Month-end Artist RECAP: JUNE – BILLBOARD CHARTS, PAN AM GAMES, HEAT!

Summer officially kicked off in June with plenty of BBQ’s, beaches and Pro SONAR users doing some extraordinary things.  June also offered the SONAR Platinum Everett update which introduced the world’s most technologically advanced drum replacement feature.  Here are some highlights from last month on a few of the many hard working professionals using SONAR.

Murray Daigle – Toronto, Canada [Official Theme Song for Pan (and ParaPan) Am Games]

SONAR Platinum user Murray Daigle is the one of the most-awarded producers in the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). Based in Toronto, he is also known for his songwriting and mixing skills with major label and independent artists for over 20 years.  In June, Daigle added yet another major accomplishment to his profile when his writing efforts and song-pitch for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games were selected as the official theme song for the event.  The song was written at a “writing camp [workshop]” sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Canada, and then recorded and produced by Daigle with one of Canada’s most established pop artists Serena Ryder. The song, “Together We Are One,” was chosen out of 70 submissions created from the workshop. Seventeen artists perform on the song, including Mykey Thomas (Smashing SatellitesNeverest), Spyro Chalkiotis (lead singer of Neverest) and the Morningstar River drummers to name a few.  The song is currently picking up momentum as Universal has been promoting it to major radio stations, and a video for the song was also cut.  Additionally, the song is being played before every single game as well at the celebratory nightly fireworks ceremonies. Continue reading Month-end Artist RECAP: JUNE – BILLBOARD CHARTS, PAN AM GAMES, HEAT!

How Vivek Maddala’s work in SONAR caught Mix Magazine’s eye (+ his go-to gear)

Vivek Maddala’s story is one that certainly does not lack one single ounce of excitement. From being a successful [modern-day] composer of music for film and TV, to his recent build out of a new state-of-the-art home studio, Vivek has continued to deliver world-class music on his own terms.  He has always been on the vanguard of hip new projects, but now with the new studio, the sky is the limit for this seasoned – yet still young Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist/producer.

One might ask, “What is it that keeps him so busy writing and producing for such interesting projects?” Well for starters, very few people can pull together the diverse musical elements that seem to come so fluently for Maddala.  On one end of the spectrum he is an extremely proficient musician, and on the other he is an expressive individual who seems to be able to tap into emotional components of film while gracefully tying everything together with unique global soundscapes.  He also seems to land projects right in his wheelhouse; ones that lift the human spirit and elucidate the human condition. His works which have been noted extraordinarily diverse in style, stand out among contemporary compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and profoundly humanist nature.  It’s in this pocket where he has found so much success and respect scoring a plethora of [major] independent films.

Building off from his busy schedule — currently scoring a feature film, producing two albums, and soon scoring a TV series — it became clear to Vivek that he needed his own production sanctuary to work at any given moment of need or inspiration.  Now, when figuring out how to build a so-called “home project studio,” it doesn’t hurt to have attended the Berklee School of Music, and also to have degrees in Electrical Engineering from major universities. That is when one’s “project studio” usually takes a turn for the better. 😉  Combining his skills and background in electro-acoustics, Vivek turned to acoustics consultant Kevin Lee Hughes who had recently worked on design for Capitol Studios in LA.  The result was a stunningly beautiful and intricate professional work-space written about here in this month’s issue of Mix Magazine.

 

We recently got a chance to quickly catch up with Vivek and find out how he’s been using SONAR: Continue reading How Vivek Maddala’s work in SONAR caught Mix Magazine’s eye (+ his go-to gear)

How the 2015 New Music Seminar took over NYC

Congratulations and thank you to the New Music Seminar for another great conference year. In 3 days there were many panels and workshops with useful information for just about anyone in the music industry.  On the music side of the coin, the artists involved this year were simply stellar, and offered a refreshing look at new talent.

The New Music Seminar (NMS) is a forward-thinking, annual music conference and festival acting as a catalyst for change in the music industry. Taking place in NYC from June 21-23, 2015, NMS this year was dedicated in exploring new ways to support artists, exchanging of business ideas, and showcasing the next generation of stars. The conference portion held at the Wyndham New Yorker Hotel kicked off with an exhilarating array of movements on Sunday, June 21st ending with an outstanding turnout for the opening night festival featuring none other than Melanie Martinez.

Cakewalk and Gibson Brands were both busy during the conference with panels, workshops and also sponsoring the event with a final prize package to the winning AOV (Artist on the Verge.)  Our first engagement was a private songwriter’s workshop at the NYC Gibson Showroom titled: How to Train Your Computer to be a Songwriting Partner. This workshop was nothing less than pure entertainment featuring songwriter and producer Mark Hudson and digital pioneer/Gibson EVP Craig Anderton.  This workshop was a discussion and presentation on modern-day songwriting, and how you can stay more creative in the digital world with some simple (but not so obvious) tips and tricks. Continue reading How the 2015 New Music Seminar took over NYC

Why Musicians from all over the world are attending Gearfest

If you’ve ever driven through the mid-west, you know there’s not a lot happening in between the cities that you encounter during the ride.  That is, unless, you happen to be driving just north of Fort Wayne, IN during the early summer month of June.  In this case, you are sure to find your way to one of the fastest growing music events in the country – Gearfest!

Cakewalk had the privilege to take part in Gearfest again this year, and I was fortunate enough to make my first trip to what is quickly becoming known as a mini Namm in the mid-west. The event is put on by a great company called Sweetwater which is basically the end-all-be-all of anything you need for gear in the cyber world.  If you can’t find it in a store, or you simply just want more choices for purchasing, you can bet that you will find it at www.sweetwater.com.  Sweetwater is also known for having one of the most knowledgeable staffs in the industry, and if you just give them a call with a question you are sure to have an answer quickly by someone at their facility.

The first thing notable about Gearfest is the size of the event.  What started out  not to long ago as an idea to bring local people together for the community, has turned into a 10,000+ strong conference which now spans over 2 days and includes an interesting and unpretentious concoction of artists, industry professionals, music fans and gear-head-musicians from literally all over the globe.  The second thing to note is that it has its own vibe and culture very unique to itself.  Many music oriented conferences and/or festivals for that matter sometimes turn into promotional spectacles for those trying to gain an edge on their profile; Gearfest is the opposite. Continue reading Why Musicians from all over the world are attending Gearfest

Cakewalk at Gearfest 2015 with iLan Bluestone

On Friday/Saturday June 12th and 13th, Cakewalk and Gibson will be part of a great music event in Fort Wayne, IN called “Gearfest 2015.”  What once started out as a smaller “musician’s conference,” has now transformed into a collective gear-fanatic affair where music equipment enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and beyond converge upon this mid-sized mid-west town.  It’s certainly impressive and appreciated by many that Sweetwater has put this much care and effort into bringing together over 400 manufactures along with hundreds of presenters to this world-class event.

On Friday June 12th 11:15am at Gearfest, Cakewalk will be presenting a very interesting panel with U.K. based SONAR Platinum user iLan Bluestone.  In the last year, Bluestone has gone from newcomer, to one of the most in-demand new acts on the international dance music scene.  This presentation will be an exclusive interview geared [no pun intended] towards a day in the life of a successful touring electronic musician/DJ in today’s industry.  The interview will be followed by a demonstration of iLan’s approach to music production on SONAR Platinum.

Also presenting on 2 panels at Gearfest will be Gibson’s own Craig Anderton.

Friday, June 12th, 11:30am – Everything You Need to Know About Dynamics (Craig Anderton) [Conference Hall 2, Room A]
Saturday, June 13th, 9:45am – How to Master in Your DAW (Craig Anderton) [Conference Hall 2, Room A]
Saturday, June 13th, 11:15am – A Conversation with EDM Producer iLan Bluestone (Jimmy Landry/iLan Bluestone) [Conference Hall 2 Room A]

Details:
Sweetwater Gearfest 2015

Sweetwater Campus
5501 US Hwy 30W
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

We hope to see you there!

Month-end Artist Wrap-up: How Pro Sonar Users Made the Spotlight in May

Murder FM:         Congratulations to SONAR Platinum artist Norman Matthew and his band Murder FM for finalizing their record deal with Famous Records/Sony Red.  After turning down deals in the past from even bigger major labels, Norman and company found the right fit for the band.  In a recent press release circulated to the music industry, Famous Records stated, “We here at the label are super excited and can’t wait to share our new find. These guys have the ‘IT’ factor.  In a short period of time these guys can/will be the hottest new mainstream rock radio sensation that will get heads moving and feet stomping.

The single “We the Evil” will be promoted at rock radio this month, and another version of the song remixed by Tommy Lee of Motley Crue will be released simultaneously as well. The record which was mixed by Beau Hill (also the Executive Producer of the record) is slated to be released August 7th 2015.  Drummer Will Hunt of the band Evanescence also performed on the track Happily Never After which ended up as the title track to the record.  The band will be touring upon the release of the record and have signed on with the M7 Agency Group who has already started to place them on some large shows and festivals such as Dirtfest at Birch Run Expo Center, MI.

For more information visit: http://www.murderfmmusic.com/

 Javier Colon:       Another Congratulations is also in order to SONAR Platinum user Javier Colon who has signed a new record deal with Concord Music Group.  Javier, who won the inaugural season of “NBC’s The Voice,” has continued to stay connected with his fans since winning the show.  Javier is currently using SONAR Platinum in his home production studio as he finishes up the record in between show dates.  The record was recorded at his home as well as various studios in New York City and Los Angeles.

Javier has been no stranger to major label record deals, and one can only assume that his talent, spirit and songwriting keeps carrying him into new ventures.  In a recent press release circulated within the music industry Javier said, “I am so happy to have a new home at Concord. They truly understand who I am as an artist and I’m looking forward to making the album I want to make. To be on a roster with the likes of James Taylor and Paul McCartney is an absolute honor and I’m excited to start this journey and get new music out to my fans.”

Most recently coming off tour with Maroon 5 as well as solo performances, Javier has also performed with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Brian McKnight, Colbie Caillat, Michael McDonald, India Arie, Adam Levine, Stevie Nicks, Anthony Hamilton and Joss Stone to name a few.  From a recent conversation with Javier, it’s evident that touring is going to be a big part of this next record and new territories such as Asia will be in the fold as well.

For more information visit: http://javiercolon.com/

Continue reading Month-end Artist Wrap-up: How Pro Sonar Users Made the Spotlight in May

SONAR and Rapture Pro at the International Music Summit Ibiza, Spain

One thing is certainly clear.  Ibiza is a very creative island in terms of music. Besides the infamous “foam parties” and club-scene, there are locals here that write, record, promote, produce, live and breathe electronic music on a world-class level. Bringing all these creative people together yearly is a festival known as the International Music Summit, where professionals and music fans converge from all over the world to celebrate and discuss the industry.

This year The International Music Summit is being held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Ibiza, and the Gibson Brands family is here supporting all the great artists. One component to the partnership is the Gibson tour bus which unbelievably came here on a boat and is serving as a meeting spot for many exclusive artists. Parked out in front of the Hard Rock Hotel, the Gibson tour bus has made its appearance in a big way including a SONAR/Tascam / KRK / Surface Pro 3 mobile recording setup inside.

Many of us have been having fun creating some great music here on the bus, but one major highlight today was an appearance by the legendary Arthur Baker who just happened to be sporting his trusty TR-808. Within about 20 minutes, we had a substantial piece of music combining Arthur’s 808 skills, the new Rapture Pro, and some cutting edge loops from Loopmasters. We started with Arthur creating a beat on the 808 at 128bpm and sparingly added in some other loop elements from Loopmasters which created an interesting combination of modern and vintage sounds. After that, we added a lot of color with the large array of sounds from the new Rapture Pro library. Later today we will be adding some vocals to the composition so hopefully we will have something to post by the end of the conference.

On a technical note, I had the good fortune to test out SONAR on the new Surface Pro 3 and what I have to report is good news – the Surface Pro 3 is the real-deal for music creators. The one that was (thankfully) sent to Cakewalk from Intel boasted an Intel Core I7 along with 8 gigs of ram, and this machine flinched at nothing I threw at it. In fact on the contrary, I found it very quick and snappy on every level. I also found the touch responsiveness to be nothing less than spectacular. I highly recommend this machine, but along with that recommendation is the key element of obtaining one with a Core I7. Also be advised that these only have one USB port, so a USB3 powered port expansion is the ticket. Also noteworthy is to make sure your interface is not a power-hog (Class A components usually are). Continue reading SONAR and Rapture Pro at the International Music Summit Ibiza, Spain

Why Award Winning Jazz Artists Are Choosing SONAR

When you think of SONAR Platinum, you might not think of Jazz. In the last few years, we have had the pleasure of seeing various SONAR-using Jazz artists enjoy some well-deserved and large-scale success. What is success these days? Well depending on whom you ask, you will certainly get many different answers.

Bobbi “Funkee Boy” Tamarro will tell you first hand that success doesn’t come easy. As an international recording artist, songwriter and producer, he’s amassed an impressive amount of credits throughout his music career including chart hits across multiple music genres. Besides several top Billboard chart hits including his presence as a Top 5 Smooth Jazz artist, he has also penned licensing deals on television networks such as ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, SHOWTIME,  and VH1 to name a few.

In 2014 Tamarro released his 3rd CD “Soul Purpose,” where the keyboardist/producer combined his talents with assembling a stellar line up of A-List recording artists. Soul Purpose featured guest appearances from Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more. With the success of this release, he found himself up on a podium accepting a prestigious SESAC award for his efforts.

Recently with all his sales and charting success, Tamarro has respectfully turned down approaching major labels in the recent past as he has simply cracked the code as an indie artist competing in the big leagues. Bobbi tells us, “the number one thing is to do things right the first time, and be prepared to ‘invest’ and financially support your record. As an independent artist your record has to look, sound, and feel every bit as good as any major artist in your genre.”

SONAR feature you can’t live without?

The SONAR features I can’t live without are “everything!!” From the ease of workflow, editing, & visual representation to the ProChannel, Eq’s, Vintage Channel, and the Virtual Instruments included. They are all extremely valuable to me when making a record.

For more information on Bobbi Funkee Boy Tammaro please visit:
http://www.funkeeboy.com
https://www.facebook.com/Funkeeboy

Paul Wertico is internationally known as “one of the most versatile and musical drummers in music today.” As a member of the Pat Metheny Group from 1983 to 2001, he won seven Grammy Awards and several gold records, and toured the world dozens of times.  He has also won many other awards, including being named a Chicago Tribune 2004 “Chicagoan of the Year,” being a recipient of a 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cape Breton International Drum Festival, and winning an Independent Music Award for “Best Live Performance Album” in 2014. Paul is an active drum clinician and session musician, and is currently a member of the Larry Coryell Power Trio, as well as Wertico Cain & Gray. There’s no such thing as spare time for Paul, so he is also an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

When it comes to recording, one would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Jazz world with as much experience as Paul as he has played drums and percussion on hundreds of recordings including Paul Winter’s Grammy nominated release, Earth: Voices Of A Planet, and also on four of vocalist Kurt Elling’s Grammy nominated releases to name a few.  To check out more of Paul’s incredible studio work visit his discography here.

SONAR feature you can’t live without?

I have too many favorite reasons for using SONAR to name them all, but versatility, stability, and ease of use, are just a few of them!

For more information on Paul and his exceptional work please visit:
www.paulwertico.com
www.facebook.com/paulwertico1
www.wcg.band

Continue reading Why Award Winning Jazz Artists Are Choosing SONAR

Why Trance Chart-Topper iLan Bluestone Uses SONAR Platinum to Craft His Unique Sound

There is a new breed of DJ’s emerging, and U.K. native iLan Bluestone is leading the pack. This new insurgence is fueled more by raw talent rather than the button-pushing antics for which some DJ’s have been scrutinized.  Musicianship, song-structure, production, arrangement and mixing are now all part of the game with these super-DJ’s who have the skills to bring it all together. SONAR has been at the heart of iLan’s career for over 10 years now.  Hailing from the town of Borehamwood just north of London, he taught himself guitar and piano at a young age and took his time developing his sound. “I think it takes a while to figure out your sound and what you’re good at,” iLan told us while visiting his home studio in the U.K. “A lot of artists get really close to finding their own sound, but then for one reason or another things don’t seem to connect.  It takes a lot of dedication and patience to really develop as an artists these days, especially in the EDM world.” These words of wisdom seem to have a lot of weight behind them considering iLan’s sonic-trajectory in the last 18 months. On Beatport alone, he has seen the Top Ten Trance chart over 12 times including eight #1 tracks. He has also graced Billboard Charts and is literally the only U.K. artist to go from his bedroom production suite to a recent sold out show at Madison Square Garden Continue reading Why Trance Chart-Topper iLan Bluestone Uses SONAR Platinum to Craft His Unique Sound

SONAR PLATINUM: Hello from DanceFair Utrecht Netherlands 2015

[Many photos; this conference is way too vivd to tell it all in words.] Cakewalk’s SONAR Platinum, along with many other Gibson Brands’ products are making a splash in Utrecht Netherlands this weekend at DanceFair 2015.  EDM has had strong roots in Utrecht, and in the Netherlands in general for quite some time, so it’s absolutely the perfect location to capture the spirit of this genre. Electronic music makers from all over the world have converged here over the weekend to celebrate and discuss the state of the industry, technology, creativity and performance.

Some of the world’s most influential electronic professionals including Martin Garrix, Alvaro, GLOWINTHEDARK, Andrew Bayer, Roog, and even Cakewalk’s own SONAR Platinum endorsee iLan Bluestone can be seen walking the halls, testing out the latest and greatest new gear, and even holding workshops for tomorrow’s EDM stars. One of the greatest aspects of Dancefair is that the pros are very accessible to the many aspiring (and very young) EDM enthusiasts who can be seen mingling in breakout rooms around the conference.

The conference is held at Jaarbeurs Utrecht which is a very impressive complex to say the least, and also lends itself very well to the modern theme and overall vibe of this convention. From complex rhythms to chilled out backbeats, walking through the different pockets in this facility has everything modern EDM has to offer. The KRK listening room was exceptionally popular Continue reading SONAR PLATINUM: Hello from DanceFair Utrecht Netherlands 2015