SONAR 2015 Everett Update Notes

Last updated on 3/7/2016

This article was adapted from the SONAR Everett Update PDF.

The SONAR Everett update includes the following:

  1. Drum Replacer
  2. Sizzle Bus FX Chain
  3. Kick Start Rapture Expansion Pack
  4. Fixes and Workflow Enhancements


How to Download Everett

Open the Cakewalk Command Center, then download the following items:

  • The core SONAR Artist, Professional, or Platinum category
  • Drum Replacer
  • Sizzle Bus FX Chain: Anderton Collection
  • Kick Start Expansion Pack
    The Kick Start Rapture Expansion Pack is listed separately in Command Center as its own product (outside of SONAR). It is a special item available only to customers with an active SONAR membership when the Everett update was released.
  • Engineering FX Suite
  • Boutique FX Suite



Drum Replacer


Drum Replacer is a huge leap forward not just for SONAR, but for DAWs in general. Unlike other drum replacement products that act as plug-ins inside a DAW, Drum Replacer essentially becomes part of SONAR—and this tight integration results in zero latency and superior performance.

Drum Replacer

Drum Replacer’s playback engine is synchronized with SONAR Platinum, and being able to analyze an entire region allows for more accurate replacement. There’s also upfront frequency profiling for better CPU performance, user-defined drum hit recognition, and a resizable interface. Whether you’re creating huge studio drum sounds, using samples to replace individual hits (or entire kits) from existing drum tracks, extracting drum hits from loops, or even triggering drums from percussive instruments like guitar or bass—it’s all possible, and more, with this brand new, ARA-integrated module for enhancing drum productions.

Although this eZine usually provides documentation on features, Drum Replacer is a very deep and extremely versatile module. Please download the local documentation from the Cakewalk Command Center, or check the online help, and refer to the “What’s New” section for additional information.



Sizzle Bus FX Chain

Artist, Professional, Platinum

Although buses are great for reverb processing, they have many other uses and here’s a really useful one—the “sizzle” bus. This was introduced by Craig Anderton as his “Tip of the Week #50,” however it was based on tweaking ProChannel modules. In keeping with his other FX chains, the Sizzle Bus takes the concept in a more “plug and play” direction.

Sizzle Bus FX Chain

The Sizzle Bus can impart a subtle, but important, dimension to a mix that’s very much like an “exciter” effect. Although superficially it resembles boosting the treble, the Sizzle Bus adds more of a “sparkle,” particularly to acoustic instruments and electric instruments that may sound a little dull compared to the electronic instruments. By creating a bus and inserting the Sizzle Bus FX Chain, you can send signals from duller-sounding tracks as needed to bring them more into line with the brighter tracks.

How It Works

The Sizzle Bus uses a high-pass filter to eliminate all but the highest frequencies, which are then distorted to create artificial harmonics above the natural harmonics. This is similar to how the original “exciter” hardware circuits worked. Keep the bus fader low; you don’t need much sizzle to create the desired effect.

The Controls

  • HF Cutoff sets the high frequency cutoff from about 8.6 kHz to 17 kHz. 
  • Sizzle adjusts the aggressiveness of the distortion.
  • Delay delays the sizzle signal from 0 to 2 ms. Longer delays can give more depth.
  • Width varies the stereo placement from mono (control counter-clockwise) to stereo (clockwise).


This effect needs to be extremely subtle—otherwise it will add harshness instead of sparkle. Acoustic guitar is a good test, because it has lots of high-frequency artifacts that can provide a good “reality check.”

Typical settings are about 1/3 of the way up for the HF Cutoff, Sizzle full up (but you can dial back for more delicate sounds), Delay set for the best overall effect, and Width adjusted as desired. Typically you’ll want stereo with a stereo source, but if you make the imaging more mono, you can usually get away with a bit more sizzle.

If you’re used to brightening by using overall EQ, try this somewhat more refined technique. You might have a hard time going back to just slapping a treble boost onto the master output bus.

Where to Find It

To insert the Sizzle Bus into a project, right-click on a bus or track FX Rack and select Insert FX Chain Preset… Go to C:\Cakewalk Content\SONAR <Artist/Professional/Platinum>\FX Chain Presets if it doesn’t open automatically. Open the Anderton Collection then the Processors folders. Finally open the Sizzle Bus (Bus FX).fxc file.



Kick Start Rapture Expansion Pack

Professional, Platinum
Rapture LE, Rapture Classic, Rapture Pro

This Rapture instrument (which is also highly recommended for Rapture Pro) came about because it can get really boring trying to find the perfect kick drum for different pieces of music, particularly electronic, EDM, hip-hop, rap, and industrial. Why not make an instrument with the flexibility to create just about any kick drum you want? And an FX chain to “master” that drum?

Kick Start Rapture Expansion Pack

The KickMaster FX chain was included in the Dorchester release—and now we have the Kick Start. Although it emphasizes kick drums for EDM, dig further and you’ll find it extends to rock, pop, etc. by adding in different elements.

Please note that Kick Start is exclusive to the Everett release. Existing members, or members who sign up before the next release, will have Kick Start activated permanently in their account. It can then be downloaded at any time from the Cakewalk Command Center.

For an overview of Kick Start works, as well as info on how to use it with KickMaster, check out the CakeTV demo video.


After installing via the Cakewalk Command Center, don’t forget to type F5 the first time you open Rapture. This is necessary to refresh the program browser so the programs show up. The refresh may take a while if you have lots of expansion packs—be patient.

Using Kick Start

1. From the Rapture or Rapture Pro browser, choose your basic kick drum category from the Kick Start folder: Short (125 ms decay), Medium (250 ms decay), Long (500 ms decay), or XtraLong (1500 ms decay). All categories are based on the same sample (see “Notes” for more info).

2. Each category has ten programs, each of which processes the kick in different ways. The program letter abbreviates the category (e.g., S is the short category). This processing works across all categories, for example program S03 processes the sample similarly to M03—so once you’ve learned how a program affects the sound, you’ll know what to expect in each category. Note that the higher the number, the more “extreme” the sound.

00 = low-level, low frequency, non-aggressive kick
01 = adds pitch envelope for more aggressive attack and higher perceived pitch
02 = lower frequency, more thud, longer decay on pitch envelope
03 = tight, high amplitude pitch envelope, higher frequency
04 = aggressive, deep dance kick
05 = super-tight, high amplitude pitch envelope, higher frequency
06 = aggressive, punchy
07 = tight, thin, extremely high amplitude pitch envelope
08 = “chirp” kick drum, tight, high amplitude pitch envelope with moderate decay
09 = like 08, but based on a triangle wave instead of a sine wave
10 = like 08, but based on a complex FM wave instead of a sine wave

3. When you load a program, only Element 1, the original kick, is turned up. However, you can modify the sound considerably by mixing in different elements:

2 = Noise (step-sequenced pattern to add texture)
3 = Click 1 (bright; can help the kick stand out in a mix)
4 = Click 2 (midrange click; adds more “beef”)
5 = Acoustic Kick 1 (midrange emphasis, distant)
6 = Acoustic Kick 2 (bright emphasis, close)

4. Use the KickMaster FX Chain to process the sound even further, especially if you want a harder sound (in case there’s a Belgian hardcore techno revival in a couple years, you’ll be prepared!).


  • Kick Start is intended to have its own “kick drum track” for maximum flexibility.
  • The electronic kick drums are mapped across keys C-1 to C8 so you can “pitch” these sounds, as well as do “finger rolls” across keys to get double-kick drum effects.
  • The Clicks and Acoustic kicks do not keytrack, so they maintain a constant pitch.
  • Because of the pitch envelope that raises pitch, you can get away with using much lower-pitched notes than you might expect.
  • Although the drum samples resemble an “808”-type sound, they use a synthesized sine wave to reproduce the waveform created by classic Twin-Tee analog oscillator designs. As a result, the sounds are exceptionally clean to give more flexibility when processing.
  • The Xtra-Long option enhances the basic sine wave sound by emulating the “humdrum” effect obtained with vintage electronic drums by turning up a drum’s trimpot sustain control as much as possible, just short of oscillation.



Fixes and Workflow Enhancements

Artist, Professional, Platinum

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your helpful comments and suggestions that have resulted in improvements in several categories. Find the Everett fixes and workflow enhancements in their own knowledge base article.


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