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Morten Saether

2020.05 Feature Overview

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The 2020.05 release introduces dynamic waveform scaling when changing clip automation, offline activation, enhancements to mono plug-in support, improved mouse wheel handling, lots of automation enhancements, smoother UI transitions, engine/UI optimizations, and over 60 bug fixes, all in keeping with our goal of making CbB as reliable and enjoyable as possible.

The following highlights are intended to provide an overview of the more significant changes. Please also refer to the new features section of our documentation for more detailed information on the features.

Please give us feedback on this release. We hope you like it!


2020.05 Highlights


Dynamic waveform scaling when changing clip automation


When Display Clip Fade/Envelope Attenuation is enabled in Edit > Preferences > Customization - Display, Cakewalk dynamically updates the waveform amplitude when changing clip fades, clip gain automation and clip pan automation.

The waveform display is pre clip FX Rack and only applies to clip automation, not track automation. Additionally, clip gain and pan envelopes are not applied to active Region FX clips. i.e. If you have a clip gain envelope on a Region FX clip, it will be ignored unless the effect is bypassed.

The Display Clip Fade/Envelope Attenuation option is now also available as a key binding in Edit > Preferences > Customization - Keyboard Shortcuts (under Area: Track View).


Offline activation

Activation is the process by which Cakewalk validates that your software is genuine and being used in accordance with the license agreement. Cakewalk can now be activated by an online or offline process.

Cakewalk will operate in Demo mode until it is activated, and saving and exporting will be disabled.

A toast notification appears at the bottom of the screen to inform you if Cakewalk has not been activated yet. If your computer is connected to the internet, click the toast notification to open BandLab Assistant and activate Cakewalk.

If Cakewalk is installed on a computer that is not connected to the internet, you can use offline activation as long as you have access to another computer that is connected to the internet.

To use offline activation

  1. In Cakewalk, go to Help > Offline Activation > Export Activation Request to open the Save activation request dialog box.
  2. Select the folder you want to save the activation request file to, then click Save.
    Cakewalk saves a Activation request.crq file. This file is encrypted and machine-specific, and can only be used to activate Cakewalk on the machine that was originally used to create the Activation request.crq file.
    By default, Cakewalk appends a timestamp to the file name, using the following format: <Month><Day><Year>_<Hour><Minute>. For example: 052120_1157Activation request.crq.
  3. Copy the Activation request.crq file to removable media, such as a USB flash drive, that you can transfer to another computer that is connected to the internet.
  4. Using an online computer, open BandLab Assistant and sign in with your BandLab ID and password.
  5. Click the Apps tab.
  6. Under Cakewalk by BandLab, click the drop-down arrow next to the Open button, then click Process Offline Activation Request.
    If activation is granted, BandLab Assistant generates an Activation response.dat file.
  7. Copy the Activation response.dat file to removable media that you can transfer back to your offline Cakewalk computer.
  8. In Cakewalk, go to Help > Offline Activation > Import Activation Response to open the Import activation response dialog box.
  9. Select the Activation response.dat file and click Open.
    If the response file is valid, Cakewalk is activated.



Early Access toast notification


Early Access availability is checked whenever normal updates are checked, and a toast notification appears if an Early Access build is available.

The Early Access Program provides pre-release versions of Cakewalk to the public for general testing and issue reporting. We provide Early Access builds to help us get better real world test coverage from users, which is useful to improve the reliability and quality of our releases. Participation is 100% voluntary. Please read this topic to learn more about the program.



Mono plug-in support changes

This release greatly improves the FX Rack handling with respect to mixing and matching mono/stereo plug-ins. These improvements are across the board and work in track/bus/clip FX Racks, FX chains and the ProChannel. These changes apply primarily to compatibility with pure mono plug-ins (mono-in, mono-out). Mono in stereo out plugin compatibility will be addressed in a future update. 

  • Bypassing or removing plug-ins in an FX Rack, Rack bypass or global FX bypass operations will now revert any mono/stereo interleave changes caused by the plug-in, and recalculate delay compensation properly.
  • Changing the mono/stereo interleave from the track strip button now updates the FX Rack routing correctly (Note: this is dependent on whether the ProChannel bin is pre FX Rack and if it contains mono plug-ins).
  • Pitch shifted audio and distortion were symptoms of issues that are fixed in this release. This could occur under multiple scenarios, such as moving plug-ins, bypassing, deleting or undoing.

Improved mouse wheel handling

  • Console view vertical scrolling via mouse wheel is less prone to inadvertently adjusting parameter values if there is a brief pause during the scroll gesture (for example, while vertically scrolling with the mouse wheel, suddenly it starts scrolling the volume slider instead). The internal timer that waits for inactivity before treating the next mouse wheel movement as a new operation has been increased from 500ms to 1,000ms. This ensures that the current scroll operation doesn't change mid-gesture.
  • In the Console view, tooltips dynamically show values when changing parameters via mouse wheel.
  • FX Racks for tracks, buses and clips can be scrolled via mouse wheel.

Increased contrast of ghosted envelopes

The color contrast of ghosted automation envelopes has been increased, making them easier to see against the dark Clips pane background when Automation Lanes are collapsed.

Clicking on the bus pane now automatically sets the bus focus strip

This facilitates copying and pasting bus envelopes by clicking and pasting.

Scrollable Clip FX Rack in Inspector 

Clip FX Racks in Inspector now display up to 10 plug-ins and are scrollable using both mouse wheel and the scroll bar.

Improved support for recording automation via numeric input

  • When recording automation, envelope nodes can now be recorded by typing a value in the pop-up edit controls in the Inspector, Console view, Track view, ProChannel EQ, and EQ fly-out module. The numeric input will be recorded as a Jump during automation recording.
  • To show the numeric input pop-up, give focus to a control or its value display, then press F2, or double-click the value display.

Improved recording automation of synth parameters

Multiple synth parameters can be recorded in a single record pass and all envelopes are now retained. While loop recording, in order to avoid clutter the automation preview only shows the last loop record pass. All recording envelopes will be displayed when you stop playback.

Improved support for copying and pasting automation envelopes

  • Automation envelopes can now be easily copied and pasted from tracks to buses and vice versa. To copy track automation to a bus, first select and copy the envelope from the track, then click on the target bus or lane and paste. You can also copy and paste bus automation to tracks the same way.
  • Moving or copying arrangement sections now properly manages copying and pasting the associated bus and synth automation envelopes.

Bus delete stability improvements

Bus deletion can now be performed while the transport is rolling without stopping the audio engine. Also an intermittent crash and app shutdown on undoing bus deletion was solved.

Rename Clip key binding

The Rename Clip command is now available as a key binding in Edit > Preferences > Customization - Keyboard Shortcuts (under Area: Track View).

Support for .midi MIDI File extension

In addition to .mid, the .midi file extension is now supported for reading.

Track view's View and Options menu settings persist globally

The Track View’s View and Options menu items now persist globally instead of being stored within screensets.

Build numbers uses 3 digits

Due to how BandLab Assistant compares versions, the Cakewalk installer now uses three digits for the build number to allow updates to work correctly.

Update toast notifications throttled by a period of one day

Automatic display of update toast notifications now only appears once daily.



  • Flicker free UI transitions when opening projects or switching between projects.
  • Reduced excessive messaging load in the UI. This speeds up operations like scrolling and zooming in larger projects with console view and track view visible.  
  • Meters have better general performance while scrolling
  • When using workspaces, projects now open with the correct initial UI layout, rather than opening with the project layout and then visibly switching to the workspace layout. This is faster and prevents unwanted flicker.
  • Many improvements and optimizations for editing mono effects in FX Racks
  • Improvements to drag and drop between clip and track FX racks
  • Solved multithreading race condition leading to latency when using Aggressive thread scheduling model
  • Meters to have better general performance while scrolling


Latest release notes are here.
See prior release notes.
Check out all new features released to date.


Previous release:

2020.04 Feature Overview

2020.01 Feature Overview

2019.11/12 Feature Overview

2019.09 Feature Overview

2019.07 Feature Overview




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51 minutes ago, Tim Davila said:

Its possible to reduce the mouse wheel back to 500ms in the config file?


It's not but I'd support this - it slows down workflow too much now.

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1 hour ago, Tim Davila said:

Its possible to reduce the mouse wheel back to 500ms in the config file?


@Tim DavilaYou prefer it to modify controls? People found it very error prone because they were inadvertently changing values when they wanted to scroll the view.

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On 6/5/2020 at 2:08 PM, CJ Jacobson said:

Was the zoom fixed with control surfaces so that it centers?

@CJ Jacobson the zoom was changed primarily for mouse users so it zooms about the cursor rather than the center of the screen. For users doing sample based editing its important to be able to zoom in close from the cursor not an arbitrary center of the screen.

However when zooming remotely via a surface I can see that it may be desirable to have the prior behavior. We'll discuss it for next release. 

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17 hours ago, Noel Borthwick said:

ts important to be able to zoom in close from the cursor not an arbitrary center of the screen.

However when zooming remotely via a surface I can see that it may be desirable to have the prior behavior. We'll discuss it for next release. 

Yes thanks Noel!

Ware ever i put my courser with the control surface, it doesn't center, unless i manually press the (-) or the (+) sign on the GUI of Cakewalk to zoom un-zoom.

It has become a pain in the butt to work like that.

Thank you

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10 hours ago, Milton Sica said:

The new version windows 10 2004 not scan all vsts.

I'm having a similar problem with the latest 1909 update. After installing this update and running the VST scan, only the plugins from the shared DXi folder are available. All other plugins and synths are not found when trying to load an existing project. The synth and effects menus show only CbB internal synths and plugins.

SONAR X1 still works properly even after running the scan.

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