Anatomy of an FX Chain: CA Power Chord (Free Download)

Let’s de-construct an FX Chain, and find out how to optimize distortion guitar sounds

by Craig Anderton

I like big, rich, smooth power chords—harshness need not apply. While TH2 Producer’s presets were a point of departure, I wanted to take them further.

The UI for the Power Chord FX chain

So I got to work on an FX Chain, and I’m happy to share it with you. The final FX Chain ended up as (more…)

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Guitar Tips – Advanced Theories Behind Chord Structures

Have you ever wanted to start experimenting with different chords?

The charts outlined in this blog article take a bit of a different approach when constructing guitar chords and their shapes. It simplifies finding chord voicings by outlining the root notes and what intervals each neighboring fret represents.

Before examining the chord chart let’s talk about intervals and their meanings. An interval is the amount of distance between two  notes. Both chords and arpeggios are made up of many different types of intervals. (more…)

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SONAR X3 earns Keyboard magazine’s Key Buy award

Key Buy Award

SONAR X3 earns Keyboard magazine’s Key Buy award
What happens when a former Pro Tools and Cubase user puts SONAR X3 to the test? Well that’s exactly what Keyboard magazine reviewer Brian Hardgroove (Public Enemy, Bootsy Collins) did, and the result was a Key Buy award for SONAR X3. In the review he concludes that “SONAR X3 is a mature, vibrant program that’s a pleasure to use. As far as I am concerned, there’s no looking back.”

Ease of use: “After working with SONAR X3 Producer since its release, I’ve become a convert. DAWs are always subjective and personal choice, but SONAR made complete sense to me — sort of like trying on shoes that don’t need breaking in.”

Workflow: “Beyond the ease of use, SONAR X3 puts the fun back into recording for me. Part of that is the stability and freedom from freezes — I didn’t have to fight the program or my computer, which helps. The workflow is painless, so the experience became all about making music.”

Comping: “What makes this special is how fast and smooth the whole process is.”

Melodyne Essential and ARA integration: “SONAR blew my mind when I found out I could drag an audio bass part into Melodyne and convert it into MIDI, creating instant doubling of bass guitar lines with synth bass (more…)

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Cakewalk at CES 2014 Update

This is my first time at CES, and I can confirm that it is an enormous conglomeration of amazing technical craziness.  Quite larger than NAMM, CES brings out all the largest companies in the world who want to put their best foot forward by impressing show-goers with their latest and greatest; and it doesn’t disappoint.  As we stated a few days ago, we have been fortunate enough to obtain a booth at CES this year through our new Gibson affiliation and things so far have been nothing short of amazing.

Cakewalk Product Specialist Dan Gonzalez and myself have been in the in the Gibson tent demonstrating the new SONAR X3 along with Z3TA+ 2 and all the ProChannels modules since Tuesday.  It always fun turning heads with folks that have never seen SONAR in action and that is surely the case here.  There have been many new artists stopping by who are blown away when we show them features such as Track Templates and FX Chain Presets combines with the ProChannel.  I am happy to say that we are making some new friends for sure.

The Gibson Tent has “proven” to be a vibrant spot to be to say the least.  After spending some time with Gibson Social Media expert Sean Dooley, he showed me some twitter reports that displayed Gibson trending on four different spots in the top 10 by day 2 of the CES Convention.   The Gibson Tent is positioned perfectly outside of the main halls of CES, so it’s very visible and surely an eye-catching specimen when leaving the main location – especially when the Back to the Future DeLorean is  sitting smack-dab in front
(more…)

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HOW TO CREATE A VIRTUAL 12-STRING GUITAR

And not just that, but virtual “Nashville tuning” too…and 18-string guitars…with lots of audio examples!

by Craig Anderton

One of the reasons I got into Gibson’s newer guitars is because of the way they implement hex outputs (i.e., each string has its own audio output). Although Gibson isn’t the only company that makes guitars with hex outs, they’ve taken the concept seriously and keep improving on it.

This all started with the HD.6X-Pro back in 2007 (the guitar that’s been in my avatar all these years!), which used a magnetic pickup; since then, the Dark Fire, Dusk Tiger, Firebird X, and Les Paul X have all had hex outs based on piezo pickup technology. The X-series guitars are my favorites, because they’ve increased the isolation between strings by reducing crosstalk even further.

The obvious use for hex outputs is hex processing, like the kind of super-clean, almost synth-like sound you get from distorting each string individually. But using a piezo pickup means it’s also possible to obtain very convincing acoustic guitar sounds, and with hex outputs, you can apply SONAR’s offline pitch transposition to emulate acoustic 12-string guitars as well as 8-string basses, “Nashville” tunings, and even guitars that don’t exist—like a 12-string where the top two strings aren’t doubled, but also transposed up an octave. Or how about an 18-string guitar, where you add another set of six virtual strings transposed up and an octave, and another set transposed down an octave (more…)

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Cakewalk and SONAR X3 at 2014 International CES Convention

Things are moving fast and in a very positive direction here at Cakewalk.  It’s an exciting time with our new Gibson brand alliance, and we are excited and honored to announce that for the first time we have a presence at the 2014 CES Convention in Las Vegas.  CES is known as one of the premier conferences in the world where the top-tiered technology companies come together to show off new products, discuss the current and future climates of the industry, and of course… NETWORK.

 

 

Cakewalk’s Head of Artist and Public Relations Jimmy Landry along with Product Specialist Dan Gonzalez will be on location at CES and will be sharing their experiences through our Instagram account as well as our other social media outlets.  They will be in the heart of CES at the Gibson tent showing off the power of SONAR X3 along with other Cakewalk products.

 

Follow Cakewalk on Instagram and Twitter to get real-time updates on all the CES/Cakewalk interaction.

 

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14 Tips for Guitarists Before Entering The Studio

Entering the studio can be a stressful task if it is your first time. Here at Cakewalk we’ve outlined a few things that every guitarist should know before walking into a tracking session.

1. Change your strings every 24 hours of play time

Guitar strings can take a beating in the studio, especially if your plan is to record a whole album’s worth of material. To keep strings from become dull and bland make sure to switch them out every 24 hours of play time. If you do switch them before a session, make sure to properly break them in so that you are breaking them in while you record.

2. Improve pick attack and dexterity

Sometimes one of the reasons why guitarists have a hard time getting the sound they want in the studio is because their pick attack is not as hard as it needs to be.  A lot of the time in rock and heavy metal recordings much of the sound from the guitars is what drives the song. If that sound is not a particular tone and aggressiveness then the sound of the track will not sound correct for that style. A harsh palmed muted passage played by someone who isn’t quite versed in that style sticks out like a sore thumb.

3. Practice, practice, practice to a metronome

This goes without saying. Make sure that you are practicing to a metronome and internalizing the clicking. Don’t tap your foot or make any loud gestures to count the beat to yourself. You must feel the metronome in your playing or else you will have a hard time staying quiet in a recording booth while tracking.

4. Practice playing full takes

Recording full takes is definitely one of the (more…)

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12 Resolutions For A Year of Productive Music Making

2014 is here and it’s time to make your music New Years Resolutions. In past years we have asked users what they plan to do differently in the coming year of music making. The answer is almost always the same, “Spend more time making music and/or be more productive.”

This is a great attitude to have, but it can make for a crappy resolution. It’s such a lofty goal that it can be tough to know where to start. Try following this great list of new years resolutions to make your workflow and creation process better than ever. We have broken it out by month to make it manageable help you stick to it!

January: Deep Clean your Hard Drive

We all have the one digital directory that is completely cluttered with 6-8 months worth of disorganized music, pictures, sessions, and pdfs. Why not take January to purge your hard drive of all this unwanted material? Make folders, rename important files, condense older sessions, and then throw them on a back up. If you’re into cloud backup, then get that up and running again. Hoarding massive amounts of data that you do not need can fill up your hard drive space quicker than you would think. Besides, it makes things easier to find too.

February: Brush up on your skills

Now that you’ve given your computer a good scrub-down, it’s time to seek out some inspiration. Are there some things about your DAW and other musical applications that you haven’t quite gotten a grasp on yet? Yes? Then it’s time (more…)

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New Chocolate Cake Drums for Session Drummer 3

Cakewalk and Chocolate Audio have teamed up to bring you the brand new Chocolate Cake Drums – a flexible and delectable set of highly quality expansion packs for Session Drummer 3. (more…)

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9 Microphone Techniques for Recording A Snare Drum

The recording of a snare drum is the focal point of every modern recording. It sits right in the center of the mix, below or above the vocals depending on the style of the music. In this article, I’ve outlined some mic placement techniques that will help focus in on getting specific snare sounds in your recordings.

1. Close Mic




This is simple, easy, and very exposing. If you are looking to get that initial attack of your snare drum, use this type of placement. On its own it does not sound as appealing as one would first think, but once you add in the rest of your microphones you will begin to understand how the drumset takes shape.

Close mic’ing a snare drum captures ghost notes, (more…)

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