The AristoTrax on SONAR

The setting is your typical California day; the type you see on TV all the time.  The sun, the cars, the people and the sand leading to the famous Santa Monica Boulevard which is filled with a plethora of interesting characters.  Just another typical day?  Really?  Not for R1CKONE; actually there is no such thing as a “typical day” for R1CKONE.  On this California day, a Wednesday, R1CKONE starts off as he usually does with a trip out of Santa Monica to one of the many studios he works out of to engage in what he does best, make beats and produce music.  Today he happens to be working with credit-worthy producer Alex Cantrall where he will proceed to walk into a studio, again, and shock everyone with what he calls his “Hit Box Mobile”.  Now you might ask, “what the H&!! is a Hit Box Mobile?”  His production partner Lance Jones who is part of the AristoTrax with R1CKONE will tell you: “These are boxes [computers] I built for me and R1CKONE, and they are basically packed in with the best software and hardware utilizing SONAR 8.5 and Intel Core i7 technology at the helm.  We can take these anywhere and plug them into any studio and it’s off to the races.  As music creators, SONAR really gives us an edge when we work with other producers and artists.  The workflow is ridiculous and it has the tools in the box which allow us to take our music away from the norm.” (See video for more on the Hit Box Mobile.)

 

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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.

Jon Lee: Capitalist Turned Composer

profile picSo how does one of the top television-scoring professionals in the business get to where he is today? 

If you’re Jon Lee, first you run a hedge fund for 15 or 20 years…

Huh?

You’ll have to forgive Jon for not taking a more traditional route to the top of the film and television-scoring business. He found his true calling a bit later in life than most. But that hasn’t stopped him from making quite a name for himself in the field.

Although Jon started out in finance, it became a job he ended up “totally hating.” During his last few years in the business, he decided to do something about it and began pursuing his avocation: learning to play music. He took piano lessons, which eventually led him to composing. With the music bug firmly in his system, he soon enrolled at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with many well-established composers.

Jon got his Graduate Certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, marking the formal end of his career in finance, and set out to land some initial gigs. He soon connected with fellow USC alum Timothy Michael Wynn, a hardcore SONAR user who co-founded the music production company Sonic Fuel. Jon went to work with Tim and his partner Chris Lennertz for about a year, “’til they kicked me out and said ‘go get a career,’” as Jon jokingly recalls.

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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.

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.

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How to Record and Playback Audio in Cakewalk Software

cakewalk_tips-sm1Recording your music on the computer is an adventure. There are thousands of different tools you can choose from, all with their own perks and obstacles. Recording your vocals, guitar, keys and drums is a process that takes time to learn in order to do it well.

Before you attempt to record, make sure you have all the equipment you need to connect your instrument of choice to the computer’s soundcard (such as cables, preamps, interfaces, speakers) as well as enable both for recording and playback. In this tutorial, learn how to use Cakewalk’s software to setup a track for recording and playback. Remember, pressing F1 while inside of the program will open the help guide.