Like many of you, we’re all fired up about the release of SONAR X2. And we’re pretty sure you’d like to know more about the core features, behaviours, and other day-to-day workflow operations that we’ve changed in X2 from X1 and older versions of SONAR.
Below is a layout of those changes as well as a down and dirty, off the cuff, low production value video which demonstrates these changes in depth which is available for immediate viewing on YouTube (and also right from the player below).
Buy SONAR X2 Producer and get DSF Symphonic Strings FREE
For a limited time you can download a Free Symphonic Strings expansion pack for Dimension Pro ($149 value) when you upgrade, or purchase SONAR X2 Producer from the Cakewalk Store or any worldwide retailer. This is a special offer to reward early adopters. Offer valid through September 30th on the Cakewalk Store and valid through October 31st for all other registered SONAR X2 Producer customers who purchase through any worldwide retailer.
When you upgrade to SONAR X2 Producer on the Cakewalk Store the DSF Symphonic Strings HD will be available immediately for download on your store account.
Symphonic Strings is a collection of string ensembles recorded in the amazing Saint Thomas Cathedral at Bastyr University in Northern Washington State in the US. The cathedral is 48 feet tall and features unusual near-perfect acoustics that attract frequent recording sessions for Hollywood films. Scores for “Brokeback Mountain,” “About Schmidt,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Mirror Mirror,”, and orchestral tracks for Dave Matthews album have been recorded here. The cathedral is wired so that a modified bus configured for recording can pull up and plug into the pre-wired snake to track the performance.
Please note: DSF Symphonic Strings HD will automatically be delivered with your SONAR X2 Producer order. Please do not add it to your cart.
Here is what customers are saying…
“The DSF download was an unexpected delight! I spent two hours reviewing the various sounds, tweaking as I went… Once again Cakewalk has inspired me to go somewhere I had never been before!!!” – Roy Cunningham
“It is the best strings sound from DSF for Dim Pro so far. I spend 1/2 hour on it. Need to tweak some of the effect settings. It is definitely well worth to upgrade to X2 now. Especially if you can’t afford any expensive Strings VST that cost 500USD or more.” – Choo Shi-hwei
“Upgraded to X2 [Producer] and then I downloaded the strings. I was working on a project that had two different string tracks. I used the new symphonic strings. They sound awesome! Thanks Cakewalk”– Marcus Curtis
“They blend really well with a variety of genres.”– Bennie Beat Bumma Smith
SONAR X2: The Take Lane Super Highway By Guest Blogger Eli Krantzberg [Groove3.com] September 2012
The ability to loop record multiple takes over the same section of a song and choose the best bits after the fact is one of the defining elements of almost all modern DAWs. Layers worked just fine in X1, but Sonar X2 has re-set the bar with the new Take Lanes feature.
The ability to loop record and then edit multiple takes is nothing new. What is new with Take Lanes is the ability to set independent Edit Filter views for each of the lanes. This might seem insignificant at first, but when you think about it, this opens up a world of possibilities.
I often automate synth controls separately from laying down the initial part. It can be difficult to concentrate on recording the music with one hand, while simultaneously concentrating on modulating synth parameters with the other.
So, I thought, why not put Sonar X2’s new Take lanes to work and use it to loop record multiple automation passes. In addition to choosing the best take, the unique Edit Filters allow you to edit the controller data after the fact directly in Track View! This is a HUGE bonus. Throw in a couple of keyboard controller knobs and Sonar’s dead simple MIDI Learn function, and the ability to experiment and capture creative ideas is not only fun and musical, but also virtually limitless.
To give you an idea of how stimulating this can be, try this:
1) Record your basic synth part. 2) Set your Loop start and end times, and enable looping in the Loop module. 3) Set your Project/Record preferences for Sound on Sound Recording. And choose Create Takes in a Single Track. 4) Right click the synth parameter(s) you want to modulate.
– Choose MIDI Learn.
– Touch an unassigned knob on your keyboard controller.
– Repeat for each parameter you want to modulate.
(And with this method, you can modulate multiple parameters together and retain the ability to edit them separately while still being able to treat them as a single entity for muting, selecting, splitting, copying, deleting, etc.)
5) Arm your synth or MIDI track and record multiple passes, tweaking the controls to your heart’s content. 6) Hit SHIFT + T, or click the Take Lanes icon to reveal all the takes.
You will now find you have multiple takes of automation. In addition to muting or soling each lane, you can put the MUTE tool to good use. Click to mute/unmute the clips as necessary; or CNTRL drag along the bottom half to isolate sections while simultaneously muting the others (I LOVE this technique for working with multiple takes). CNTRL drag arcos the top half of the clips to toggle the process. Since this works with automation, it makes editing together a take using the best bits of each a snap. And if your automation is designed for rhythmic effect, Snap To Grid is your friend when making these types of time-based selections.
And now for the pièce de résistance:
7) Click hold the Edit Filters and choose Notes. From there, click hold a second time and choose the specific MIDI CC message you want to view and edit.
You now have the ability to edit the individual MIDI CC data directly in the Take Lanes. Switch the Edit Filters back to Clips view when you want to edit the multiple controllers together. It’s a thing of beauty!
I finally had the chance to record and mix a full production in SONAR X2 Producer last week and one of my favorite new features is BREVERB SONAR. I knew it was going to be good, but I didn’t know HOW good. I found that out immediately when I sent the lead vocal track though to a bus with BREVERB SONAR and it was instant gratification.
Check out this video to see BREVERB SONAR in action on a vocal track:
If you are just getting started with SONAR, you could probably use some help figuring out which hardware to buy. If you are a long time user, maybe that audio interface you have been using since the days of Cakewalk Pro Audio could use an upgrade. Either way, Roland has created a simple and fun way for you to plan out your dream studio setup in 3 easy steps.
Step 1: From the three examples, select the setup nearest to your goals. The Planner will recommend the best Audio Interface, Sound Module, Keyboard, Monitors, and best version of SONAR X2 for your needs.
Step 2: Customize your configuration by selecting or deselecting options as needed.
Step 3: Share your new dream studio with friends on Facebook or print it out and bring it in to your local Roland and Cakewalk Dealer.
If you are planning to make sweet music with SONAR X2, you better make sure your hardware isn’t holding you back.
Last week was our fourth installment of CakeTV Live, which we broadcast bi-monthly, live, from Center Staging in Burbank, CA. In this latest episode we showed over 450 live viewers the new features of SONAR X2. In case you missed it, the webinar is now available for viewing on CakeTV (or right from this web page, below).
During the webcast we did our best to cover all of X2’s new features like Smart Grid, ProChannel FX Chains, and R-MIX SONAR. However, there were a few new features that we didn’t have time to demo that we think are worth mentioning.