Surefire Music Group: Producing Left Eye’s ‘Legacy’

Surefire Music Group of Boston, MA (U.S.) had the honor of producing th late Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes’ posthumous album, Eye Legacy. Formerly of TLC, Lopes began working on her solo debut album, originally titled SuperNova, in 2001. In 2008, Koch Entertainment, the Lopes family and Mass Appeal Entertainment collectively decided to finish the project and named it ‘Eye Legacy’. Surefire Music Group composed nine songs on the project, which featured TLC’s T-Boz and Chile, Missy Elliot, Bobby Valentino, Chamillionaire, Lil Mama, Bone Crusher, Ryan Toby, and more. The album was released on January 27, 2009 and is now available on Itunes and at select music stores across the country. Read more about the project at http://www.lefteyelegacy.com/.

Christopher Ave: A Passion for Music & Media

A career journalist and lifelong musician, Christopher Ave tells stories with sound and text. He has united both his passions into a business, Music for Media Productions, in which he created a wide variety of custom music for web, video and commercial projects. He also writes and records original pop music and blogs about creating and using music in multimedia projects.

Christopher uses SONAR Producer Edition, Dimension Pro and Rapture in just about every project. He states, “With Cakewalk’s tools I have thousands of sounds at my fingertips, I really appreciate how much value they pack into their softsynths – and I wouldn’t dare record without SONAR.”

Christopher recently finished an original soundtrack for video. He’s currently scoring a photo slideshow for  a photographer and writing/recording an original song for a music video.

Session Story: Composer Ray McNamara

Composer, performing artist and professor of music Ray McNamara recorded the award-winning album Oceans Made Fun using SONAR. Oceans Made Fun is the winner of the 2005 Parents Choice Award, bringing the sea to life while teaching children ages four to 12 years old language and science through music and visual aid. The recording was published by MCD Curriculum, which teaches youngsters active participation, creative writing and language development outside of a classroom environment. Hear the songs about the Shark, Penguin, Octopus and more at http://cdbaby.com/cd/mcdcurriculum.

Session Story: Composer Kubilay Uner

Film and TV Composer, Kubilay (Kubi) Uner, recently scored a feature film using Cakewalk’s soft-synths, Dimension Pro and Rapture. Uner created a post-punk, pop feel for the score of the new Polish Brothers’ film ‘Stay Cool’ starring Winona Ryder, Hilary Duff, Chevy Chase, and Sean Astin. The film pays tribute to the 1980’s teen movies like Sixteen Candles and The Breakfast Club.

Uner also wrote the score for a new documentary about four deaf performing artists entitled, ‘See What I’m Saying” with sign language gestures as the main percussion instrument and acoustic guitars to emulate vowel sounds. Both movies are due out in 2009. Hear samples from both scores at http://www.kubilayuner.com/.

Cakewalk’s Session Stories: 2008-2009

In an effort to simplify our blog and make it more accessible to our RSS subscribers, we are moving our ‘Sessions & Stories’ page as well as our “NAMM 2009 Page” to this main page of the site. Please excuse any discrepancies in code. From now on, all of Cakewalk’s artist stories and event content will be featured here on the main page. If you have not yet subscribed to our blog, grab our RSS feed now. New content is posted on a regular basis!

Jon Lee, an accomplished composer for feature film and tv, has been hard at work in Santa Monica, California scoring MyNetworkTV’s reality series’ Street Patrol and Jail. From the producers of the hit-series Cops, Street Patrol (airs Tuesday, 8-9pm) follows police officers on duty, responding to calls across the country. While, Jail (airs Tuesday, 9-10pm) shadows the lives of prison inmates incarcerated for serious crimes, across the USA. Lee is also credited for his work on the video game, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (Sonic Fuel Music) and producing records for hip-hop artists across the country. Take a listen to the Street Patrol theme song and visit JonLeeMusic.net for more information.

Seasoned composer, Doyle Donehoo, has produced music for a variety of award-winning computer games. Currently, he’s scoring Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (Relic Entertainment) with his DAW of choice, SONAR. A Cakewalk user since the DOS age, Donehoo’s PC-based studio has a master DAW rig, seven slave computers, and an endless array of sample-based instruments – his “Frankenstein” virtual orchestra. In a recent interview with Music4Games.com, Donehoo states that his musical influences range from the classical composers to today’s feature film and video game scores, including Marco Beltrami (Resident Evil, Max Payne, 3:10 to Yuma) and Bill Brown (Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, CSI:NY). Their dark, dramatic motifs are reflected in Donehoo’s latest score. Due out in early 2009, Dawn of War II shows what it’s like to “lead an elite strike force on a mission to save the galaxy.” Visit the Dawn of War II website to hear Donehoo in action and watch the game trailer.

Concert pianist, composer, and recording artist, Kevin Kern captures emotion with his warm, entrancing compositions. Born legally blind, Kern is aided in studio by SONAR’s accessibility and Dancing Dots’ assistive music technologies for the vision impaired. In conjunction with SONAR, Kern uses Cake Talking Scripts by the Academy of Music for the Blind’s Executive Director David Pinto and Freedom Scientific’s JAWS screen reader to produce his music. Kern uses SONAR’s Drum Map Manager to create special keyboard scripts for piano, strings, and other instruments, so he can hear his melodic ideas through the sounds of a live ensemble. Currently, Kern is celebrating the release of his new songbook entitled Imagination’s Light which contains all original compositions from his last album. Kern’s new album, Endless Blue Sky, will be available as a download and for purchase in stores on January 27, 2009.

DJ Russ Harris – remixer and owner of the Illinois-based mobile DJ company Show on the Road Productions – incorporates SONAR into the remixing classes and seminars he gives at DJ Expos across the country.  Each year, Harris attends Mobile Beat in Las Vegas (February) and DJ Times in Atlantic City (August).  Harris also uses SONAR on solo projects and is signed to the dance music label, EsNtion Silver.  Check out Harris’ MySpace for current projects and tracks.

Drum & Bass dynamic duo, Urban Assault, announce a new 12″ album featuring a remix of the dance-floor hit Crank with MC Skibadee and an original bonus track Easy Run Tingz (Easy Records). Urban Assault, better known as Scratch DJs / Producers Faust and Shortee, kept very busy in 2008. Visit their official website for details.

Stokes Audio, Recording & Post of Tarzana, CA.used SONAR 8 Producer to mix several feature-length films for CodeBlack Entertainment. The first in the series of films is set to release on December 23, 2008. Starring Master P and Katt Williams, ‘Internet Dating’ is about- you guessed it -a date setup by internet gone wrong! The second film, ‘Nite Tales’ (as seen on BET Halloween) will be released in January 2009. Hosted by Flavor Flav, it’s a ‘shockingly twisted’ double feature horror flick. More information on these films can be found here. Stokes Audio specializes in post production sound and video editing.

Continue reading Cakewalk’s Session Stories: 2008-2009

The NAMM Show 09′: Coverage by Cakewalk

For those of you off to Anaheim Convention Center, stop by Booth #6800 to see Cakewalk live in action. If you’ve chosen to stay at home this year, get everything you need to now right here on the Cakewalk Blog. We’ve made a dedicated NAMM Page featuring posts from the exhibition floor, new product information, and media to keep you informed! Check back throughout the weekend to see it all.

To learn about our new products, view the official press releases here.

Here’s a quick overview of the artists stopping by to say hello at NAMM 2009:

Top TV and Video Game music producer, Shawn Clement, best known for scoring Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Batman: Vengeance, hosts a live demo on Video scoring.

World-renowned composer, engineer, & producer Craig Anderton will demo his brand new Electronic Guitars  Expansion Pack for Rapture and Rapture LE. Watch preview here.

Legendary turntablists, DJs Faust & Shortee, will be mixing it up at the booth.

Cakewalk’s Brandon Ryan hosts a live panel discussion on “Music For Video Games” featuring these four industry professionals:

Chuck Carr is the music supervisor for SONY Computer Entertainment (PAIN, Gran Turismo 4, and Twisted Metal: Head On)

Doyle W. Donehoo, the video game extraordinaire, is best known for his work in (America’s Army, Savage, Savage II, Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II)

Timothy Michael Wynn is an award-winning television, film, and video game music producer and his company, Sonic Fuel, has provided cutting edge music for clients including BMW, Energizer, Gatorade, Mazda, Nike, and others.

Rob King has won numerous awards for his work as sound designer, music composer, and dialogue director (Tony Hawk’s Downhill Jam, Reservoir Dogs, Heroes of Might & Magic V, Scarface: The World is Yours, Jade Empire).

Artist Spotlight: Paul Russell & Calamity Studios

The Adventures of a “Displaced Englishman”, 1950s Bollywood samples and the Singapore-based studio with SONAR at its core.

By Oz Owen

Make no mistake – the unusually monikered Calamity Studio is far from living up to its name. Quite the opposite, in fact. Singapore-based Calamity bills itself as the A/V production arm of composer and producer Paul Russell’s Pi2 Creative Services, a successful ‘boutique’ marketing agency.

Paul’s passion for music and production translates into a full studio diary, keeping him busy on a wide range of projects – whether creating original music and soundtracks with the help of an impressive roster of songwriters and musicians from as far afield as the UK, Australia and the USA, or – as his latest project ably demonstrates – weaving vintage Bollywood samples into contemporary compositions.

At Calamity, Paul specialises in creating original compositions in a variety of genres – from ambient through dance to straight-ahead rock/pop. What’s more, he’s making a fine living doing exactly what he loves.

Paul first got hooked when he picked up a bass guitar back in 1976 – the time when musical anarchy was running riot across the UK thanks to the Punk explosion, but it was some years before Paul set about creating his first recording studio, trading in his trusty four-track Portastudio in favour of a more upmarket eight-track setup in what was fast turning into a life-changing quest.

Fast-forward to 1999 and we find Paul living in Singapore, running his own creative agency and building his first digital recording studio replete with Cakewalk Pro Audio 9 to capture every nuance of his compositional ideas. Within a year, SONAR arrived on the scene, and life would never be the same again… Calamity Studio was becoming unstoppable!

Continue reading Artist Spotlight: Paul Russell & Calamity Studios

Artist Spotlight: Eddie King & Megatrax Productions

On Rapture, Dimension Pro & The Difference 64 Bits Make

Megatrax chief engineer, producer and composer Eddie King

By Randy Alberts

“I love the way SONAR sounds,” says producer, engineer and composer Eddie King. “Particularly in the bottom end which is tight, fat and well defined. It’s my subjective opinion that SONAR’s 64-bit processing makes a huge difference.”

Given his aural perspective comes from multiple vantage points, it can be said King’s subjective opinion distills closer to objectivity with every SONAR mix he finishes. A Mac-based Pro Tools engineer/producer by day at Megatrax-a premier production music library and recording studio for film, t.v., advertising and multimedia-and a talented home-based composer and arranger by night with SONAR on his screaming-fast PC server farm, Eddie’s bi-platform, dual DAW audio opinion carries just a bit more weight than most others’ do.

“Once I saw that SONAR runs solidly, has good functionality and then, the big one, that SONAR is the only DAW running at 64-bit,” says King, “that’s when I thought, ‘Well, hello!’ It makes sense that better resolution means things are going to sound better, too. Again, this is subjective, but I have to say that SONAR’s 64-bit resolution does, in fact, make a big difference. I know Cakewalk has done more objective, blind listening tests about this, but at least I know for sure that SONAR makes a big difference for my sound and my mixes.”

Both Sides of the Building: Mega Tracks & King’s Sound

Eddie King’s audio credentials began years before the founding of Megatrax. In 1980 he opened and for years seriously upgraded his old Neve 3 and vintage analog gear racks at Kingsound in North Hollywood, his own commercial studio wherein Megatrax-one of his clients there-first began building their respected, comprehensive music library. Fifteen years later, in 1995, he sold Kingsound to them, Megatrax made Eddie their chief engineer and the two have been a very busy team ever since.

Continue reading Artist Spotlight: Eddie King & Megatrax Productions

Music Brings Light to Blind Youth


Watch CBS Videos Online

Last night on 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl caught up with 13 year-old musical savant, Rex Lewis-Clack. Born blind and mentally-impaired, Rex is unable to perform everyday tasks like tying a shoe or fastening a button, yet he has overcome the odds using music as a stepping stone.

Enrolled in voice and piano lessons, Rex spends his free-time perfecting the classics – Debussy and Schubert for example. Featured in this video is a professor from The Academy of Music for the Blind – a school that uses SONAR for it’s accessibility for the vision-impaired.

Artist Spotlight: Baron

For prolific D&B Producer Baron, It’s all about getting the right sound:

“Dimension Pro and Rapture are just essential tools for me…”

By Oz Owen

Even just a cursory glance at Baron’s discography reveals how he’s quickly established himself as a major player on the Drum & Bass scene. Producing jump-up tracks since 2001, Baron – aka Piers Bailey – has since gone on to work with some of the biggest names in D&B. Pendulum, Roni Size, DJ Fresh, DJ Craze, Stanton Warriors…

But it was 2003 that really saw Baron come into his own as a remixer, stamping his authority on Total Science’s Nosher, and in the process turned it into an instant classic.

But just how does one of the most respected and consistent producers in the genre keep on banging out a steady stream of dancefloor bombs? Having the ideas is one thing, but then you also need the right tools to turn those ideas into reality …

“For me, Dimension Pro and Rapture are essential tools in the studio – without them I would be missing a little something. Dimension is my absolute ‘go to’ synth for any string or percussion sound.”

“To explain how best I use them you just have to listen to some of my biggest releases of the last few years – Endless Summer, Turn Up The Sun, Drive In Drive By… most of the string, percussion and effect sounds on those tracks have come from Dimension Pro or Rapture.”

“Rapture has so many different modulation and effects options, and these set it apart from most of the other synths on the market. There are a lot of people obsessing about making stuff sound like older synths, whereas with Rapture, Cakewalk have made something that sounds pretty original. It has a low impact on the processor and the sound quality alone makes it one of the first synths I reach for when I’m in the studio.”

“Why did I get into Cakewalk’s synths? First off, it was because of their reputation. And then I tried them – ultimately it all came down to the sound quality and the ease of use. I wouldn’t say that the Cakewalk plugs have changed the way I work, but they’ve certainly bolstered my sound.”

“I’ve been pretty busy for the last 18 months, mostly working on a soundtrack for the next Flip Skateboards DVD, Extremely Sorry, which should be out around now [Nov ’08]. Keep you eyes peeled for that one as there are some interesting collaborations on there. And, of course, I’ve been busy making lots of Drum & Bass, and my debut album will be out on Breakbeat Kaos soon – check my myspace for more on that!”

www.myspace.com/baronproductions