Do you have too many song ideas? The Matrix View can help.

by Dan Gonzalez

Do you suffer from having too many musical ideas than you know what to do with? The Matrix View is great way to throw all of your riffs, licks, and leads into one place to mess around with song arrangements and structures.

How does it work?

The Matrix View operates under SONAR’s second audio engine. It’s the same audio engine that allows you to preview and play loops from the Media Browser. This non-linear playback engine is what is utilized during your performances in the Matrix View. All you really have to do to get started is drag audio from SONAR into the Matrix. It will populate a cell and then automatically route to the audio tracks you have set in the Track View. Click on the cell and then you can jump around the interface triggering different musical ideas. When you have multiple cells in one column you can trigger an entire column as well.

Try out the Martix View for free – Download the SONAR X3 Producer Free Trial

Where do I begin?

Grab some of your ideas – if they are loops then you have even more flexibility when changing tempos. If you want some great loops to work with then be sure to pick up these free loops that Craig Anderton supplied for us during Guitar Month. Continue reading Do you have too many song ideas? The Matrix View can help.

First Time DAW Users: Frequently Asked Questions about MIDI

MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a language by which computers, virtual instruments, and hardware samplers/synthesizers can communicate. It’s a way to give instructions to music production software like SONAR X3 to play, control, and program your own tunes. Even touchscreen tablets have the ability to generate and accept MIDI information. MIDI is a great way to work with music and has powerful capabilities that appeal to users of all levels. There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts in the MIDI world so let’s take a look at a few questions that I typically hear from first time users.

1. What is MIDI, can I hear it?

MIDI by itself is data and is inconceivable to the human ear. It is a universally accepted standard for communicating information about a musical performance. It encompasses both hardware and software components, and though it could be used for sending information about many other things, such as the control of lighting in a theater, or even to control your coffee maker, Continue reading First Time DAW Users: Frequently Asked Questions about MIDI

SONAR X1 Video – Linear & Non-linear Music Production

There are lots of ways to make music – from precise, deliberate composition to live performance and freeform improvisation. You might want traditional, linear multi-tracking or you might want to just experiment and jam. The good news is you don’t have to choose. Merging the realtime, experimental approach of loop and phrase based composition with traditional, linear multi-track style production, SONAR X1 is specifically designed to offer the best of both worlds.
Continue reading SONAR X1 Video – Linear & Non-linear Music Production

SONAR 8.5 Earns Excellent Ratings in EM Review

sonar-main-460-80Electronic Musician’s Brian Smithers highlighted just some of SONAR 8.5’s many strong suits in his latest review, stating that “although SONAR was already a strong platform for groove manipulation, its new arpeggiator and Matrix view, along with the improved step sequencer and AudioSnap function, bring it to a new level of flexibility and power.” Smithers goes on to say “add to that the Session Drummer 3 improvements and the PX-64, and SONAR 8.5 is sure to bring a smile to the drummer in you.” Additionally, the review sings the praises of the Matrix view touting “Project5 users will feel right at home, as will Ableton Live users. The ability to have cell-based (nonlinear) triggering of audio and MIDI loops within SONAR’s sequencing environment brings significant new workflow possibilities.”

Read the rest of EM’s SONAR 8.5 Review on their website.

Create Record Label, High-Quality Productions With SONAR 8.5

MatrixViewFor Chris Maguire, upgrading his DAW to SONAR 8.5 was a no brainer. For $99, Chris made the move from SONAR 8.0 Producer and immediately began to see the improvements made to the DAW’s feature set and functionality.  In his review at Altsounds.com, Chris explains how he used the VX-64 Vocal Strip, PX-64 Percussion Strip and the Matrix view (the brand new mixing and arranging tools in SONAR 8.5) to create high-end, professional sounding productions.

To Chris, these three additions to SONAR 8.5 alone, “were worth the upgrade price so when you throw in all the other updates, tweaks and functionality you get for your money, there should be no question (to upgrade to SONAR 8.5).”

Read Chris’s full analysis of  SONAR 8.5 at Altsounds.com.

Music Radar’s 12 Ways to Get More Out of SONAR 8.5

SONAR 8.5Make your New Year’s resolution one that you can be proud of. Dare to be more adventurous as a music-maker in 2010 with Music Radar’s 12 Ways to Get More Out of SONAR 8.5. With this guide, you’ll be able to manipulate SONAR’s tools for composing, editing and mastering your projects in ways you never thought possible.

Did you know that you can assign SONAR’s virtual instruments, such as Session Drummer 3, as well as project views, like the Matrix view, to your favorite controller? Trigger pre-loaded sounds and patterns from your controller with these tools and you’ll have a musical mash-up like no other. Does your vocal track need a little work? Use V-Vocal to create multi-part harmonies and AudioSnap to tweak the timing for a more realistic performance.

These tips and more can be found in hard-copy. Pick up Computer Music Magazine (January 2010) for a complete guide to the creatively-charged, SONAR 8.5.

SONAR Is A Conventional DAW, Packing An Arsenal of Options

stepsequencerIn keeping with tradition, says Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn, SONAR looks like the average Windows software with lots of buttons, knobs and menus. However, with its latest version, SONAR employs a vast array of features that allow the user (whether expert or beginner) to customize the way they create music on the computer – making it easier for them to record and produce music on their own terms.

Calling SONAR, the DAW of More, Kirn takes a microscopic look at these new features, instruments, support and usability enhancements added to the program with the SONAR 8.5.2 update.

Continue reading SONAR Is A Conventional DAW, Packing An Arsenal of Options

SONAR 8.5 Leaves You Fully-Satisfied

stepsequencerImpressed with SONAR 8.5’s wealth of new tools and workflow enhancements, Music Radar gives the ‘half update’ 5 out 5 stars! Among the reviewer’s favorite additions were SONAR’s Matrix view, Arpeggiator and effects processors (VX-64 vocal strip and PX-64 percussion strip).

“Percussion and Vocal Strips rock! Step Sequencer is much more useful. Arpeggiator presets are a goldmine. Matrix View encourages spontaneity. Solid performance. The most comprehensive Windows DAW.”

In all, says Music Radar, SONAR 8.5 may be labeled a ‘half’ upgrade but it is well worth the price!

Composing & Arranging with SONAR 8.5

The new version of Cakewalk’s digital audio workstation, SONAR 8.5, includes a wealth of features designed to help composers create the best possible productions.

Whether you’re composing hip-hop, rock, heavy metal or classical music, SONAR 8.5 offers all the tools you need with these fun and exciting new features. Check out the videos to see the Matrix View, Step Sequencer, Arpeggiator & Session Drummer in action:

Matrix View

Step Sequencer 2.0

Continue reading Composing & Arranging with SONAR 8.5

MIX Magazine Films Exclusive SONAR 8.5 Videos

MIXMix Magazine caught up with Cakewalk’s Brandon Ryan to shoot three exclusive videos – demoing the new version of Cakewalk’s flagship DAW, SONAR 8.5.

The first video displays SONAR’s sheer power hosting Shawn Clement’s remix of Cori Yarckin’s “Everything You Said” with 140 tracks, 50 plug-ins and a high-res 800 MB AVI video file – all running simultaneously on a PC AudioLabs Intel Core i7 desktop machine. The second video focuses on the new compositional features added to SONAR 8.5 Producer such as the Matrix view, the VX-64 vocal processor plug-in, the powerful arpeggiator and the time-stretching tool, AudioSnap 2.0. Lastly, Brandon gives a brief overview of the new percussion instruments, Session Drummer 3 and the PX-64 percussion strip.

Watch these videos now on the MIX TV page!