Cakewalk V-Studio 100 and Sonar VS

The Cakewalk VCakewalk V-Studio 100 and Sonar VS-Studio 100 is a multifaceted compact solution to some of the problems presented being a musician. It is first and foremost a USB recording interface compatible with both Mac and Windows platforms allowing easy passage between the analogue and digital worlds. It comes equipped with 8 in/6 out connectivity and all the necessary fundamentals such as phantom power, 2 mic pres, a hi-gain instrument input and MIDI. In addition to this it also provides seamless control of the bundled Sonar VS, a downscaled version of the Windows only DAW, Sonar. The software is straight forward system with an intuitive layout and some great plug-ins – the most notable of which is VX-64 vocal strip, a 7 stage processor with plenty of power. Also included are the Cakewalk Studio Instruments: Drums, Bass, Electric Piano and Strings, along with LE versions of Sonar’s Dimension sampler and Rapture wave-table synthesizer. On the control side, the backlit transport controls, high resolution fader and assignable rotary encoders give the user instant gratification and immediacy of use . The V-Studio 100 possesses ample power as a standalone unit, as it is also a digital mixer and SD recorder with built in DSP effects such as compression, EQ and 4 reverb types. Overall, it’s reminiscent of Roland’s early digital multi-track recording mixers with the ease of use and the added power of software control.

This is Roland’s recording enthusiast’s package, covering all aspects the entry level user could ask for. The V-Studio is aimed to become the centre of operations in a home audio setup, and the dedicated Sonar integration makes it an even more valuable tool. Incorporating it into a live environment opens up new possibilities at the gig or in the band room, allowing the flexibility of using it with or without a laptop. Musicians new to audio software recording and production will find this an easily navigable and hassle free way to go about the business of tracking and mixing and a great way to get started on the journey into music production. The intended work flow would go from the rehearsal to the studio to the gig. As you have the power to track takes to the built-in metronome and effects, transfer them to Sonar VS for editing and then back onto the SD card to use as backing for your live performance. 1st time software users and those new to recording shouldn’t have any trouble getting familiar with the hardware or software side of the V-Studio.

I am always skeptical of “swiss-army knife” audio products as they tend to offer a massive quantity of functions instead of a single tool that gives quality results. To my pleasant surprise this was not the case with the V-Studio . If you are simply seeking a desktop recording interface and software to match, this is a very attractive package indeed. The V-Studio 100 comes with a well tailored bundle of goodies, with more than enough to keep the noob occupied while making sure the pro user will opt for the more powerful V-Studio 700 system and Sonar 8.5 when they discover its simplicity. The added bonus of having a portable SD recorder and digital mixer make it a rather difficult act to follow if you are after this sort of functionality. Cakewalk have definitely struck a prominent chord with this one.

Key Hardware Features:

Cakewalk V-Studio 100 and Sonar VS

  • Provides a comprehensive and portable studio recording solution
  • Included VS-100 USB 2.0 audio interface doubles as a live mixer and SD recorder
  • Integrated control surface has a motorized 100mm touch-sensitive fader
  • Built-in reverb, compression, and EQ for getting great live mixes
  • Computer-free SD recorder can record two tracks or play back two tracks
  • Metronome built into the VS-100, for effective practice
  • SONAR VS DAW software comes included, so you can immediately get recording
  • Includes tons of virtual instruments and effects
  • 8-in + mix/6 out
  • 24-bit/96 kHz quality
  • Two XLR Mic Preamps with phantom power and input sensitivity
  • Two 1/4″ TRS inputs
  • Hi-Z 1/4″ Guitar Input
  • Works with SONAR, Ableton Live, Cubase, and more
  • 100mm motorized, touch-sensitive fader
  • 5 rotary encoders, 11 buttons, and transport control
  • Advanced control of SONAR through Active Controller Technology
  • Ideal for mixing small bands, solo musicians, DJs, home studios
  • 8-input/6-output plus headphones
  • 4 types of reverb
  • 6 channels of EQ with LCD plot
  • 6 channels of Compression with threshold and compression meter
  • Meter and FX Display on LCD
  • 24-bit/96kHz resolution
  • Capture rehearsals and live performances or play along to backing tracks
  • Play backing tracks and record your mix simultaneously
  • Easily transfer audio to and from any computer via USB

Key Software Features:

  • Record, edit, mix and share your songs
  • 64 audio and unlimited MIDI tracks
  • 5 included virtual instruments and genuine Roland® sounds
  • Create backing tracks easily with new Loop Explorer and included content
  • 12 studio-quality FX including Reverb, Delay, and more
  • Mix like a pro using Console view
  • Share your music on CD or web


  • Multi-functional, compact recording device with huge potential
  • Smooth, tightly woven software integration
  • Bus powered


  • Sonar only available on the Windows platform
  • Pricey for a non-pro product
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