ARA (Audio Random Access) is an extension of the VST plug-in interface, which allows ARA-compatible VST plug-ins to be closely integrated in host programs like Cakewalk.ARA is not a new competing plug-in format, but simply an optional extension to the VST format that has to be supported by both the host program and plug-in. Cakewalk supports ARA via VST3 plug-ins.The main benefit of ARA is the ability to integrate with plug-ins that can edit audio, such as Melodyne. ARA-compatible plug-ins have random access to the audio data since they can also re-sequence the audio.Without ARA, a normal plug-in only receives audio data from the host program in real-time during playback, and knows nothing about the musical context of the audio data. This may be sufficient for some types of plug-ins like reverb and EQ, but not for plug-ins that need to analyze the entire musical context (notes, rhythm, tempo, key, etc.) in order to produce optimal results. ARA greatly improves the workflow when using certain types of plug-ins, such as pitch and timing correction.With ARA, Cakewalk and compatible plug-ins can exchange information about the project’s timeline data, including audio clips, tempo, pitch, rhythm and much more, which allows them to work together much more closely.Cakewalk includes a 30-day trial version of Celemony Melodyne (see Melodyne), which is ARA-compatible. You can apply Melodyne to any selected audio region in Cakewalk, and use the Melodyne Editor directly in Cakewalk’s MultiDock view. Melodyne essentially functions as an integrated feature in Cakewalk.ARA is latency-free, and unlike regular VST effects, ARA effects such as Melodyne have full access to audio clips in Cakewalk.ARA-compatible VST3 plug-ins are listed in the Track view Region FX menu.
1. Select an audio region or clip you wish to process with an ARA plug-in. To select a region on the timeline, use the Smart tool or Select tool and drag across the bottom part of the clip(s). To select an entire clip, simply click the clip. For details, see Selecting clips.
2. In the Track view, click the Region FX menu, click the name of the desired ARA plug-in (for example, Melodyne), then select Create Region FX.The selected audio region is converted to a Region FX clip, and the plug-in interface appears in the MultiDock view.
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