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Morten Saether

2021.06 Update 3 [Updated 6-Aug-2021]

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[UPDATE 6-Aug-2021: Cakewalk 2021.06 Update 3 (build now available]

We're pleased to announce the 2021.06 release! This release introduces improved input/output port naming, improved dropout management, several Arranger enhancements, Tempo track grid lines, shape smoothing options when using the Freehand tool on envelope shapes, improved VST3 support, lots of other enhancements and optimizations, and over 25 bug fixes,  all in keeping with our goal of making Cakewalk as reliable and enjoyable as possible.

Please note that in order to automatically keep your activation status up to date, Cakewalk will renew your activation status whenever a new version of the application is installed and run for the first time, and when you sign in to BandLab from within Cakewalk. If you have never signed in to BandLab from within Cakewalk, you will be prompted once to sign in. 

The Bakers

For new feature details, see New Features.

Should you need to revert to the 2021.04 release, you can download the Cakewalk 2021.04 Rollback installer.

Update August 6 2021:

2021.06 Update 3 (build


Bug fixes

  • In-app Google authentication not working
  • Projects with tracks containing embedded synths in the FX rack can hang on load if aux tracks are also present
  • Pressing spacebar/play fails to start project in Play List


Should you need to revert to the 2021.06 release, you can download the Cakewalk 2021.06 Rollback installer.


Update July 29 2021:

2021.06 Update 2 (build


"Modern Standby" support and improved Power Management

  • Added support for "Modern Standby" a new power management feature introduced in Windows 10 build 2004.
  • Modern Standby mode is supported by some PC's (typically modern laptops). Modern standby is different from the traditional sleep modes and has to be specially handled by the application in order to suspend and resume hardware properly.
  • Improved handling for resuming from a sleep state in Windows. Cakewalk will additionally reload the driver if necessary, if the driver requests a restart or it stops responding.
  • Suspend and resume are properly handled when a dialog box is open.


Handle VST instruments that change output counts

If a VST instrument changes its output count, ports in projects previously saved with the instrument could become offset by the change in outputs. This could cause projects to stop playing through other virtual instruments until their instrument track inputs were reassigned.

Cakewalk will now detect change in outputs on opening a project and  automatically reassign ports appropriately with no user intervention required.


Bug fixes

  • Fixed crash when exporting single track with "-" in track name and filename
  • Intermittent crash when adding new articulation trigger event
  • Wedge Force Matcha plug-in hangs on changing presets in 2021.06 release
  • Projects saved with older version of Omnisphere open with input ports assigned to incorrect instruments
  • SPACEBAR does not start playback when using Vienna Ensemble Pro in host mode
  • SHIFT+right-click toggle for Inline Piano Roll causes unexpected lasso selection
  • Regression: New projects from templates are flagged as dirty in version 2021.06
  • Extra Synth Instances inserted when adding all synth audio outputs for Split Instrument Track
  • Alt+T shortcut in Track view View menu cut off slightly
  • Arranger sections are not focused immediately after a drag/draw operation (F2 to rename fails)
  • Nudging a fully selected MIDI clip nudges notes, not the whole clip


Should you need to revert to the 2021.06 release, you can download the Cakewalk 2021.06 Rollback installer.


Update July 13 2021:

2021.06 Update 1 (build


Enhancements for input and output port names

  • When using Friendly Names for audio devices (Edit > Preferences > Audio - Devices) , use the vertical bar character (|) to separate left/right/stereo channel names.
  • When using Friendly Names, menus only show L/R/S descriptors and not channel numbers. (Channels can be named using the vertical bar character in the friendly name).
  • Channel numbers are only shown in the port menu and not in the actual port name field to make the readout more compact.  The full name is always shown in the tooltip.
  • Channel numbers in menus are separated from the port name,  using a columnar layout.
  • You can choose to display the port channel information as a prefix or suffix to the port names shown in the menu. Set this via the Display Channels as Prefix in Port Menus option in Edit > Preferences > Customization - Display.
  • Port names and tooltips for sends and aux tracks have been improved.


Finer choices for tempo decimation

The TempoImportDecimationResolution Cakewalk.ini variable affects how tempo envelope shapes are preserved when opening Cakewalk 2021.04 (and later) projects in earlier versions.

The TempoMapDecimationResolution variable specifies the minimum time resolution for each tempo map entry when creating tempo envelope curves and lines. Both these variables can now be set to values smaller than 60 ticks. The values are as follows:

1 = 240 ticks (16th Note)
2 = 120 ticks (32nd Note)
3 = 60 ticks (64th Note)
4 = 30 ticks (128th Note)
5 = 15 ticks (256th Note)
6 = 12 ticks (320th Note)
7 = 6 ticks (640th Note)
8 = 3 ticks (1280th Note)


Cakewalk responds to PC sleep / wakeup

The audio engine stops if/when Windows tells Cakewalk it is about to suspend/hibernate. If Cakewalk receives a Wakeup notification (i.e. you've awakened from suspend or hibernate), it will restart the audio engine.

Note: Some audio drivers may not respond properly to a wakeup notification, which will cause the audio engine to fail to restart.


Bug fixes

  • Not all horizontal grid lines showing on Tempo track when using Tempo Track Show/Hide
  • Tempo Track Show/Hide shortcut (ALT+T) is not shown in Track view View menu
  • Display All Times as SMPTE does not persist as expected
  • Extra tempo node added at end when inserting tempo after last tempo node
  • Synth port numbers appear unexpectedly after using Replace Synth
  • Spacing in Input picker inconsistent for inputs above 9
  • In ASIO mode, the input port menu reported the number of stereo channels rather than the actual hardware channel count
  • In-app Update fails to launch if user path has Unicode characters


Should you need to revert to the 2021.06 release, you can download the Cakewalk 2021.06 Rollback installer.



2021.06 Highlights


New features

Improved input/output port naming for hardware and software ports

In Cakewalk all ports are grouped into stereo pairs of channels. In order to make it easier to associate these pairs with the physical channels exposed by the hardware or virtual instrument, the port naming conventions have been improved.

  • Audio and soft synth input and output ports now include a channel number prefix before the port name.
    Additionally, port names now always show the actual names of the referenced channels. (previously only the first channel name would be shown). Since many instruments have different names for channels or even dynamic names, the channel index can be used to identify a specific instrument output more easily.
  • When using user defined device names (Use friendly names to represent audio drivers) you can now specify both the left and right channels in the stereo pair by using the pipe symbol “|” to delimit the channel names. For example, entering a friendly name of “Guitar|Voice” may show 1: Guitar, 2: Voice, 1+2: Guitar + Voice in the menus.
    • Input/output prefixes are not shown in port names when using friendly driver names.
  • Port names have been shortened to skip the device vendor name for greater legibility in the Track view, Console view and Inspector. The tooltip for the name will show the full form of the name.
  • Port names are no longer compacted. With the smarter port naming, in most cases there should be no need to use friendly names to shorten the strings, unless you wish to use instrument names for the ports.
  • Edit Filter values and MIDI channels are no longer compacted, which makes it easier to read parameter names in most cases.
  • In the Console view Hardware Outs section, hardware out names now show channel indexes as well as channel names in ASIO mode.
  • Sends now show shortened port names and use port numbering when applicable.



Improved dropout management

In version 2019.09 we introduced Dropout Analytics to allow diagnosing and resolving common causes of audio dropouts. While dropout messages may be useful to diagnose the cause of problems, they can be intrusive to workflow when small audio interruptions are inconsequential, such as when editing projects, loading and saving sessions, etc. 

In this release we manage dropouts more intelligently throughout the application by masking certain categories of dropout notifications when they are less important. The following dropout codes are considered maskable since they are caused by CPU load issues, while other dropouts are caused by system events that cannot be resumed from easily:

  • Dropout code 1: Audio processing took longer than the buffers allotted time slice.
  • Dropout code 3: Driver did not request audio buffers for over DropoutMsec milliseconds. Possible driver overload.

Dropouts are masked in the following scenarios

  • The application is idling (transport is not running)
  • Performing various editing operations
  • Performing real time bounce/export/freeze (rendered data will be free of glitches even if the audio playback contains glitches, as long as you are not rendering external hardware inserts)
  • Playing back using the Play List view
  • Opening and closing views
  • Opening and closing documents
  • Operating screen sets
  • Mix Recall

Handling dropouts during playback and recording

Under normal conditions, Cakewalk always stops playback or recording if too many late buffers are encountered while playing. However there may be circumstances where a dropout that stops playback is disruptive, such as when doing an unattended recording or playing back in a live scenario.

To handle these cases, a new MaskDropoutDetection option in Edit > Preferences > Audio - Configuration File can be used to suppress dropouts.


Setting this value to True will activate dropout masking during playback and recording.

When activated, Cakewalk will continue playback and recording after it encounters a maskable dropout. This can prevent unwanted interruption of playback or a lost take while recording.


  • If the dropouts are extreme, recorded audio may contain glitches. Please follow the normal dropout diagnosis procedure for minimizing dropouts.
  • The Play List view will always ignore dropouts irrespective of this setting.
  • Only CPU load related dropouts are masked. Other dropouts such as driver requested stops or disk underruns will still cause playback to stop.

Create new arrangement based on existing arrangement

You can now quickly create a new arrangement by selecting sections in an existing arrangement. To do so, select the desired sections in the Arranger Inspector’s Arrangements pane, then right-click in the Arrangements pane and select New Arrangement From Selection.



Insert committed arrangement at the Now Time

You can now insert a committed arrangement into the existing project at the Now Time. To do so, right-click the Commit Arrangement to Project button image.png in the Arranger Inspector and select Insert Committed Arrangement.
Sections for the inserted arrangement are added to new Arranger track. Any other existing Arranger tracks, sections and arrangements remain unaffected.

Any existing events after the Now Time will be shifted over to make room for the inserted arrangement.

As with the Commit Arrangement to Project command, holding down the SHIFT key while selecting the command will cause the events under the arrangement sections to be copied as linked clips.



Optional grid lines in the Tempo track

To show grid lines in the Tempo track, right-click in the Tempo track and select Show Grid Lines.



Specify shape smoothing behavior when using the Freehand tool on automation envelopes

You can specify how shape smoothing works when using the Freehand tool image.png on envelope shapes. To do so, click the Track view Options menu, point to Freehand Smoothing, then select one of the following options:

  • Smooth. Uses the existing fit-to-curve functionality. This is the default setting.
  • As Drawn (Linear). Joins the nodes up with linear shapes.
  • As Drawn (Jumps). Leaves the nodes as is, making them jump shapes.




Replace synth on a single Instrument track

When inserting a multi-output soft synth with the Instrument Track Per Output option enabled, Cakewalk creates multiple Instrument tracks that share a single instance of the soft synth.

You can now replace the soft synth on an individual Instrument track without affecting other Instrument tracks that share the same soft synth instance. To do so, right-click the Instrument track strip and select Replace Synth for This Track Only.


Replace Synth now handles output port mismatch

When replacing a synth with a different synth that has fewer outputs, you can now replace with multiple instances of the new synth in order to account for the extra outputs.


Note Names in the Piano Roll view persist per track

When assigning a custom Note Names setting in the Piano Roll view (right-click the piano keyboard or note label pane), the setting now persists on a per track basis. Closing and re-opening the Piano Roll view remembers the last setting used for each track. The settings are with the project.



Articulation Map Editor: optional time offset and duration override for ‘New Note’ transforms

In the Articulation Map Editor, you can now offset the start time and override the duration of New Note output events in the Transform Existing MIDI Events section.

  • Time Offset (T). A positive time delay in MBT that will be applied to the new note.
  • Duration Override (D). A replacement duration for the new note. If left at 0:00:000, the new note will inherit the duration of the original note.



Reorder multiple tracks simultaneously

You can reorder multiple tracks simultaneously by dragging in the Track pane. To do so, select the tracks that you want to reorder, then drag any selected track.


  • You can’t move the selection on or before tracks within the selection (i.e. trying to move it onto itself)
  • You can’t move a selection containing track folders into a track folder (nested folders are currently not supported)
  • If a track folder is selected (whether or not all the tracks within the folder are selected), the whole track folder is moved, unless you are moving selected tracks from within a single track folder out of the track folder.


‘Duplicate Selected Clip(s) as Linked Clips’ command

To duplicate the selected clip(s) as linked clips, press CTRL+SHIFT+D.



Improved VST3 support

  • Support for VST3’s new MIDI CC learn functionality. This is used by any VST3 plug-ins that utilize MIDI learn from CCs.
  • VST audio buses (inputs/outputs) are now disabled by default and enabled on demand based on which tracks utilize the buses. With instruments that have many outputs this can save memory and CPU.
  • Added support for IPlugInterfaceSupport and IProcessContextRequirements and IComponentHandlerBusActivation


Misc. enhancements

  • ALT+mouse wheel now zooms in the Piano Roll view Drum Grid pane
  • Improved font rendering in new menus


Behavior changes

Insert Tempo Change dialog defaults to ‘Change the Most Recent Tempo’

The Insert Tempo Change dialog box defaults to Change the Most Recent Tempo, unless clicking the Insert Tempo Change button image.png in the Tempo Inspector, in which case it defaults to  Insert a New Tempo.



Improved app startup time when using WASAPI driver mode

With some multichannel audio devices, app startup could be very slow in earlier versions while Cakewalk tried to evaluate the number of output channels. This information is now cached to allow the app to start up quickly.


Bug fixes


  • Cakewalk crashes if AWS is down
  • Crash in CCmdAddTempoTrackTempo after wiping tracks 


  • ASIO Input and output port names and indexes are incorrect if preceding audio devices deselected in preferences  
  • Adding Time Signature change from Meter/Key view causes Now Time to jump unexpectedly
  • When no markers are selected, clicking empty space in the Markers view shows Lock unexpectedly
  • Unexpected behavior in localized Kind of Event dialog (Event List)
  • Clip Fade Attenuation not drawing as expected

Tempo track

  • Tempo track does not respond to commas for decimals
  • Delete Hole not working with Tempo track
  • Undo of Cut/Delete loses Tempo track selection
  • "No change" tempo entries being removed
  • REGRESSION: Nudging MIDI notes with absolute time not respecting tempo changes
  • Extract tempo using Melodyne, AudioSnap & Fit To Improvisation should not use "smooth shapes"


  • Commit Arrangement losing tempo entries
  • Incorrect Arranger section numbering when inserting sections in the Inspector
  • Buses are selected unexpectedly after moving Arranger section

Articulation Maps

  • Reassigning an articulation using the Choose dialog not working


  • Sign-in using Google authorization with device verification may not work in some locales 


  • Track templates ignore phase settings
  • MIDI input ports not assigned correctly after saving as track template
  • Undo of delete instrument track not working with drum maps in project
  • Drag Moving a MIDI clip crops it
  • Strips menu in Console view hides Instrument tracks unexpectedly with MIDI tracks
  • Process > Slide produces unexpected results with envelopes
  • Exclusive Solo does not initially work as expected after export
  • Automation to MIDI controllers: Incorrect conversion for pitch wheel
  • Spurious dropouts on project load/close/bounce
  • Dropout (12) after creating Region FX clip with stereo then mono FX in bin
  • Saving MIDI File loses last controller event
  • Control surfaces not supporting Aux Sends
  • ARA plug-ins losing transport sync
  • HUD Add Track should not remember previous instrument count
  • Some plug-in posted Windows messages are lost when using Piano Roll Zoom In/Out Vertical controls


Known issues

  • Incorrect font sizes in Articulation Maps dialogs.
  • A small number of users have reported seeing unreadable text in plug-in menus. We are currently investigating and hope to release a fix soon. In the meantime, we have made a temporary workaround available. If you are experiencing this problem, add the following variable in Cakewalk.ini (Edit > Preferences > File - Initialization File).


    To disable again, set the variable to EnableStandardTextLayouts=0 or delete the variable.


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


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