I’ve been thinking about doing some home recording, so decided it was time to start and install some software. I’ve a copy of Cakewalk Sonar 8.5.1 LE which came with my Boss ME-25. So, I decided to install that on my Windows 7 64bit Dell notebook. The idea was to install some DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) software and learn how to use it. The learning process will undoubtable form the content for some blog posts in the future.
The install went smoothly, but when I fired up the software I got a message box with “Cannot Open Master.Ins No Instrument Definitions Will be Available.“.
A quick browse on the Cakewalk forums gave the “Run as Administrator” hint, which did not solve the problem.
The problem in a nut shell is the software cannot find the file (sure it’s obvious). A quick search of my notebook’s hard drive found a “master.ins” file. The question which the problem, and having a copy of the file raises is “Where does Sonar, want to read the file from?”.
How To Find Out Where Sonar Wants the File
Years ago, I’ve used a thing called filemon to find out what files and executable was touching. A quick Bing search found this page in Microsoft Tech Net – FileMon for Windows v7.04. This page pointed me at the Process Monitor – Process Monitor v2.93. So, download that, and start to explore what Sonar is up to. NB : This is no cost software from Microsoft.
Filtering In Process Monitor
Process Monitor watches all events which are happening in windows. This generates a lot of entries, luckily process monitor comes with a filtering option. The filters I used to watch what Sonar was up to when loading where a “Process Name Filter”, and a “Result Filter”. Both of the filters I used are shown in the images to the left.
With the filters in place, Process Monitor allows you to search for a string in the filtered results. With the search option, look for the “master.ins”. In the case of my install of Sonar 8.5.1 LE, it was looking for the “master.ins” file in the “C:\Users\Craig\AppData\Roaming\Cakewalk\SONAR 8.5 LE” directory.
A Windows Explorer Tip
The “AppData” directory is a hidden directory. That’s not a problem for Windows Explorer. Just click into the file path of the Windows Explorer window and type “\AppData”, this will cause Explorer to navigate into that hidden directory.
From there you can see the subdirectories, or folders if you prefer, and then navigate to the directory which process monitor was reporting as where Sonar was looking for the “master.ins” file.
With a Windows Explorer now open in the directory which Sonar was looking in for the “master.ins” file. You can see that there is no ”master.ins” file present.
To make the error go away, I then copied all of the “.ins” files from “C:\Users\Craig\Documents\Cakewalk\SONAR 8.5 LE\Sample Content”, which was created during the Sonar install. I think you need them all, but I could be wrong. If you end up with things that do not make sense in the instrument selection dialogs in Sonar, then remove the files which are creating the “noise” (just shut down Sonar first – ripping the files out while Sonar is running could cause some problems).
The method described should work for any Sonar product which is experiencing the “master.ins not found” error. The names of the directories are probably specific to “Sonar LE 8.5.1”, but should be mirrored in some way for the other products.
Now to learn what DAW software can do for me, and how to “drive” Sonar.