Archive for the ‘Cubase’ Category

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Red Bull Music Academy 2010 , Applications open in May ’09

May 6, 2009

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London has been announced as the next venue for the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA), a two-week boot camp for budding musicians, producers and DJs.

The application process will begin on May 11th and will remain open until the 27th July 2009. The Academy is inviting people to apply for one of two fortnight-long ‘terms’ which will take place in succession in February and March 2010.

Every year, the RBMA attracts attendees and guests from right across the globe, and numerous high-profile artists are drafted in to give lectures and impart invaluable advice to the students.

For further information and to apply to enrol, head to http://www.redbullmusicacademy.com.

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Cakewalk’s Entry Level Music Creation Software for Windows Gets Major Polishing

April 22, 2009

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Cakewalk today did something quite unorthodox for the company: it launched a product on Facebook.

The results are what clearly aim to be a GarageBand killer for Windows users. Music Creator had always, quietly, been a big hit for Cakewalk: it’s cheap, entry-level software for the PC, which has the potential to reach a big audience of computer users. But the software itself was nothing to brag about, with a dated-looking interface.

Music Creator 5 looks stunningly different. The arrangement window has the familiar, GarageBand and ACID-style loop arrangement window. But there are additions you might expect in a bigger DAW: quick in-line access to track parameters, video preview frames at the top, elaborate time displays and editing tools. There’s also a sophisticated-looking mixing mode with graphical EQs and other options.

Cakewalk MusicCreator

There’s also quite a lot of instrumental and effects content for a $35 app. You get preset playback features – a bit like what you get in Kore Player, down to the pre-mapped 4-8 knobs and 4 trigger buttons – with 150 instruments. There’s the rather sophisticated Studio Instruments Drums for some acoustic and electronic drum parts, making it easier to actually program your own patterns rather than rely on loops.

Cakewalk also includes easy Flash-based music player creators, so you can share your finished tracks easily on the Web, and notation publishing features with tablature and guitar chord support.

In other words, you get the power of what might once have been a flagship Cakewalk DAW, for 35 bucks. (Windows-only) Some of the power options may actually be a bit intimidating to beginners – recently, I’ve heard that complaint even applied to the comparatively minimal GarageBand.

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Cakewalk’s clever Publisher tool makes it a snap to export directly to an embeddable player.

As far as value, though, there’s a whole lot in this box, and a nice balance between looping features and the sort of acoustic drums and notation and sharing features that could appeal to bands just starting to add a computer. I actually think the integrated interface in Steinberg’s rival Sequel is a bit more efficient and runs on the Mac, too, but there’s quite a lot of added-in functionality in Music Creator that makes it broader in scope, and some of that added power may be a deal-maker depending on your needs.

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Cubase 5 Features Workshop with Steinberg Part 1

April 8, 2009
Visual Cubase 5

Cubase 5 – Advanced Music Production System

Dolphin Music recently had the opportunity of hosting the Cubase 5 tour. This evening offered  a one off workshop demonstrating the new advanced features of Cubase. Held in the sumptuous surroundings of the Leaf Cafe, Liverpool, we were one of the first to hear of all the exciting new additions to the worlds already most renowned sequencer.

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Cubase 5 comes with fully integrated new tools for working with loops, beats and vocals, such as LoopMash and VariAudio, combining with new composition features and the first VST3 convolution reverb to take musical creativity to new heights. With stunning innovations and additional enhancements that boost productivity and performance, Cubase 5 represents the absolute cutting edge in digital audio workstations.

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New Features in Cubase 5

Cubase 5 adds even more creative possibilities and new technologies to the world’s premier music production software developed by Steinberg — providing the finest tools to producers, composers and musicians in any musical genre. VariAudio and PitchCorrect provide integrated intonation editing for monophonic vocal recordings. Groove Agent ONE and Beat Designer change the game for beat creation, while the revolutionary LoopMash seamlessly blends loops, creating unimaginable variations. VST Expression tools for composers combine with the first VST3 convolution reverb and improved automation for more dynamic mixes. And an array of additional enhancements and 64-bit technologies boost performance — all designed to inspire further musical creativity and productivity.

Beat Creation and Loop Mangling

Cubase 5 features outstanding new tools for creating beats, generating exciting new rhythms and working with loops.

Vocal Editing and Pitch Correction

Cubase 5 comes with an amazing new toolset for perhaps the most important element in any song: the vocals.

New Dimensions for Your Mix

Cubase 5 has numerous new features that will help you bring new depth to your mix — in more ways than one.

Express Creative Visions

With Cubase 5, Steinberg has innovated even further to offer even more creative compositional tools.

Next-Generation Performance and Faster Workflow

Cubase 5 also includes an array of additional new ways of working faster, with added performance that takes advantage of new technologies.

Further Improvements and Added Value

Cubase 5 comes with redesigned and enhanced features plus many new handy tools and functions, making Cubase even more intuitive to use than ever before.

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Loudness Wars: Dynamic Range Strikes Back with Campaign, Plug-in

March 24, 2009

Are you sick of the death of dynamic range? Are you mad as hell at squashed audio that means to be “loud” and only wind up with the actual sounds smooshed out? Alternatively, are you guilty of some detail-squishing dynamic abuse yourself?

A campaign is on to get the dynamic war out of comment threads and forums and onto the streets. Taking a positive tack, the Pleasurize Music Foundation isn’t simply attacking overcompression and dynamic distortion: they’re suggesting an alternative path, in which restored dynamic ranges bring back joy to your life. There are opportunities to sign up as listeners, labels, producers, mixing and mastering engineers, even the consumer electronics and music tech industries.

There’s also a free (Windows-only) plug-in for checking the dynamic range of your mix. There are plenty of other tools that do the same thing, but the idea is nice.


Now, the idea of crushed dynamic range is nothing new. But via comments, mastering engineer Tobias Anderson points out that it’s not always the mastering that’s to blame — some people are actually distorting at the digital conversion stage. (That’s, incidentally, not the fault of digital recording, either – to screw that up, you have to be really careless, which evidently people are.)

Tobias’ comments below. Now, obviously, this is an issue that can generate some controversy. But start talking about simply preserving dynamic range? I think just about everyone can get behind that. The idea of “quality” can often be loaded, but talking about dynamics as pleasure is as universal as hearing.

As a mastering engineer, it has become increasingly disconcerting to both work on and listen back to much of todays’ music. Distorted, compressed & messy sounding to say the least! However, 2 points I must make:

Firstly, compression and brick-wall limiting are NOT the only factors involved in making a record loud and / or distorted. The clipping of the ME’s ADC (analogue-to-digital-converter) is the most aggressive form of distortion you will hear on todays’ loud records. Digital limiters are generally (hopefully) not cranked too much (between 1-3db), but rather the load should be spread across more than 1 unit, making the effect less obvious than if the same amount of gain reduction had been employed with a single unit. The signal is then fed back to the ADC, and ‘clipped’ to achieve the final loudness increase. The maximum peak level of digital audio is 0dbfs, however when clipped, the incoming audio exceeds this value (up to 6db, maybe more in ridiculous cases!) and the loudest peaks of the music are literally shaved, or ’squared’ off. With the upper end ADC’s, this process can be fairly transparent, if used ’sensibly’ (if that is possible..) however when abused, it sounds truly awful as you all can hear. One example (many are available) that springs to mind is the Foo Fighters’ Nothing Left To Lose album. Every time the snare is hit, the digital distortion is unbearable, the high frequencies sound grainy and harsh ect ect. However, audibly, the effect of clipping differs greatly from the effect of brick wall limiting, which can, as previously mentioned, and subjectively speaking, benefit or compliment a particular style or genre of music. Dance, hip-hop & drum n bass coming to mind especially. This processing DOES impart a certain sense of power to the sound which is very different than simply using compression alone on the mix buss or on the individual elements in the mix.

Secondly, music is never ‘cut’ or HPF’d (high-pass filtered) at 80hz. 40-45hz maybe, a gradual roll-off from 80hz-20-30hz probable, but there is still a lot of important musical information below 80hz that is needed in modern music, even if it can’t be reproduced by poor consumer listening equipment. The 60hz(ish) peak in a hip-hop kick for example, would sound completely wrong and hollow if the fundamental frequency lived in the 100hz range for example. I can’t think of a commercially released modern record that has been released with very little or no musical information below 80hz, not impossible, but certainly not the norm by any stretch. Lastly, having a ‘pre -mastering’ chain is really not a good idea, and will probably do more harm than good in most situations, unless: the listening environment is very good and the engineer is very skilled. Using a particular compressor for a desired character on the mix buss prior to mastering, is a very valid ‘mix’ technique, but again the engineer must be very competent for this to be worthwhile.

I hope this has shed some additional light on the loudness war for you all.

If you would like to express your dislike for the practice, in hope of eventually stopping it, please visit and register for free at

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Steinberg Cubase RC application for the Apple iPod Touch / iPhone!!!

February 6, 2009

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Available as a free iPod application from the iTunes store (starting sometime during the second-quarter, 2009) Steinberg Cubase RC, or Remote Control, will provide wireless control over many basic functions of the new Cubase 5.

The most obviously useful of these is the comprehensive transport controls. You’ll be able to use your iPhone / iPod Touch’s touch screen to remotely record, stop and playback your track — very useful if you’re recording yourself in the live room and your studio intern has called in sick again (a call you fielded with your iPhone; neat!). There are even controls for marker placement, metronome settings and toggling cycle mode on/off.

For live performance, Cubase RC provides complete access over the Cubase Arranger function in Cubase 5. Trigger playback stems, assemble playlists, jump between sections of a project and text all at the same time!

Cubase RC is compatible with both Mac OS X and Windows initialized iPods and iPhones, giving you remote control over Cubase 5 regardless of what operating system it’s running on.

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