I’m trying to like Sonar 8.5. It’s got a lot of little tiny buttons, but I’m starting to think maybe I can deal with it. And then…

And then I discover that the 64-bit version won’t import REX files. Isn’t that charming? I’ve got a great big DVD full of REX files, and Sonar 8.5 (that’s not 1.0, it’s 8.5 — a large number) doesn’t want to know about them.

But wait, there’s more. That little gotcha gets me curious, so next I load Stylus RMX. The first time I double-click on a beat in the RMX browser, it plays. I decide I like the beat, so I grab its MIDI data in RMX’s drag and drop widget and drag the MIDI clip into a Sonar track.¬†Whereupon, Sonar gives me an alert box that says, “Cannot find or open file.” On top of which, now RMX won’t even play its own beats out to the Sonar mixer. It’s dead. It’s a doorstop.

So that’s the state of the art, is it? I’ve got three major (emphasis: major) DAWs on the hard drive in my nice new Windows 7 computer. Ableton Live can only load 3rd-party plug-ins in their demo mode versions, Cubase spits up on its little yellow duckie bib when I ask it to receive audio from a multi-channel plug-in, and Sonar won’t work with the two most popular forms of beats. In case you missed the piece on NPR, beats are an important aspect of pop music.

Is it just me? Maybe I need to join a Bible study class, so God won’t punish me this way. What’s next — boils? Flies?

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