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Despite owning copies of Cakewalk’s Sonar, it was Cakewalk’s Project 5 that I gelled with the most. Project 5 came with a collection of synths, the most notable, and the reason I purchased Project 5, was the Dimension synth. For the first time ever, I was now able to perform on a keyboard and capture MIDI. This took me straight back to the days of performing on keyboards in the college recording studio and recording directly to a multi-track – no more programming of note starts, ends and velocities! Of course, another advantage of MIDI is the ability to edit any little mistakes or inaccuracies - I couldn't do that in the studio!
Another throwback for me, was due to the lack of power of my PC [and perhaps the efficiency of Project 5]. My set-up could only really handle 4-5 tracks of VST synths before the processor protested and audible clicks, stutters and silences resulted. My solution to this problem was to render the first few tracks to a WAV file then start a new project with that WAV file as one track then layering additional synths on top of this; very similar to the audio bouncing I used to do on the multi-tracks! There were some drawbacks to this technique, but it sufficed!
I actually worked on quite a few tracks in Project 5 but only really finished two; these I rushed those to completion just so I could say I’d finished them! Both of these tracks were actually composed many, many years earlier [on the PSS-270] but I hadn’t been unable to produce them either due to the limitations of the methods I was using, or I was unable to get the ‘sound’ I desired from them.
Incidentally, the MFX numbering scheme started with Project 5. When starting a project, I number it with the next sequence number, the first being MFX-001 and the next, MFX-002 and so on. I’m not quite sure what will happen when I get to 999, but I think I’ve got quite a few years to go before I get anywhere near that! What’s also revealing for me, is how many tracks I don’t finish, or how many I skip over as I suddenly get inspiration for a new track; mostly when composing or working on an existing one! I guess that’s my creative process! It is my intention to skip back and complete the promising ones; don't be surprised when tracks are published not following an incremental MFX number!
In the end, Cakewalk pulled the plug on Project 5 and when Windows 10 came out, despite managing to coax Project 5 into running on Windows 10, I knew it was probably time to move on. Nether the less, here’s some of the limited tracks I managed to complete:
Continue on reading to Music Produced in Fruity Loops...