Frequently Asked Questions for JSonar (JAWS Scripts for Cakewalk Sonar)

JSonar Basics (9)

JSonar Basics

As of this writing JSonar supports all versions of JAWS starting from 7.10 onward. If there is a particular version of JAWS that is not compatible with the JSonar scripts, the information will be posted on this web site.

JSonar is a set of JAWS scripts that enables users of this screen reader to use Cakewalk Sonar, a professional music recording software from 12-tone Systems. Visit their web site to learn more…And before you ask… JAWS is a screen reading software from Freedom Scientific.

JSonar is a set of JAWS scripts that enables users of the JAWS screen reader from Freedom Scientific to use Cakewalk Sonar, a professional music recording software from Cakewalk.

With the help of JSonar project blind musicians, sound engineers, producers fr

JSonar supports versions 4, 5, 6 and 7 of both Cakewalk Sonar Studio and Producer editions.

Unfortunately, due to the time and resource constraints we cannot support all Cakewalk products. However, as JSonar is an open source project, anyone is welcome to contribute in whatever way they can.

At the time of this writing the following languages are supported (meaning that JSonar scripts have been translated into this language):

  • Russian: (installer, scripts, Readme, keyboard guides); courtesy of Victor Gorelov, Russia.
  • Dutch: (installer, scripts); courtesy of Paul Erkens, Netherlands.
  • German: (scripts); courtesy of Marco Zehe, Germany.
  • Swedish: (installer, scripts,

We suggest that you first have a quick look through these frequently-asked questions and JSonar Tutorial to learn more about features of both Cakewalk Sonar and JSonar. Once you have decided that JSonar is for you, head over to the downloads section and download the version of JSonar that matches your version of Cakewalk Sonar you want to use.

To get the most qualified answer for your JSonar-related question, subscribe to the JSonar users list through the Support Pagewhere you will find all the necessary subscription information. There are a lot of helpful professionals on this list who are willing to help you out. …And since JSonar users are located worldwide, you may get your answer at any time of the day.

For JSonar-related questions, wee strongly suggest that you look through the Support section first. There you will be able to subscribe to our discussion list, search through the archive of list messages and, yes, contact us directly.

Using JSonar (11)

Using JSonar

There are two great podcasts produced by Luis Elorza that demonstrate how to change tempo and correct the timing of the song using Audio Snap in Cakewalk Sonar.

Please visit the podcasts section of this site to hear those tutorials.

Please note, the instructions below will only apply to the latest builds of JSonar.

To install JSonar on a Windows 7 64-bit OS, perform the following steps:

  1. Disable „UAC“ (User Access Control) by:
    • open start menu and type „UAC“ in the search box and then press ENTER.
    • when the new screen comes up, tab to „notification level“ slider and make sure it is set to 0;

The instructions below should work for both Media Browser in Sonar 8.5 and Loop Explorer in earlier versions of Sonar.

As of this writing, the following keystrokes are available in the latest builds of JSonar8.

  • Use the TAB key to navigate between the tree of folders and the list of loops.
  • When in the list of loops, up and down arrows navigate between the loops in a

After installing Sonar 8.5, all users will encounter the „quick start“ dialog box.  Due to some changes in Sonar 8.5, this dialog has become less accessible for screen reader users. However, there are a couple of ways to dismiss or disable this window.

  1. Install the latest patch for Sonar 8.5, which is 8.5.3 as of this writing, and JSonar scripts will take care of the rest.
  2. Using the "rege

Use these simple guidelines for navigating, selecting and manipulating tracks and buses:

Track/bus navigation

  • Up and Down arrows navigate to previous and next track/bus respectively (unless you are using track folders).

For reasons beyond our control, JSonar control surface may not always install correctly. It is, however, very much needed for proper operation of the JSonar scripts.

How do I know that the JSonar control surface is not installed?

Without getting into much detail, when you hear a message „window not found“, JSonar is telling you that it could not locate the control (a button or an edit field) on the screen that you were trying to reach. Since there is no one reason as to why this situation may occur, here are several possibilities and troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve this situation.

If your plug-in or a software synthesizer has a Hot Spot Clicker preset written for it, this procedure is actually very easy. Most HSC presets, written by Phil Muir and distributed with JSonar provide a shortcut key, ALT+SHIFT+P, that will automatically place your cursor on the „presets“ combo box.

Since most of the functions of the Loop Construction view can be manipulated through Cakewalk Sonar's toolbar, JSonar provides a very simple and intuitive interface for using these features.

At the time of this writing, Clips Pane support is in its experimental phase. However, you can already use this feature for some simple tasks, as follows:

  • From inside track or bus pane, use INSERT+CONTROL+DOW­NARROW to move to clips pane and ESCAPE to get back to previous Pane.

Track folders is a feature of the Cakewalk software that allows you to group relevant tracks into folders. For example, you could store all your drum tracks into one folder while your guitar or keyboard tracks could go into another folder. You can also move tracks from one folder to another or remove tracks from them altogether.

Buses and Sends (2)

Buses and Sends

There are several ways you can manipulate sends using JSonar:

To review parameters for one or more sends on a track or bus

  1. Press CTRL+Shift+S once to hear a quick summary.
  2. Press CTRL+Shift+S to display this summary in a virtual buffer.

    From thereon you can use arrow keys to review the information presented or use links in the virtual buffer to toggle sends on and off.

To i

JSonar provides an ellegant way to learn about connection between buses and tracks through a single keystroke (CONTROL+ALT+SHIF­T+C). This feature xists in JSonar versions all the way down to JSonar5.

Effects (5)


  • Select the tracks you want to fade out. they must be audio tracks.
  • Set your from time at the spot, where you want to fade out with F9 key.
  • Set the through time to the end of the song with F10.
  • Go to the process menu and select audio. here you can select fade and then choose the method that best sutes your needs.

How do I list all the effects on a track or a bus or move to the effect bin?

You can find the list of effects on a track or a bus by pressing Control+Shift+F.

Cakewalk Sonar provides a 4 band graphic EQ which can be enabled for each audio track.

Below are the steps to use it with JSonar:

  • Open sonar and a project you want to work on; make sure you are located in the track view.
  • Find the track for which you want to modify EQ parameters.
  • Press the letter I if using Sonar 8.5.3 or later, otherwise, Tab once to the „track inspector“ and d

V-Vocal is a plug-in built into Cakewalk Sonar software that provides various pitch-correction techniques for improving the quality of the sound material.

Looping, punching and Selecting (2)

Questions related to looping, punching and selecting

To set punch points:

  • set the from and thru to the time range over which you wish to punch.
  • press Alt+Shift+left square bracket; this toggles autopunch mode on.
  • now press Alt+Shift+left square bracket twice; this sets the punch range to the from/thru selection.
  • If you wish to read (verify) your punch points, press control+shift+left square bracket once for „punch from“ and twi

To set loop points:

  • set the from and thru to the time range over which you wish to loop.
  • press Alt+Shift+right square bracket; this toggles loop mode on.
  • now press Alt+Shift+right square bracket twice; this sets the loop range to the from/thru selection.
  • If you wish to read (verify) your loop points, press control+shift+right square bracket once for „loop from“ and twice for
Metronome (1)

Changing metronome options

Where do I find „metronome options“ functions in JSonar7?

A. Starting from JSonar7 „Metronome Options“ are located under the „Utilities“ menu, accessed by pressing Control+Shift+F12.

How do I go about toggling various metronome functions with JSonar?


Using Sonar (2)

Questions related to Cakewalk Sonar specifically

Sonar 8.5 introduced a new default track template (a template that opens with every new project by default) which incorporates the layout consisting of Track View, Media Browser and Synthrack View opened at the same time.

Here are some instructions that may guide you when using Track/bus Inspector in Cakewalk Sonar:

  • Switch to Track/bus Inspector by pressing letter I (in Sonar 8.5.3 and later) or by using the TAB key in prior versions of Sonar.
  • Inside track/bus inspector, Press enter on module options and make sure that EQ and Plot options are checked.
  • Go to display, press ENTER key and uncheck ever
Hot Spot Clicker (5)

Hot Spot Clicker

With the introduction of the latest update for JAWS 11, there have come up some incompatibilities between this screen reader and the Hot Spot Clicker scripts.

To fix the problem:

  1. Completely uninstall the previous version of the Hot Spot Clicker scripts from your computer by using provided uninstaller.
  2. Head over to the Hot Spot Clicker web site and downl

There may be several reasons for this behavior:

  • Your screen resolution or Windows theme has changed since the last time the hot spot set was used.
  • The plug-in window may be covered by one or more windows (use control+tab to inspect all opened windows and close the ones that are no longer needed).
  • The plug-in may be using floating windows which means that they do not stay in the sa

If you are using multiple plug-ins, it is very convenient if your HSC sets load automatically whenever the new plug-in opens.

It is very likely that Hot Spot Clicker lost all its shortcut keys after JSonar has been uninstalled or reinstalled. Here is how to fix this situation:

  1. Make sure that the HSC set for your plug-in is loaded. You can do this in one of the following ways:
    1. Control+Tab several times until you return back to the plug-in window.

In general, the „no hot spot defined“ message appears when active hot spot set does not contain any hot spots.