Understanding Virtual Instrument Routing in SONAR

by Dan Gonzalez

Are you new to SONAR? Well then this article is for you!

SONAR acts a bit differently than some of it’s competitors – especially when it comes to inserting, routing, and using virtual instruments. Let’s take a look at the way these work inside of SONAR:

1. You can insert a virtual instrument in a few different places within SONAR

The first way is by selecting from the main menu along the top of SONAR: Insert > Soft Synth > (type of plugin) > (plugin)

Another useful way is to use the Synth Rack and click on the “+” button. This will expose a similar list.

Lastly, one of the quickest and easiest ways Continue reading Understanding Virtual Instrument Routing in SONAR

How to Pitchbend a Chord on a Keyboard Perfectly Every Time

Have you ever tried to pitchbend a chord on a keyboard? It never works as you expect. Sometimes it would be great to transition from one chord to another gradually, like you can with single notes. But there’s a problem: you can’t bend a full chord with conventional synth pitchwheels because the same up/down range applies to every note. So usually the chord you end up bending to is out of key.

I’m about to get into some nerdy details, so some of you may want to skip right to the example to simply hear the yuckiness I’m referring to. Let’s say we’re in the key of C major. Bending a CMaj (C,E,G) chord up will produce DMaj (D,F#,A) which is out of key in this context. For this chord to bend in key, we need to bend up to Dmin (D,F,A). The second degree of the fingered chord (E) would need to be raised 1 semitone to F, rather than the 2 semitones required by the others.

Here’s an audio example of an attempt to bend triads in C Major using standard pitchbend: Continue reading How to Pitchbend a Chord on a Keyboard Perfectly Every Time

Converting and Recording MIDI into Audio

cakewalk_tips-sm1MIDI files function like sheet music. Sheet music contains all the information an instrumentalist needs to make music. If the instrumentalist does not play what’s written on the sheet music, you hear nothing. Like sheet music, MIDI does not transmit audio signals (digital or analog). Meaning, if you were to plug your MIDI cable into a loudspeaker or audio device, you wouldn’t hear anything.

Therefore, you need to convert a MIDI file into an audio file in order to hear what it really sounds like. There are several ways you can playback MIDI in Cakewalk and several ways you can convert or record MIDI to audio. Follow the link to Cakewalk’s support pages for more information.

V-Studio 700 Controls Dutch Synth Master’s Studio

Synth Master, Composer, and Blogger on everything synth, Michel von Osenbruggen reviews the V-Studio 700. A pro-level SONAR user, Michel especially likes its tight integration with SONAR. As hardware and software synths make up the basis of his tracks, with the V-Studio 700 console, Michel can scroll through his projects and control his various instruments and effects with ease. Watch the video below and visit Synth.nl for more on his favorite tools for synth music production.

Special Offer: Dimension LE Virtual Instrument for $19.99

With over 400 sounds, Cakewalk’s Dimension LE virtual instrument for Mac and PC, packs a sonic punch. It’s classic synth sounds coupled with Garritan Pocket Orchestra (strings, bass, woodwinds, piano, and percussion) is everything you need to create one-of-a-kind compositions. Powered by Cakewalk’s Expression Engine, Dimension LE supports multi-sample rendering, wavetable synthesis, waveguide synthesis, REX playback / manipulation, and includes an extensive DSP library of effects.

Don’t settle for the same old sounds. Purchase Dimension LE through April 30, 2010 at the Cakewalk E-Store for only $19.99!

Add A ‘Mixing Machine’ To Your Gig Bag

vs-100-top-playrecordYour band is working on a new EP. You’ve got four shows lined up for the month of February. It would be really cool to record your performances to add a few live tracks to the new release. With Cakewalk’s V-Studio 100 you can record, edit, mix and produce those tracks without missing a beat.

The V-Studio 100 is a cross-platform, 8 in + mix/6 out USB Audio Interface that also functions as a SD Recorder, Digital Mixer and DAW controller. On stage, you can use the V-Studio 100 to play pre-made backing track, mix vocals and other instruments, and record your performance directly to an SD Card. Back in studio, dump your live tracks into your favorite DAW and start the production process. V-Studio 100 acts as a control surface for any program using Mackie Control (SONAR, Ableton Live, Logic, Record, Digital Performer). It’s 100mm motorized fader, five rotary encoders, 11 general purpose buttons and transport controls can all be re-assigned to control your DAW and soft-synths. For those musicians just starting out in digital music-making, the V-Studio 100 comes with it’s own DAW software — SONAR VS (Windows only)–  as well as cross-platform plugins (VX-64 Vocal Strip, Channel Tools, Boost 11, Guitar Rig 3 LE, Studio Instruments, Rapture LE and Dimension Pro LE).  

Check out the feature in the February issue of EQ Magazine which notes the V-Studio 100 ‘wears many hats but one says ‘mixing machine.'”

Huge Savings on Gifts for Musicians During Cakewalk’s Holiday Sale

Kick off the holidays with enormous savings on popular products from Cakewalk, Native Instruments, IK Multimedia, and more. Get a heads start on your holiday shopping as these specials are available for a limited time only! Along with savings of over 80% on select products, you can also download free plug-ins, get special discounts on PCAudioLabs computers, and much more.

Holiday Banner-Cakewalk

Need some ideas for gift-giving this year? Click on over to Cakewalk’s Holiday Gift Guide to find the perfect gift for the music lovers in your life.

Shop and Save today at Cakewalk.com

Carmen Rizzo & Huun Huur Tu Reach Global Audiences

Electronic Musician & Record Producer, Carmen Rizzo – an avid Cakewalk softsynth user – just released a new album in collaboration with the indigenous throat-singers, Huun Huur Tu. Hailing from the Republic of Tuva (a remote area 2,500 miles east of Moscow, Russia), Huun Huur Tu’s music highlights rare native instruments and preserves what is arguably some of the world’s oldest forms of music making. The group’s unique vocals combine with Rizzo’s modern electronic production to take listeners on a lush cinematic journey.

The album is now available at all major online outlets including Amazon.com. Catch Huun Huur Tu live this fall in select cities across the US including New York, Minneapolis and Richmond, Indiana.

Live from SIGGRAPH 09: Create a Killer Score with SONAR 8

Seth Perlstein shows you how to add haunting sound effects to your audio project using Cakewalk’s SONAR 8 and SONAR V-Studio 700! This clip was the final step in the digital content creation pipeline demo at SIGGRAPH 2009. Seth show’s you how to get greater control over your entire scoring, syncing and mixing process as well as how to access more tracks and more effects with ultra-low latency by using SONAR’s latest enhancements.

In part 2 (seen below) Seth adds environmental sound effects and convolution reverberations. Watch Seth  ‘geek out’  as he explains how to build an audio studio with audio equipment small enough to fit in your backpack.

Summer 2009: Boost Your Sound Library At The Serious-Sounds Network

Cakewalk has teamed up with The Serious-Sounds Network to bring you a summer of endless sound-sculpting possibilities!

Over the next three months (May, June, July) we will be giving away free copies of Z3TA+ and Rapture, along with Craig Anderton’s New Electronic Guitars Expansion Pack. At the end of each month Cakewalk and Serious-Sounds will draw two lucky winners at random.

Serious-Sounds.net is a massive members-only community for music producers providing tutorials, help, and advice on the world of music production and more- all available for free!

TO BE ELIGIBLE to win the contest all you have to do is either log in or register at Serious-Sounds.net(registration is quick, free & easy) and answer a few simple questions located in the exclusive competition thread. Then simply email your answers along with your member username & number to the address provided within.

PLEASE REMEMBER: You must be a registered member at Serious-Sounds.net to view content on The Serious-Sounds Network. If you’re not already signed up, then register today!