Technology Spotlight: Cakewalk SONAR X1 - Mixonline

Technology Spotlight: Cakewalk SONAR X1

By George Petersen
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Cakewalk has announced the next evolution of its popular SONAR series of DAW workstation software for the PC platform. Shipping December 8, 2010, the new flagship $399 SONAR X1 Producer bundle (also offered in a $199 SONAR X1 Studio and $99 SONAR X1 Essential versions) includes Native 32-bit and 64-bit Windows applications, with unlimited tracks, a huge array of professional effects, world-class virtual instruments and creative production tools.

At the heart of SONAR X1 is Skylight—a new, completely revamped user interface that supports multiple monitors and widescreen displays, with an emphasis on improved, faster workflow. New functions include Smart Tools; an Edit Filter (this lets you see and work on only the data you want); Drag, Drop and Roll capability for nearly anything—loops, plug-ins, samples, FX chains, entire projects, templates; Key Cluster shortcuts; and more.

The four main new components within SONAR X1’s Skylight interface are: Inspector (which shows all vital track and clip information at a glance); Browser (for organizing all content in a single location with full drag and drop functionality); Control Bar, with modular, user-customizable access to critical functions; and MultiDock, which lets users move and combine any number of SONAR view in a single area. A new Screenset features remembers every window position and size in your session—all of which are available for instant access from the Control Bar—and users can pick from supplied presets or create easily their own Screensets for tracking, mixing, jamming or experimenting.

A major new addition to SONAR X1 Producer is the Pro Channel. Available to every channel in your production, it provides recreations of classic FET channel and bus compressors, musical 6-band equalizers (with highpass and lowpass filters, and a one-button “shine” top-end boost switch), a variable Tube Saturation stage, flexible routing and the ability to quickly store/recall favorite settings of all Pro Channel parameters.

Among the standard features in SONAR X1 Producer are: automatic plug-in delay compensation; powerful step sequencing; per-track arpeggiation; Matrix View cell-based, non-linear audio and MIDI arranging with live triggering capability; surround mixing in more than 30 formats; Waveform Preview with track markers showing max peak and overages on buses and synth tracks; POW-r Dithering; iZotope Radius time stretching; MPEX 3 time scaling; and integrated CD ripping and burning. These are all in addition to the popular features of previous SONAR Producer versions, such as the Essential Instruments and Essential Effects collections, Session Drummer 3, Dimension Pro, Mastering Effects, Channel Strips, True Pianos, Audio Snap, Rapture LE, V-Vocal and RGC Suite.

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System requirements include: Windows XP Service Pack 3 (32-bit)/Vista Service Pack 2 (32- or 64-bit)/Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit) and an Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.67 GHz or AMD Phenom Quad Core 9750 2.4 GHz CPU with at least 2 GB of RAM.

Find out more information about Cakewalk SONAR X1.