Create Unique Percussion Beats with the Beatscape Factory Content In SONAR X1: Part 1

There’s no doubt that SONAR X1 comes with a lot of great content, but one component that I think is sometimes overlooked is the Beatscape content.  Beatscape originally came with SONAR 8 and it’s a great sampler machine for mixing and mashing up content.  And now with the power of the Browser, Drag and Drop and the ProChannel, anyone who is looking to make creative drum beats that really stand out from the crowd can utilize all this content right at their fingertips in SONAR X1.

The Beatscape content is great for creating drum tracks from scratch, or embellishing existing drum tracks.  Whether or not you have Beatscape installed does not affect the ability to utilize this content in X1.  In fact I prefer to use the content in X1 without Beatscape at all.  Here’s how easy it is to utilize the Beatscape content.

1.       If you do not have Beatscape installed, copy all of the “Beatscape Factory Content” from your SONAR X1 install disc or from the file in your download purchase and place it somewhere on your hard drive.

*If you do have Beatscape installed, you will navigate to the Beatscape Content folder in the next step.  Your Beatscape folder is usually in these locations depending on whether or not you are running a 64bit system:

If you are running a 32bit system of Windows:

“C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Beatscape\Library\Beatscape Factory Content\” or you can search for the folder easily in Windows. 

If you are running a 64bit system of Windows:

“C:\Program Files (x86)\Cakewalk\Beatscape\Library\Beatscape Factory Content\” or you can search for the folder easily in Windows. 

2.       In the SONAR X1 Browser, navigate to where the “Beatscape Factory Content” folder is and save that location by simply clicking the “save content location preset” button.  You can also rename this location by double-clicking inside the text rectangle.

3.       In the “Media” tab, make sure Auto Preview, Preview at Host Tempo and Loop Preview are all checked.

4.       You can preview any loop by clicking on it.  With the Beatscape content file system; the word “combo” is used in the files that have the complete loop.  The great thing about this content is that for most loops, the parts are broken apart so you can use them all together for the complete “combo” loop, or you can pull in just single elements of the loops.  When pulled in separately you can combine them with other loops or you can pull them all in and then layer them on separate tracks.

5.       Experiment with different individual loops by simply dragging and dropping them into the track view and layering them on different tracks.

You can get quite creative with the Beatscape content, and it’s just another quick and simple way to get up and running fast on SONAR X1.  Next week I will show some of my favorite tips and techniques to get unique sounds from the Beatscape content using the ProChannel and other effects.

Upgrade to SONAR X1 Producer to get Beatscape and it’s massive content library.

SONAR X1 – Easier to Use

SONAR X1 brings a lot of significant changes from previous versions of SONAR; changes like the Unified Preferences View, ProChannel, Enhanced Automation, Key Clusters, the Skylight User Interface, and so much more. All of these changes are designed to enhance workflow, which means you can get more done in less time with SONAR X1.

The video below demonstrates SONAR X1’s enhancements versus previous versions, and I suspect most of them could apply to SONAR X1 versus other DAWs, as well.

SONAR X1 – Easier to Use

Continue reading “SONAR X1 – Easier to Use”

New Video: Z3TA+ 2 shreds on a Misa Kitara digital guitar controller

The folks at Misa Digital recently posted a few videos showing off the sounds of Z3TA+ 2 played on their flagship Kitara digital guitar.  Check it out!

“Here I connect the kitara to the cakewalk z3ta+ 2 software synthesizer. Basically, the kitara becomes an extension to the synth, as a new way to control it.

The glide/portamento of a synth is a very overlooked aspect of synthesizers, especially from a guitar synth perspective. The idea behing this video is to show how you can get a more “sequencer” type sound using the kitara’s onboard sustain functionality. Continue reading “New Video: Z3TA+ 2 shreds on a Misa Kitara digital guitar controller”

We want your feedback: Please take this survey about SONAR X1 content

We want your feedback

Survey: What content would you like to see more of in the future?
Since the release of SONAR X1, Cakewalk has stepped up its’ efforts to provide more free and paid content for SONAR X1 users. That started with the creation of CakeTV and SONAR U, and continues in 2012 with more blogging, videos, and content. It’s now time to capture your feedback on these valuable resources and see what you want more of (and less). Please take 5 minutes to fill out this special survey. The information you provide is confidential and will not be shared with any third parties. Thanks in advance!

Take the survey

10 Reasons to Get Up and Running with SONAR X1 Producer

Running in SONAR X1 Producer

To celebrate Marathon Monday here in Boston and our MARATHON Sale at the Cakewalk Store, here are 10 great reasons you should be running SONAR X1 Producer today.

1. Begin with Better Training: Cakewalk has prepared free SONAR X1 training videos for every skill level on the SONAR U channel of CakeTV. Learn everything you need to know to get running quickly.

2. Take Your Qualifying Trial: Don’t believe us that SONAR X1 Producer is ahead of the pack? Try the new Skylight interface and ProChannel free for 30 days. Download the SONAR X1 Producer Free Trial.

Continue reading “10 Reasons to Get Up and Running with SONAR X1 Producer”

CakeTV Live: Join our second live webcast on music production in SONAR X1

CakeTV Live Free Webinar

In case you missed part one of this two-part series, Cakewalk’s Seth Perlstein shared his favorite SONAR X1 music production tips, tricks, and techniques like using the Mod Matrix in FX Chains 2.0, Groove Matching with AudioSnap, creating variations with the Loop Construction View, and much, much more.

Plus, he gave a sneak peak of the X1d patch, which is now free for all SONAR X1 users.

Watch entire video of the first SONAR X1 webcast. Continue reading “CakeTV Live: Join our second live webcast on music production in SONAR X1”

How TC Spitfire used the ProChannel on the track “Surrender;” Currently #3 on Billboard Club Chart

Congratulations to Paul Oakenfold and TC Spitfire who found themselves at #3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs this past week with the track Surrender.

The track was written by Paul, TC and J Hart who also sang the track.  TC Spitfire who is a passionate SONAR X1 Expanded user co-produced and mixed the track using a combination of all the ProChannel modules.  “This new era with the ProChannel and X1d [Expanded] is on a serious elevated level.  The combination of the modules has me staying more and more inside SONAR natively,” TC told us.

On a daily basis, TC is very busy individual.  Between writing new music, producing, mixing and remixing, he finds himself a bit overextended these days and “taking it and enjoying it while it’s there.”  Most recently, he has worked with artists such as Cher, Matt Goss, Matt Morris and Jean Baptist – and that is just in the recent past.  “On a daily basis I will jump from remixing a track for 4 hours, to writing in another studio for 4 hours, and then back to our lab for another however-long-it-takes-session – for the next barrage of musical craziness.”

For the track Surrender which is currently charting on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, TC collaborated with both Paul Oakenfold and J Hart on the writing side and then built and mixed the song completely in SONAR X1 Expanded. 

* * * * * * * * * *

CW AR: This vocal sound is huge in this track.  What was some of the processing involved?

TC: On the vocal track I used the new Hybrid mode in the ProChannels QuadCurve EQ.  I cut quite a bit of the low end off and had quite a bit of mids popping for this track around 1.8k.  I was able to surgically cut out some other frequencies in the mids to get the vocals away from other keyboard parts in that range.

On top of that, I used the PC4K channel compressor along with a slight touch of the Softube Saturation Knob with the switch on the “high” setting.  I also sent multiple lead vocal tracks out to a lead vocal bus which had the PCCL Limiter on it for a slight boost and some tightening.

CW AR: This track and all your tracks for that matter are really tight, what are the main factors for you in achieving this sound?

TC: It’s pretty simple, but it’s also pretty complicated.  It’s simple, because most of it has to do with compression, EQ and limiting, which are 75% from the ProChannel in my tracks.  It’s complicated because carving the frequencies, making the decisions on where to compress and how much, and what to use a limiter on – all factor in.  Sometimes, over compressing and using too many limiters will just make a song sound flat-lined and not breathing.   I think another factor is not using too many of the same compressors or EQ’s on every single track.  I really like mixing up my inserts.  On some tracks I will use the 76 and others I will use the Softube compressor.  I even use the PC4K bus compressor on tracks – call me crazy – haaa.   There are no rules in the digital world and use my ear and the tools SONAR X1 Expanded provides to get the sound to where I need it to be.

In the next year you will be hearing a lot more from Paul Oakenfold and TC as a new deal was just signed with Sony Records.  As soon as the details are released on that we will keep you posted.  Until then, you can check out SONAR X1 for free here.

SONAR X1 is the most intuitive D.A.W. on the market today.  It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s just as easy with practice and experience to become an advanced user.  If you are running windows, and you are a musician, now is a great time to pull the trigger with the SONAR X1 Advanced Workshop Giveaway Promotion.

“SURRENDER” [Completely recorded, mixed and mastered in SONAR X1 Expanded:]

How to edit multiple MIDI notes simultaneously with the Event Inspector in SONAR

Did you know that you can use the Event Inspector to easily edit multiple data events (such as MIDI notes) simultaneously?

In SONAR, right-click the Control Bar and choose Event Inspector Module to make the Event Inspector visible. If you don’t see it appear, you may need to hide some of the other Control Bar modules. Next, select some data (such as a group of MIDI notes) and then click a field in the Event Inspector. Either type in a new value or click the spin controls to change the value sequentially.

In addition, you can use modifiers (+/-) to change values. For example, if you want to add 23 to a velocity value of 37, type +23 for the Vel parameter and SONAR will automatically change the value to 60. The plus and minus modifiers work for all parameters, but the Vel (velocity) and Duration parameters can also accept a percentage for scaling values. For example, with 100% representing the current value, if you want to lengthen selected notes by 20%, enter 120% for the Duration value. If you want to shorten the same notes by 20%, enter 80%. For even more details and to see the Event Inspector in action, check out the following video. Versions 8.5 (and earlier) as well as X1 (and later) are covered.

Cakewalk SONAR – Event Inspector Editing video (With Ads)

And for full SONAR coverage, check out the SONAR X1 Power! book now available in the Cakewalk store.