Review: BigTone EDM Expansion Pack for Z3TA+ 2

by Craig Anderton

Sound Designer Nico Herz has done sound design for a variety of companies, of course including Cakewalk. BigTone EDM, for Z3TA+ 2, is (as you can probably guess from the name) designed for EDM. So if you’re into traditional bluegrass, you probably should not continue reading this.

Anyway, the presets are designed for the EDM “sweet spot” of 125bpm. There are 127 presets total, arranged as eight banks: 7 Bass, 19 Keys, 11 Leads, 20 Pads, 11 Sequences, 6 Sound FX, 19 Textures, and 34 Arps. I’m going to assign each bank a letter grade average for two reasons—it might be helpful, and because sounds are so subjective, if you end up disagreeing with me you’ll know not to bother reading any sound reviews I do. Conversely, if you think my evaluations are correct, we can have an ongoing relationship with future sound reviews. (more…)

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How iLan Bluestone used SONAR Platinum on his new track “Bigger Than Love” (#1 on Beatport)

Just a few short years ago, we learned of a new up-and-coming artist who was using SONAR.  After introducing ourselves and learning more, the one thing that kept resonating were the infectious melodies and counterparts embedded into his tracks.  We were delighted to witness him working in SONAR, but at the same time very intrigued that he was using SONAR 8.5.

Soon after being in touch with iLan, we were able to catch up with him face to face in his studio just north of London for a night where we introduced SONAR X3 to him.  It was a fun night and very interesting to watch a pro’s reactions going from 8.5 to X3 considering that undoubtedly the platforms are truly different.  There were some moments of, “Whooaaah… that will save me a ton of time,” and there were moments of, “Ummm…that will take a while to get used to.”  Leaving iLan to his own devices we were really unsure where he would take it.

 

 

Toggling back and forth from 8.5 to X3 for a while, iLan finally found his stride with SONAR Platinum.  He told us, “After working on both 8.5 and X3, once I was on Platinum there was no going back.  The basic features alone like the smart tool and Mix Recall not only save me a lot of time, but allow me to create things I could not create in 8.5. With the amount of tracks I create and pace of my workflow, the fact that Platinum is rock solid and really fast means everything to me.  8.5 always allowed me to ‘not’ sound like everyone else in my genre, and Platinum just continues that path for me.”  iLan’s first full production in SONAR Platinum titled “Bigger Than Love,” a collaboration with singer/songwriter/artist Giuseppe de Luca was recently released on Anjunabeats and quickly found its way up the charts to the #1 spot on Beatport.

(more…)

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How To Create Easy Tempo Maps in SONAR with Melodyne 4

Thanks to Melodyne’s advanced tempo detection and SONAR’s powerful ARA drag-and-drop integration, your projects can now follow a live recording’s tempo. Simply drag a standard audio clip (or Melodyne region effect) to SONAR’s timeline, and SONAR creates a tempo map that follows the clip tempo. Watch the new video for more information.

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HOW ILAN BLUESTONE APPROACHES HIS CHARTING EDM TRACKS

SONAR Platinum artist iLan Bluestone’s career trajectory is moving fast.  The jet-setting EDM producer is touring the world, but was kind enough to share not only his time with us discussing his music production techniques, but also his new single collaboration with mogul-producer BT titled “All These Wounds.”  We caught up with iLan in Chicago at the Spring Awakening Festival, and then again down the road at Sweetwater’s Gearfest:

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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. (more…)

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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!

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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/

(more…)

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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…)

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ScratchPad 1.3 Release Now Available

ScratchPad ties it all together in the latest update with support for Audiobus 2, Audio Copy 2, and much more. Nominated for a 2014 TEC Award, Scratchpad is making waves in the mobile market allowing users to create playful and pumping songs in seconds. Check it out today on the App Store.

 

What’s New:

  • Full support for iOS 8, continued support for iOS 7
  • Support for Audiobus 2, Audio Copy 2, and Inter-App Audio has been added
  • Performance enhancements using low latency settings
  • Now includes support for dynamic latency changes
  • Easier drag and drop functionality to move loops from one cell to another
  • Improved stability, project handling, user interface, and bug fixes to enhance the user experience

Pricing and Availability:

For current ScratchPad owners, the 1.3 update is a free download from the App Store. For new customers, ScratchPad 1.3 is available for $3.99. Full product information is available here.

Askaudiomag gives it a “Best of 2014 iOS apps”. Check out the article here.

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Multi-Track Drum Editing – Cropping and Aligning Clips

In this part of the blog series we’ll cover cropping and aligning the clips that we sliced and diced in the previous post.

STEP 09: Cropping Multiple Clips

SONAR rocks when it comes to cropping multiple clips at once. Now that we’ve sliced up the first measure, select all the split clips from measure 22 to 23 including the blank waveforms leading up to measure 22. You can select multiple clips by clicking the header of each Clip Group and holding SHIFT.

While holding SHIFT, crop the right side of any of the selected clips.

This will crop all of these clips at once. The end (more…)

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