By Adam Burch, Cakewalk
Because both CD burning software and Cakewalk's built-in MP3 Encoder require digital audio for the source files in order to complete their respective tasks, you must convert your MIDI files to audio before proceeding with either one. Of course, you could also mix all your MIDI and audio tracks down to DAT or another two-track medium and then dump the mixes back into your computer, but you can accomplish the same thing while keeping your tracks within Cakewalk. Here's how to do it.
The following will work for re-recording any MIDI tracks that are using your sound card's internal synth sounds - such as a Yamaha SW1000 or a Creative Labs Sound Font capable card:
Find an empty Cakewalk track. Set its Source column to Stereo and arm the track.
If you have more than one sound card installed, make sure you select the Source of the sound card that is playing your internal MIDI sounds. Just to be safe, make sure that no other Cakewalk tracks are armed.
Open your sound card's mixer device by double-clicking the yellow speaker icon on your Windows Taskbar. Make sure you are adjusting its Recording Controls (Options/Properties/Adjust Volume for Recording/OK), and not Playback Volume Controls.
Because you only want to record the sound of the MIDI playback, make sure the MIDI or Synthesizer fader is the only category with a check in its Select box. That check indicates that the Synth signal is now eligible to be recorded as digital audio. This MIDI or Synthesizer fader will adjust the input levels into Cakewalk. To check recording levels, use the Audio Meters in Cakewalk's Console View.
Press Record in Cakewalk, and a submix of all your MIDI Tracks assigned to the internal synth will be recorded in the stereo audio track.
After you've successfully recorded the MIDI parts as audio, you should mute the MIDI tracks in the file. You'll be listening to audio track versions of them for now.
Recording MIDI tracks that are played on your external sound modules or instruments is even easier:
Connect the audio outputs of your MIDI instruments to the line inputs of your sound card.
Find an empty Cakewalk track. Set its source to Stereo and arm the track.
Open your digital audio card's mixing software. Check it's Record Properties, making sure to check the Select box for the Line Input. The fader will adjust the input levels into Cakewalk. To make sure you're recording at a good level, check Cakewalk's Audio Meters in the Console View.
Press Record in Cakewalk, and all your MIDI tracks assigned to external MIDI instruments will be recorded as a stereo audio track in Cakewalk.
You'll now want to mute the original MIDI tracks for the duration of this process.
You now have an audio version of all the tracks needed to record your CD or MP3. There's only one step left: Exporting your final mix to a file. To do this, open Cakewalk's Tools menu and select the Mixdown Audio Export to File(s) command. This single command will combine your play-enabled audio (unmuted, or soloed) tracks and export a CD-ready WAV file, or a finished MP3.