Congrats to SONAR User Bobbi “Funkee Boy” Tammaro who Hit the Billboard Charts from his Home Studio

Congratulations to Bobbi Tammaro (aka “Funkee Boy”) who is seeing some great Billboard charting success with his new self-produced/mixed full-length album titled “Philosoulphy” which was created entirely in SONAR.  The album is also currently the #1 most selling Smooth Jazz CD in the world on CDBABY.COM.  Bobbi has an interesting SONAR story and is also a great example of the sign of the times in the modern day music industry.

For a long time, Bobbi was that guy behind the scenes; the guy that created, as well as put together great music for other major artists such as Tadros, Tenderoni and Leila.  Exclusively using SONAR, he also found his way to mainstream song-placement success on shows such as Continue reading Congrats to SONAR User Bobbi “Funkee Boy” Tammaro who Hit the Billboard Charts from his Home Studio

How TC Spitfire used the ProChannel on the track “Surrender;” Currently #3 on Billboard Club Chart

Congratulations to Paul Oakenfold and TC Spitfire who found themselves at #3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs this past week with the track Surrender.

The track was written by Paul, TC and J Hart who also sang the track.  TC Spitfire who is a passionate SONAR X1 Expanded user co-produced and mixed the track using a combination of all the ProChannel modules.  “This new era with the ProChannel and X1d [Expanded] is on a serious elevated level.  The combination of the modules has me staying more and more inside SONAR natively,” TC told us.

On a daily basis, TC is very busy individual.  Between writing new music, producing, mixing and remixing, he finds himself a bit overextended these days and “taking it and enjoying it while it’s there.”  Most recently, he has worked with artists such as Cher, Matt Goss, Matt Morris and Jean Baptist – and that is just in the recent past.  “On a daily basis I will jump from remixing a track for 4 hours, to writing in another studio for 4 hours, and then back to our lab for another however-long-it-takes-session – for the next barrage of musical craziness.”

For the track Surrender which is currently charting on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, TC collaborated with both Paul Oakenfold and J Hart on the writing side and then built and mixed the song completely in SONAR X1 Expanded. 

* * * * * * * * * *

CW AR: This vocal sound is huge in this track.  What was some of the processing involved?

TC: On the vocal track I used the new Hybrid mode in the ProChannels QuadCurve EQ.  I cut quite a bit of the low end off and had quite a bit of mids popping for this track around 1.8k.  I was able to surgically cut out some other frequencies in the mids to get the vocals away from other keyboard parts in that range.

On top of that, I used the PC4K channel compressor along with a slight touch of the Softube Saturation Knob with the switch on the “high” setting.  I also sent multiple lead vocal tracks out to a lead vocal bus which had the PCCL Limiter on it for a slight boost and some tightening.

CW AR: This track and all your tracks for that matter are really tight, what are the main factors for you in achieving this sound?

TC: It’s pretty simple, but it’s also pretty complicated.  It’s simple, because most of it has to do with compression, EQ and limiting, which are 75% from the ProChannel in my tracks.  It’s complicated because carving the frequencies, making the decisions on where to compress and how much, and what to use a limiter on – all factor in.  Sometimes, over compressing and using too many limiters will just make a song sound flat-lined and not breathing.   I think another factor is not using too many of the same compressors or EQ’s on every single track.  I really like mixing up my inserts.  On some tracks I will use the 76 and others I will use the Softube compressor.  I even use the PC4K bus compressor on tracks – call me crazy – haaa.   There are no rules in the digital world and use my ear and the tools SONAR X1 Expanded provides to get the sound to where I need it to be.

In the next year you will be hearing a lot more from Paul Oakenfold and TC as a new deal was just signed with Sony Records.  As soon as the details are released on that we will keep you posted.  Until then, you can check out SONAR X1 for free here.

SONAR X1 is the most intuitive D.A.W. on the market today.  It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s just as easy with practice and experience to become an advanced user.  If you are running windows, and you are a musician, now is a great time to pull the trigger with the SONAR X1 Advanced Workshop Giveaway Promotion.

“SURRENDER” [Completely recorded, mixed and mastered in SONAR X1 Expanded:]

How Chris Standring Used SONAR X1 to Hit Two #1 Chart Positions

The success of SONAR X1 user Chris Standring’s groundbreaking 2010 CD Blue Bolero, which topped several year-end lists and produced a No. 1 single, made it tough for him to create a follow-up record; but all early indicators are showing that he managed quite nicely with the new Electric Wonderland recording which came out yesterday.

As of this morning, Chris woke up to find out that Electric Wonderland has hit #1 in its genre on the Amazon.com sales chart, as well as #1 on the BDS Radio Tracking Chart (Billboard) for the same genre.  I would say that’s a setup for a pretty great day, especially considering the “sales” climate of the music industry in general.  Electric Wonderland is a 10-song CD of original songs that fuses elements of the last record Blue Bolero’s orchestral touches with a deft jazz-pop touch that’s been a hallmark of Standring’s stellar career.

One of the changes Chris made on Electric Wonderland besides going from SONAR 8.5 to X1 was mixing the record on his own.  Continue reading How Chris Standring Used SONAR X1 to Hit Two #1 Chart Positions

Austin’s Next Big Thing

alpha_revAustin, TX knows a thing or two about music.

The home of musical institutions from Stevie Ray Vaughn to Austin City Limits, SxSW to Stubbs BBQ and Antone’s, the central Texas town knows music.  After all, they don’t call it the Live Music Capital of the World for nothing.

So when we tell you Alpha Rev is one of the most unique and important bands ever to come out of Austin, you can believe it.  Last March, Alpha Rev was recognized by the Austin Chronicle as one of Austin’s best performing rock bands and in May they were named Austin’s best rock band by Rare Magazine in their annual “Rareist of them All” issue.

You can chalk up much of the acclaim to band frontman Casey McPherson.  He’s well-known in these parts, having made an impression on the local scene with his previous band, Endochine.  When Endochine dissolved in 2005, it had already made its bones in indie circles by sharing the stage with the likes of Pete Yorn and Bob Schneider, and national credibility by playing with more high-profile bands like Staind and Red Hot Chili Peppers.  McPherson simply moved forward, assembling some of his former bandmates and mixing in some new blood and Alpha Rev was born.

Continue reading Austin’s Next Big Thing

Borthwicks’ Acoustic Jazz Album Heats Up the ‘HotBox’

OneOfUsIn December, we announced the release of Ramona Borthwick’s new acoustic jazz album, One of Us, which was entirely edited and mixed in SONAR. Cakewalk CTO Noel Borthwick was at the helm of this project, cataloging the entire process on his blog. Earlier this week, we learned that One of Us was featured in the May issue of DownBeat Magazine, one of the oldest and most prestigious jazz publications available to date.

Featured in a popular column called “HotBox”, One of Us was up against fierce players in the jazz world. Each month, 4 CD’s are picked and reviewed in “Hotbox” by some of the toughest critics in the industry.  Earning, 3.5 out of 5 stars, the Ramona Borthwick quintet is glowing in the success of their new album. Pick up a copy of DownBeat to read the reviews and more today. Catch a glimpse inside the production process of Ramona Borthwick’s One of Us here.

Sparks the Rescue: From Maine to Mainstream

Sparks1Alex Roy barely has time to talk.

He’s busy packing.  Again.  He just wound up a series of shows yet tomorrow Alex and his band, Sparks The Rescue, heads back out on the road.  This time it’s the Lab Apparel-sponsored Bring Me Home Tour, a 19-date run that will run through the end of April.  Not long after that ends, they join the Vans Warped Tour for 21 dates that take them all over the country.

It’s been like this for lead singer/guitarist Alex and his Sparks The Rescue bandmates since signing with Fearless Records last year, who released an updated version of their first LP, “Eyes to the Sun.”

A tour with The Morning Of, Ian Walsh, and We Are The In-Crowd soon opened the door to a short European tour with the popular All-American Rejects, giving Sparks their first true taste of the ‘big time.’

“It’s been a whirlwind, but it’s been amazing.”

Oh, and let’s not overlook their video for “We Love Like Vampires,” which has been getting a lot of buzz on MTV.COM, or the fact they landed tracks on MTV shows The Hills and Real World: Cancun, 2009.They also did a seven-week cross-country tour with Hit The Lights, and even won MTV/Garnier Fructis’s “I Want My Music On MTV! Competition” for a chance to play at mtvU’s 2009 Woodie Awards.

It’s safe to say, ‘whirlwind’ is an understatement.

Continue reading Sparks the Rescue: From Maine to Mainstream

Songwriter Raul Midon Produces Music with Cake-Talking Technology

raul modinNew York City singer-songwriter, Raul Midon celebrates the release of his latest album, Synthesis, which hits stores in the US today. Blinded as an infant, Raul was first introduced to music by his father, often listening to the uncomparable Beethoven, Mozart, John Cage, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis. After studying music at a school for the blind and later graduating from the University of Miami’s prestigious jazz program, Raul was hired as a backup singer for Latin-music moguls including Julio and Enrique Inglesias, Shakira, and Ricky Martin. In 2002, Raul moved to the Big Apple to pursue a solo career, playing guitar and writing his own music. His debut album, State of Mind, was released in 2005 on Capitol Records and was produced by industry veteran, Arif Mardin.

Since then, Raul has recorded and produced demos in his SONAR-based home studio using Dancing Dot’s Cake-Talking assistive technology (scripts in JAWS for Windows). The program speaks SONAR settings or parameters to the user, making it easier for visually-impaired musicians to record their instruments, apply effects, and render high-quality, professional recordings. Watch the video below to see how Raul used Cake-Talking in the making of his sophomore album, Synthesis:

Cakewalk Pro User Spotlight: Comic Book Heroes

CBH Photo PlainAfter starting a band at 11 years old, five years ago, and with hundreds of shows from coast to coast under their belts, Comic Book Heroes is finding national success on their own terms.

This hard working suburban rock band’s recent successes include: “Catch Me If You Can” their Top 15 single on Radio Disney and an iTunes Discovery Download (earning 161,500 downloads), selection for Taco Bell’s Feed The Beat tour (2010), featured music & videos for ESPN / NASCAR Season (2010), top ranking artist on Radio Disney for “Next Big Thing” (2008 / 2009), “Catch Me If You Can” in heavy rotation on AOL Pop Radio (2M weekly listeners), a music video in rotation on the Disney XD channel, and additionally a featured music video on FUSE TV.

Visit Comic Book Heroes MySpace page to their music!

Where Work and Play Meet, SONAR Leads

When we say Cakewalk products are “created by musicians for musicians” we really mean it. Case in point, our CTO Noel Borthwick performs, records and produces music on the side. In November, Noel made an acoustic jazz album featuring Ramona Borthwick (piano, vocals) and a throng of amazing talent – Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Johannes Weidenmeuller (bass), Adam Cruz (drums) and Noel on Guitar.

    <a href="http://music.ramonaborthwick.com/album/one-of-us">Who&#8217;s Your Mama by Ramona Borthwick</a>

The album, One of Us, was entirely edited and mixed in SONAR. Although, Noel was working on an older under-powered computer throughout the entire production process, that didnt stop SONAR from performing seamlessly.

“I was typically working with 24-32 tracks at one time, all recorded in high definition audio format at 24/96 khz, mixed in SONAR at 64-bit resolution and mastered at 24/96 khz” says Noel, “For the first part of the project I started out running SONAR 8.3.1, where I set up the initial projects, did the bussing setup and initial editing. I soon moved to SONAR 8.5 (which was in beta at the time) for main editing and mixing.”

To learn more about the ‘One of Us’ project and get exclusive tips & tricks on using SONAR as the ‘brains’ of your music production, visit Noel’s Blog.

NOTE: If you’re in the Boston area, see the band play live on February 17, 2010 at 9:00pm at Ryles Jazz Club in Inman Square, Cambridge, MA.

Shawn Clement Recognized for Epic Sci-Fi Soundtrack

shawn-clementComposer of fan favorites including Batman, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and American Idol, Shawn Clement gears up for an exciting year as Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey hits theaters with galactic force!

As featured in a recent issue of ASCAP’s Playback magazine, Shawn says ‘this is one of the more fulfilling gigs that I’ve ever done.”

To record the film’s dramatic score, Shawn worked with George Lucas’ legendary Skywalker Sound (the production house responsible for the Star Wars films) and the San Franscisco Symphony. He scored the 3-D, fully animated, feature length film using SONAR with an 82-piece orchestra  and real NASA-discovered space sounds.

Quantum Quest takes viewers on a solar safari through space as Dave, a photon living on the sun, gets caught in a battle between the forces of good and evil. Dave must journey through the solar system to find his way to the Cassini Space Craft before his friends and the universe are destroyed forever.

Click here to view exclusive pictures from the Quantum Quest scoring session

Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey will land in theaters in early 2010.