Singing Tips – Don’t Tax Your Voice Before a Vocal Performance

This post originally appeared on Disc Makers’ blog. Reprinted with permission.

Resting before a vocal performance is key, but environmental things, like being in a place where the decibel level is too high, can adversely affect your capacity to sing.

What makes a great vocal performance? There are many answers to that, and they don’t all require being the most technically gifted singer with a five-octave range. Confidence, charisma, and the right repertoire are among the many subjective elements that go into any great performance – live or when recording vocals in a studio – in addition to having chops as a singer.

“‘Synthesis’ is this fancy word we throw around in our college,” says Daniel Ebbers, Associate Professor of Voice at the Conservatory of Music of the University of the Pacific, “and I do think it’s an important thing. We study all these things individually, but it’s the synthesis, a command of your vocal instrument, a command of the stage, a command of the language and the language you use – all these things synthesized together make a great vocal performance.”

Of course, much of what helps a performer reach the point where all these elements come together is preparation, practice, and experience. A good vocal warm up, and general vocal care, can help ensure peak vocal performance.

Continue reading Singing Tips – Don’t Tax Your Voice Before a Vocal Performance

Intel’s Core i7 980x Processor Brings Unbelievable Performance to Computer Music-Making

Slow and steady may win the race but it does not make creating music on the computer any easier!

Accelerate your music-making experience on the PC with more power and better stability, check out Intel’s new Core i7 Extreme Edition Processor. Code-named “Gulftown” the Core i7 980x is the first 32nm, six-core processor with 12 computing threads! In short, it brings a whole new level of performance to your computer’s workload. See the video below, produced for the Core i7 980x’s launch, at last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, CA.

“The Core i7 Extreme and SONAR 8.5 equals UNBELIEVABLE performance.”

SONAR 8.5: The Fine Print

borthwick2Cakewalk’s CTO Noel Borthwick has been hard at work creating this microscopic view of SONAR 8.5 for those of you who have expressed an interest in learning more about the internals of the new features. Throughout this post, Noel will uncover the new version from an engineering perspective. However, before we get started on the fine print, let’s  first clarify some facts and myths about SONAR 8.5.

What’s in a name?

What’s in a name? That which we call SONAR 9 by any other name would sound as sweet.” I guess Juliet was misinformed, based on the wild speculation and reaction to our announcement of SONAR 8.5. To ease the anxiety for the next release I will let you in on a secret – the next product release will be called: SONAR 1C21B83D-EDCE-41b7-BBEF-31F912E88B1D. We think that a 128 bit version number will dispel all ambiguity the next time around.

FACT:
• The .5 release name for a major product reflects a change in our internal nomenclature for naming products, a business decision that was made after careful deliberation.
• Going forward this more accurately reflects our strategy of shipping products with high value for customers, while simultaneously planning for certain types of features whose depth may require a longer timeframe to develop and integrate.
• The 8.5 name is also indicative of the fact that 8.5 is available as an downloadable upgrade. i.e. unlike earlier versions it can upgrade an existing SONAR 8 install.
• Don’t be confused by the .5 in the name. 8.5 IS the next version of SONAR – It installs as a brand new version and lives alongside your existing SONAR 8 version just like any prior full release of SONAR.
• You can also simultaneously use 8.5 or an earlier 8.0 version just like any earlier full release of SONAR.
• If you purchased SONAR 8.5 as a downloadable upgrade, you must have SONAR 8 installed prior to installing SONAR 8.5. To reduce download size, the package doesn’t include all the content that you already have in your SONAR 8 install.
• You can also purchase a full set of 8.5 DVD’s even if you bought the download from our web store.
• If you bought the retail version of 8.5 from a store you already have the full 8.5 DVD set with all the content.
• There is no difference between an 8.0 install upgraded to 8.5 and a full retail 8.5 box install
• The depth of the new features and enhancements in 8.5 actually exceed what went into SONAR 8 coming from SONAR 7.

FICTION:
• The main SONAR 9 release was postponed and SONAR 8.5 is a patch or hotfix. Wrong – our maintenance releases are for compatibility and improvements only with the occasional bonus feature thrown in. We never add full blown features.
• A new version of SONAR is around the corner and 8.5 is an interim release. Wrong – We’re good, but not THAT good to be able to deliver a full new product just after shipping this one. Thanks for the compliment though!

So let’s cut to the chase shall we? There are several classes of new features in SONAR 8.5. I will try and focus on the pieces that are not covered in our marketing copy since by now you are already familiar with most of that.
You can read more about SONAR 8.5’s big features here if you are still catching up.

Disclaimer: The information below may be subject to errors and is not intended to be an exhaustive list of 8.5 features. It may be edited from time to time. You have been warned – nauseatingly geeky details follow. Stop reading now if this is objectionable to you 🙂

Continue reading SONAR 8.5: The Fine Print

The Fine Print II: Updates Released for Cakewalk’s SONAR Platform

Here’s an excerpt from Cakewalk CTO Noel Borthwick’s report on the new features that exist in Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.3 and SONAR V-Studio 700 1.1 updates.  To view the entire discussion, Visit the Cakewalk Forums.

We’re happy to see so many of you enjoying SONAR 8.3. I know some of you enjoy the trivia that goes into a release so here is the unabridged version of what went into SONAR 8.3 aka “the making of SONAR 8.3” aka the 8.3 fine print. If details aren’t what you like wading through, just go ahead and enjoy using the product and skip this – what you don’t know wont hurt you 🙂

Disclaimer: This text is not an official Cakewalk endorsement of any features in 8.3 and has not been officially proof checked for accuracy, so I reserve the right to edit the content at will. The sole purpose is to provide more detail on the depth of some of the features in 8.3 that some of you have requested and to hopefully answer some common questions.

8.3 was a particularly intense point release for us and everyone involved spent a lot of long hours and effort to make this happen. Special thanks go out to our beta testers on this who spent long hours trying out all the new risky stuff. Posts from beta testers and Cakewalk engineers going into the wee hours of the morning attest to some of the dedication in this cycle.

As most who have been our customers awhile may know, the typical Cakewalk product lifecycle goes somewhat like this:
– We work on a major release
– Post release we typically do a quick minor point release to address any immediate or urgent issues that might arise
– We then hibernate a bit and do a major point release that makes some feature improvements and addresses any old or new issues that are common customer complaints.
– The cycle repeats

This time around when it was time to do our point release we wanted to continue working on the optimization theme we started in S8, but also revisit some common complaints and workflow issues with some of our existing features that needed some TLC. So we identified the following broad areas that we needed to work on in 8.3:

1. External Insert Improvements
2. Optimization and multi-core enhancements
3. VS-700 updates
4. New/Enhanced Features
5. Bug fixes
6. New content

Read Noel’s Fine Print In Full at Cakewalk.com

Cakewalk’s Session Stories: 2008-2009

In an effort to simplify our blog and make it more accessible to our RSS subscribers, we are moving our ‘Sessions & Stories’ page as well as our “NAMM 2009 Page” to this main page of the site. Please excuse any discrepancies in code. From now on, all of Cakewalk’s artist stories and event content will be featured here on the main page. If you have not yet subscribed to our blog, grab our RSS feed now. New content is posted on a regular basis!

Jon Lee, an accomplished composer for feature film and tv, has been hard at work in Santa Monica, California scoring MyNetworkTV’s reality series’ Street Patrol and Jail. From the producers of the hit-series Cops, Street Patrol (airs Tuesday, 8-9pm) follows police officers on duty, responding to calls across the country. While, Jail (airs Tuesday, 9-10pm) shadows the lives of prison inmates incarcerated for serious crimes, across the USA. Lee is also credited for his work on the video game, Medal of Honor: Rising Sun (Sonic Fuel Music) and producing records for hip-hop artists across the country. Take a listen to the Street Patrol theme song and visit JonLeeMusic.net for more information.

Seasoned composer, Doyle Donehoo, has produced music for a variety of award-winning computer games. Currently, he’s scoring Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II (Relic Entertainment) with his DAW of choice, SONAR. A Cakewalk user since the DOS age, Donehoo’s PC-based studio has a master DAW rig, seven slave computers, and an endless array of sample-based instruments – his “Frankenstein” virtual orchestra. In a recent interview with Music4Games.com, Donehoo states that his musical influences range from the classical composers to today’s feature film and video game scores, including Marco Beltrami (Resident Evil, Max Payne, 3:10 to Yuma) and Bill Brown (Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, CSI:NY). Their dark, dramatic motifs are reflected in Donehoo’s latest score. Due out in early 2009, Dawn of War II shows what it’s like to “lead an elite strike force on a mission to save the galaxy.” Visit the Dawn of War II website to hear Donehoo in action and watch the game trailer.

Concert pianist, composer, and recording artist, Kevin Kern captures emotion with his warm, entrancing compositions. Born legally blind, Kern is aided in studio by SONAR’s accessibility and Dancing Dots’ assistive music technologies for the vision impaired. In conjunction with SONAR, Kern uses Cake Talking Scripts by the Academy of Music for the Blind’s Executive Director David Pinto and Freedom Scientific’s JAWS screen reader to produce his music. Kern uses SONAR’s Drum Map Manager to create special keyboard scripts for piano, strings, and other instruments, so he can hear his melodic ideas through the sounds of a live ensemble. Currently, Kern is celebrating the release of his new songbook entitled Imagination’s Light which contains all original compositions from his last album. Kern’s new album, Endless Blue Sky, will be available as a download and for purchase in stores on January 27, 2009.

DJ Russ Harris – remixer and owner of the Illinois-based mobile DJ company Show on the Road Productions – incorporates SONAR into the remixing classes and seminars he gives at DJ Expos across the country.  Each year, Harris attends Mobile Beat in Las Vegas (February) and DJ Times in Atlantic City (August).  Harris also uses SONAR on solo projects and is signed to the dance music label, EsNtion Silver.  Check out Harris’ MySpace for current projects and tracks.

Drum & Bass dynamic duo, Urban Assault, announce a new 12″ album featuring a remix of the dance-floor hit Crank with MC Skibadee and an original bonus track Easy Run Tingz (Easy Records). Urban Assault, better known as Scratch DJs / Producers Faust and Shortee, kept very busy in 2008. Visit their official website for details.

Stokes Audio, Recording & Post of Tarzana, CA.used SONAR 8 Producer to mix several feature-length films for CodeBlack Entertainment. The first in the series of films is set to release on December 23, 2008. Starring Master P and Katt Williams, ‘Internet Dating’ is about- you guessed it -a date setup by internet gone wrong! The second film, ‘Nite Tales’ (as seen on BET Halloween) will be released in January 2009. Hosted by Flavor Flav, it’s a ‘shockingly twisted’ double feature horror flick. More information on these films can be found here. Stokes Audio specializes in post production sound and video editing.

Continue reading Cakewalk’s Session Stories: 2008-2009