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Cakewalk has announced the release of SONAR 7 Producer Edition and SONAR 7 Studio Edition.

SONAR 7 Producer Edition rounds out and extends its comprehensive offering of powerful creative tools with an open and customizable environment, high-quality instruments and effects, and flexible mixing and delivery options. These new developments include user customization for MIDI with Smart MIDI Tools, the introduction of a powerful Step Sequencer, true Linear Phase Mastering Plug-ins, internal sidechaining, delay compensation for external hardware through an External Insert plug-in, pitch to MIDI functionality with Roland V-Vocal 1.5, integrated CD burning, and numerous workflow and delivery enhancements throughout the application.

New Features for SONAR 7 Producer Edition:

  • Integrated Step Sequencer view provides an innovative step sequencer feature set.
  • Smart MIDI Tools—intuitively use one tool for multiple editing tasks; completely customizable.
  • Real-time Drag-Quantize allows selected notes and events to be quickly aligned with snap settings.
  • Multilane controller editing in Piano Roll view; controller data can be moved/copied across lanes; multiple controls can be viewed/edited per lane to economize screen real estate.
  • MIDI display features including MIDI Magnifier, MIDI Meters, and Velocity Colorizer.
  • Enhanced MIDI editing with functions for splitting, gluing, and muting notes.
  • More ACT (Active Controller Technology) presets for popular hardware.
  • New instruments: Z3TA+ 1.5 waveshaping synthesizer, Dimension LE (featuring Garritan Pocket Orchestra), Rapture LE, and DropZone Sample player/synth; Over 1000 instruments sounds.
  • Roland V-Vocal 1.5, now with Pitch to MIDI conversion.
  • LP-64 Multiband linear phase mastering compressor/limiter with AutoQ functionality.
  • LP-64 EQ linear phase mastering EQ with 20-point control curve.
  • Internal sidechaining for Sonitus:fx Compressor, Sonitus:fx Gate, VC-64 Vintage Channel, and 3rd party VST plug-ins with sidechain (multi-input) capability.
  • External Insert Plug-in let's you insert and mix with external hardware effects and instruments with automatic delay compensation.
  • Boost 11 Peak Limiter.
  • Dim Solo keeps tracks in context by reducing volume of unsoloed tracks by 6, 12, of 18 dB instead of muting.
  • Drag & drop EQ settings across channels in the console view.
  • Shortcuts for assigning a series of audio inputs, and routing selected tracks/busses to the same.
  • Original SMPTE time stamps now stored with clips with easy revert to original time stamp.
  • Right-click at cursor to Import audio/MIDI data.
  • Wave-64 support provides capabilities to record large scale (2 GB+) projects.
  • High bandwidth multi-track recording optimizations.
  • New file format import/export options including Sony Wave-64, AIF, CAF, FLAC, Sound Designer II.
  • Integrated Audio CD ripping and burning.
  • Cakewalk Publisher 2.0 for uploading and presenting music online.

Built upon the same core feature set as SONAR 7 Producer Edition, SONAR 7 Studio Edition features all the music creation tools found in SONAR 7 Producer Edition with the following exceptions: LP-64 Linear Phase Equalizer, LP-64 Multiband Compressor, VC-64 Vintage Channel, Roland V-Vocal VariPhrase technology, Z3TA+, PSYN II subtractive synth, Pentagon I analog synth, RXP groove instrument, Perfect Space Convolution Reverb, surround mixing, Sonitus Surround Compressor, POW-r Dithering, MPEX-3 Time Stretching. In addition, AudioSnap in SONAR 7 Studio Edition is limited to one track at a time processing.

Pricing and Availability

SONAR 7 Producer Edition has an MSRP of $619 ($499 street) U.S., SONAR 7 Studio Edition (MSRP) is $369 U.S. ($299 street) and both are now shipping. Registered SONAR 6 Producer Edition customers can upgrade to SONAR 7 Producer Edition directly through Cakewalk for $179; SONAR 6 Studio Edition to SONAR 7 Studio Edition for $99. Other upgrade paths are available, visit Cakewalk.com for details.

SONAR 7 Producer Edition and Studio Edition software is available in English, French, and German boxed versions with printed documentation; English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish electronic quick start guides contained in all versions. SONAR 7 is available through Roland and Edirol distribution partners.

Europe's suggested street price for SONAR 7 Producer Edition and SONAR 7 Studio Edition are €499 and €299 RRP inc VAT respectively; U.K. pricing is £329 and £199 RRP inc VAT respectively; and will be available today.

New Features in Detail

Integrated Step Sequencer view: SONAR 7's new dedicated Step Sequencer view provides, perhaps, the most innovative step sequencer feature set available in any comprehensive DAW today. Features include up to 16 steps per beat with 64 beats per pattern; support for odd time signatures (non 4/4 meter); a powerful "Fit Pattern to Quarters" control that fits patterns into lengths of any number of quarter notes for creation of polyrhythmic parts (5 against 4 rhythms, hemiolas, septuplets, etc.); control velocity offset and scale values in an entire row all at once; MIDI controller automation drawing; step ties; monophonic/polyphonic toggle switch; global portamento toggle switch with time control; swing and articulation controls.

Integration with SONAR's advanced Drum Mapping and MIDI routing provides capabilities for simultaneously triggering sounds from different instruments from the same step sequencer—perfect for working with complex or layered drum kit setups with sounds sourced from different instruments.

Smart MIDI Tools: Smart MIDI Tools revolutionizes SONAR's MIDI editing by providing users with a powerful and customizable workflow innovation. Users are given three tools which can each be configured to perform multiple operations to suit their editing style. By providing capabilities to perform multiple MIDI operations without the need to switch tools, Smart MIDI Tools greatly speeds SONAR users' editing sessions.

Out of the box, SONAR provides three preconfigured Smart MIDI Tools; the default tool can be used to draw, select, erase, and edit notes and controllers. Users can create their own Smart MIDI Tool presets by selecting from 20 different mouse actions and assigning them to edit functions such as slip-editing and transposition, and new MIDI editing features including split, glue, event mute, and drag quantize. Users are also given control over specific edit behavior: change the way draw and erase works, it's all user-definable.

Custom Smart MIDI Tool assignments can be saved as presets and apply to both the Piano Roll View and the Inline Piano Roll. SONAR 7 also includes presets that match MIDI operations in other popular applications such as Logic, Cubase, and Digital Performer for customers who are switching to SONAR from these applications.

Other SONAR MIDI enhancements:

  • Roland V-Vocal 1.5: now includes Pitch to MIDI conversion. Convert vocal lines into MIDI which can then be assigned to virtual instruments for fluid lines and unique textures and effects.
  • MIDI Magnifier: another SONAR 7 innovation, work with MIDI in-place, even when zoomed out. MIDI Magnifier allows you to quickly zoom in on isolated areas and make edits without changing the overall zoom level of the view in which you are working.
  • Velocity Colorizer: provides improved visual feedback to the user; notes are tinted depending on velocities for easier identification.
  • MIDI Meters: Standard MIDI Meters in the Track and Console view respond to MIDI velocity information, and MIDI activity indicators respond any MIDI activity.
  • Multiple Controller Lanes: multiple MIDI parameters can be displayed simultaneously within the Piano Roll View (PRV) in a multi-lane format. This makes it easier than ever to edit and view MIDI data such as velocity, modulation, pitch bend and CCs. Controller data can also be moved and copied across lanes. Also make precise comparisons and edits of multiple controller types by assigning controllers to the same lane.
  • New MIDI Edit Functions: Split Notes, Glue Notes, Event Mute, Drag Quantize, and Repeat have been added to the MIDI tool palette.
  • ACT (Active Controller Technology): has changed the way we work with instruments, effects and controllers by giving users control of whatever view has focus. New ACT presets include: Akai MPK49, Korg padKONTROL, and Line6 TonePort KB37.

New Instruments: with Cakewalk's acquisition of RGC:audio in 2005, synth-development legend René Ceballos joined the Cakewalk development team. As a result of their continued collaboration and development, SONAR 7 now offers one of the most comprehensive instrument collections available today. New instruments for SONAR 7 include Dimension LE, DropZone, Rapture LE, and Z3TA+ 1.5. With these additions, SONAR 7 now includes well over 1000 new instrument sounds and 1 GB of sample content.

Internal Plug-in Sidechaining: Leveraging SONAR's Universal Bus Architecture framework, SONAR now supports internal sidechaining (multi-input plug-in support) with the Sonitus:fx Compressor, Sonitus:fx Gate, VC-64 Vintage Channel, and all sidechain compliant VST processors such as those available from Voxengo and Sonalksis.

Sidechaining support provides users with more flexibility and control over mix processes and new creative options for key-triggered sound effects. SONAR's internal dynamics processors can be used more effectively to avoid the clashing of multiple instruments occurring in the same frequency range. Other common uses include "Ducking" a technique used in radio broadcast, where the input signal, usually a vocal triggers the attenuation of the backing music track; and filter-sidechain de-essing for attenuating sibilance typically present in the 4-8kHz frequency range without effecting the tonal balance of the entire mix.

LP-64 EQ linear phase mastering EQ: LP-64 EQ is the linear-phase Equalizer that puts a professional sheen on your final mix. The LP-64 EQ employs superior linear-phase processing to ensure zero-phase accuracy and maintain the integrity of audio throughout the frequency spectrum. LP-64 EQ's phase accurate processing eliminates phase distortion common with parametric EQ, such as coloration, cancellations, comb filtering, muddy transients.

LP-64 EQ offers flexibility in editing by offering both traditional parametric editing with graphical control points representing filter components that control frequency, gain, and Q; and a graphical curve editing mode. This graphical mode allows for more intuitive editing where control points rest directly on the equalization curve, and provide smooth means for curve manipulation. Up to 20 control points can be added to an EQ graph and both modes of operation produce the same superior-quality, linear-phase output.

  • Two modes of operation: traditional parametric and graphical curve
  • Create deep notches, resonant peaks, and steep roll offs
  • HUD (heads-up display) provides constant and detailed control point information
  • +/- 24 dB gain change range per control point
  • 64-bit double precision signal path
  • Up to 192 kHz resolution
  • Optimized for low CPU usage
  • Full VST functionality for access from dedicated audio editors

LP-64 Multiband linear phase mastering compressor/limiter: LP-64 Multiband provides transparent peak limiting and volume maximization. The LP-64 Multiband employs the same superior linear-phase technology found in the LP-64 EQ ensuring, zero-phase accuracy at critical frequency crossover points. This provides clean, clear non-smeared control over isolated bands for volume maximization or attenuation/limiting.

The LP-64 Multiband operation modes are user selectable or PDR (Program Dependent Release) that automatically minimizes pumping (audible fluctuations of the volume) and maximizes loudness. Also, an 'Auto-Q' feature automatically adjusts the linear-phase filters to maintain ideal overlap - whether dialing in broad, subtle crossovers, or tight notches and boosts.

  • Two modes of operation: User selectable or PDR.
  • +/- 18 dB gain change range per control point.
  • Up to 192 kHz resolution.
  • 64-bit double precision signal path.
  • Mono and stereo operation.
  • Optimized for low CPU usage.
  • Full VST functionality for access from dedicated audio editors.

Boost 11 Peak Limiter: The Boost 11 Peak Limiter provides transparent peak limiting and volume maximization without coloring the sound of the source material. Boost 11 employs a "look-ahead" limiter algorithm to prevent output clipping and PDR (Program Dependent Release) to minimize pumping (fluctuations of the volume) and maximize the loudness. Boost 11's features include:

  • Look-ahead peak detection to prevent clipping.
  • Program Dependent Release to minimize pumping.
  • Dynamic waveform displays of input vs. output.
  • Stereo peak and RMS input/output meters.
  • Operation at sampling rates up to 192 kHz.
  • 64-bit double precision signal path.
  • VST Automation.

External Hardware Inserts: SONAR now provides seamless integration of external hardware effect processors and MIDI instruments with latencies automatically measured and compensated through SONAR's plug-in delay compensation (PDC). SONAR's External Insert plug-in for outboard gear appears in SONAR's plug in menu where it can be inserted into the audio fx bin on any track or bus.

When using External Inserts, users have control over send and receive port assignments, send phase invert, as well as automatable send and return gain trim (+/-24dB). All parameters can be saved in presets.

With SONAR's new Real-time Bounce, Export and Freeze options, you can use External Inserts in your projects through all phases of production. Freeze tracks that use External Inserts at any time to permanently capture the processing of your favorite outboard gear and instruments—perfect for collaboration with other studios that may not have your particular outboard hardware.

Faster I/O Assignment: SONAR 7 has added new shortcuts for audio I/O assignment. These provide a quick way to set a series of consecutive inputs/outputs, set selected tracks to same input/output, and assigning multiple bus outputs to same main.

Drag and drop EQ parameters: Users can now copy EQ settings across tracks via a simple drag and drop of EQ plots in the console view.

Dim Solo mode: Isolates soloed tracks by applying a configurable -6, -12, or -18 dB dim to non-soloed tracks instead of a complete mute.

High bandwidth recording and large project optimizations: Users can now record longer projects with support for 2+ GB Sony Wave-64 files. SONAR has also been optimized for high-bandwidth multitrack recording. A recent recording project utilized a pre-release version of SONAR 7 to record 48 tracks simultaneously at 24-bit, 192 kHz audio quality.

Cakewalk Publisher 2.0: Integrated Cakewalk Publisher presents an innovative new tool to publish and present music online. Cakewalk Publisher provides a fast and easy way to create a customized, online, streaming music player and playlists that can then be directly uploaded from SONAR to band websites, and hosted on MySpace and other other Internet sites.

  • Simply drag files into Publisher to quickly create playlists.
  • Build custom Flash-based audio players with choice of colors, size, layout, etc to match web designs.
  • Support for album art: choose an image and URL for each song in your playlist.
  • Includes FTP client to upload music and players directly to your website.
  • XML generation to embed customized players on many websites (Myspace, etc.).

File Recovery Mode: SONAR 7 significantly enhances the "safe mode" functionality first introduced in SONAR 5. Now known as File Recovery Mode, this activates a more aggressive data recovery mechanism when a damaged project file is detected. While not a substitute for good backup practices, File Recovery Mode may be able to open damaged projects with minimal data loss, preserving your valuable data.

Integrated CD Ripping and Burning: Now you can import audio from CD directly into a SONAR project and burn multiple tracks to audio CDs right from within the application.

New file format import/export options: Users can now import/export Sony Wave-64, AIF, CAF, FLAC, SD2 (Sound Designer II). Users can also now right-click at cursor to import audio/MIDI data.

Additional Key Features of SONAR 7:

  • Pristine 64-bit mix engine; first true 64-bit end-to-end signal path.
  • Customizable user interface: put favorite features right at your fingertips.
  • AudioSnap suite of audio timing tools featuring multiple time stretching algorithms including iZotope Radius, percussion mode, and groove clip.
  • Active Controller Technology (ACT): dynamically maps effect, mix, and instrument parameters to any MIDI controller or hardware control surface, automatically remaps parameters to whatever view has focus.
  • Roland V-Vocal VariPhrase technology for perfection of vocal tracks through exceptional audio stretching, pitch correction, and dynamics, phrasing, and vibrato—now updated with pitch to MIDI conversion.
  • Perfect Space Convolution Reverb powered by Voxengo.
  • VC-64 Vintage Channel powered by Kjaerhus—now updated with sidechaining.
  • SurroundBridge—easily use stereo effects in a surround environment.
  • BitBridge enables 32-bit VST effects and instruments to run smoothly in SONAR when running in an x64 (64- bit) environment.
  • POW-r Dithering.
  • iZotope Radius Time Stretching.
  • MPEX 3 Time Scaling.
  • Bus & Synth Waveform Preview.
  • Clip-Based Effects and Editing.
  • Crash Recovery safeguards projects against faulty plug-ins and other sources of crashes.
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