Installing Cakewalk Home Studio 2004 on Windows Vista

This isn't a web development-related article, but it might be of interest to people who are trying to install products designed for earlier versions of Windows on Windows Vista. I recently tried to install my copy of Cakewalk Home Studio 2004 on Windows Vista and was having some problems, even though I was logged in as the administrator.

The autorun program on the CD brought up Cakewalk's control panel for performing different actions, like installing the main program, Home Studio 2004, or one of the other demos. I clicked on the button to install Home Studio but nothing would happen except that the control panel would disappear. In the end I found a simple workaround: I located the Home Studio setup file on the Cakewalk CD and ran that directly. Not only did Home Studio install, but it is actually working better for me than it used to on my Windows 2000 PC!

Cakewalk has released the Sonar 6 range of sequencers (including a Home Studio version) which have been designed with Vista support in mind. See:

Update 4th May 2007

I'm not sure if it was my imagination or not, but I thought that my guitar was playing back slightly out of sync with the MIDI backing track when recording. That is, I'd record without input monitoring, and what I then played back seemed slightly out of sync. From the audio options dialog it appeared as though Cakewalk was using MME drivers for the soundcard, long since superseded by WDM. However, it would not work with the WDM option. So, I downloaded a free ASIO driver called ASIO4all, which I couldn't get to work with Cakewalk either. In the end I reverted back to the default MME driver. I'll put up my findings in the next few days as to whether this is good enough for recording.

Update 10th August 2007

In the end I found the sync and timing issues were too much to put up with. I tried things like disabling the wireless internet connection whilst using Cakewalk, and switching to a less resource-hungry Windows appearance (similar to Windows 2000), but none of this worked. So I eventually decided to have a go installing my M-Audio Quattro USB audio interface. This product does not have any drivers created specifically for Vista, but it seems to work fine using the Windows XP driver that I downloaded from M-Audio's website. I haven't used the Quattro outside of Cakewalk so I can't comment on how well it operates in other Vista contexts.