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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Tiny PCs for Music: UMPC Runs SONAR, Fruity Loops Like a Real PC

The UMPC may not have caught on with the masses, but the idea is terrific: a full-featured Windows PC in a space only slightly larger than a smart phone. Loyal followers continue to love their UMPCs, especially when they’re as tiny as the Raon Digital Everun. And as we predicted when Intel first announced the UMPC, this is a workable little music machine. After all, just a few years ago computer musicians would have described these specs as “high-end”, and there’s USB for input. To prove the point, Steve Paine, from UMPCPortal.com writes in with video evidence: a clip from …

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Cakewalk SONAR 7 Features at a Glance, MIDI at Center Stage

Not to be outdone by Logic Pro 8’s launch last week, Cakewalk has let slip the basic feature set of their latest version of their flagship SONAR DAW, with upgrades available immediately. What’s new — with an interesting emphasis on MIDI: A new step sequencer, looking reminiscent of tools like FL Studio (Fruity Loops), though fully integrated with a traditional DAW (read: not as confusing to DAW users and traditionalists as FL Studio can be). Cakewalk claims it’s the “most powerful step sequencer found in any DAW”; we’ll have to try it out and see. All new MIDI tools: Yep, …

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Electronic Film Scoring: Waiting for Godard

Estesvan Carlos Benson sends along this film score he created for Godard’s Vivre sa Vie. Keep watching — he’s got a fantastic sense of picking up the rhythm of the actress. He explains: It was basically produced with a Korg N364 and Sonar, back in 2004. Conceptually I just felt drawn to this scene. The original music created a stark irony (it was swing jazz I think). Additionally, and for whatever reasons, Anna Karina wasn’t quite dancing to the original rhythm. I was aiming for a tone that dealt with the larger aspect of the movie and her character, within …

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Troubleshooting Mac AU, Windows VST + SONAR Plug-ins

Who better to give Mac and Windows plug-in tips than a developer? Chris Randall from Audio Damage, via his Analog Industries blog, shares some troubleshooting tips he’s picked up in the plug-crafting biz. For Mac, there’s help with repairing permissions and fixing validation problems and Logic’s “caching” issues. For PC, there’s a tip on Replicant in SONAR (though whether that applies to anything else, I don’t know). I’m lucky enough that my Mac and PC have both been very well-behaved. I see hosts as a bigger variable. Ableton Live is one of my favorites, in terms of reliability and compatibility, …

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Keyboard Shortcut Stickers: Pro Tools, Reason, Cubase, SONAR, and now Logic Pro

EditorsKeys shortcut keyboards use stickers overlaid on your existing keyboard rather than requiring you to replace your keyboard. That has some definitely advantages: I’m not letting go of my beloved Microsoft keyboard, and the custom “shortcut” keyboards sold for programs like Logic and Pro Tools are often absurdly expensive. The EditorsKeys sticker sets cost under US$20, and right now they’re 20% off. EditorsKeys Shortcut Keyboards EditorsKeys tells us they’ve now unveiled a new set for Logic Pro, the first to be semi-transparent, so you can move the stickers to different keys if you’ve remapped your shortcuts. Logic Pro Keyboard Other …

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