Are you ready to rock? Last week, over sixty campers said yes, and so did we, when Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp opened its new facility just off the Strip in Las Vegas, NV.
Rock ‘n’ Roll Fantasy Camp lets musicians live out their rock and roll dreams by being a part of a rock band that’s led by a real rock star. They get to jam and learn from these rock star counselors as well as record their performances, living out their fantasies both on stage and in studio.
The ‘Camp’s new digs featured a performance room with a twenty foot stage, a thirty foot green screen, and ten rehearsal/ recording rooms. Each rehearsal/ recording room was outfitted with all the gear a rocker could wish for, including a Roland GA-112 guitar amp, Roland RD-700NX digital piano, an HP Z1 or HP Z220 workstation, HP ZR30w monitors, dual Roland Octa-Captures running in VS Expanded mode, and SONAR X2 Producer.
The HP Z1s and HP ZR30ws have extremely high resolutions of 2560×1440 and 2560×1600, and if you’ve never seen SONAR on a display like that before, its worth clicking the picture to the left to get a bigger view. That’s a lot of console strips!
Like many of you, we’re all fired up about the release of SONAR X2. And we’re pretty sure you’d like to know more about the core features, behaviours, and other day-to-day workflow operations that we’ve changed in X2 from X1 and older versions of SONAR.
Below is a layout of those changes as well as a down and dirty, off the cuff, low production value video which demonstrates these changes in depth which is available for immediate viewing on YouTube (and also right from the player below).
Last week was our fourth installment of CakeTV Live, which we broadcast bi-monthly, live, from Center Staging in Burbank, CA. In this latest episode we showed over 450 live viewers the new features of SONAR X2. In case you missed it, the webinar is now available for viewing on CakeTV (or right from this web page, below).
During the webcast we did our best to cover all of X2’s new features like Smart Grid, ProChannel FX Chains, and R-MIX SONAR. However, there were a few new features that we didn’t have time to demo that we think are worth mentioning.
Like many of you, we’re all fired up about SONAR X2. And we’re pretty sure you’d like to know more about what makes it so delicious. So, take a closer look at the newly refined, ever smarter, SONAR X2.
What’s an FX Chain?
FX Chains are an answer to a long standing feature request; to have FX bin presets, or a way to recall an FX bin on an existing track in SONAR. In SONAR X1 Producer we introduced FX Chains, which are essentially an FX bin, or group of FX, saved as a preset.
In SONAR X1 Producer Expanded we upped the ante and upgraded the feature to version 2.0 which added assignable controls and a custom user interface to FX Chains. Later on in the free X1d update we added a Mod Matrix to FX Chains allowing up to four parameters to be mapped to a single control on an FX Chain, which I wrote about in an earlier blog post.
In X2 we’re including FX Chains in SONAR X2 Essential and Studio, as well as Producer. But In SONAR X2 Producer we’ve taken FX Chains one step further having added them to the Producer exclusive feature, the ProChannel.
For your pleasure and edification the latest CakeTV Live webinar is now available for viewing on CakeTV. In this latest installment of CakeTV Live Brandon Ryan and I walk through the process of taking recorded, live drums from sounding, ‘meh’, to ‘larger than life’ using SONAR X1.
We explain everything from how to setup and organize a project to mixing, rout tracks to buses, fix timing with AudioSnap, setup and use parallel compression with the ProChannel, and much, much more.
Parallel compression is a mixing technique most commonly used on drums where one signal is split into two allowing them to be processed separately, or in parallel, and mixed together.
Typically a drum bus will be split into two drum buses where one drum bus will be compressed heavily and the other drum bus will be compressed lightly, if at all.
The reason for doing this is that heavy compression on drums can sound good but can also cause a major loss of transients and attack. Blending heavily and lightly compressed drum buses yields the best of both worlds.
Pentagon has been around in the soft synth world for a long time. If you’re a SONAR user you’re probably familiar with its prowess as an analogue modeling synth. What you might not be familiar with, though, is that it can be used as a vocoder, too.
Check out the CakeTV video below on how to setup and use Pentagon as a vocoder.
Keyboard Shortcuts are at the heart of any DAW’s workflow, and SONAR X1 is no exception. And the QWERTY keyboard is still the central way in which we use those shortcuts and interface with our DAWs in general.
Traditional keyboards aren’t labelled for anything other than a particular language. However, the custom made, slimline, SONAR X1 LogicKeyboard has SONAR’s default Keyboard Shortcuts printed right onto its 125 multi-colored keys.
When we designed SONAR X1 we took many of the old, not-so-logically organized Shortcuts, threw them onto the table, and reorganized them into Shortcuts that we thought would be not only easier to remember, but also into groups of like Shortcuts that go together, which we call Key Clusters.
A couple of years ago we started SONAR University with a bang by releasing a fourty-plus minute long Master Class on drum production. Since then we’ve released two more Master Classes and dozens of Get Started and Go Deeper videos. And right now we’ve got one more Master Class video in the works.
Our first three master classes were released when YouTube had limits on video length. It started at ten minutes and eventually became fifteen minutes, but we were forced to break up our Master Classes into multi-part videos since they all were longer than fifteen minutes.
Thanks to YouTube now allowing videos of any length to live on their site, and in anticipation of the release of our next Master Class, we’ve decided to refresh our original three Master Classes as single, individual videos. Now you can watch them from start to finish with no interruption. Enjoy, and stay tuned for the release of the next Master Class.
Last week Brandon Ryan and I hosted our second CakeTV Live webinar on music production with SONAR X1. Broadcast live over the internet from Burbank, CA, this latest installment of CakeTV Live was every bit a success as the first CakeTV Live webinar. With a steady 240+ viewers this time from all over the world, we had a steady stream of great questions coming in throughout the demo.
Of course, we understand that many of you couldn’t make it to the live broadcast, so we’ve uploaded the video to YouTube for your viewing pleasure. This hefty video weighs in at one hour and forty minutes and is loaded with music production workflow techniques straight from Brandon Ryan’s bag of tricks.