India performances

Upcoming gigs with the Ramona Borthwick Quartet with Noel Borthwick (g), Karl Peters (b), Adrian D’Souza (dr).

Saturday, Nov 15, 2008 @ 8:30PM
The Bombay Gymkhana
MG Road, Fort.  Mumbai 400001. India

Thursday, Nov 20, 2008 @ 8:00PM
Shisha Jazz Café
ABC Farms, Koregaon Park,  Pune 411001. India

Thursday, Nov 27, 2008 @ 7:30PM
Gordon House Hotel
Sahar, Mumbai 400059. India

Getting Technical: Optimizing SONAR 8 for Vista

With the help of Cakewalk’s Engineering Department, Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn delves inside the mechanics of SONAR 8. Visit Create Digital Music to learn how SONAR 8 will hold its own in Windows Vista.

Cakewalk’s Noel Borthwick explains, “SONAR 8 introduces several, crucial enhancements for communications with audio devices in Windows Vista, including support for WASAPI (a new audio standard in Windows Vista and future OS), MMCSS task profile support, and WaveRT streaming.”

To view the complete list of enhancements made to the latest version of SONAR, take a look at the posting below.

SONAR 8: The Fine Print

Cakewalk’s CTO Noel Borthwick sheds some light on the features “under the hood” in SONAR 8.

*Note that this list is not a substitute for the official feature list & other features already documented in the SONAR 8 manual. Rather it is a list culled from Cakewalk’s Engineering Department*


Performance optimizations:

Although every version of SONAR we shipped in the past had some degree of optimization work, SONAR 8 is the first version of SONAR to which we applied the same engineering process to performance optimizations as we do with other more user visible features. i.e. we established goals, built a specification for the optimizations, split up the work into milestones and tracked the progress of these tasks just as we do for other features. To make testing more deterministic, we devised various internal profiling tools in order to track and measure changes in performance across a variety of hardware platforms on XP as well as Vista.

Systems tested included brand new cutting edge platforms from Intel and AMD as well as earlier generation machines.

We split up this work into the following classes of performance enhancements for SONAR 8:

1. CPU and kernel level optimizations – use less of your CPU to do the same amount of work

2. User Interface optimizations – faster drawing, scrolling, zooming

3. Driver level optimizations – more efficient access to drivers, minimizing driver state transitions

4. Vista OS specific optimizations – Better use of MMCSS thread priorities, support for custom MMCSS task profiles, new WASAPI support

5. Audio engine optimizations – optimize “hotspots” in our bussing, streaming and mixing code

As a result of all these changes, SONAR 8 has the following benefits:

– greatly minimized kernel usage. This helps provide more “kernel bandwidth” to drivers who need it the most. More kernel bandwidth translates into less potential for audio glitches.

– Lower CPU usage – translates to better performance at low latency

– More efficient use of audio drivers – esp with ASIO drivers

– Better performance on Windows Vista esp X64. Many of the complaints of Vista performance as compared to XP have been solved with SONAR 8. X64 low latency performance should now be on par with X86.

– Faster application launch

– Less flicker in GUI. Track view splitters no longer flicker when resizing.

– More responsive zoom and scroll with large projects. Zooming with wave files now uses 1/2 the RAM with 24-bit or less stereo or mono files used.

– Better meter performance.

– Improved thread scheduling by insuring threads are properly distributed on processors.

This link shows the overall benefits of SONAR 8 as compared to SONAR 7:

Continue reading “SONAR 8: The Fine Print”

Windows Vista is here to stay

As part of my job at Cakewalk, I’ve been working on making our applications support this new operating system from Microsoft. Some things have been easy and some not. Interestingly the stuff that ended up being the hardest to do were features that looked relatively simple on the surface. I’ll elaborate on some of this in future threads.

Here are several published interviews, where I discuss some of the work we’ve done with SONAR for Windows Vista.

Vista for Music + Pro Audio: Exclusive Under the Hood with Cakewalk’s CTO [Create Digital Music]

Interview with Noel Borthwick, Cakewalk CTO [CakewalkNet]

SoundOnSound: Vista For Musicians: Part 2: What The Developers Think

The Guardian: Why Vista sounds worse

Why Vista Matters To Developers [EWeek]


My guitars: 

  • D’Angelico Excel EX-DC: a great semihollow guitar and my most recent acquisition
  • D’Angelico NYL-2: a lovely archtop – also bought recently. I replaced the stock pickup with a Kent Armstrong floating humbucker and really love the sound. It can sound delicate or more modern if you want it too. I’m glad I got one before D’Angelico stopped manufacturing these.
  • 1982 Gibson ES-335TD.
  • Godin LGX-SA – my primary solid body guitar these days. Its a really versatile axe.
  • Paul Reed Smith PRS CE-22: A classic solid body from PRS.
  • Ibanez GB-10 – my oldest axe, bought this one in 1982! I don’t use it a lot these days but it still has sentimental value to me 😉
  • Taylor 810CE: This is actually a custom guitar I ordered -a cross between the 810 and 910 series with an Englemann spruce top and the electronics outboard (the fishman pocket blender). Its a great instrument but I sadly don’t use it as much as I should. Haven’t quite figured how to get around feedback problems with an acoustic guitar live.
  • Baby Taylor: The little travel guitar that I take along with me occasionally when I travel. 

Here’s a pic of my D’Angelico NYL-2 and Excel EX-DC:

A nice pair

More pix coming soon…

CD Release Concert

Wednesday, May 17, 2006 @ 9PM
Ryles Jazz Club |
Inman Square, 212 Hampshire Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

‘A New Leaf’ CD Release Concert, with Ramona Borthwick (p), Phil Grenadier (tpt), Noel Borthwick (g), Rick DiMuzio (sax), Fernando Huergo (b), Esperanza Spalding (b), Francisco Mela (dr)


If you wish to leave a general message or comment about the site, please add a comment to this topic. Please note that all comments are moderated before they will appear so you will not see your post immediately. Sadly this is necessary these days, to guard against the excessive spambot’s out there.

New Weblog added

Hello and thank you for visiting my site. As a result of webmeistress Ramona’s tireless efforts, my new weblog Minidump is now online!

For those of you who aren’t computer nerds (lucky you), a Minidump refers to a log file containing a small snapshot of your computers memory, when your Windows computer crashes. That snapshot is useful to find out what went wrong. If you are a Mac person, never mind – your Mac never crashes, right? 😛 I thought it might be appropriate to call my blog a Minidump, since it will mostly consist of small dumps of my memory, most of which is faulty anyway. I’m hoping this blog will facilitate getting some memory snapshots prior to complete hardware meltdown. 😉

I’ll be more inclined to keep this site up to date, since its so much quicker to add interactive content now.

To browse posts, just click the categories on the left, or use the search box, and feel free to post a comment on any topic by clicking on “Comments” to the left of the topic. If you wish to leave a general comment or message about the site click here.

Ramona Borthwick Quintet

Saturday, January 21, 2006 @ 6 PM
JazzFest: Benefit Concert
Hoyt Auditorium, Tabor Academy|
Front Street, Marion, MA 02738

Ramona Borthwick Quintet with Noel Borthwick (g), Dan Abreu (sax), Fernando Huergo (b), Nick Falk (dr).

All proceeds to benefit hurricane victims through: New Orleans Teach For America Disaster Relief Fund, New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund, Touro Infirmary Foundation, New Orleans Public Library Foundation