10 Reasons to Get Up and Running with SONAR X1 Producer

Running in SONAR X1 Producer

To celebrate Marathon Monday here in Boston and our MARATHON Sale at the Cakewalk Store, here are 10 great reasons you should be running SONAR X1 Producer today.

1. Begin with Better Training: Cakewalk has prepared free SONAR X1 training videos for every skill level on the SONAR U channel of CakeTV. Learn everything you need to know to get running quickly.

2. Take Your Qualifying Trial: Don’t believe us that SONAR X1 Producer is ahead of the pack? Try the new Skylight interface and ProChannel free for 30 days. Download the SONAR X1 Producer Free Trial.



CakeTV Live: Join our second live webcast on music production in SONAR X1

CakeTV Live Free Webinar

In case you missed part one of this two-part series, Cakewalk’s Seth Perlstein shared his favorite SONAR X1 music production tips, tricks, and techniques like using the Mod Matrix in FX Chains 2.0, Groove Matching with AudioSnap, creating variations with the Loop Construction View, and much, much more.

Plus, he gave a sneak peak of the X1d patch, which is now free for all SONAR X1 users.

Watch entire video of the first SONAR X1 webcast. (more…)


How TC Spitfire used the ProChannel on the track “Surrender;” Currently #3 on Billboard Club Chart

Congratulations to Paul Oakenfold and TC Spitfire who found themselves at #3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs this past week with the track Surrender.

The track was written by Paul, TC and J Hart who also sang the track.  TC Spitfire who is a passionate SONAR X1 Expanded user co-produced and mixed the track using a combination of all the ProChannel modules.  “This new era with the ProChannel and X1d [Expanded] is on a serious elevated level.  The combination of the modules has me staying more and more inside SONAR natively,” TC told us.

On a daily basis, TC is very busy individual.  Between writing new music, producing, mixing and remixing, he finds himself a bit overextended these days and “taking it and enjoying it while it’s there.”  Most recently, he has worked with artists such as Cher, Matt Goss, Matt Morris and Jean Baptist – and that is just in the recent past.  “On a daily basis I will jump from remixing a track for 4 hours, to writing in another studio for 4 hours, and then back to our lab for another however-long-it-takes-session – for the next barrage of musical craziness.”

For the track Surrender which is currently charting on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, TC collaborated with both Paul Oakenfold and J Hart on the writing side and then built and mixed the song completely in SONAR X1 Expanded. 

* * * * * * * * * *

CW AR: This vocal sound is huge in this track.  What was some of the processing involved?

TC: On the vocal track I used the new Hybrid mode in the ProChannels QuadCurve EQ.  I cut quite a bit of the low end off and had quite a bit of mids popping for this track around 1.8k.  I was able to surgically cut out some other frequencies in the mids to get the vocals away from other keyboard parts in that range.

On top of that, I used the PC4K channel compressor along with a slight touch of the Softube Saturation Knob with the switch on the “high” setting.  I also sent multiple lead vocal tracks out to a lead vocal bus which had the PCCL Limiter on it for a slight boost and some tightening.

CW AR: This track and all your tracks for that matter are really tight, what are the main factors for you in achieving this sound?

TC: It’s pretty simple, but it’s also pretty complicated.  It’s simple, because most of it has to do with compression, EQ and limiting, which are 75% from the ProChannel in my tracks.  It’s complicated because carving the frequencies, making the decisions on where to compress and how much, and what to use a limiter on – all factor in.  Sometimes, over compressing and using too many limiters will just make a song sound flat-lined and not breathing.   I think another factor is not using too many of the same compressors or EQ’s on every single track.  I really like mixing up my inserts.  On some tracks I will use the 76 and others I will use the Softube compressor.  I even use the PC4K bus compressor on tracks – call me crazy – haaa.   There are no rules in the digital world and use my ear and the tools SONAR X1 Expanded provides to get the sound to where I need it to be.

In the next year you will be hearing a lot more from Paul Oakenfold and TC as a new deal was just signed with Sony Records.  As soon as the details are released on that we will keep you posted.  Until then, you can check out SONAR X1 for free here.

SONAR X1 is the most intuitive D.A.W. on the market today.  It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s just as easy with practice and experience to become an advanced user.  If you are running windows, and you are a musician, now is a great time to pull the trigger with the SONAR X1 Advanced Workshop Giveaway Promotion.

“SURRENDER” [Completely recorded, mixed and mastered in SONAR X1 Expanded:]


How to edit multiple MIDI notes simultaneously with the Event Inspector in SONAR

Did you know that you can use the Event Inspector to easily edit multiple data events (such as MIDI notes) simultaneously?

In SONAR, right-click the Control Bar and choose Event Inspector Module to make the Event Inspector visible. If you don’t see it appear, you may need to hide some of the other Control Bar modules. Next, select some data (such as a group of MIDI notes) and then click a field in the Event Inspector. Either type in a new value or click the spin controls to change the value sequentially.

In addition, you can use modifiers (+/-) to change values. For example, if you want to add 23 to a velocity value of 37, type +23 for the Vel parameter and SONAR will automatically change the value to 60. The plus and minus modifiers work for all parameters, but the Vel (velocity) and Duration parameters can also accept a percentage for scaling values. For example, with 100% representing the current value, if you want to lengthen selected notes by 20%, enter 120% for the Duration value. If you want to shorten the same notes by 20%, enter 80%. For even more details and to see the Event Inspector in action, check out the following video. Versions 8.5 (and earlier) as well as X1 (and later) are covered.

Cakewalk SONAR – Event Inspector Editing video (With Ads)

And for full SONAR coverage, check out the SONAR X1 Power! book now available in the Cakewalk store.


SONAR X1 for the win! Interview with the MixFest Competition Winner

Alex Niedt (pronounced “neet”) is a Kansas City recording artist, producer, and mix engineer whose releases include the Don’t Forget To Tip Your Bartender and Song To The Siren EPs and the Lex Luger-produced single “Hold Me Down”.  In early 2012, Niedt won the MixFest Competition, hosted and judged by Grammy-winning mix engineer Dave Pensado, and appeared on the 52nd episode of Pensado’s Place.

Pedal to the Metal – winning mix by Alex Niedt



Musikmesse 2012 – An Inside Look

Each Spring the Musical Instruments world descends upon Frankfurt, Germany for the planet’s largest MI trade show; Musikmesse. Cakewalk’s had a presence at the Frankfurt Musikmesse for decades and with one small exception this year was no different. This year I was a part of the crew. And this year I wrote a blog about it!

Frankurt, Germany – Home of Musikmesse



How Jon Lee Uses SONAR X1 Expanded to Create Music for Some of America’s Favorite TV Shows

Some artists spend more time trying to catapult their image into the status spotlight than they do actually creating music.  Some artists lay low under the radar diligently doing their thing.  In this day and age, there really is no right or wrong way to be an artist in the music industry, you just have to do what you do best and run with it.  If the content is great, it will find its way.

A great artist example of this notion in my book is SONAR X1 Expanded user Jon Lee.  Working and residing in Santa Monica, Jon Lee lays low under the radar while creating music and sound-scapes for some of today’s most popular “verite” style TV reality shows.  If you have seen the show Cops, than you are probably familiar with one of the most prominent production companies in the biz, “Langley Productions.”



Recording guitars- A survival guide pt2: Microphones, your DAW’s ears

In part two of the series let’s take a look at another crucial element for recording guitars, the microphone.

Just as a speaker plays a large role in the sound of an amp, the microphones used to record it are just as important to getting that tone into a recording. And just like speakers, all microphones have a different sound. Huge differences in sound can be heard even in mics that sell for the same price so experimentation is key when looking for a mic (or mics) to capture your golden tone. (more…)


How Building Cost Effective Acoustic Treatment for the Music Studio Will Help Your Music Production; Final Links and Video

A 3 Part Resource for D.I.Y. Acoustic Sound Treatment and Room Development

As a conclusion to my series on Building Cost Effective Acoustic Treatment, I wanted to put a link to all three articles in one place along with a “before and after” video.  I also wanted to put this up on our forum in one place in case anyone has any questions about what I did with my studio.  If you are planning on trying to save some money by building your own acoustic treatment panels these three articles are worth reviewing.

Part 1: Building a sound cloud over your mix position

Part 2: Building corner traps

Part 3:  Building wall panels

The effort to build all this acoustic treatment was not minimal, but well worth it.  Besides saving a lot of money I was able to customize the panels so that they fit the room well.  Using the QuadCurve EQ which comes with SONAR X3Producer is where I can really tell the difference in my environment.  The QuadCurve EQ is very advanced and allows the user to surgically tailor frequencies.  Now that I have my room treated properly, I can really hear the difference between the EQ modes.

So the first step is to get going with a version of the SONAR X3 family, and then do your homework and figure out the best listening environment FOR YOU.


New Neyrinck V-Control Pro iPad Controller for SONAR

V-Control Pro

V-Control Pro provides a fully-featured, multi-touch control surface for SONAR. V-Control Pro uses WiFi to control transport, editing, and mixing functions. V-Control Pro provides advanced control of sends, automation, groups, auditioning, plug-ins, jog/scrub/shuttle, I/O assignment, and other controls within an easy-to-use interface.

Learn more about the V-Control Pro