The last Cakewalk deal was too good to pass up, and I finally upgraded to Sonar 8.5. I’ve only spent about two hours with it, but they were happy hours. Part of the setup included migrating my settings from Sonar 6, and, for the most part, they were migrated. I had to disable my motherboard soundcard again, and I don’t think 8.5 is seeing my old drum maps, but everything else seems to be fine.
The new plugins sound amazing. I’ve played with TruePianos, Guitar Rig, and Z3ta+. I didn’t expect to use Guitar Rig, but after hearing it, I’m considering selling my SansAmp PSA-1. I even tried it using “input monitoring” and didn’t have any latency problems. The built-in tuner is very convenient.
For the most part, I haven’t had any trouble finding commands or options in the new version. It seems to be the same Sonar, but better. I couldn’t help but smile when I changed my project temp and it automatically stretched my audio clips! Maybe that feature existed in 6, but I never found it if it did.No comments
I got this exciting email from Toontrack:
EZdrummer EZX Expansion titles for $39.99!
Back by popular demand, and for a limited time only,
Guitar Center is offering All EZdrummer EZX Expansion titles for just $39.99 each!!!!
That’s right, from October 1st 2009 through October 31st 2009, head down to your local Guitar Center and take advantage of the instant savings on the best drum production tools around.
Don’t miss your chance to save – head over to your local Guitar Center today!
**Promotion valid at all Guitar Center locations in the United States only. Promotion good from October 1 through October 31st 2009. No Rain Checks. All EZX titles sold on the VSSD system. License sold at store, EZX software downloadable from www.toontrack.com
I went down to my local Guitar Center and picked up the Twisted and Claustrophobic kits. Actually, all you get is a recipt with serial numbers on it, and then you download the kits from the Toontrack website, but the end result is the same: two great kits for the price of one.No comments
My tube amp, a late 90s Mesa/Boogie DC-3, developed a crackle. I searched the internet, but couldn’t find any information that directly corresponded to the problem I was experiencing. So, while this is not specifically home-recording related, I decided to add my experience to the internet in hopes it will help someone else.
The problem was a low-volume intermittent crackle coming through the speaker. It was not a hum, hiss, or pop – it sounded similar to a faulty cable or connection, but more subtle and less urgent. It would crackle for several seconds and then stop. As time progressed, over several months, it got worse. Interestingly, the crackle did not get louder if you turned up the volume. No matter how loud or quiet the amp volume was, the crackle was the same level.
I tried all the diagnostics I could, and nothing pointed toward the problem. I swapped pre-amp tubes one-by-one with known good ones. I tapped on the power tubes with a pencil. I checked the speaker connection. As a last resort, I replaced all four power tubes with new ones, and that finally fixed it. It was a $40 gamble, but it paid off.
So, internet, absorb my knowledge: if your tube amp gets the crackle, replace the power tubes.1 comment
I’m deep into the mixing of my band’s EP right now. I’m learning lots of new things, and putting lots of theories into practice. This is the biggest project I’ve ever mixed, in terms of both complexity and importance. Here are a few things I’ve learned:
- VC64 Vintage Channel sounds really good, and works magic on vocals.
- Boost11 is a must have. Classic Master Limiter doesn’t cut it.
- Console view for recording automation. Track view for cleaning it up.
- Mixing is more about subtraction than addition.
- You can compress acoustic guitars and have it sound good.. but it’s hard.
I wrote in June about my DAW developing a chronic BSOD problem out of nowhere, and figuring out the problem was caused by Microsoft’s “Software Distribution Service 3.0.” Well, last week the BSOD-reboot started happening again. The first few times, I made like an ostrich and pretended it didn’t happen. Tonight, however, it happened while I was mixing and I lost an hour’s work EQing guitar tracks and de-essing vocals. You can bet that I was angry. Read more2 comments
Every year about this time, when Cakewalk is poised to announce a new version of Sonar, they offer to give you the new version free if you buy the current version. This year’s announcement has come.
I’ve taken advantage of this offer in the past, and while I think it’s a great offer, my experience was that the “free” upgrade took several months after the software release to land on my doorstep.
If you do this, don’t expect to get Sonar 9 the week it is released.
Update: As Joe D pointed out in the comments, this is not Sonar 9, but a paid point release of Sonar 8. Also, those who take advantage of this offer will be able to download the update, rather than having to wait on Cakewalk to ship you a DVD.3 comments
The dreaded BSOD – Blue Screen of Death – seemed to be only a myth, a thing of legend on my DAW. I’ve happily recorded on this computer for a couple years, and I’ve never had any problems with stability. Then, out of nowhere, the BSOD reared its ugly head. I hadn’t changed any hardware or software settings, but was consistently getting blue-screened and rebooted while playing audio from both Sonar and Windows Media Player.
I finally traced the problem to a recent Windows Update – something called Software Distribution Service 3.0. I used System Restore to go back to a restore point before the update, and the problem disappeared.3 comments
My recent hard drive crashes gave me the “opportunity” to start over from scratch and reinstall everything. I chose not to use Windows XP x64.
x64 worked, it was stable, and I got a lot of work done on it. However, my list of complaints has grown long over the last couple years:
- Cakewalk has dropped support for it in new versions of Sonar
- Microsoft treats it like a stepchild
- Waves doesn’t support it
- Antares doesn’t support it
- Toontrack doesn’t support it, and in the past few EZ Drummer updates, the groove audition tempo has been broken
- M-Audio only kinda supports it
- Bit-Bridge worked 98% of the time. The 2%, while rare, was frustrating
When I built this DAW, I went with x64 and 64-bit Sonar because I wanted to be on the cutting edge. I knew there would be some compatibility problems, but I believed that Microsoft and Cakewalk were standing behind this platform. While it did work very well, I’ve felt like both companies let me down in the last couple years. I paid a lot of money for x64, an OS that has been largely abandoned as a prototype or proof-of-concept OS.
So, now that circumstances have forced me to start over, I decided to go with good old 32-bit Windows XP Professional as my operating system. I am already enjoying updated M-Audio drivers, a working EZ Drummer, and a few plug-ins that wouldn’t work under Bit-Bridge. x64 is no more.No comments
I had two hard drives in my computer – both Western Digital Caviar SATA drives. One was for programs, and the other was for Sonar audio data. The audio drive died around the first of the year, and I had a miserable time getting it replaced under warranty.
The other drive, with my programs on it, died this week.
It’s also under warranty, since I bought them at the same time. When the audio drive died, I could at least use my computer for other things while waiting on the warranty replacement. This time, the computer is dead until I get a new drive and reinstall Windows and all my software. I’m not sure I can wait a month for Western Digital to fulfill their warranty obligations.
I think I’m just going to buy something else. And it won’t be Western Digital.1 comment