Cakewalk Z3TA+ 1.5 Soft Synth Update, with Arpeggiator Import, More

We usually skip over minor version upgrades, but Z3TA+ from Cakewalk is a very special synth, and 1.5 is a very nice (free) update. New in the version bump: x64 and Vista support, a low-CPU arpeggiator (assuming it’s handling voicing/oscillator resource allocation more efficiently?), different CPU-optimized quality modes (also added to rival NI Massive recently), and more. But it also features two additions I wish more synths had. First, there’s MIDI file import for the arpeggiator. It’s a no-brainer feature, and yet most arpeggiators don’t do it. Why? I have no idea. (Any fave synths that do, please add them …

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NAMM: Cakewalk SONAR 6.2 Adds Vista Support, MIDI Features

It’s been pretty quiet at winter NAMM as far as the major DAWs; Mackie released Tracktion 3 but the larger players either just released major updates (Cubase SX 4, DP 5, SONAR 6, Live 6, and the Pro Tools 7.x updates) or have yet to upgrade (ahem, Logic 8, anyone?). That didn’t stop Cakewalk from releasing a pretty significant upgrade for free, which will also be the first major music app we’ve seen to officially support Vista. (Lots of apps will work under Vista, but SONAR actually supports all the new audio goodies.) Cakewalk Releases Free SONAR 6.2 Update Cakewalk …

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Cakewalk SONAR 6 Arrives: Audio Quantize, Dynamic Controllers, 64-bit Vintage Warmth, More

Cakewalk has a major upgrade to their flagship audio software, SONAR, not very long after the release of SONAR 5 last year: Cakewalk SONAR 6 Producer Edition: New Feature Highlights [Cakewalk.com] The banner feature is a new “audio quantize” feature. All the major DAWs have been toying with various takes on beat-synced audio warping, not necessarily copying software like Ableton Live, but trying to appeal to those who use those techniques with something different. It makes sense, given that MIDI has long had this rhythmic flexibility. In the case of SONAR 6, the new features include non-destructive audio quantize, the …

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Mactel Watch: Peak, Rapture, Melodyne, Digi Tools All Intel-Native; MacBook Pro Music Impressions

Early 2006 brought us the blockbuster Intel Mac ports — Logic, Live, Reason, and (most recently) Pro Tools LE — but now, finally, plug-ins are flooding in with Universal Intel versions. Just in over the last week: BIAS Peak 5.2 brings Intel-native support to the old standby Mac audio editor. With Soundtrack Pro now available only as an upgrade for existing customers or as part of the Final Cut Studio bundle, Peak is likely to be many Mac users’ stereo waveform editor of choice. See my review for Macworld. Cost: Free. Celemony’s Melodyne Software suite is up to 3.1, bringing …

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Cakewalk Now on MySpace

Cakewalk has launched a Cakewalk-only MySpace page for their users. It’s a blend of commercial endeavor and community site. On the commercial side, there’s a fair amount of advertising of Cakewalk products and the Cakewalk tour. That to me is overkill, since usually the most passionate advertising comes from your users. But there are some community features: featured music by Cakewalk users, contests, and of course, a massive network of Cakewalk friends (some of whom are pictured below). So, knowing how loyal some of you are to your software, have at it, Cakewalk superfans. Oh, and don’t miss this vintage …

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Kinetic 2: Inexpensive Windows Groovebox with Roland Sounds

Kinetic 2 is here for Windows, and it looks promising not only as a way of getting beginners into music making, but as a really good buy on soft synths for everyone else, as well — especially at US$80.

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Drool-Worthy Dual-Core PC Tower (and a Glimpse at a Future Mac Pro?)

Sonic Labs this week unveiled one heckuva dream machine PC tower, tweaked for pro audio: dual-core 64-bit 3.7GHz Pentium D965 Extremes, Presler chipset, high-performance everything, a graphics card that’s ready for four-monitor output, and 48 lbs. of PC performance. There are some details I really like, notably the mobile drives, which could let you pair this machine in the studio with a performance machine on the go. US$3750 is the price, but there really are very few compromises on this machine, and items like the extra, high-speed hard drives are clearly geared for audio use. Sonic Labs tests all their …

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