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Larry Shelby

A Cakewalk Observation

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I was just thinking:

Now that Cakewalk (Sonar) is FREE, I wonder why some REALLY SMART developer hasn't
jumped into the "Pro Channel" Pool?  I'm sure the market would be BOOMING!  As it stands,
we have Boz Digital and Softube, and then only a few of their plugins are PC capable.  Just seems
that it would be quite the lucrative market...but hey, what do I know?

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I think the API for the Pro Channel interface is proprietary... if it's been published, I haven't seen it. I'd guess that companies like Boz and Softube requested the docs or had a partnership of sorts to develop their plug-ins.

But if it were to become available... 😁

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19 minutes ago, cclarry said:

I wonder why some REALLY SMART developer hasn't jumped into the "Pro Channel" Pool?

made this suggestion to Valhalla, at least a couple of times, and Melda in case he runs out of stuff to work on, mainly because their UI design should port well. 

I expect the API is proprietary, but bet it is well documented. never had any PC issues which is a good sign for a stable implementaiton

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17 minutes ago, Esteban Villanova said:

 VST format is just too prevalent.

PC Modules are just VST's with a Proprietary interface...I would think it would be quite
simple to create a PC interface and make them PC compliant.

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That stability may be why the API isn't public. If you get a bunch of knuckleheads (ahem 🙄) writing faulty PC plugins, then Cakewalk starts locking up/crashing and the users complain about the lack of stability and blame it on the fact that free software is buggy and Brand X DAW is so much better...

They'd probably want to implement a QC procedure on any plugins and that takes time and costs $$$

Still be nice to have it available, though... all of my code is perfect and never crashes 😎

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10 minutes ago, cclarry said:

PC Modules are just VST's with a Proprietary interface...I would think it would be quite
simple to create a PC interface and make them PC compliant.

Didn't know that. The it must mean they don't see CbB as relevant enough for them to devote development time into building something that's exclusive to it. 

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8 minutes ago, Variorum said:

They'd probably want to implement a QC procedure on any plugins and that takes time and costs $$$

I suspect that the 3rd-party ones that used to be available were vetted by people at Cakewalk, Inc. before they were allowed to ship. It was probably part of the agreement that allowed them access to the API. You can't ship your PC module until we've had a chance to wring it out.

I'd of course love to have access to more PC modules, but I realize that BandLab's Cakewalk dev staff is probably way too small to be able to vet 3rd-party PC modules.

One that used to be available, even shipped with SPlat, that I'd love to have is Boz' Panipulator. It's a freebie on his site, and I have politely requested an installer for the PC version, but he's never answered. Shoot, just making it available would increase traffic to his site, and I think our recent thread on the success of loss leaders shows how valuable a good freebie can be for a developer.

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25 minutes ago, cclarry said:

PC Modules are just VST's with a Proprietary interface...I would think it would be quite
simple to create a PC interface and make them PC compliant.

This. I don't remember where I know about it but PC modules are normal VST's with a smaller GUI and only interface is different (ie. proprietary). They are not coming so there must be something else in the way, I think.

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31 minutes ago, cclarry said:

PC Modules are just VST's with a Proprietary interface...I would think it would be quite
simple to create a PC interface and make them PC compliant.

This +1

I remember someone making something so some of the blue effects could run as a PC.

But every time the pro channel topic comes up I can only think about how much I want the damn Boz Pan knob in there.   That or just let cakewalk implement the concept in their own.  

I setup a Fx bin preset to host it in the PC strip but you can't add it to every track instantly on a whim like you can with actual PC modules and it is a little more clunky.

 

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2 hours ago, cclarry said:

I was just thinking:

Now that Cakewalk (Sonar) is FREE, I wonder why some REALLY SMART developer hasn't
jumped into the "Pro Channel" Pool?  I'm sure the market would be BOOMING!  As it stands,
we have Boz Digital and Softube, and then only a few of their plugins are PC capable.  Just seems
that it would be quite the lucrative market...but hey, what do I know?

I suspect the market isn't large enough to devote the resources for something so limited when they can pump out vsts, audio units and AAX plugs with more universal appeal.  Even Boz, Softube and Overloud paused after a small dip in that pool. 

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4 minutes ago, dubdisciple said:

I suspect the market isn't large enough to devote the resources for something so limited when they can pump out vsts, audio units and AAX plugs with more universal appeal.  Even Boz, Softube and Overloud paused after a small dip in that pool. 

The "Pause" was primarily due to the "imminent demise" of Sonar...not because there wasn't a market...
and NOW that it's FREE, and everybody and his grandma can have Sonar (Cakewalk), THAT can only
mean the market has GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY and EXPONENTIALLY, and not "deminished"!

Edited by cclarry

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16 minutes ago, cclarry said:

The "Pause" was primarily due to the "imminent demise" of Sonar...not because there wasn't a market...
and NOW that it's FREE, and everybody and his grandma can have Sonar (Cakewalk), THAT can only
mean the market has GROWN SIGNIFICANTLY and EXPONENTIALLY, and not "deminished"!

Except the pause came before cakewalk folded. In fact it never gained any steam despite 4 different versions of Sonar . Yes, Sonar is free, as are multiple DAWs and plugins. Doesn't mean everybody and his grandma is actually using it. If you have numbers showing Cakewalk usage has actually increased beyond the numbers of sonar at peak since Bandlab acquisition, I would love to see. I am doubtful there is a big enough spike to generate an interest in developing  modules that were not there prior to cakewalk folding. I get your point but it is based on an unvetted assumption that free equates to increased usage. Some free products are massively popular but the business model of developing paid products for free products is mixed. Works well for video games. Not saying I am sure it wouldn't work. Jist saying that developers were not beating down the doors to do so during the 6 years between intro of pro channel and demise of cakewalk.  Doesn't hurt to suggest but unless cakewalk experiences a massive spike to where it is a standard, it seems unlikely.

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Has anyone tried this lately? https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=SONAR&language=3&help=ProChannel.10.html

The FX Chain module

"The FX Chain module allows you to use FX Chains (see Effects chains) and individual audio effects within the ProChannel signal flow. The FX Chain module can be used as an FX Rack that can be inserted between other ProChannel modules.

An FX Chain is a container that can include multiple audio plug-ins. Assignable knobs and buttons can control automatable plug-in parameters in the FX Chain. An FX Chain preset can store up to six assignable knobs and six assignable buttons."

 

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6 minutes ago, abacab said:

Has anyone tried this lately? https://www.cakewalk.com/Documentation?product=SONAR&language=3&help=ProChannel.10.html

The FX Chain module

"The FX Chain module allows you to use FX Chains (see Effects chains) and individual audio effects within the ProChannel signal flow. The FX Chain module can be used as an FX Rack that can be inserted between other ProChannel modules.

An FX Chain is a container that can include multiple audio plug-ins. Assignable knobs and buttons can control automatable plug-in parameters in the FX Chain. An FX Chain preset can store up to six assignable knobs and six assignable buttons."

 

I have . I made my own great value  RC-20 by chaining a a few plugins like izotope vinyl, chow tape,  ujam finisher micro and a couple of others

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Since it’s free, it can also means that many of their users may not be willing to pay for extra third party proprietary softwares that they can’t use anywhere else.

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Imho high ticket items like orchestral libraries probably give best shot at success if one is going the proprietary route

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On 1/16/2022 at 7:40 PM, Yan Filiatrault said:

Since it’s free, it can also means that many of their users may not be willing to pay for extra third party proprietary softwares that they can’t use anywhere else.

Of course, there is no reason a PC module cannot be used in other VST hosts.

While Softube is effectively out of the PC module business, the PC modules they sold used the same dlls as their VST plug-ins.

Update: After two years and saying they were not going to fix the problem, Softube released v2.5.39.0 which includes working PC plug-ins. 

The CA-2A is another example of a dual format PC/VST plug-in.

Plug-ins in PC format only were made or contracted by Cakewalk. All PC modules sold by 3rd party manufacturers also included more popular formats

Edited by scook

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Hmmm... I have to admit that I haven't used FX Chains much (or at all really), but after spending a while playing around with them in the Pro Channel, I'm having a hard time finding a reason to justify opening up the PC API for dedicated modules. We already have the ability to add any VST (or several in one chain) as a PC module and control multiple parameters with the 6 knobs and buttons available, including adjusting multiple parameters with a single knob or button with variable ranges. If you need to access the VST directly, it just takes a couple clicks at most. You can even customize the bitmaps!

If anything, I think I'd rather just have a little more flexibility to add more controls to the FX Chain GUI, but for the actual purpose of a PC control, just having the half dozen customizable controls available is probably enough for fine tuning a mix...

Just my opinion 😇

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8 hours ago, Variorum said:

Hmmm... I have to admit that I haven't used FX Chains much (or at all really), but after spending a while playing around with them in the Pro Channel, I'm having a hard time finding a reason to justify opening up the PC API for dedicated modules. We already have the ability to add any VST (or several in one chain) as a PC module and control multiple parameters with the 6 knobs and buttons available, including adjusting multiple parameters with a single knob or button with variable ranges. If you need to access the VST directly, it just takes a couple clicks at most. You can even customize the bitmaps!

If anything, I think I'd rather just have a little more flexibility to add more controls to the FX Chain GUI, but for the actual purpose of a PC control, just having the half dozen customizable controls available is probably enough for fine tuning a mix...

Just my opinion 😇

This ^^ and for those of us who own a Mackie C4, this is like heaven :D

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