Windows 10 Creators Update: Your DAW is not a Game

This week Microsoft debuts its “Creators Update,” the second major update to Windows 10. You can read more about what’s in this update on the Microsoft blog.

While most of the features in this update don’t directly relate to DAW’s or music production, we were particularly intrigued with “Game Mode.” Microsoft indicates that Game Mode dedicates more GPU cycles and a set number of CPU threads to the game and prevents background processes from interfering with it. It sounds good on paper so we wondered how it might benefit a DAW like SONAR…

To check it out, Jon Sasor, Quality Assurance Engineer at Cakewalk, took on the task of doing some benchmarks to test performance in Game Mode with the latest version of SONAR. Jon performed the test on a brand new Dell PC (Intel® Core™ i7-6920HQ @ 2.90 GHz with 16GB RAM) and he compared audio playback performance with Game Mode on and off.

Continue reading Windows 10 Creators Update: Your DAW is not a Game

Take control of your tempo with SONAR’s Audiosnap, Available in X2 Producer and studio

SONAR X2’s AudioSnap engine and tempo analysis features give you unprecedented non-destructive rhythmic and tempo control over your audio. Employing sophisticated transient detection technology, the AudioSnap engine automatically analyzes all recorded and imported audio files for rhythmic content to determine where the beats are in the music.  Continue reading Take control of your tempo with SONAR’s Audiosnap, Available in X2 Producer and studio

SONAR X2’S Step Sequencer: Powerful, flexible and included in all versions of X2!

The Step Sequencer is included in all versions of X2 and is fully integrated in to the SONAR X2 user interface design. Controls are easy to identify and use, and commands are easily accessible from dedicated drop down menus. Continue reading SONAR X2’S Step Sequencer: Powerful, flexible and included in all versions of X2!

New In SONAR X2 Producer: Scorching tones and killer effects with TH2 PRODUCER from OVERLOUD

 

SONAR X2 Producer users rejoice. Now you can get awesome guitar tones and effects from clean and spanky to crushing metal with the new TH2 PRODUCER amp modeling plugin by Overloud!  Continue reading New In SONAR X2 Producer: Scorching tones and killer effects with TH2 PRODUCER from OVERLOUD

New in SONAR X2 Essential and Studio: Scorching guitar tones with TH2 SONAR from OVERLOUD

SONAR X2 Essential and Studio users rejoice. Now you can get awesome guitar tones from clean and spanky to crushing metal with the new TH2 SONAR amp modeling plugin by Overloud!  Continue reading New in SONAR X2 Essential and Studio: Scorching guitar tones with TH2 SONAR from OVERLOUD

An Audio Journey Through The Signal Path in SONAR X1

A question I am often asked is, “Just what exactly is the signal path in SONAR X1?”. You plug in your mic or instrument and the sound flows through your monitors. But what is the journey your audio signal takes in between? Let’s take a trip through the Channel strip and find out!

Continue reading An Audio Journey Through The Signal Path in SONAR X1

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

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.

 

How to make modern music with samples, sequenced drums, and synths – A SONAR Master Class

Modern music production combines many different elements. Loops and samples, sequenced drums and synths, live instruments and more. In this video, you can sit in on a session where all of these elements are used to create a piece of music from start to finish with SONAR X1 Producer.

Pull up a chair, crank up the volume and see just how easy and fun it is to create music when the inspiration strikes using SONAR! After watching the video, download the content pack which includes the Track Templates and presets used in this project.

Continue reading How to make modern music with samples, sequenced drums, and synths – A SONAR Master Class

Drum replacement made fast and easy with SONAR’s AudioSnap 2.0

You’ve got the song, the killer drum performance and everything is ready to mix but there’s one problem. Your kick drum sounds awful and there’s no option to re record the drum tracks. Don’t panic! Using SONAR’s AudioSnap 2.0 and the drum plugin of your choice, you can turn that dud into major thud!

  Continue reading Drum replacement made fast and easy with SONAR’s AudioSnap 2.0