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  • #16
    Sonar has always had three main MIDI tools you could select with key commands: Select, Draw, and Erase. But Sonar 7 beefs up these three tools so you can add functions by using modifier keys (Ctrl, Shift, and Alt, singly or in combination) and mouse buttons (Left, Middle, Right).

    I still have my key bindings set up so S = Select, D = Draw, and E = Erase. But now, each one calls up a tool set, not individual tools.

    The way you configure each tool is by going Options > PRV Tool Configuration (see first attached image). Under Preset, you can save your own or call up tool configurations that are equivalent to those used in Cubase, Digital Performer, or Logic Pro 7.

    As one example of custom configuration, with the select tool, clicking on the left mouse button lets me select notes. So, wouldn't it make sense (as that's the tool I use the most) to place some other common functions on there as well? The second attached image shows that I'm assigning Erase Sweep to the Select tool to be active if the Ctrl key is selected while the left mouse button is down.

    But wouldn't it make more sense to assign that function to the Erase tool? Well, you can have overlap -- I have the same option assigned to the Erase tool, too. I also assigned the Glue tool to Shift-left click, thereby putting the three functions I use the most on the same tool. I'm still trying to think up a good candidate for the Alt key...

    What's more, you can also invoke functions based on context. For example, with the Erase tool, I specified that if the cursor is over any part of the note itself, and I hold down Crtl, the cursor turns into the Scissors (split) tool. To my way of thinking, splitting belongs with the erase tool because you're "erasing" the connection between the notes you're splitting. That's just me, of course. I also spiffed up the Draw tool by adding in the option to draw (linear or free)...you get the idea.

    So is this useful? Yes! With one hand on the mouse and one hand on the keyboard, you can really move fast around the piano roll editor (either window or in-line). The only suggestion I have is don't go nuts and assign a zillion things to the various tools. Make a few key configurations, live with those for a while until you've learned them (and made sure they fit your workflow), then move on to the next configurations. Remember, just because you can assign a bunch of tool options doesn't mean you have to use them all. Also, do check out the defaults before you stray too far from them; they may suit your needs "as is."
    N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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    • #17
      My request for those of us that skip versions. Is there any software included in Sonar 6P that is not in 7P? Cakewalk has always been good about setting up install disks so that on a reinstall you can put in old versions and only install extras that are not included on newer versions. I just wonder if I am missing anything by not having the version 6P disks.

      Edit: - to be more clear for all users so skip versions, if something was dropped in the transition from 6 to 7, in what version was it introduced? Example: The BlueMoon effects package (not a real package) was dropped in version 7P but can be installed if you have a version between 3P and 6P.

      By the way, I'm glad you are an actual Cakewalk/Sonar user. It makes things easier being able to read tips here and in SoS from someone that really uses the product.

      Robert
      My friends have big houses and new cars. I own music equipment.

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      • #18
        re: SPE6:

        ACT I haven't yet figured out.... it seems awfully abstruse to me at this point... and I spent a good three or four hours experimenting with it last night. I'm not 100% sure what the advantage is, ie., what it can do that I couldn't do another way just as easily.

        But AudioSnap really is the best thing that's happened to DAW's in a long time... my mixes have never been tighter. It's great to Quantize to audio, as well as to simply have the freedom to slip audio slices back-and-forth in time very easily and intuitively.
        Every paint-stroke takes you farther and farther away from your initial concept. And you have to be thankful for that. Wayne Thiebaud


        Friend me on FACEBOOK!

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        • #19
          My request for those of us that skip versions. Is there any software included in Sonar 6P that is not in 7P? ... I just wonder if I am missing anything by not having the version 6P disks.


          Cakewalk have verified that there is nothing in 6PE that is not in 7PE. If I recall correctly that was also the case for the 5-6 upgrade - nothing dropped, only additions. Nice!

          So you won't miss anything - but goodness me, you have a lot in store for you! Christmas is coming early!
          music is easy: you just start with complete silence, and take away the parts you don't like!

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          • #20
            That's true. S7 has everything that S6 had and of course more.

            Scott

            --
            Scott R. Garrigus - Author of Cakewalk, Sound Forge 6, 7/8 and SONAR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Power books.
            ** Get Sonar 6 Power & Sound Forge 8 Power - Today! **
            http://www.garrigus.com/

            Publisher of DigiFreq. Win a free Absynth 3 or Kontakt 2 DVD Tutorial and learn cool music technology tips and techniques by getting a FREE subscription to DigiFreq... over 20,000 readers can't be wrong! Go to:
            http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/

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            • #21
              While the Tool option and the Microscope are the big deal, there are quite a few other MIDI enhancements. The first attached image shows two things: MIDI note colorization based on velocity, and the ability to do multiple controller lanes. The notes shown in the piano roll go from a velocity of 10 to 127 in increments of ten. The colorization effect is relatively subtle, but if you find it distracting (which I really doubt would be an issue), you can turn it off in the CAKEWALK.INI file.

              The second attached image shows how Cubase 4 handles colorizing. I find it more obvious, but there's a fundamental difference between the way the two programs handle this process. Sonar does colorization based on a variation of the clip color, whereas Cubase applies the same colorization to any track, regardless of clip color. So, while I feel Cubase does a more obvious job on individual tracks, with Sonar it's easier to parse which track you're editing...six of one, half dozen of the other.

              TIP: Speaking of colors, here's a tip for checking out different color configurations. Go Options > Colors, and click on the Presets drop-down menu "downward triangle" but don't select anything. Use your computer keyboard's Up/Down arrows to step through the different presets, and observe the effect this has on your project.

              The Multiple Controller lane concept should be pretty obvious, as just about every other program has it...this qualifies as a "catch-up" update, but it's welcome nonetheless. It's obvious to use: Click on the little + sign in the lower left of a controller lane, and it opens up another lane. Click on the - sign to hide a lane.
              N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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              • #22
                Sonar now has specific tools for split (scissors tool), glue notes (glue tube), and mute.

                Split works the same way as placing the cursor on a clip and typing S, but it can also be assigned as a mouse tool (as can the other new tools). Glue (which of course applies only to notes of the same pitch) is something I've been wanting for a while, and I'm glad it's here. When you choose the Glue tool, you just drag it over the notes you want to glue and they become one note. However, unlike Mute (described next) this works only on notes: Gluing controller events together produces a "fatal error" screen, and Sonar crashes after asking you if you want to save your work before it goes bye-bye.

                TIP: If glue notes with different velocities, whichever one you drag over first in the gluing process sets the velocity for the final, glued note.

                The Mute tool can apply to individual events, and when muted, an event not only plays back but doesn't register on the meters, either. You can use this on events as well, which is helpful. Personally, I don't find the Mute tool as useful as the other two, but as I work more with Sonar 7 I'll see if it gets more use. One more mute feature: Sonar 7 now lets you hide the events in muted clips; previously, muted events would still show, which could be confusing. However, you can still use this protocol if you prefer.
                N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                • #23
                  re: SPE6:

                  ACT I haven't yet figured out.... it seems awfully abstruse to me at this point... and I spent a good three or four hours experimenting with it last night. I'm not 100% sure what the advantage is, ie., what it can do that I couldn't do another way just as easily.


                  Did you check out the tutorials on ACT in the Sonar 6 Pro Review? You might find them helpful. Also, I think there's info on the Cake site as well.

                  What you can do with it that you can't do easily with other means (except something like Kore) is that you can have one control surface and it affects whatever has the focus. I think those who have problems with ACT try to do too much with it. For example, if you just assign ONE fader or knob to resonance, you can use it to control filter resonance in a soft synth, feedback in a delay signal processor, or bandpass in a bandpass filter. If you try to assign a zillion parameters to ACT and remember all of them as you work with a control surface, you brain will explode.

                  The other way I use ACT is to map onscreen controls in a way that seems obvious to me. For example, with "rack-looking" effects, the controls typically go in a line from left to right. So I assign those to the knobs on my hardware controller so they go from left to right on the control, and there's an easy correlation between the control surface in front of me and the knobs I see on-screen.

                  But you're not wrong not to use ACT. Not everyone needs it, but for those who are deep into control surfaces, it can be very helpful.
                  N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                  • #24
                    That's true. S7 has everything that S6 had and of course more.

                    Scott


                    Welcome Scott! Great to have you stop by. If you feel like contributing your considerable expertise to the thread, consider yourself invited.
                    N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                    • #25
                      Another one of those "It's about time, thanks!" features is the ability to have controller data travel with notes. You could do this with Sonar before, but only if you moved a clip in Track View (anything in the clip moved). But now in Piano Roll view, if you choose "Select Controllers within Note Duration" and move a note(s), any controller events that fall during the note duration move with the note. This is very helpful, because a lot of times I'll have (for example) pitch bend working perfectly with a note. Before, if I wanted to move just that note, unless I isolated it into a clip in Track View the pitch had to be cut and pasted separately, and there was no guarantee I'd paste it in exactly the right place. About the only thing you have to watch out for with this feature is if you have a controller value before the note designed to affect that note; you can either move it under the note, or add a "bogus" note above the controller that you remove after completing the move.

                      I also really like the drag-quantize option because I'm a huge fan of quantization strength, and this option lets you adjust quantization strength without having to open up the quantization menu.

                      The way it works is you just select a group of notes, click on one of them (default is with the middle mouse button, using the select tool) and drag up to move the notes closer to the specified quantize value, and down to move them further away. Note that if a selected note is already quantized, it won't move; this function affects only notes that are not on a quantization boundary.

                      Sonar 7 adds a lot of other, more subtle features. So that we can move on to other things, I'll just give a quickie description...if anyone has questions or wants more elaboration, just holler.

                      Adjust velocity with changing the controller type. Sonar 7 now considers velocity to be a data type separate from controllers. So if you're editing a controller and want to make a quick velocity adjustment, you can do so without having the current Edit Type switch to Velocity: Just adjust the tail and when you stop adjusting, the velocity tail goes away and all you'll see displayed is the particular controller.

                      Show velocity only for selected notes. Now when you have a bunch of stacked notes, you can easily adjust velocity for individual notes by choosing "Show Velocity on Select Notes." I've been hassling Cakewalk for so long about this ("Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?") they may have put this in just to shut me up The first attached image shows the option being selected, as well as one selected note from a chord and its associated velocity tail.

                      Selection sensitive velocity editing. This is a somewhat related feature in that if you're drawing velocities, you can choose to affect only selected notes.

                      Note/controller or controller velocity painting, freehand or linear. These functions can now be assigned to your programmable mouse PRV tool options. It's very handy to just hold down, say, a control key and then be able to draw freehand controllers with your mouse.

                      Erase tool change. With previous versions of Sonar, if you erased a note, it was gone. With Sonar 7, erasing a note selects it for erasing, and it changes color (see second attached image). When you release the mouse note, they actually become erased. This doesn't mean you can change your mind by, for example, moving back over an erased note; but you can see all the notes you plan to erase before they actually go away, which can be helpful sometimes.

                      Easier editing of overlapping notes. If notes overlaps, Sonar 7 will apply some "intelligence" in determining which is the one you want to edit. For example, if the cursor is hovering over a note thats overlapped by another note and you see the trim end tool, when you click on the note the hidden end will be revealed, and when you trim, this visible end is what will be trimmed.

                      Finally, the Velocity Audition functions, while unchanged, are now easier to access as they've been moved to the PRV Tool Configuration dialog.
                      N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                      • #26
                        Yup, Sonar now has MIDI playback meters. They look just like the audio meters, with the only exception being that the audio meter clipping indicator is replaced by a MIDI activity indicator (which is the same color as the meter), and the main meter indicates the highest note velocity being played back. The separation of MIDI activity and note velocity is very useful, as you can see if a track has, for example, mod wheel data happening even if there aren't any notes.

                        That pretty much wraps up the MIDI editing options. The only remaining MIDI-related "biggies" are pitch-to-MIDI conversion in V-Vocal, and the Step Sequencer, which we'll get into next.
                        N E W S O N G ! To Say 'No' Would Be a Crime (Remix) is now streamable from my YouTube channel.

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                        • #27
                          Welcome Scott! Great to have you stop by. If you feel like contributing your considerable expertise to the thread, consider yourself invited.


                          Thanks, Craig! Will do...

                          I'm not sure if you covered them in your last review, but Cakewalk added some other features during the incremental version 6 updates. These include MIDI Input Quantize, X-Ray Windows, the Bit Meter plug-in, Track View Time Display, Friendly MIDI Hardware Port Names, etc.

                          You might want to cover those here as well if you didn't before...

                          Best regards,
                          Scott

                          --
                          Scott R. Garrigus - Author of Cakewalk, Sound Forge 6, 7/8 and SONAR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Power books.
                          ** Get Sonar 6 Power & Sound Forge 8 Power - Today! **
                          http://www.garrigus.com/

                          Publisher of DigiFreq. Win a free Absynth 3 or Kontakt 2 DVD Tutorial and learn cool music technology tips and techniques by getting a FREE subscription to DigiFreq... over 20,000 readers can't be wrong! Go to:
                          http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/

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                          • #28
                            The Multiple Controller lane concept should be pretty obvious, as just about every other program has it...this qualifies as a "catch-up" update, but it's welcome nonetheless. It's obvious to use: Click on the little + sign in the lower left of a controller lane, and it opens up another lane. Click on the - sign to hide a lane.

                            SONAR 7, however, still allows you to assign multiple controllers to the same lane. Other apps force one controller per lane. So, we give you the best of both.
                            Alex Westner
                            Director of Product Management
                            http://www.cakewalk.com

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                            • #29
                              Thanks, Craig! Will do...

                              I'm not sure if you covered them in your last review, but Cakewalk added some other features during the incremental version 6 updates. These include MIDI Input Quantize, X-Ray Windows, the Bit Meter plug-in, Track View Time Display, Friendly MIDI Hardware Port Names, etc.

                              You might want to cover those here as well if you didn't before...

                              Best regards,
                              Scott

                              --
                              Scott R. Garrigus - Author of Cakewalk, Sound Forge 6, 7/8 and SONAR 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Power books.
                              ** Get Sonar 6 Power & Sound Forge 8 Power - Today! **
                              http://www.garrigus.com/

                              Publisher of DigiFreq. Win a free Absynth 3 or Kontakt 2 DVD Tutorial and learn cool music technology tips and techniques by getting a FREE subscription to DigiFreq... over 20,000 readers can't be wrong! Go to:
                              http://www.digifreq.com/digifreq/




                              Dude ,
                              You quit wasting time on the web and get the version 7 guide out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Hurry!!

                              (kidding)oke:
                              First kill the goose by refusing to feed it , then blame it for dying and not giving anymore gold eggs


                              Professionalism is an attitude and , not a possesion that you own forever once you have acheived something.



                              "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

                              Albert Einstein


                              .

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                              • #30
                                Looking forward to that Craig - you music God. Could you please post your computer spec.

                                xx
                                Olly

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