Offer a simple USB 2.0 or FireWire (1 or the new 2) box we can plug in that will send a finished mix, as all the seperate tracks, into it over the USB / Firewire
cable into it. It's powered entirely off the USB / Firewire bus. Once in that, it internally splits it into 16 or 32 tracks that were sent in from SONAR, on seperate
'wire' paths. Minimal wire or direct metal connections that are better than any wire. Then it internally recombines them as a stereo track to send back on that
same USB/Firewire connection to Sonar to any bus or track. Preferably the master bus for mastering (if you do all your mastering in there, as I do). Also, fully
software controlled. The size of an external hard drive. Full benefits of external summing boxes with a shorter, less lossy path, lower price, and better sound.
If wire is used, solid core copper wire is the least coloring (like Silver can be) and least lossy (as stranded wire can be) and should be considered for that. It
can even be built into (the above idea) an all-in-one multi-channel AD/DA converter box doubling the existing mutliple outputs that terminiate in XLR or TRS
with the internal wire to summed stereo analog path that can go back into a user's computer via the already connected Firewire cable that's plugged into it. 2)
A grouping selection of clip automation. Meaning...this. I have 12 clips in a track, that I will want to put seperate panning envelopes on. I have to go
putting one at a time in each. I'd love to lasso or highlight as many tracks as I want and when I go to add automation, all of those will get the same one.
It's easy to say 'just use track automation' but as we know, it's not portable. Slide or copy it elsewhere, you need to draw it again there and it takes time. 3)
Full 180 degree (knob or slider) type phase adjustment. Sure we can slide tracks at a micro level and align them as we choose but this could be faster. 4)
A playback system plug in. It's that simple. One setting mimicks an NS-10, or more of a PA system or clock radio. No, it won't be perfect and what you
play it back through will be a factor. But in a quality and relatively flat system in a good monitoring room or in quality headphones that aren't too hyped...
with open back design (far superior for mixing) you will appreciate this. Hey it can't hurt and can't be that difficult since algorythms as such exist in lots of
DSP monitors now. You can never have too mnay playback systems to play things through, and it could even be sold seperately from Sonar if so desired. 5)
A real vocoder with midi control and a host of really bright, saturated, thick synth waveforms to modulate the carrier, playable by regular MIDI & built
in delay (set up well in its set of pre-designed presets that come with it). So you can dial up an instant great vocoder with midi control, much like what's
in those new tiny Korg keyboards that beats the hard to use, poor synth waveform equipped vocoders that never sound as good as the old hardware will. 6)
A really good, multiple option voice choice, text to speech generator. Like Cantor and hearing impared products combined, on steroids and intelligible. 7)
A simple sample drop-box exchange for registered Cakewalk users to drop samples in and go access them if desired, organized well into folders such
as 'drum loops' 'snares' 'kicks' 'piano notes' 'piano loops' whatever. Also organized by bits and sample frequency with quality control oversight. Ie. yes a
person who oversees it to be sure they are of decent quality. It sounds insulting to those they'll reject but whatever. Quality beats quantity in this... 8)
AAF (or whatever it is, the format similar to OMF) export. Also the ability to export DDP projects for complete albums which can sent to duplicating
places without the loss of burning a CD-R Audio, then they pull that off as a DDP file they can burn from. It saves a digital step. There is loss at every
digital encoding step (burning a .wav to CD Audio, and another at ripping it back to .wav). Do that and A/B the original & new .wav and you'll hear it.
If you can't, then this doesn't concern you as you need to upgrade your monitors or maybe hire an engineer with better ears if you don't hear a loss. 9)
Of coruse, that leads us to CD Audio and Data and full DVD burning including Blue Ray, Hi-Def, every possible format. There is never too much. :) 10)
Jitter detection. I'm not sure if it can be done or how, but if you can tell how much your getting and even have software that points it out, great.
Room calibration software wouldn't hurt. It comes with speakers now and was just introduced as pure software for PC/Mac I think. Just an idea here. 11)
A full suite of denoising software, and an EQ plug-in or whatever that allows the EQ of one song/track to be applied to another real time or offline. 12)
This is far out but why not. A seperate program, with or without Sonar, that inspects your PC to - based on a database that is updatable, to find
if older hardware needs new drivers. And also to suggest, even impliment also, optimizations for Windows (the many tweaks we find on various sites).
Optimizing Windows for audio is one thing. It always helps, but surely Sonar has a few things it could work better under if implemented in the system.
Registry tweaks and so on. Users use at their own risk, or it has a step where it tells users to back up or set a restore point in case of the worst but if
enough beta testing is done that likely can be greatly minimized. Also having the ability to install a new number version of sonar (9 over 8) with Sonar
fully handling the uninstalling of what is needed and overwriting of what is needed without us loosing any configurations or presets or what have you... 13)
Simple 'Synth Tracks'. They are audio tracks and MIDI tracks, but in one. Not seperate. You can then bounce them down to just audio tracks and
they will become that after the bounce. But having these would greatly simplify things, with one track for every two we have to have involved now (a
MIDI and Audio track that work together to make that happen). Even better, let it stay a 'synth track' so after rendering the audio track you can just
choose to run the synth by muting the track, or uncheck the synth in the Audio Track to hear just the audio (as we can do now in the audio tracks...) 14)
A de-esser with multiple options. Side chain type ducking. Compression/level adjustment. EQ adjustment. Phase methods of correction. Of course,
with any EQ done Linear Phase, and better sound quality than anything out now. I'd suggest a third party like Voxengo could try doing that for you too. 15)
Increase the bands on the new multiband linear EQ and or limiter or whatever you have in version 7 to maybe 6, 7, 8 or more. More is better. We
can always turn off the ones we don't need or could have an option in it to clean up the GUI to just the bands we need (1, 3, 4, 7, 8, whatever) also.
A seperate EQ plug-in and seperate multiband plug-in (that still retains the abiltiy to adjust levels like an EQ) for simplicity. Much like Waves has. Even
an L3 like beast or beyond (do they have an L4 now?) that gives more functionality in one plug in. Simplicity & minimalism always help wth this a lot... 16)
A work-from-home after-hours tech support chat group of contract employees who folks can log in to talk to via text...or an i-Chat kind of thing.
They cost less than keeping folks on-site after hours, can be around the country for different time zones, and give Cakewalk the kind of a real-time
support that no other company offers. Yeah, I know this is way out, I wouldn't need to use it much but others might and I'd be happy to work for it. 17)
A system snapshot of all things involved with Cakewalk Sonar's function. I mean all Sonar settings, presets, settings for the audio card software.
One that can be simply run if we install that to a new system after a catostrophic crash. The last thing we need is tons of steps. Not a long / tedious
re-authorizing scheme. Of coruse, compliance from plug-in vendors may be needed, but it's something that could be considered, even if it takes time.
I faced that catastrophy recently and it took weeks to get everything going and none of my presets, saved in the Cakewalk/Sonar/Presets folders for
the DXi or VSTs, were useable in plug ins in the new set up. I couldn't get them to 'point' at that folder. I had to start over without any of the old ones. 18)
An advanced cross fade / zero point / split / crop scheme. Defeatable but worthy as an option for us. If I split a clip it goes to zero point now. If it
doesn't for some reason eliminate a pop caused by two waveforms meeting, the software detects that resutling click and then crossfades as needed,
but no more. Not a default fade on every cut. Just where it detects a need. When cropping clips, have it crop to zero point, at least an option to do it.
Same detection so any such resulting clicks are eliminated with a fade that's just enough to do so via analysis. This could even be offline so it will not
slow down work. After a score of such edits, scanning all tracks in an off-line function that takes just a minute or so, that's worth it, at least to me... 19)
Something similar to 'Vocalign'. Something similar to a 'Drum Replacer'. Anything like that you think of. Even a band-in-the-box type of Yamaha
PRS Home Keyboard 'auto-arranger' where you can input note/chord/key data or have it do it 'by its ear' for novices. This can expand possibilities. 20)
This is an incredibly complex idea, but may find it's way to some software, somewhere someday. Why not be the first? For those of us who have
the dog-like hearing who mix / master prodjects who hear phase issues more than most. We know when two vocal takes or whatever are together in
a typical doubling scenario, at points where the audio tracks are out of phase that can cause dips or phasing. What if this was controllable. As a way
to better phase (and sound) to an adjustable degree, or even an effect to make it 'too perfect' or even more sloppy, or random, by choice. It would
be a very advanced algorythm that looks at the two (or more, but two is a good start) monophonic sound (ie. vocal, lead guitar, no chords, but yes,
that would be a nice option someday too) for phase alignment (stereo tracks later included when able to, that's a lot of looking and adjusting for the
software to do but the results could be huge). This gives the user the ability to fix phase more easily, and as it varies, in a fully adjustable way also. 21)
A bass and kick auto adjustment for pitch and frequency. Let me elaborate. First pitch. In bass heavy production, hip hop especially, subby kick
drums can have a pronounced 'bass note' to them that can clash with the bass. The new ducking feature is nice for this, but this is two more steps.
One pitch. Have a bass line that hits E, G, E, D? The kick hitting then, the waveform, is auto tuned in a formant saving way to be that pitch. Or a
real time function for some kind of sample play back device, say a drummer plug-in much like you have now. Option to still tune by hand but in this
one could save that extensive step. It will know when they are in perfect tune, even if octaves apart. Also frequency matching will be a lot easier.
Part two is purely frequency. Meaning, one that applies linear phase EQ selectively based on what both are doing, in a user-specified way. This will
allow the user to set it up and get the low end cleaner and tighter and keep those things out of the way as designated (ie. more favoring the bass,
or more favoring the kick drum, or the low end found in a drum loop created by that kick drum which is a part of that loop). A crazy idea, I know... 22)
Grab time stretch like Digital Performer had way back. You grab a waveform and stretch it how you'd like and it adjusts in time...without errors. 23)
Oh, also, please make the default setting for the Roland V-Vocal plug in maximum screen size (selectable) and also to have the formant at zero.
It defaults to a formant going 100% with ptich resulting in 'chipmunks/giants' then. I have to move that knob & maximize the GUI each time I use it.
Also, upon re-sizing it to maximum, I'll have to zoom it in to fit the waveforms to be optimally visible. This should be done automatically by that GUI. 24)
A real-time useable waveform pencil tool for audio that allows amplitude to be drawn. Also the ability to take two vocals, say in a doubled track,
of two different lengths, and then choose one to 'mimic' by the other. Ie. If one is longer, the algorythm writes the second longer to match it via pre
-seleted strengths. This could be applied to other aspects such as amplitude, pitch and formants even. It could be both corrective, and creative too. 25)
'MIDI Chord Sticking.' Similar to what you have with Sample Tank 2. You pick a chord, but instead of having it stick for the on - screen kind of a
keyboard they have in Sample Tank, it works for your MIDI keyboard. It sticks that kind chord to every note play. Pick Minor 7th, play C get C min 7.
Even give an option in this MIDI plug-in to create your own chord. Some suspended thing with a bass root note. This idea is HUGE...as a composition
tool. I mean you can sit there and play a few notes ... and inspire yourself into song ideas. Anyone who has done it with a synth patch that lets you
play one note and get this a chord sound knows how inspiring this can be. ESPECIALLY in Electronica. This wouldn't be hard for Cakewalk to develop. 26)
A better "BOUNCE". Rather, a second option. Bouncing multiple clips to one is nice for cleaner track views and workspace. But, there is a hitch.
I find it slightly degrades sound in a phase-related way that 64 bit busses & working at high sample frequencies cannot negate. There's something a
person did in ProTools (ie. SATAN) that I was shocked to see missing from Sonar (which should ALWAYS be better than PT). He would combine clips.
But not by bouncing. Three clips that Sonar would bounce to one (effectively re-writing three into one, and errors casued by that write being those
I hear, and no, I'm not hearing things when I hear it.) In PT he had a way to combine them, and the space between them (if any) as one clip. Those
three as one, but with no loss. So you get the appearance of one clip, but - it's STILL the same three clips. No loss, no actual re-write is performed.
<message edited by Mark D. on November 11, 07 11:47 AM>