Softube Console 1 mkII Giveaway from Cakewalk

For the month of June, when you buy the Softube Tube-Tech Classic Channel from Cakewalk (50% off) you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a Console 1!

Softube’s Console 1 is pushing a lot of buttons in studios around the world, from home/bedroom setups to top-notch professional facilities. And now it’s even easier to use in SONAR, with deeper integration and more hands-on control than ever before.

Michael Brauer, Grammy-winning mix engineer for Coldplay and John Mayer, describes it as “the center piece of [his] hybrid mix room”, while rock legend Pete Townshend says “I’m using Console 1 on pretty much everything I do”.

The idea is essentially to provide the feel and sound of mixing on a huge analog desk (a robust physical hardware controller and a fully licensed digital emulation of the SSL SL 4000E are included) without the drawbacks of enormous price tags and footprints. And it’s making a lot of mixers very happy.

Console 1 works with all major DAWs, but with SONAR there are now extra layers of integration, further refining your workflow, and allowing you to better focus on the job of making awesome sounds. Select a track, grab a few knobs and start mixing! It’s seriously that easy.

In SONAR you can now control pan and fader settings for your tracks not just in the Console 1 plugin, but in the DAW itself. Likewise, in SONAR you can control track mute and solo settings directly in the DAW using the Console 1 hardware. You can even select and deselect DAW tracks from the hardware.

Perhaps coolest of all is that in SONAR holding the shift button on Console 1 now allows you to control up to 3 send levels per track directly with your hands.

So visit your local Softube dealer and try out a Console 1. Check it out today and see if you don’t love SONAR even better than before.

Here’s that link again to grab the Softube Tube-Tech Classic Channel from Cakewalk at 50% off the regular price, and enter to win a free Console 1 mkii!

Softube Tube-Tech Classic Channel from Cakewalk (50% off)

Thanks and enjoy!

Using Avid Artist Series Controllers with SONAR

by Craig Anderton

The Avid Artist Series Mix controller is compatible with SONAR. However, remember that this is a Pro Tools-centric controller, so not everything is implemented in SONAR (or in any other program for that matter). Regardless, the basics (and more) are there, but there are also some unique aspects you need to know.

There are horror stories all over the web of not getting the Artist Series Mix to work, even with Pro Tools, and many refer to it as a “doorstop.” Others have found ways to get it to work, which often involve strange rituals of turning things on in an esoteric and specified order—but it doesn’t have to be that weird. It seems the only real issue occurs when the Artists Series Mix initializes before other elements are ready to work with it, so all you need to do is take control over when it initializes—here’s how.

PREP WORK (IN THIS ORDER)

  1. Install the latest EuCon software from Avid’s Artist Series web site. This is essential, because the Artist Series Mix talks to your computer over Ethernet (or to your router/switcher if you already have a wired internet connection appropriating your computer’s Ethernet port).
  2. You may be instructed to do a firmware update.
  3. If needed, install the SONAR Eucon plug-in from https://www.cakewalk.com/Support/Knowledge-Base/20080104/EUCON-Control-Surface-Plug-in. The SONAR EuCon plug-in is needed to have it show up as a control surface in SONAR.
  4. Next time you boot up SONAR, select EuCon as a new control surface in SONAR (in Edit > Preferences > MIDI > Control Surfaces). Do notselect MIDI in or out for the Control Surface, that’s not what EuCon uses.

CONSUMMATING THE SONAR/AVID MARRIAGE

Using the following method, it doesn’t seem to make any difference when you turn on the Artist Series Mix. I usually wait until SONAR has booted, but I’ve also turned it on before anything else, after everything else, etc. The key is to keep the EuCon application from running before you want it to start.

  1. In Task Manager, Startup Tab, right-click on anything that says EuCon and disable startup. I left anything that says MC Client enabled because it didn’t cause problems. After doing so, reboot. You only need to do this once, not every time you want to use the Artist Series Mix.

  1. Boot SONAR and open a project.
  2. Turn on power to the Artist Series Mix.
  3. Wait until the Avid logos turn off in the display, then open the EuControl application that shows up with your apps.

  1. After it’s loaded, locate the EuControl button in the System Tray (or in the Hidden Icons if needed). It may take a while for this button to show up.
  2. Right-click on it and choose Restart EUCON Applications.

  1. When a dialog box says Restart all EUCON applications?, click Yes.

It will take a little while (although well under a minute), but eventually everything will recognize everything else, the faders will mirror what’s in SONAR’s console view if you’d previously selected EuCon as the control surface, and you’ll be ready to go. Note that you’ll also want to use the EuCon system tray icon to access the various settings, but that’s all pretty straightforward if you read the documentation for Avid’s EUCON software.

IS IT WORTH IT?

The Artist Series Mix is a pretty slick controller, even with somewhat of a “Made in China” (which it is) vibe. It has bright yellow OLEDs, and a small form factor that fits in crowded workspaces.

So…here’s what works.

  • Faders
  • Panpots
  • Solo
  • Mute
  • Record enable/disable
  • Sends (up to 8)
  • Gain Trim
  • Phase
  • Automation read/write
  • Bank Select
  • Strip nudge (i.e., move strips in a bank over one at a time)
  • Transport controls
  • It recognizes Aux Tracks, and buses are treated like tracks—no special switching is needed
  • Bank select by selecting a channel in SONAR. This is pretty cool if you’re focused more on SONAR than the controller. If you select a track that’s outside where the existing tracks fall, the faders will “scroll” so that the left-most fader is the selected track, and the other faders increment as you move right. For example, if the faders are on 1-8 and you select track 11, the faders will now go from 11-18.
  • Fader touch select. You don’t need to click anything to start controlling a fader…just touch and go
  • Footswitch jack for punch-in and punch-out
  • You can have up to four controls if you want 32 channels of faders.

Here’s what sorta works.

  • Selecting a track in SONAR selects it in the control surface, but unfortunately, not the other way around.
  • Bank select by selecting a channel in SONAR doesn’t work with buses. You need to use standard bank switching and strip nudging to get to buses.
  • Input Echo works except on Track Folders; however the corresponding control surface light (i.e., in the button you push) doesn’t illuminate when Input Echo is on.
  • Effects kind of work, sometimes. Maybe. I haven’t cracked the code on what makes them happen. I was able to get a Waves C1 compressor working, and for a fleeting moment it seemed like I had ACT figured out, but I wouldn’t go into the Artist Series Mix with the expectation of controlling plug-ins. Then if you can figure it out, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Here’s what doesn’t work.

  • The timed dimming function. Given that the manual states dimming is to prolong the life of the OLEDs, it’s concerning they don’t dim as advertised.
  • I don’t really think the effects editing qualifies as working, although as noted above, sometimes it does.
  • As of the most recent Artist Series software update, the meters no longer work in the display.

These units aren’t exactly inexpensive, but they work as advertised (or at least they do if you’ve read this), and perform the standard functions you’d want in a control surface. However, not everyone is enamored of them—check out some of the user reviews on various sites, like Sweetwater.com. In any event, I have the Artist Series controllers working fine with SONAR now—so I know they definitely can do the job.

Note: This article is excerpted from “The Big Book of SONAR Tips,” which is available from the Cakewalk store.

Get hands on control of SONAR X1’s ACT functionality with the Roland A-300PRO

SONAR X1′s Active Controller Technology (ACT) allows for full control over your mix and effects via hardware MIDI controller. Not only can you control mix settings like volume and pan on tracks, ACT lets you control parameters on effect and synth plugins in real time!

Coupled with the Roland A-300PRO MIDI Keyboard Controller you can fully immerse yourself in your mixes. No more “mousing around” to draw automation for a filter sweep on a synth, grab a control and get interactive.

ACT has templates for most MIDI controllers so setup is a breeze and hardware controls are already mapped to the most common parameters in all of your plugins. Want to customize the mapping? It’s as simple as pushing one button, clicking the parameters and moving the desired hardware controls. No menus needed!

Watch ACT and the A-300PRO in action Continue reading Get hands on control of SONAR X1’s ACT functionality with the Roland A-300PRO

The Missing Link for Guitar Players? Cakewalk’s V-Studio 20

VS20 TOP ViewGuitar Products Reviewer for DV247.com, Rob Sandall, was one of the first to lay eyes on the V-Studio 20 at Musikmesse 2010. At first, he thought it was just a foot pedal but quickly realized that the V-Studio 20 is so much more than what he expected.

Combining an audio interface and control surface with built-in stereo microphone, the V-Studio 20 is not just a means to control your guitar-playing but an all-in-one recording solution whether on the road or in a studio setting. With the V-Studio 20, guitar players and singer-songwriters can easily record their riffs to a computer via XLR or Hi-Z input, add EQ and other effects to their tracks in real time, and take advantage of its “gigantic suite of sounds” with genuine BOSS COSM DSP processing.

As Rob exclaims, “this compact unit feels like a real missing link between guitarist and producer.”

Discover the V-Studio 20 through a series of mini-reviews on the DV247.com blog.

Musikmesse 2010: V-Studio 700 & V-Studio 100 Win at MIPA

At this year’s Musikmesse International Press Awards (MIPA), Cakewalk received 4 nominations for the development of the A-PRO Series Keyboards, V-Studio 700, V-Studio 100 and SONAR 8.5 Producer. Just being nominated is quite the honor, but we were humbled last night when we won in two categories, Best Recording Hardware for the V-Studio 100 and Best Digital Audio Workstation Controller for the V-Studio 700.

    MIPA_Awards

The V-Studio 700 has now won the MIPA two consecutive years in a row, and in two different categories. Last year, the V-Studio 700 won for Best Recording Hardware, so this year’s Controller win really speaks to the VS-700’s versatility, not to mention the high regard for which it is held by the press.

Cakewalk’s Michael Hoover and Roland’s Takao Watase accepted the awards. For those of us in the business of creating products for musicians, the MIPA is the equivalent of winning a Grammy. Aside from having great customers creating great music with your products, the MIPA is the highest honor in our industry. For the 10th annual MIPA, the editorial staff of 111 music magazines from around the globe came together to choose the absolute best products in each category.
Continue reading Musikmesse 2010: V-Studio 700 & V-Studio 100 Win at MIPA

New V-Studio 700 E-Book Gives You A Closer Look

eBook-V-Studio-700Cakewalk announces today the availability of a new eBook by Scott R. Garrigus – author of the “SONAR Power!” Book Series – that will cover the ins and outs of the SONAR V-Studio 700 music production system. Cakewalk V-Studio 700: A Closer Look is a free electronic book discussing basic and advanced functions of the V-Studio 700 such as: Getting to Know the V-Studio 700, Recording with the V-Studio 700, Composing with the V-Studio 700, Editing with the V-Studio 700, Mixing with the V-Studio 700 and more.

The 40+-page eBook is an easy to read overview on how to get the most from the V-Studio 700, and comes with numerous screenshots, tips, and tricks in easy-to-digest chapters and call-out sections in the style of the …For Dummies line of tutorial books.  It’s available as a downloadable PDF, with embedded hotlinks for pursuing additional information on key topics.

Cakewalk V-Studio 700: A Closer Look is available as a free download in PDF format at http://www.cakewalk.com/media/Ebook/vs700.asp.

Cakewalk’s Portable Recording Solution for Guitarists & Singer-Songwriters

Every year at this time, Cakewalk travels to Frankfurt, Germany to attend Europe’s largest music trade show event, Musikmesse. This year, we are pleased to launch the V-Studio 20 from the show floor.

As the third product in the V-Studio line of integrated hardware and software by Cakewalk and Roland, the V-Studio 20 is an affordable, all-in-one option for recording musicians. The V-Studio 20 is designed for guitarists and singer-songwriters who want a simple way to make music on the computer with professional results. The V-Studio 20 lets users easily plug in a guitar or microphone and record their tracks to the computer with legendary BOSS effects.


Introducing: V-Studio 20 for Guitarists & Singer-Songwriters

With the V-Studio 20, you can:

– Connect your instrument to the V-Studio 20 hardware
– Dial up the perfect guitar or vocal tone using genuine BOSS effects
– Choose a backing track, hit record, and play your part
– Use the V-Studio 20 as a control surface for mixing and playback
– Master a song and then burn a CD or share your mp3 online

Click on over to our V-Studio Products page for more information on this exciting new product.

Have Gig Bag, Will Travel or Where in the World is Carmen Rizzo?

hht back stage perm 1Carmen Rizzo checks his cell phone one last time as he boards the plane at LAX.  This is the first of several flights that will take him half way around the world over the next 24 hours – from Los Angeles to Perm, Russia .  He’s got a text message from the people he’ll be performing with in Perm; they want him to come back in 10 days for another show, and they need his commitment immediately.  He’s taken slightly aback – he’s not exactly sure what he’ll be doing onstage when he arrives this time – but he agrees to make the return trip, figuring that as long as he has the right assemblage of tools, he’ll be able to handle whatever situation is thrown at him.

This is typical for a road warrior like Rizzo.  The Los Angeles-based producer, DJ, record label owner, and radio show host is a rapidly-rising global brand, sought after for his wide range of skills that have earned him two GRAMMY nominations.   He’s worked with the likes of Seal, Coldplay, Paul Oakenfold, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alanis Morissette.  He’s a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).  He also DJs a radio set heard by 14 million listeners each month on the highly influential KEXP 90.3 FM in Seattle.  With so many irons in the fire, he’s become extraordinarily flexible, yet fastidious in his preparation, maintaining a strict work ethic that sees him keeping regular hours in his home studio during the week and, whenever possible, not working weekends to spend time with his children.  But this last-minute request is not unusual for Rizzo.  He’ll just roll with it.

Continue reading Have Gig Bag, Will Travel or Where in the World is Carmen Rizzo?

‘Going Back to Memphis’ with the V-Studio 700

Engineers James Lott and Matt Ross-Spang at the legendary Sun Studio in Memphis, Tennessee move away from ‘point and click’ with the V-Studio 700. The pair use the V-Studio 700 in their main production room to mix an original tune, ‘Get Back to Memphis’.


Artist Impression: Sun Studio on the V-Studio 700
Uploaded by CakewalkInc. – Music videos, artist interviews, concerts and more.

AudioMidi.com Likes the Sound of the V-Studio 100

audiomidiAudioMIDI.com’s Dee Davis gave the V-Studio 100 a workout recently and came away very pleased with the results.

Dee hooked up the VS-100 to a PC running Windows XP Professional, with 4 GB RAM and two 1 TB Hard drives, all powered by an AMD Phenom X4 Quad processor. After installing SONAR 8.5, Dee pulled up some recent SONAR-produced projects and found them to sound terrific , “perfect” in fact.

After checking out projects in higher sample rates and getting positive results, Dee recorded some vocals using the mic pres and was also “pleasantly surprised with the sound quality.” But the true test came when s/he recorded his/her Musicman StingRay Bass with the VS-100. Initially skeptical — “I am very hard of audio interfaces, as I feel they never truly get the real tone” — Dee was delighted when the resulting sound turned out to be “the best I have ever heard on any recording system!” S/he also went on to highlight the VS-100’s Windows 7 compatibility, solid control surface functions and use in Mackie Control Function Mode.

“Ultimately, I found the V-Studio 100 an excellent device to work with,” she concluded. “The sound quality was great! The mixer and effects were solid and very easy to use.” Finally, she noted that “This compact unit will serve many of your needs with just one purchase. With the included software, you have everything you need to start recording right away.”

You can read the full review on AudioMIDI.com