Something inspiring is happening in the Dallas music scene, and Cakewalk is excited to be a part of it with SONAR Platinum. When Norman Matthew gets off the road from touring with his band Murder FM, or finishes up a major video or full length record, it’s not time to chill out. In fact for him, that’s the time when he buckles down and digs into his “little side-thing” which is a major music operation called The Sound Foundation (TSF) in Dallas, TX. Dallas has always been known to be a great music town, but Norman’s TSF has a great angle to its existence that resonates to the very core of his soul. In fact just recently, TSF caught the eye of the Ford Motor Company who took notice of Norman and his operation and were so impressed, they featured the establishment on their “Good Works” series.
If you’re reading this article, I’m sure you are aware that the Major Label system has pretty much all but collapsed. Look anywhere on the internet and you will find all the articles you can handle about how evil all the labels were, how they had this coming to them and how the lavish lifestyles of the greedy executives fostered this meltdown. But what you may not know is that “back in the day,” a good piece of that excess cash folks paid down on an $18 CD that cost $1.76 to make went right back into a pool of starving artists (not directly of course). It was called “Artist Development” and it helped pay and pave the way for many iconic artists who started out with the ole “Label Demo Deal.”
Here at Cakewalk we are fortunate to have an external team of rocket scientists who help test out SONAR beta releases. This team is dedicated, passionate and most of all appreciated by all of us internally here at the Cake shop. Recently I received a general email from one of my esteemed colleagues mentioning that one of our trustworthy beta soldiers was jumping off the beta-battlefield in lieu of another SONAR related activity. Huh? This peaked my curiosity and I felt obliged to dig a bit deeper on the subject. What could “another SONAR related activity” involve? SONAR Olympics? SONAR CPU Racing? SONAR Academy?
Featured Music Placements on Discovery Channel, History Channel, CBS, Bravo Network
With South by Southwest over and the Northeast starting to thaw out, we checked in with a few of our professional artists to see what they have been up to.
Norman Matthew and Murder FM Announce New Tour and Wrestlemania
Just when we thought it could not get any more murderous, Norman Matthew of Murder FM is jumping into the wrestling ring??? Fresh off of a national tour with Drowning Pool, in support of their latest record Happily Neverafter which was produced in SONAR X3 & Platinum and doing very well, Murder FM have announced April tour dates. The shows kick off with the wrestling debut of vocalist Norman “The Gnar” Matthew, during “Wrestlemania” Weekend at the 1010 Collins Ctr in Arlington, TX! (Yes, you heard us right – Wrestlemania.)
April 1 – 3, the Trifecta of wrestling brands, Knokx Pro/ Territory League, Samoan Dynasty Wrestler “TMD” Teams up with Murder FM in Arlington, TX. Murder FM Vocalist Norman “The Gnar” Matthew takes the corner of “TMD” during WRESTLEMANIA weekend, featuring WWE Hall Of Famer “Rikishi”.
Recently we also found out Norman is using SONAR Platinum live on stage. Next month we will be focusing an article around that setup and how he uses SONAR in a live application… [this is if he makes it out of Wrestlemania this weekend ]
Other New Tour Dates:
04/14 – Dubuque, IA – The Venue
04/15 – Crest Hill, IL – Bada Brew
04/16 – Springfield, IL – Capitol City
04/17 – Pekin, IL – Twisted Spoke
04/20 – Kent, OH – The Outpost
04/21 – Toledo, OH – Realm
04/22 – Chesterfield, MI – Diesel
04/23 – Battle Creek, MI – The Music Factory
04/24 – Harrison, OH – The Blue Note
What do Zagreb Croatia and SONAR have in common? The answer to that question is one talented musician/producer by the name of Yogi Lonich. LA based Lonich who has worked with iconic artists such as Shakira, Buckcherry, Wallflowers, Fuel and most recently Chris Cornell is on hiatus from LA and producing a few great rock artists in Croatia in SONAR Platinum.
“UP,“ is an alternative rock band formed in Zagreb Croatia by singer/guitarist Leo Angelcovich. In 2015 Leo started recording demos by himself and caught the ear of Yogi who has now joined him in person as a producer and collaborator. The efforts so far are focused on turning out a few singles, following an album in 2017 before world domination. The bands influences: AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Free, Nirvana, AiC and Rage Against the Machine to name a few.
Yogi has also been working with Blues(ish) guitarist/songwriter Dario Brnad who is also located in Zagreb Croatia. “I’m so used to my SONAR rig in LA that it took a bit to get used to my mobile setup here in Croatia. Platinum has been an inspiring creative tool here on these projects and I have been using a lot of Rapture and Dimension Pro as well.”
Chillwalker Announces New Recording Project Inspired by Mobile Recording
German artist Chillwalker has just announced the plans for what we think is a very unique project: “Holy Grounds.” Starting in August he will be touring to 12 sacred locations to which will eventually end up in a full-length 12-track release all inspired and taking direction from each location’s character. “With SONAR being so stable now, and the ability to create music virtually anywhere on devices that have longer battery life with core i7 processing, doing a project like this makes perfect sense to me. I will also be preforming live during the trip to help offset some of the costs.”
After releasing close to 70 tracks and remixes, Chillwalker took a bit of a break in 2015 to rebuild his musical spirit. He also took the time to physically build a new SONAR studio setup where he is currently working. “Platinum has really brought my music to another level since the last record on an older version of SONAR. I actually upgraded my Melodyne the DNA version just because of the fact that it works so incredibly well with SONAR. The Browser is a feature I cannot live without either—it’s always open and I am constantly auditioning and manipulating sounds. The ProChannel is another item I use all the time. I do a lot with sidechaining for compression with it. Finally, huge time-savers for me are both project and track templates.”
We will be checking in on Chillwalker’s interesting upcoming trip/project and will be doing a full length story on the project as he gets going. He will be updating his information in real-time here https://www.facebook.com/Chillwalker/ . In the meantime you can Chill[walker] here:
Javier Colon Anounces New Tour to Support April 15th Concord Music Group Release
NBC The Voice winner Javier Colon has been setting up for his new record to be released next week on Concord Music Group, and a few new songs are being leaked including “Giant” which was uploaded to Youtube not too long ago. Javier wrote much of the record in SONAR Platinum in his home project studio before recording in different locations. Along with the new full length 15 track record (yes… that’s right… 15), he has just announced an national tour for April/May/June that spans cross-country starting in Atlanta on 4/23. The tour so far from east to west and tourdates/tickets can be viewed here on his site http://javiercolon.com/tour-dates/ .
In a recent interview, Jav told us, “A lot of the songs on this new record started right in my home studio on SONAR Platinum. The thing I like about SONAR for writing is that it’s really quick for getting ideas down. It’s like a creative partner. Of course it’s great for mixing and creating masters too, but for me since I was fortunate enough on this record to be working with top-notch mixing engineers, the single most important thing was getting the songs right. The features in Platinum are great for songwriting. Even just the loops in Addictive Drums 2 are a great starting place to generate ideas—there’s just no shortage of inspiration in the program.”
SONAR Artist, Professional and Platinum are used by countless artists worldwide who are are taking their music into their own hands. If you are a musician who owns a PC, why not turn it into a recording studio? Please visit the SONAR pages for more information on getting started. No matter what stage you are in your career, there is a version of SONAR right for you.
You could call Javier Colon timeless. After winning the inaugural season of NBC’s The Voice, he has battled even harder than he did during the show’s “Battle Round.” Last year his perseverance and life-long dedication to creating music on his own terms brought him to yet another chapter in his career with a new recording contract with Concord Music Group. Concord Music Group is home to many enduring artists such as Ray Charles, James Taylor and The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band to name a few, but it’s also one of the most respected and ageless labels of our time.
When the ink was dry, Javier who is a longtime SONAR user dug deeper than he ever had before, and started writing songs for the new record. “A lot of the songs on this new record started right in my home studio on SONAR Platinum,” Javier recently told us in conversation. “The thing I like about SONAR for writing is that it’s really quick for getting ideas down. It’s like a creative partner. Of course it’s great for mixing and creating masters too, but for me since I was fortunate enough on this record to be working with top-notch mixing engineers, the single most important thing was getting the songs right. The features in Platinum are great for songwriting. Even just the loops in Addictive Drums 2 are a great starting place to generate ideas—there’s just no shortage of inspiration in the program.”
Javier’s new record titled “Gravity” comes out April 15, and he recently shot a new video in LA (also including scenes from Europe) directed by Gregory Poppen. The record itself is actually 15 songs, a bit of a different approach from pop music’s recent pattern of releasing fewer tracks per album. On this record Javier really wanted to get more music out there for his fans who have stayed with him all this time throughout every phase of his career.
I love it when something comes across my desk that MAKES me want to dig deeper—find out more. Recently I have been spending more time reading our Cakewalk forum and I am amazed at how passionate and talented our user base is. I find myself going through posts, clicking links, poking around and being genuinely entertained and inspired. One recent post really got my attention and after inquiring directly to the user, I found myself turning into a CSI investigator (Cakewalk-SONAR Investigator) looking for clues to make some sense out of what I had just stumbled upon…
Opening the case:
Cakewalk User:bentleyousley - [My Inside Voice]: “…sounds a little suspicious to me—sounds like a Rock Star I should know.”
Case: Once and Future Cities: A Fractal Journey - [My Inside Voice]: “…I think I remember the word ‘fractal’ from some distant math class or something.”
Location: Kansas City - [My Inside Voice]: “best BBQ I’ve ever had in that city, but a SONAR user in Kansas City with a studio that looks like a rocket fuselage? Okaaaayyy???…”
Evidence: PBS, Kansas City Star, Kansas City Planetarium - [My Inside Voice]: “…PBS? A Planetarium? A home-brew large format projector and software? Fractal equations translated into visuals? A brilliant film all edited and scored meticulously in SONAR Platinum by one person made for planetariums? I’m IN…” (more…)
The art of “making music” in this digital age… When you really think about it, how incredible is it that as music-creators we can take something from our minds, and sculpt it into something tangible? No matter how novice or professional you are, no matter what others think or say about the music YOU create, there’s no denying that we are living in an incredible time of opportunity for crafting music.
A while back I was introduced to a gentleman and composer working in SONAR out of Northern California by the name of Jerry Gerber. I knew he was a great composer from his accomplished list of credentials, but what I wasn’t prepared for was being absolutely fascinated by the sonic depth of “his sound,” the detail and integrity of his tracks, and moreover—how he accomplishes all of the above mentioned. When you listen to his work, and then hear his theoretic viewpoint of how to correctly compose and produce music, you quickly realize that this guy has tapped into something a bit deeper than most musicians.
What really made an impression on me was that without ever using the Piano Roll View (PRV), Jerry Gerber has composed and produced for some very highly-profiled films, television shows, computer games, concerts, dance and interactive media, and also back in the day wrote all of the original music for the remake of the popular children’s television show, The Adventures of Gumby. His approach to all this is through an expert level of “MIDI Sequencing” which he explains in the newest edition of the SONAR Newburyport eZine.
I was intrigued and beyond impressed by his words in the eZine, so I decided to [self-indulgently] dig a bit deeper by reaching out to Jerry to get some insight on his methods of madness with his new record. His words of musical wisdom make a lot of sense for anyone creating music in any genre, and I highly recommend the read; and then applying what you learn by analyzing and enjoying his new full-length composition.
[Cakewalk]: You talked a lot about the “programming” aspect of the new record, but what was the “writing” process like for you? (more…)
LA-based producer/mixer/musician (and former Lifehouse guitarist) Jorg Kohring was busy in November remixing the single “On Fire” off his last record. The remix/rerelease just hit over 15.000 views on YouTube in a little over two weeks. Jorg told us, “This remix is doing really well, people love the sound and production which is all done in SONAR Platinum. YouTube began putting some high profile ads in front of the video, so I think we may be seeing a lot more activity with the video as it gets in front of more people. It was interesting to remix a song in Platinum that was originally produced and mixed in SONAR X3. The new SONAR has really come a long way and it shows in the mix.” ~Jorg Kohring
LA producer/musician Yogi Lonich has been quite busy these days inside and outside of SONAR. He recently performed with Scott Weiland in Las Vegas at the Sayer’s Club, and is also currently rehearsing for international tour dates with Chinese pop star Jason Zhang in 2016. Yogi is the master of diversity with SONAR; he is currently recording his new record Run Through the Desert due out in 2016, while also composing and producing for shows such as Wahlburgers, Freaks and Geeks, Donny Loves Jenny and Long Island Lock Up to name a few. He also just co-wrote and recorded a song completely in SONAR with LA actress/singer/producer Rita Wilson (Sleepless in Seattle, Runaway Bride, My Big Fat Greek Wedding) with no release date announced yet for that track.
“The Drum Replacer in SONAR Platinum is something I am constantly using.” ~Yogi Lonich
Dallas musician/songwriter/producer/mixer and SONAR user Norman Matthew of MURDER FM has been on tour in November co-headlining the REVOLVER Magazine “South for the Win Tour” w Seasons After. The band’s debut (Major Label affiliated) record “Happily Neverafter” came out late summer, and it’s been nonstop ever since for Norman and the group. The record was tracked and created in SONAR Platinum, and then mixed by Beau Hill before being released on Famous Record Global/Sony Red. Besides Beau’s contributions, plenty of firepower went into the release including track-collaborations with Will Hunt of Evanescence and even an official remix of the single by Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.
The band is home for a few weeks now gearing up for yet another west coast/mid-west run with Hed Pe and Alien Ant Farm kicking off in Seattle on December 3, 2015. For more information on the bands whereabouts visit http://www.murderfmmusic.com/.
“Upgrading from X3 to Platinum changed the way I make music. Platinum is like having a creative assistant.” ~Norman Matthew
Producer/DJ R1CKONE has spent most of his November on tour over in Europe and the U.K. with the reunion of Crazy Town in support of their new record titled Brimstone Sluggers. R1CKONE who collaborated on the new record operates his [semi-private] SONAR studio in Hollywood for 3013 Music Group and has been busy developing many artists in LA area for a number of years. In December he will be back working on new tracks for Shifty and Epic, but for now he is just enjoying Europe’s seasonal offerings.
“I’m constantly creating and constantly seeing folks with other DAWs. There is no way I could do what I do on any other platform other than SONAR.” ~R1CKONE
In-demand LA Producer Luigie “Lugo” Gonzalez is in the trenches on a daily basis depending on SONAR to deliver radio-ready masters to major labels. As an advocate of this year’s Rolling Updates, and especially the new Universal Routing Technology [URT] in SONAR, Luigie told us how he is initially using URT:
CW Artist Relations: What are you currently working on?
Luigie: Right now I am in the middle of a few projects as always. Universal artist Ah Moon is being released right now and thankfully turning some heads. It’s actually Burmese which is very interesting. I am also working tracks with DJ Shift and the new single “Painkiller” is dropping at radio in the next month depending on the label.
CW Artist Relations: In general, what are your thoughts on SONAR’s updates this year?
Luigie: Every release has been rock solid. Honestly though, at first, I was reluctant. I have to have a stable platform because I am constantly delivering, and one technological mishap could be disastrous. Cakewalk is onto something with the monthly updates. Every release has been better and more efficient. I haven’t had any problems with stability, and I really look forward to the new features every month. Every release so far has been great, but this month’s Jamaica Plain release was a game-changer for me with the new Patch Points and Aux tracks
CW Artist Relations: How are you using Patch Points and Aux Tracks?
Luigie: I’m already using them a lot, and I am already hearing a difference in my mixes from the different ways I can control things. The possibilities of what I am going to be able to do creatively will be endless really, but right now I am primarily using them for control in a few different ways. I use VCA’s, and I do a lot of layering in general, so having the ability to route kick layers and synth layers helps me balance signals so that I don’t overload my channels. It’s basically giving me a lot more control in general. One specific example using Patch Points is when I use Turnado, Stutter edit or any other special effects. Now I can use Patch Points to affect only the signals I want without affecting a whole bus; but rather just the tracks I route to the new patch point.
CW Artist Relations: What else comes to mind for new features that you are using?
Luigie: I have to say, upsampling is one of my favorite features as well! Now having it on playback is even better! Sometimes you hear the difference, and sometimes not… But that’s because not all plugins support up-sampling, and some already do by default. There are instances where it actually helps a lot and you can certainly hear it especially when I use fancy EQing on the reverb returns. In some cases, I’ve noticed about a 20% improvement on my mixes. They tend to have more air, depth and clarity when I take advantage of upsampling.
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: (more…)
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…)