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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 29th October 2008 , 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by I_Am_Bic_Pentameter View Post
A little about the inclusion of Dimension Pro

This was LE in previous versions and you could purchase the full version - as many did - including me - great programme btw.
It does have a strange history because going back even further...the first version was simply called Dimension (that shipped with Project 5 v.2) I would have upgraded from the LE version (in Sonar 7) but it was not available at the time. Only the full Dimension (P5 version) was available. I got a very nice deal on an upgrade to Dimension Pro for 59.

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Now, timing is everything and some were a bit miffed this was included in Sonar 8 as they were selling it as separate item right up until the announcement, so to speak. I purchased mine way back so I wasn't really affected but I did think it was a bit unfair on new buyers and have said so.

Of course, we all know when buying music gear that sales and deals can happen any time and some you win and some you lose.
Yes..there is always that risk sadly, there were similar levels of issues raised about Atmosphere and Omnisphere. I guess if you are like me, you do get the use of the plugin for the time you have had it but if you have just bought it then I guess if it is not registered it can still be sold.

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You have to accept that, but nevertheless I felt, and so did quite a few others, that it wasn't handled as well as it could have been.
There is a degree of risk involved with software purchases. That is just the way it is I guess. It can be a plus or negative.

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My own take is that the upgrade would be thin without a few pullers to get people interested. That's why Dim Pro (a major puller) was added and that along with Beatscape and a few other things on top of the supposed performance related additions (which do appear to be there according to the vastly experienced users) makes it a reasonable upgrade. I do believe it would have been a mighty thin upgrade without Dim Pro. Certainly though, some who already have Dim Pro have not made the leap and it's something I think Cakewalk could have balanced - ie a broad concession (I believe some small concession may have been agreed???)- but others feel differently, so there you go. Swings and roundabouts - maybe - but not great for recent converts to Sonar who felt they got stung.
No question D Pro is a real draw. The Dimensions patches (in Dimension Pro) rival some of the more unusual sounds that I have heard of Omnisphere so far. Very broad set of sounds in D Pro.

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The reason I bring this up is that it appears to have been a policy to include previous upgrade plug-ins - which of course, newbies would not know and also the main platform upgrade has been introduced around Autumn time. It's worth noting this if you have an LE product you may upgrade - perhaps a full version of Rapture may be next for inclusion - and also the time they do the main platform upgrade because............

.............a bit of clever buying of an older platform and holding back on upgrades from LE may reap it's rewards.
Defintely worth a mention yes. Rapture already ships with Sonar 8 though. The full version of Rapture that is...but in the Sonar V Studio 700 package.

But Sonar 9 Producer...??? It looks likely based on DP's inclusion in version 8 that Rapture (full version) will make it into the standard Sonar Producer version next year...lets see.

I think the sales of Rapture might not be too hot between now and the end of next year. Just a guess. Many will likely wait now.

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And here's the first maintenance patch::-

8.0.1
Ohhhhh nice heads up IABP! Downloading it now...


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Originally Posted by modz1
Most EXCELLENT work gentlemen...
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Last edited by Monarch; 29th October 2008 at 06:25 PM. . <
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Old 30th October 2008 , 09:36 AM
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Update about the update:

You may need to check out the update on how to do the update - bizarre

update the update
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  #18 (permalink)  
Old 30th October 2008 , 10:01 AM
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Cakewalk really should consider a simple installer that gives you the option to install what you want...just like they already do with the DVD's that ship with Sonar. There should be no need for Shift, ctrl e.t.c

The confusion that thread has thrown up is incredible. A simple .exe with choices as to what gets installed should do it. I think Beatscape should have been added to the installer patch for Sonar Producer even if a user did not install it previously.

I guess if it is left unticked by default then you would not install the patch for Beatscape by mistake or, even if you tried to, a simple warning could appear letting you know you are trying to patch an instrument that is not installed.

Maybe Cakewalk will revise the patch install process...I don't remember such issues before. Cakewalk have certainly been responsive to change in the past.

Strange problem.
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Old 6th November 2008 , 08:09 PM
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Thumbs up Beatscape Part 1

Beatscape Part 1

Introduction
IMO this is one of the most exciting additions to Sonar in many a year. Cakewalk describe it as an instrument that "provides a way to create new beats from loops and samples". Definitely one for the association of beat manglers out there. Like me.

IMO the big deal with Beatscape is that I can throw pretty much any wav file at it and it will instantly slice it and treat it like a rex file. Impressive. Very. Cyclone is great when using ACID files but you cannot feed it any WAV file and expect it to temp sync with Sonar...it cannot do it, but Beatscape can.

As one would expect you can easily pick a file from the browser and drag to a pad to get going. I'll get into more detail on the pads later.

The UI
I really like the UI. I think Cakewalk got the balance between style and functionality just right. The Master Pan and Volume controls are easily accessible at the top of the screen. A db meter also makes an appearance. Nice. I would like to see something similar in Cakewalks Cylcone.

The browser is well placed on the left, but does not float like Dimension Pro's browser. That can be resized or dragged out of the way which would be my preference. Not a major problem but some of the names for the content that ships with Beatscape are cut off. A resizable browser would address that easily.

Where Beatscapes browser improves on Dimension Pro's browser, is a refresh button (as of 8.01) that will update the browser view with any recently added content.

I think the text is a nice size. Not too small. There is a very nicely sized keyboard at the bottom of the UI. Keys for Pad Trigerring and Slice Triggering are clearly grouped. I like that.

This is a big improvement on Cyclones which does not get in the way or hinder ones workflow as such, but is not as readily accessible as Beatscapes IMO, still very capable though. You can hide Beatscapes Keyboard to reveal a Step generator, this offers different ways to alter the sound of different slices in a loop.

Slices can be reordered as well. Each Pad has an edit area to the right of the UI, accessible by clicking on the Edit button. More on that later. You can also access a wide range of built in FX for Beatscape by clicking on the Effects button.

I think overall the UI looks very good and this new instrument brings real-time slicing and tempo syncing of any WAV file into Sonar in a stylish and very creative way. I would have preferred the numbering of the pads to start from the top left, not bottom left. It seems a bit backward somehow. That may be because I am used to Cylcones pads which are arranged differently.

After spending some time with Beatscape I got used to the pad numbering and found it quite handy as I rarely need more than 4 pads and seeing the contents of each pad (each slice) just below them makes my workflow in Beatscape easier.

My picks from Beatscape 1.0.1's new additions (part of the 8.01 update)

1. Tooltips for all parameters: IMO this was a essential. Very welcome.

2. Dedicated refresh button for the browser: Quick easy way to keep the information in the browser current. Nice.

3. New Effects: I love new toys. What can I say?

4. Midi note names in Piano roll: Handy.
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File Type: jpg Beatscape UI.jpg (96.3 KB, 22 views)
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 7th November 2008 , 11:07 AM
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Top work again Monarch.. A great addition to this thread..
PS We're looking at getting some form of link to your 'Start Page' idea sorted.. back soon on that hopefully..
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Old 7th November 2008 , 11:27 AM
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Fine work on Beatscape

There is a help document in Windows - Start - All Programs - Cakewalk - Beatscape - Beatscape Help

You may wish to record your impressive sample tune and at first glance it appears you can - but you can't - unless you loaded it as 'enable midi' which is in the synth rack - options

On a more general help topic note within Sonar 8 - The manual says go to 'Online help '- this just means it's part of the program in most cases.

Dimension pro has separate help (same instruction as Beatscape) and I believe there is a massive pdf for Sonar 8 too on the disc.

Also 'right click' a plug-in when it's in view and a little box appears with help.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 7th November 2008 , 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by modz1 View Post
Top work again Monarch.. A great addition to this thread..
PS We're looking at getting some form of link to your 'Start Page' idea sorted.. back soon on that hopefully..
Thanks for the Beatscape comments modz

That link...not sure what you mean sorry..."some form of link"

@ IABP

Cheers. Thanks for your additions as well.
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Old 14th November 2008 , 06:16 PM
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Default Beatscape Part 2

Beatscape Part 2

The Pads
You get a nice ring around each pad when clicked. I might prefer Cyclones approach though. The whole pad lights up when in use. In any case the orange ring looks cool in Beatscape. You can drag items from the browser to the pads and they can be muted as well. You can even drag items from a Sonar track which is really useful, as well as from Windows Explorer.

There are 3 key functions of the pads, you can start playback on a pad, stop, or mute loaded sounds.
Something for the Project 5 crowd and Ableton users...you can click on the pads and if the track is armed for recording, you can record that performance just by clicking pads. Fan...tas...tic. Very similar to Live's Session view and Project 5's Groove Matrix. What makes this such a big deal is Beatscapes ability to slice any WAV file.

Also Beatscape caters for Rex loops but...because you can drag content from Sonar's tracks to Beatscapes pads...any of your own recorded material is fair game. Excellent. Great for remixing.

Another very clever feature is how you can audition the pads at different velocities. This is also possible in Session Drummer 2. An excellent feature. If you click nearer the centre of a Pad in Beatscape it will play louder.

This is very creative. You see...if you for instance have a kick loop and snare loop playing back in Beatscape on separate pads and you go to the browser to drag in a Hi Hat loop to another pad, just click the outer edge of that Hi Hat pad to play it back at a lower level. A small but clever feature IMO.

Incredibly you can also copy audio, settings and FX between pads. Right clicking on a pad brings up Clear, Cut, Copy, and Paste commands. Each pad has quite a bit of flexibility and functionality.

In use when loading and clicking on pads everything just syncs up beautifully. It is an amazingly creative tool. You could create a song in Sonar then drag the parts to Beatscape individually (or even stems) for all manner of creative manipulation and triggering. You really can almost forget you are even using Sonar. It is difficult to think of a production workflow that is not possible as of Sonar 8. As I said before I think Beatscape is an extremely exciting addition to Sonar.

But there is still more to cover...
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Old 21st November 2008 , 06:37 PM
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Default Beatscape Part 3

Beatscape Part 3


The Edit Tab

Each of the 16 pads in Beatscape have access to their own individual Edit Tab. There are controls that are self-explanatory for Transpose, Pitch, Swing and Tune to the left of the Edit Tab. To the right there are some more Pad specific controls for Pan, Vol, Mute and Solo.

Still within the Edit Tab each pad has it's own configurable settings for Pad Mode, Sync, Output, Auto Loop and Speed. I'll start with speed as that is the most fun out of the four...heh.


PAD SETTINGS:

Speed:

There are two apps I know of that give this kind of flexibility when dealing with loops...Ableton Live (for each clip) and RMX for individual elements. I was extremely pleased to see this kind of feature in Sonar. To be honest did not really think it would happen any time soon. Project 5? Yes but not in Sonar. Beatscapes speed setting allows to adjust a Pads playback speed to the default 1x the project tempo, 2x the project tempo or .5 which slows a pads playback creatively I might add to half the current project tempo.

This allows a user to play around with different tempos or tempi within the same project or arrangement. I have not seen that kind of flexibility outside of Ableton Live. I think it is brilliant to see that in Sonar. This kind of feature really does change my perception of Sonar in a big way. It can be pretty much whatever you want it to be. Sonar offers simple recording and arrangement in the normal or traditional way or all sorts of slicing of audio, time stretching, e.t.c with different tempi in the same arrangement. Impressive.

Pad mode:

This gives access to the four behaviours of every Pad in Beatscape.

a. Auto Loop: When a Note on message is received the pad will loop indefinitely, note off is ignored. If a Note on message is received during playback of a Pad, this will stop playback for that Pad. Auto Loop is the default Pad mode setting in Beatscape.

b. Auto Play: One of two Pad modes on offer that does not offer looped playback. Note on message starts playback, further Note on *and* Note off messages are ignored.

c. Manual Loop: Pad playback starts (and will continue to loop) with a Note on message until a Note off message is received which will stop playback.

d. Manual Play: As above, Pad playback starts but this is the second Pad mode (Auto play is the other Pad mode) that does not loop. Playback will start and play the loaded file until it finishes. If a Note off message is received before playback ends it will stop playback.

Sync mode:

Not as deep as Ableton's Live here (follow on actions spring to mind) but still very capable and probably offers more than most would need here IMO. Measure, Beat and Immediate are the three options here. Again very similar to Live if not quite as deep.

a. Measure: My current preference. I like to hear other loops for a bit longer than the next beat before a new pad is introduced into a Beatscape mix. Once you click on the pad you will not hear playback until the beginning of the next measure is reached.

b. Beat: This can be quite cool for checking out different loops or parts quickly. The action starts a bit sooner than the Measure option above which is also the default behaviour. So you will have to change it to this mode (Beat) to hear playback (once the pad has been clicked) at the beginning of the next Beat instead of the next Measure as above in the previously discussed Sync mode.

If you would prefer your pads to react much quicker than they would even in Beats mode after triggering a pad, than the next mode is just for you...

c. Immeadiate: This mode offers immediate playback of a pad once it has been triggered.

Don't forget different tempos can be used in Beatscape as all of the Edit tab options are per pad you can easily have a half of project tempo (.5) speed Pad setting for instance on Pad one, with maybe a Hi Hat loaded...then have another speed setting on Pad 2 say 1x for a Kick. Very flexible and equally creative.

Output:

Beatscape has an impressive 16 outputs. As does Sonars Cyclone. Assigning an output to a pad in Beatscapes Edit Pad is very easy indeed. Click on the number to the right of the Output text, simply left click to increase the Output number and right click to decrease the number.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 22nd November 2008 , 01:52 PM
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Default Quick Dim Pro question

Hi guys, superb review Monarch, one nail-biting episode after another
I registered on these forums to ask one question which I cannot find an answer to anywhere.
I have S8 Studio (59 upgrade from ancient version!) and am now considering shelling out for the full Producer version - I guess mostly to get Dimension Pro. However my laptop (which I'd like to run Dim Pro on too) is a Mac.
[B]Is there any way you can tell if the Sonar 8P Bundled version of Dim Pro installs on Mac? [/B]I know the standalone one does but as per your pics this installer disc is labelled Sonar 8 so am worried it might not include the mac installer. I know there are installers on CW website but dont know if they'd work if the actual dvds differ)
It would greatly increase the value of the upgrade to me if it did!
Anyway, thanks again for the review, thanks much if you or anyone can answer this, and also, if anyone has any studio related questions fire away
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Old 22nd November 2008 , 02:01 PM
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Hi jelly...thanks for your kind comments...well...I am looking at the Dimension Pro Sonar 8 disc in front of me and it says

"MAC version 1.3 / Win version 1.2"

It seems Cakewalk have done a rather good thing there as Sonar does not run natively on a MAC outside Bootcamp. Nice little Bonus. Very nice. Heh.
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Old 22nd November 2008 , 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monarch View Post
Hi jelly...thanks for your kind comments...well...I am looking at the Dimension Pro Sonar 8 disc in front of me and it says

"MAC version 1.3 / Win version 1.2"

It seems Cakewalk have done a rather good thing there as Sonar does not run natively on a MAC outside Bootcamp. Nice little Bonus. Very nice. Heh.
why is that a bonus?
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Old 22nd November 2008 , 02:19 PM
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Great news! and thanks for the quick reply. Love helpful folks on the ol' interweb
Sounds like an upgrade for me then.
I guess its a bonus because when I'm buying Sonar I'm buying windows software, so the (bundled) Dim Pro working on my mac (the way the bundled Dim Le, Rapture Le etc don't) is added value to me anyway!
I am out of touch with CWs special offers and stuff, would you guess its worth waiting to December or January for a cheeky discount on Rapture with the upgrade, or is that not their style until the new version is imminent next year?
Thanks again Best
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Old 22nd November 2008 , 02:31 PM
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why is that a bonus?
I see it as a Bonus because Sonar simply does not run on OSX natively. Sonar is sold as a PC only app. So really getting the full version of Dimension Pro (with all the expansion packs and additional features) that can also run natively on an OS cakewalk do not support with Sonar is IMO a bonus. Big one.

I would say 75% or more of Sonar users (probably much higher than that) do not have a MAC. So the MAC version of Dimension Pro, is really of no use to them...but...should they get a MAC in future they could run Dimension Pro natively in Logic or Digital performer by just popping in the install disc into thier MAC's and voila!

Cakewalk did not have to include the MAC version IMO. Sonar does not run natively on a MAC so there is no need or point really. Doing so increases the value of the upgrade as jelly suggested though and yes you do pay for it but it is still something I would put in a "bonus" category.

That's my opinion anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jelly
Great news! and thanks for the quick reply. Love helpful folks on the ol' interweb
Were all very happy to help here.

Quote:
Sounds like an upgrade for me then.
I am out of touch with CWs special offers and stuff, would you guess its worth waiting to December or January for a cheeky discount on Rapture with the upgrade, or is that not their style until the new version is imminent next year?
Thanks again Best
Good question. If you have not already why not sign up for their newsletter as they do run deals from time to time but waiting may also be better. Cakewalk are not too predictable in this area of deals so I think it is a good idea to check the newsletter, Sonar forums, and Cakewalks home page from time to time maybe for news on deals.
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Old 3rd December 2008 , 11:03 AM
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Just a point on the pdf - is it just the help pages or an actual pdf and where is it - can't say I've ever seen it as a pdf file?
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