 1 movie files can be imported.


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