BOSS BR-532 or BR-864 as a Transport Controller

Using a BOSS BR-532 or BR-864 digital recorder as a Transport Controller (Control Surface) with CAKEWALK SONAR

You can use your BR-832 or BR-864 to control your CAKEWALK SONAR. It will not be a complete Control Surface but will work as a convenient Transport Controller, or MIDI Machine Controller (MMC).

You don't need to spend a lot of boxes with a expensive Control Surface like TASCAM US-224/US-428 , JL Cooper CS-10/2, Mackie Designs, C. M. Labs Motormix, or so, while you have on your hands something that do the main job: Play, Record, Stop, and PUNCHS !!!

It's very easy and both will be completely synchronized. You'll have much less mouse clicks, have your hands close to your keyboard or guitar, easy to reach Play, Stop and Record, at those moments of inspirations.

It's also a easy way to set and make loops, punch-in/out, repeat, locate, Forward, Rewind, or move beat or measures steps as you move the BR value wheel, reflecting the same movements on Sonar.

Configuring SONAR:

Add a MMC control surface and define the same MIDI IN port you have connected your BOSS BR to your computer.

1. Click on OPTIONS/CONTROL SURFACES, then ADD a new Control Surface.

2. On the pop up window, define MMC as a Control Surface, then the MIDI IN port. The MIDI OUT can be leaved as NONE or you can set the port where you have another device that you also want to synchronize with, as a Drum Machine.

3. Click OK and Close the Control Surface definition window.

4. Choose the same TEMPO for your song that you have on your BR.

5. To avoid mess, uncheck the option "Allow MIDI Recording without Armed Track", on SONAR - OPTIONS/GLOBAL OPTIONS/General Tab.

There is no need to open a track for this port, Sonar receives the MMC commands internally.

Configuring your BR-532 or BR-864

On your BR setup, define MMC as the protocol to be synchronize with Sonar:

- On BR-532: Press Utility, SYS and set MMC Master=MMC and Exit to save.

- On BR-864: Press Utility, SYNC and set MMC Master=MMC and Exit to save.

Set the same TEMPO the way it matches with SONAR.


First set a V-Track on your BR that you don't mind to erase or record over. I recommend to set a mono V-Track on BR while you're recording on SONAR, the last of all, or the last one that you will use. Like Track 4-V8 or Track 8-V8 on BR-864.

Load any song on Sonar and press PLAY on your BR. Both must start playing synchronized now.

Be carefully, because when you begin to Record on your BR to record on Sonar, IT WILL ALSO ERASE the track that is currently set to record on your BR.

All locations, punch and loops functions on your BR will work on Sonar.


Always pay attention on which track you're ready to record on your BR !!!! Your BR will always record something or silence when you press Record to start recording on Sonar. It uses the same amount of your memory card as any other audio recording. Later, erase this track to open space for more audio track on your BR. To use less memory, set a mono V-Track to record on.

Always check the TEMPO. Put always the same TEMPO on both.

You can send the WAV file of your BR's recording to SONAR to make easier the mixing, instead of bouncing on BR. This way you can make more sophisticated mixing (more than 4 tracks, or 8) and it will be synchronized with your MIDI file. You'll need a memory card reader to do it. And then, you can record the final SONAR mixing (MIDI and AUDIO) again to to your BR.

Note: Remember to press Stop on your BR when you're in Play or Record.