Free Impulse Responses For Your Convolution Reverb

by Daniel Gonz
We’d like to release an impulse pack that we created last year in New York City. This free impulse response pack captures the simple ambience of two fantastic live rooms for drums, vocals, and pretty much any acoustic instrument you can imagine. Drop them into your choice of any convolution reverb to add depth to the elements of your mix.

Download the FREE Impulse Response pack here

Free Impulse Responses for Convolution Reverbs

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Smart Swipe in SONAR’s 2016.06 Release

Smart Swipe

 
 
Here’s another workflow enhancement that becomes downright addictive once you start using it. With Smart Swipe Track Controls, you can quickly enable/disable buttons on multiple tracks by clicking a button in one track, then dragging across adjacent tracks without releasing the mouse button. Smart Swipe is also an extremely effective complement to Quick Grouping.

Smart Swipe works in the Track and Console Views with mouse gestures. The following controls support Smart Swipe:

  • Mute
  • Solo
  • Record
  • Input Echo
  • Send knobs within individual track strip (Console View only)
  • Phase (Console View only)
  • Interleave
  • Archive (Track View only)
  • Automation Read
  • Automation Write
  • FX Bin Enable
  • ProChannel Enable (Console View only)
  • ProChannel Pre/Post (Console View only)
  • Waveform Preview (Track View only)
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HOW The Duke Western USES SONAR TO CREATE MUSIC FOR DUCK DYNASTY (AND MORE)

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

(more…)

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SONAR PLATINUM ADDS Ultra Analog SESSION 2 SYNTH IN 2016.03 UPDATE

As a fan of our bakers and all the great features coming out of the Rolling Updates, I absolutely love exploring all the new things SONAR brings every month.  As a big fan of Lounge Lizard, I was really excited to learn that we would be incorporating the Ultra Analog Session 2 (UAS2) instrument into SONAR this month.  So at this year’s Namm convention I made a point of meeting up with my buddy Marc over at Applied Acoustic Systems to learn more about the synth before trying it out.

“A fun synth to play around with,” Marc explained.  And once I got my hands on it I understood what he was talking about.  Being a bit underwater with time these days, I decided to put an hour (or so) cap on diving into the synth and writing a short piece of “whatever” inspired me while first hearing and manipulating the sounds; and making use of the features.  I challenged myself a bit by using ONLY instances of this synth combined with stock SONAR Producer ProChannel modules so I could get a good feel for its capabilities.  I also thought it would be a fun test since there are no stock drum or percussion patches in the synth.  Here is what I found:

  • Useful:  In my book, you can never have enough options when it comes to sounds.  I have synths where I only LOVE a few patches but you know what? – Those patches are worth every penny having the synth in my arsenal.  I found the UAS2 to have some really great sounding vintage patches.  With 7 banks of sounds there are a lot of tones that would come in handy and will work well in certain styles of music.  I found combining these sounds with ProChannel shaping to be a great combination for creating some unique sounds.
  • Diverse:  I like the fact that for a synth with a small footprint, it crosses a through a wide array of tones.  The 5 main tonal character traits are Arpeggio, Bass, Lead, Pad, Polysynth, along with a bonus of two banks from Richard and Sean Devine that come in handy for more options.  I like the fact that there’s not a ton of overwhelming stuff here—and what’s in the box is all great and diverse for different applications.
  • Cool features:  I personally love using arpeggiation effects.  Admittedly, I love them because I am a horrible keyboard player and they make me sound like I know what I am doing… kind of;) I sometimes use arpeggiation in a way that might be different than some users—I follow no rules of arpeggiation (is that even a word?)—I throw on tons of effects… I let my ears rule both my hands and find notes and things that just sound good to me.  I often use this effect on choruses while knocking out all low end to give a song an inconspicuous lift.  The “Arpeggio” on this keyboard is cool.  It’s simple and straight forward and allows the user to combine a bit of old-school arpeggio tactics along with many syncing options.
  • A Strong Simple Synth Engine:  For someone like me who is not a synth expert, this instrument is great.  The 3 sound generators (VCO, Filter and Amp) are simple enough to navigate for those who do not fully understand the complexities of creating synth patches.  In my opinion, 10 minutes of turning knobs with this instrument is enough time for anyone to come up with some great sounds.  For example, after putting a limiter on my master bus I noticed one of my staccato parts was cutting through in a way that sounded too intense compared to the kick.  Very easily was I able to identify the “Amp Attack” as the culprit, and by simply dialing that knob back a bit the sound became what it needed to be.
  • Onboard FX:  Similar to Z3TA+, this synth carries its own FX processing right inside the synth.  Although multiple FX are not possible in one patch, the good news is that AAS didn’t skimp on the quality of the engine.  I tested all FX (Chorus, Delay, Distortion, EQ, Flanger, Phaser, Reverb) with different patches and found the available parameters to be intuitive while rendering high-quality sounds.
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Artist Spotlight: Eric Hansen—How He Gets Big Pro Soundinig Results at Home

“Is it World Music?”  “Is it Spanish Music?” “Is this Jazz?” “Is this in the Acoustic Genre?”  Fortunately for guitar virtuoso and now-Pro D.I.Y’er Eric Hansen, the simple answer to these questions he faces regularly about his music is, “YES.”  Eric is another longtime SONAR user who depends on SONAR daily for his livelihood.  He is based out of Southern Florida which might just be where his Spanish and Latin influences come from, where at a young age he had a unique fondness for Flamenco infused Pop music.

Eric began studying the guitar at age 14 and was performing professionally with local rock groups by the age 16.  He then attended Florida Atlantic University where he studied Classical and Jazz guitar and was the first actual guitarist to complete the Honors Performance Program at F.A.U.  He went on to graduate with academic honors while simultaneously studying Flamenco and Latin American music with musicians from Spain and Peru.

In his professional career, Eric is no stranger to the Billboard Charts with 6 records under his belt all crafted in different versions of SONAR spanning over 15 years.  Eric is in the final stages of another record, but this one is being tracked, mixed and recorded all in SONAR Platinum.  After Eric getting Cakewalk an exclusive preview to 3 of the new songs on the record, we were interested in finding out more about how all these great tracks are coming together in Platinum [DEMO PREVIEW]:

(more…)

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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.

(more…)

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5 Tools To Get “That Analog Sound” From SONAR

With the advent of digital audio, some feel a certain quality associated with the analog signal path has been lost. While that may have been true at one point, analog emulations have come a long way since first introduced. Let’s find out how to add that “analog sound” using some of SONAR’s plugins. (Note: Many of the following examples use features are exclusive to SONAR Platinum, so if you don’t already have this version, you can try a free demo by clicking here.)

#5 – ProChannel Tape Emulation

Tape Emulator Gif

Tape does some pretty magical things to audio, so SONAR Platinum includes tape emulation as a ProChannel module. Best  of all,  you can use it as much as you like without having to clean the heads!

Here’s how tape emulation enhances the sound:

  • Emulates the “head bump” of analog tape to enrich the low end, adding subtle warmth
  • Smooths response by slightly rolling off lowest lows and highest highs
  • Increases sustain by smoothing peaks
  • Saturates the signal in a non-linear, analog manner
  • Optionally introduces high-frequency hiss

For a basic application, insert the Tape Emulator in the Master Bus ProChannel. You’ll immediately hear a more cohesive mix. Increasing the REC LEVEL increases the overall saturation. The REC LEVEL knob, TAPE SPD switch, and BIAS switch all interact in unique ways, so try out different combinations to hear how they affect each other.

After hearing how the Tape Emulator affects your sound, try applying it to individual tracks (your drums will sound particularly fabulous). This will be a more subtle effect, adding a sense of depth to the overall mix.

(more…)

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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.

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Speed Up Your Workflow With 5 (Rather Hidden) SONAR Features

SONAR has a LOT of features. So many, in fact, that it’s easy for some of them to fly right under the radar. The list below contains five of my favorite SONAR features that can really speed up your workflow!  Download the latest SONAR Free Demo and follow along.

#5 – Clip Coloring

Let’s say you’ve recorded a couple of guitar tracks, and the guitar player changed tone in certain parts of the song. You may want to identify these parts easily during the mixing process. Markers can work, but I typically use those to indicate sections and turning points in the song, and the tone change doesn’t always line up with arrangement changes. Instead, you can change the clip color in these sections to make the parts easier to find.

Here are the clips in their original state:
Clips Before Editing

Make some splits where the pickup change happens:
Clips Have Been Split

Now, select the parts with Shift+Click where the guitarist changes his tone, and using the Foreground selector in the Clip Inspector, color these red:
Clip Coloring GIF

You can now see all the sections where the guitar player used an alternate tone by the red waveform, which can come in very handy while mixing.

(more…)

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Act of Defiance: How Chris Broderick is using SONAR after Megadeth

Starting from the early age of 11, Chris Broderick started on a journey that eventually brought him to every corner of our world.  Little did he know at that time that he would accomplish what most musicians only dream about.  As a multi-genre / multi-instrumentalist/vocalist, he got his chops like many others, long hours and hard work.

From his early days he could be found practicing guitar, piano and violin for upwards of 14 hours a day as a teenager. This eventually led him into an extraordinary path of education at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music where he was just as well known in the Denver music scene playing in local, yet highly regarded bands.  As time, fate and his esteemed career moved forward, Chris eventually moved into a greater role of guitar taking over for Joey Tafolla in the critically acclaimed band Jag Panzer.  Besides his professionalism, Chris landed this job partly due to the fact that he was the only one that could handle the duties laid out by Tafolla.

For nearly a decade of performing and touring on 4 records, Chris enjoyed playing with Jag Panzer while also taking part in live performances by the band Nevermore. In late 2007, Chis got a call from Shawn Drover, the drummer of Megadeth who had put forth his name in the hat of replacements for Glen Drover who had recently left the band.  After Dave Mustaine saw a video of Chris playing guitar, on February 4th 2008 Chris made his debut appearance as the new guitarist for Megadeth.  Dave Mustaine had commented that he thought Chris was the greatest guitarist Megadeth had ever seen, and that his collaboration with Chris reminded him of when Ozzy met Randy.

Most recently, Chris Broderick made the heartfelt decision to leave the band Megadeth. We got a chance to sit down with Chris and the most interesting part to this story is that the departure is really Uninteresting.  Unlike your usual big-drama band-break, it was simply Chris’s time to move on to something new… Act of Defiance with former band mate Shawn Drover: (more…)

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