As a User of Cakewalk products since '98, I regard their product as my studio essential. The latest version of their flagship software is SONAR X3 (X3e to be precise) and the wealth of features, look, feel and sound are as good as ever.
The only problem I have with the newer versions of SONAR is that it ships without a Manual. That's good news for the trees (the pdf version is well over 2,000 pages) but bad news for a user who has skipped the past 6 or 7 releases and has no idea how to utilise all this new cool stuff.
That's where Scott Garrigus comes in. His Power books have always been an essential buy for me (even in the days when Cakewalk's products DID ship with a manual), but this time round, his new X3 Power tome is literally a must.
I'm not even going to attempt to summarise what's included in his book in this review - you can probably check out a lot of this at Scott's own website - all I need to say is that this book is the manual that Cakewalk didn't make.
But it's more than the manual though... manuals are written by the company making the software so they tend to have a rather stuffy, formal tone about them. Sure, they tell you things but they sound rather like a dull schoolmaster. As he's an independent writer, Garrigus is able to provide opinion and colour to his explanations - he's also able to say how he thinks stuff works best. This point of view is always going to be more valuable that a flat manual - especially as Scott has been writing about Cakewalk and Sonar for so many years. He's also a frequent contributor to the mighty Cakewalk User Forum (the single-most helpful and informative user forum known to man) so he's got his finger on the pulse of the actual users.
Quite simply: essential purchase. I dare you to use Sonar without it.