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Noel Borthwick

2019.07 Feature Overview

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2019.07 Feature Overview

Authors: Noel Borthwick, Morten Saether


Introduction

The 2019.07 update is our biggest release to date with over 150 bug fixes and feature enhancements. Please also refer to the new features section of our documentation for more detailed information on the features.

This release focuses on editing enhancements and fixing long standing bugs. Track lane editing has been significantly streamlined, allowing for clip comping and assembly with greater fluidity. This release introduces numerous other improvements, including Smart tool customization, Control Bar module alignment, drag-drop refinements and more.

The following highlights are intended to provide an overview of the more significant changes, along with screen captures to help illustrate feature usage.

 

Editing and Comping Enhancements

Editing and assembly of audio and MIDI data as well as automation in tracks is one of the primary functions of a DAW. While Cakewalk had powerful tools to manage editing and comping using take and automation lanes, we acknowledged some workflow problems when dealing with general editing of audio in lanes. Many users have requested the ability to simply assemble clips in lanes like generic track layers, without being encumbered by the more exclusive track comping rules. In the 2019.07 update we extended both take and automation lanes to allow for greater flexibility when editing data, allowing working with lanes as if they were simple track layers, without imposing a comping exclusive workflow.
To support this we’ve enhanced drag and drop and copy paste functionality and the Smart tool has been made configurable to support a more flexible editing workflow.

 

Copy/paste and drag drop enhancements

The copy/paste and drag and drop infrastructure in Cakewalk underwent a major rework in this release and additionally includes enhanced support for take and automation lanes.

There are numerous enhancements to drag and drop behavior to better accommodate editing within lanes 

  • Pasting clips in lanes now always pastes starting at the destination lane and will never overwrite data in earlier lanes. In prior versions pasting clip data to a lane would attempt to match the pasted data to the lanes from which they originated, leading to unexpected results when pasting to different tracks or different lanes. 
  • The order and names of the original take lanes is also now retained when pasting to new lanes.
  • With lanes are open, you can also paste or drag clips from lanes directly to the parent tracks header strip in the clips pane (the main parent strip containing the lanes), or to another tracks header strip.
  • Drag and drop and copy paste of audio clips and automation is also supported across different projects
  • Drag and drop visual preview has also been enhanced to clearly represent the final state after the drag operation. 

The table below illustrates the behavior differences when dragging data to the same track it originated from vs dragging to a different track:

Destination Paste Result
Lane in same track

Pastes clips starting at the target lane 
Retains inter-lane spacing
Creates new lanes if necessary

Lane in new track

Pastes clips starting at the target lane 
Creates new lanes if necessary, if multiple lanes

Header strip in same track Pastes clips to the same lanes from which they originated
Header strip in different track

Pastes consecutively starting from the first lane in the track
Creates new lanes if necessary, if multiple lanes


EXAMPLE: Pasting multiple clips from lanes to the track header on the same track (retains lane spacing and pastes to same lanes) vs the track header on a new track.

01 Different paste behavior for source track and other track.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Dragging multiple clips from lanes to the last lane in a track creates new clips in adjacent lanes

02 Drag multiple clips to the last lane.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Copying and pasting multiple clips from lanes to the last lane in a track creates new clips in adjacent lanes

03 Copy multiple clips to the last lane.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Copy pasting clips from multiple lanes to a track in a different document

04 Copy multiple lanes to a different project.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Dragging clips from multiple lanes to blank space below all tracks in the Clips panewill automatically create a new track with the copied lanes

05 Drag multiple lanes to blank space.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Dragging from one track to different lanes in another track

06 Drag from one track to different lanes in another.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Dragging audio and MIDI takes to a lane that already has data will auto crop  the existing data following comping rules

07 Drag takes to a lane that already has data.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Duplicating a track retains lane ordering from original track

08 Duplicate track retains lane order.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Quickly select a lane by double clicking the white space in a lane

09 Double-click to select lane.gif

 

Smart Tool customization

The Smart tool can now be customized in order to enable specific functions, including Move, Crop, Fade, Draw, and Comp. 

With the Smart tool in comping mode (default) editing in take lanes favors assembly of a master take, by automatically creating splits and isolating clips when editing using the mouse in the lower half of a clip. 

You now have the flexibility of turning off comp mode in the Smart tool. When disabled you can freely edit data in lanes without the tool muting other clips. Prior to this assembling audio clips without comping in take lanes could be difficult using the Smart tool, because the lower half of the clip was always reserved for comping behavior. 

EXAMPLE: Disabling Smart tool Comp behavior to do normal editing vs the comp tool isolating clips

10 Smart tool comp mode on-off.gif

 

Using Lanes to Edit Track Layers

Since take lanes were introduced users have requested the ability to edit data in lanes without the exclusive comping behavior that take lanes imposed. We have now introduced the ability to work with lanes as if they were simple track layers. This allows for a more flexible workflow that is more geared towards assembly and editing of audio rather than actually comping and also allows for polyphonic (sound on sound) layering of different takes if you desire that workflow.
With these changes you can freely assemble a set of lanes without comping them into a single master take. I.e. Comping is optional or can be deferred to a later part of the production process. When the comping tool is disabled in the Smart tool, clips on lanes can now overlap with other lanes in time allowing for sound on sound playback similar to how they would sound if the clips resided on separate tracks. This allows you to easily experiment with layering or overlapping different versions of a take.

EXAMPLE: Using lanes to assemble multiple clips that overlap in time

11 Assemble multiple clips that overlap in time.gif

 

Editing Behavior Changes

In order to improve workflow, a few default behaviors have changed:

Moving clips in take lanes no longer modifies track automation by default. If you want track automation to follow when you drag a clip in a take lane, drop the clip on the parent track (comp clip) instead of a take lane.

EXAMPLE: Moving clips in lanes no longer moves track automation unless moved to the parent strip

12 Drop clip on the parent strip.gif

When isolating clips in take lanes during playback, the Now time no longer automatically jumps to the beginning of the isolated clip. To jump to the clip start when isolating clips, hold down the SHIFT key. You can also audition the selected clip by pressing SHIFT+SPACEBAR.

You can now drag multiple MIDI or audio clips from the media browser to add new take lanes

EXAMPLE: Dragging MIDI and audio clips from Browser to add take lanes

13 Drag from Browser to add take lanes.gif

Clicking in the Clips pane or bus pane during playback will set the playback position. This allows you to easily audition playback starting from a waveform peak. This behavior can be customized via the new Click Behavior> Set During Playback option in the Track view Options menu. 

 

Lanes Productivity Cheat Sheet 

  • Click in the lower half of a clip to isolate it.  
  • Drag in the lower half of a clip to isolate a region of the clip. Dragging over existing isolated regions will automatically heal any smaller enclosed regions.
  • To heal splits in clips on a lane (caused by using the comp tool or splitting clips manually), select multiple clips on the lane and CTRL-click the lower half of the clip.
  • CTRL-click in the lower half of a clip to toggle the clip isolation state. I.e. you can isolate or un-isolate a clip this way, allowing layering multiple lanes.
  • To isolate multiple clips, select the desired clips, then right-click and choose Isolate Clip(s) on lane
  • To toggle isolate state of multiple clips, select the desired clips, then right-click and choose Clip Mute/Unmute
  • SHIFT-click a clip when playing to automatically isolate the clip and jump the playback position to the start of the clip. (quick audition mode)
  • Select a clip and press SHIFT+SPACEBAR to start playback and audition just that single clip
  • CTRL-drag from the top of the clip to add a clip gain envelope
  • CTRL-drag inside a fade between two abutting clips to adjust the crossfade duration
  • SHIFT-click a ghosted clip envelope to activate it for editing
  • SHIFT-click on a clip to switch the edit filter back to clips
  • Double-click the whitespace in a lane to select the lane
  • To assemble or layer clips without comping them into a single master take, right click and customize the Smart tool to turn off Comp mode. When Comp mode is off you can freely drag and arrange clips in lanes, without the comping rules changing the mute states or cropping clips on other intersecting lanes.

* Most of the tips above are with reference to the Smart tool in Comp mode.

 

Recording

Loop recording on a track in Comp record mode will now automatically crop clips using the comping rules

EXAMPLE: Loop recording on lanes with 4 record passes and stopping before the loop end. The final recording will crop data appropriately using the standard comping rules so that you only hear the most recent take. 

14 Loop recording.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Punch in recording on lanes

15 Punch recording.gif

 

Automation Improvements

Automation is an integral part of editing. In this release we have improved general editing for automation envelopes and edit filter behavior, as well as better integrated automation editing in lanes. A few highlights:

  • The edit filter now works consistently on tracks and lanes when used to select multiple clip envelopes, track envelopes and synth envelopes.
  • Addressed problems with editing clip envelope in lanes 
  • Copying and pasting envelopes is now lane compliant and will paste to independent automation lanes
  • Automation can now be copied across projects
  • Automation lanes are now created after recording track automation
  • Automation lanes retain the lane order when pasted to a destination track
  • Edit filter state is now loaded properly when projects are opened
  • Duplicating a track now retains its automation lanes

EXAMPLE: Copying and pasting track automation in track automation lanes 

16 Copy-paste track automation.gif

 

EXAMPLE: Copying and pasting track automation to a bus with bus automation lanes open 

17 Copy track automation to bus.gif

 

Selection Updates

There have been numerous fixes and improvements to time selection.

  • Double clicking the whitespace in the Clips pane for a track or a lane now automatically selects the track/lane
  • Clip selection now works consistently on tracks and lanes
  • Deleting tracks now exclusively uses track selection and ignores clip selection. i.e if clips are selected on other tracks and you right click on a track and delete it only the single track will be deleted.
  • Selection markers in time ruler
  • The time ruler now shows draggable markers at either end of the time selection range. You can modify the start or end of the selection by dragging these markers or move the entire time selection by dragging the selection range bar.

 

Show Audio/MIDI Device Change Notifications

Cakewalk by default will show a message if an audio or MIDI device is connected/disconnected from your system while you are using it and offer to add the devices, or reroute outputs to an available device. Some audio devices can send spurious device change notifications to Windows when switching between applications that use the audio devices. This can result in unexpected notification popups being displayed. You can now disable device change notification messages in preferences.

 

Stability

We have made numerous fixes to improve stability during editing of clips and automation and when loading projects. Please refer to the bug fix list for more details.

 

Plug-ins

Based on reports of plugin states being lost we have added more detailed diagnostics to aid in detection of such problems. A "Failed to load plug-in state” message may be displayed if an error was detected.

ProChannel EQ Fly Out will now show tips in the Help Module.

 

Optimizations

  • Toast notifications when scanning plugins or loading projects as well as progress updates are now multi threaded, allowing the main application UI to run more smoothly.
  • Loading of screensets in projects with high track counts has been optimized leading to faster screenset loading.
  • For some users who saved projects with the media browser pointing to a directory with thousands of files, reloading these projects would be slow. Media Browser has now been optimized to start up faster. 

 

UI Updates

Center Control Bar modules

Control Bar modules can be left-aligned, justified, or centered. The centered mode is useful when you have fewer control bar modules open when using a simpler lens.

EXAMPLE: Control Bar with new center justification

18 ControlBar_Center.gif


Loop and Punch marker enhancements

The time ruler now uses more intuitive mouse cursors for selection, loop, punch and marker drag bars and handles. The mouse cursor shows a letter to indicate which marker will be modified before you actually click the marker: S (Selection), L (Loop), P (Punch), and M (Marker). You can drag a Loop or Punch marker past its paired sibling marker in order to flip the range in the opposite direction.

 

Help module content for Clips

In addition to a brief description of the clip type, the Help Module also lists common Smart tool gestures that are supported by each unique clip type. This can be a useful tool for quick reference to the hot spots available when working in the Clips pane.

EXAMPLE: Help module now shows help for hotspots in the Clips pane

19 HelpModule_Clips.gif

 

Click Behavior

By default clicking in the clips pane or bus pane during playback will now set the playback position. This allows you to easily audition playback starting from a waveform peak. If you prefer clicking to not set the playback position, this behavior can be customized via the new Click Behavior > Set During Playback option in the Track view Options menu.

20 ClickBehavior_Menu.png

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Thanks, what a wonderful update! This is already making my life easier!

Can we add an option to disable lane-reusing on recording? For large numbers of takes this feature makes keeping track the good ones very hard because they are all disjointed and out of order. 

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@Noel Borthwick @Morten Saether

Thank you for taking time to create this post.  There is much about Cakewalk by BandLab I do not understand but the short videos and comprehensive descriptions help me to understand the new behaviors.

I'm loving the bi-lateral communication taking place in this forum.  2019.07 is a giant step forward and the communication is an important component of the advancement.

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Phenomenal! Love the little video images because usually it's a little hard to understand the changed just by reading.  Really great update, hats off to the bakers!

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Thanks for the helpful overview. It makes the many changes less overwhelming and more immediately usable.

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Posted (edited)

Amazing effort and very useful post! 👍🏻

I particularly applaud the Automation copy/paste improvements which have bugged me for a while.

Thanks very much Noel.

Edited by ZincT
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Lee D said:

Phenomenal! Love the little video images because usually it's a little hard to understand the changed just by reading.  Really great update, hats off to the bakers!

Completely agree!! Those video images are very helpful and of course, excellent update from everyone at the Cake lab!! 

Edited by Mesh
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This one is big time stuff, like notify the magazines stuff, which I so hope has happened.

I'd love to see some "Cakewalk in the BandLab Era" articles, because with this release, this is the first time that changes this big have been made to the program's workflow.

As an advocate for the program's adoption among legacy Sonar users, I've always been able to say to them "workflow's exactly the same, but there are some cool new features that you can use or not." Going forward, I'm going to have to change my pitch up. Cakewalk is no longer waiting around, this is going to spawn whole new workflows, especially for new users who will never know that it was any other way.

I hope that after a couple of weeks @Craig Anderton will start churning out fab new recipes on how to make quick use of the new Take Lanes features, things that nobody else thought of. 😁

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This CbB release is surely the best "Sonar" ever and your effort to communicate the changes is awesome! I really like it! 1000 thanks to you, Bakers!

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Wow, these are the best changes ever! I can finally, FINALLY, use lanes for proper MIDI drum programming. Or string parts layering. Or left/right hand piano layering, etc. And then, automation editing, copying, pasting suddenly just works. Absolutely fantastic improvements. Really well done and thought through! Most of them are so intuitive you don't even notice the changes until you close a project and think to yourself, 'Wow, Cakewalk has been working like a charm today - such a pleasure to use it!'

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2 hours ago, Helene Kolpakova said:

Wow, these are the best changes ever! I can finally, FINALLY, use lanes for proper MIDI drum programming. Or string parts layering. Or left/right hand piano layering, etc. And then, automation editing, copying, pasting suddenly just works. Absolutely fantastic improvements. Really well done and thought through! Most of them are so intuitive you don't even notice the changes until you close a project and think to yourself, 'Wow, Cakewalk has been working like a charm today - such a pleasure to use it!'

Thanks @Helene KolpakovaKolpakova glad it's working well for you. That is the idea -  to make it work so that you don't notice it and can concentrate on your music!

Let us know if you encounter any other workflow issues.

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Amazing Noel - These videos are an incredibly efficient way to show the updates. How about creating these as locked sticky at the top of the  forum.

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Appreciate the animated mini-tutorials, very helpful! An in depth "Cakewalk Workflow" video series  showing the differences would also be helpful. Good Job!

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One small issue,  in comping mode even with Set during playback I have to hold shift when clicking a take lane  to get the newly chosen clip to play.  With Comp disabled from the smart tool It’ll play where ever I click.  With comp mode enabled it will let me click the middle of the clip to play from there without selecting it.

I personally liked clicking the comp to choose and have it playback instantly without having to hold shift.

I does work to hit stop first then select and hit play. I wanna here the newly chosen clip to play instantly from the place of the clip where I clicked it.  Holding shift plays it from it’s beginning.  Slows me down when comping.  🤔

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