Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound

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Ymir20000000
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2006/04/08 16:50:15 (permalink)

Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound

Hi!

Many years ago (ca. 1995-7), I was given Cakewalk (#3?) by a friend who'd gotten it as a gift for doing work (for Cakewalk, directly, I believe). I wrote more than 3 dozen pieces using that version, but sometime during that period one of the install disks went bad, I changed computers (I've changed computers/upgraded quite a few times since then, too!), and no longer have a way to open these files on my system.

A few days ago, I went to another friend's studio--he has Sonar (I neglected to ask him which version, because at that time I was unaware that Sonar was a Cakewalk product)--and we tried to open the files through that program. No problem opening them and zooming in on each track. They open and APPEAR to play, but there's NO SOUND OUTPUT. We tried several of these .WRK files (Cakewalk Music Project Files?), all with the same problem.

We used Sonar to play MP3s (I think) of mine, as well as WAVs and MIDIs, and everything was fine.

Have you any suggestions for my being able to just HEAR these 36+ files again? I'd love to, since I never was able to print them out, and most were written at the computer only. It'd be a shame (from my point of view) to lose all this work.

What choices do I have nowadays?

Warmest regards,

John Elliott
Albany, Oregon
#1

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    Vallhagen
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/08 17:25:15 (permalink)
    Hi!

    As far as i know; Sonar should be able to play your old .wrk files. At least, there aint no big problem to run Pro Audio 9 .wrk-files in Sonar.

    Just a wild guess:

    Are there only midi tracks or do u have audio too? My guess is, that you have old midi data that is adressed/bussed to some internal PC GM synthesizer which is not active on your friends studio computer. When you open the file; check the outputs of the midi tracks. The audio data (if there was some?) should play just fine...

    cheers
    Bengt
    Sweden
    #2
    Phrauge
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/08 17:27:28 (permalink)
    IIRC, .wrk files contain no audio. You'd need the audio folder from the old version of Cakewalk's sessions or the projects would've had to been saved as .bun files.
    #3
    agincourtdb
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/08 17:33:25 (permalink)
    Do your .wrk files consist of midi? you need to load a softsynth for your tracks to send the midi to. Try using Groovesynth or TTS-1. Make sure you use a different midi channel for each instrument.




    #4
    glazfolk
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/08 17:53:02 (permalink)
    Do what Phrauge and Agincourt say - ie make sure that your audio files are present (if you're seeing waveforms then they are) and make sure the MIDI is routed properly.

    If that still doesn't work, try File, Save As to a new S5 .cwp file, then close and open it again. It's possible that you might have some bussing or such going on in there that vS5 just isn't automatically picking up.

    Best,
    Geoff

    Geoff Francis - Huon Delta Studios

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    #5
    Paul G
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/08 19:20:26 (permalink)
    What these guys said. I've never had a problem opening and running my old .wrk files. I do resave them as .cwp's of course.

    Paul

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    The Brothers Glaser
    #6
    ohhey
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/08 19:27:20 (permalink)
    Those files would just be the midi. At the time they were made there must have been some type of sound module used to generate the sound. It could have been an external box or keyboard connected via a midi interface or it could have been a early "wavtable" sound card. Roland even made one called the SCC-1 that was like a Roland sound canvas on a card.

    Fast forward to today. There are no more sound cards like that but computers are so powerful now that it can all be done in software and the sound comes out the sound cards audio outputs, it's generated on the fly as the sequence plays. So all you have to do is load a software midi sound module in the Sonar synth rack and then on each track of the old file you will see that synth also appear as a "track" just like audio and midi tracks in Track View and in Console View in Sonar. It will also appear as one of the possible midi "outputs", just like you would see hardware outputs. Set each track to output to the software synth and all the sound will come out the one synth track and you should have sound. You might have to double check and make sure that synth track is set to output to the master bus in Sonar and that the master bus is set to output to your sound card.

    Some versions of Sonar comes with a software version of the Roland Sound Canvas called the TTS-1 I'm thinking that's the one you want to use if the .WRK files were developed using a General Midi sound module. If they were not then you will have to play around with the midi tracks till you get them set to the correct instrument in the TTS-1. If your version of Sonar doesn't have the TTS-1 then you may need to buy a VSC (Virtual Sound Canvas), they start at about $30 I think and go up from there.

    Any questions ?
    #7
    aaronk
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/10 13:53:39 (permalink)
    Well this thread ended up eating up my Sunday. I had to replace essentially my whole set-up last Fall when my 1993 PC finally went to Chip Heaven. I quickly discovered that all sorts of old files, especially all my old Finale scores, wouldn't open in the new versions, even though my files were from previous versions that were only 12 years old. Of course, if I had had the tenacity to simply try opening some old .wrk files in SONAR I'd have seen that they do open up OK. So, now I get to listen to a lot of files crafted originally for a Proteus sound module on my new favorite, the Tassman synth.

    Cool stuff.
    #8
    ohhey
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/10 14:29:06 (permalink)

    ORIGINAL: aaronk

    Well this thread ended up eating up my Sunday. I had to replace essentially my whole set-up last Fall when my 1993 PC finally went to Chip Heaven. I quickly discovered that all sorts of old files, especially all my old Finale scores, wouldn't open in the new versions, even though my files were from previous versions that were only 12 years old. Of course, if I had had the tenacity to simply try opening some old .wrk files in SONAR I'd have seen that they do open up OK. So, now I get to listen to a lot of files crafted originally for a Proteus sound module on my new favorite, the Tassman synth.

    Cool stuff.


    EMU has a software version of the Proteus now but it looks like the only way to get it is to buy one of their sound cards or midi keyboards, it doesn't look like you can just buy the software by it's self.
    #9
    aaronk
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/10 16:11:02 (permalink)
    Thanks, Frank. Actually, my old Proteus sound module was up and running on SONAR the same day I installed the new software. My 1993 edition of Cakewalk installed and works fine in XP. The big news for me was learning that I can easily import my old .wrk's into SONAR.

    I was never all that impressed by sound modules, and I'm still unimpressed by most of the sampler and synth programs out there. Maybe I just haven't mastered how to use them effectively. For me, they offer a convenient means to proof-listen scores and not much else. They just don't hold a candle to a real instrument. The one exception for me are the acoustic modeling apps, which let me do on my home PC the sort of projects I used to do (with much more difficulty, including punching cards and carrying around magnetic tapes to load onto a fridge-sized D/A converter) in my music school's computer music lab back in the mid-80's.
    #10
    ohhey
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/10 16:56:28 (permalink)
    ORIGINAL: aaronk

    Thanks, Frank. Actually, my old Proteus sound module was up and running on SONAR the same day I installed the new software. My 1993 edition of Cakewalk installed and works fine in XP. The big news for me was learning that I can easily import my old .wrk's into SONAR.

    I was never all that impressed by sound modules, and I'm still unimpressed by most of the sampler and synth programs out there. Maybe I just haven't mastered how to use them effectively. For me, they offer a convenient means to proof-listen scores and not much else. They just don't hold a candle to a real instrument. The one exception for me are the acoustic modeling apps, which let me do on my home PC the sort of projects I used to do (with much more difficulty, including punching cards and carrying around magnetic tapes to load onto a fridge-sized D/A converter) in my music school's computer music lab back in the mid-80's.


    How "real" insturments can sound has come a long way since the Proteus. All those old sound moudles used fairly small samples of the sound and used "tricks" to extend them. For example a piano may only have one sample every octave and it get's pitch shifted to make the other notes, what's worse is that it's not even the entire decay of the note, they loop a section reducing the volume each time to fake that. The reason for all the cheating was that you could only have so much memory in a device people could afford and would be smaller then a fridge.

    Today programs like Tascam Gigastudio have almost no limits on how many recordings of an instrument can be stored and some have several gig (yes gig) of data for just one ! Imagine having many long high quality samples for each key struck at different levels. Even the sustain pedal makes noise if you want it to just like a real piano being recorded with a microphone. Add to that almost unlimited processing options and it gets interesting. Native Instruments B4 is another good example of how far things have come. They make a Hammond Organ / Leslie emulator that can even fool some folks that have played one for years and can do many other organs as well.

    Using the full power of a modern computer with all of it's memory and hard drive storage let's software designers go far beyond what any keyboard or sound module designer dreamed of. Playing one live is still a bit frustrating because of the latency but using them in a sequence is amazing.
    #11
    tunekicker
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/10 17:06:56 (permalink)
    All the ideas here are GREAT! I've also found you have to be careful where your audio outputs are routed when changing systems. If I ever use Sonar without my 002 Rack hooked up (just using the onboard soundcard- OUCH!) I have trouble with the routing because the 002R and my onboard card have a different number of audio outputs (and MIDI input channels.)

    Peace,


    - Tunes
    #12
    aaronk
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    RE: Trying to play old .WRK files in Sonar = no sound 2006/04/10 18:55:09 (permalink)
    For sure the current sampling programs can sound pretty close to actual instruments. But if I want to write for a piano, I'll hire a pianist -- I bet that'll still sound more like a piano than the best set of samples. Putting aside the question of "why fake a piano instead of using a real one, anyway?", there's still the problem that every key on any piano sounds different not only depending on how it's struck, but also on what other keys are being struck or were just struck, whether the damper pedal is on its way up or down, whether any other instrument in the band is causing sympathetic vibrations, etc. etc.

    I enjoy old fashioned analog synths precisely because they can't be made to sound like anything else. A Moog sounds like a Moog, and people who can write for a Moog as a Moog, and not as an imitation trumpet or oboe, have done some great stuff. All I was getting at is that I'm happy as a kid in a candy store to be seeing software instruments -- Tassman in particular, less so Reaktor -- that are deeply interesting sonically in themselves, that are their own instruments, real musical instruments, and not simply efforts to emulate something else. Figuring out what it means to compose idiomatically for them is proving to be a great adventure for me.

    #13
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