HOW DOYLE DONEHOO USED SONAR X1 TO CREATE THE MUSIC FOR THE GAME WORLD OF BATTLESHIPS

SONAR X1 is the choice for many artists who create music for their own audiences, but it’s also the D.A.W. of choice for many professionals who use it in other capacities.  As the Artist Relations Manager for Cakewalk I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to really connect with great artists on many different levels.  One of the common-thread traits I hear over and over about SONAR X1 with these artists is the fact that SONAR X1 becomes more of a musical partner than a standard D.A.W.

What they mean by this, and I agree whole heartedly, is that between the customization, ease of surgical sound-shaping tools such as the ProChannel, fluid workflow features such as Drag and Drop, all combined with the best sounding sound engine, and SONAR X1 becomes more of a working and writing partner than anything else.

One artist who is living proof of the SONAR X1 magic is composer/producer Doyle Donehoo of Relic Entertainment who is a pioneer of creating music for games. (more…)

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Windows 8 – A benchmark for music production applications

Windows 8 Background

There has been a large amount of interest and speculation about Windows 8, Microsoft’s latest OS scheduled for release in late 2012. Windows 8 is one of the most ambitious OS releases from Microsoft since Windows 95, and is the first OS that attempts to unify the desktop and mobile user experience with multitouch support baked in across the board. A lot of attention in the media has been devoted to the new user interface and the brand new application model called Metro aka WinRT.  Understandable, since changes to UI tend to attract the most attention in any software product.

After attending one of the Windows 8 developer camps and talking with some folk at Microsoft, we learned about some of the work done in Win8 to make the operating system scale better to devices with a smaller disk/memory/CPU footprint. This was done primarily to make Win8 perform more efficiently and with lower power requirements on mobile devices like tablets. I was curious if the effects of these changes would percolate through to the general OS and kernel level and benefit desktop applications as well. (more…)

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Michael Hoover named new President of Cakewalk

Special Announcement from Cakewalk

Boston, MA, (June 25, 2012) — Cakewalk, the world’s leading developer of powerful and easy to use products for music creation and recording, today announced the resignation of Greg Hendershott as Chief Executive Officer. Michael Hoover, currently Executive Vice President of Products, has been named President and will assume primary responsibility for all day-to-day Company operations, effective July 1st, 2012. Greg Hendershott will remain available as a consultant to support a smooth transition.

As Executive Vice President of Products, Michael Hoover has been instrumental in the direction and success of Cakewalk. Michael has over 20 years’ experience in the MI industry and joined Cakewalk in 1998, as Product Manager, where he made a huge impact with a succession of critically acclaimed products. In 2002, Michael joined the management team as Vice President of Products and Marketing and, more recently, became head of Engineering in his current role as Executive Vice President of Products. Michael has a background in audio engineering, is passionate about music and technology, and loves to play guitar. (more…)

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And the next Cakewalk promotion (as voted by users) is…

Cakewalk Promotion

Earlier this week, we asked users to help us pick the next Cakewalk promotion from a choice of three of the most popular ones of 2012. We got an overwhelming amount of response from the community and there was heavy interest in bringing back all three promotions. So we decided to go ahead and offer all three promotions for a limited-time.

Starting today through June 30th, you can save big when you take advantage of these three special offers:

We hope you enjoy these special promotions. Thanks again for your input!

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Parallel Compression in SONAR

A common question I get asked when doing J.A.M. Sessions, webinars, and other events, is how to setup parallel compression in SONAR. The next asked question is usually what parallel compression  is and why it should be used.

Parallel compression is a mixing technique most commonly used on drums where one signal is split into two allowing them to be processed separately, or in parallel, and mixed together.

Typically a drum bus will be split into two drum buses where one drum bus will be compressed heavily and the other drum bus will be compressed lightly, if at all.

The reason for doing this is that heavy compression on drums can sound good but can also cause a major loss of transients and attack. Blending heavily and lightly compressed drum buses yields the best of both worlds.

There are a few ways to set up parallel compression in SONAR X1 Producer Expanded so I will show you how I do it using quick grouping, effects sends, multiple busses, and the ProChannel’s PC4K S-Type Bus Compressor.

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How to get great guitar tones with Guitar Rig 4 LE in SONAR X1 Producer

As a lifelong guitarist and tone hound, I’ve had the pleasure of recording and playing on some of the world’s most cherished amplifiers. My sonic heaven is a set of glowing tubes spilling into a vintage Marshall 4×12 cabinet and projected out at mind numbing volume. But at 3am when I have an idea that just can’t wait and I don’t want to be arrested for disturbing the peace, I find my salvation in Native Instruments Guitar Rig 4 LE which is included in SONAR X1 Producer.

Armed with a guitar and a cable, your choice of great tones await within Guitar Rig 4 LE in just a few steps. From searing, tube style lead tones, thick and chunky metal to crystal clean majesty it’s all there! (more…)

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Converting and Importing Pro Tools SD2 Files from a Mac into SONAR X1

With so many different file formats from digital recording over the last 20 years, sometimes one can be left in a tough predicament trying to get things to work properly.  I was one of those people just recently, so I want to share my experience hoping that I will save someone an afternoon’s worth of conversion work some day.

Old Pro Tools, Digital Performer and Logic programs used a file knows as the .SD2 “Sound Designer File.”  Now if you are like me, you’re always looking for more “sounds.”  Recently I came across a drive that contained killer drum sessions from a record I did at Longview Farms studios a while back.  I knew there were awesome live drums recorded with the best mics and pres along with a slamming drummer.  I jumped on my old Mac, mounted the drive and copied 1.5 gigs of raw SD2 files onto a thumb-drive.

Next, I plugged the thumb drive into my HP workstation and copied the files onto the machine.  To my surprise, when I tried to import the files into SONAR X1 it would not work.  My next logical move was to rename the files with the “.sd2” extension.  After going through this procedure the icons switched into a recognizable symbol, so I was sure that this was the winning formula; but again, the files failed to load.  This time I even got an error message that came along with the grief.

After searching for a remedy I knew I had a problem as most of the help forums read something like this:

I would like to convert some old drum tracks (an album’s worth recorded some time back) from mac sd2 files over to wave files so I can use them in pro tools on pc. Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – I do seems to work.
I tried:
1. Importing the sd2 files in pro tools on the pc but it won’t read them
2. Exporting them as wave files on the mac but pc won’t recognize them
3. Bouncing them as wave files but pc won’t recognize them.

So, after doing a lot of research I found out a few things about the SD2 format in conjunction with the PC:

1.)  If you try to copy SD2 files from a Mac to a PC on an incorrectly formatted drive, the header info is lost along with something known as the resource fork (structured data within a file on a Mac.)  This basically corrupts the file when going from Mac to PC formats.

2.)  By copying files onto the transferring disk that is formatted in FAT file system, the information in the files can be converted after being copied onto a PC.

3.)  You need a trustworthy converter.

Here is exactly how I successfully converted old SD2 files on a Mac onto my Windows 7 HP workstation:

  1. Formatted the transferring thumb-drive so it had the FAT File System
  2. Copied the files onto the thumb-drive and then transferred them onto my PC
  3. Renamed all the new files on my PC with the .sd2 file system
  4. Downloaded and installed a small program called SDTwoWave
  5. Opened the program.
  6. Corrected some of the names of the files as they ended up with bad Characters from the transfer.
  7. Selected the files to be converted in SDTwowav: “SRC” button.
  8. Created a new destination folder on my hard drive and chose it with the “DST” button in the SDtwowav program.
  9. Batch processed all the files.
  10. Went back in and deleted the old SD2 files.

At this point, SONAR X1 recognized and imported the new .wav files with no problem and I had some killer new (0ld) multi-track drums to utilize.

First-Class Upgrade Promotion
From June 1st to June 30th, when you buy or upgrade to SONAR X1 Producer, Cakewalk will automatically bump you up to the flagship version, SONAR X1 Production Suite. Just purchase SONAR X1 Producer from any retailer or upgrade at the Cakewalk Store, and Cakewalk will take care of the rest. Just register your purchase at www.cakewalk.com/register, and you will receive email instructions on how to get your first-class upgrade to SONAR X1 Production Suite.

 

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You choose the next Cakewalk promotion

Survey
We want your help in choosing the next Cakewalk promotion. 2012 has been filled with many specials for registered Cakewalk customers. To show our appreciation for your patronage, we want you to decide which special we should bring back for a week. We understand that some customers may have already taken advantage of the specials, but if you are interested in seeing any of them return, please weigh in with an opinion. We’ll announce the winner at the end of the week.

Vote now

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Shawn Clement nominated for “Best Score” at eWorld Music Awards; How He Used SONAR X1

Congratulations to Shawn Clement whose score for Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey has been nominated for “Best Score” at the 2012 eWorld Music Awards held at Paramount Picture Studios. The score was written and produced in SONAR X1 and then recorded with the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra at George Lucas’ legendary Skywalker Ranch.

The 2012 eWorld Music Awards is a revolutionary music awards show that celebrates cutting edge artists on the world’s biggest platform – the Internet. The awards were created to promote and support the amazing work, technology and diversity in today’s vibrant independent music world.  It’s the only event of its kind celebrating truly independent music.  The eWorld Music Awards honor those groundbreaking forces who’ve been influencing this movement, and iconic individuals for their unique contributions to the art of music.  This year’s 2012 eWorld Music Awards will be the 4th annual awards show, and will air live from Paramount Studios in Hollywood on Saturday, June 16th 2012.  Live music performances and celebrity appearances will highlight this star-studded Red Carpet event.

CW AR:  How did you get yourself in the space to create music for this show and what was the technical process for pulling it all together?

SC: With any project, you first have to understand the film.  Meaning, really know the story, characters and what role the score is going to play. Every production has its specific needs. Say for instance when I created the Wounded Warrior’s Hymn, this was a live performance, so what I needed to do was realize a “mock-up” version of the music so that others could hear where I was going with it.  For example, I would send my “demo” off to Jon Anderson so that he could put together what he was singing on it.  Keep in mind that the “demo” needed to sound as much like the real thing as possible so that anyone involved could really believe in it.  Beyond that, all the tracks in SONAR would then get broken down and sent out to my orchestrator so that it could finally be realized in written music form for the orchestra to play. We had 106 players with a 247 piece choir, and Jon Anderson singing on 2 of the movements. 

From TV to Film to Video Games, Clement has used SONAR to work in a wide variety of genres and styles and has built a vast resume of over 200 credits. He began his professional career helping to originate and develop the musical foundation for the voyeuristic world of reality TV, but years before the phenomena saturated the air waves. By stamping his musical presence on shows like Most Amazing Videos and World’s Wildest Police Videos, he began paving the way for other composers to follow suit.

In the new-age of reality, his music which is always created in SONAR (now SONAR X1) has been featured on American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance as well as other major television shows. One previous noteworthy score that will forever be engraved in television history was the highly-acclaimed cult series classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which he also supplied original songs as well as the score.  His songs in that series were fan-favorites and helped expand the fan base for the show.  Other credits include Women, a series on Showtime, The Savage Dragon, an animated series for Universal, A Rock and a Hard Place (Showtime) and One Way Out (Arrow Entertainment.)

In addition to music for major television shows, Clement is always busy using SONAR to score music for Films as well; some including:

- We Married Margo:  (released by New Line  and winner of the Audience Favorite Award at the HBO/U.S. Comedy & Arts Festal.)  Cast included Kevin Bacon, Cindy Crawford an Tom Arnold,

- Last Chance:  (winner of Best Original Drama at World Fest.)

- Bad Girls from Valley High:  released by Universal (produced by Sid and Johnathan Sheinberg) with a cast that included Julie     Benz, Christopher Lloyd, Johnthan Brandis and Janet Leigh.

- Finale:  (released by Image)

- Virus X (released by Lions Gate)

- Play On (Sports Drama)

- Beyond the Mat (Sports Drama)


The polls are closed now, but we wish Shawn all the best at the event and hope that he brings home another award to add to his “ASCAP Most Performed Underscore Award” (alongside  the other prestigious awards he has collected along the route of his musical voyage.)

Currently, Clement is busy using SONAR X1 working on music for the RAY BRADBURY Documentary, Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey.  For more information on Shawn Clement and to hear the music he creates in SONAR X1, visit www.clemistry.com.

Right now is the time to visit Cakewalk.com and participate in the “First Class Upgrade” program.  From June 1st to June 30th, when you buy or upgrade to SONAR X1 Producer, Cakewalk will automatically bump you up to the flagship version, SONAR X1 Production Suite.   In addition, Cakewalk is offering other great upgrades as well.

 

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What’s in SONAR X1 Producer anyway?

What's in SONAR X1 Producer?

With the First-class Upgrade promotion happening in June, it’s a good time to review the amazing value you get with SONAR X1 Producer. Whether you are upgrading or looking for a new digital audio workstation (DAW), SONAR X1 Producer gives you hundreds of dollars in exclusive features, instruments, and effects that only Cakewalk can offer musicians, producers, and engineers.

Let’s start with a quick video which goes through all the SONAR X1 Producer exclusives:

Now let’s take a look at some of the exclusive features in-depth to see what makes SONAR X1 Producer so special. (more…)

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