Cakewalk SONAR x3
One of the earliest entrants on the MIDI sequencing scene back in 1987, Cakewalk brought out the first version of SONAR in 2007, and it’s continued getting better with each new ‘X’ release. Standout inclusions in the SONAR X3 package include versions of Overlouds TH2 amp simulator for guitarists and their great reverb plugin Breverb. The excellent pitch-shifting software Melodyne is also integrated into Studio and Producer editions, and the amazing Console Emulator (emulating three classic mix consoles) in the Producer editions ProChannel plugin.
Review of Cakewalk SONAR x3.
Certainly one of the leaders in the music industry is company Cakewalk. It has been several years since developing DAW program for processing MIDI and audio data on behalf of the underwater name SONAR. Although this is only a program for the Windows operating system, its popularity is increasing due to the fact that the company Cakewalk is owned by the Japanese company Roland. In the corridors is rumored that the company will be bought by the legendary manufacturer of guitars, Gibson. Although it may seem a bit absurd, you say the names of companies like Tascam, Stanton, KRK Systems or Onkyo, all of them also belongs to Gibson. Noticeably, they are lacking in some software that would complement the offer on the market. Anyhow, Cakewalk has now released the third version of their flagship SONAR – X3.
The previous version of SONAR has been designed to work on Windows 64-bit systems, but worked only in 32 bits. One of the breakthroughs is therefore to build a new version of the 64-bit kernel, which allows you to use the full benefits of 64-bit systems. The user can use more computing power of processor, large RAM memory and mainly to record and process audiofiles with a sampling frequency up to 192 kHz with very low latency. The 64-bit version is also available in the basic version of SONAR X3.
Among the more cosmetic changes include a property that does not have too much impact on the program’s functionality, but does work in the program easier and more comfortable. It is the possibility of coloring the individual tracks. Twelve standard colors are is available using the context menu and it is possible to choose any color from the system palette menu.
With colouring tracks program is gaining in popularity and mainly keeps better overview of the project, which consists of several tens or hundreds of tracks. If the user wants, program itself can activate the automatic color scheme that will assign to each tracks one color.
Cakewalk SONAR X3 also comes with extended functionality button to activate recording. In addition tothe standard modes such as Overwrite, Sound on Sound or Step Record, new comping mode was added. Depending on the selected mode, the method of recording also replace the icon button.
Comping mode allows to record to one track an infinite number of versions of the clip and then choose the best parts of the recorded material. Just open track and select Mark using good section of the record in each version. Function Comping then will take care of it. For a more complete treatment it is possible to use crossfade between versions. Comping Function is ideal for recording vocals or solo instruments, where the most applicable search the best version .
When you buy the SONAR X3 users get the basic version of Melodyne Essential software from German company Celemony. If the user wanted it to work so far, had to use external VST or ReWire interface. Now comes the integration of the program into SONAR via ARA.
With integrated tools the tuning and timing of audio can be automatically or manually adjust. Therefore, the program is not only suitable for the processing of melodic solo tracks, but also for additional adjustments inaccurate rhythmic tracks. Quality algorithms ensure a wide range of changes without substantially effecting the color of sound.
Support for VST3
All versions of SONAR X3 now have built-in support effects – based interface VST3. This makes it possible to use all the functions that the system VST currently offers, which also improves the utilization of the computing power of the processor.
Effects are now clearly categorized according to the interface VST2, VST3 or DirectX . If the program is running in 64-bit , 32-bit effects are clearly marked. Unlike some competing programs does SONAR X3 problem combined 64-bit and 32-bit effects in a single project. Interestingly, the program is not yet supplied by any effect that works within VST3 interface.
Very handy function is also scanning effects and tools at program startup. Scanning user will see the total number of effects and tools, including information on how many of them were categorized and how many not.
New VST effects and instruments
With each new version there is a new extended offer of virtual effects and instruments. Neither SONAR X3 is no exception, quite the contrary. Sonar X3 is packed with plenty of full versions of effects and tools that the user would otherwise have to pay separately, even in the amount equal to the cost of the program itself.
The base effect is a double filter that works in stereo mode. This effect conceals 47 different types of filters from the old analog to digital FM modulation. There are also 7 different types of distortion. The filtered signal can be mixed with the clean signal. The user has a choice of dozens of presets that can be used as a springboard for working with filters.
In the basic version of Sonar we can find 19 effects, from the American company Nomad Factory, which was several years dedicated to high-quality simulations of hardware effects. Effects Bundle Blue Tube FX offers the best selection of vintage analog effects from the golden era, starting several types of equalizers over to dynamic delay and modulation effects. Very nice sound generates BlueVerb DRV -2080, which simulates a reverb effect from the beginning of the eighties of the last century. Sound of BlueVerb surprised with the quality and the ability to model and imperfections old effects that fits perfectly into our perfect digital era.
The highlight of the new SONAR X3 is a full version of drum module Addictive Drums from XLN Audio. Addictive drums offer a very high quality drum samples which are among the best in the world. Personally, I can confirm, as this instrument I have been using for several years in my own compositions. The module includes a basic drum kit, which offer separate mixing drums and positioning of microphones. Tool bus also contains its own EQ and effects unit with which the sound can be rapidly changed. The magic of this tool lies not only in high-quality sound bank, but also the possibility to use the preloaded patterns were recorded using sensors live players. Patterns can be dragged and insert into the track, where they can be freely adjusted.
The other two tools comes from Canadian company Applied Acoustics Systems, which since 1998 dedicated to the simulation of the acoustic and electric instruments. The tool does not use any samples and all audio features are mathematically modeled. Excellent is that both instruments are built on 64-bit architecture.
Lounge Lizard Session
This tool simulates a legendary Fender Rhodes electric piano. Since this is a simulation, the user can adjust the proportions of the each part of the sound as it is formed in the instrument. For example, you can set the noise of hammers, resonance properties of rods or position sensors. Sound can be adjusted by tremolo effect, compressor, EQ and modulation effects chorus and phaser. It has also integrated reverb effect.
The fact that it is a simulation of a single instrument, due to the large number of settings we can create many different colors for different musical styles. The sound is very similar to the original instrument, but it lacks a little of that ” dirty ” real instrument got. In extreme settings tool we can even change the competitive electric Wurlitzer piano .
Strum Acoustic Session
The basic version of the Strum Acoustic Session is a virtual simulation of the acoustic guitar. You can choose between two types of nylon or steel strings. For each type, user can determine whether we are playing on the instrument with a finger or a pick. We can also adjust the tone with a finger positions or choose a size of guitar body. The sound color can be changed with integrated equalizer and reverb effect. Playing on the instrument itself is implemented using either a keyboard or via MIDI patterns that can be imported to the track in the project. However, the overall sound is not quite as faithful as if they were samples.
Some improvements have also occurred in the case of very precious console ProChannel, which is available on all channels and internal mixer contains high-quality effects, the offer continues to expand. The user has the option to purchase a variety of effects from third-party manufacturers. Even more gratifying is that the company brings in ProChannel a big improvement and a new effect.
QuadCurve EQ Zoom
Quad-band parametric equalizer with the large graphical display with the new Zoom and integrated spectrum analyzer. With the Zoom, the equalizer works much easier and will definitely be used more than ever before.
New effect Tape Emulator offersa simulation of the Cassette tape saturation. This effect allows to simulate the behavior of the digital environment Cassette tape, including the loss of higher frequencies or overexcited. Tape Emulator is very well suited for processing drums or mastering, where acoustically combine individual tracks more into himself, so that the recording sounds more compact.
Publish your work on YouTube and Gobbler
In addition to the existing exporting Cakewalk SONAR X3 SMS sound on Sound Cloud server, it is now possible to export your work to video server YouTube. Just when you export a select menu type audio publishing on YouTube, and create a working program mixdown and then a dialog box for logging on to YouTube. You just fill in your credentials and upload a picture placeholder, which will replace the video file.
Another way to integrate SONAR X3 in the Internet environment, is access to the music cloud Gobbler. It offers 5 GB of free space and others available for purchase. The main advantage of the server Gobbler is the fact that it is intended to transfer information between musicians and musical programs. It is primarily intended to the transmission of individual tracks between projects, backup, create banks or bank transfer files between different programs. SONAR X3 got the integration of cloud Gobbler ‘s in built- in toolbar. The only thing the user needs to do is sign up on the internet, then they will have the opportunity to direct a backup or transfer the project and its files by pressing a single button. You can also set up automatic backups, through which the user will have confidence that he won’t loose the unfinished work.
Cakewalk SONAR X3 is a great alternative and an excellent program for the complete processing of audio and MIDI files. Already in the basic version offers a variety of tools and effects that definitely support the user’s inspiration in all musical styles. Despite half the price compared to the competition, this is one of the best equipped programs on the market. The user has a choice of three different versions, which differ not only in price but also equipment. I definitely recommend a minimum versionof Studio, ideally Producer.
Learn Sonar x3 with this complete music production video tutorial – complete guide to making music with Sonar. The Quick Start section reviews the new features in Sonar X3 and includes a grand tour of Sonar functions as well editing and mixing. The Audio section provides in-depth coverage on recording, mixing and mastering digital audio using Sonar X3, including a review of the primary audio FX. The Loops & Remix section demonstrates the tools used for looping as well as time and pitch changes, including Melodyne, AudioSnap, and the Matrix View. There is a comprehensive section on MIDI which explains setting up Sonar to work with Virtual Instruments and hardware MIDI devices as well as recording and editing. Drum tools including Session Drummer and Addictive Drums are also discussed.
- 2 Training DVDs: Sonar X3 + Digital Arranger
- Over 6 hours of training
- Sonar X3 course covers all aspects of audio and midi recording, editing, mixing, and mastering for Cakewalk Sonar X3 digital audio workstation software
- Digital Arranger course covers all major aspects of composing and arranging music for production in a computer environment