MUS 514A / CSC 514A

Hodgepodge Sequencing Assignment

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As you have probably come to realize, there are many ways of reaching a single objective in Cakewalk.  A single edit may be made in several of the various views, or via several of the various dialog boxes.  The following is basically a hodgepodge of tasks we may have already touched upon, but I want to be sure you are familiar with each, as they are helpful.  You may experiment with the following by opening an existing Cakewalk file (but don't save!), or by creating a short excerpt of your own.  There will likely be more ways to accomplish the desired objectives than the methods listed below ...

Volume Editing

There will undoubtedly be occasions when you will need to adjust the volume of a track or a single note or notes.

  • Adjusting Overall Track Level:  The track volume parameter is 0-127.  By setting a new start volume in the Volume box in Track view, this is easily accomplished.  This option may also be selected via the Track Properties dialog box, which pops up when several of the various Track view boxes are clicked.  A change made in one area will show up in the other ...
  • Adjusting Note Level:  Go to Event List view (right-click in the Clips pane to bring up the Inspector menu).  Make a numerical adjustment re the note velocity (middle number of a "Note" event).

Pan Editing

You will want to make Pan setting adjustments for any serious project, other than in-class sequencing assignments.  Leaving all tracks set in the middle of the stereo field (64) tends to reduce audio clarity.  Panning creates a more professional product.  A general guideline is to imitate the actual physical layout of the ensemble you have recorded.  Where would the drum set be located?  Where would the guitar be located?  Etc.  Of course, you may also be creative and simply come up with something that sounds good, regardless.

  • The easiest site for changing the pan parameter is to make the setting in the Pan box in Track view.  Hard-left is 0Dead-center is 64Hard-right is 127.  Many tracks may be somewhere in between ...  Try to balance left-right in terms of a pleasing audio sound.  Too many instruments on one side of the stereo field will sound peculiar.

Tempo Settings

Many pieces will be performed at a single tempo from start to finish.  Some pieces, however, may have a gradual tempo change, or an abrupt tempo change at the start of a new section.

  • Setting the tempo in the Control Bar will do the trick for a single tempo throughout.
  • To produce tempo changes:  If you need to make abrupt tempo changes in any number of measures, from the menu bar select Insert, Tempo Change.  Simply enter the necessary info in the dialog box.
  • To produce gradual tempo changes:  From the menu bar, select Insert, Series of Tempos.  This dialog box will allow you to specify a beginning and ending tempo for the range of measures you input.

    Tip:  If you are recording a piece in 4/4, e.g., that has a dramatic ritard and fermata on the fourth beat, you may wish to make the fermata measure a 5/4 measure, only in terms of audio.  Then, you can hold the fourth beat for two beats, which will have more of a natural "stretch."  You can then change the speed of the next measure when the tempo resumes.

    Also, if you desire to have a Grand Pause, you may also wish to add a beat or two to that measure, in terms of audio, for silence.  This is the easiest way to produce the desired audio effect.

Meter Change

Many pieces have mixed meter.  It is usually easier to record pieces when the meter changes have been set before recording.

  • From the View menu, select Meter/Key.  Make the necessary settings, specifying at which measure the change will occur.  Click on Add to be prompted for the next input data.
  • If there is a key change, you may also wish to change this setting while you're at the Meter/Key Signature dialog box.  This will be helpful in case you wish to edit in Staff view.

Copying Measures (see Menuet)

Copying measures is a handy shortcut, especially when repeat signs are involved. The process will speed the project along.

  • Before you can copy, you must first select the desired measure(s) to be copied.  This is done most easily in the Clips pane.
  • A "clip" is a recorded fragment.  It may be one measure long, or an entire track long.  If there are many clips per track, each one will be numbered.  If you need to select more than one clip, simply hold down the Shift key as you click on other clicks; each selected clip will become highlighted.
  • If you need to select only a portion of a clip, first hold down the Alt key. You can then drag the mouse to select whatever measure portion you need.  To add more measures to your highlighted selections, hold down both the Alt and the Shift key to select more measures (which may overlap various clips).
  • Once you have selected the items you want to copy, the shortcut is Control-C for copy, and Control-V for paste.  Each procedure will bring up the Copy dialog box and the Paste dialog box, respectively.  In the Paste dialog box, you can set starting time, number of repetitions and track number (should you wish to copy to another track, or copy the selection more than once).
  • Note:  Before copying, make sure the Events in Tracks box has a check in it.

Loop Recording

Loop Recording is a helpful way of experimenting, in that the loop (specified start/stop measures) you select continues repeating.  This eliminates much of the button-pushing that would be necessary if you were to repeatedly stop and start again.  Using Loop recording is particularly helpful when experimenting with drum tracks, enabling you to compare various sounds until just the right thing strikes your musical fancy.

  • Select the Loop button from the Control bar.
  • Right-click the Loop button to bring up the Auto Shuttle dialog box.  Set the desired start and stop times.  Be sure the Restart box is checked or there will be no looping, then, click OK.
  • Set playback to begin one measure, or whatever, before the loop takes effect.  Click the Record button to begin.
  • After you record one take, you hear it in the next playback loop.
  • To reject the take you just recorded, choose Realtime, Reject Loop Take.  The shortcut key for rejecting the last take is:  Control+Spacebar.  This will erase the take and give you a clean slate re trying something different on the next pass.
  • Once you are satisfied with the loop you have recorded, deselect the Loop button and you will have recorded new data onto your track.
  • Note:  If you record with full looping (using Auto Shuttle), you may accumulate many record takes, layering them on top of each other.  While this may have certain advantages, you can only reject your latest take, so you may wish to evaluate each take before going on to record another.

Music Sample for the practice of Copy/Paste functions:

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