DEVELOPER NOTES: SONAR X3 VST3 Internals

Introduction

SONAR X3 has numerous enhancements and updates to the VST engine, including rich support for the VST3 specification. This article is intended primarily for VST plugin developers to gain a better understanding of the features supported by SONAR and to write plugins that integrate better with SONAR. While the VST3 documentation covers typical information for plugin developers, it does not explain plugin to host integration in much detail. This article attempts to bridge that gap and explain some of the VST3 specific features are implemented in SONAR. Please also see this article that is more intended for end users.

Automatic VST2 to VST3 migration in SONAR

For plugin vendors who have a large base of VST2 plugins and wish to provide a smooth migration path to VST3, its recommended to implement support for automatic migration of a VST2 plugin saved in a prior project to its VST3 equivalent.

This capability will allow SONAR X3 to detect a compatible VST3 plugin while loading a project and automatically transition the VST 2.4 plugin to its compatible VST3 counterpart (more…)

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Anatomy of an FX Chain: CA Vintage Wah (Free Download)

You know you want it…there’s something irresistible about a greasy wah effect

by Craig Anderton

Some people think all you really need for a wah sound is to set a parametric EQ to bandpass with a fairly high Q, and sweep it back and forth. However, a vintage wah’s bandpass filter has a skirt that rejects high and low frequencies, which doesn’t happen with a parametric EQ’s bandpass response.

I came up with a technique that does the vintage wah effect quite well by copying a guitar track and flipping it 180 degrees out of phase so the signal canceled. Then, I’d set one track’s parametric to bandpass with a fairly high Q and sweep it. Because the only difference between the two channels was the bandpass peak, that’s all you heard—the highs and lows canceled out.

The VC-64 is ideal for this application, because it has two parallel paths and you can throw one of them 180 degrees out of phase. However, it’s a very (more…)

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CES 2014 – It’s a wrap

Walking the halls of CES is like rummaging through a rainforest as a caterpillar.  Things are way farther away than they appear, and you will see a million interesting new things on the way to your destination.  If you read Part 1 of the CES blog, you most likely got a feel for what the (now CES-famous) Gibson Tent was like.  On the last day of CES, I ventured deep into the CES halls of abyss and saw some pretty interesting things.  Here are some of the more interesting sectors that I witnessed:

Robotics

Partly interesting – partly scary; robotics are here in full swing, and all the big players in the industry at CES were making sure they were going to be noticed.  There was an actual “Robotics” section with everything from bots that will clean your floor, to super-bots that will make you dinner.  It was obvious that companies are still trying to figure out where this sub-industry will go, but CES was the place to get a good idea of the direction of mainstream-robots of the future.  I saw everything from human-like robots to ones that look more like something that could dig up your yard. (more…)

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SONAR User and Composer Jerry Gerber to Give A Power-workshop on MIDI at NAMM 2014

When programming complex orchestrations, getting that authentic “feel” can be a big challenge for any producer or composer regardless of the DAW at hand.  It takes many years of use-case scenarios along with a full bag of MIDI tricks of the trade.  Longtime SONAR user and MIDI-manipulator Jerry Gerber possesses both of these elements, and will be sharing his secrets at the 2014 NAMM show.   Interestingly, the workshop is not targeted for just SONAR users, but rather for anyone who wants to create the most artistic MIDI recordings possible with the technology they have available. (more…)

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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
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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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