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More free third party instruments should be added to Cakewalk| A Bandlab User's Perspective

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If I am ever in the need of a vst instrument quickly, I just search for them on youtube and I can actually hear it in action. That's all anyone needs to do. There is usually a link to the vst in the description

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Michael Vogel ( MUDGEL) said:

I think there’s some issues about further developments with plugs like Rapture Pro etc, that go back to the original creator. Not sure but was it Rene Caballos, who was with Cakewalk at some time. I don’t remember the details. Just a vague recollection about picking up from the previous devs work??

Z3TA+2 and Rapture Pro were developed by the Cakewalk dev team, based on Rene's earlier work on the original z3ta+, Dimension Pro, and Rapture. You can see him listed as development lead on those earlier synth's credit pages.

Rene had left Cakewalk before the newer versions were released. Rene was the founder of RGC Audio, which Cakewalk had bought, and then hired him. If you look carefully at the Z3TA+2 credits, you will see Rene received credit for the architecture and development of the original z3ta+.

Rapture Pro was a convergence of Dim Pro and Rapture, which was possible because both shared the underlying multisample synth technology using .sfz files.

Speculation: BandLab probably now owns the IP rights to the software.

 

Edited by abacab
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Sigh.

I started both the "Freeware FX Thread" and the "Freeware Instruments" threads on this forum in order to do just what you suggest. SampleTank, Syntronik, and Sitala have all been posted in that thread. I would love for the developers to partner with the developer of Sitala to integrate it with Cakewalk so that there could be a function where we could drag and drop clips to the sampler, back and forth from the Track View and Matrix.

There are two issues with the threads: first, they scroll down into invisibility unless I or someone else bump them, which I don't always remember to do, despite the fact that there's always some new free gadget available these days. Second, people apparently either don't think to use the Search function, or their use of it isn't turning up those threads.

When they were first created, there was talk of making them sticky, but @Jesse Jost and the other mods are trying to avoid overuse of sticky threads. I think it's important information given that Cakewalk itself is freeware and therefore attracts people who have limited budgets, and, as many have already pointed out, doesn't come bundled with a ton of extra slick plug-ins. And I wholeheartedly agree with the others who have said that it doesn't need to in these days of so much other excellent freeware. But I'm just a user with one opinion, don't run the forum, don't decide on the content vs. clutter.

There are also many, many excellent inexpensive instruments such as those made by AIR. XPand2! for $15, SONIVOX' Orchestral Companion series, which are regularly put on sale as a bundle for $30, AIR's Hybrid 3, Vacuum Pro, both of which I got for $10.

There's a subforum dedicated to Deals that people on a budget should not miss. Lots of freebies in there.

If you want to help, I'd say the best thing to do at this point is remember that we have threads for freeware FX and instruments and bump them whenever you discover something new. That will help keep them near the top where new people can see them.

As a veteran of the commercial software business, I can say that there are issues with official bundling of other companies' software, whether it be freeware or payware or whatever. The people involved still must work out issues of copyright, legal ownership, all that, and whenever the creator of the bundled content updates it, there must be some mechanism in place to update the bundled version, BandLab's Cakewalk support will be expected to also support the bundled content and so on.

And really, I believe that if someone's savvy enough to become a BandLab bada55, and/or download Cakewalk, the most they should require is a list in order to be able to get the rest of what they need to fill out their DAW. It doesn't have to be part of the download.

I am in favor of making it as easy as possible for Cakewalk users to acquire other free and inexpensive music making software. I would also love to see as much of the rest of the old Cakewalk, Inc. software released as is practical. Beyond that, an integrated clip-to-phrase sampler would be nice, but I have Break Tweaker (on sale for $8.88) and TX16Wx, and sforzando and even SampleTank CS will let me import samples.

 

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I mentioned earlier that I thought the Freeware threads should be stickies. I think it might be worth the mods reconsidering this?

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Posted (edited)
On 5/2/2020 at 9:52 AM, E-Wolf Music said:

               I first want to say thank you Bandlab for making Cakewalk free and the hard work you guys have done for the past 2 years to make it more stable and faster. Looking at how good things are going I can see the potential of Cakewalk competing with the big DAWs like FL studio, Ableton, and logic pro. My main issue with Cakewalk is the lack of essential  instrument plugins needed to make modern music . I understand that Cakewalk used to be about $500 which meant that beginners were not who they were appealing to, but to the pros who did not really need built-in instrument plugins because they can afford to buy or have amassed a lot of plugins throughout the years or pros who mostly used Cakewalk for recording, mixing and mastering. However, the Cakewalk Sonar then doesn't have the advantage the present Cakewalk has, which is a loyal fanbase of people who haven't even used Cakewalk before : "Bandlab Users."  Let's use logic pro for an example: Logic pro's success can be seen in their business model which is, "Attract beginners with Garageband and hope that they would eventually upgrade to Logic Pro." Cakewalk now has more than 3 million people using Bandlab and some of them have upgraded to Cakewalk. In fact I was one of them. I used Bandlab for a year then came to Cakewalk.

                During my first year using cakewalk, I and other Bandlab users had  issues with Cakewalk which was that Bandlab had more ready mordern sounds than Cakewalk, which did not make sense. It took me two months to get some free instruments that I can use and it took me 6 months to find a drum sampler and  a normal sampler which is an important plugin used to produce almost every mainstream music we've heard now. You would expect that the flagship daw of Bandlab to have more sounds than it's beginner daw. I know these are two different companies that have joined but it doesn't make sense to get this frustrated and consider downgrading back to Bandlab when you not want  to level up your skills as a music producer.  There more than 3 million users using Bandlab and I can guarantee that a lot of them would upgrade to Cakewalk. This is an advantage no other daw except for logic pro has and can put Cakewalk on the map as the daw to use in the years to come. I understand creating plugins is tedious and might take time  to make but I believe that like how Cakewalk was partnering with different big brands, Cakewalk should try to create a relationship companies that are providing already made free plugins to bring these plugins to Cakewalk to make it the default plugins. Some of these companies are even ready to help if anybody who wants to add their software to anything. Here are the free professional plugins from companies I believe Cakewalk should try in creating a relationship to put these plugins in Cakewalk by default. 

 

Another widely used plugin in Cakewalk. A Sample Based keyboard emulating the Yamaha Grand Piano, Steinway Grand Piano and other presets.  I have a lot of paid pianos but this is still one of my favorites.

 

I spent a lot of time writing this because I remember wasting 6 months trying to set-up Cakewalk whereas it took me 3 days to start making music on Bandlab. The new generation is the future of Cakewalk and I can see the potential of Cakewalk. It just needs instruments for beginners. 

 

 

 

 

 

All those are basically in the free instruments thread here and then some.  Why it took you 6 months to find such a thread here.....that is a different question.  

We don't need bloatware with Cakewalk when such free options exist. 

Cakewalk isn't designed like an app on your phone for beginners.  It is a professional grade tool to record and produce music.  I agree it could use some improvements to make things easier for a beginner...but that isn't related to the instruments included.  Things like a Chord Track are what Cakewalk could benefit from.  

Cake does come bundled with enough instruments to make music with.   Most of which never get used by someone that does some research to grab better quality free ones.  

Edited by Brian Walton
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3 hours ago, Brian Walton said:

it could use some improvements to make things easier for a beginner.

In the old days, as you probably remember, the old Cakewalk had a range of programs, from Music Creator (which I started with) to SONAR. Each one more refined and including more stuff.

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2 minutes ago, 57Gregy said:

In the old days, as you probably remember, the old Cakewalk had a range of programs, from Music Creator (which I started with) to SONAR. Each one more refined and including more stuff.

Yes, though even as a beginner with Cakewalk I jumped in with Sonar 2XL Producer.  

It wasn't until the Sonar X series that I downloaded the really stripped down versions to see what they were like.  Realistically those looked like the exact same program just with fewer options and add-ins.  

A beginner can use Cakewalk Bandlab, but it doesn't really offer much in the way of easy music creation, it assumes you know about Music Theory - or dependent on drag and drop audio files/midi files to try to create something, or treat it like a digital tape machine where you actually know how to play an instrument.  

It seems the shift these days of what a "beginner" means in music production is a complete lack of knowledge of music (chords, notes, etc), and with that trend to cater to these individuals there are tools that can effectively reduce the need for some of that knowledge.    

 

I don't think Cakewalk needs a stripped down version, it just could use a few added tools to better cater to such individuals.  Think built in chord track, EZ Keys, and Scaler.  

 

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I find that a lot of the free VSt's are very dated and a lot of them are only 32's which is something I try to avoid. You definitely get what you pay for most of he times.

Drums are probably the most needed VST for 99% of the people making music and I've never found a free VST  drummer that sounded much better than SI drums. And so far for me, only Ample Bass is marginally better than SI Bass. I'm spoiled because I have a lot of the stuff that came with Sonar over the years, So far my total investment in 3rd party stuff might be  $100. I bought the Air complete package on sale for $29 and then a few other audio effects and things always when on super discounts. My favorite freebie is Mr Tramp, http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?plugin=Mr_Tramp&id=275   it really has that narly Wurly grunge. Another I use a lot is the Combo V organ. http://www.vst4free.com/free_vst.php?plugin=Combo_Model_V&id=1004

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9 hours ago, Brian Walton said:

All those are basically in the free instruments thread here and then some.  Why it took you 6 months to find such a thread here.....that is a different question.  

We don't need bloatware with Cakewalk when such free options exist.

Ah, let's be gentle with the lad. Like all of us he just wants Cakewalk to work better for everyone. Why it took him so long to find the Freeware Instruments thread is that it scrolls away so quickly and people don't use the Search engine.

As for #1, that's been suggested and decided against so far, as for #2, well, good question, but it just doesn't occur to people I guess. For decades, people have thought I'm some kind of computer genius because I can Google their error messages and spew back a solution that someone else has already figured out. All I can do as a service to new users is bump the threads when I remember. I don't believe Keyzone Classic or Amplesound have been mentioned, so I'm going to use them to bump the Instruments thread, so good.

Also, well and good enough for him and for you and for me, but he's talking about other users of BandLab making the transition. Not everyone who downloads and installs Cakewalk registers for and reads this forum. Maybe not even most, although putting a link to the forum right on the Help menu was a move of awesomeness.

I'm in agreement that in 2020, a freeware DAW no longer needs to ship with a pile of ancillary bonus plug-ins. Even as recently as 2 years ago I may have disagreed, but things have changed since Cakewalk first shipped. I wonder how Cakewalk's arrival may have helped change things.

I think the old formula was "sell creative software to a small community of creative people for a decent chunk of change." The newer formula may be "expand the community of creative people by giving away some of our stuff and lower our license fees and sell a lot more."

Speaking for myself, I have spent plenty of money I wouldn't have otherwise spent if I didn't have access to lower cost and free tools to attract me and learn with. So it may seem paradoxical, but giving things away can bring more money in. When I was learning how to mix on a DAW I had OrilRiver and learned how I wanted a reverb to sound. Then iZotope put Exponential Phoenix Stereo on sale for $10 and I knew enough to know that within 5 minutes of trying it that it was light years better than anything I'd ever tried and plunked down $20 for 2 licenses. When Exponential Excalibur went on sale for $10, there went $20 more. They don't have to sell that many more licenses for it to scale up pretty well. With lower fees, there's less incentive to crack, etc.

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On 5/8/2020 at 7:34 PM, Starship Krupa said:

Sigh.

I started both the "Freeware FX Thread" and the "Freeware Instruments" threads on this forum in order to do just what you suggest.

Hey Erik! Just wanted to let you know -- since you're sounding a bit wistful about it -- that I find both your freeware threads super useful and I have bookmarked them and check them periodically. Bookmarking or searching seems easy enough to do, but you're right: they scroll down to oblivion if not bumped from time to time. For the most part that's just going to be your cross to bear, but... no good deed goes unpunished in this rotten, beautiful world. Thanks for your fine contribution to the forum. Your impulse to make this a better place is much appreciated!

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Posted (edited)

Aw, thanks, Larry! I had actually just been wondering where you'd been, as I did a Google search for something or other and landed on one of your posts on the old forum and realized that I hadn't seen your posts in a while around here. But I think I just haven't opened the threads that you've been participating in. Good to see you.

Nah, I'm glad that the freeware threads have turned out to be as useful as they have so far and who knows, maybe TPTB will ease up on the stickiness policy and/or the information we've collected will make its way into a more "official" list.

If you look at the "views" counts, the Instruments thread is over 7,000 views and the FX thread is over 4,770, so I'll rate the experiment a success at this point!

Edited by Starship Krupa
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On 5/9/2020 at 1:33 AM, Alan Tubbs said:

Rene, but with an accent.  He wrote and ended up selling zeta and then working for /with cakewalk on it and the original dimension for p5.  That was a big selling point for p5 And outlasted the daw.  Dimension became dimension pro, a stand alone rompler,  followed by rapture, with a smalll sample set geared for electronics. Rene left somewhere in there but before rapture pro was released.  All this is from memory, but the sequence is Correct.

there are plenty of free synths out there but no evergreened list I know of.  Any list will quickly be outdated and the best bet is ask it on a site like this and whichever other music sites you are registered at:  NI, gearslutz, kvr, magazines, etc.

Thanks for the extra info regarding René. 

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Yea, MUDGEL, the iPad doesn’t lend itself to accents and such, and the autocorrect is murder.  All that makes proper writing hard to correct.

 Much like a “free vst list” 🙂

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Bandlab has an opportunity here to offer plugins, free, trialware, and otherwise, from the assistant...kind of a VST marketplace.  I more or less assume thats a business model they've already considered.  So far as "Bundled freeware" I personally would be skeptical of everything in the package and would prefer to pick and choose rather than have to take a bunch of stuff together to get one steaming nugget of value. 

 

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7 minutes ago, StudioNSFW said:

Bandlab has an opportunity here to offer plugins, free, trialware, and otherwise, from the assistant...kind of a VST marketplace.  I more or less assume thats a business model they've already considered.  So far as "Bundled freeware" I personally would be skeptical of everything in the package and would prefer to pick and choose rather than have to take a bunch of stuff together to get one steaming nugget of value. 

 

Agreed. +1

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Welllll, we're now getting into the territory of armchairing the parent company's marketing plans/strategies, which I try to stay away from in this area of the forum, but since it's sort of on topic at the moment, I just discovered a site called splice.com because they partnered with iZotope to give away licenses for Ozone 9 Elements (go go go, it expires on June 5).

They're in the business of peddling loops, and maybe getting their feet wet in the plug-in business. They intrigued my because of their resemblance to BandLab, although coming from it from a different angle. Building a community where people can collaborate using the tools that the company provides to them. Splice's revenue stream is, shall we say more "front facing" than BandLab's at the moment, but I keep in mind that there are large companies that spend zillions to just keep their brands out there via television commercials and sports sponsorships. If BandLab, who sell musical instruments and electronics, are just building their brand by giving away DAW's, it's still way cheaper than sponsoring the Rose Bowl.😊

BandLab attracts users to their site with their DAW's, the iOS and Chrome versions of BandLab and CbB which is a work in progress as far as integration. And let me mention that the perspectives of @E-Wolf Music are very interesting and welcome to me because I think he's the first user I can think of who has explicitly mentioned that he's experienced with the existing BandLab platform and coming at it from that side rather than the other direction. Splice has a curated list of free plug-ins on their site, all of which are included in our freeware threads.

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51 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

Welllll, we're now getting into the territory of armchairing the parent company's marketing plans/strategies, which I try to stay away from in this area of the forum,

BandLab has been listening to us for 2 years, and I think they still welcome our suggestions... as diverse as they might be! Of course they will still do what is best for them, but with consideration for our feedback.

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To be sure, but I guess I'm shy about suggestions that involve the "bigger picture" if you get what I mean. I have no real insight into their business decisions. I try to focus on us users' experience of using the software because as a user, I have a lot of insight into that. As I say, "try," but I'm not unaware of the bigger picture. I mean, I said that and then wrote plenty more, right? And I don't suggest that anyone else shouldn't.

It's fascinating to watch the industry and culture of making and consuming music and the tools to make it change. Some are down and say that nobody can make any money as a recording artist and that since anybody can download a package of loops and string something together that musicianship is lost, but I'm the opposite view. I think it's great that so many people are interested in making sounds in whatever way. What's in the loops has to come from somewhere. However the sounds are made doesn't matter to me, it's whether the end product moves me.

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14 minutes ago, Starship Krupa said:

To be sure, but I guess I'm shy about suggestions that involve the "bigger picture" if you get what I mean. I have no real insight into their business decisions. I try to focus on us users' experience of using the software because as a user, I have a lot of insight into that. As I say, "try," but I'm not unaware of the bigger picture. I mean, I said that and then wrote plenty more, right? And I don't suggest that anyone else shouldn't.

It's fascinating to watch the industry and culture of making and consuming music and the tools to make it change. Some are down and say that nobody can make any money as a recording artist and that since anybody can download a package of loops and string something together that musicianship is lost, but I'm the opposite view. I think it's great that so many people are interested in making sounds in whatever way. What's in the loops has to come from somewhere. However the sounds are made doesn't matter to me, it's whether the end product moves me.

It's amazing how far we've come from sound fonts! 😁

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Posted (edited)
On 5/3/2020 at 2:44 PM, Jim Fogle said:

@Einstein Essibu,

I didn't know BandLab has +3 million users.  I totally agree with your thought that all BandLab users are potential Cakewalk users however there maybe some obstacles those users will need to overcome.

...

More good news.  Both the TTS-1 midi software sound module and the four virtual instrument Studio Instrument suite are available for download through the BandLab Assistant Cakewalk add-on selection screen.  Cakewalk automatically selects TTS-1 if no midi device is selected in Cakewalk midi output preferences.  That allows a user to easily and quickly hear acceptable sounds while composing using midi.  The Studio Instrument suite of strings, keys, electric bass and drums are good sounding virtual instrument learning tools.  I am thrilled to have both midi virtual instrument tools in my toolbox.

I just saw this thread and your latter paragraph caught my attention. Per the "More good news"...

Are you noting that TTS-1 and the Studio Instruments Suite have become available for individual/stand-alone download?

I'm not seeing them here on the BandLab Assistant screen (as you mentioned). Please clarify where these are, as I'm curious!

Thank you in advance.

 

Edited by Dave G

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