Cakewalk SONAR: Win32 lighting up on Windows 10

Build 2017 was a blast – so much technology to absorb!

It was an honor to be the only DAW vendor to present some of the great strides we have made in SONAR to take advantage of the best in Windows technology.

Below is the session Cakewalk SONAR: Win32 lighting up on Windows 10

There were two presentations of this session. A bit nerve wracking doing a live demo with Bluetooth on a floor with thousands of people with BT devices ūüôā¬†Fortunately everything went really smooth – BT MIDI performed flawlessly and I was able to connect from onstage and run at a buffer latency of less than 10 msec. It was very responsive. Pete let some people in the audience try playing the keyboard (a Korg Nanostudio) and everyone was impressed with how responsive playback was, even 20 feet away from the stage.
I even did a live walk through of the Bluetooth UWP MIDI stack from the SONAR code. The audience enjoyed seeing breakpoints being hit in response to playing notes on the keyboard. Nerd alert!

I also had a spot at the Solutions Spotlight at the event – kind of like NAMM for nerds! We had a small booth where we were showing SONAR and the technology and were available to answer questions. In the solutions spotlight session I paired a Jamstik controller in addition to the NanoStudio and it showed up as a second MIDI device. Both the keyboard and Jamstik were able to trigger different tracks without a problem.

It was great running into so many people from Microsoft and other tech companies like Adobe and Google who had used Cakewalk software.

Build 2017 Tech Talk – Cakewalk SONAR: Win32 lighting up on Windows 10

Tech Talk – Cakewalk SONAR: Win32 lighting up on Windows 10

A heads up for anyone attending the Microsoft Build conference in Seattle this year. Cakewalk and Microsoft are doing a tech talk demonstrating how Win32 applications can take advantage of some of the advancements on the Windows 10 platform. This is the only presentation at Build that focuses on media, audio and MIDI. There are two tech talks scheduled, on Thursday 5/11 2:30PM (Tech Talk C room) and Friday 5/12 10:30AM (Tech Talk C room).

In the tech talks we’ll cover topics such as:

  • UWP MIDI API with a hands on demo of how to integrate the UWP Win32 wrapper with a Win32 application
  • Bluetooth LE MIDI
  • Windows 10 WASAPI low latency audio support
  • Multi-Touch and Pen support
  • UWP desktop bridge
  • At the talks we‚Äôll be doing a live debug session of SONAR showing code integrating UWP MIDI.

I may convince Pete Brown from Microsoft to jam on a Bluetooth MIDI controller with SONAR in that session, and we’ll trace the life cycle of a MIDI note which should be fun ūüôā Continue reading “Build 2017 Tech Talk – Cakewalk SONAR: Win32 lighting up on Windows 10”

Wireless Audio and MIDI in SONAR

With the proliferation of Bluetooth enabled devices, IoT (internet of things), wireless technology is one of the hottest trends today with wide-reaching applications to audio, automotive, medical and other industries. Gibson R&D is actively involved with wireless technology both in the hardware and software space and a member of the Bluetooth SIG, responsible for the development and evolution of the Bluetooth specification. As a Gibson Brand, Cakewalk is committed to embracing the advantages of wireless technology. This year, we’re excited to integrate wireless MIDI technology into all versions of SONAR – our flagship recording, editing, and mixing software.

In the 2017.03 release of SONAR we worked closely with Microsoft to add support for Bluetooth LE MIDI devices via the new UWP MIDI API. In November of 2016, we added support for Microsoft’s new low-latency WASAPI shared mode API’s, which including support for Bluetooth audio devices via WASAPI. With these enhancements, SONAR now has built-in support for wireless audio and MIDI via Bluetooth.

In this blog post we‚Äôll delve into some of the technical details behind some of the these features. Continue reading “Wireless Audio and MIDI in SONAR”

A New Era For Cakewalk (an open letter from CTO Noel Borthwick)

Why we introduced Lifetime Updates

With the introduction of Lifetime Updates for SONAR Platinum, there have been many theories as to why Cakewalk would take such a bold move. For us it‚Äôs simple‚ÄĒit’s better for customers, it’s better for us, and we believe this way of doing business is the future, so we’re embracing it today.

Some history: In the past (pre 2015), we followed a more traditional annual upgrade cycle where we released a single version of SONAR each year. This model was flawed on many levels, both for developers and end users. As developers, we’re under extreme pressure to finish a product by a certain date to meet a revenue goal Рoften regardless of whether it’s ready or not.

SONAR-Platinum-Lifetime-Updates

Adding a lot of features to a product in a short cycle can create problems even skilled QA teams and beta testers won‚Äôt find. Furthermore, end users have to try and learn a huge amount of information at once‚ÄĒwhich is much less efficient than learning features at one‚Äôs own pace over time.

Continue reading “A New Era For Cakewalk (an open letter from CTO Noel Borthwick)”

SONAR 2015: “Under the Hood” Enhancements and Fixes

What a Year…!

It’s been quite¬†a year for all of us at Cakewalk.¬†Not only did we build our most stable initial release of SONAR ever and fold in multiple features and workflow updates, but we also built the infrastructure for our new Membership program from the ground up. This framework lets us break out of the monolithic ‚Äúwaterfall‚ÄĚ model of annual updates and do smaller but more frequent updates. This is very exciting for developers, because we can be more responsive and update our software without the previous release management overhead. Our users have wanted more frequent updates as well, so this is a major achievement for us.

The SONAR community has already noticed the tangible improvements in the performance and stability of our latest SONAR release. In this article I‚Äôll cover some of the “under the hood” work that went into building the new SONAR. If you’re not familiar with the latest additions, you can get started by reading about all the new features here.

I’d also like to mention that this would not have been possible without your support. All of us at Cakewalk feel very fortunate to have such an active, engaged user base that inspires us to create continued improvements and enhancements. We are very excited about what’s planned for the year ahead, but meanwhile, here’s what we’ve been up to in the past year.

Continue reading “SONAR 2015: “Under the Hood” Enhancements and Fixes”

DEVELOPER NOTES: SONAR X3 VST3 Internals

Introduction

SONAR X3 has numerous enhancements and updates to the VST engine, including rich support for the VST3 specification. This article is intended primarily for VST plugin developers to gain a better understanding of the features supported by SONAR and to write plugins that integrate better with SONAR. While the VST3 documentation covers typical information for plugin developers, it does not explain plugin to host integration in much detail. This article attempts to bridge that gap and explain some of the VST3 specific features are implemented in SONAR. Please also see this article that is more intended for end users.

Automatic VST2 to VST3 migration in SONAR

For plugin vendors who have a large base of VST2 plugins and wish to provide a smooth migration path to VST3, its recommended to implement support for automatic migration of a VST2 plugin saved in a prior project to its VST3 equivalent.

This capability will allow SONAR X3 to detect a compatible VST3 plugin while loading a project and automatically transition the VST 2.4 plugin to its compatible VST3 counterpart Continue reading “DEVELOPER NOTES: SONAR X3 VST3 Internals”

Developer Notes: SONAR X3 VST Enhancements

Introduction

SONAR X3 is packed with enhancements and updates to the VST engine, including a brand new VST scanner with industry leading automatic background scanning, support for the VST3 plugin format and an updated plugin browser that supports plugin categorization. Many of the changes apply equally to VST2 and VST3 plugins.

VST background scanning

Users of prior versions of SONAR and other DAW software will be familiar with the process of scanning for VST plugins when the application starts up. SONAR has always had a fast scanner that only scans what‚Äôs needed. X3 kicks this up several notches by introducing Continue reading “Developer Notes: SONAR X3 VST Enhancements”

Developer Notes: SONAR X3 ARA Integration

Background

It was back in 2005 that Cakewalk first added Roland V-Vocal to SONAR 5 for integrated audio stretching and pitch correction. While VVocal was an exceptional tool in its time and is still used by many for its ability to do fine editing of a vocal performance, the industry has advanced since then and companies like Celemony with their dedicated focus in this area have made great strides. A couple of years ago Celemony released their ARA SDK to integrate Melodyne integration into a DAW host application. Since VVocal’s integration in SONAR is similar in principle to what ARA does, it was natural for us to consider integrating ARA technology into SONAR.

 

What is ARA?

ARA (Audio Random Access) is a general protocol that allows host integration with any audio edit capable plugin such as Melodyne. Technically speaking ARA itself is not a plugin protocol. It is a protocol that allows the host and ARA capable plugin to transfer parameters and audio region data back and forth either offline or in realtime Continue reading “Developer Notes: SONAR X3 ARA Integration”