30% off Z3TA+ 2 for Cakewalk synth owners through June 30th

Z3TA+ 2 special offer

Z3TA+ 2 has been making a lot of noise lately and continues to be a favorite with critics and users all over the world. If you haven’t tried Z3TA+ 2 yet, you are missing out on one of the greatest synths of all-time. MusicRadar.com did a round-up of the 39 best plug-in synths in the world and Z3TA+ 2 came in at #13.

Now through June 30th, we are sweetening the deal even more for Rapture, Dimension, and Studio Instruments users. Regularly $99, you can download Z3TA+ 2 today for only $69/£55/€69 – get 30% off the price.

Z3TA+ 2 features 1000 new sounds from top sound designers including:

  • Nico Herz, Big Tone Studio
  • Frank Genus, Pro Sounds
  • Francesco Silvestri, FI Sound
  • Chad Beckwith, FI Sound/Patch Arena
  • Bryan Lee, Xenos Soundworks
  • Ben Cantil, Encanti Productions
  • Tim Swartz, Digital Sound Factory
  • Kieran Swarbrick, Dance MIDI Samples
  • Listen to over 50 sound examples

The new sounds alone are worth the price of Z3TA+ 2 but you also get much more:

  • A completely redesigned user interface
  • Quicker access to needed controls
  • More parameters and controls
  • 1,093 classic Z3TA+ patches
  • All new patch browser
  • New filter types
  • New waveshapers
  • New modulation destinations
  • Revamped FX section with drag and drop
  • New Performance Module
  • Plus version 2.1 enhancements
  • And more!

Download Z3TA+ 2 today and save 30% off the regular price

Designing Sounds for Cakewalk Synthesizers – Behind the Scenes at Digital Sound Factory

Digital Sound Factory

When people ask me what I do for a living, it is often difficult for them to grasp the words; I record sounds and musical instruments that musicians use to create music. At Digital Sound Factory we breakdown the instrument to the fundamentals and capture the sounds that make up its character. Each note and playing style is recorded. We are essentially creating a ‘digital archive’ of musical instrument sounds that render playback on modern computers.

Creating sound expansion packs for Cakewalk synthesizers involves many steps in the development process. It’s a long journey from defining the scope of the sound set to hearing a sound when playing a MIDI note. This is an overview of how an expansion pack is born and what goes on behind the scenes.

 

Defining the Project

First we take a close look at the scope of the project and define the instruments and samples required.

Musicians, engineers, and studio time are not free, so the better prepared we are, the more we capture. Each instrument requires different considerations. Sampling drum’s is different from sampling synthesizers is different from sampling brass or winds. In the case of drums, how the drum should be tuned, number of velocity hits on center to the edge of the head, matching rim shots, various microphone placements, to name a few. Sampling brass or woodwinds will entail multiple volume levels of sustain, more breath, less breath, breath only, mutes, staccato, and more.

 

The Recording Process

Sampling is similar to recording music in some ways, but in other ways it is very different. The similarities are musicians are recorded in professional sound environments using microphones, mixing console, speakers, etc. The very different part is we are not there to record music. We record the instrument and its characteristics. I can’t begin to tell you how many sessions I have walked into and the musicians are ready to impress with great music. In these sessions we focus on the technique, not the music.

Each note the instrument is capable of playing is meticulously recorded at various amplitude levels and styles (ie: sustained, mute, fast attack, slow attack, soft, loud, etc.) using 4 – 16 microphones, fast computers, and Sonar. It is imperative that any addition sounds that are not part of the instrument, such as squeaky chairs, breathing, or noise from the musician are identified and eliminated during the recording process. Occasionally there are sounds that make their way into the sample and need to later be isolated and removed using software tools. All microphones, takes, tracks, hard drives, etc. are documented for use during the editing process.

 

Selection and Editing

After days, weeks, or months of recording, the tracks are reviewed and the best takes are sliced and copied to a new project. This may include as many as 4 to 16 tracks of microphones that can be mixed or separated to create the final individual .wav files for each pitch/velocity/etc. Selecting the best ‘takes’ involves a lot of listening and is essential to delivering the highest quality instruments. Any additional DSP (Digital Signal Processing), such as leveling, noise cancelation, equalization, and amplitude fades are completed at this stage. Sustained notes require looping the recordings to create a seamless pitch at the loop points. Loops are adjusted to lengths based on memory size targets. Each .wav file is tagged with the instrument name, style, and pitch identification.

 

SFZ Creation

SFZ files are created and used to map the incoming MIDI controller note number to the correct .wav file and location. The SFZ files are text files and use ‘opcodes’ or operation codes that are used to control various synthesizer program parameters. It contains relevant information about the instrument such as velocity, filter types, envelopes, LFO’s, and others. SFZ files are programmed for each playing style and sometimes combined to create layers.

 

Programming

This is where the instruments develop personality and flavor. SFZ files can be combined as elements to create layers. Filters, modulation sources and destinations, and effects are assigned. The program is named and saved to the relevant style folder.

 

Digital Sound Factory Recording Video

This video includes recording sessions for orchestral strings, winds, brass, and percussion in the concert hall and studio, drum kits and percussion, ethnic instruments, and grand piano.

Buy Sounds for Cakewalk Synths

Digital Sound Factory offers over fifty expansion packs for Cakewalk’s Dimension, Rapture, Sound Center, Z3TA+2, and Session Drummer 3.  Digital Sound Factory on the Cakewalk Store

DSF Sale

Download DSF Expansion Packs for as low as $19.95
Stock up this weekend on DSF expansion packs for Dimension Pro/Dimension LE. The DSF collection features thousands of sounds for all types of music and genres. Included are Grand Pianos, Guitars, Basses, Classic Keys, Orchestral, Hollywood Sound FX and much more. Buy one or buy them all and save big during this special offer. Ends February 28th, 2013.

Shop and save today

Ultimate Guide to Cakewalk Synths Gets Facelift

cakewalk synthsCakewalk synthesizers are among the most commonly used software synthesizers in the business. Rapture, Dimension Pro and Z3TA+ are capable of creating powerhouse sounds that will turn your music into sonic masterpieces and Simon Cann wants to take your music production to that level.

In his guide, Cakewalk Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User (2nd Edition), Simon Cann will help you understand the basics of synthesizer programming and teach you how to utilize Cakewalk’s synthesizers to their full potential. Since the first edition of this book was released in 2006, Cakewalk has added four new synthesizers to the product line including Session Drummer 3, Beatscape, Dimension Pro, and Rapture.  The updated book begins with an overview of the general principles of music synthesis and sound creation — covering oscillators, different synthesis methods, filters, envelopes, LFOs, and effects — and then shows you how to make your own sounds with Cakewalk’s new instruments and incorporate them into your own productions.

In addition, Simon has included a free download package with the purchase of Cakewalk Synthesizers covering a wealth of information on the .SFZ format.

Visit Simon Cann’s website to pre-order your copy today.

‘How to Make A Noise’ Using Z3TA+

Simon Cann, author of the book, Cakewalk Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User, releases a new update to How to Make A Noise, a comprehensive guide to synthesizer programming.

The new update will be available as a free download and for purchase in print on Amazon. The new edition offers more content, more graphics and more sounds, featuring over 300 different patches.  Pick up the book to get in-depth tutorials on how to program sounds using Cakewalk’s Z3TA+; create and control your sounds with envelopes, modulation, the arpeggiator, step generator, and other playback tools. Cann also shows you how to build patches for various instruments including keys, bass, drums and more.

For more information visit SImon Cann’s website.