SONAR User and Composer Jerry Gerber to Give A Power-workshop on MIDI at NAMM 2014

When programming complex orchestrations, getting that authentic “feel” can be a big challenge for any producer or composer regardless of the DAW at hand.  It takes many years of use-case scenarios along with a full bag of MIDI tricks of the trade.  Longtime SONAR user and MIDI-manipulator Jerry Gerber possesses both of these elements, and will be sharing his secrets at the 2014 NAMM show.   Interestingly, the workshop is not targeted for just SONAR users, but rather for anyone who wants to create the most artistic MIDI recordings possible with the technology they have available. (more…)

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A Holiday Miracle: 24 Hours To Write, Record, Produce, Mix A Commercial Track in SONAR X3

“Audio Production Jobs” come in all shapes and sizes these days;-)  Yes, the music industry in general has shrunken to an all-time low in terms of major label budget projects, but the flip side is that there are many nooks and crannies out there to stay creative while making money.  I think the key these days is getting into as many industry circles as possible, and then over-delivering.  If you’re handed a job for writing, mixing, producing or even recording, and you knock it out of the park the first time with low-no hassles to the client, you will certainly come to mind on the next round.  I would also be willing to bet that your name will be referred to other folks outside of that job’s “circle.”  You just never know to where things are going to lead.

Stemming from this theory, I have been fortunate enough to work on some pretty diverse projects ranging from title tracks for Pokémon DVD’s to Major Label artists and just about everything in between in one form or another.  For the work I do now, the one thing that gives me an edge using SONAR X3 Producer over other DAWs is the quickness of the workflow; which contributes to music creation diversity.  Sounds deep right? …well it kind of is.  Here’s a real-world example with italicized words in red representing why SONAR X3 features are crucial to me when facing tough audio jobs.

Just a few weeks ago I was contacted by NYC singer-songwriter Jodi Good’s music attorney Steven Beer on a Friday night to discuss an opportunity for a “Holiday Song” to be placed with a major publication [for Monday].  Now usually, “Holiday Songs” are recorded around August or September and we were already at the end of November, so I knew this was going to be a tough one to accomplish especially since the song had to be written, recorded and mixed fast.  The other strike against me was that this one was a bit out of my rock, and pop-rock comfort zones, but I knew the challenge would be a good experience on many different levels, so I decided to fire up the eggnog and go for it.  Plus I had the comfort of knowing that Jodi is a great songwriter especially in the lyric department, so it was “weekend on.”

Literally that night Jodi was sending me vocal-only words and melodies as text messages on my Samsung S4.  She doesn’t play an instrument and we didn’t have the benefit of time, so we had to start writing via virtual and digital means.  I instantly forwarded them via email to my HP Z400 main rig where I drag-and-dropped them into a session for reference where they automatically created audio tracks.  The next move was simply pulling them down to a midi track where Melodyne’s ARA technology kicked in instantly giving me the notes in Midi.  This helped me to figure out the best chord structures for the verses and pre-chorus and also allowed me to see where I could go writing the chorus melody.  After about a half hour on my trusty acoustic, I had the bones to send back to Jodi via text.

[I'm going out on a limb here for your laughing pleasure ;) Here's the actual writing file on my phone which is what I texted back to Jodi when we were writing the melody - so you can hear how the song started, and where it ended.] (more…)

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Professional SONAR users weigh in on SONAR X3 – Stability, Performance, & Workflow

X3 is being hailed as the most rock solid edition since SONAR’S inception.  Beyond the new tools and features, a lot of work was put into the core functionality of the program to make sure that even top-notch music-making professionals would find performance improvements.  From the Skylight User Interface enhancements, to audio engine improvements – and everything in between, professional users who depend on SONAR day-in and day-out for their livelihood are weighing in:

 

Timothy Wynn (Sonic Fuel Studios / SonicFuel.net) – Los Angeles, CA

Congratulations to SONAR X3 user Timothy Wynn on winning Best Score at the CineRockom Film Festival for “The Liberator” this year.  With several globally successful franchises already to his credit ranging from blockbuster video games such as Command & Conquer, Dungeon Siege, GUN, The Punisher, Red Faction, 2K’s The Darkness II, The Simpsons and Warhawk to music in the hit television series Supernatural, Tim Wynn has gained international recognition as a leader in a new generation of highly talented and versatile composers.

Most recently, Timothy used SONAR to work on the feature films “The Starving Games” and “MK Reloaded (2014),” while also scoring EA Sports Madden 25 with Chris Lennertz.

“Cakewalk software has always been great for me in general, but this round of SONAR has really been stepped up.  SONAR X3 is the most stable DAW I have ever used.   I’m running huge projects (more…)

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SONAR X2 makes the grade at USC Thornton School of Music

Professor Chris Sampson, founding director of the Popular Music program at the USC Thornton School of Music, recently wrote an article for the Roland Music Education blog explaining why he prefers to teach with SONAR X2.

“As a professor of songwriting, I teach in both a classroom setting and privately, and a little over a year ago, I incorporated SONAR X2 into my instruction with great results.”

This is a screenshot from an actual private lesson

Professor Sampson cites SONAR X2′s Skylight User Interface, Smart Tool, ProChannel, included virtual instruments, overall workflow, and the sound quality of SONAR’s 64-bit audio engine as powerful enhancements to his teaching process.

“With these assignments, it is very important to me that the tracks sound great and authentic to the style I’m presenting, because the students’ enthusiasm can be seriously eroded if the track does not sound good. This is where the sound quality of SONAR X2’s 64-bit audio engine really shines.”

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The professor also gave us ‘extra credit’ for our own commitment to teaching aspiring musicians.

“In addition to the educational benefits of SONAR itself, there’s an abundance of training resources available at SONAR University. The videos there make it easy to understand the concepts behind every phase of the recording process, and the various tips I’ve picked up from The Cakewalk Blog have been invaluable as well. Both are great resources for students to build their own skills independently.”

Read the full article on the Roland Music Education blog.

Or download the SONAR X2 Producer Free Trial and see why SONAR X2 is getting high marks in the classroom and the studio.

 

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Film Composer James Bernhard Gets it Done Right with SONAR

Film composer and longtime Cakewalk user James Bernhard is a busy man. With films to score and a new music production company to run, it’s understandable. Fortunately SONAR is with him to help get things done right, right away.

James BernhardAfter getting his start as a songwriter in Long Island, NY, he made the move to LA to write music for television & film. It was in LA where the musical partnership with four-time Grammy award winning mixing engineer Brian Vibberts and golden-eared mastering engineer Patricia Sullivan (employed by Bernie Grundman Mastering) began. From this, the new company G4H Music Productions Inc. was born.

James was gracious enough to take time away from composing to have a conversation about his career, how he uses SONAR to score to picture and, despite pressure from colleagues, why he won’t ever switch to another DAW. (more…)

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Javier Colon, Winner of NBC The Voice Using SONAR X2 for New Record

It’s been quite a ride in the last 2 years for Javier Colon after being crowned the winner of NBC’s hit TV show The Voice.  Some highlights include releasing the record “Come Through for You” on the Universal/Republic label, gaining millions of new fans, and touring around the world sharing the stage with artists including Maroon 5, Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw to name a few.  It’s rare for an artist like Javier to experience so many facets of the music industry.  He is been signed to two major labels, put out his own successful independent music, and claimed the top spot on one of the biggest television shows of our time.  But what sets him apart from other artists (besides the obvious) in today’s never ending plethora of supposable talent?  I recently got a chance to catch up with Javier in his new SONAR X2 home studio in Connecticut and find out what he’s been up to, and where he’s going. (more…)

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Approaching Drums Left of Center with AudioSnap and Session Drummer – Norman Matthew [MURDER FM]

So Last “NorMonday” I went on a little (ok a lot) about how I approached tracking guitars, before that we tapped on my signature vocal techniques. Now it’s time to get into the foundation of it all, drums. Again, prepare yourself for some left of self-centered techniques.

THE KICK DRUM SUCKS…NO WORRIES, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Seems there’s an app for EVERYthing these days. In the recording world, I like to think of plugins as the “apps.” I’ve been part of approximately 16.25 trillion sessions and not a-one has gone by that I haven’t run into a horrible kick drum sound – clicks, flaps, slaps, flops or just generally sounding like a basketball being dribbled through my mic. The flip-side to these tones of course, is that Gawd-awful weak kick drum that sounds like an egg-beater hitting a pillowcase.

Well I have found a Godsend when it comes to such atrocities….SESSION DRUMMER and AUDIO SNAP!

Drum replacement happens EVERYwhere, ALL the time, so don’t let anyone fool you… the key is knowing how to keep the feel and dynamics alive. I learned a lot about drum replacement from producer Beau Hill (Ratt, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper, etc.), who took me under his production wing and mentored me on many techniques. In music production, we all strive for the best drum sounds because after all, that is what the rest of the music sits on. Unfortunately, we can’t all afford fancy tracking rooms where the walls move to adjust to the natural reverb. So, many of us at one point or another are slaves to the machine: tracking drums in the jam room, or in mom’s garage next to the washing machine (which is constantly on for some reason). (more…)

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Murder FM Finds Their Way to Revolver Magazine with SONAR X2; New Single “We the Evil” Finding International Success

The interesting and never-boring Texas-native front man of MURDER FM, Norman Matthew, will be guest appearing on the Cakewalk blog every other Monday (NorMondays) delivering music production tips, tricks and conditional evilness.  As a seasoned producer/songwriter/instrumentalist, he will be delving into his bag of production wickedness to shed some interesting light on how he approached sounds, songs and life in general;)

MURDER FM’s dark, edgy, and sleek style has been creating a buzz in the music industry domestically, and is quickly becoming a huge hit internationally.  Norman Matthew and the band have established a cult-like following, propelling two of the bands’ videos “As Beautiful as You Are” and “Machine Gun Kisses “to the Top-Ten list on (more…)

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International German Composer Jochen Flach Chooses SONAR X2: Interview from MusikMesse – Frankfurt

Recently and fortunately, I had the opportunity to attend MuskMesse in Frankfurt Germany where I demonstrated the powerful workflow of SONAR X2a.  Similar to The NAMM Show, MusikMesse brings gear junkies like you and me into one centralized location to discover all the new products for anything-music-creation.  The one constituent factor I noticed that sets MusikMesse apart from The NAMM Show is the undeniable international presence; both on the company side, and the consumer side.

Roland Germany's Michael Menze with Jochen Flach at MusikMesse

I was able to discover some great new products as well as meet some great new artists.  One artist that I was looking forward to meeting was composer/producer (and SONAR X2 user) Jochen Flach who is doing some great things on an international level based out of Germany.  I was excited to meet Jochen after becoming a fan of his compositions as the music he is creating on SONAR X2 is nothing short of innovative and captivating.

As a member of DYNAMEDION – Germany’s leading game-audio company, he was awarded back in 2009 for the best game soundtrack (for the game ANNO 1404).  In addition to usages in games, his music is being used for international promotion-campaigns for movies, TV-series, TV-shows as well as for soundtracks.  You can find his tracks on numerous releases for the movie-trailer business of several major companies – all composed in SONAR.

I got a chance to sit down with Jochen in a somewhat controlled environment at MusikMesse and had a great conversation with him about music production, and why he chooses SONAR for his complex music compositions.

Download the SONAR X2 Producer trial today and find out why more and more award winning producers and musicians from around the world are switching to SONAR. The trial is fully-functional for up to 30-days and includes the award-winning Skylight User Interface and the innovative ProChannel.

 

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New Videos: Create Amazing Things with SONAR X2 and Intel Technology

Intel video

Chuck Carr creates amazing content for Twisted Metal
Chuck Carr is a multi-faceted game audio professional and accomplished musician for over 60 games and counting. Intel has put out a new video showing how Chuck Carr used SONAR X2, an Intel® Core™-based PC and SSDs in his creative process to create the soundtrack for the hit game, Twisted Metal. It’s just one example of the amazing results that can be achieved with Intel technology and SONAR X2.

 

Timothy Michael Wynn Composes Amazing Content for Darkness II
Timothy Michael Wynn is an award-winning composer for films, television and video games. Hear how he uses SONAR X2 and the Intel® Core™ Processor and SSDs in his creative process.

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