Basic File Exporting for Audio CDs

Last updated on 3/30/2016

At some point in time, you will need to export your finished projects from Cakewalk to burn standard Audio CDs. Our newest products (SONAR 7 and higher) now come with a built in burning application that allows you to export your tracks directly to the burning software. We will cover this process at the end of this article. For those of you who do not have the latest versions of SONAR (or if you use other burning software) we will cover the steps needed for a proper export.

Making the selection
Before we export the project as a WAV, there are a few steps we must take to ensure the proper section of the project is bounced. If you don’t do this, you may end up bouncing your project with several seconds (or minutes) of silence at the end of the project included in the WAV. When it comes to exporting or internal bouncing, all Cakewalk programs are selection-based, so you need you to specify the part of the song that you want to bounce to a file.  A good technique is to set your Now Time (the line that scrolls through your project during playback) to where you want your song export to end. Then go to Edit | Select |All and then Edit | Select | Thru Now. If you have silence at the beginning of your project (like a one measure space) you will need to drag your mouse across the timeline to make the proper selection. See below:

You will need to ensure that the numbers of the tracks you are bouncing are highlighted as well. You can either hold down Ctrl and click on the track numbers, or click, hold and drag down all of the track numbers. Keep in mind, any track that is not selected will not be heard in the final bounce.

Another good technique to use is holding down the Alt key when you select an area of a track. You can also select areas of multiple tracks with this function. Make sure you are selecting only the area and audio tracks that you want to bounce.

If you have MIDI tracks in your projects that are not using software DXi or VSTi, they must be bounced down to audio tracks. Click here for details on this: "Future MIDI to Audio Tip"

The Export
Whether you are working in the latest version of SONAR, Home Studio, Music Creator or Audio Creator, they all have the ability to export standard WAV files at virtually any sampling rate or bit depth. Whichever burning program you’re working with, it is likely that they will require the WAV file to be stereo interleaved, at a 44.1k sampling rate, at 16 bit (unless the burning program has a built in converter). The latest versions of the programs mentioned above have the ability to convert the exported file’s sampling rate directly from the “Export Audio” window. The image below is SONAR 8’s “Export Audio” window, which may have more options than the version you are working with:

The latest versions of SONAR give you many options for the mixdown. You can choose whether or not to hear effects, automation, bus routing, etc.. Press F1 or the Help button for a detailed explanation on each of these parameters.

Burning the CD
In the latest versions of SONAR, you have the option to “Add to Audio CD Track List”. This automatically adds the WAV file to the built in Burning software included with SONAR Studio/Producer 7 and higher, as well as SONAR Home Studio 6 and higher. Note: This option will not become available unless the Format is set to “Wave” and the Sample Rate and Bit Depth are set to 44100/16bit. Now that the file is bounced, you must open the “Burn Audio CD” application from the Start Menu | All Programs | Cakewalk | SONAR. You will now see you’re your track is already on the list. Choose your Target CDRW drive, click “Burn” and it’s off to the races!

If you’re looking for more options for your Audio CD, such as blending in multiple tracks for a seamless CD, then pyro Audio Creator may be right for you. Please click here for more information: pyro Audio Creator

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