Meet the Bakers: Mike L

I began playing Drums when I was 8 years old after my Dad set up his old kit from the 70′s. I played for a few years until I picked up my first guitar at a second hand music shop in New Hampshire. I played for hours everyday until the noise I was making started to sound like a melody. My friends and I started a punk band at the age of 13. We weren’t the best in my neighborhood, but definitely the loudest. At this point I knew I wanted to play music everyday for the rest of my life.

When I got to high school, I tried to find every music class I could. My first class freshman year was an electronic music class. In this class we used a version of Cakewalk Music Creator. I started becoming extremely interested in music production and wanted to learn everything I possibly could. I started to listen to my favorite albums and try to recreate the sounds I was hearing. To gain some experience, I started recording local bands in my basement by hanging mic cables over pipes for overheads. I remember listening to the album ‘Revolver’ over and over trying to copy what I was hearing.  (more…)

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Meet the Bakers: Lars W

Music is something I’ve always loved since I was very young. I played a few different instruments throughout school. In third grade I picked up the Baritone horn in grade school and played that through my senior year or high school in the concert band. As I got older my passion for music and different styles of music grew. In high school I started going to local rock shows which is what made me want to be in a band.

Being on stage and connecting with an audience was something I really wanted to do. That’s when I decided to start playing guitar. Not long after that I ended up switching to the bass after the bassist in my first band quit and that quickly became my primary instrument. The more I played shows the more I started to take music more seriously. What started as a hobby quickly became my life. In my junior year of high school I went to a 4 week workshop on Recording Studio Technology at the New England institute of Art. After spending a few weeks in the studio’s there I was hooked. Going into my senior year I decided I wanted to pursue a career in music production and engineering. So I made that my focus and took just about every music elective I could and then I applied to the New England institute of Art for Audio & Media Technology and got in.

While I was in school I studied with lots of inspiring teachers and made a bunch of great connection through doing internships and going to the AES Convetions and local AES events. About half way through college I started freelancing as an audio engineer working for various different audio companies in the Boston area doing live sound, studio recording and location recording. I graduated from the New England institute of Art in 2007 and not long after graduating I landed my gig at cakewalk as a customer service representative. Since then I’ve expanded into tech support as well. (more…)

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Meet the Bakers: Joey A

How did you get started with music?
When I was about 10 years old, my dad bought this acoustic guitar for himself for $20 or so. I thought it was so cool that my dad knew how to play AC/DC and Kiss songs (correctly or not made no real difference to me at the time), so I asked him to show me everything he knew. I picked up the basic chords pretty quickly and started sneaking into his room while he was at work to play the guitar unsupervised. One day he came home earlier than usual and heard me in my room playing the guitar. He was too shocked at how quickly I surpassed his skill level to scold me, and he said I could keep the guitar. Around the same time, two of my cousins were getting into guitar and I HAD to get as good as they were, so I put in as many hours of practice as I could.

Fast-forward about two years, I was starting to get into electric guitar more and more, and for Christmas I got this multi-fx pedal, and I was quickly obsessed with tone and all the neat things you could alter about a guitar’s sound. This naturally evolved into a passion for the field of audio engineering, and I decided that’s what I wanted to study after high school.

I managed to hone my musicianship enough to get accepted to Berklee College of Music right out of high school, and I took on a Music Business major, a Music Production and Engineering major, and an Acoustics & Electronics minor. During summers I interned for various music-related companies, not the least of which was the world-famous Blackbird Studio in Nashville, TN. It was throughout these college years and internships that I learned a lot about myself, particularly that I knew I wanted to work in the music industry to some degree, but I wanted audio engineering to remain entirely fun for me; I wanted to keep it around as a serious hobby but not make it my full-time profession. (more…)

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Meet the Bakers: Willy J

Sometime in middle school I started listening to bands like Static-X,Slipknot and Fear Factory and decided to start playing drums as well. My neighbors thought it was really cool. So cool they even invited local law enforcement over to listen to how awesome my high school band was. I got into school band and eventually jazz band and decided that I wanted to try the Bari Sax. I played on a busted old school loaner bari sax that was probably more suited as a gravel scoop than a horn but I ended up loving it.

This is about when my time with Cakewalk products started. Some buddies and I decided one summer that we should record ourselves, because you know – there wasn’t a big enough market for angsty teen rock bands. One friend got a set of drum mics and I end up getting a mixer that came bundled with Logic 5. That was way back in the day when Logic supported Windows. It didn’t work out very well and I ended up buying a copy of SONAR 2 XL. Yes – I actually bought it. I know, unheard of for a teenager that was tech savvy in the days of Napster.

I spent that entire summer playing around with mic positions, effects and learning how to mix. The following school year I was dual-enrolled in a local community college and took a few courses on recording. We used these old Tascam 16 and 32 track machines and would mix everything down to 2-track tape. It was a great experience although sometimes I wasn’t sure if the machine was about to take off like a helicopter. I have yet to have the opportunity to apply my capstan cleaning skills in a real studio. (more…)

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Meet the Bakers: Craig Anderton

If you want to know about me, including multiple probably surprising facts, One Louder magazine did a pretty comprehensive interview just before I joined Gibson. In fact I’m surprised I was asked to participate in “Meet the Bakers,” because I’m really just an honorary baker…but apparently all these software guys need someone with hardware experience to change light bulbs and fix the microwave, and that would be me. So we’ll just cut to the chase, and deal with the bullet points. Oh, and don’t forget to check out my latest music videos at http://www.youtube.com/thecraiganderton. It’s an eclectic collection, to say the least…from cover versions to French Antilles dance music to EDM to hard rock to a live ambient performance written as a sleep aid for my daughter.

Doing a festival gig with Brian Hardgroove from Public Enemy, as the hard rock two-piece EV2. Eddie Kramer called us “The Black and White Stripes.” I’m quite sure he considers me the white one. (more…)

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How Eliud “Liu” Ortiz used SONAR X3 for his recent Jennifer Hudson mix (RCA Records)

These days, some professional mixing and recording engineers are doing work for major labels completely missed the analogue age. Others are still mixing on consoles.  We have come to a point where there really is no “right” or “wrong” in terms of mixing.  Some tracks are mixed so perfectly that they are not signed off on by the label because they are lacking something “distinct” or “of a raw nature.”  Other times, indie songs are mixed by a band itself and find their way to the top, where at that point the label just has someone remix the single for mainstream radio. (For example compare the normal and radio mixes of Gotye “Somebody That I Used to Know.)

NYC based mixing and recording engineer Liu Ortiz has seen it from all sides of the music and business spectrum.  Starting out at such a young age of 16 as an engineer, his career has placed him with a perfect balance (at still a young age) with a ton of knowledge in both the digital and analogue worlds.  He has worked on tracks with and for artists such as Mary J. Blige, Pink, Luther Vandross, Christina Aguilera, and even RZA to name a few, and was quite a successful engineer at the Hit Factory in New York City.

Coming from the world of Cubase and Pro Tools, and after hearing all the buzz about the full feature-set of SONAR X3, Liu decided to give SONAR X3 a whirl on a new track by Jennifer Hudson feat. R Kelley for RCA Records.  After mixing the track, he found himself gravitating towards the workflow so he continued the journey onto another project called The Summer Set; a very well established band from Scottsdale Arizona who are quickly making waves internationally.  I recently got a chance to visit with Liu at the new Cakewalk Room which is ironically enough in the old Hit Factory where he often worked.  Liu showed me some of his new mixes, showed me where his picture and plaques were on the wall, and even gave me a few interesting stories about some of the “good ole days” featuring Missy Elliot, Queen Latifah and Sean Puffy Combs [don’t worry Liu – I’ll never tell ;-)

Cakewalk Artist Relations:           Since you grew up on analogue consoles, what are there big sonic differences you hear now that you mix “in the box”?

 Liu Ortiz:           Well in the beginning way back when DAWs first started, I noticed that no matter what I did as I progressed with more plugins and inserts of each channel, the mix coming out the box would progressively get thinner; especially with vocals. I couldn’t really do much to fix that problem until not too long ago where technology has progressed with DAWs and computers in general.  Now, I can pretty much faithfully emulate hardware with EQ’s and compressors of pretty much all the consoles I have worked on in the past.

Neve and SSL’s had such distinctive qualities about them similar in comparison to that of Strats and Les Pauls. Since I worked on both extensively, I remember all the little nuances that each series had. So when I am mixing I just try my best to EQ with those particular traits in mind since they were my personal favorites. Pretty much all DAWs now are inherently very neutral, so I can dial in whatever tone I want and don’t have to worry about the vocals or guitars becoming shrill. I really appreciate technology now and just concentrate on crafting the best mix possible.  I must add that it is pretty amazing to me that SONAR X3 has a Console Emulator built into every bus and every track – this blew me away (more…)

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6 Mindblowing reasons to get SONAR X3 Producer

1. SONAR has redefined mixing in the box.

The ProChannel redefines the way you work with the Console View. Each audio track, instrument track, and bus comes with a complete modular strip of analog effects. Even the inspector allows the users to preview a selected track’s ProChannel strip right from the Track View. With the click of a button users can expand this analog mixing console and fully customize it by dragging around the modules, or loading up a ProChannel presets. Load up the Compressors, Tube Saturation, Reverb, Console Emulators, Tap Emulators, and the new QuadCurve EQ Zoom with Analyzer by simply right-clicking. SONAR’s ProChannel lends itself to an immensely visual experienceand to enhance this feature a step further Cakewalk introduced the fly-out panel for the Quad Curve EQ (SONAR X3 Producer Exclusive). Adding this allows users to see and modify their audio signals in real-time across a spectrum analyzer.

2. The best pitch correction software that exists is fully integrated.

ARA technology is Celemony’s way of allowing DAW’s to host the functions of any audio edit capable plugin. ARA Integration means that Melodyne can now run as a fully integrated feature within SONAR X3. Yes, you read that correctly, SONAR X3 can now run the world’s best pitch correction as a native component and SONAR X3 Studio & Producer now include Melodyne Essential.

Melodyne interacts with the new Region FX clips in SONAR – allowing users to highlight any mono audio clip and apply Melodyne pitch correction. ARA’s high quality time stretching replaces the older time stretching capabilities run by AudioSnap and SONAR X3 has the ability to convert Audio to MIDI by simply dragging and dropping audio to a MIDI track. This deeply integrated technology makes SONAR perfect solution for complex pitch correction!

3. Floating windows get in the way, so SONAR solved that problem.

If you’re looking to purge your workflow of a cryptic DAW with an unsettling interface that is not conducive to a creative environment then you should really check out what SONAR’s been doing since the X-series overhaul. We’ve pretty much ended the floating window interface to bring users a more efficient musical experience. Our Smart Tools HUD can be accessed anywhere in the interface. Our main track view houses several different workflows that are a single click or shortcut away. Screen-sets lets you save window configurations and swap between them using your numerical keys. The list goes on and on and we’re continuing to make it better with more intuitive features.

4. It takes minutes to create something awesome.

There are programs that exist only to record and edit, and then there is SONAR – which is the major contender for the entire creative experience. Every part of SONAR’s MIDI and virtual instrument implementation allows users drag in, route, and start composing within seconds.

You can save your favorite instrument and track routing as track templates and load them into other projects without any hesitation. Complex routing tasks like a multi-track setup for Addictive Drums requires no thinking – just doing. Our synth rack stays separate from the Track View and Console view so that your processing plugins stay separate from your synthesis plugins. Organization, clarity, and not a second wasted, that’s why SONAR stays on top.

5. We don’t bundle useless plugins with SONAR.

In fact, we bundle some of the best software in the industry with SONAR. We’ve already covered the fact that Melodyne Essential comes with the product – but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. 

The Nomad Factory Blue Tubes bundle ships with SONAR X3 and contains as many dynamic, time-based, and eq-based plugins that you could ever need. We have astounding instruments from AAS: Strum Acoustic SONAR, and Lounge Lizard SONAR. Lastly, Addictive Drums – which will make you want to fire your drummer and spark your MIDI programming addiction. It doesn’t stop there, check out the full list of effects and get yourself on board with the future of the DAWs.

6. You’re not limited to a Track Count or Plugin Count.

There’s always that moment when you realize that your DAW has hit a brick wall with the amount of plugins or tracks that it can handle at once. SONAR doesn’t have that problem, in fact it goes above and beyond to give you the best 64-bit architecture, unlimited tracks, buses, and effects that money can buy. We even have surround sound support! No need to constantly submix your tracks or work in parts because you don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on a “pro-system”. Even at our $99 value we’ve taken out track and effects limitations and still retain flagship features like ARA and VST3.

Upgrade to SONAR X3 Producer today!

Still not convinced? Check out SONAR free for 30-days.

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Meet the Bakers: Dave L

How did you get started with music?

The Beatles began my lifelong love and appreciation of music, at the age of 9. I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up in an era with some of the most iconic bands in history. Being able to see The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stone, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Ten Years After, Deep Purple .. live! …was simply amazing. Not too mention the ticket prices were only $7.50!

For the past 50+ years, music has been one of the most important aspects of my life. I played flute and clarinet, in the high school band as well as attending Berklee and the University of Lowell, where I taught electronic music labs in my freshman year. At Lowell, they had an ARP 2500, (2) 2600s and one of the first Synclavier commercially produced. Working in several local music stores as well as repairing all sorts of gear also added to my skills. I continue to utilize my technical skills whether its custom designing an on-board guitar preamp or here at Cakewalk.

(more…)

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Meet The Bakers: Dan K

I became obsessed with music when I was around 11 years old and my brothers left behind their collection of cassette tapes when they went on to college. They were mostly classic rock albums – Led Zeppelin I, II, and III, Jimi Hendrix’s Are You Experienced, Pink Floyd’s The Wall and everything in between.

I had a musical background already taking piano lessons, but it wasn’t long before I picked up my mom’s nylon string guitar and started learning how to play – first the chords, then on to as many solos as I could learn, one note at a time.

Eventually I studied more formally, taking up blues, jazz, and classical guitar, but once I realized I wouldn’t *quite* be the next Jimi Hendrix, I got my feet wet writing songs of my own. Since then, I’ve recorded a handful of EPs (not to be confused with the other Dan Kaplan, who writes and records solo harmonica albums), a full length album, and I just finished mixing my first full length album, Chasing Daylight, with my band, Magnolia. You can listen to the first single here.

 

Fun Facts:

  • I was an all state flute player in NY when I was a kid. I don’t remember why I started playing the flute, but I probably thought it’d be cool to be the only boy. Now it just comes in handy for the occasional jazz flute solo (i.e. never).
  • I had a song, “Around the Bend” featured on The Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch a few years ago. Still probably one of the highlights of my life.
  • I *might* be related to Johnny Appleseed.

Position:
Graphic Designer

Years @ Cakewalk:
5+ years (gulp)

Instruments:
Mostly guitar and piano, but I’ll hit or try to play anything I can get my hands on

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SONAR Tips: How to Easily Sync Your DAW to Audio

Introduction

Have you ever recorded a song that isn’t set to any type of tempo? Or maybe you have just have to make a click track for your songs? Well SONAR can certainly help that in that department. One of the great things about SONAR is it’s flexibility across different types of workflows. In this particular situation there is a nifty tool hidden in one of the menus that helps get your tempos mapped out in your DAW. Think of it like syncing your DAW and your audio files.

Out of time? Put it in time.

Let’s a take a perfectly good song like the following sound example:

This is a great song, but it was tracked to an independent (more…)

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