Start Making Music On Your PC with Cakewalk's SONAR Artist

by Mike Green September 12, 2017

Start Making Music On Your PC with Cakewalk's SONAR Artist

Jamstik and Cakewalk have teamed up again! This time, we're bringing you the jamstik+ & Sonar Artist Bundle! Plus, our good friend Craig Anderton released custom presets for Rapture Session as a bonus download exclusively available for this bundle. The jamstik+ sound-pack for Rapture Session includes 11 instrument types, and all of the presets curated from Rapture Pro multi-sample synth can be easily mapped to your MIDI controller. In total, we have 30 presets that celebrate the 30th anniversary of Cakewalk's SONAR. 

Watch the video above to see the included sounds showcased on the jamstik+!

Track MIDI Wirelessly with jamstik+ and Cakewalk's SONAR

Rapture Session's Interface

First, let’s talk about the software. SONAR's integration of Rapture has a very straightforward UI if you're familiar with some of the typical parameters you would see with virtual instruments. It’s geared nicely for the beginner as well— there aren't an overwhelming amount of settings, but there's enough to get some variety in each tone.

Cakewalk's SONAR Artist - jamstik+

How Does It Sound?

This sound-pack comes with a swiss army knife of sounds—including a nice section dedicated to bass guitars. Most of these have a really warm tone to them, and some even have a retro vibe. Although these programs have unique attributes that can be modified with the Instrument Editor, they come pre-canned with solid defaults. These sounds have a decent amount of body to them, so they stand up fairly well in the mix and don’t get drowned out, (although I recommend adding some compression, and maybe an exciter to help out with the super-duper high-end).

About The Demo Song

The main chord progression goes from C# minor to A major using the Nashville Guitar with a few tweaked settings in the Instrument Editor. It’s always exciting to try out new guitar tones with the jamstik. Traditionally, it’s usually hit or miss for MIDI samples of guitars, and these particular offerings do not disappoint. The Nashville Guitar is essentially based on the “LesPaul” sound included with an octaver on top of it. This brightens up the melody and helps it stand out. In this example, I increased the TremSync Dial to get a nice tremolo effect.

I’m a huge chip-tune fan (I actually compose quite a lot of 8-bit music myself) so naturally, I gravitated towards the PolySynth lead. This is used on the melodies & solos that are going on in the video.  

Lastly, during the section where I'm playing a Kick and Snare, there is an arpeggiated pattern being played in the background. This patch is a fun one called PatternKittens. This arpeggiated synth lends itself nicely to contribute ambient tones that linger in the back of the beat. It reminds me of something The Who would have incorporated into their music, actually!

 Jamstik+ Sonar Artist Bundle, 30 Bonus Presets

The complete list of the 30 bonus sounds:

  • 3 Guitars
  • 2 PolySynths
  • 2 Pads
  • Brass Synth
  • Clav Synth
  • DrumsAcous
  • Electric Piano
  • Harpsi-Synth
  • Organ
  • Pattern Kittens
  • Pattern Soft Steps
  • Piano
  • Sax
  • Sitar
  • Strings
  • Synth Tines

Included Basses:

  • Acoustic Bass
  • 4 Electric Basses
  • 5 Synth Basses

Unique Jamstik+ Features

For the soloing on this track, I used a mixture of traditional picking and a feature called “Tap Mode”. This functionality has been used with other controllers so may not be a foreign concept to you.  Essentially, the jamstik when in tap mode, will reward a full velocity note upon fretting the guitar neck without the need for picking.  It’s a fun way to do legato passages and tracks really clean on the piano roll.  For an article explaining more about jamstik+ features click here!

Bluetooth MIDI on Windows 10

The newest versions of Sonar and Windows 10 take advantage of Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy to connect the jamstik+ wirelessly as a MIDI input device.  Make sure to check specs on your PC to ensure compatibility.  If not, we recommend this BLE dongle by Asus.  

For more info check out a previous guest blog-post I did talking about Bluetooth MIDI. For the full article read more here.

Special offer: Jamstik+ & SONAR Bundle!



Sonar Artist is a fantastic package that comes with all of the essentials & more.  To celebrate our collaboration, we are offering a bundle for the jamstik & Sonar Artist together for a special price!  Both of these products are great independently, but together they make a powerful team.  Don’t forget that this plug-in I am demoing comes FREE with the activation codes included in the bundle!

Thanks to hard-working engineers we have Bluetooth MIDI possible in Sonar. This opens new doors for producers and other music creators to have a wireless experience with a cool controller on their PC.  We hope to see what you create!

Remember to tag #jamstik #sonar #cakewalk on your posts!!

Mike Green
Mike Green


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