Published on May 12, 2013 by Chris Hadfield
A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.
Uploaded on Feb 20, 2012 by Larrivée Guitars
Additional video of Chris Hadfield visiting the Larrivée Guitar factory in Vancouver, Canada – builders of the Space Station guitar. He talks about challenges of playing in the weightless environment and recording original music in Space and also mentions using Cakewalk Software to record.
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…)
Music Creator 6 Touch makes it fun and easy to create original music or remix your favorite songs – with no musical experience required. Transform any Windows 7 or 8 computer into your own personal music studio. Music Creator has all the tools, loops, instruments, and FX you need to create, edit, and mix great music. And when you’re ready to share your music with the world, you can burn a CD or use SoundCloud to post your music on Facebook and Twitter.
Music Creator 6 Touch also adds touch support for Intel-inspired Ultrabooks and other Windows 8 touch enabled devices. Use the same multi-touch gestures you’ve grown accustomed to on your smartphone to interact with Music Creator 6 Touch.
NEW! Seamlessly create, record, edit, and mix your music using the award-winning Skylight user interface – with over 100 enhancements
Get creative with 32 audio tracks and 128 instrument tracks
NEW! A complete backing band – features 6 virtual instruments including Studio Instruments (Bass, Drums, Electric Piano, and Strings)
All the must-have FX including Reverb, EQ, more
NEW! Plug-in your guitar and get incredible sounds using the Overloud TH2 Creator amp sim
NEW! Create beats and drum tracks with the integrated Step Sequencer
Trigger audio and MIDI loops using the Matrix View for real-time performance and remixing
Easily drag and drop loops, instruments, FX, and project templates from the built-in Browser
NEW! Windows 7 and 8 support
NEW! Use any Windows 8 touch enabled device and interact directly with the software using your hands (touch device not required to use the software)
Save more with new bundles: You can get even more value and savings when you purchase Music Creator 6 Touch bundles which include Music Creator 6 Touch plus additional sound packs.
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.
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.
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.
Well, ultimately that’s up to you, but there are plenty of reasons to argue that it is.
First and foremost is the legacy of Z3TA+ Classic. Released over 10 years ago, Z3TA+ set the bar for modern analog style soft synths with unparalleled tweakability and waveshaping control. Z3TA+ was pumping out synth leads and fat basses back when EDM was know to most as simply “Techno,” and Dubstep was in it’s infancy. It’s impossible to quantify the impact of Z3TA+ on the EDM/Synth universe, but from what our users tell us, there are likely tens of thousands of musicians still using their trusty Z3TA+ 1.5 waveshaping synthesizer in music today.
Secondly, Z3TA+ 2 includes over 1000 new sounds AND all 1,093 that ship with the original. Frankly speaking, Z3TA+ 2 is a preset goldmine. These sounds hold up against any synth on the market. Listen to Z3TA+ 2 sound examples for a taste.
But of course there is also the UI redesign and usability overhaul that came with the second version. Z3TA+ 2 now has the sleek, modern interface that is easier on the eyes and easier to navigate. Controls are more spread out, intuitively placed, and easy to access. Plus new controls have been added to allow even more sound design possibilities. New features for performance and playability raise the bar again for soft synths. Plus, Z3TA+ 2 is now (at last) available for PC & Mac.
You can study Berklee’s renowned music production techniques directly from their renowned faculty members, in a collaborative online community of like-minded musicians. Learn to operate SONAR X2 Producer like a pro from anywhere in the world. Sample a free lesson in SONAR, as well as other areas of music production, guitar, music theory, and more.
We all know the feature-set and workflow in SONAR X2 is world-class. It still amazes me that we can make Major Label sounding records in our homes these days as long as you have a good system, good enough ears and some good old fashion knowledge. The one feature I personally love that I think gets overlooked is the FX Chain Preset.
We live in a musical world these days where time is of the essence. While some folks have the luxury of spending as much time as needed on musical works, other folks like myself are not so lucky. I look at it as a balance between creativity/quality vs. time/money. With this being said, the FX Chains Presets have been a life-saver for me.
The beauty of FX Chains is that they are in fact a massive time-saver, but still allow you to get uniquesounds by creating your own effects.
What starts to happen when you uncap the power of FX Chains? You start to build your own library of Effects where at any given point in time you can simply drag-and-drop a chain on any effect bin, bus, or even clip. For example, let’s say you are working with a certain vocalist/songwriter one week who returns back for another song a month later. If you have saved that vocalist’s chain as an effect chain preset, you can simply drag-and-drop it from the preset folder to the track in this new project. It sounds basic but it’s not; what happens over time is that you develop your own catalogue of multiple effects that are instantly available to you on any project. What is significant, is that these FX Chains presets work with any Cakewalk or third-party plug in your arsenal. Personally speaking, I don’t know what I would do without them after becoming accustomed to their ease of use. I’m constantly fighting for minutes in a day, and having the ability to fire-up FX Chains instantaneously without sacrificing any creativity has been a game-changer. In fact FX Chains presets actually inspire me to create new sounds.
It’s simple to map multiple effects’ parameters to single knobs and switches. The uniqueness comes in to play when you start to automate the knobs and switches to get some interesting sounds. The fact that you can control multiple parameters from a single source opens countless doors of sound-character. For example, the ability to map the “left” and “right” panning sliders to one knob allows me to control where a reverb rests in a mix. Now if you take that one step further by mapping the “left” and “right” pans of a delay to another knob, you can start to split effects’ signals up. An interesting effect from here would be adding a flanger, and mapping its’ depth and speed parameters along with the delay’s feedback parameter to one more knob; so as the delay repeats more and more, the flanger effect becomes more intense.
These are just a few real-world examples of how I find the benefits of FX Chains very useful and practical. SONAR X2 ships with 48 FX Chains in Essential, 76 in Studio, and 160 in Producer. As a bonus for SONAR X2 Producer Content Club members, I’ve created a new set of 15 FX Chains that work particularly well on buses. These can obviously work on tracks as well, but I built them in buses thinking they would work well on spacious recordings that encompass vocals, clean guitars, piano and light drums or percussion. You can experiment with other types of music as well, but I think these are best suited for recordings where there is some room in the mid-range department between 600Hz and 2K.
Some of the highlighted presets in the bonus FX Chain Odyssey pack include: (Please note for demonstration purposes I have turned up the Effect Send considerably on these examples.)
Circus Buzzards – An eerie reverse reverb that is entrenched in a warm overdrive provided by TH2 and finished off with a modulation option.
Panable Ambiance – A great reverb and delay effect for vocals where you can position the reverb in the stereo field.
Smoke Stack – This is basically a button box where I have mapped overdrive parameters, wideners, and modulation to various knobs to create interesting overtones.
Another cool feature about FX Chains presets is the ability to customize the skin with your own designs. You can add interesting graphics, knobs, switches and background colors to keep your eye and mind fresh for those long mixing sessions.
So with all these components packed into the FX Chains preset feature, it’s easy to get uniquely creative while staying on top of the clock. If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you get acclimated to the world of FX Chains in SONAR X2. Here is a great overview video to get you started.
With all the powerful features of SONAR X2, it’s almost impossible for someone to know every single angle of the program. Even some of the simpler features have some not-so-obvious aspects that can make the musician’s life easier and more musically inventive. This is why we have created detailed videos for SONAR users to delve into without needing a manual.
This week we have posted four great new videos that are sure to give you some new insight on X2 features and workflow:
The QuadCurve EQ has now proven itself in the industry to be one of the most musical AND surgical instruments around. With four different modes, it’s easy to carve out and sculpt perfect and professional mixes with ease.
[My favorite QuadCurve feature: The slope – cutting off low frequencies dead-off is essential for getting great vocals to really pop out of the mix without sitting too far in front. You can also greatly clean up your low-end by getting rid of competing frequencies utilizing the slope on guitars, bass and kick drum.] (more…)
I was recently hired to burn the ole midnight oil and produce, mix, co-write and play just about every instrument on an EP for an artist out of NYC. The record is pretty cool, definitely fun to make, and it falls somewhere between Fiona Apple and Taylor Swift. Considering the genre, I figured it was a great time to try out our new CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier in the field and in a practical situation.
From testing the beta out briefly during development, I knew I was going to like the outcome of using the CA-2A, but what I didn’t expect was the versatility of the plugin. I ended up using it on a lot more than what I expected. From smoothing out vocals to arpeggiated guitars to piano tones, I really loved what I was getting from the CA-2A. I also had the benefit of A/B’ing it with another branded Leveling Amplifier that I use, and I found the Cakewalk CA-2A thicker sounding in general and also more versatile due to the R37 screw [knob.] Here are the reasons I found myself going to the CA-2A instead of my other comparable leveling amplifier.
1.) R37 Adjuster on Vocals – This adjustable screw is interesting. The physical appearance of the screw does not give off the importance of its usefulness. Basically, this parameter allows you to adjust the compression on the high frequencies. Since my other Leveling Amplifier does not have this adjustment, I always started out by keeping the screw all the way to the left (0%) and then dialing it in until I found the sweet spot. The result was amazing especially on vocals. I was able to always get a warm yet transparent sound but without the harshness on most of the “ess” words. Since this project is with a female vocalist, I found it especially helpful. I was also able to work the QuadCurve EQ into the mix and combine it with the CA-2A nicely. By tweaking the hi-end frequencies on the EQ along with the R37 screw, I was able to get a more present vocals without any harshness.
2.) “Limit” Mode on Bass Guitar – I’m not sure if it will be like this for every song, but for this track the CA-2A on the bass guitar in “Limit” mode was a magic bullet. I always run the bass into its separate bus, so I ended up using the limiter on that stage. I played the bass guitar (as you can hear from the track on this post) with a pick for this song. The CA-2A in limiting mode on the bass bus really allowed me to fatten up the sound of the low end, but also kept the attack of the pick in focus. It leveled out the attack of the pick hitting the string but also kept it present. I had the EQ running on the bass track, and then the limiter on the bass hitting the peak reduction at about -3db. I kept the R37 at 0% as you can see from the image.
3.) “Compress” Mode on Piano and Whirlie – fortunately for this track I had the benefit of having David Cook (keyboardist and MD for Taylor Swift) play on the track – the guy is a genius. I’m pretty much a hack at keyboards so my usual piano editing (to make myself sound decent enough) was not going to cut it. As you can hear from the attached track, there is a lot going on in the song, so I had to figure out a creative mixing strategy to make room and carve frequencies. To say that the CA-2A helped me achieve this on the track would be an understatement. Using the plugin in compress mode on the piano enabled me to really place it in the mix correctly. It also helped dial in the frequencies to get it out of the way of all the other things that were in the same frequency range. To get the piano to sit correctly, I hit the compressor pretty hard, used the R37 at 50%, and then notched up the highs of the QuadCurve EQ. I also used the Channel Tools plugin to give it some more width and depth and get it out of the way of the guitars. The more I use this, the more I understand the importance of the R37 screw. It’s almost an oxymoron, but by combining the R37 with the high-end frequencies on the QuadCurve EQ it seems like I am able to get a warm top end sound out of instruments.
On the rest of the track I also ended up using the CA-2A on some acoustic guitar tracks as well as one of the clean electric guitars. I’m psyched about the performance and versatility of this plugin – instantly you can hear the difference wherever you use it. I also think this is a plugin that would be a great benefit to folks who are just getting into mixing. The simplicity of the unit basically makes it fool proof for obtaining professional results without a lot of technical worries – basically just use your ear and turn the knobs;)
Thanks for reading and be sure listen to the mix posted below.
The song on this post uses the CA-2A on exactly the following tracks:
Lead Vocal track (Compress Mode)
Bass bus (Limit mode)
Piano track (Compress Mode)
Whirlie track (Compress Mode)
B3 track (very lightly) (Compress Mode)
Left acoustic guitar track (both mics) (Compress Mode)
Arpeggiated Electric Guitar track (Compress Mode)
1 of the backing vocal tracks (Compress Mode)
Tom drums bus (Limit mode)
Hi Hat (Compress Mode)
Mandolin track (Compress Mode) (doubled – CA-2A only on 1 of the tracks)