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
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
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 0.
Dead-center is 64. Hard-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.
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
- 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
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
Many pieces have mixed meter. It is usually easier to
record pieces when the meter changes have been set before
- 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
- 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
- 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 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
- 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
- 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
- Once you are satisfied with the loop you have recorded, deselect
the Loop button and you will have recorded new data onto your
- 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
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