Classic Cakewalk Tip: Get Looped!

If you’ve ever tried to record a perfect rhythm track before, you probably understand how hard it is to play the same part perfectly, over and over again. For years, audio software engineers have tried to find a way to make that part of song construction easier and less time consuming, so you can spend more time creating and less time trying to emulate that perfect take! On the other hand, you may be a great vocalist yet lack the skills to add your own backing band to the project. With numerous instrument loops available on the market today, you can construct your own multi-track masterpiece without breaking a sweat!

To learn how to create, add and edit loops in Cakewalk products start here

Take a look at this video produced by our friends at Smart Loops:

Add Punch to Your Percussion with SONAR 8’s TS-64 Transient Shaper

One of SONAR 8’s handy new features is the TS-64 Transient Shaper. Although the idea of the transient shaper isn’t new, it’s not a common processor to be bundled with a host DAW.

A transient shaper is a dynamics processor for sculpting the transient dynamics of any percussive-based source material. The TS-64 works best, for example, with drum loops and percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, and piano. While included in SONAR, the TS-64 is not exclusive to the DAW and can be used in any program that accepts VST plug-ins.

Sound On Sound’s Craig Anderton used the tool in SONY Sound Forge and Steinberg’s Wavelab without a hitch! Take a look at his thought on the TS-64 Transient Shaper, it’s controls, and how they can affect the sound of your mix.

Using Envelopes & Automation Controls in SONAR

One of the most cutting-edge features of SONAR is the wide range of automation controls available. While Cakewalk has made use of standard envelopes – volume and pan controls – for a very long time, you can also take your project to the next level through Cakewalk’s plug-in automation.

Why are envelopes so cool? While no one would argue that envelopes and automation give you precise control over your mix with a maximum amount of visual feedback, many people overlook the more creative and non-standard uses for automation. Hopefully, this tip will give you an insight into how to creatively apply automation toyour projects to achieve things that you didn’t think possible!

Learn how to add envelopes to your SONAR mix with this great tip!

Classic Cakewalk Tip: Using Keyboard Shortcut Presets in SONAR

More and more people are adopting SONAR as their digital audio workstation of choice. To make the transition easier, we’ve enhanced SONAR’s Key Bindings feature with presets to allow users of other programs such as Pro Tools, Logic, Cubase, Nuendo and/or Acid to use the keyboard shortcuts that they have already commited to memory. Check out this tip by DJ Serg and start working with key bindings today.

*Note: You can look for these custom Keyboard Shortcuts in your SONAR help file

Computer Music Magazine Reveals 11 Un-Missable SONAR Power Tips

Get more out of your favorite DAW with this list of the 11 Un-Missable SONAR 8 Power Tips by Computer Music Magazine. These tips explain the benefits that the latest enhancements made to SONAR’s audio engine and user interface provide to it’s users; with faster performance and more intuitive control. Featuring tips on Cakewalk’s new loop performance instrument, Beatscape, as well as SONAR’s new tools for arming and disarming tracks during recording and playback, this list will surely enhance the way you make music in SONAR.

Read Computer Music Magazine’s 11 Unmissable SONAR 8 power tips as seen on MusicRadar.com.

The Basic Guidelines of EQ

What is Equalization or ‘EQ’? How can I use it to enhance the sound of my tracks?

Read the following guide to learn the basic terms, settings and tips associated with EQ. Adjusting the frequency levels while recording your instruments and vocals is just the beginning.

Also, watch the video below on how to adjust EQ in the console view of your Cakewalk software:

EM Magazine Hosts SONAR 8 Masterclass On Groove Tool, Beatscape

If you haven’t seen Electronic Musician’s master-class on SONAR 8’s new loop instrument, Beatscape, this would be a great time to check it out!

Via basic, easy to follow instructions, EM takes you through the process of importing and organizing audio files into Beatscape’s library and more. A brand new feature to the SONAR platform, Beatscape offers 16 pads to load and trigger your loops or samples for sequencing your music and beats. It also includes a massive 4GB REX library with preloaded material (beats, breaks, phrases in many genres). With drag and drop capabilities, Beatscape brings a new level of entertainment to remixing tracks!

Take a look at the masterclass in full at EMusician.com

Beginner’s Guide To Setting Up SONAR

Booting up music production software for the first time can be a daunting task. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the menus, tools and buttons. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to learn the basics of SONAR, check out this brief Getting Started Guide by the folks of the JSONAR Project. Here you will learn how to incorporate SONAR into your studio environment by choosing the correct options for audio setup, MIDI controllers and hardware, and default locations on your computer for your audio files. You’ll also get a simple tutorial on SONAR’s various project views and how to setup your first multitrack recording project.

The JSONAR Project is a one-of-a-kind resource for finding JAWS scripts for SONAR. JAWS is a visual aid for blind SONAR users. The program provides the visually-impaired  with a screen reader and Braille display, assisting them in the music-making process. This page is full of great tips and links for all SONAR users.

Configuring the ACT MIDI Controller Plug-in

Setting up Active Controller Technology (ACT) with your software through the ACT MIDI Controller plug-in requires 6 basic steps. This tip will take you through 6 essential steps:

– Enabling the correct MIDI input driver for your controller/surface.

– Enabling the ACT MIDI Controller plug-in in the Controllers/Surfaces dialog.

– Loading the correct preset in the control panel of your hardware controller/surface.

– Opening the ACT MIDI Controller property page, selecting the name of your controller/surface in the Presets window, and enabling the Active Controller Technology Enable button.

– This step is optional if your controller/surface has a preset in the ACT MIDI Controller property page (not optional if your controller/ surface doesn’t have a preset): Mapping knobs and sliders on your controller/surface to cells in the ACT MIDI Controller property page.

– Optional: Mapping the cells in the ACT MIDI Controller property page to various parameters in your effect and synth plug-ins.

Watch the More Reasons to Love SONAR- ACT Part 1 & 2 tutorials

Use our Step by Step Guide to Configure ACT with your MIDI controller

Choosing The Right Audio Hardware For Your Computer

Cakewalk makes setting up your computer for audio production easier as our software products are designed to work with any audio hardware that supports standard Windows drivers; providing you with the widest range of hardware choices available. These day’s its common for the audio device to be built into your PC’s motherboard, which is commonly referred to as an integrated audio device, such as a MME or WDM.

Whether your PC came with an integrated device or has an actual audio card installed by the factory, the results are about the same. These devices are usually designed for very basic media playback, such as playing an audio CD or listening to MP3 files. We’ve created the What Audio Hardware Do I Need? guide to help you find the audio hardware best-suited for your Cakewalk-based recording system.