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 total blessing to me.

I’m going to take that as a challenge and base my review of SONAR 8.5 on using an arpeggiator and step sequencer on every track. And I’ll have to pronounce all those hard g’s in the voice over, clearly.

And no, this is not some twisted viral campaign on the part of the folks of Cakewalk; I’ve been assured that this came from a user.

Okay, what was this post originally about? Oh, yeah – the actual technical details of the SONAR 8.5 release. Noel Borthwick talks about all the details of the new SONAR release on the Cakewalk forums. Apparently, some people care deeply about whether this is SONAR 9 or 8.5 or some conspiracy theory there, but what interests me is the technical details of the software itself.

SONAR 8.5 Fine Print

Noel goes down to a code level. Interesting tidbits: working with Intel, Cakewalk was able to do a demo of SONAR running an absurd number of tracks, instruments, effects, and live video without pegging the CPU, with a tiny 2 ms of latency. The Cakewalk engineering effort also has put together what may be the most highly-optimized VST support and richest 32-to-64-bit bridging on any platform, anywhere.

Whatever the opposite of “marketing speak” may be, I think that’s what Noel has achieved, getting into a sort of developer-to-developer level discussion. It is still readable, and worth digging through.

See also: Intel Developer Forum details and video on the Cakewalk blog

I could talk more about that, but let’s just leave it at step sequencers and arpeggiators on every track, okay?