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Cakewalk: Mastering A Seamless Album

Cakewalk/Sonar Tips & Techniques
Published February 2019
By Craig Anderton

Several effects and additional parts were added to this transition, which ended up making a complete song that led into the next song (lower right track).Several effects and additional parts were added to this transition, which ended up making a complete song that led into the next song (lower right track).

Cakewalk has all the tools you need to put together a seamless DJ‑style album.

DJ mixing is a pretty established art: you beat-match different tracks, crossfade them, sometimes pitch-shift them so you don't have jarringly untuned sections, add effects, and so on. But what if you're creating a project from scratch in Cakewalk?

My album project for 2018, Joie de Vivre (stream it from youtube.com/thecraiganderton) consisted of six individually recorded, rock-meets-EDM songs that I'd hoped to combine in a continuous mix. I figured I would just put the cuts and some transitions into Studio One's album assembly page, use the LUFS metering, add the needed crossfades and PQ codes, and be done. But when it was time to do the actual album assembly, I realised that there needed to be an intermediate step between finishing the songs and creating the final master: a little 'multitrack assembly' in Cakewalk.

As to the album's structure, the song tempos dictated the order, because I wanted the tempo to increase over the course of the album. (Rather than use the actual titles and take up space, I'll just number them.)

  • 1. 115 bpm, key of A
  • 2. 115 bpm, key of G
  • 3. 118 bpm, key of G/D/G
  • 4. 120 bpm, key of G
  • 5. From 120-122 bpm, key of C
  • 6. 122 bpm, key of C
  • 7. 127 bpm, key of Am

Although the tempo differences between songs weren't huge, you can't get away with crossfading songs even a couple of bpm apart.

Crossfading

The first step was placing all the final mixes on the timeline. Because the songs had different tempos (and one had a tempo increase), it wasn't...

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Published February 2019