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]

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:

 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:



Act of Defiance: How Chris Broderick is using SONAR after Megadeth

Starting from the early age of 11, Chris Broderick started on a journey that eventually brought him to every corner of our world.  Little did he know at that time that he would accomplish what most musicians only dream about.  As a multi-genre / multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, he got his chops like many others, long hours and hard work.

From his early days he could be found practicing guitar, piano and violin for upwards of 14 hours a day as a teenager. This eventually led him into an extraordinary path of education at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where he was just as well known in the Denver music scene playing in local, yet highly regarded bands.  As time, fate and his esteemed career moved forward, Chris eventually moved into a greater role of guitar taking over for Joey Tafolla in the critically acclaimed band Jag Panzer.  Besides his professionalism, Chris landed this job partly due to the fact that he was the only one that could handle the duties laid out by Tafolla.

For nearly a decade of performing and touring on 4 records, Chris enjoyed playing with Jag Panzer while also taking part in live performances by the band Nevermore. In late 2007, Chis got a call from Shawn Drover, the drummer of Megadeth who had put forth his name in the hat of replacements for Glen Drover who had recently left the band.  After Dave Mustaine saw a video of Chris playing guitar, on February 4th 2008 Chris made his debut appearance as the new guitarist for Megadeth.  Dave Mustaine had commented that he thought Chris was the greatest guitarist Megadeth had ever seen, and that his collaboration with Chris reminded him of when Ozzy met Randy.

Most recently, Chris Broderick made the heartfelt decision to leave the band Megadeth. We got a chance to sit down with Chris and the most interesting part to this story is that the departure is really Uninteresting.  Unlike your usual big-drama band-break, it was simply Chris’s time to move on to something new… Act of Defiance with former band mate Shawn Drover: (more…)


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). (more…)


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:

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:



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 (more…)


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 (more…)


Achieve More Professional Sounding Vocal Tracks With VocalSync

by Jimmy Landry

Things have obviously changed in music production over the years, but just recently a few technological advances have surfaced that are game-changers. One of these items includes the VocalSync technology inside the new SONAR Platinum. What exactly is VocalSync and why should you care? Here is one real-world practical example:

VocalSync is a tool that’s integrated directly inside of SONAR Platinum which gives anyone working with vocals 2 distinct benefits:

1. The ability to save a lot of time from manual editing
2. The sonic advantage of producing tight professional sounding multi-tracked vocals

It does this by “guiding” or conforming the information on one track to match another more fluently. The outcome of this is a much more professional production sound in the vocal tracks.

Let’s take a look at a real-world example: Recently, I had the good fortune to work with a great artist from Finland by the name of Peppina who has made a name for herself through Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s brainchild platform HitRecord. If I had to compare or categorize her music I would say it’s a modernized version of Dido sprinkled with some Sarah Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson. With my producer hat on, I thought to myself that her vocals needed to be very large and wide on the tracks, but they also needed to sound authentic, realistic and intimate. To achieve this sound for the lead vocal, I used VocalSync to tighten 3 “takes” that would work together strategically in the stereo field. (more…)


SONAR User Norman Matthew brings in CJ Pierce of DROWNING POOL to his “Sound Foundation” Music School

SONAR Platinum user Norman Matthew of Murder FM has been making some serious musical strides on many fronts.  Since touring internationally and becoming a new dad wasn’t enough, he decided to open a “School of Rock” so to speak in what tiny bit of spare time he could squeeze.  ”The Sound Foundation” which houses SONAR Platinum at the core, is based on teaching kids the side of music that one generally will not learn in a class room.  ”This is about teaching kids how to find their heart and spirit through music,” Norman told me at #Namm2015 when we caught up for a bit.  ”The changes I see in the confidence of these kids through the process is amazing.  Each student is treated uniquely to identify exactly what is needed to reach their musical goals.  What happens throughout that process is simply magical to witness, and really what makes this place so special.  SONAR is a big part of this place.  These kids love it and recording some great music on their own thanks to the simplicity of the program.”

Quite frankly, The Sound Foundation is picking up where the labels are falling short on the Artist Development side of the coin.  Since the fall of the Major Label system, the words “Artist Development” are rarely heard.  A lot of people don’t realize that a good amount of money that was coming into the labels back-in-the-day was going right back into developing new artists.  Labels were actually gambling on 150k deals here and there knowing that 1 out of 5 newly signed artists may break long term.  Those days are long gone, and this is where people like Norman Matthew are picking up the slack.

This model is working, and to drive home the point Norman has recently brought on CJ Pierce of Platinum selling Artist DROWNING POOL to join The Sound Foundation.  ”This is a big deal for me.  I have always had so much respect for CJ and Drowning Pool – and to have a guy of this caliber involved with our program is priceless.”

CBS Dallas has bought into Norman’s educational process and ran a piece on The Sound Foundation today:

The Ford Company has also taken notice of Norman’s work ethic and has featured The Sound Foundation on Episode #1 of their Good Works Series:

For more information on The Sound Foundation visit

For more information on the new SONAR family visit


Video from Winter NAMM 2015


Highlights from Winter NAMM 2015
NAMM was our first opportunity to show off the new SONAR line to the public, and the reception was nothing short of spectacular. To handle the crowds, products were demoed at three locations—the Gibson, TASCAM, and Hal Leonard booths. We met artists, press, and of course many, many customers—and we were equally happy to thrill long-time Cakewalk supporters as well as bring new users into the fold.

Cakewalk NAMM 2015

We wish everyone could experience the excitement of NAMM, but to give you a taste just click the links below to see demos and interviews from the show floor. And—there’s also a sneak peek of the new David Bendeth Signature Series Compressor.

Dan Gonzalez demos the new features in SONAR

Audiofanzine gets a demo of the new SONAR

Keyboard magazine interviews Craig Anderton on Membership

Engineer/Producer, John Paterno shows off Overloud REmatrix

Sneak peek at new David Bendeth Signature Series Compressor