SONAR 2017.07 Release: Little Things Mean a Lot

Bus Pane Aim Assist

Aim Assist is a long-time SONAR convenience—it draws a vertical bar across all Tracks to follow the mouse cursor position, while obeying snap settings. With Aim Assist, it’s easy to align edits across tracks.

Until now, Aim Assist only applied to the Tracks Pane. Extending this feature to work in the Bus Pane has been one of our most popular feature requests from customers, and now it’s here in SONAR 2017.07.

Bus Pane Aim Assist
Bus Pane Aim Assist

With more advanced automation and routing, it’s now easy to use Aim Assist to align mix and automation settings visually across all tracks and buses.

Recently Used Plug-ins

We’ve found that SONAR users often have their “go-to” plug-ins that they’re using over and over again. With SONAR 2017.07, we’ve made it easy to insert any of your five most recently used plug-ins anywhere in your project—no other setup necessary, it just works!

Noteworthy Enhancements

Drum Project with 100's of little clips
Drum Project with 100’s of little clips

In projects with thousands of micro-edits—for example, when using AudioSnap and Split Beats to chop and tighten drum tracks—SONAR is now much more responsive.

In our SONAR 2017.05 Update we introduced Ripple Editing, and the SONAR community rejoiced. We’ve continued to make improvements, and in this SONAR 2017.07 release, SONAR is now smarter about working with MIDI data while Ripple Editing. You can learn more about how in the 2017.07 issue of our monthly Tech+Music magazine.

While using the Adaptive Limiter some of our customers noticed a ring modulation effect. Cool sounding? Yes. Intended? No. When using the 64-bit Double Precision Engine along with a 64 sample buffer size in SONAR some plug-ins—including the Adaptive Limiter—would misbehave. This has now been addressed in SONAR 2017.07.

This issue had affected other plug-ins as well and could have caused some users to not be able to use 64-bit Double Precision in SONAR. With this update, we encourage users experiencing this issue to try using the 64-bit Double Precision Engine again. You can find this in Preferences under Driver Settings.

Using Snap and the Smart Grid together is more visually consistent now between the Track View and Piano Roll View, and we have improved the look of grid lines while zooming out of a project—no more confusing beat markers in the Time Ruler or stacked grid lines displaying on top of one another. We now always display the beat in the Time Ruler and the Snap subdivision in the view. This makes it easier to see the relationship between measure, beat, and subdivision while editing. See below for additional changes to this area.

  • Track View, Track View In-line Piano Roll, and Piano Roll View now have consistent behavior when thinning grid lines during zooming in and out
  • Disabling Snap previously created problems with showing triplets and dotted settings, These buttons will now stay lit to better indicate what Grid Lines are being displayed when Snap is Off
  • Disabling Snap previously created problems with showing triplets and dotted settings, These buttons will now stay lit to better indicate what Grid Lines are being displayed when Snap is Off
  • Snap settings could previously become changed unexpectedly if they were altered when Snap was Off
  • The Control Bar’s Smart Grid option is no longer disabled on cancel out of the menu

30th Anniversary Rapture Expansion Pack

Tech+Music (issue 2017.07)

Reviews of the Month: SampleTekk Classic Grand Piano, DSF B3 Tone Wheel organ ● DIY Sampled Piano Mods – Enhance sampled pianos with these simple tweaks ● SONAR Update 2017.07 overview, with news on all the latest enhancements: Bus Pane Aim Assist, Recently Used Plug-Ins list, Clip Edit Speed improvements, MIDI Ripple Editing improvements, multiple fixes and enhancements ● SONAR 101: Understanding Loop Construction ● “You Mix, We Master” – every month, we master a reader-submitted piece of music in SONAR ● 30th Anniversary Rapture Expansion Pack: Freshen up Rapture Pro and Rapture Sessions with 30 free, exciting new sounds from Craig Anderton

Get SONAR 2017.07 Today

Follow this link to learn more about the SONAR 2017.07 update and download today:

SONAR 2017.07 Update

Summer of SONAR–Here’s the 2017.06 Update

After a burst of innovation from the SONAR team during the last several months–which brought us:

…we’ve focused this SONAR 2017.06 release on user experience– polishing up and refining all the new features we’ve recently delivered. Here are a few highlights:

Continue reading Summer of SONAR–Here’s the 2017.06 Update

Cakewalk Kicks off 30th Anniversary with Major SONAR Update & Much More

–SONAR 2017.05 Update release looks to the past, present and future of desktop music production with Ripple Editing, a new Adaptive Limiter and Pen support for MIDI editing–

Let the 30th Anniversary Celebration Begin!

May 2017 marks Cakewalk’s 30th Anniversary, so we’re throwing a year-long party—and everyone’s invited!

We’ve lined up some cool freebies, specials, and surprises you’ll be seeing over the next 12 months, starting with 30 free, expertly crafted presets for the QuadCurve EQ to kickstart your mixing and mastering projects.

What’s more, by popular demand we’re bringing back the eZine, and taking it to the next level as a new publication—Tech+Music. Each month’s issue is packed with news on the latest program updates, as well as tips, product reviews, articles on studio techniques, and more.

This month, our partner spotlight shines on Softube — we’ll introduce you to the Console 1 Mk II, including a giveaway, and we’ll be offering their high-end Tube Tech Classic Channel at a rock-bottom price.

Last, but not least, our giant SONAR 2017.05 Update looks to the past, present and future of desktop music production — featuring Ripple Editing, our new Adaptive Limiter, and Pen support for MIDI editing.

Thank you for your support as we embark on our next 30 years of innovation.

Now let’s dive in to the SONAR 2017.05 Update…

Continue reading Cakewalk Kicks off 30th Anniversary with Major SONAR Update & Much More

SONAR 2017.04 Update: MIDI Transformed

Introducing the Transform Tool

SONAR’s new Transform Tool gives you full sculpting power to create more feel and expression in your MIDI instruments — a SONAR Platinum exclusive.
Continue reading SONAR 2017.04 Update: MIDI Transformed

SONAR 2017.03: MIDI, Back to the Future

Cakewalk reaches back to its MIDI sequencing roots to optimize SONAR’s core MIDI editing for today’s generation of virtual instruments.

Virtual instrument developers have added more controllers than ever to make them more “playable,” to sound more natural and evocative. As a result, one tends to do more MIDI editing and tweaking to take advantage of these emerging sonic capabilities.

When you’re working with as many as 100 MIDI tracks, workflow becomes critical to your creative process – you need to quickly find the tracks you’re looking for, easily bring those tracks in and out of focus for viewing and editing, and effortlessly toggle between a variety of controller data for precision edits.

Cakewalk has addressed these modern MIDI music production needs in the SONAR 2017.03 update through a redesign of the Piano Roll View (PRV) Track Pane and the Controller Pane. From efficient, simple controller editing to clean and focused MIDI track selection, SONAR has transformed MIDI editing from tedious to transparent.

Continue reading SONAR 2017.03: MIDI, Back to the Future

New Comping Features in SONAR

As you may know by now, the Bakers at Cakewalk are constantly on a mission to improve upon SONAR. Whether that’s a bug fix, a new feature, or a feature enhancement, we’re giving you the tools to be creative and get the job done. In 2016 we brought you workflow improvements for comping such as improved copy and paste functionality, keyboard shortcuts (adjusting stretch and crossfades), as well as visual improvements and customization options for take lanes. With the 2017.02 release we take things to a whole new level, with a host of new features based on your feedback. Don’t forget, if you have features or enhancements you’d like to see, drop us a line at bakery.cakewalk.com and let us make SONAR even better! For now, let’s dig in:

Continue reading New Comping Features in SONAR

Designer’s Notes: Smart Swipe

by Lance Riley

Background

In a world where consoles are less likely to be seen or even touched by musicians today and a control surface is referred to as a mixer occasionally, I always find myself missing the tactility of working in an analog studio. Don’t get me wrong though, I truly love all the affordances that our modern digital production environments allow for, but yet here I am… I wanted to make the mouse act more like a finger touching controls when working in SONAR, so we started working with that idea and came up with many ways that mouse gestures could be improved upon to do more than currently possible.

Introducing Smart Swipe

Workflow is extremely important to us, and we wanted users to see this as an improvement to their existing workflows without disturbing the way they use the app. We started looking at track state management and how we could make the app feel more responsive. There was already a lot of affordance to controlling groups of tracks through Quick Groups, but some gestures at times seemed like Quick Groups just weren’t quick enough. For example, I work a lot with 2 guitar mics, and sometimes I just want to solo or mute both tracks without using a bus. It seemed very natural to want to click and drag from a control on one track and have it affect the same control on neighboring tracks.

The benefits of using Smart Swipe

With Smart Swipe, you can:

  • Quickly Mute or Solo multiple tracks that are in series like Guitars with 2 mics, recording Bass with a DI and a mic, etc
  • Alleviate some situations where you would need to put tracks into a folder.
  • Add additional control to tracks already in a folder.
  • Quickly check the phase relationship across drum mics while playing back.
  • Quickly A/B the processing of tracks by Smart Swiping the FX Bin Enables
  • Isolate and listen to takes by looping a section and Smart Swiping the Solo Exclusive buttons on the take lanes.
  • Quickly enable or disable multiple sends on the same track in the Console View

Track View vs. Console View

The Track View & Console View have some similar controls, but also several unique ones. Here are the areas in which you can currently use Smart Swipe.

  • Track View:
  • Track: Mute, Solo, Record, and Input Echo
  • Track: Read, Write, and Archive
  • Track: Take Lanes
  • Mute, Solo (exclusive), and Record (exclusive)
  • Track: Automation Lanes
  • Read, Write
  • Track: FX Bin Enable
  • Bus: Mute, Solo, and Waveform Preview
  • Bus: Automation Lanes
  • Read, Write
  • Bus: FX Bin Enable

Console View:

  • Track: Mute, Solo, Record, and Input Echo
  • Track: Read, Write, Interleave, and Phase
  • Track: FX Bin Enable
  • Track: Send Enable and Post (Vertically)
  • Track: ProChannel Enable and Post
  • Bus: Mute, Solo, Read, Write, and Interleave
  • Bus: FX Bin Enable
  • Bus: Send Enable and Post (Vertically)
  • Bus: ProChannel Enable and Post

Summary

We are very excited to have added Smart Swipe to SONAR and we hope our users find it useful and meaningful to their workflow. Now that I have been using Smart Swipe for a while I can’t imagine using a DAW that doesn’t have this available. We already have further enhancements planned and are thinking of even more ways that we can continue to improve Smart Swipe and the SONAR workflow.

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

Continue reading HOW The Duke Western USES SONAR TO CREATE MUSIC FOR DUCK DYNASTY (AND MORE)

CakeTV Live Episode 5: TH3 Cakewalk Edition

In this week’s edition of CakeTV Live, Joey and Dan tackle the brand new TH3 Cakewalk Edition. Check out all 6 parts here.

 

How the new “TH3 Cakewalk” Will Elevate Your Recordings in SONAR

Whether you update SONAR every month or not, this month is a great time to hit the C3 button.  Besides the new cutting edge LP mastering plug-ins, we have worked hard and closely with our good friends at Overloud to deliver something that can truly change your sound as a SONAR user. TH3 Cakewalk has arrived and will now replace TH2 moving forward, and I had the opportunity to run the beta for the last month building some basic presets for the plug-in. Right out of the gate I found this VST3 to be a nice upgrade from its predecessor TH2.

Now I am absolutely nothing close to a guitar wizard, but I have been hacking around since I picked up the instrument at age 5, so I’ve been around the block with guitar tones touring, producing, engineering, recording, etc. like a lot of folks probably reading this.  From a production standpoint, I’ve always loved the convenience of amp simulators, but always hated what would happen to the tone when trying to mix them together with drums that had been recorded with 1073’s, API’s or other heavy duty pres and mics… the tone gets small pretty fast.  In my opinion, this is something that Overloud in general has excelled at—DSP and algorithms that truly stay at the front of the mix no matter what the context.  TH3 brings this concept to even another level.  Here are some of my quick thoughts and findings.

Sounds
There are a lot of changes with the new TH3 Cakewalk including the new and upgraded User Interface which I will get into, but I bet a lot of folks like me really base their judgments on how things sound.  The good news is that once you are up and running with the plug-in you will notice a nice improvement on the sound quality from TH2 Producer/Cakewalk.  5 new amp models with more accurate model reproduction are included in TH3 Cakewalk, and all have improved DSP along with enhanced preamp and power amp stages.  To my ear, I notice a more “open and natural” sound in general, but also notice a more responsive relationship between the pick and the strings in terms of “feel”—like when you play a guitar through an amp that just had the tubes replaced.  I also notice more presence overall, but the right type of presence without harshness.  The low-mids and mids are thick and punchy and I especially love the new Slo88 and Tweed Deluxe amps which have a lot of character.  The Bassface is a beast as well; this amp is a secret weapon for many rock producers who use it to double rhythm guitar parts recorded with other amps.  Blending these two sources together produces a tone that is about as thick as it gets.

New amps in TH3 Cakewalk:

 

Bassface 59:  Model of a classic american “bass” combo amp, tuned to be great for rhythm and blues playing on guitar once overdriven

Continue reading How the new “TH3 Cakewalk” Will Elevate Your Recordings in SONAR