Cakewalk announced SONAR 4 Producer Edition, adding powerful recording, editing, comping and navigation tools to optimize workflow. In addition, version 4 combines surround and AV capabilities along with engineering tools. A less feature-packed Studio Edition will also be available.
New features, workflow innovations, and enhancements include:
Track Folders - efficiently manage your large scale projects and loop recorded takes with SONAR 4's convenient Track folders - allows for the organization of multiple tracks into one single folder; simultaneously mute, solo, record, archive and perform other functions on tracks in a folder; all tracks within a folder are displayed as a Composite Clip which you can cut-copy-paste, move, slip edit, and split; import multi-channel audio into a track folders. SONAR 4's Track Folders are ideal for managing multi-mic or grouped recordings (drums, choir, piano, orchestra, acoustic guitar).
Comping Tracks - complete your multi-take, composite tracking of both audio and MIDI faster than ever with Track Layers and SONAR's new comp editing enhancements. Recorded and edited takes are displayed in multiple layers of a single track; audition only the selected content in a project while comping parts; quickly mute or isolate unwanted/wanted takes or sections of takes using Clip Muting or Partial Clip Muting (time-based within a clip); blend elements together using auto-crop tool with crossfade option; non-destructive Auto Punch Record Mode.
Loop Construction - Version 4 extends SONAR's loop editing and composition capabilities with slice-based envelope control of gain, pitch, pan; slice preview & auto-loop simplifies marker placement/adjustments.
Freeze - optimize your system resources using SONAR 4's freeze implementation for tracks, effects, and synths. Render tracks to conserve CPU in one easy step; automatically unloads plug-ins, releasing memory back to the system; SONAR 4 freezes only when data is present, conserving disk space; Quick Unfreeze/Freeze retains frozen data when unfreezing, for quick toggling/auditioning of tracks. A distinct feature of SONAR 4's Freeze implementation is the ability to move and edit frozen data - you can even convert frozen data into groove clips.
Simultaneous Clip Editing - Perform the following edits on multiple clips simultaneously: nudge, roll out groove clips, slip edit, and add/edit fades.
Nudge - use this new clip editing enhancement both vertically and horizontally within Track and Piano Roll views; extremely flexible nudge resolutions (musical time, seconds, milliseconds, frames, samples, ticks, follow snap settings); a total of nine nudge commands can be assigned to any key or MIDI event.
Additional SONAR 4 Workflow Enhancements
Navigator View - provides a bird's eye view of an entire project. Swiftly navigate through projects and view exact details with quick adjustments of track height, duration, and viewable area.
Key Bindings - extends SONAR's keystroke actions with access to single key functions; transport keys now active in all views including plug-in windows; includes built-in keystroke emulating templates for other DAWs including Cubase SX, Nuendo, and Logic providing convenience on cross-platform projects or for easy migrating to the SONAR platform. Import/Export your custom SONAR key binding presets for sharing/backup/transfer to other workstations.
Audio Metronome - route SONAR 4's Audio Metronome through any bus for flexibility in multi-player recording sessions (any selected bus, in turn, can be send to any available main out); allows for the adjustment of separate metronome levels in each headphone mix; easy automation of mute/volume; users can also add custom sounds.
Surround and AV Capabilities
Engineered to meet the needs of mixing professionals, SONAR 4 Producer Edition provides a complete surround mixing and editing environment with support for over 30 configurations, including 5.1, 7.1, LCRS.
The Surround Panner is the nexus of version 4's surround mixing paradigm offering control that extends far beyond a simple x/y axis. The Surround Panner utilizes focus, width, angle, and front/rear balance controls. Speaker muting and soloing, LFE send, and extensive control surface/Joystick support further accentuate the flexibility of the SONAR 4 surround implementation. Any surround bus can be routed to another surround bus to achieve dynamic mixing configurations. In addition, SONAR 4 offers transparent down-mixing and bass management.
SurroundBridge - allows for the use of any stereo plug-in within multi-channel environments. SurroundBridge seamlessly creates multiple instances of any effect, providing complete linked/unlinked control across all channels from a single UI.
Video Thumbnail Track - align audio with on-screen action; quickly locate video scenes across an entire project; thumbnails resize dynamically to project zoom; auto-snap to frame.
Lexicon Pantheon Surround Reverb - access the world-class, pristine sound of Lexicon reverb for the first time ever in multi-channel environments up to 7.1; simple and powerful interface, indispensable tool; numerous factory presets and full editing capabilities for creating custom presets.
Sonitus Surround Compressor - a nine-channel version of the critically acclaimed Sonitus Compressor, specifically designed for surround applications; flexible and totally automatable.
Surround and AV Delivery - Complementing SONAR 4's extensive surround mixing and editing capabilities are a powerful array of delivery options that include: Windows Media Audio 9 (WMA), WMA9 Pro 5.1, and WMA9 lossless encoding and decoding; QuickTime, Windows Media Video (with 5.1 surround audio), AVI (with stereo or 5.1 surround sound); open support for external command-line encoders (surround, LAME, Ogg Vorbis, Monkey's Audio, etc.). SONAR 4 also provides a convenient export video option with control over quality settings and codecs; powerful presets for frequently-used export settings; export buses and tracks into a composite mixdown, or as individual files.
Precise Engineering Technologies
POW-r Dithering - provides digital-audio bit reduction; reduces 20, 24, and 32 bit audio to CD standard 16-bit format, while retaining perceived dynamic efficiency with very low noise; scalable for use with all sample rates.
Prosoniq MPEX time scaling - a time scaling algorithm that employs psychoacoustic properties which simulate attributes of human audio perception. This 'intelligent' algorithm yields a more fluid feel and flexibility in the sound representation that makes for better Time Scaling. Great for matching audio to video or for loop/sample authoring.
TTS-1 DXi multitimbral GM2 synthesizer - a multitimbral, multi-out GM2 (General MIDI System Level 2 compatible) DXi synthesizer that is equipped with a genuine Roland synth engine; 256 instrument sounds and 9 drum sets are included; dedicated control panel for easy customization of sounds. Professional Content - SONAR 4 Producer Edition also includes an extensive assortment of content from leading sample and loop developer SmartLoops. Included are hundreds of megabytes of MIDI Groove and ACID-Groove Clips, Live Studio Drums CWB files, Session Drummer files and Pro Drum Works loops.
SONAR 4 Studio Edition
SONAR 4 Studio Edition is a special version of SONAR 4 designed for project studios and aspiring professionals. Studio Edition is built upon the same core engine and feature set of SONAR 4 Producer Edition. NOTE: SONAR 4 Studio Edition does not have the following features found in SONAR 4 Producer Edition: surround mixing and editing, Lexicon Pantheon Surround Reverb, Sonitus Surround Compressor, Sonitus:fx Suite, enhanced mixing console with assignable fx controls and per-channel EQ, Video Thumbnail track, POW-r Dithering, MPEX Time Scaling.
Pricing and Availability
SONAR 4 Producer Edition has a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $959 U.S.; SONAR 4 Studio Edition is $479 U.S. (MSRP). SONAR 4 will ship September 28, 2004. Registered SONAR 3 Producer customers can upgrade to SONAR 4 Producer Edition directly through Cakewalk for $179; SONAR 3 Studio to SONAR 4 Studio Edition for $99.
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