First Time DAW Users: Frequently Asked Questions about MIDI

MIDI, or Musical Instrument Digital Interface, is a language by which computers, virtual instruments, and hardware samplers/synthesizers can communicate. It’s a way to give instructions to music production software like SONAR X3 to play, control, and program your own tunes. Even touchscreen tablets have the ability to generate and accept MIDI information. MIDI is a great way to work with music and has powerful capabilities that appeal to users of all levels. There are a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts in the MIDI world so let’s take a look at a few questions that I typically hear from first time users.

1. What is MIDI, can I hear it?

MIDI by itself is data and is inconceivable to the human ear. It is a universally accepted standard for communicating information about a musical performance. It encompasses both hardware and software components, and though it could be used for sending information about many other things, such as the control of lighting in a theater, or even to control your coffee maker, Continue reading First Time DAW Users: Frequently Asked Questions about MIDI

SONAR: Master Class on Drum Productions

SONAR 8.5 includes world-class tools, instruments, and effects that will allow you to achieve amazing drum tracks. We have put together a SONAR: Master Class video series that shows off these amazing features. This Master Class explores writing, arranging and mixing drums in SONAR. Spotlighted are production techniques and workflow using Session Drummer 3, Step Sequencer 2.0, and PX-64 Percussion Strip.

Watch the videos here.

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SONAR Is A Conventional DAW, Packing An Arsenal of Options

stepsequencerIn keeping with tradition, says Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn, SONAR looks like the average Windows software with lots of buttons, knobs and menus. However, with its latest version, SONAR employs a vast array of features that allow the user (whether expert or beginner) to customize the way they create music on the computer – making it easier for them to record and produce music on their own terms.

Calling SONAR, the DAW of More, Kirn takes a microscopic look at these new features, instruments, support and usability enhancements added to the program with the SONAR 8.5.2 update.

Continue reading SONAR Is A Conventional DAW, Packing An Arsenal of Options

Building a Better DAW with SONAR 8.5

blogcritics_logoSoftware Developer and Sci/Tech Reviewer at BlogCritics.org,  T. Michael Testi likes what he sees in the new version of Cakewalk’s flagship digital audio workstation, SONAR. With improvements made to its mainstay features including Session Drummer, AudioSnap and Step Sequencer, SONAR is transforming into a simpler and more tangible product for those new to the music production world.

Session Drummer 3 sports a 3D photo-realistic drum kit with 200+ pre-loaded percussive sounds and 20+ new kits. AudioSnap 2.0 employs a cleaner user interface with a dedicated transient tool and proportional stretching mode to make timing adjustments in several places a cinch. Step Sequencer 2.0 brings more flexibility to composing patterns by grid with brand new tools for auto-populate and per-step probability.

“With SONAR 8.5,” says Testi, “it was all about the optimization of the features that were (already) there… These (features) will not only improve your production, but will get your creative juices going”

See what’s new and improved in SONAR 8.5 Producer on the The Ram Review at Blogcritics.org.

SONAR 8.5 Leaves You Fully-Satisfied

stepsequencerImpressed with SONAR 8.5’s wealth of new tools and workflow enhancements, Music Radar gives the ‘half update’ 5 out 5 stars! Among the reviewer’s favorite additions were SONAR’s Matrix view, Arpeggiator and effects processors (VX-64 vocal strip and PX-64 percussion strip).

“Percussion and Vocal Strips rock! Step Sequencer is much more useful. Arpeggiator presets are a goldmine. Matrix View encourages spontaneity. Solid performance. The most comprehensive Windows DAW.”

In all, says Music Radar, SONAR 8.5 may be labeled a ‘half’ upgrade but it is well worth the price!

Composing & Arranging with SONAR 8.5

The new version of Cakewalk’s digital audio workstation, SONAR 8.5, includes a wealth of features designed to help composers create the best possible productions.

Whether you’re composing hip-hop, rock, heavy metal or classical music, SONAR 8.5 offers all the tools you need with these fun and exciting new features. Check out the videos to see the Matrix View, Step Sequencer, Arpeggiator & Session Drummer in action:

Matrix View

Step Sequencer 2.0

Continue reading Composing & Arranging with SONAR 8.5

Best of YouTube: SONAR User Tutorials

Here’s a few of our favorite SONAR tutorials created by three talented SONAR users on Youtube. Watch the videos to learn more about SONAR’s new features and tools. Just hit play on one of the clips below:

Using Beatscape and Step Sequencer:

Editing MIDI Notation:

TS-64 Transient Shaper & 3rd Party Plug-Ins: