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[CLOSED] Cakewalk 2020.04 Early Access 1

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2020.04 Early Access installer now available!

[UPDATE 17-Apr-2020: Cakewalk 2020.04 Early Access 2 is now available]

We're pleased to announce the Early Access for 2020.04, our biggest release to date which also celebrates two years of active Cakewalk by BandLab development! This release introduces an exciting non-linear Arranger Track feature that is very useful for song creation and creative experimentation. Also included are many other significant feature improvements such as ProChannel module presets, instrument track improvements and many bug fixes, all in keeping with our goal of making CbB as reliable and enjoyable as possible.

We'd love for you to check it out before we drop the official public version, which should be in roughly a week. This time we're also providing an easy rollback installer should you need to quickly revert to the last public release for any reason.

Please note that Early Access installers are update installers, which only update from a specific version. To install the 2020.04 Early Access build, you must be on the latest public release of 2020.01.

Download Cakewalk 2020.04 EA installer

Should you need to revert to the 2020.01 release, you can download the Cakewalk 2020.01 Rollback installer.

If you haven't already done so, please read about the Early Access Program before participating.

Thanks again for your participation!
The Bakers



2020.04 Highlights

Behavior changes

  • Add Track menu behavior change:
    • The behavior of the Track(s) counter has changed when inserting a multi-timbral soft synth via the Add Track menu. When Instrument Track Per Output or Split Instrument Track is selected, the Track(s) counter now specifies how many Instrument output tracks to create instead of how many unique instances of the synth to create.
  • Changes to Delete Track:
    • CTRL+DELETE deletes tracks.
    • Delete Track only deletes the focused track if the focused track is not also selected.
    • When a combination of tracks and track folders are selected, the context menu displays Delete Selected Tracks and Folders.
  • Enable/Disable Enhanced Keyboard Editing Mode shortcut is unassigned by default.
    • The default keyboard shortcut (0 on the numeric keypad) to enable/disable Enhanced Keyboard Editing Mode has been removed. To enable/disable Enhanced Keyboard Editing Mode, go to Edit > Preferences > Customization - Keyboard Shortcuts and assign Enhanced Keyboard Editing to an unused keyboard shortcut.
  • Bypass All Audio Effects shortcut is unassigned by default.
    • The default keyboard shortcut (E) to bypass all audio effects has been removed. To bypass all audio effect, do one of the following:
      • Go to Edit > Preferences > Customization - Keyboard Shortcuts and assign Bypass All Audio Effects to an unused keyboard shortcut.
      • Click the Bypass all Effects  button image.png in the Control Bar’s Mix module.
  • Horizontal zooming no longer centers Now Time.
    • When zooming with the mouse wheel or CTRL+LEFT/RIGHT ARROW shortcuts, if the Now Time is currently within view, its position will be retained while zooming. If the Now Time is not present in the view, the zoom behavior is unchanged.
  • CTRL+ALT+SPACEBAR is assigned to Preview current arrangement from the Now Time, and no longer plays the next event in the Event List view.


Arranger Track



The Arranger track is an arrangement tool that provides several workflow benefits:

  • Easily rearrange sections of the entire project as one unit instead of moving individual clips. For example, instantly swap the positions of the first and second chorus for all tracks, or copy the first verse in order to double its duration.
  • Experiment with different song structures in a non-destructive and non-linear manner. For example, does your song work best in AABA, ABAB, or ABAC song form? Define time range sections and sequence them in any order without destructively moving any clip data. You can even save multiple arrangements within each project.
  • Create a color coded overview of the song structure, and use the Arranger Inspector to quickly navigate around the project and jump to song sections.
  • Create arbitrary song sections anywhere on the project timeline, then later string them together for seamless playback.
  • Sections provide an additional way to perform time based selections and edits of the project.
  • Create an unlimited number of arrangements per project, which can all be exported simultaneously.

Arranger functionality is distributed across two views:

  • Arranger track. To show or hide the Arranger track, click the Track view View menu and choose Arranger Show/Hide, or press A. The Arranger track timeline shows all defined sections. You can drag to create and rearrange sections, then freely move them along the timeline. Any changes in the Arranger timeline are immediately reflected in the Arranger Inspector’s Sections list, and vice versa.
  • Arranger Inspector. To show/hide the Arranger Inspector, click the Show/Hide Arranger button image.png at the top of the Inspector pane, or press ALT+SHIFT+I.

For details about using the Arranger Track, see the attached PDF  :

Arranger Track.pdf

An arrangement is comprised of Sections, each spanning a unique time range. Other section properties include name and color, to clearly delineate regions of time and track content by musical function.

Important: By default, clicking an Arranger section also selects underlying track events. Clicking again deselects track events, while retaining selection of the section. This behavior allows you to easily determine whether or not track events are included in section edit operations. Note that the selection highlight in the Clips pane indicates selected track events. To disable automatic selection of track events when selecting sections, right-click in the Arranger track timeline and disable Select Events with Sections.

Arranger Inspector


Sections are the building blocks that make up the song. Each section defines a time range in the project, such as Intro, Verse, Chorus, etc. An arrangement is an ordered set of sections. You can sort the sections in any order to define the playback order. To do so, drag the sections from the Sections area down to the Arrangements area in the Arranger Inspector.

The Sections area lists all the arranger sections defined in the project’s timeline, from which a custom arrangement can be built. The order of the sections reflect the order in which they appear in the timeline.

The Sections list provides an additional way to edit time based selections of the project. Any operation performed in the Sections list is immediately reflected in the project/timeline, and vice versa.

To copy all sections to the current arrangement, click the Add All Sections to Arrangement button image.png. If one or more sections are selected, only the selected sections will be copied.

The Arrangements area allows you to sequence sections in a non-linear manner without destructively moving any clip data, regardless of which order they appear in the project’s timeline.

Defining sections of your song

To use the Arranger track, you must first define time range sections such as Intro, Verse, Chorus, etc. Sections can be of any duration, but it is common to start/end them at measure boundaries.

New sections can be created by any of the following means:

  • Draw a range within the Arranger track timeline (below the time ruler).
  • Double-click a blank area in the Arranger track. The new section duration is inherited from the last clicked section.
  • Right-click in the Arranger track timeline and select Insert Section Here, Insert Section at Now Time, Span Sections, or From Selection.
  • Click the Add Section button image.png in the Arranger Inspector or Arranger track.

Editing sections

  • Drag sections to move them around on the timeline.
  • Drag a section edge to resize the section.
  • Right-click a section to access edit option.

Converting markers to sections

To convert markers to sections, make a time selection in the time ruler that spans the text markers, then right-click in the time ruler and select Create Sections from Markers.

Creating a custom arrangement

Sections can be sequenced in any order to create arrangements, without affecting project data. The sections don’t have to live on the project timeline in any specific location or order, because the arrangement determines in which order they are played back.

To define the section playback order, drag sections from the Sections list down to the Arrangements list. You can also drag sections directly from the Arranger track.


Previewing an arrangement

To play the current arrangement, click the Preview button  image.png or press ALT+SPACEBAR. During Arranger preview, the main transport Play button  shows a small “A” icon image.png to indicate it is playing back an arrangement instead of following the project’s linear timeline, and the active section shows a progress indicator.

Committing an arrangement 

To (destructively) render the current arrangement to the project’s timeline, click the Commit Arrangement to Project button image.png.

Exporting arrangements

You can export one or more arrangements without first having to render it to the timeline. To do so, click the Arrangements menu and select Export as Audio.


ProChannel module presets


In addition to saving presets of the entire ProChannel chain (all modules), you can also save and load presets of individual modules. The per module preset controls are located on the left side of each module header bar.

To select a module preset

Click the module’s category type icon to open the preset menu, then select the desired preset. The category type icon tooltip shows the name of the selected preset.

To save a module preset

  1. Adjust the ProChannel module controls to the desired settings.
  2. Click the module’s category type icon to open the preset menu, then select Save Preset.
  3. Type a name in the Save Preset dialog box, then click OK.

To select the next preset

To select the next preset, do one of the following:

  • Click the Next Preset button image.png.
  • Hold down the CTRL key and click the module’s category type icon.

To select the previous preset

To select the previous preset, do one of the following:

  • Click the Previous Preset button image.png.
  • Hold down CTRL+SHIFT and click the module’s category type icon.

To delete a module preset

  1. Click the module’s category type icon to open the preset menu, then select the preset you want to delete.
  2. Click the module’s category type icon to open the preset menu again, then select Delete Preset.


Copy/paste settings between ProChannel modules

You can copy settings from any ProChannel module and paste the settings to any other instance of the same module.
on any track or bus.

There are two ways to copy/paste settings between identical modules:

Drag and drop

  1. In the Console view, show the ProChannel for both the track/bus you want to copy from, and the track/bus you want to paste into.
  2. Hold down the CTRL key, and drag from the source module’s header bar (i.e., the module title) to the target module. The source and target ProChannel modules must be identical.

Note: If the target module has not been enabled/initialized yet, it will automatically become enabled after pasting. However, if the target modules has been manually disabled, then it will remain disabled after pasting.

Copy/Paste menu commands

  1. Click the source module’s category type icon to open its preset menu, then select Copy Settings.
  2. Click the target module’s category type icon to open its preset menu, then select Paste Settings.


Append per-output Instrument tracks

When you insert a multi-timbral soft synth, you can specify how many Instrument output tracks to create, up to the maximum supported by the synth.

If you do not initially create the maximum number of available output tracks, you can later add additional tracks on demand from the Synth Rack view. To do so, do one of the following:

  • Right-click the instrument in the Synth Rack (Views > Synth Rack View) and select Append Instrument Track.
  • Right-click the instrument track strip in the Track view and select Append Instrument Track.

Note: If you originally created used per-output Instrument tracks for that synth, then Cakewalk will create another per-output instrument track. If originally created split instrument tracks, then Cakewalk will create another split instrument track.


Misc. enhancements

  • The Display Clip Fade Attenuation option in Edit > Preferences > Customization - Display is now available as a key binding.
  • Audio Driver Mode now changes immediately instead of waiting for Apply click.
  • Updated to latest VST3 SDK, which includes VST bug fixes.


Bug fixes

  • Cannot remove ARA plugin as region effect if the plugin is not installed
  • Using mouse wheel in 'Locked & Centered' Control Bar results in left aligned CB
  • User Reported Crash Cakewalk.exe!CFretControlBar::resetNow() Line 220 
  • Clicking Freeze on archived track crashes CbB
  • Seeking with lower Disk Buffers/Higher Audio card latency causes audio to cut out
  • Inspector strip context menu appears on wrong monitor
  • Shift + Right Click behavior not consistent with MIDI Tracks
  • Aim Assist gets stuck at time zero after dragging a plugin from the browser
  • Instrument tracks mute MIDI channel when using ALT+M
  • Reverse touchpad scrolling direction in some views
  • Marker View Lk column not listing locked status in Tungsten theme
  • Dragging clips with Snap By can have unexpected results
  • Missing project file patch causes CbB to crash
  • Remove default key NUM-0 binding to Enhanced Keyboard Editing Mode
  • Make "Display Clip Fade Attenuation" key bind-able
  • Double-Click to open Clip Properties not working as expected
  • Devices tab of Preferences should say "Double-click on a friendly name to edit it"
  • Crash when freezing track after setting input to None
  • Deleting Multiple tracks in folders removes folder from project
  • iZotope Relay does not draw Advanced tab in VST3
  • iZotope Plugins Display Track Names incorrectly
  • Project Looping turns off after recording
  • Spacebar doesn't work with new Waves StudioRack plugin 
  • Background not repainted in Waves StudioRack plugin when opening module or resizing from UI
  • Hang on project close
  • Cancelling a real time freeze operation crashes and shuts down application
  • Cancelling Freeze can cause Interleave and Phase buttons to change unexpectedly
  • Archived Aux tracks pass signal
  • Soloing aux tracks mutes metronome on playback
  • Inspector displays wrong output strip after clicking inspector strip with track sending to aux
  • Custom project load affirmations display unexpected characters in multibyte languages
  • Custom project load affirmations truncate messages that are more than one line
  • Having no playback master selected causes loss of audio with no reported errors
  • Crash on undo of ripple edit delete
  • Incorrect audio range when bouncing or exporting with no audio drivers present


Known issues

  • Showing the Arranger Inspector also automatically shows the Arranger track. However, this currently only works if the Arranger track was closed with the A keyboard shortcut or the Track view View > Arranger Show/Hide command, not by dragging the divider bar.
  • When multiple Arranger sections are selected, when clicking to drag, the preview runs off screen.
  • When resizing the Arranger track, drawing artifacts are left behind.
  • Arranger track auto scrolling doesn't work when resizing a section.
  • A few Arranger context menu commands have not been localized yet, and will appear in English for all languages.
  • CTRL+mouse wheel scroll direction is flipped.
  • The Insert Soft Synth Options dialog box is not formatted properly in non-English languages. Localization work in general is pending.
  • Japanese localization is incomplete.


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When the world is paralized, you are working in favor of Cakewalk. Thanks a lot for the effort and for the great new features.

I found some strange graphic behavior: 
When switching themes, something rare happen with the graphics of the Inspector header:


Once you come back to your initial theme, everything is fine again.

Edited by MarianoGF
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I don't know which feature addition I'm looking forward to learning to use better, the Arrangement Track or Pro Module presets.  But wait, there's MORE!  Per output Instrument tracks, the VST3 bug fixes and audio driver immediately updates.  All wonderful.

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1 hour ago, MarianoGF said:

When the world is paralized, you are working in favor of Cakewalk. Thanks a lot for the effort and for the great new features.

I found some strange graphic behavior: 
When switching themes, something rare happen with the graphics of the Inspector header:


Once you come back to your initial theme, everything is fine again.

@MarianoGF This happens because you are using a custom theme that needs to be updated to account for the new and resized Inspector buttons. You will need to update any custom themes if you intend to use them in 2020.04 and beyond. Please see the following post.

In the meantime, switch to the factory Tungsten or Mercury theme.

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Really enjoying the new Arranger feature. Have been playing around with it on several songs that I am working on and found that no matter how much I shift the sections around, playback is always smooth. No glitches, no gaps, just like it was playing linearly on the timeline. Fantastic job Devs!!

What I love is that it has the option to save more than one or two arrangements. These saved arrangements can be recalled at the drop of a hat!! Sweet!

It also has the option to Export the arrangement to audio, so IOW I can have lots of different arrangements exported to files, bring them with me when I go travel and listen to each version and decide which I like better. All this before commiting to a single thing!! Very sweet.

This feature is well thought out, well implemented, and a very welcomed addition to our favorite DAW!! I am gonna use the heck out of this one!! 

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Thank you soooooo much for the Behavior changes! And the ProChannel presets!!! And the bug fixes !!!! And now we have Arranger Track...

God bless you all good people!! Thank you sooo much for the good things you bring in this global difficult times!!

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