Cakewalk Sonar 8: Organize that mess of plug-ins into a logical structure

OBJECTIVE: Sort plug-ins into folders to make finding and selecting them easier.BACKGROUND: Sonar lets you organize audio and soft synth plug-ins in lists that appear when you insert an effect. You can have multiple lists (such as plug-ins organized by manufacturer or by type, including folders and sub-folders), and choose among them. Re-ordering is done mostly by drag-and-drop: Drag items into folders, out of folders, into subfolders, and the like, as well as add separators between categories of effects.
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OBJECTIVE: Sort plug-ins into folders to make finding and selecting them easier.
BACKGROUND: Sonar lets you organize audio and soft synth plug-ins in lists that appear when you insert an effect. You can have multiple lists (such as plug-ins organized by manufacturer or by type, including folders and sub-folders), and choose among them. Re-ordering is done mostly by drag-and-drop: Drag items into folders, out of folders, into subfolders, and the like, as well as add separators between categories of effects.

STEPS

1. Go Tools > Cakewalk Plug-In Manager. Choose a plug-in category in the left pane (e.g., VST Audio Effects). The middle pane shows all registered plug-ins in that category. The right pane is your “workspace” for creating a new layout.


2. Exclude all plug-ins that don’t work in Sonar. Click on the plug-in to select it (ctrl-click for multiple plugs), then click on Exclude Plug-in.

0.0001_PI Manager.jpg


3. Select all plug-ins in the middle pane (click on the first entry then shift-click on the last), then click on Add Plugin to transfer these over to the workspace.

0.0002_Exclude.jpg


4. Click on New Folder. Name it (by manufacturer, category, or whatever makes sense to you), then drag the appropriate plug-ins into that folder.


5. You can add divisions between categories (click on Add Separator, then drag into position), and add sub-folders within folders (see Tips).

0.0004_CreateFolder.jpg


6. When you’re done organizing your plugins, type a name for the list in the upper field, then click on the Save (floppy disk) button. Click on Close, and you’re done.

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7. When you insert an effect or soft synth (including from within an FX bin), choose your desired Plug-in Layout.

0.0006_Save.jpg
0.0007 Choose plug-in.jpg

TIPS

You can list a plug-in more than once, e.g., create a “Favorites” folder with duplicate listings.
-Step 2: To show excluded plug-ins, click on Show Excluded; click on what you want to include, click on the Enable Plug-in button, and they’ll reappear in your menus.
-Step 6: To create a subfolder, right-click on a folder in the workspace, and select New Subfolder. The context menu has several other options (sort, delete, rename, etc.).
-Layouts are stored under C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\Cakewalk\SONAR 7 [Producer or Studio Edition]\Plug-in Menu Layout. Back up this file “just in case.”
-Sonar can show a maximum of 735 plug-ins in a list.