So you just brought home your shiny new dream machine computer with the most powerful CPU, loads of drive space and more RAM then you know what to do with. First thing you do is fire up SONAR to work on a project but wait - you can't find any of your favorite plug-ins and the color scheme is all wrong. It's time to migrate all of your favorite settings, and this handy article will show you how.
You might not need all of the information in this article so we have split it up into multiple sections so you can jump to the part that applies to you.
The first thing you will need is a way to move files from your old computer to your new one. The easiest method is with a USB hard drive or memory stick, alternatively you can also burn the contents to a CD or if your computers are on a home network you can transfer them over your network.
Once you know how you're going to move them, lets put them all together in one place. To do this create a new folder on your Windows desktop, make sure you give it a name that you can recognize later. We named ours 'SONAR Settings' for this exercise
Exporting plug-in & control surface presets
If you have created any custom presets for your VST, DirectX or Control Surface plug-ins those can all be backed up using the Cakewalk Plug-in Manager. To do this, do the following:
- Click Tools | Cakewalk Plug-in Manger, the Plug-in Manager will open
- From the 'Plug-in Categories' pane on the left select the type of plug-in you would like to back up.
- Then under the 'Registered Plug-ins' pane in the middle hold down SHIFT on your keyboard to select each plug-in you would like to copy presets for
- Finally click the Export. . . button to save a settings file
- Be sure to save it in the folder you created earlier on your desktop or a place that you can find easily. If you need to back up multiple types of presets, give it a name you can easily recognize, such as 'VST Audio Effects Presets'
- Click Save to export your presets
Exporting plug-in menu layouts
- Repeat for each type or category of plug-in presets you will need to move to your new computer
Backing up your plug-in menu layouts can also be done from the Cakewalk plug-in manager and is also very easy to do it:
- Click Tools | Cakewalk Plug-in Manager, this will open your plug-in manager
- From the 'Layout File:' drop down menu select the layout you would like to back up
Exporting key bindings
- click the Save button in the upper right corner to to bring up the save dialog, this is very similar to the save dialog we looked at earlier
- Give it a name and save it to the same folder you created earlier by clicking the Save button
Like most power users, you may have configured custom key bindings for your most common SONAR tasks. Thankfully you can bring these over to your new DAW.
- Click Options | Key Bindings, this will open the Key Bindings dialog
- Click the Export button to bring up the Export Key Bindings dialog, this is just like the save dialogs we used earlier. Navigate to your settings or back up folder, name the file and then click Save
This process is almost identical to exporting your key bindings.
- Click Options | Colors to open the Configure Colors dialog
- Click the Export Colors button to export all of your colors presets this is just like the save dialogs we used earlier. Navigate to your settings or back up folder, name the file and then click Save
Transferring & importing your settings
Now that you have backed up your settings its time to move them. First you will need to copy your folder with all of your SONAR settings to either a hard drive you can connect to your new DAW or burn the files to a CD or DVD.
To import Key Bindings and Colors:
To import plug-in presets:
- open the appropriate dialog either Options | Key Bindings or Options | Colors
- Click the Import button, a dialog will open asking you which file to load - select the file you previously exported and then click Open
- Your settings will now be restored!
To import plug-in menu layouts:
- Open the Plug-in Manager by clicking Tools | Cakewalk Plug-in Manager
- Importing presets is almost the opposite of exporting them, first select the Plug-in Category from the left pane
- Next, hold down SHIFT and select each plug-in from the Registered Plug-ins list
- Finally, click the Import. . . button, a dialog will open asking you which file to load - select the file you previously exported and then click Open
- Your presets will now all be restored, repeat this process for each type of plug-in presets you need to import
- Open the plug-in manager by clicking Tools | Cakewalk Plaug-in Manager
- In the Plug-in Menu Layout pane click the Open button
- A file browser will open similar to the import dialogs, browse to your plug-in menu layout and then click Open