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Software Review: Cakewalk Volumes 1-10 Elite Pack from Digital Sound Factory

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Digital Sound Factory has created and put together a comprehensive sound library for use with Cakewalk Dimension and SONAR 8 Digital Audio Workstations. These are high quality software instrument packages that are especially designed for Cakewalk Dimension LE and Pro Synthesizers.

Dimension Pro is Cakewalk's premiere software synthesizer that ties back to SONAR 8/8.5. By using software instruments, you can plug in your MIDI device, like a keyboard, and through Dimension Pro, have the ability to emulate many different sounds. With this Elite Pack from Digital Sound Factory you get a huge assortment of sounds.

 Cakewalk: Volumes 1-10 Elite Pack From Digital Sound Factory What do you need to run Cakewalk – Elite Pack?
• Hardware able to run SONAR 8 or 8.5.
• You need a copy of SONAR 8 or SONAR 8.5 LE or Pro version.
• 6.5 GB of Hard Drive Space
• 2 GB RAM (4 GB or more is better since gives you more flexibility with working with more sounds)

So what volumes come with Cakewalk – Elite Pack?
• Grand Piano contains 336 programs for the Pro version and 200 for the LE version. This pack contains a variety of emulations from a wide range of grand pianos. These were recorded using Audio Technica 4060 microphones and captured at 24-bit, 96khz resolution. Instruments include the Dimension Grand, Rhodes electric, Wurlizer, various keyboard sounds, layers, orchestral, organs, pads, synths, and more.

• Classic Keys is a collection of keyboard reproductions that range from the 1960's through the 1990's. These were multi-sampled and multi-velocity sampled through high quality analog to digital converters for the best quality of fidelity. There are electric pianos, synthesizers, synth leads and basses, electro mechanical, grand's, organs, strings, and more.

• Vocal Expressions will give voice to your compositions. These voice sounds are a collection of vocal ensembles, vocal hooks, vocal synths, and effects. They were sampled through high quality analog to digital convertors providing for the best fidelity possible. These include vocal ensembles, phrases, synth voices, and more.

• Ensoniq is based on the EPS (Ensoniq Performance Sampler) that was manufactured between 1988 and 1991 and was one of the first few affordable samplers on the market. It was an update to the Mirage 8-bit sampler, as the EPS used a 12-bit sampling architecture. The Ensoniq ASR-10 (Advanced Sampling Recorder) was a sampling keyboard manufactured between 1992 and 1994. The ASR TS EPS library was a result of many years of sound content gathered for these products and assembled from floppy disks to create CD-ROM’s. Digital Sound Factory has re mastered this nostalgic library for use with Cakewalk Dimension synthesizers.

 Cakewalk: Volumes 1-10 Elite Pack From Digital Sound Factory

• Studio Orchestra is a comprehensive collection of strings, brass, woodwinds, and percussion samples that were all recorded for the right expressiveness in each note to convey a truly realistic feel. It features Sections of 15, 5, & Solo Violin, 10, 5, & Solo Viola, 10, 5, & Solo Cello, 8, 4, & Solo Bass, Woodwinds, Brass, & Orchestral Percussion. It also includes synthesizer waveforms blended with the realisms of the acoustics creating production ready sounds. It contains almost 300 sounds.

• Old World Instruments represent an array of strings, winds, and percussion instruments from around the globe. African melodic and percussion, Chinese and Indian winds, Russian strings, and steel percussion instruments will color musical compositions with old world harmonic textures. This volume contains African melodic, African percussion, sounds from Greece, China, India, Ireland, Russia, and more.

• Acoustic Kits are a collection of six complete drum-kits that were recorded in professional studios. These kits include Gretsch, Yamaha, DW, Pearl, Ludwig, and Tama. Also included is a full set of percussion instruments. These were recorded through a complete range of playable velocities using 16 microphones, tube preamps and pristine 24-bit ADCs. This collection contains 450MB of samples and 187 programs.

• Guitars & Basses is a volume that contains a collection of electric guitars, acoustic guitars, electric basses, synth basses, and guitar chords/licks. Through the use of the Dimension engine, each multi sample was process with the attempt to deliver the true feel of these stringed instruments. The instruments that are in this pack include the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Les Paul, Yamaha Steel, Martin Nylon, and more. All instruments were recorded digitally at 24-bit resolution using Universal Audio 2-610 preamps and high quality A/D convertors. This pack contains 220 programs.

• Mega Pack is a cornucopia collection of Pop (436 programs), Hip-Hop (164), Electronica (278), Orchestral (164), World (257), and Sound Effect (174) sounds combined for easy access and quick creation. This pack originating from the E-MU Systems Emulator sound library and each instrument includes the original samples that were keymaped to work with any MIDI controller. Packed with 1500 instruments, this provides an economical solution giving the modern digital sound composer access to large quantities of sound content.

 Cakewalk: Volumes 1-10 Elite Pack From Digital Sound Factory • Hollywood SFX is a collection of sound effects straight from the Hollywood studios. These sounds have been used in motion pictures, TV, and commercials. They will expand your library by giving you the ability to add complex sounds to your compositions. The categories include Science Fiction (88 programs), Transportation (92), Water (119), Ambient (31), Animals (61), and various other sounds like explosions, shattering glass, and thunder (166).

The Cakewalk – Elite Pack Volumes 1 – 10 provide over 5000 programs that provide one on the most comprehensive sound libraries around. The quality is just fantastic and the ease of use is great. Being 10 volumes the download and install can take some time so make sure you have good bandwidth but it is well worth the time. You can also purchase these libraries as stand-alone packs as well if you want to build your library over time.

Once installed it is just a matter of setting things up and working with Dimension Pro. All of the instruments are there and ready to use. You can check out the links above for more information and samples of what this package can do, or if you are interested check out Digital Sound Factory or Cakewalk for more information. If you want the ultimate in software instrument libraries and a wide range of sounds and instruments, then this is the one package for you. I highly recommend this package.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
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