HOW UPGRADING TO SONAR X3 GAVE THESE PRO ARTISTS AN EDGE

Luigie Gonzalez
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Grammy nominated Producer, Songwriter, Mixer, Multi-Instrumentalist

“When I walk into sessions with my SONAR machine, I hear ‘what is THAT’ a lot from other producers and artists.  And then like clockwork, I hear a lot of ‘whoah’ and ‘wow’ when they see what I can do beyond their limitations.  I’ll never forget Jimmy Jam being blown away once in a studio when I started getting my sounds going in SONAR – that was a pretty cool feeling because he could see and hear what made my **** sound different from other producers on the scene at that time.”  

Since upgrading to SONAR X3, my favorite new feature is the Nomad plugin suite.

The Nomad Bundle that comes with X3  has been a go-to for me when boosting mid and high frequencies.   The mids are awesome and super-musical!  I also usually use them for HiHats to boost 8KHz – 16KHz without sounding to square-digital or harsh.   It just has a nice sizzling tone that sounds so different than any other plugin in my arsenal of VSTs.  When I mix I am very observant of the “stereo image,” and Nomad’s “Imager” is the trick to help make room for things.  Also, I use the Tempo Delay often because of its warmth and versatility.   I also, love the Tempo Delay’s parameter controllers – having 3 independent delay configurations is great to achieve the perfect delay tone in my mixes.  I can really get unique sounds with the delays and shape them to my heart’s content.

On the other hand, I cannot live without the Console Emulator (I believe this was new to X2 but it just never gets old)…  It just opens my mixes in such organic ways that have I become addicted to it!  I use the trident (A-type) mode for kicks, bass and everything with low end character because it adds great sub harmonics.  The SSL (S-Type) I use for snares, kicks and everything in between to achieve that pocket /punchy sound which warms up the top end frequencies without dulling the sound.  The Neve (A-Type) for Vocals, synths, guitars and everything that needs to sound frontal or cut through mix.  It helps my “center” in the mixes along with some nice mid-frequency response.

I always add a bit of drive (Console Emulator) to my buses to emulate the console circuitry saturation because it works without distorting anything too much – just enough to add more random harmonics and make the whole mix sound even more organic and full.  I think the Console Emulator is one of the best features to SONAR in a long time, and I’m very happy Cakewalk implemented it as part of the ProChannel.

Track coloring is also something I was waiting for some time.   It helps me keep organized especially when mixing 100 plus tracks sessions which is usually the case for me.  It’s so smart that the track colors respond to the bus colors, this way I stay even more organized by visually understanding my large mixes.

I really dig the QuadCurve ProChannel EQ as well.   It’s super-transparent and colorless on certain modes which plays an important part when carving very precise frequencies.   It’s kind of like the FabFilter but the fact that it’s part of the ProChannel makes it easier and faster to use.  It’s also dead-precise while still sounding amazingly clean!

~Luigie Gonzalez

DJ Spooky
Location: New York City and The Poles
Producer, Music/Song/Sound Creator, Author, Visionary

When you are as diverse of an artist as DJ Spooky you need some serious music-creation tools.  Take Of Water and Ice for example.  This album is the result of DJ Spooky’s art residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Of Water and Ice is a composition for string quartet and video that evolved out of his large-scale multimedia work Sinfonia Antarctica: an exploration of the composition of ice and water, and our relationship to the vanishing environment of the arctic poles. DJ Spooky created The Book of Ice based on his travels to the poles. All of the electronic sounds are generated by interpretations of either algorithms that mirror the geometry in ice crystals or the math of climate change data.

“The biggest asset to me upgrading to SONAR X3 was the speed Continue reading HOW UPGRADING TO SONAR X3 GAVE THESE PRO ARTISTS AN EDGE

Tracks and Busses: A Guide to Routing in SONAR X1

In any project you will have tracks and these tracks are routed to busses. Sending a track to a bus and not directly to the Master output gives you additional control and allows you to take a group of similar track, like back ground vocals and control the overall volume, pan, add effects, EQ and so on. SONAR has many flexible mixing and routing features to help you get the most out of your project.

Continue reading Tracks and Busses: A Guide to Routing in SONAR X1

Produce Powerful Music with the Fantom VS Synthesizer

Designed by Roland, the Fantom VS hardware synthesizer is built into the SONAR V-Studio 700R interface. It’s a perfect complement to the powerful SONAR digital audio workstation. The Fantom VS includes 1400 patches suited for all kinds of productions and accepts Roland’s specialized ARX expansion cards for piano, drums, brass, and more. Watch the video below and visit the SONAR V-Studio website for more information.

Create Digital Music Looks ‘Under the Hood’ of V-Studio 100

Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn takes you on an extensive tour of the SONAR V-Studio 100 as a mixer, interface, control surface, digital recorder and more in his latest review. This all-in-one portable studio for Mac & PC charms Peter with its durable shell, touch-sensitive controls, and many included features. Small enough to fit most backpacks and carrying cases, this unit is a great addition to the travelling musician’s gig bag.

Peter takes an in-depth look at the VS-100. Read his entire review at Create Digital Music.com

V-Studio 700 Unboxing Video by Digifreq.com

Digifreq’s Scott Garrigus just received his new Cakewalk SONAR V-Studio 700; the ultimate music production system. See how the V-Studio 700 looks when it first comes out of the box. Check out all of the accessories that are included and get a quick tour of the VS-700R I/O & VS-700C control surface. Watch Scott’s unboxing video below and be sure to check out Digifreq.com for more SONAR tips and tricks!

MIX Magazine: V-Studio 700 Brings Pro-Level DAW Control to Musicians

Pick up the latest issue of MIX Magazine to see an extensive review of the complete SONAR V-Studio 700 system. Engineer and MIX contributor, Tony Nunes, tests the SONAR V-Studio 700 in his home studio and during a commercial studio tracking session.

For testing purposes, Nunes interfaced the SONAR V-Studio 700 with a machine running a 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate operating system powered by 3GHz Intel Core Extreme CPU Q6850 with 4GB of RAM. He also installed the latest software and firmware updates to ensure that the system’s various parts would work at the greatest potential in each environment.

Read the full review to get a closer look at SONAR V-Studio 700’s control surface (V-700C), the I/O and Roland Fantom VS Synth (V-700R), and digital audio workstation (SONAR 8 Producer). Here’s a few of our favorite quotes from Nunes’ stellar review:

“The V-700C is a full blooded control surface that’s tightly integrated with SONAR. Top features include EQ and plug-in manipulation… The V-700C’s faders are a step above the rest with unique features such as Channel Branch mode and locking faders.”

“The V-700R is a solid 24-bit/192 kHz USB interface with a plethora of inputs and outputs that sound clean, detailed and unbiased… the expandable Roland Fantom VS Synth is attractive to keyboardists and saves CPU load.”

“Plug-in manipulation was a breeze with ACT, which brilliantly mapped SONAR’s TL-64 and VC-64 plug-ins to the Channel Strip control section. I also appreciated how quickly I could access all the different SONAR views from the Access Panel, while the T-Bar combined with SONAR’s X-Ray kept my plug-ins from cluttering up my screen’s real estate.”

ALSO Check out this cool interactive SONAR V-Studio 700 graphic!

Future Music Captures Demo of V-Studio 100

Future Music Magazine met up with Cakewalk’s Brandon Ryan in Frankfurt, Germany at Musikmesse 2009 in March. Brandon was demonstrating the many functions of SONAR V-Studio 100, giving them a tour of all the knobs, buttons and controls. Watch the video below to get a close up look at Cakewalk’s own Swiss Army Knife:

Sonar Studio VS100 demo at Musikmesse from will seelig on Vimeo.

Please see our latest post about SONAR V-Studio 100 for more information on this product.

V-Studio 700 Featured On ‘Into Tomorrow’ Radio Show

Cakewalk Product Specialist Seth Perlstein chats with Into Tomorrow’s Dave Graveline at the 2009 Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, California. Into Tomorrow is a syndicated radio program featuring the latest developments in consumer electronics and technology. Over 100 AM & FM radio stations across the US, on Sirius / XM satellite radio and around the world broadcast the 3-hour show on a weekly basis. The pair discuss Cakewalk’s role in outfitting video game developers with the best tools to create music for their projects.

Being eyed by the video game industry’s top composers is Cakewalk by Roland’s flagship product in the V-Studio line of integrated software / hardware solutions, the SONAR V-Studio 700.

Winner of the 2009 MIPA Award for Best Recording Hardware and Keyboard Magazine’s prestigious Key Buy Award, the SONAR V-Studio 700 matches SONAR 8 Producer with the VS-700C multi-function control surface and the VS700R V-Studio 100 I/O audio interface which includes Roland’s Fantom VS Hardware Synthesizer.

Continue reading V-Studio 700 Featured On ‘Into Tomorrow’ Radio Show

NAB 2009: SONAR & V-Mixing System Wow Crowds

For more than 80 years, The NAB Show, produced annually by the National Association of Broadcasters, has served as the premiere event for broadcast technology professionals. But there’s more to the show than just tv and radio broadcasting, it’s the ultimate educational experience! Technology professionals and solutions providers from every corner of the world, come to the show each year to explore every stage of the audio / visual content lifecycle, from creation to consumption.

Cakewalk is one of this year’s exhibitors showing off their state-of-the-art creations at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada from April 20 through April 23. Follow along with Robin Kelly live from the show, here on The Cakewalk Blog.

Here’s his first post:

At the Roland Systems Group booth, Zac Kenney and I were presenting the SONAR V-Studio 700 as the mixing and editing solution to the V-Mixing system. At the heart of the system, is the M-400 Digital Mixing Console from RSS by Roland. Add to that the personal monitoring system, allowing each live performer to have up to 40 individual monitor mixes and the digital snake whick allows up to 40 channels of audio over a single CAT-5 cable, and you have an extremely impressive live mixing setup.

So how does Cakewalk’s SONAR integrate into this system? You can split the signal coming down the CAT-5 cable and connect it to the network card on your PC. Using the REAC driver, you then have 40 discreet inputs going into SONAR to record each channel individually to their own track.

After the live show the VS-700 becomes the platform for mixing and editing the 40-track live performance. From live venues and houses of workship to broadcast customers, the feedback was extremely good. They were all impressed with the flexibility and depth the SONAR V-Studio System provides. Add to that the ability to harness and control all the power of SONAR via a hardware inferface, and you have a ‘perfect solution’. The Fantom VS is an added bonus as this provides the added ability to add extra synth tracks after recording. The ARX slot was also wowing the customers when the ARX-01 Drum card was added.

In Las Vegas, people seem just about willing to bet on anything, but one thing no one I spoke to today was willing to gamble on was their audio. All through the day, customers were coming up to me explaining bow they prefer to mix in SONAR because it ‘just sounds better’ than other programs. Of course, it is always nice to hear such positive compliments about our flagship DAW but in a way it is extra special to hear this coming from folks who have very high (if not limitless) budgets, allowing them to choose any audio platform they wish. Even with that they are still using SONAR because of it’s quality.

It makes sense if you think about it. SONAR has a 64-bit double precision audio engine, multiple gain stages, and 64-bit/convolution plugins to sweeten the mix.

So YES. In Vegas, people will gamble on just about anything, anything but their audio quality!

That’s it for now. Day 2 starts tomorrow!

Robin Kelly
Cakewalk’s Director of Worldwide MI Sales

Musikmesse Day 2: Continued

Day 2 of Musikmesse started out real well. I opened up the tradeshow daily to see that we had gotten a write-up on page 2 about the fact that the V-Studio console was going to be available to SONAR 8 customers as a stand alone control surface.

I think one important point that was missing from the article, and I couldn’t expect it be written there, was that this is another example of Cakewalk listening to our customers. Some SONAR 8 users told us that they have spent quite a bit of money on their I/O and that you really only need the best control surface possible for SONAR.

We listened, and with just a little bit of work on our part, we will now be able to give them what they asked for, starting this summer. I still personally feel that if anyone had the full experienceof using the entire SONAR V-Studio 700 system together with the I/O and Fantom Synth, they would rethink their decision to only buy the console, but I guess I’m biased.

I kept reading the daily and I also found this nice photo of Ben Klempel and Massimo Barbini posing with the V-Studio 100. Massimo is the Managing Director of Edirol Europe, our distributor in Europe, and a really inspiring guy… I’m gald he’s on our side.

Brandon of course, was in his usual form, knocking out the crowds with his V-Studio 700 Demos.

There’s another good video from the show online. In this video, which should play after an ad, Sonic State interviews Julian from Edirol Europe about the V-Studio 100 and the VS 700C.

Also, the video I wrote about in the blog a couple of days ago, that Craig Anderton shot is now available online at Harmony Central.

When you get to the page, click on ‘Preview Video’ to watch Craig’s pre-show coverage. Alex, Steve, Brandon and I stage a mock argument about what’s important about the V-Studio 100 at around 4:20. You might get a laugh from it.

Signing off,

Carl Jacobson