Recording guitars- A survival guide pt1: Taste testing speakers

Getting awesome guitar tones recorded in any setting is not as hard as you might think. After recording a huge number of different guitarists including myself over the last 20 years, I have found that great results can be achieved in almost any space.

While there are no rules when setting out to record the golden tone, these are some things that my years have taught me and in coming installments of this series I’ll be sharing more aspects of getting the tones you’re looking for in the home setting and in general. (more…)


Musikmesse Preview And New ProChannel Module

If you thought NAMM was something, wait until next week when Musikmesse 2012 opens itself to the world in Frankfurt, Germany from March 21st – 24th. The planet’s largest Music Industry trade show is looming just over the horizon and we’ll be there to show off our latest wares, gadgets, and goodies, including a new brand new, yet to be released ProChannel module.

We’ll formally announce the new module at the show. In the meantime, check out the picture below to spot the module in action. But don’t tell anyone I gave you the drop, OK?

Hidden in this sea of ProChannels is the new module we’ll announce at Musikmesse 2012



Cori Yarckin’s New Record “Part of Me” Released in Japan Today: See How SONAR X1 was used in her living room…

After a long road of hard work and perseverance, the new Cori Yarckin record titled Part of Me was released today in Japan on Spinning Records.  Cori is a busy international singer/songwriter who is also signed to BMG publishing in the United States.  In the past, she has toured extensively, being known for her powerful voice and stage presence, and has even been seen in Rolling Stone magazine and the ever-famous MTV show TRL.  This new record, which was recorded and produced in SONAR X1, is initially available in stores and here in Japan and eventually will be released in the United States.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Cori on a few different records/projects as a producer, mixer and co-writer, and I think this record was the most fun out of them all.  This record has an interesting twist to it as we recorded and produced most of the tracks entirely in SONAR X1, with various people jumping in to assist.  Brandon Ryan did a lot of the preproduction and bed tracks, while Robin Kelly laid down a lot of the synth and drum programming. Then it was my job to take everything and completely mess it up…  I mean put it all together ;)   (more…)


Take the Matrix to the stage with cue mix style clip auditioning.

Anyone who has used the Matrix View in SONAR X1 can attest to its awesome music creation powers. But it can also be used in combination with the Browser View’s flexible audio preview routing in a DJ setup to make instant remixes on the fly!

There are several ways this can be done depending on the equipment being used. (more…)


How to Create Deluxe SlapBack Echo Using Channel Tools in SONAR X1

I love to use mono slapback echo to support lead vocals or guitar solos. This classic effect has been used for decades and continues to be an important music production technique. Slapback has its roots in reel to reel tape and is characterized by the vocal or guitar part mixed with a single, audible echo.
While, you might associate this effect with late 50′s rockabilly, slapback echo is probably more common than reverb on modern pop and rock mixes. I often use a slapback delay along with other beat synced stereo delays as an important part of a lead vocal sound.

One of the quickest and easiest ways to set up a master slap-back delay effect in SONAR X1 is to use the Channel Tools effect. Channel Tools is the swiss army knife of effects offering a range of stereo imaging tools that are more handy than glamorous. For this application it’s the simple left and right delay controls that get the job done with minimal complexity.

Here is the setup:

1. Create a bus channel and insert the Channel Tools effect. Label the bus “Slapback”

Channel Tools



QuadCurve EQ Demystified

If you’re a SONAR X1 user then you’ve probably already seen that the free SONAR X1d update has been released for all versions of SONAR X1. And if you’re a SONAR X1 Producer Expanded user, then you’ve probably already noticed that you’ve got a shiny, new EQ in the ProChannel called the QuadCurve EQ.

However, you might be wondering what exactly the deal is with the new EQ and and what the differences are in the four modes.

                Hybrid                           Pure                            E-Type                        G-Type



How to Create Custom Drum Kits and Drum Patterns in 5 Easy Steps – With SONAR X1 Producer

Have you ever wanted to create a drum kit from your own samples and make your own drum loops?  Part 1 of this Drum Production Master Class shows you how to create a drum part from scratch with Session Drummer 3, Step Sequencer 2.0, and other tools that come with SONAR X1 Producer.

Watch the video and follow these 5 easy steps:

  1. Browse for Loops: Find audio loops with the right drum sound for your track.
  2. Harvest Drum Samples: Slice up the loop into clips to add to your custom drum kit.
  3. Build a Drum Kit for Session Drummer 3:  Drag and drop clips or add pieces from other kits.
  4. Create a Pattern: Customize your drum pattern using Step Sequencer 2.0.
  5. Arrange Your Patterns: Add variation to your pattern to create a multi-part drum track.

Buy SONAR X1 Producer to follow along and watch more free video tutorials at SONAR University!


Remix K’Naan’s New Single to Win $1000 and SONAR X1 Production Suite

Hopefully by now you have a version of the award winning SONAR X1 running on your machine, because A&M/Octone recording artist K’NAAN wants to hear from you; musically.  With this exclusive opportunity through Cakewalk, Roland, Indaba Music and A&M/Octone, you can sign up for this contest and download the actual stems to craft your own work of art.   If that work of art is chosen by K’Naan and his label, it will result in a nice chunk of cash or a Cakewalk/Roland gear package for you. (more…)


How to Pitchbend a Chord on a Keyboard Perfectly Every Time

Have you ever tried to pitchbend a chord on a keyboard? It never works as you expect. Sometimes it would be great to transition from one chord to another gradually, like you can with single notes. But there’s a problem: you can’t bend a full chord with conventional synth pitchwheels because the same up/down range applies to every note. So usually the chord you end up bending to is out of key.

I’m about to get into some nerdy details, so some of you may want to skip right to the example to simply hear the yuckiness I’m referring to. Let’s say we’re in the key of C major. Bending a CMaj (C,E,G) chord up will produce DMaj (D,F#,A) which is out of key in this context. For this chord to bend in key, we need to bend up to Dmin (D,F,A). The second degree of the fingered chord (E) would need to be raised 1 semitone to F, rather than the 2 semitones required by the others.

Here’s an audio example of an attempt to bend triads in C Major using standard pitchbend: (more…)


Leading the DAW industry with Windows technology and education for music production

Music productionSONAR X1 continues to be the leading the digital audio workstation for the Windows platform for many reasons. For 25 years Cakewalk has focused almost exclusively on development for Windows operating systems and Windows based computer technologies (see our section on SONAR X1 leading technologies for more information). While cross-platform DAWs may seem like a great option if you are not sure which platform you want to run, those who have chosen to use Windows will appreciate the hardwork and dedication by the Cakewalk development team to fine tune SONAR for Windows. This is one of the most cited reasons as to why SONAR dominates on the Windows PC platform. But today, I want to discuss another reason why Cakewalk is a leader in the industry.

Since 2010, Cakewalk has made a commitment to educating all levels of Cakewalk customers on music production. At Cakewalk, we think that post-sales activities are just as important as pre-sales ones, and nothing is more import than making sure users understand and enjoy the software they are using. (more…)