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

Cakewalk Integrates with Gibson Brands at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2014

Musikmesse 2014 brought a lot of things together for Cakewalk in the grander picture under the Gibson Brands family.  For the first time, Gibson Pro Audio brought together its family of TASCAM, KRK, Stanton, Onkyo, Cerwin-Vega and Cakewalk at a major trade show – and it was pretty fantastic to say the least.  All brands were representing their latest and greatest products to an international group of industry professionals, music creators, musicians and producers from all over the world.  Besides the Pro Audio space which covered close to 6,000 square feet, Gibson also had its instrument space on the lower level which sprawled across an even greater area; so there was no shortage of Gibson at Musikmesse this year.

If two spectacular booths are not enough, why not throw in an eye catching/death defying stunt show outside in front of the all the halls?  Introducing: The Gibson Motodrome: a 16 meter diameter pitted-cylinder-wall where vintage motorcycles and a speed-racer circa 1928 whizzed around avoiding what would seem to be an inevitable crash.  The only logical thing to do after getting this contraption going onsite was to have a visit from Rudolf Schenker who is the guitar player for Germany’s own The Scorpions. Continue reading Cakewalk Integrates with Gibson Brands at Musikmesse Frankfurt 2014

SONAR X3 Feature Spotlight: Melodyne Essential with ARA integration

Addictive Drums

One of the most talked about features in SONAR X3 has been the new ARA integration. Every version of SONAR X3 now includes ARA Integration which allows you to use Melodyne as if it were part of SONAR X3. In addition, SONAR X3 Studio and Producer also include Melodyne Essential (retail value $99).

While including Melodyne Essential is a huge upgrade in terms of pitch correction, it’s the ARA integration that really takes it over the top. The main benefit of ARA is that it allows SONAR to integrate with plug-ins that can edit and analyze audio, such as Melodyne. ARA greatly improves the workflow when using plugins like Melodyne that do MIDI analysis and pitch and timing correction. Compatible plug-ins can exchange information about the project’s timeline data, including audio clips, tempo, pitch, rhythm and much more, which allows them to behave as if the plug-in was part of SONAR.

In a recent article on CreateDigitalMusic.com, industry expert Peter Kirn stated the obvious: “there’s no other way to say this: Celemony’s Melodyne line of products is just better than any other offering out there.” Kirn later went on to proclaim, “Cakewalk has done more with the SDK for ARA than any other host so far.”

Read the ARA integration article on CreateDigitalMusic.com

Developer Notes: SONAR X3 ARA Integration

SONAR X3 Tip: Easy Audio to MIDI Conversion

SONAR X3 Tip: Make your vocal thicker with Melodyne

SONAR X3 Tip: Drum Replacement with ARA and Addictive Drums

Upgrade to SONAR X3 Producer (includes Melodyne Essential)

Cakewalk User Records a Cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” in Space

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.

 

Follow Commander Chris Hadfield for more info:
Twitter: twitter.com/Cmdr_Hadfield
Facebook: www.facebook.com/AstronautChrisHadfield
Google+: plus.google.com/+ChrisHadfield/

 

Learning to Record Guitar on a Laptop… In Space!

Cakewalk software is so essential to the recording experience that astronauts don’t leave earth without it! Future commander of the ISS, Chris Hadfield, visited 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 using Cakewalk.
Credit: Larrivée Guitars

Watch the video at Space.com: Zero-G Guitar – Re-learning how to play in Space

Try Cakewalk’s flagship SONAR X2 Producer Free Trial

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!

Michael Hoover named new President of Cakewalk

Special Announcement from Cakewalk

Boston, MA, (June 25, 2012) — Cakewalk, the world’s leading developer of powerful and easy to use products for music creation and recording, today announced the resignation of Greg Hendershott as Chief Executive Officer. Michael Hoover, currently Executive Vice President of Products, has been named President and will assume primary responsibility for all day-to-day Company operations, effective July 1st, 2012. Greg Hendershott will remain available as a consultant to support a smooth transition.

As Executive Vice President of Products, Michael Hoover has been instrumental in the direction and success of Cakewalk. Michael has over 20 years’ experience in the MI industry and joined Cakewalk in 1998, as Product Manager, where he made a huge impact with a succession of critically acclaimed products. In 2002, Michael joined the management team as Vice President of Products and Marketing and, more recently, became head of Engineering in his current role as Executive Vice President of Products. Michael has a background in audio engineering, is passionate about music and technology, and loves to play guitar. Continue reading Michael Hoover named new President of Cakewalk

EMI Publishing and SONAR X1: Some Recent Sessions in the Project Studio

Why are Major Publishing Companies such as EMI seeing such great success with project studios?  Because with modern technology, top talent and a good set of ears, a demo may turn into a master at any given time.

Over a year ago I had the pleasure of setting up a studio at the EMI building in the meat packing district of NYC after they chose SONAR X1 for their project studio.  Since then, according to Creative VP EMI Jake Ottmann “the room has been a tremendous success” with an array of well known and developing artists from all over the world engaging in music creation.

The EMI project studio facility was primarily created for the roster of EMI artists who found themselves temporarily working in New York City.  “When you’re a hit songwriter, you are traveling quite a bit and find yourself in different cities at different times,” stated Jake Ottmann.  “We built this room up for top-notch artists and songwriters that are in town and need a great place to relax and write music.  It’s been an awesome experience since its inception and we have seen some great success.  SONAR X1 and the PC Audio Labs machine which are both the heart of the room have been rock solid for these artists and writers.”

Some of the recent artists who have been working in the audio lounge include Jay Trill, Lana Del Rey, Mathew Koma, and The Glory Days.

“Sometimes it’s a few hours here and there with the X1 room just for basic writing, and other times it’s a full on technical writing/producing session that could end up on a master, just like a recent session that went down with an affiliated artist/writer/producer who was working out of here last month.”

~Jake Ottmann (VP Creative, EMI Publishing)

When putting this writing room together, EMI made a calculated decision to go with SONAR X1 and a V-Studio 100 all powered by a tailored PC Audio Labs machine.  “We were looking for a solution that covered all,” explained Richard Reuss who is head of the technical team for EMI.  “We wanted something that covered it all delivered in one box.  We didn’t want to get into purchasing plug-ins from one company, and then synths from another; we decided on SONAR X1 Producer not only for everything it comes with, but also for the way the workflow exists in the program.”  “Our writers are very unique and diverse,” added Jake Ottmann.  “SONAR X1 is not only a cutting edge recording tool, but also an amazing writing tool as well, and that was very important to us in our decision; not to mention the fact that the stock plug-ins, synths and drum modules are just as good as, if not better than anything else on the market.  It’s been working so well for us that our in-house audio team has been using it for post-house related projects as well – we’re pretty psyched to get this much mileage out of the system.”

Although EMI Music Publishing has a huge facility for office space, it was obvious to the staffers that there was not going to be a lot of square footage allocated to this music room.  “I think one of the selling points for us was the fact that we don’t have a ton of room in this spot [the room itself], so having the Pro Channel on every track to get a big console sound without the console is huge for us,” explained Richard Reuss who has been a longtime SONAR user.

SONAR X1 continues to be the choice for leading creative institutions such as EMI Publishing.  It’s also the go-to D.A.W. for many creative producers, songwriters and artists who want to be inspired by their system.  Right now, you can get a great deal with the SONAR X1 First Class Upgrade promotion that will help you to create radio-ready tracks.

 

How TC Spitfire used the ProChannel on the track “Surrender;” Currently #3 on Billboard Club Chart

Congratulations to Paul Oakenfold and TC Spitfire who found themselves at #3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs this past week with the track Surrender.

The track was written by Paul, TC and J Hart who also sang the track.  TC Spitfire who is a passionate SONAR X1 Expanded user co-produced and mixed the track using a combination of all the ProChannel modules.  “This new era with the ProChannel and X1d [Expanded] is on a serious elevated level.  The combination of the modules has me staying more and more inside SONAR natively,” TC told us.

On a daily basis, TC is very busy individual.  Between writing new music, producing, mixing and remixing, he finds himself a bit overextended these days and “taking it and enjoying it while it’s there.”  Most recently, he has worked with artists such as Cher, Matt Goss, Matt Morris and Jean Baptist – and that is just in the recent past.  “On a daily basis I will jump from remixing a track for 4 hours, to writing in another studio for 4 hours, and then back to our lab for another however-long-it-takes-session – for the next barrage of musical craziness.”

For the track Surrender which is currently charting on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, TC collaborated with both Paul Oakenfold and J Hart on the writing side and then built and mixed the song completely in SONAR X1 Expanded. 

* * * * * * * * * *

CW AR: This vocal sound is huge in this track.  What was some of the processing involved?

TC: On the vocal track I used the new Hybrid mode in the ProChannels QuadCurve EQ.  I cut quite a bit of the low end off and had quite a bit of mids popping for this track around 1.8k.  I was able to surgically cut out some other frequencies in the mids to get the vocals away from other keyboard parts in that range.

On top of that, I used the PC4K channel compressor along with a slight touch of the Softube Saturation Knob with the switch on the “high” setting.  I also sent multiple lead vocal tracks out to a lead vocal bus which had the PCCL Limiter on it for a slight boost and some tightening.

CW AR: This track and all your tracks for that matter are really tight, what are the main factors for you in achieving this sound?

TC: It’s pretty simple, but it’s also pretty complicated.  It’s simple, because most of it has to do with compression, EQ and limiting, which are 75% from the ProChannel in my tracks.  It’s complicated because carving the frequencies, making the decisions on where to compress and how much, and what to use a limiter on – all factor in.  Sometimes, over compressing and using too many limiters will just make a song sound flat-lined and not breathing.   I think another factor is not using too many of the same compressors or EQ’s on every single track.  I really like mixing up my inserts.  On some tracks I will use the 76 and others I will use the Softube compressor.  I even use the PC4K bus compressor on tracks – call me crazy – haaa.   There are no rules in the digital world and use my ear and the tools SONAR X1 Expanded provides to get the sound to where I need it to be.

In the next year you will be hearing a lot more from Paul Oakenfold and TC as a new deal was just signed with Sony Records.  As soon as the details are released on that we will keep you posted.  Until then, you can check out SONAR X1 for free here.

SONAR X1 is the most intuitive D.A.W. on the market today.  It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s just as easy with practice and experience to become an advanced user.  If you are running windows, and you are a musician, now is a great time to pull the trigger with the SONAR X1 Advanced Workshop Giveaway Promotion.

“SURRENDER” [Completely recorded, mixed and mastered in SONAR X1 Expanded:]

How Jon Lee Uses SONAR X1 Expanded to Create Music for Some of America’s Favorite TV Shows

Some artists spend more time trying to catapult their image into the status spotlight than they do actually creating music.  Some artists lay low under the radar diligently doing their thing.  In this day and age, there really is no right or wrong way to be an artist in the music industry, you just have to do what you do best and run with it.  If the content is great, it will find its way.

A great artist example of this notion in my book is SONAR X1 Expanded user Jon Lee.  Working and residing in Santa Monica, Jon Lee lays low under the radar while creating music and sound-scapes for some of today’s most popular “verite” style TV reality shows.  If you have seen the show Cops, than you are probably familiar with one of the most prominent production companies in the biz, “Langley Productions.”

Continue reading How Jon Lee Uses SONAR X1 Expanded to Create Music for Some of America’s Favorite TV Shows