Javier Colon, Winner of NBC The Voice Using SONAR X2 for New Record

It’s been quite a ride in the last 2 years for Javier Colon after being crowned the winner of NBC’s hit TV show The Voice.  Some highlights include releasing the record “Come Through for You” on the Universal/Republic label, gaining millions of new fans, and touring around the world sharing the stage with artists including Maroon 5, Colbie Caillat and Gavin DeGraw to name a few.  It’s rare for an artist like Javier to experience so many facets of the music industry.  He is been signed to two major labels, put out his own successful independent music, and claimed the top spot on one of the biggest television shows of our time.  But what sets him apart from other artists (besides the obvious) in today’s never ending plethora of supposable talent?  I recently got a chance to catch up with Javier in his new SONAR X2 home studio in Connecticut and find out what he’s been up to, and where he’s going. (more…)

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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.

 

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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:]

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Cori Yarckin’s New Record “Part of Me” Released in Japan Today: See How SONAR X1 was used in her living room…

After a long road of hard work and perseverance, the new Cori Yarckin record titled Part of Me was released today in Japan on Spinning Records.  Cori is a busy international singer/songwriter who is also signed to BMG publishing in the United States.  In the past, she has toured extensively, being known for her powerful voice and stage presence, and has even been seen in Rolling Stone magazine and the ever-famous MTV show TRL.  This new record, which was recorded and produced in SONAR X1, is initially available in stores and here in Japan and eventually will be released in the United States.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Cori on a few different records/projects as a producer, mixer and co-writer, and I think this record was the most fun out of them all.  This record has an interesting twist to it as we recorded and produced most of the tracks entirely in SONAR X1, with various people jumping in to assist.  Brandon Ryan did a lot of the preproduction and bed tracks, while Robin Kelly laid down a lot of the synth and drum programming. Then it was my job to take everything and completely mess it up…  I mean put it all together ;)   (more…)

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NAMM 2012 in pictures

Winter NAMM 2012 was a huge success for Cakewalk. For the second straight year, we were located in the Roland Arena with a great location right by the entrance. We got to meet a lot of new, existing, and potential users. In addition, we had great demos from some of our favorite Cakewalk artists (and even some special appearances). We also got to show off SONAR X1 Production Suite, the new ProChannel Concrete Limiter, and Cakewalk instruments like Z3TA+ 2, Dimension Pro, and Rapture. We wish everyone could have joined us for the show, but here’s a recap that hopefully makes you feel like you were there. (more…)

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Hollywood Undead Invites You To Mix-it-up

Enter the Hollywood Undead remix contest today

SONAR X1 user Hollywood Undead is one of the few modern bands that continue to sell records and play to sold out crowds around the world.  This hard working band is considered as one of the biggest and most unique rock acts in the industry today, and now with the help of Indaba, Cakewalk and Roland, they want your help in remixing two of their original songs.  That’s right folks, you could end up with actual credits on a record that is being released on A&M/Octone through this exclusive Cakewalk opportunity; and you never know where it could go from there…  You can enter this contest and win great prizes including cash, recording gear from Cakewalk and Roland, and the opportunity to be on their new remix EP.  Hollywood Undead rely on SONAR X1 and Cakewalk to keep their music original and creative, now they are reaching out to all their fellow SONAR X1 users.  If this sounds interesting to you, please visit here on the Indaba music site to learn more on how to enter. Good luck!

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Cakewalk Artist Javier Colon Making His Mark on “The Voice”

A little over a month ago we featured Javier Colon on our blog the day before “The Voice” premiered.  I don’t think anyone had a doubt that he would be anything less than stellar on the show, but I don’t think anyone realized the impact he would have on viewers around the world.  If you have seen the show you know what I am talking about; Javier’s voice is undeniable, and combining that with his first-class demeanor and composure has authentically gained him millions of fans around the world.  Since the premier, Javier has been on a whirlwind ride and we have been fortunate enough to keep in touch with him even though his schedule has changed…  just a bit;) (more…)

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SONAR X1 User Javier Colon to Appear on NBC’s “The Voice”

Tuesday, April 26 – New York, NY

If you are making music I think you will agree with me when I say for better or for worse “What an interesting time it is for the recorded music industry.”  There are a few elements that really make it “interesting;”

  1. Music creators now have options such as SONAR X1 to create finished masters without having to pay for studios, therefore having the luxury of time to hone in on perfecting the art of making great recordings.
  2. It’s a fact that music consumption is at a record high, but at the same time the money (in dollars) flowing into the industry as a whole is at a record low.
  3. Major Labels are no longer developing artists.
  4. Labels have lost the revenue of the “full length” record due to the fact that consumers can purchase singles for next to nothing now and bypassing those “throwaway” tracks.
  5. One can click a mouse and literally “distribute” a song to thousands of people at once.

…add in a few money making American Idols along with the astronomical amount of money it takes to be heard on CHR radio,  and there you have it; an industry that is really tough to figure out right now.

With all that being said, modern technology including the internet has brought one thing to the table for sure; “the truth.”  If you’ve really got something going on and the talent to back it up, cyber-authenticity kicks into high gear and recognition follows.  The internet has created an upward filtering platform where people gravitate towards the entertainment by which they really want to be engaged.  Javier Colon is absolutely a pioneer of this revolution and is about as authentic and talented as they come, which has landed him an audition on the new highly anticipated NBC television show “The Voice” airing Tuesday, April 26th.

(more…)

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TC, and Paul Oakenfold’s Team on SONAR X1

Thursday, February 24th - Hollywood, CA

On a recent trip to Los Angeles, I had the privilege of spending some time with an X1 pro user who really exemplifies the modern day musician on all fronts.  His name is TC (born Anthony Crawford) and he is also known by some in the producing underground as “Spitfire”.  “TC,” as we will refer to him today, is employed by Paul Oakenfold as his main music producer, co-writer, mixing engineer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.  Working in that capacity, on a daily basis TC will mesh with artists such as B.O.B., Usher, Madonna, Lloyd and Rico Love just to name a recent few. (more…)

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EMI Music Publishing US Headquarters Chooses SONAR X1, V-Studio 100 and PC Audio Labs for In-house Recording Room

New York City, NY – January 25th, 2011

Unlike the recorded music sector of the music industry, the publishing world is still thriving for those who have been able to adapt to the changes.  Known as the largest music publisher in the world, EMI Music Publishing is indeed one of those companies and still a well oiled conglomerate dead set on the success of its affiliated writers. Nestled in one of the hippest neighborhoods in New York City (The Meat Packing District), EMI Music Publishing boasts a catalogue and current roster of some of the most successful artists, songwriters and producers in the game.  A walk down the maze of halls in this 20,000sf facility may lead you to nodding heads and a quick hello to a range of diverse multi-platinum music icons such as Billy Joel, The Fray, Pink, and James Blunt to name just a few. (more…)

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