6 Mindblowing reasons to get SONAR X3 Producer

1. SONAR has redefined mixing in the box.

The ProChannel redefines the way you work with the Console View. Each audio track, instrument track, and bus comes with a complete modular strip of analog effects. Even the inspector allows the users to preview a selected track’s ProChannel strip right from the Track View. With the click of a button users can expand this analog mixing console and fully customize it by dragging around the modules, or loading up a ProChannel presets. Load up the Compressors, Tube Saturation, Reverb, Console Emulators, Tap Emulators, and the new QuadCurve EQ Zoom with Analyzer by simply right-clicking. SONAR’s ProChannel lends itself to an immensely visual experienceand to enhance this feature a step further Cakewalk introduced the fly-out panel for the Quad Curve EQ (SONAR X3 Producer Exclusive). Adding this allows users to see and modify their audio signals in real-time across a spectrum analyzer.

2. The best pitch correction software that exists is fully integrated.

ARA technology is Celemony’s way of allowing DAW’s to host the functions of any audio edit capable plugin. ARA Integration means that Melodyne can now run as a fully integrated feature within SONAR X3. Yes, you read that correctly, SONAR X3 can now run the world’s best pitch correction as a native component and SONAR X3 Studio & Producer now include Melodyne Essential.

Melodyne interacts with the new Region FX clips in SONAR – allowing users to highlight any mono audio clip and apply Melodyne pitch correction. ARA’s high quality time stretching replaces the older time stretching capabilities run by AudioSnap and SONAR X3 has the ability to convert Audio to MIDI by simply dragging and dropping audio to a MIDI track. This deeply integrated technology makes SONAR perfect solution for complex pitch correction!

3. Floating windows get in the way, so SONAR solved that problem.

If you’re looking to purge your workflow of a cryptic DAW with an unsettling interface that is not conducive to a creative environment then you should really check out what SONAR’s been doing since the X-series overhaul. We’ve pretty much ended the floating window interface to bring users a more efficient musical experience. Our Smart Tools HUD can be accessed anywhere in the interface. Our main track view houses several different workflows that are a single click or shortcut away. Screen-sets lets you save window configurations and swap between them using your numerical keys. The list goes on and on and we’re continuing to make it better with more intuitive features.

4. It takes minutes to create something awesome.

There are programs that exist only to record and edit, and then there is SONAR – which is the major contender for the entire creative experience. Every part of SONAR’s MIDI and virtual instrument implementation allows users drag in, route, and start composing within seconds.

You can save your favorite instrument and track routing as track templates and load them into other projects without any hesitation. Complex routing tasks like a multi-track setup for Addictive Drums requires no thinking – just doing. Our synth rack stays separate from the Track View and Console view so that your processing plugins stay separate from your synthesis plugins. Organization, clarity, and not a second wasted, that’s why SONAR stays on top.

5. We don’t bundle useless plugins with SONAR.

In fact, we bundle some of the best software in the industry with SONAR. We’ve already covered the fact that Melodyne Essential comes with the product – but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. 

The Nomad Factory Blue Tubes bundle ships with SONAR X3 and contains as many dynamic, time-based, and eq-based plugins that you could ever need. We have astounding instruments from AAS: Strum Acoustic SONAR, and Lounge Lizard SONAR. Lastly, Addictive Drums – which will make you want to fire your drummer and spark your MIDI programming addiction. It doesn’t stop there, check out the full list of effects and get yourself on board with the future of the DAWs.

6. You’re not limited to a Track Count or Plugin Count.

There’s always that moment when you realize that your DAW has hit a brick wall with the amount of plugins or tracks that it can handle at once. SONAR doesn’t have that problem, in fact it goes above and beyond to give you the best 64-bit architecture, unlimited tracks, buses, and effects that money can buy. We even have surround sound support! No need to constantly submix your tracks or work in parts because you don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on a “pro-system”. Even at our $99 value we’ve taken out track and effects limitations and still retain flagship features like ARA and VST3.

Upgrade to SONAR X3 Producer today!

Still not convinced? Check out SONAR free for 30-days.

Share

Meet the Bakers: Dave L

How did you get started with music?

The Beatles began my lifelong love and appreciation of music, at the age of 9. I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up in an era with some of the most iconic bands in history. Being able to see The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stone, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ten Years After, Deep Purple .. live! …was simply amazing. Not too mention the ticket prices were only $7.50!

For the past 50+ years, music has been one of the most important aspects of my life. I played flute and clarinet, in the high school band as well as attending Berklee and the University of Lowell, where I taught electronic music labs in my freshman year. At Lowell, they had an ARP 2500, (2) 2600s and one of the first Synclavier commercially produced. Working in several local music stores as well as repairing all sorts of gear also added to my skills. I continue to utilize my technical skills whether its custom designing an on-board guitar preamp or here at Cakewalk.

(more…)

Share

Meet The Bakers: Dan K

I became obsessed with music when I was around 11 years old and my brothers left behind their collection of cassette tapes when they went on to college. They were mostly classic rock albums – Led Zeppelin I, II, and III, Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, Pink Floyd’s The Wall and everything in between.

I had a musical background already taking piano lessons, but it wasn’t long before I picked up my mom’s nylon string guitar and started learning how to play – first the chords, then on to as many solos as I could learn, one note at a time.

Eventually I studied more formally, taking up blues, jazz, and classical guitar, but once I realized I wouldn’t *quite* be the next Jimi Hendrix, I got my feet wet writing songs of my own. Since then, I’ve recorded a handful of EPs (not to be confused with the other Dan Kaplan, who writes and records solo harmonica albums), a full length album, and I just finished mixing my first full length album, Chasing Daylight, with my band, Magnolia. You can listen to the first single here.

 

Fun Facts:

  • I was an all state flute player in NY when I was a kid. I don’t remember why I started playing the flute, but I probably thought it’d be cool to be the only boy. Now it just comes in handy for the occasional jazz flute solo (i.e. never).
  • I had a song, “Around the Bend” featured on The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch a few years ago. Still probably one of the highlights of my life.
  • I *might* be related to Johnny Appleseed.

Position:
Graphic Designer

Years @ Cakewalk:
5+ years (gulp)

Instruments:
Mostly guitar and piano, but I’ll hit or try to play anything I can get my hands on

Share

SONAR Tips: How to Easily Sync Your DAW to Audio

Introduction

Have you ever recorded a song that isn’t set to any type of tempo? Or maybe you have just have to make a click track for your songs? Well SONAR can certainly help that in that department. One of the great things about SONAR is it’s flexibility across different types of workflows. In this particular situation there is a nifty tool hidden in one of the menus that helps get your tempos mapped out in your DAW. Think of it like syncing your DAW and your audio files.

Out of time? Put it in time.

Let’s a take a perfectly good song like the following sound example:

This is a great song, but it was tracked to an independent (more…)

Share

Meet the Bakers: Jon S

How did you get started with music?

My dad played guitar in a cover band when I was growing up, so right from the start I knew I wanted to pick it up for myself. I played a few other instruments when I was in middle/high school as well, but really got into playing guitar and bass when I was starting high school. I remember the day my freshman year when I had an art class that let us play music- somebody brought in a Jimi Hendrix CD and it absolutely blew my mind. From there I spent most of my high school years listening and playing along with classic rock staples- Beatles, Zeppelin, Cream, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Creedence Clearwater Revival.

I was taking a couple courses on radio, and through that found that I had a real fascination with doing production work/recording. It was then that I bought my first recording software, Cakewalk Guitar Tracks 2. Eventually I decided that music production (more…)

Share

DAW Best Practices: How to use metering in SONAR

[Originally posted as a daily tip on the SONAR forums and reposted for viewers here on the blog.]

The Overachieving Meters

by Craig Anderton

To change resolution for any audio meter, in any view, right-click on it and choose a range of 12, 24, 42, 60, 78, or 90 dB. Each meter can have its own range. With the Console view, I set the output bus meters to 12 dB to help gauge the approximate amount of loudness maximization that may be required. For example, if the meters make it to 0 but otherwise spend very little time in those upper 12 dB, then the track will probably need to be made “hotter” when mastering. For the Track View track meters, choosing the maximum resolution (90 dB) helps reveal if there’s noise at the lower range of an incoming signal.

Vertical or Horizontal Metering

In Track View, the meters can be vertical or horizontal. Choose Options > Meter Options and select the desired option. When vertical, the meters behave more like activity/clipping indicators, because when you collapse the track to a short height, you basically see only activity and clipping. If you use the Console for mixing, this is a good choice because you can see more track parameters in the Tracks Pane, as the vertical meters don’t take up space along the bottom.

If you generally mix using the Track View rather than the Console, then you can extend the width of the Track Pane, enable horizontal metering, set them to a fairly wide playback range, and enjoy high-resolution metering. Also under Options > Meter Options, you can specify the Record, Playback, and Bus meter characteristics. Choose from Peak, RMS, or Peak+RMS (my favorite choice) response, whether playback meters are pre- or post-fader, and whether bus meters are pre-fader, post-fader, or pre-fader and post-FX.


These settings are independent from equivalent meter settings for the Console view. You can also choose whether peaks are held or locked (I recommend checking both), as well as show Peak Markers. These indicate the highest point in the track and can be extremely useful when mastering.

This kind of flexibility allows the Track and Console views to be far more than just two ways to view the same type of material. For example, the Console meters are probably better set to post-fader, so you can see at a glance which tracks are contributing the most amount of level. But in Track view, a pre-fader setting lets you monitor track activity so you can check whether a Track has signal, regardless of the fader position. The metering options are just one more reason why I tend to mix in Console view, but track and edit in Track View.

Want to check our SONAR? Try our 30-day free trial.

Share

Meet the Bakers: Josh K

I began classical piano lessons at around age 9, and at age 14 after hearing Metallica for the first time I convinced my dad to get me an electric guitar for my birthday. After that I was hooked. I jammed along to Metallica, AC/DC, and Guns N Roses record for several years before attempting to write my own songs and recruit some fellow classmates to start a band. I ended up playing originals in local bands all throughout high school.

At some point I realized I was serious about music not just as a hobby but as a career as well. I subsequently applied and got into Berklee College of Music. Once there I became fascinated with electronic music, and the music technology used to create it.

I got into artists like Boards of Canada and Bonobo, and soon started making my own tunes with the software we were given for school. I eventually got into Berklee’s Electronic Production and Design program, and proceeded to get schooled in the ways of audio engineering, sound design, and electronic composition. Since then, I’ve continued to compose and produce electronic music in a number of different genres, and am currently doing so under the name Smigonaut. Somewhere in between, I spent a few months interning at Bear Creek Studio out in my home state of Washington, where artists like Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, and the Lumineers have passed through to make records.

Eventually, I graduated from Berklee and spent my time out of school doing various freelance gigs, which included composing/sound FX for several indie films, as well as helping to create some jingles for TV ads. Several months later, I landed here at Cakewalk as a Product Support Representative. I have been here for just about a year, and it has certainly been one of the most educational and gratifying experiences of my career.

Favorite Movie: Taxi Driver

Years @ Cakewalk: Just under a year

Instrument: Guitar, Bass, Piano, Vocals

Preferred Style of Music: Alternative, Rock, Electronic

Superpower (if you could have one): Flying

Favorite Bands: Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, Dave Tipper

Share

Meet the Bakers: Lance R

My love for music started at an early age singing and dancing with my sisters in our living room listening to The Beatles, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, and the Top Gun soundtrack on Vinyl. I found guitar or maybe it found me in middle school and I was immediately hooked, leaning songs from Nirvana, Bush, & Guns & Roses.

Through middle school I was grew more interested in guitar FX, computers and hi-fi stereo systems, and from there began recording my own originals & covers at a liberal arts school for grades 6-12 where I discovered (more…)

Share

Meet the Bakers: Dan Gonzalez

It was right about ninth grade when I first started getting into playing guitar. Before that I was all about the Clarinet until 8th grade – when I rebelled for a couple years and didn’t want anything to do with school band. It wasn’t until I entered my Junior year of highschool when I realized that there could be benefits to playing a wind instrument as well as a stringed. So, I joined a the choir, jazz, the string orchestra (upright bass), and directed the marching band during football season. (more…)

Share

Meet the Bakers: Tara Z

One of the catalysts for starting guitar lessons – me in the Gibson Showroom NYC without a clue how to play!

How did you get started with music?

I’ve actually always kind of fallen into the music scene somehow, which has felt very fortunate! In college I ended up working at the local record store, “The Sound Garden”, which was such an awesome environment to be in. Then when I moved to Boston I was hired to be Cakewalk’s Event Coordinator despite having no musical background.

The Original TLZ Photography

Since Gibson bought Cakewalk I’ve actually started playing guitar! Being surrounded by so many amazing instruments and tons of talented musicians is very inspiring (and also intimidating at times). I have only been playing for a couple months at this point, but being able to generate something that is mildly musical is so satisfying and therapeutic, it has become the driving force for wanting to continue to practice and improve!

I grew up in Rochester, NY but I have lived in Boston for 8 years. I have been at Cakewalk for 6 of those years and the friends I have made through Cakewalk are pretty close to what I would consider my Boston family. (more…)

Share