Month-end Artist RECAP: JUNE – BILLBOARD CHARTS, PAN AM GAMES, HEAT!

Summer officially kicked off in June with plenty of BBQ’s, beaches and Pro SONAR users doing some extraordinary things.  June also offered the SONAR Platinum Everett update which introduced the world’s most technologically advanced drum replacement feature.  Here are some highlights from last month on a few of the many hard working professionals using SONAR.

Murray Daigle – Toronto, Canada [Official Theme Song for Pan (and ParaPan) Am Games]

SONAR Platinum user Murray Daigle is the one of the most-awarded producers in the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). Based in Toronto, he is also known for his songwriting and mixing skills with major label and independent artists for over 20 years.  In June, Daigle added yet another major accomplishment to his profile when his writing efforts and song-pitch for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games were selected as the official theme song for the event.  The song was written at a “writing camp [workshop]” sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Canada, and then recorded and produced by Daigle with one of Canada’s most established pop artists Serena Ryder. The song, “Together We Are One,” was chosen out of 70 submissions created from the workshop. Seventeen artists perform on the song, including Mykey Thomas (Smashing SatellitesNeverest), Spyro Chalkiotis (lead singer of Neverest) and the Morningstar River drummers to name a few.  The song is currently picking up momentum as Universal has been promoting it to major radio stations, and a video for the song was also cut.  Additionally, the song is being played before every single game as well at the celebratory nightly fireworks ceremonies. Continue reading Month-end Artist RECAP: JUNE – BILLBOARD CHARTS, PAN AM GAMES, HEAT!

How SONAR user Bobbi Tammaro won a SESAC award over many Major Label Artists

Respect and credibility

A few weeks ago SESAC announced their 2013 Jazz Award recipients, and SONAR X3 user Bobbi “Funkeeboy” Tommaro was one of the well-deserved artists on the list.  I have been fortunate to get to know Bobbi in the last few years on and off the SONAR playing-field, and the first word that comes to mind is “respect.”  These days considering the state of the music industry, the word respect has more meaning than ever and Bobbi has earned it from his music peers along with just about everyone else that hears his story.  Besides respect, he has earned much credibility in the Smooth Jazz world from being a repeat-offender on the Billboard charts as an independent artist.

Bobbi who is also PKA “Funkee Boy” has amassed an impressive amount of credits throughout his music career. At the young age of 15 he was already making a name for himself winning the Connecticut State Organ Championship and also opening for national acts such as Spyro Gyra.  As he progressed he scored numerous chart hits across multiple music genres, as well as, several top Billboard chart hits/Top 5 Smooth Jazz hits, and licensing deals on television networks such as ABC, FOX, NBC, CBS, SHOWTIME, VH1, etc.

Before making his own records his music has [and continues to in terms of residuals] appear on some of the most popular and well respected shows ever such as Beverly Hills 90210, General Hospital, All My Children, Sunset Beach, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, Love Boat, One Life To Live, Young & The Restless, They Call Me Sirr, Soul Food.  Stepping out from behind the scenes as a songwriter/producer & into the forefront as a Smooth Jazz Artist, Bobbi’s track record progressed and continued to impress.

Most recently, starting off 2014 by releasing his 3rd CD “Soul Purpose”, the smooth jazz keyboardist/producer combined his talents with assembling a stellar line up of A-List recording artists. The newest award-winning record “Soul Purpose” features guest appearances from Warren Hill, Najee, Bob Baldwin, Cindy Bradley, Nick Colionne, LEILA, Surface, Lamone, Timmy Maia, Tevin Michael and more!!!

Chalk one up for the hard working jugglers. 

A few key elements set Bobbi apart from the pack that keeps him successful.  The obvious one is the raw talent of songwriting and performing his instrument, but if you go a few levels deeper, you will find a multi-instrumentalist, producer, mixing and mastering engineer.  Peeling back a few more layers exposes an organized machine who literally “does not need a label” to hit the Billboard Top 5 Smooth Jazz Chart.  In fact Bobbi has had many labels approach him and has respectfully declined any offers to do business.  Why?… because he has cracked the code and found a formula that works for himself as an independent artist competing in the major leagues.

It’s not easy

Hitting the Top 5 on any Billboard Chart is not an easy thing to do.  Besides the songs and production alone (which he does ALL in SONAR INCLUDING Mastering), Bobbi also has to oversee the efforts for Radio Promotion, Publicity, Social Media, Sales and Marketing.  If you ask me, this is a very rare skill-set to have as an artist considering just the time it takes alone to write and record a [great] full length record.  Bobbi does have help from his wife Leila who is also a very credible artist, and the two of them seem to have a great formula for getting the music out to the masses as if they were a Major Label.

Cakewalk:          It’s pretty amazing that you do so much to get your music out, can you describe the short-form version of a typical record release?

Bobbi Tammaro:            Sure, it’s hard to keep it short form because so much goes into it… So here goes Continue reading How SONAR user Bobbi Tammaro won a SESAC award over many Major Label Artists

Meet the Bakers: Jimmy L

The direction I received for this blog article was “anything goes” and “keep it fun,” so my background story will knock off 2 birds with 1 stone: a blog post that hopefully will not bore readers to death, and a therapeutic time-lapse review for me… 😉 Sorry it’s a bit long, but I am 105 years old…

My weird music industry story:

My name is Jimmy Landry and I am a functioning work-aholic, wait, wait… I mean I am Head of Artist and Public Relations for Cakewalk.  I have thankfully been working for Cakewalk for almost 6 years now (hard to believe).  I have had an interesting career up to this point where I have toggled back in forth from being an artist (signing with EMI back in 2000) to actually working for Major Labels in Radio Promotion, Marketing, A&R and Staff Production (Elektra, Virgin and Capitol Records). I have been a musician since the age of 5 when I picked up my sister’s purple-flowered acoustic guitar she left behind while attending college (– thankfully there are no pictures I know of playing THAT thing 😉 Continue reading Meet the Bakers: Jimmy L

How Cakewalk Pros use SONAR X3 for Songwriting

Songwriting is such an intricate art-form. Some approach it seriously, while others find their best work casually writing with others in a lighter atmosphere. There are a lot of moving parts, and in my opinion a lot of magic and unexplainable voodoo that go into a song that simply resonates with the general public for unexplainable reasons. Do you think Afroman thought his song “Because I Got High” would have over 45 million views on YouTube when he wrote it? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeYsTmIzjkw

There are so many different and interesting ways to write songs, and SONAR is a DAW that literally becomes your writing partner. From inspiring drum grooves with Addictive Drums, to the ease of workflow with loops, to quickly shaping sounds to inspire a more creative path, SONAR is way more than your industry-standard “recording” software. It’s a place you go to when you want to creatively craft a masterpiece. We thought it would be interesting to hear from some day-in-day-out professionals who depend on SONAR for their livelihood.

Javier Colon
Singer-songwriter
Major Label Recording Artist
International Touring Artist
Winner of Season 1 “NBC’s The Voice”

Cakewalk Artist Relations:     What is your main approach to songwriting?

I’m usually an acoustic guitar guy when it comes to songwriting but sometimes I’ll sit at the piano and get inspired and start writing. I’ve worked with a lot of producers and songwriters that build a track and then write to it – we’ve come up some great songs that way too.

Cakewalk Artist Relations:     How does SONAR help with the songwriting process?

Javier:     SONAR helps me tremendously when writing because it’s so flexible; you can change things in a session as quickly as you can change your mind – this really helps the songwriting process. When I write a song there is a constant process of elimination. I’ll think of a line, and I might like it for a minute, and then toss it out. There are also ideas that I absolutely know will make it into the song. I constantly record as I go so I don’t forget ideas that I really love – SONAR’s arranging workflow really keeps this process creative and easy for me in terms of songwriting.

Also, X3’s looping and comping functions really help with songwriting.  I record chord progression loops so I can come up with melody ideas in real time. Then I’ll go back and audition all the ideas easily to get a good idea of what melodies are better than others.  SONAR X3 has really been a great tool for songwriting for me.

Cakewalk Artist Relations:     What is one of the recent songwriting successes or projects you have had or really enjoyed? What was the workflow or songwriting process like for that?

Javier:     I recently wrote with a good friend of mine, Josh Kelley Continue reading How Cakewalk Pros use SONAR X3 for Songwriting

Save time with FX Chain Presets – Plus Bonus FX Chains for SONAR X2 Producer users

We all know the feature-set and workflow in SONAR X2 is world-class.  It still amazes me that we can make Major Label sounding records in our homes these days as long as you have a good system, good enough ears and some good old fashion knowledge.  The one feature I personally love that I think gets overlooked is the FX Chain Preset.

We live in a musical world these days where time is of the essence.  While some folks have the luxury of spending as much time as needed on musical works, other folks like myself are not so lucky.  I look at it as a balance between creativity/quality vs. time/money.  With this being said, the FX Chains Presets have been a life-saver for me.

The beauty of FX Chains is that they are in fact a massive time-saver, but still allow you to get unique sounds by creating your own effects.

Time-saver:

What starts to happen when you uncap the power of FX Chains?  You start to build your own library of Effects where at any given point in time you can simply drag-and-drop a chain on any effect bin, bus, or even clip.  For example, let’s say you are working with a certain vocalist/songwriter one week who returns back for another song a month later.  If you have saved that vocalist’s chain as an effect chain preset, you can simply drag-and-drop it from the preset folder to the track in this new project.  It sounds basic but it’s not; what happens over time is that you develop your own catalogue of multiple effects that are instantly available to you on any project.  What is significant, is that these FX Chains presets work with any Cakewalk or third-party plug in your arsenal.  Personally speaking, I don’t know what I would do without them after becoming accustomed to their ease of use.  I’m constantly fighting for minutes in a day, and having the ability to fire-up FX Chains instantaneously without sacrificing any creativity has been a game-changer.  In fact FX Chains presets actually inspire me to create new sounds.

Unique Sounds:

It’s simple to map multiple effects’ parameters to single knobs and switches.  The uniqueness comes in to play when you start to automate the knobs and switches to get some interesting sounds.   The fact that you can control multiple parameters from a single source opens countless doors of sound-character.  For example, the ability to map the “left” and “right” panning sliders to one knob allows me to control where a reverb rests in a mix.  Now if you take that one step further by mapping the “left” and “right” pans of a delay to another knob, you can start to split effects’ signals up.  An interesting effect from here would be adding a flanger, and mapping its’ depth and speed parameters along with the delay’s feedback parameter to one more knob; so as the delay repeats more and more, the flanger effect becomes more intense.

These are just a few real-world examples of how I find the benefits of FX Chains very useful and practical.  SONAR X2 ships with 48 FX Chains in Essential, 76 in Studio, and 160 in Producer.  As a bonus for SONAR X2 Producer Content Club members, I’ve created a new set of 15 FX Chains that work particularly well on buses.   These can obviously work on tracks as well, but I built them in buses thinking they would work well on spacious recordings that encompass vocals, clean guitars, piano and light drums or percussion.  You can experiment with other types of music as well, but I think these are best suited for recordings where there is some room in the mid-range department between 600Hz and 2K.

Some of the highlighted presets in the bonus FX Chain Odyssey pack include:
(Please note for demonstration purposes I have turned up the Effect Send considerably on these examples.)

Circus Buzzards – An eerie reverse reverb that is entrenched in a warm overdrive provided by TH2 and finished off with a modulation option.

Panable Ambiance – A great reverb and delay effect for vocals where you can position the reverb in the stereo field.

Smoke Stack  – This is basically a button box where I have mapped overdrive parameters, wideners, and modulation to various knobs to create interesting overtones.

 

How to download the FX Chain Odyssey pack:

If you already own SONAR X2 Producer, the FX Chain Odyssey presets download is already in your account as a bonus treat from the SONAR X2 Producer Content Club.  If you purchase or upgrade to SONAR X2 Producer by April 30th, you will be able to download the presets from your account on the Cakewalk Store.

Customize your own FX Chains:

Another cool feature about FX Chains presets is the ability to customize the skin with your own designs. You can add interesting graphics, knobs, switches and background colors to keep your eye and mind fresh for those long mixing sessions.

So with all these components packed into the FX Chains preset feature, it’s easy to get uniquely creative while staying on top of the clock.  If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you get acclimated to the world of FX Chains in SONAR X2.  Here is a great overview video to get you started.

 

Thanks for reading and watching!  Try SONAR X2 for free today.

Take control of your tempo with SONAR’s Audiosnap, Available in X2 Producer and studio

SONAR X2’s AudioSnap engine and tempo analysis features give you unprecedented non-destructive rhythmic and tempo control over your audio. Employing sophisticated transient detection technology, the AudioSnap engine automatically analyzes all recorded and imported audio files for rhythmic content to determine where the beats are in the music.  Continue reading Take control of your tempo with SONAR’s Audiosnap, Available in X2 Producer and studio

New In SONAR X2 Producer: Scorching tones and killer effects with TH2 PRODUCER from OVERLOUD

 

SONAR X2 Producer users rejoice. Now you can get awesome guitar tones and effects from clean and spanky to crushing metal with the new TH2 PRODUCER amp modeling plugin by Overloud!  Continue reading New In SONAR X2 Producer: Scorching tones and killer effects with TH2 PRODUCER from OVERLOUD

SONAR X2 Feature Peek: Smart Grid

What’s a snap grid?

One of the most useful features of a DAW is the snap grid. When enabled, a snap grid locks all movement to a defined value. The value can be absolute (e.g. seconds) or musical (e.g. quarter notes) and some programs optionally show grid lines that reflect at least some portion of the grid.

The whole thing makes moving a clip by a beat or a MIDI event by a 64th note much much easier than trying to “eyeball it”. Snap grids are vitally important to almost every DAW user. In most cases, a user relies on the snap grid regularly throughout every session. 

But not all snap grids are created equal. Some only offer the most basic snap options and functionality. Some don’t display their state or give the user easy access to the settings. And many are pretty dumb when it comes to anticipating what the user needs from moment to moment.

Considering the importance and near constant use of a snap grid in music production, we thought this was an area where SONAR could increase its level of intelligence and truly shine. Let SONAR think about snap so you don’t have to. Continue reading SONAR X2 Feature Peek: Smart Grid

How Tim Wynn used SONAR X1 to Create the Music for THE DARKNESS II

SONAR X1 user Tim Wynn is the Quintessential modern day composer/producer, and a rising Hollywood name whose diverse portfolio includes feature films, television series, documentaries and video games for major clients such as ABC, Activision, Electronic Arts, Fox, Fuji, Marvel, Sony, THQ, Universal and Warner Bros.

With several globally successful franchises already to his credit ranging from blockbuster video games such as Command & Conquer, Dungeon Siege, GUN, The Punisher, Red Faction, The Simpsons and Warhawk to adding to the sound of the hit television series Supernatural, Tim Wynn is gaining international recognition as a leader in a new generation of highly talented and versatile composers.  His recent releases include Fox Digital’s debut release, the comedy-horror web series Wolfpack of Reseda; the world’s first 3D television series Tokyo Control; the hit drama series Lucky Seven for Fuji TV, and 2K’s The Darkness II, the action-horror video game based on the best-selling Top Cow comics.

The Darkness II is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2007 release The Darkness. Inspired by the popular comic book series produced by Top Cow Productions, Inc., The Darkness II is an intense first person shooter that puts you in the role of Jackie Estacado, don of a New York crime family and wielder of an ancient force of chaos known as The Darkness. Continue reading How Tim Wynn used SONAR X1 to Create the Music for THE DARKNESS II

Shawn Clement nominated for “Best Score” at eWorld Music Awards; How He Used SONAR X1

Congratulations to Shawn Clement whose score for Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey has been nominated for “Best Score” at the 2012 eWorld Music Awards held at Paramount Picture Studios. The score was written and produced in SONAR X1 and then recorded with the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra at George Lucas’ legendary Skywalker Ranch.

The 2012 eWorld Music Awards is a revolutionary music awards show that celebrates cutting edge artists on the world’s biggest platform – the Internet. The awards were created to promote and support the amazing work, technology and diversity in today’s vibrant independent music world.  It’s the only event of its kind celebrating truly independent music.  The eWorld Music Awards honor those groundbreaking forces who’ve been influencing this movement, and iconic individuals for their unique contributions to the art of music.  This year’s 2012 eWorld Music Awards will be the 4th annual awards show, and will air live from Paramount Studios in Hollywood on Saturday, June 16th 2012.  Live music performances and celebrity appearances will highlight this star-studded Red Carpet event.

CW AR:  How did you get yourself in the space to create music for this show and what was the technical process for pulling it all together?

SC: With any project, you first have to understand the film.  Meaning, really know the story, characters and what role the score is going to play. Every production has its specific needs. Say for instance when I created the Wounded Warrior’s Hymn, this was a live performance, so what I needed to do was realize a “mock-up” version of the music so that others could hear where I was going with it.  For example, I would send my “demo” off to Jon Anderson so that he could put together what he was singing on it.  Keep in mind that the “demo” needed to sound as much like the real thing as possible so that anyone involved could really believe in it.  Beyond that, all the tracks in SONAR would then get broken down and sent out to my orchestrator so that it could finally be realized in written music form for the orchestra to play. We had 106 players with a 247 piece choir, and Jon Anderson singing on 2 of the movements. 

From TV to Film to Video Games, Clement has used SONAR to work in a wide variety of genres and styles and has built a vast resume of over 200 credits. He began his professional career helping to originate and develop the musical foundation for the voyeuristic world of reality TV, but years before the phenomena saturated the air waves. By stamping his musical presence on shows like Most Amazing Videos and World’s Wildest Police Videos, he began paving the way for other composers to follow suit.

In the new-age of reality, his music which is always created in SONAR (now SONAR X1) has been featured on American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance as well as other major television shows. One previous noteworthy score that will forever be engraved in television history was the highly-acclaimed cult series classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which he also supplied original songs as well as the score.  His songs in that series were fan-favorites and helped expand the fan base for the show.  Other credits include Women, a series on Showtime, The Savage Dragon, an animated series for Universal, A Rock and a Hard Place (Showtime) and One Way Out (Arrow Entertainment.)

In addition to music for major television shows, Clement is always busy using SONAR to score music for Films as well; some including:

– We Married Margo:  (released by New Line  and winner of the Audience Favorite Award at the HBO/U.S. Comedy & Arts Festal.)  Cast included Kevin Bacon, Cindy Crawford an Tom Arnold,

– Last Chance:  (winner of Best Original Drama at World Fest.)

– Bad Girls from Valley High:  released by Universal (produced by Sid and Johnathan Sheinberg) with a cast that included Julie     Benz, Christopher Lloyd, Johnthan Brandis and Janet Leigh.

– Finale:  (released by Image)

– Virus X (released by Lions Gate)

– Play On (Sports Drama)

– Beyond the Mat (Sports Drama)


The polls are closed now, but we wish Shawn all the best at the event and hope that he brings home another award to add to his “ASCAP Most Performed Underscore Award” (alongside  the other prestigious awards he has collected along the route of his musical voyage.)

Currently, Clement is busy using SONAR X1 working on music for the RAY BRADBURY Documentary, Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey.  For more information on Shawn Clement and to hear the music he creates in SONAR X1, visit www.clemistry.com.

Right now is the time to visit Cakewalk.com and participate in the “First Class Upgrade” program.  From June 1st to June 30th, when you buy or upgrade to SONAR X1 Producer, Cakewalk will automatically bump you up to the flagship version, SONAR X1 Production Suite.   In addition, Cakewalk is offering other great upgrades as well.