Richie Hawtin Teases Modular iOS Ableton Touch Control at SONAR

Well, I can’t quite see it, but this picture is really flattering. Come to think of it, I sometimes look a little better with a short depth of field, a sharp focus, maybe some haze over the lens. Yeah. That’s better. I don’t even need to shave. Touch performance control on devices like the iPhone and iPad has become increasingly popular, but the question remains: can developers push these interfaces further? Richie Hawtin has initiated a new touch control project and promises more “advanced” control of Ableton Live for iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad users. Details remain murky – developers …

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Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5.2 Update Packs a Lot in a Point

This would normally be a generic picture of an overview of the Track View or something, but… come on. Let’s just look at a step sequencer. (Yes, it looks similar to FL Studio’s step sequencer. But you get a decidedly SONAR-like workflow, which feels nothing like Fruity Loops. Whether that’s good news depends on how you feel about FL and SONAR.) The tricky thing about introducing a new feature is that you almost immediately hear from users about other features that would go well with that feature. (There’s a children’s story that goes this way.) The folks at Cakewalk have …

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Black Friday: Free Synths+Effects from Cakewalk, Plus Steep Discounts

Take my synth, please! Grab this instrument, the sample playback plug-in SFZ+, free for Windows. “Black Friday” has become a traditional date for talking discounts, but one price you can’t beat is free. Cakewalk is giving away some of their older effects and synth plug-ins. These aren’t just hand-me-downs – Cakewalk forum members lamented that a couple of these didn’t receive greater development attention. They’re eminently usable on Windows systems now. Available free: SFZ+: The real highlight here, rgc:audio’s excellent SoundFont sampler player, with built-in effects, various performance options, and an all-in-one interface Square I: A very lovely analog subtractive …

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Details of SONAR 8.5, and the Dystopian Future in Which You Use It

What happens when you mix technical chatter on the Cakewalk forum, Samuel Beckett, and The Matrix? I’d wager you get something like the surreal video above. Prompted by the posting of technical details for a new update to Cakewalk’s SONAR production software for Windows, and empowered by a strange, new tool that generates eerie virtual reality from typed text, we get banter like this: The arpeggiator is now on every track, so you are supposed to use it. It is one of the new rules of recording. Yes, I came from the days of one-finger piano playing. This is a …

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Obsessive Windows 7 Under-the-Hood Guide for Music; Can You Finally Dump XP?

Windows 7 running on a laptop, as photographed by / (CC) Luke Roberts. Windows 7 makes far subtler changes than Vista did, which gives it an opportunity to refine features by the ship date. And it’s been tested unusually widely, by testers like Luke. Windows matters. It’s what roughly half of CDM readers use, and – for all the attention Apple gets – it’s a big part of the computer music world. Windows today also faces many of the same under-the-hood challenges that other operating systems do, so even if you’re a die-hard Linux or Mac user, you may want …

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DAW Day – SONAR 8.5 Production Tastiness, and the Smooth 64-bit Transition

SONAR’s AudioSnap now has cleaner markers, and an understandable interface – and does quite a few things Logic 9’s new Flex Time does not. SONAR 8.5, I’m sure at some point, was to be SONAR 9. There’s an enormous amount of functionality in this release. But I think the surprise is some of the stuff that won’t necessarily appeal to the widest audio production audience. Here’s a DAW that’s adding unusual new features for arranging tracks, putting an integrated arpeggiator on every track, beefing up its step sequencer (really), and dumping a bunch of class LinnDrum samples into the package. …

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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 …

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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, …

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