SONAR Platinum: What is VocalSync?

by Dan Gonzalez

New Technology

VocalSync (SONAR Platinum exclusive) is a new technology developed by the DSP gurus here at Cakewalk. We’ve engineered an algorithm that analyzes and synchronizes phonemes (among other characteristics specific to vocals) between similar vocal parts. This type of technology is often used to synchronize backing vocals, doubled vocal parts, and used to align dialogue to picture.

Something you’re probably wondering is, well – “Why would I use such a thing?” Well the question you should actually be asking yourself is “Why haven’t I been using vocal synchronization?”

What does it do?

Vocal Synchronization is something that has been around for a long time but by methods unfit for today’s demanding deadlines. Before, vocal editing would consist of manual cutting, editing, moving and quantizing – kind of like multi-track drum editing but with less instruments. We’ve taken this idea and tied it into our Region FX technology so that users can work inside the Track View and not in another part of the program. With VocalSync (more…)

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SONAR: Perfect Your Bus Processing with Mix Recall

by Dan Gonzalez

Large projects yield large mixes. As a mix engineer myself I tend to stack up on mix buses to make it easier to control multi-mic’d instruments or groups of tracks.

As of SONAR X3, experimenting with different types of bus processing is somewhat cumbersome due to a lack of useful A/B switching mechanisms. Mix Recall changes that in the newest version. Elevating your workflow is what SONAR is here for, and SONAR Artist, Professional, and Platinum now offer a goldmine of mixing workflows.

When you first open up Mix Recall make sure to save your project – or else all of the buttons will be inactive.

Grab the mix you’re working on and go the Master Bus and select it. Here’s a mix that I’ve been working on for a bit. This song has all different kinds of drums, synths, and other instruments. This first example has no bus compression on it. (more…)

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ScratchPad 1.3 Release Now Available

ScratchPad ties it all together in the latest update with support for Audiobus 2, Audio Copy 2, and much more. Nominated for a 2014 TEC Award, Scratchpad is making waves in the mobile market allowing users to create playful and pumping songs in seconds. Check it out today on the App Store.

 

What’s New:

  • Full support for iOS 8, continued support for iOS 7
  • Support for Audiobus 2, Audio Copy 2, and Inter-App Audio has been added
  • Performance enhancements using low latency settings
  • Now includes support for dynamic latency changes
  • Easier drag and drop functionality to move loops from one cell to another
  • Improved stability, project handling, user interface, and bug fixes to enhance the user experience

Pricing and Availability:

For current ScratchPad owners, the 1.3 update is a free download from the App Store. For new customers, ScratchPad 1.3 is available for $3.99. Full product information is available here.

Askaudiomag gives it a “Best of 2014 iOS apps”. Check out the article here.

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Reader’s Choice: The most popular mixing articles of 2014

by Dan Gonzalez
Mixing is and always will be one of the core elements of each and every DAW. Here at Cakewalk, SONAR features hundreds of a ways to mix and process your tracks for personal and commercial use. Here are some of the most popular articles we have featured in 2014.

How to use Reverb to create depth

Mix engineers that have had their time behind a board can pick out the misuse of Reverb when they hear it. Just like with anything, applying the proper Reverb requires more time than just scrolling through the presets of the basic Hall, Room, and Plate algorithms. Music tends to have a significant three-dimensional experience to it. This concept requires the understanding of width, height, and depth. Check out this article on how to use reverb in your mix.

Subtractive EQ Parts 1-5

Equalization is one of the most powerful tools that an audio engineer can get their hands on. Live engineers, post-production engineers, and recording engineers all have their specific uses for it. It’s so powerful that some beginner engineers habitually reach for it without understanding what it can ultimately do to a mix. Check out this 5 part series about how to properly apply EQ

6 creative ways to use the VKFX-Delay

Overloud’s VKFX Delay Module is a rendition of a classic tape delay with an incredible set of parameters that virtually allows you to get just about any sound you please. Check out this frequently read article about how to use this powerful ProChannel module.

Know Your Signal Flow in SONAR

Signal Flow is an important concept to understand, and it may be easier to think about when presented with a diagram of how audio is passes through SONAR. Read the article here.

Ten Nasty Mix Mistakes

Mixing is tough enough as is, but avoiding the following mistakes just might help the process go a little more smoothly—and give you audibly better results. Check out this awesome article by Craig Anderton.

Thanks for reading!

 

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6 Awesome Google Doodles For The Music Nerd

1. Les Paul’s 96th Birthday

For the man who created musical history, Google put together an interactive guitar app that allows you to strum, record, and enjoy the wonderful sounds of a classic Les Paul. A sound that has defined guitar for the past century.

2. Robert Moog’s 78th Birthday

A tribute to Robert Moog, who brought us the electronic analog Moog Synthesizer. This, just like the Les Paul, became a staple in musical history.

This highly interactive app let’s you shape just about any sound you want and then record, playback, and share it with your friends.

3. Claude Debussy’s 151st Birthday

This Doodle plays Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune. The developer was able to sync this beautiful animation to a sequence of one of Debussy’s most recognized and magical pieces.

 

4. John Lennon’s 70th Birthday

To pay tribute to one of the most influential people of the 20th century, Google Doodler’s put together a short animation that plays Imagine synced to a psychedelic landscape of moving pictures.

5. 30th Anniversary of PAC-MAN

This one is probably more on the gamer side, but that music could never be mistaken for any other game in history. Simply click on “Insert Coin” and you’ll kill at least 5 minutes of your day reliving  the most classic game created for arcade.

 

6. Freddie Mercury’s 65th Birthday

An incredible animation for Queen’s “Having a good time” was posted to take you on a visual anecdote in memory of rock legend Freddie Mercury. The animator cleverly incorporated themes from other famous songs like “Bicycle” as well as wardrobe that Freddie sported during his years of fame.

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New Cakewalk Store – 60% off SONAR Upgrades

New Cakewalk Store

Shop the NEW Cakewalk Store
We are pleased and excited to announce Shop.cakewalk.com, our brand new store for Cakewalk software, upgrades, plugins, and extras! Cakewalk has partnered with Cleverbridge to offer a more seamless shopping experience and improve access for Cakewalk users around the globe.

  • Cakewalk SSO (single sign on) accounts will let you access the Cakewalk Store, Forum, Support, and Registration with one username and password! All of your previous purchases will be transferred when you create a new account.
  • Intelligent upgrade pricing, once you are logged in you see your best upgrade price for all qualifying products once you add them to your cart.
  • Store checkout pages can be translated in over 20 languages (Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Portuguese, and more)!
  • Now accepting purchases in over 20 currencies (USD, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, Euro, British Pounds, Japanese Yen, Swiss Franc, Brazilian Real, and more)!
  • Great products on sale now and new products to come soon!

Visit Shop.cakewalk.com
Create your Cakewalk SSO account

 

SONAR Upgrades

Save 60% off your Upgrade to SONAR X3 (all versions) – Ends Dec. 31
You have been waiting all year for a really great deal on SONAR X3, and you almost missed your chance! Save an additional 60% off your usual upgrade price to any version of SONAR X3 – now through December 31st. Any version you choose is an unbeatable value with something new to inspire great music.

Choose your version below and login to see your best upgrade price!
SONAR X3 includes the breakthrough Comping workflow and VST3 support.
Regularly $99, Upgrades start at $19!

SONAR X3 Studio includes Melodyne Essential with ARA integration.
Regularly $199, Upgrades start at $39!

SONAR X3 Producer includes the fully loaded ProChannel, AD2, and more.
Regularly $499, Upgrades start at $59!

See which upgrade is right for you

 

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Reader’s Choice: Most Popular Vocal Production Articles in 2014

by Dan Gonzalez

Optimizing vocals with DSP

Craig Anderton brings you on a DSP-inspired journey through all the different ways in which you can get your vocals processed and finalized. Various topics involving the VX-64, EQ, Compression, Expansion, and much more. Check out the article here.

How to use a vocal double to enhance lead vocals

One of the toughest things about working with a lead vocal track is getting it to pop out, while allowing it to still sit in the track nicely in context with its surroundings [other tracks].  Every mixing engineer has her/his bag of tricks, but here are a few ideas to utilize a “vocal-double” which may help support and embellish the lead vocal track. Cakewalk guru Jimmy Landry shows you how he worked on the vocals for his Javier Colon demo track. Check out the article here.

Make your voice sound thicker (studio & producer)

Vocal production can lead to many different types of processing. Sometimes subtle enhancements to your vocals can make all the difference in the final mix. SONAR X3 Studio and Producer introduces Melodyne Essential as a fully integrated and pitch correction editor. This easy to use software allows users to access their Melodyne right from the Multi-Dock without needing to perform any special tricks within the software – including fattening up your vocals. Check out this highly-read article here.

Make your voice sound like Daft Punk with Melodyne Editor and SONAR X3 Producer

Certain effects have defined generations of music. The decade of the 80’s for example was a major era for reverb. In today’s pop music, the use of pitch correction software seems to be an effect that many artists and producers are utilizing creatively. Daft Punk has been using this effect for a number of years now, making them one of the first to bring this vocal style to the level of popularity it is today. Check out the article here.

Hum a melody and convert it to MIDI using ARA

As a musician, inspiration can hit you on the train, during dinner, or even while you’re driving somewhere. Many musicians carry some sort of recorder around with them. I know sound designers who always have a device ready for taking samples, and guitarists that hum melodies to themselves when they feel they’ve come up with something original that they want to remember. Now you can import your melodies right into SONAR and convert them to MIDI using the innovative ARA integration. Check out the articles here.

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Reader’s Choice: Most Popular Drum Production articles in 2014

by Dan Gonzalez

Free Quick Kit Project Templates for SONAR X3 Users

 

Yes, we’re bringing back the freebie post from last December. Our Free Quick Kit Project Templates made a big splash with the community as one of our top posts over the last 12 months. These pre-mixed project templates load right from quick start menu in all three versions of SONAR X3 without any assembly required. Open a quick kit, drop in your sequence, and you’re ready to rock with great sounding drums. Now we’re opening it up to anyone who has Session Drummer 3 in their arsenal.  Download the free pack here.

9 Microphone Techniques for Recording a Snare Drum

Ever wanted to know how to mic up a snare drum? Well we wrote a comprehensive article about 9 different ways to do it. This article is brought to you by the community of Cakewalk readers that follow the blog and read it regularly. Check out the article here.

What’s New in Addictive Drums 2?

2014 brought us more than just content, it brought us Addictive Drums 2. Ever since we’ve posted our extensive video about XLN Audio’s new instrument we’ve heard nothing but great reviews. Here’s our most popular video chosen by the readers of The Cakewalk Blog. Check it out here.

Subtractive EQ Part 1: Snare Drum

Here’s one of our most popular posts this past year in case you missed it the first time around. There are a ton parts to this series, but the first part has seemed to win over the rest. Here’s a nice thick article about how to apply subtractive EQ to a snare drum. Check it out here.

Setting up your Addictive Drums

Check out how you can easily setup Addictive Drums (1 & 2) to accommodate multiple different working environments within SONAR X3 Studio and Producer. This one of kind drum synth is the best of the best. Check out the article here.

How to use Compression on Snare Drum in SONAR X3

Using compression is one of those tools that is tricky to understand if you’re not familiar with how the different audio signals in your mix. Check out our most viewed video from the extensive video series about using the CA-2A Leveling Amp on snare drum. Check out the video here.

How to Compress Drum Reverb in SONAR X3

Another popular drum related video from the Compression video series is #6 where I give some tips on using compression on drum reverb. You can see the video here.

Producing Drum Samples in SONAR X3

Last but not least we’ve seen that our community has really enjoyed our Producing Drum Samples video series. This video series is available to watch here and guides you through some awesome ways to mix and EQ drum samples to your liking.

If you’re looking for more Drum Production tips check out the tag for this on our blog here.

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Multi-track Drum Editing – Crossfading and Critical Listening

by Dan Gonzalez

In the past 3 articles we have looked at basic tools for drum editing as well as identifying, splitting, cropping, and aligning clips. All of these techniques can be followed pretty accurately by reading along and performing the functions as I’ve written them. This portion of the blog series will require that you listen intently to what you’re doing as we work through it.

Make sure to wear headphones and get your critical listening ears on so that your drum edits are clean and not full of pops. Previously I mentioned that we would need to monitor our drums as we edit them and that erroneous edits come through the most in the cymbal microphones. In order to make this possible we’re going to mute the tom tracks and lower the volume for the kick and snare tracks. This exposes mostly high hat, ride, and overhead microphone signals. Also, make sure to pan the overhead microphone signals hard left and right too.

STEP 14: Turn on Auto Crossfade

SONAR is known for it’s streamlined feel and quick functions. One of the best examples of this is SONAR’s auto cross-fade functionality. Since we’re  putting this drum pattern back together we’ll need some speedy way of making sure the clips do not pop when overlapping.

Within the track view click on the Options > Auto Crossfade. This feature allows you to crop one clip into another and automatically yield a cross fade. (more…)

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Basics: Five Questions about Effects Placement

By Craig Anderton

There are plenty of places in SONAR where you can process the audio signal, but you need to know how to choose the right one.

What’s an “insert” effect? Don’t you always “insert” an effect? You indeed “insert” effects, but there’s a specific effect type usually called an Insert effect that inserts into an individual mixer channel. In SONAR, this inserts into a channel’s FX Bin or the ProChannel (Fig. 1).

Fig. 1: The FX bin for two channels have insert effects, as does the ProChannel for the Vocals channel.

Insert effects affect only the channel into which they are inserted. Typical insert effects include dynamics processors, distortion, EQ (because of EQ’s importance, it’s a permanent ProChannel insert effect), flanging, and other effects that apply to a specific sound in a specific channel.

Then what’s a “send” effect? Also called an (more…)

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