How SONAR user Bentley Ousley Executes a Crazy Idea

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…” Continue reading How SONAR user Bentley Ousley Executes a Crazy Idea

How Jerry Gerber Creates Incredible Compositions Without Ever Using the PRV

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? Continue reading How Jerry Gerber Creates Incredible Compositions Without Ever Using the PRV

Anatomy of a Project: A Nontraditional Approach to a Commercial Recording

By Jimmy Landry

Last summer, Peppina—a young female artist from Finland— plunged herself into the NYC music scene for two months. With the help of renowned NYC entertainment attorney Steven Beer who discovered her, she managed to head back to Finland with a major-label sounding EP. The project was recorded in different ways, in different locations all over the city—and with budgets being slashed, these days it’s pretty much hand-to-hand combat when making a low budget recording where anything goes. But the upshot is yes, you can record a commercial-sounding record on a budget—so here are some of the techniques we employed to accomplish that goal. SONAR Platinum was instrumental in saving time on this EP. Between the Drum Replacer, VocalSync, onboard Melodyne, Speed Comping and general speed enhancements, I got to the finish line a lot faster than previous records. I highly recommend anyone who’s on SONAR XX to take a close look at what the program has brought to the table in the last year.

This all started when Steven Beer called about an artist he’d heard sing at a film festival, and invited me for a meeting at his office. Interestingly, there were two other producer/writers there as well—a bit unorthodox, but pretty much anything goes these days, so nothing really surprises me anymore. We discussed the artist’s interests, influences, and other variables, and then listened to some of my reel as well as music from the other producers. It turned out the lawyer’s master plan was to bring the three of us together to co-write, record, and mix a five-song EP before she went back to Finland in 45 days.

Peppina already had some momentum in Finland from a loop she wrote and uploaded to a site called HITRECORD (owned by actor and director Joseph Gordon-Levitt). Her upload was so popular that Gordon-Levitt flew her to California to perform the piece at the Orpheum in LA during one of the show’s TV episodes. This all sounded good to me, so I signed on to a production team that would share in the production duties and heavy lifting. As to budgets…well, there was enough there for us to take it on as a challenge.

Continue reading Anatomy of a Project: A Nontraditional Approach to a Commercial Recording

Month-end artist recap: Nov2015 World tours, Wahlburgers and more

Jorg Kohring

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

 

Yogi Lonich

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

Murder FM

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

R1CKONE

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

How LA Producer Luigie Gonzalez is Using Patchpoints in the Jamaica Plain Release

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. 

Click here for more information on SONAR Jamaica Plain Release

Click here to try SONAR for fee

 

 

 

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:

How Norman Matthew and Murder FM got their Recent Record Deal (Sony/RED)

Congratulations to SONAR user Norman Matthew and his band Murder FM for their first major-affiliated record released just last week.  Entitled Happily Neverafter, the 12 song full-length album was tracked mostly in SONAR over a period of time.  As many commercial records these days, this recording project started out as a demo and then as fate would have it, ended up in the hands of a label and a real-deal mixer (Famous/Sony Red and Beau Hill).

Murder FM have been on the fence about signing with different labels over the years since they debuted a video on http://www.revolvermag.com that shot out of nowhere.   In 2013, the track/video “We the Evil” took over the top spots surpassing major label artists next to Rob Zombie, and projected the band into the public eye as well as the industry eye.  The video alone had 150k views within a short time of it being released and is now up to 320k globally.

Finally, and recently, the band found the right label partner with Famous Records Global (Sony/Red) and the final touches were made which includes a death-defying remix of the focus-single-track by Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.  Interestingly enough, many of the tracks mixed by Beau Hill on the record were created by Norman in his SONAR studio stemming from demos he created over the years.

“SONAR allowed me to capture a lot of great moments where there was really no need to go back to the drawing board.”

Already sharing stages with bands such as Black Veil Brides, Orgy, Halestorm, Powerman 5000, Young Guns, Korn, The Used, The Birthday Massacre, Sick Puppies, Trapt, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Avatar, Five Finger Death Punch, and The Pretty Reckless to name just a few, they embark on touring in support of the new record for the rest of 2015.  As MFM supports their first official global release distributed by Sony/Red, the future is wide open and arena rock will live and breathe again in the fiery form of Murder FM!

For more information on Murder FM visit http://www.murderfmmusic.com

The all new SONAR comes in 3 different versions and can truly help you to create your own artist story.  Click here to try SONAR for free

Last week’s interview on 97.1 The Eagle/Dallas

We the Evil Official Video

What SONAR Platinum Pro Artists are saying about their Recent Upgrade

At Cakewalk, we are fortunate and proud to have some great cutting edge professional artists who rely on SONAR daily to write, record, and deliver world-class tracks. We are constantly getting feedback from many users to improve our software, so in our recent pole we decided to ask some artists to tell us about their Platinum upgrade experience in their own words:

iLan Bluestone:
International Electronic Producer/DJ
London, UK
Anjunabeats

[Currently touring internationally and working on new tracks]

“Upgrading to Platinum was a big deal for me.  I basically transitioned from SONAR 8.5 and was toggling back and forth between that and X3.  Platinum really put me over the edge to move forward.  Once I was over the initial learning curve which was actually enjoyable, the system became more like a writing partner.  The tools and workflow are like no other – and there are so many options to approach music in different ways, so getting creative ideas flowing is the best thing about Platinum.  This is what really keeps my custom sound always on the cutting edge.”

Javier Colon:
Winner of NBC The Voice
Recording Artist: Concord Music Group

[Currently touring and finishing a Holiday EP while also gearing up for a new full-length record 2016]

“I went from SONAR X2 to Platinum and the new features have been a Godsend for me.  When I have a system that works well I usually just stick with it until I am forced to upgrade.  The difference between X2 and Platinum for me personally meant discovering new ways to make my demos sound way better and more pro.  I often have to send demos from my home studio to my label (Concord Music Group), and since getting onto Platinum, a lot of my tracks sound really polished.  For me and my style of music, the combination of the comping tool and VocalSync meant the difference of actually using some vocals for my new record that I cut on my own – could have never done that with X2.”

Sean Murray:
Composer of Music for Film, TV and Video Games
Los Angeles, CA

[Currently working on a new film and new video game both TBA shortly]

“I upgraded from X3 to Platinum right when it came out.  I usually stay behind new releases but had heard that Platinum was the most stable release to date – and it certainly is in my book.  It’s rock solid and super snappy (the only way I can really explain it).  The features included in Platinum are hands-down better than any release Cakewalk has had in the past.  There are so many ways to explore music creation and that is what keeps my productions sounding fresh.  I find myself using things like Strum Session 2 and Addictive Drums 2 a lot.  The upgrades to the ProChannel have been really useful as well.  And I absolutely love getting the updates now – I look forward to it every month.”

Murray Daigle
Producer/Songwriter/Mixer/Musician
MDS Recording, Toronto

[Just finished writing and delivering the main theme song for the Pan ParaPan Am Games]

“I went from SONAR X3 to Platinum and I was a bit reluctant at first since I’m constantly in the trenches every day with people counting on me to deliver music to labels, artists, publishers etc. This was by far the smoothest transition I’ve had with upgrading my SONAR rig.  Whatever the code-kings did, this version of the program has been absolutely rock-solid.  The biggest thing for me by far has been VocalSync.  With the style of music I write and produce, I have to have big vocals to stay in the game.  VocalSync gives me so many options on how I place vocals in mixes.  I can quickly embellish a lead vocal track by tightening another to it, and then processing it in a whole different way for different effects in the mix.  Time really is money for me, and the tools in Platinum have never been more creative or professional in any prior SONAR release.”

Yogi Lonich
Producer/Songwriter/Musician/Solo Artist/Live and Session Guitarist
(Has worked with): Shakira, DJ Zedd, Koshi Inaba, Chris Cornell, Buckcherry, Wallflowers, Fuel, Melissa Etheridge, Five For Fighting, Meredith Brooks
Los Angeles, CA

[Currently working on music for various forms of media and performing live with various artists]

“I upgraded not too long ago from SONAR X3 to Platinum and have noticed a big difference in the program.  First of all, it’s much quicker and seems to be way more efficient than X3.  To some, that might not mean much, but for what I do it’s important.  Besides playing guitar for some great artists and doing my own music (you can read more about that here http://yogimusic.com/bio/ =), I write a lot of music for commercials and libraries through agencies – this is where time is a factor and Platinum is really efficient.  The ability to totally customize the program to my workflow gives me the ability to deliver more music, and better quality music in way less time.  The upgrade to Addictive Drums 2 is worth it alone not to mention all the other new features and tools.”

Click here to upgrade to SONAR Platinum, and start creating your own artist success story.

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)