It’s in the bag – SONAR X1 on a Laptop

Just like many of the members of the Cakewalk staff, part of my job requires me to travel all over the world giving trainings and demonstrations on SONAR X1 Production Suite and the other members of the SONAR family. Although shows like NAMM have dedicated machines for demos like the HP Z800, the majority of trips require that I am self contained and bring my studio with me. This means a mobile SONAR rig is paramount.

I am getting ready for a trip to the UK and thought I would share what I pack as my typical mobile SONAR rig.



How Building Cost Effective Acoustic Treatment for the Music Studio Will Help Your Music Production; Part 2: Corner Traps

So maybe you have SONAR X1 Production Suite running on a killer computer, and now you might have a sound cloud over your mix position; what’s next?  Last week I exemplified how I built and installed a hanging sound cloud and this week I will go into detail how I built corner traps to help tame my unorthodox (square) production room.  Before reading this post, you may want to visit my article from last week which goes into some detail on room shapes.

My room, unfortunately for me is dead square.  This is about the worst case scenario so I had to do some research and talk to a lot of friends who are acoustic professionals such as Gavin Haverstick of Haverstick designs.  With my room being about 13.5’ x 13.5’ and 7.5’ ceilings, he has my mix position at 62” off the front wall.  So with my positioning about right, and a sound cloud overhead to take out the first ceiling reflections, the next thing to do was try to knock out the corners of the room where bass frequencies could become a big problem.

I decided to make custom corner traps based on my personal situation.  Once again, every room and everyone’s needs are different, so if you are on a tight budget, I think it’s best to first figure out what’s important to YOU.  For my situation, here were my goals for corner traps:

  • Cost effective
  • *Less square footage (I will discuss this below)
  • Aesthetically pleasing to the eye
  • Effective bass trapping
  • Light-weight



CakeTV Live SONAR X1 webinar February 23rd – Free to the public

CakeTV Live

Join Seth Perlstein for a live webinar on February 23rd, 2PM PST
Sit back, relax, and watch our NAMM demos in the comfort of your own home. In part one of this two-part series, Cakewalk’s Seth Perlstein shares 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, get a sneak peak of the upcoming X1d patch as the entire demo will be done in X1d.

Watch video of the entire SONAR X1 webcast.

Upgrade to SONAR X1 or Download the SONAR X1 Free Trial to follow along.


[UPDATE:]  Please join us for the second installment of CakeTV Live on April 26th at 2:00pm PST. Cakewalk’s Brandon Ryan and Seth Perlstein will be on hand to answer questions and show tips, tricks  and production techniques using the award winning SONAR X1. In addition to latest news, we’ll delve deep into SONAR X1 using a live musical production demonstration as the centerpiece. Brandon will take the driver-seat on this one showing the capabilities and production techniques involved in creating a short, instrumental, musical cue.



Computers In the Studio (Part 2 – Going Online)

Computers in the Studio

Going Online

It has long been held that connecting your DAW to a network, or worse, to the internet is something you should never, ever do. But is it really all that dangerous to your security or detrimental to performance? What kinds of precautions should be taken? Let’s find out.

First of all, why would anyone want to connect their DAW to the internet?

The Advantages:

1) Maintain system updates with less hassle

2) Maintain driver updates with less hassle

3) Perform software authorization with less hassle

4) Transfer samples, mixes, projects, etc via FTP and file sharing sites for collaboration or delivery

5) Search the internet for music theory questions like how to play a diminished chord or engineering questions like how to use a multiband compressor

In other words, it’s much easier to keep your system updated , authorize software and to search and share when your your DAW has internet access. The need to download everything on another machine and then manully transfer it to your DAW goes away.

But if it’s so convenient, why do people so often recommend against it? These are the most common reasons I hear:

The Concerns:

1) You might get a virus

2) You have to run software that will bog down your system

3) Your system might become unstable

4) You might get hacked

5) Wireless drivers can have a negative effect on DPC Latency negatively (see Computers In The Studio – Part 1)

The good news is that with the proper precautions you can connect a DAW to the internet with a relatively high degree of safety while maintaining performance and reliability.

Now you’re probably wondering what these “proper precautions” are. Let’s go through them one by one.



From the Temples of Syrinx to your drum tracks, get the sound of Rush for Session Drummer 3!


Sonic Reality’s Neil Peart Drums SD3 for Cakewalk’s Session Drummer™ 3 features samples of the authentic Drum Workshop® Signature “Snakes and Arrows” kit of drum legend Neil Peart from the band Rush. Recorded by producer Nick Raskulinecz (Rush, Foo Fighters, Alice In Chains) this powerful stereo kit offers the ultimate high fidelity rock sound with incredible realism! Coming from the acclaimed Drum Masters 2 and Studio ProFile series Sonic Reality has now integrated this legendary kit into Cakewalk’s Session Drummer 3 format so users of SONAR X1 Producer can enjoy one of the finest sampled kits in the world. (more…)


NAMM 2012 Videos and CakeTV Live Webinar

Recently we released our NAMM videos to CakeTV. The six videos contain over an hour of footage of SONAR X1 demonstrations narrated by a combination of Cakewalk staff and Cakewalk artists. And there’s certainly a lot of interesting and useful information to be seen (and heard).

However, due to circumstances beyond our control, the video’s audio quality didn’t turn out quite as expected. With our booth in the Roland arena, and with so many adjacent demo booths within direct earshot, said audio contains not only what’s in the demo being filmed but also a lot of what’s going on around it.

Seth Perlstein at the tail end of one of his SONAR X1 demo at NAMM 2012



How Building Cost Effective Acoustic Treatment for the Music Studio Will Help Your Music Production; Part 1: Sound Cloud

(Part 1: Sound Clouds)

Just as important as having a killer DAW such as SONAR X1 Production Suite 64bit running on a good machine, one needs to take a good hard look at their recording and mixing environment.  If you are starting to get to the point where the word “professional” (as in making some money) comes into play, you should probably start to think about your sonic room environment as well as your environment’s presentation.

The beauty of the music industry today is that you CAN make extra money as a part time job utilizing tools such as SONAR, but there comes a point in time where you need to step it up if you have what it takes to succeed on certain levels.  In my personal situation, as a writer/mixer/producer I take on some decent paying side jobs once in a while when time permits such as recent tracks that I sold to ESPN Sports center, but I can tell you that if I didn’t have SONAR X1 Producer Expanded and a decent mixing environment, there’s no way I would have been able to deliver those tracks.

In the upcoming weeks I am going to be talking about, as well as be demonstrating how I recently treated my new music studio room with great looking acoustic treatment panels.  I built all the custom panels myself so it cost me a fraction of what it would have been to order these panels online; and in my opinion they look better because I elected to design them with exposed natural wood where the cheap ones online are just basically fabric-wrapped.

The three types of panels I built which will be discussed on this blog were wall traps, corner traps and sound clouds.  Today I will go into detail on how I built the sound cloud that goes over my mix position. (more…)


NAMM 2012 Backstage Pass: SONAR X1 Music Production Live Demo

Live from NAMM 2012 at the Cakewalk booth in the Roland arena, Cakewalk’s Mike Trujillo demonstrates creative music production and recording techniques with SONAR X1 Production Suite.

Mike’s demo features SONAR X1 Producer Expanded’s Browser, Track Templates, Matrix View, FX Chains 2.0, ProChannel, Session Drummer 3, and more. Plus he lays down tracks with Rapture and Z3TA+ 2, records guitar, and captures a Matrix View performance in this dynamic, unique, up-beat demonstration that’s packed with information for the initiated and uninitiated alike.

Upgrade to SONAR X1 or or find a dealer to become a new user today.




NAMM 2012 Backstage Pass: Creating music in SONAR X1 with Yogi Lonich

Live from the Cakewalk booth in the Roland arena, longtime SONAR user, producer, singer, and songwriter Yogi Lonich (Wallflowers, Melissa Etheridge, Buckcherry, and Fuel) shows off his latest SONAR project and breaks down why he loves to create music in SONAR X1.

Upgrade to SONAR X1 or or find a dealer to become a new user today.



NAMM 2012 Backstage Pass: Scoring Music for Video Games with SONAR X1

Live from the Cakewalk booth in the Roland arena, learn why SONAR X1 rocks for video game scoring.

In Part 1 Sean Murray (Call of Duty: Black Ops) and Chuck Carr (Twisted Metal) share their favorite SONAR features and break down why SONAR X1 is the fastest, most powerful DAW for scoring to games.