Cakewalk SONAR X1 Rethinks Windows DAW’s User Interface

Cakewalk’s SONAR has always been a compelling choice of DAW on Windows. Under the hood, its 64-bit processing, 64-bit mix engine, balanced complement of editing features, and quite-nice array of instruments and processors has held enough appeal. But then there’s the interface, which hasn’t held up to the tools underneath. Being pretty isn’t only cosmetic; a visually-refined interface is just easier to look at and use. And aside from aesthetics, moving between editing views or just managing what’s visible on-screen in SONAR can be a chore. It’s a problem not unique to Cakewalk’s DAW: the leading music workstations now simply …

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Soundhack Goodness, Now as Pd and Max External Objects

Soundhack, the free audio tool for the Mac developed by audio wizard Tom Erbe, was long a beloved tool for doing strange and wonderful things for sound. It was followed by Spectral Shapers, Mac and Windows plug-ins that built on some of those ideas to do more “timbral morphing” with recorded audio. That includes “timbral filtering” and noise-reducing expansion with spectralcompand, drawn morphing filter shapes with morphfilter, audio positioning with binaural, and a terrific spectralgate for creative dynamics processing. In what can only come as great news to lovers of patching in the free and open source Pure Data (Pd) …

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The Most Out of Windows 7: Choosing and Optimizing Windows for Music

From our call for CDM reader studios, Eric Beam’s studio. In his setup: Windows 7 64-bit, Cakewalk’s SONAR 8.5 DAW (with native 64-bit support), and the excellent modular patching environment Plogue Bidule. Click through to Flickr for a closer look. Photo (CC-BY) Eric Beam. This week, while we poll readers to find out what platforms they really use and care about for music, we’re launching a new series to help you get the most out of whichever OS you choose. We’ve been covering the complexities of Windows for a while, from the bumpy Vista transition to the smoother advent of …

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Adobe on the 64-bit Transition: Plugs Will Be Ready, You'll Be Happy

One of the numerous 64-bit-ready processors, the Core 2 Duo E7300. Photo (CC) William Hook. What will 64-bit mean for After Effects? Will it be worth the jump, and will your plug-ins be ready? I noted that those questions had some people concerned earlier this week. AE Product Manager Michael Coleman writes in with a few thoughts on that. From comments: We have spoken with most of the AE plug-in developers and almost all of them are preparing updates that will run on 64-bit After Effects. Most will be available around the same time as After Effects. We’ve been actively …

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Not Everyone Pleased to See After Effects Go 64-bit?

Spin the wheel, get an app! The Adobe wheel of icons, as realized (CC-BY) Charles Williams. When Adobe announced 64-bit After Effects in the fall, they listed a number of benefits users would reap from the transition: Performance for high-resolution formats, like working with 4K images from the RED camera. (They even went so far as to describe SD as a “legacy delivery format,” which I think is probably fair.) Heavier comps, with additional layers. Longer RAM previews, more intermediate renders in your cache. The future of After Effects is 64-bit native There’s no question both Mac and Windows machines …

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64-bit Mac Audio Tools Coming; Logic Pro and Mainstage Add Support

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) represents the end of a long-running transition of the Mac operating system from 32-bit to 64-bit support. 64-bit computing offers marginal (but measurable) performance improvements, and more importantly the ability to address more RAM — a lot more RAM, currently more than is even physically available in any shipping consumer computer. By contrast, under the current Mac OS, each 32-bit application can access up to 4GB of RAM. A few tools, like Apple’s EXS24 and Native Instruments’ Kontakt samplers, can address greater memory through the use of virtual memory and memory server schemes. But …

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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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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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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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Snow Leopard Watch: Changes, Compatibility, Caution, Native Instruments, Plogue

Rawr! A real snow leopard at age eight weeks at the Eichberg Zoo. Now, should you let the (operating system) snow leopard mature a little before you try to play with it? Photo (CC) Tamby Tamboko. Updated: See http://cdm.link/snowleopard for a running report. Apple’s “Snow Leopard” 10.6 ships Friday, which means it’s time to start compiling information about the new OS flavor. Just don’t upgrade too fast, as always. Want to push an operating system to the breaking point? Ask a musician. Between the demands of real-time performance and the complex ecosystem of mix-and-match hardware, software, and plug-ins, odds are …

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