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In-depth Feature:  Cakewalk Project5 V2
Simon Power writes: .

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The whoopee-doo new stuff
DIMENSION - Sampling Synthesizer.


This is a sample playback softie capable of wavetable and physical modeling. Dimension is composed of four individual sound generation components called Elements. Each Element has a complete engine composed by a player, a per-voice DSP stage (lo-fi, filter and drive), a global DSP stage (three band parametric EQ, multi effect) and a set of Modulators (envelopes, low frequency oscillators and keyboard tracking applied to the main sound generation parameters). The sound generated by the four Elements is mixed and routed to the stereo output. With the Dimension, you can quickly load samples in virtually any format and start playing. It's completely hands-on. All the controls are right there without trawling through loads of menus. You can layer different programs to make complex voices as the Dimension allows you 8 layers of 512 samples each per program - which is a good thing as there's nearly 3GB of included samples on the DVD. You can fine tune, pan, reverse, invert and decimate your single samples or entire layers. There are also two beefy resonant filters that operate in series or parallel each having their own envelopes. Envelope stages can be logarithmic or exponential (big words for slow or fast). Three LFO's allow vibrato, tremolo and filter sweeps in sync with the music.

Groove matrix
Opening up the GrooveMatrix view will display rows and columns of cells that resemble controller pads. From there you can drag MIDI patterns and loops from your ‘Arrange’ view or browser into the cells, and trigger a beat or groove by simply clicking on a cell or via MIDI remote control. The columns (or panes as Cakewalk calls them), can be used to organize your composition into different sections (chorus, breakdown, solo, fill, etc), and can also be triggered to play back all the cells in a selected pane. Those familliar with Abelton Live will feel right at home here. You can set up cells or panes to change immediately, on the measure or by a designated note length (great for beat juggling), and cells can play back as loops or ‘one-shots.’ And when you are ready, just arm the GrooveMatrix, and record directly into the ‘Arrange’ view. The ability to drag in new MIDI patterns and loops on the fly from the arrangement without a break in your audio engine is impressive.


Roland Groovesynth

This is a GM2 compatible software synth featuring newly developed software synthesis engine with 256 sounds and 9 drum sets built in. You'll be pleased to know that this also includes samples from Roland's vintage machines. Polyphony is 128 notes depending on the performance of your computer. Which seems like a good point to mention that Project 5 in general requires a fairly high spec computer. Your processor will need to be at least 1.5 Ghtz with a gig or more of RAM and a damn fine amount of space on your drive will be a big advantage, too. The minimum spec OS is Windows 2000 and don't forget you'll need a DVD drive to install the program.

PVFX - effects, effects, effects.
This contributes to the live and real-time feel and usability that features highly in Project 5 V2. It has six primary effects Transposer, Accumilator, Exaggerator, Lo-Hi Filter, Tracer and Shifter. With these FX you can pitch shift, filter and morph, glissando, delay, reverberate and bend all in real time. Additional automated FX include tempo sync modulation filter, multi-voice chorus and flanger, tempo-synced phase, compressor, gate and 2 band parametric EQ.

Other features
These include an arpeggiator which can be layed across any of the soft synths for that ultimate digga-digga-digga-digga stuff. Also there's the Alias Factor with which you can decimate till you can decimate no more by reducing bits and applying a low-pass filter. Nice. And, get this. The Devise Chain Preset let's you save setups complete with FX's and tweaks and then call it up in another project. Great.

Project 5 V2 is a ReWire client and host so you can now run apps like Reason and Fruity Loops directly inside the application. It will send midi sync to hardware sequencers and, yes, Project 5 V2 does record audio.

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Project 5 official WWW
  • Project5 V2 from
  • Project 5 PDF brochure
  • Project 5 web Demo

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