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Cakewalk: Customisable Workspace

Cakewalk / Sonar Tips & Techniques
By Craig Anderton

Change the look and feel of Cakewalk to suit your workflow.

Cakewalk by BandLab's customisable workspace is one of its more ingratiating features. While some may consider cosmetics incidental, ergonomics are not — and in Cakewalk, both are sometimes related. There are two main workspace customisation options: global and per-project. Sometimes these interact, which makes it even more important to know which options to use, and when.

Although optimising a workspace at a deep level requires some time-consuming prep work, you ultimately save time because well-chosen workspaces can streamline editing and other processes. However, this is true only if you're disciplined about creating logical setups, and can recall what you need with minimal effort.

Project Templates

The most basic customisation is creating Project Templates: ready-to-go, 'blank slate' starter projects. For example, I prefer my record meters with a 90dB range and peak response so that low-level noise/hum is easily detected as well as potential 'overs'. For playback metering, a 24dB scale helps to monitor the top end of the dynamic range, and with busses, peak+RMS metering is helpful. (Note, however, that the Console meters can't display RMS readings.) Editing these meter settings can take time, but my default Project Template brings them up exactly as desired.

Steve Cook came up with a way to have a custom template icon appear in the Start Screen when you click on the New Project tab. Create a 172 x 172-pixel PNG-format file (other sizes work, but they won't scale) and save it in the Project Templates folder. Give it the template's name, add a PNG image, open the template, and then re-save the template back into the Project Templates folder. (The default location for Project Templates is C:\Cakewalk Content\Cakewalk Core\Project Templates, but you can change this in Preferences / File /...

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Published June 2019