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…” (more…)

Share

Anatomy of a SONAR Project: Replacing the Placeholder

DELIVERING MUSIC FOR THE FILM “FOR BLOOD” (COFFEERING ENTERTAINMENT LOS ANGELES, CA)

Sometimes I am fortunate enough to have the time to take on a project outside of Cakewalk, and I love that those projects let me put our current SONAR Platinum “Rolling Update” to the test in the field. Recently, the LA-based production company Coffee Ring Entertainment asked me to write, produce and deliver three tracks for their new movie, For Blood. This article describes highlights of the process involved in writing and producing one of those tracks for a specific scene in the film.

My first question to the director was, “Do you already have placeholder music in the rough cut?” When producers and directors have placeholder music they like already set into the cut, it speeds up and simplifies writing and producing the music. Fortunately the answer was “yes,” so all I needed to do was replicate what they liked about their placeholder tracks using the array of instruments and plug-ins in my home project studio rig.

A primary objective in writing music for film is to forget about yourself and your own emotional agenda. And oddly enough, for me at least, this notion really speeds up the workflow because you are writing/producing for someone else’s purpose other than your own thoughts. Adamantly keeping this in mind throughout the writing/producing process helps to stay focused on what the client wants. For this song, it’s exactly what I had to do because the producers had a Tarantino-ish type track set into the scene, and my innate production style tends to lean more towards big, clean commercial pop rock. Luckily, I could go to YouTube and analyze suitable styles of music but even luckier for me, SONAR’s Addictive Drums and TH2 plug-ins were  ideal for dialing in the kind of music that was needed. (more…)

Share

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. (more…)

Share

Why Award Winning Jazz Artists Are Choosing SONAR

When you think of SONAR Platinum, you might not think of Jazz. In the last few years, we have had the pleasure of seeing various SONAR-using Jazz artists enjoy some well-deserved and large-scale success. What is success these days? Well depending on whom you ask, you will certainly get many different answers.

Bobbi “Funkee Boy” Tamarro will tell you first hand that success doesn’t come easy. As an international recording artist, songwriter and producer, he’s amassed an impressive amount of credits throughout his music career including chart hits across multiple music genres. Besides several top Billboard chart hits including his presence as a Top 5 Smooth Jazz artist, he has also penned licensing deals on television networks such as ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, SHOWTIME,  and VH1 to name a few.

In 2014 Tamarro released his 3rd CD “Soul Purpose,” where the keyboardist/producer combined his talents with assembling a stellar line up of A-List recording artists. Soul Purpose featured guest appearances from Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more. With the success of this release, he found himself up on a podium accepting a prestigious SESAC award for his efforts.

Recently with all his sales and charting success, Tamarro has respectfully turned down approaching major labels in the recent past as he has simply cracked the code as an indie artist competing in the big leagues. Bobbi tells us, “the number one thing is to do things right the first time, and be prepared to ‘invest’ and financially support your record. As an independent artist your record has to look, sound, and feel every bit as good as any major artist in your genre.”

SONAR feature you can’t live without?

The SONAR features I can’t live without are “everything!!” From the ease of workflow, editing, & visual representation to the ProChannel, Eq’s, Vintage Channel, and the Virtual Instruments included. They are all extremely valuable to me when making a record.

For more information on Bobbi Funkee Boy Tammaro please visit:
http://www.funkeeboy.com
https://www.facebook.com/Funkeeboy

Paul Wertico is internationally known as “one of the most versatile and musical drummers in music today.” As a member of the Pat Metheny Group from 1983 to 2001, he won seven Grammy Awards and several gold records, and toured the world dozens of times.  He has also won many other awards, including being named a Chicago Tribune 2004 “Chicagoan of the Year,” being a recipient of a 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Cape Breton International Drum Festival, and winning an Independent Music Award for “Best Live Performance Album” in 2014. Paul is an active drum clinician and session musician, and is currently a member of the Larry Coryell Power Trio, as well as Wertico Cain & Gray. There’s no such thing as spare time for Paul, so he is also an Associate Professor of Jazz Studies at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts.

When it comes to recording, one would be hard pressed to find anyone in the Jazz world with as much experience as Paul as he has played drums and percussion on hundreds of recordings including Paul Winter’s Grammy nominated release, Earth: Voices Of A Planet, and also on four of vocalist Kurt Elling’s Grammy nominated releases to name a few.  To check out more of Paul’s incredible studio work visit his discography here.

SONAR feature you can’t live without?

I have too many favorite reasons for using SONAR to name them all, but versatility, stability, and ease of use, are just a few of them!

For more information on Paul and his exceptional work please visit:
www.paulwertico.com
www.facebook.com/paulwertico1
www.wcg.band

(more…)

Share

How SONAR user Bobbi Tammaro won a SESAC award over many Major Label Artists

Respect and credibility

A few weeks ago SESAC announced their 2013 Jazz Award recipients, and SONAR X3 user Bobbi “Funkeeboy” Tommaro was one of the well-deserved artists on the list.  I have been fortunate to get to know Bobbi in the last few years on and off the SONAR playing-field, and the first word that comes to mind is “respect.”  These days considering the state of the music industry, the word respect has more meaning than ever and Bobbi has earned it from his music peers along with just about everyone else that hears his story.  Besides respect, he has earned much credibility in the Smooth Jazz world from being a repeat-offender on the Billboard charts as an independent artist.

Bobbi who is also PKA “Funkee Boy” has amassed an impressive amount of credits throughout his music career. At the young age of 15 he was already making a name for himself winning the Connecticut State Organ Championship and also opening for national acts such as Spyro Gyra.  As he progressed he scored numerous chart hits across multiple music genres, as well as, several top Billboard chart hits/Top 5 Smooth Jazz hits, and licensing deals on television networks such as ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, SHOWTIME, VH1, etc.

Before making his own records his music has [and continues to in terms of residuals] appear on some of the most popular and well respected shows ever such as Beverly Hills 90210, General Hospital, All My Children, Sunset Beach, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Love Boat, One Life To Live, Young & The Restless, They Call Me Sirr, Soul Food.  Stepping out from behind the scenes as a songwriter/producer & into the forefront as a Smooth Jazz Artist, Bobbi’s track record progressed and continued to impress.

Most recently, starting off 2014 by releasing his 3rd CD “Soul Purpose”, the smooth jazz keyboardist/producer combined his talents with assembling a stellar line up of A-List recording artists. The newest award-winning record “Soul Purpose” features guest appearances from Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more!!!

Chalk one up for the hard working jugglers. 

A few key elements set Bobbi apart from the pack that keeps him successful.  The obvious one is the raw talent of songwriting and performing his instrument, but if you go a few levels deeper, you will find a multi-instrumentalist, producer, mixing and mastering engineer.  Peeling back a few more layers exposes an organized machine who literally “does not need a label” to hit the Billboard Top 5 Smooth Jazz Chart.  In fact Bobbi has had many labels approach him and has respectfully declined any offers to do business.  Why?… because he has cracked the code and found a formula that works for himself as an independent artist competing in the major leagues.

It’s not easy

Hitting the Top 5 on any Billboard Chart is not an easy thing to do.  Besides the songs and production alone (which he does ALL in SONAR INCLUDING Mastering), Bobbi also has to oversee the efforts for Radio Promotion, Publicity, Social Media, Sales and Marketing.  If you ask me, this is a very rare skill-set to have as an artist considering just the time it takes alone to write and record a [great] full length record.  Bobbi does have help from his wife Leila who is also a very credible artist, and the two of them seem to have a great formula for getting the music out to the masses as if they were a Major Label.

Cakewalk:          It’s pretty amazing that you do so much to get your music out, can you describe the short-form version of a typical record release?

Bobbi Tammaro:            Sure, it’s hard to keep it short form because so much goes into it… So here goes (more…)

Share

SONAR X3 earns Keyboard magazine’s Key Buy award

Key Buy Award

SONAR X3 earns Keyboard magazine’s Key Buy award
What happens when a former Pro Tools and Cubase user puts SONAR X3 to the test? Well that’s exactly what Keyboard magazine reviewer Brian Hardgroove (Public Enemy, Bootsy Collins) did, and the result was a Key Buy award for SONAR X3. In the review he concludes that “SONAR X3 is a mature, vibrant program that’s a pleasure to use. As far as I am concerned, there’s no looking back.”

Ease of use: “After working with SONAR X3 Producer since its release, I’ve become a convert. DAWs are always subjective and personal choice, but SONAR made complete sense to me — sort of like trying on shoes that don’t need breaking in.”

Workflow: “Beyond the ease of use, SONAR X3 puts the fun back into recording for me. Part of that is the stability and freedom from freezes — I didn’t have to fight the program or my computer, which helps. The workflow is painless, so the experience became all about making music.”

Comping: “What makes this special is how fast and smooth the whole process is.”

Melodyne Essential and ARA integration: “SONAR blew my mind when I found out I could drag an audio bass part into Melodyne and convert it into MIDI, creating instant doubling of bass guitar lines with synth bass (more…)

Share

Professional SONAR users weigh in on SONAR X3 – Stability, Performance, & Workflow

X3 is being hailed as the most rock solid edition since SONAR’S inception.  Beyond the new tools and features, a lot of work was put into the core functionality of the program to make sure that even top-notch music-making professionals would find performance improvements.  From the Skylight User Interface enhancements, to audio engine improvements – and everything in between, professional users who depend on SONAR day-in and day-out for their livelihood are weighing in:

 

Timothy Wynn (Sonic Fuel Studios / SonicFuel.net) – Los Angeles, CA

Congratulations to SONAR X3 user Timothy Wynn on winning Best Score at the CineRockom Film Festival for “The Liberator” this year.  With several globally successful franchises already to his credit ranging from blockbuster video games such as Command & Conquer, Dungeon Siege, GUN, The Punisher, Red Faction, 2K’s The Darkness II, The Simpsons and Warhawk to music in the hit television series Supernatural, Tim Wynn has gained international recognition as a leader in a new generation of highly talented and versatile composers.

Most recently, Timothy used SONAR to work on the feature films “The Starving Games” and “MK Reloaded (2014),” while also scoring EA Sports Madden 25 with Chris Lennertz.

“Cakewalk software has always been great for me in general, but this round of SONAR has really been stepped up.  SONAR X3 is the most stable DAW I have ever used.   I’m running huge projects (more…)

Share

Is Z3TA+ 2 the best synthesizer plugin in the world? Try it and decide for yourself.

Z3TA+ 2Well, ultimately that’s up to you, but there are plenty of reasons to argue that it is.

Z2TA+ ClassicFirst 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.

Music Radar Best VST Synth PluginsMusicRadar recently updated their list of the 39 Best VST Plugin Synths in the World Today which ranks Z3TA+ 2 at the 13 spot among some formidable competition.

Should Z3TA+ 2 be #1?  We think so. Try Z3TA+ 2 for free today and decide for yourself!

Share

SONAR X2 is a huge hit with the press – Read SONAR X2 Reviews

Reviews

SONAR X2 is a huge hit with the press
The reviews have been pouring in from magazines all across the world and SONAR X2 is a certified hit with the press. We have put together a collection of the best pull quotes, with more coming in the next few weeks from other magazines.

Music Tech:

“SONAR utilizes the very latest in CPU and operating system technology to provide excellent performance.”

”All of this [advanced mixing and tracking tools, ACT controller technology, integrated per-track arpeggiators, 64-bit mastering plug-ins] makes SONAR arguably the most complete DAW around in terms of functionality.”

“For new users on the Windows platform, SONAR is an attractive proposition, more so since the old interface was done away with in favour of Skylight. You get a huge amount of bundled content, a DAW that utilizes the very latest in CPU and OS technology to provide excellent performance, and more or less all of the tools you’ll need.”

Tape Op:

“It’s a much more polished program given that Cakewalk spent the last two years refining the ergonomic changes introduced in X1. Moreover, it’s the most stable update from Cakewalk I’ve enjoyed.”

“SONAR X2 Producer adds Rapture to the list of bundled synths, which still includes Dimension Pro and Z3TA+ [Classic], so Producer buyers are pretty well covered in the synth department right out of the box.  Other new goodies include BREVERB SONAR (perhaps the best algorithmic reverb ever included with SONAR,) Overloud TH2 amp simulator, and Roland R-MIX spectral audio manipulator.”

Computer Music:

“Console Emulator sounds fantastic; Auto Zoom is most helpful; that Smart Tool keeps getting smarter; BREVERB and TH2 are winners.”

“The Console Emulator, BREVERB and Overloud effects are all stellar and very powerful enticements to upgrade from X1.”

“The icing on the cake is the inclusion of the stunning Console Emulator in the Producer edition’s ProChannel (SONAR’s superb in-built channel strip system), enabling users to avail themselves of the sound of three classic consoles.”

Electronic Musician:

“X2 is a refined, smarter, easier-to-use, highly tweaked update of X1…the more I use X2, the more I find I’m tracking and mixing faster, with less effort than ever before.”

“The more you dig, the more you find; the attention to detail is noteworthy.”

“Along with the new features and workflow improvements, Cakewalk has wisely prioritized stability, streamlining the audio engine, and revising older elements. It paid off: A quick glance at the Cakewalk forums find most users are not only very pleased, but calling X2 the smoothest rollout yet.”

Stay tuned for more reviews!

Try SONAR X2 for FREE

Share

SONAR X2 Producer receives Performance Award and 9/10 rating from Computer Music

SONAR X2

SONAR X2 Producer receives “9/10 rating” from Computer Music
The December 2012 issue of Computer Music features a full length review of SONAR X2 Producer and the verdict is great. Here are just a few excerpts from their review:

On Automation Lanes: “Automation Lanes come to SONAR and integrate beautifully with the Smart Tool for ease of use.”

Console Emulator: “You get three gorgeous vintage console emulations in SONAR X2 Producer, meticulously modeled after authentic analog circuit behavior.”

BREVERB SONAR: “This stunning reverb only comes with the Producer Edition, but it almost pays for the price difference itself.”

Verdict for upgraders: “The potential sound quality is awesome. The Console Emulator, BREVERB, and Overloud effects are stellar and very powerful enticements to upgrade from X1.”

Read the entire review in the December 2012 issue of Computer Music magazine, which is available at newsstands today.


Download the SONAR X2 Producer Free Trial today and see for yourself!

Share