Cakewalk V-Studio 100: Mixer + Recorder + Computer Audio Interface + Controller

Sometimes, audio products come in sexy, exciting packages. But sometimes, they simply solve a set of problems. And the products that fit into the latter category can be as beloved (dare I say sexy), if not more so. Since I first saw a prototype in the fall, I’ve been eagerly awaiting trying out Cakewalk’s V-Studio 100. It immediately resonated with features I wanted to see in hardware. Rather than talk the specs, let’s talk about the kind of problems you might like to solve in your mobile rehearsal, production, and performance rig: You want to mix live, but don’t want …

READ MORE →

Recession Specials: From Tenori-On to Little Phatty, Costco Blue Mic Deal to Soft Steinway

Illustration (CC) Dani Armengol, who just became my hero. Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Who need them? The entire month of December seems to be on sale when it comes to music tech. Christmas (and Hanukkah, for that matter) are nearly here. Whether it’s economic pressure or just some aggressive holiday pricing, there are some big deals out there that could make excellent gifts – or might just give you a nice list for shopping for yourself before or after the holidays. (Yes, it’s true: most of what readers suggested in our “gift guide” for the CDM Winter 08 special wasn’t …

READ MORE →

Vista Tweak: Use the Audio Profile Cakewalk’s CTO Uses

Cakewalk didn’t really need to implement custom profile support for SONAR 8 under Vista. You don’t really need to make use of it. But when I found out Cakewalk’s CTO had a profile he liked, I had to share it with fellow tweakers. Adjustments under the hood: photo (CC) Stefan Sonntag. Earlier this fall, we got an inside look at the various Vista optimizations in Cakewalk’s SONAR 8. It was all fairly technical stuff, but odds are you may have been puzzled by a mention of support for custom “MMCSS task profiles.” Don’t worry – the correct response here is, …

READ MORE →

Cakewalk’s New Monster Roland Integrated Software, Control Surface, I/O, Synth

“Integrated” hardware and software is a mysterious thing. It tends to hit extremes. At one end of the spectrum, you have bare-bones hardware bundles with an interface and software, or basic integration features so an audio interface doesn’t require extra configuration or a control surface works out of the box. These might save you a few dollars or a few minutes here and there, but they’re hardly revolutionary, and in the end you might not bother at all. At the opposite pole, you have the titan Digidesign Pro Tools HD solutions, which typically involve an investment in tens of thousands …

READ MORE →

Optimizing for Vista: Inside the Mechanics of SONAR 8 with Cakewalk Engineering

Vista, launched in an ice house in Toronto. That’s where I want my project studio this winter, for sure. Photo (CC Sam Javanrouh. On a purely technical level, how does Windows Vista work with a leading pro audio application? A lot of that depends on just how much the developer does to tune their software, and to hook into some of the new audio technologies in the OS. I wanted to know more about how Cakewalk’s SONAR 8 DAW was specifically optimized for Windows Vista. SONAR 7 was already out in front with support for Vista’s audio plumbing, but SONAR …

READ MORE →

SONAR 8 Preview: Instrument Tracks, Beatscape Instrument, Transient Shaper, Enhanced Performance, Other Goodies

Cakewalk has revealed what’s new in the latest version of their flagship Windows DAW, SONAR 8 Producer. SONAR remains a popular choice for people on Windows wanting a do-everything, traditional DAW. At the same time, it faces heated-up competition from rivals like Ableton Live and Reaper. SONAR users have been posting wish lists around the Web, so I think it’s safe to say people were hoping for some improvements. The changes look on-target to me, more so, perhaps, than in any recent SONAR upgrade. There are some much-needed workflow changes, enhanced under-the-hood performance, and new instruments and effects. Getting plug-in …

READ MORE →

Free Patches for Cakewalk’s Rapture Synth, Plus FL Studio, Reason, More

If you’re hungry for some patch content, the download-rich PatchArena has you covered, with a massive library of free, user-created content: PatchArena Downloads There are particularly large sections for the all-in-one studios EnergyXT, FL Studio, and a number of others. (Correction: Intua BeatMaker for iPhone/iPod Touch is promised, as well, though I got my categories confused — no files there now, so we’ll check in if some get posted! But it could be a great place to upload BeatMaker presets; see the thread on PatchArena’s forum.) Francesco Silvestri writes CDM to let us know about his latest addition, a huge …

READ MORE →

Life After Giga: Kontakt 3 Free 64-bit Upgrade Soon on Mac, Windows

  The current holy grail of sampling seems to be getting at more memory by providing 64-bit memory addressing, as I said this morning. With Tascam’s Giga out of the picture, it’s up to competing sampler products to deliver. Cakewalk’s Dimension Pro is already 64-bit support, as is their host, SONAR. Native Instruments points out that their flagship sampler Kontakt is on track to be 64-bit soon. Kontakt 3 does support disk streaming now, but it can’t yet do 64-bit memory addressing. With 32-bit memory addressing, you’re limited to around a couple of gigs of available RAM. That should change …

READ MORE →

Ableton’s Robert Henke, And Why Sometimes Less (‘Fidelity’) is More

Ableton co-founder and general visionary Robert Henke (also known as Monolake) gave a full-length workshop in New Zealand recently. If you’re up for 90 minutes of discussion of musical and sonic techniques in Live, plus a look at his unique Monodeck controller, the whole video is there. But that’s not the main reason the video is making its way around the Interwebs. It’s because there’s a bit of a bombshell right at the beginning of the footage: He says, outright, you don’t need 64-bit sound to get “audio quality.” You don’t even need 16-bit all the time. Okay, maybe that’s …

READ MORE →

Craig Anderton’s Tribute to Moog: Rapture Presets, and a Call to Save History

Dust off that Minimoog and hear it in a new way: The real legacy of Moog is when sounds keep evolving from his ideas. That’s led Craig to make new Moog-inspired sounds with a digital synth. And just as importantly, it’s led a new charge to preserve the history of electronic music, like this original Minimoog found in the Moog collection. Photo courtesy The Bob Moog Foundation. Craig Anderton is easily the most prolific music technology writer on the planet. We got an exclusive interview with him at Cakewalk at the NAMM show to talk about the technologist who has …

READ MORE →