Thanks to Melodyne’s advanced tempo detection and SONAR’s powerful ARA drag-and-drop integration, your projects can now follow a live recording’s tempo. Simply drag a standard audio clip (or Melodyne region effect) to SONAR’s timeline, and SONAR creates a tempo map that follows the clip tempo. Watch the new video for more information.
While there have been hundreds of fixes and enhancements added to SONAR since X3, we’ve compiled this list of the ones we think X-Series users will be particularly fond of.
- Fixed clip & metronome placement during loop record
- Fixed complex looping scenarios
- Fixed MIDI issues during audio loop recording
- Mute Previous Takes no longer interferes with Comping mode
- Improved transient detection
- Speed improvements when editing MIDI in PRV
- Improved drag selection
- Improved editing with the Smart Tool
- Improved Lasso for audio transients at all zoom levels
- Edit > Select > From/Thru no longer clears selections
- Fixed Delete Hole issue when selecting empty measure in Track View
- Fixed issues with Shift+Click on audio clips
- Improved clip behaviors when using auto crossfade
- Improved clip dragging graphics and offset handling
- Improved note selection in PRV
- Improved Melodyne behavior after setting region
- Sends now feed side-chain on project open
- Fixed jumps when rewriting automation
- Fixed VST3 behaviors in Clip FX bins
- Improved console view EQ display
- Fixed Dim Solo issue when using instrument tracks
- Fixed plug-in output errors
- Fixed plug-in removal issue on Simple Instrument Tracks
Chris Broderick has been focusing on his band Act of Defiance and their new record on Metal Blade Records. “We recorded all vocals, cello, lead, rhythm, classical and acoustic guitars at Ill-Fated Studio’s in Los Angeles, CA on SONAR Platinum. The features we gained upgrading from X3 to Platinum really helped us capture this new record.”
Audio / MIDI Engine
- Fixed intermittent crash when switching driver modes
- Fixes to Bounce to Clips for MIDI
- Fixes to the Arpeggiator Preset workflow
- Improved MIDI input port detection
- Fixed layout issues when removing icon from header
- Fixed muted waveform drawing
- Fixed waveform draw with tempo changes
- Improved waveform draw on Groove Clips
- Fixed waveform redraw on cropped clips when dragging
- Improved clip fade waveform
- Improved scroll in Console View
- Improved Timecode unification in all views
- Improved Track Folder grouping
- Improved workflow when changing a Screenset
Norman Matthew of the band Murder FM not only used Platinum on his recent record produced by Beau Hill, but his band is also using it live on tour. “Platinum is ridiculously stable. Our show has developed into something more dynamic–and we like triggering some sounds that we used on the record on tour. SONAR Platinum works so well for us on stage as well as in the studio.”
- Controller pane no longer resets size when switching tracks
- Drum Pane now persists when re-opening PRV
- Fixed PRV piano keyboard collapse when PRV maximized
- Fixed right-click snap in PRV
- Fixed Show/Hide state in PRV Track Pane
Other Views – LCV / Lyric / Marker / Meter etc.
- Fixed orphan window in projects opened from Playlist
- Fixed Screenset recalls
- Fixed Take Lane rearrange on undo
- Fixed vertical zoom behaviors when hiding tracks
- Improved double-click behaviors on MIDI clips in Track View/PRV
- Improved Step Sequencer behavior when using a clip assigned to a drum map
- Fixed bounced clip time base reset problem
- Fixed Now Time marker movement when pressing Pause
- Fixed silent drum map note issues after tempo changes
- Fixed a crash when trying to open a moved project from recent file list
- Fixes to BitBridge which could cause a project to hang on closing
- Improved recall of Remote Control for synths
Javier Colon, winner of NBC’s The Voice continues his lifelong musical journey with a new record deal and album coming out on Concord Music Group this spring. “I’ve been using SONAR for a long time, but going from X3 to Platinum was the best upgrade I’ve had. Platinum was like a writing partner for me with this new record.”
UPDATE: Results are in! Here’s the answer key:
It was a very tight race, but the clear winner was Track 3 (so there is definitely still plenty of room in this world for professional mastering houses).
In 2nd place was Track 5, which was followed extremely narrowly by the LANDR masters, where Track 4 beat Track 2 by almost nothing. Track 6 was next, and Track 1 was last.
Note: These masters were intentionally not level-matched, as we believe that for a song of this style, the resultant level was part of the criteria for the quality of the masters. We will be doing another one of these tests in the future, wherein the levels will all be matched.
What do you think? Do these results surprise you?
We thought it would be fun to have a blind mastering taste-test and include LANDR. Below is a track from a project I Co-wrote/recorded/produced/mixed compliments of a great artist from Finland by the name of Peppina.
Track 1 is the actual pre-master, and then the following tracks are masters rendered by different means.
One of these tracks (the one that is actually on the record) is mastered by a prominent mastering house/engineer in NYC.
A few also may be rendered with different LANDR settings 😉
One is also mastered using all in-house Cakewalk plug-ins…
Below these tracks you will find a survey, please vote for your favorite “master” and leave any general comments.
Results will be posted in 2 weeks.
Celemony has graciously introduced a brand new Melodyne update to the world, and we’re including it in the SONAR Manchester Update free of charge for all Professional & Platinum customers with an active Rolling Updates Membership. What makes this Melodyne upgrade so great?
Edit Entire Mixes
Melodyne 4 introduces a new Universal algorithm, ideally suited to time-stretch and pitch-shift entire mixes. It also provides a more CPU-friendly way to edit polyphonic material without sacrificing any of the superior quality you expect from Melodyne.
Modern New Interface
Much like SONAR, Melodyne’s new UI has been designed to fit your workflow, adding customizable configurations and better information overviews. It’s also been optimized for compatibility and stability with all the latest 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems and DAWs.
Improved Tempo Detection
Melodyne 4’s new tempo algorithms detect tempos, time signatures and changes more accurately than ever before, allowing you to to match the tempo of any audio clip or loop to any other audio clip or loop more precisely.
Multi-Track Viewing (Melodyne Studio only)
SONAR users can enjoy the ability to view the data from multiple audio tracks all in one single Melodyne window, making it much faster and easier to synchronize notes on different tracks. This unprecedented new feature is useable exclusively in the current edition of SONAR.
For more information about Melodyne 4, please visit http://www.celemony.com/en/help/helpcenter
|You might also like…|
|SONAR PLATINUM VS. SONAR X3 PRODUCER: IMPORTING AUDIO||THE EVOLUTION
With so many different reverb options available, it can sometimes be hard to know where to begin. This series will focus on helping you make your reverb decisions more efficiently by identifying the function of every component, one at a time.
In convolution reverb, microphones capture the sound of an environment’s response to a full spectrum of frequencies, known as an Impulse Response (IR). Then, the resulting .wav file is introduced back into a convolution plugin – in this case ReMatrix Solo. The plugin plays the incoming audio, say your drum track, “through” the IR. This type of reverb is great for adding realistic ambience to dry sounding tracks.
Depending on the shape and material of the walls, ceiling, floor, and furniture in the sampled environment, different frequencies may be absorbed or reflected faster or slower than others. This is what gives any reverb its own characteristic sound. For example, a concert hall with hard, dense walls and plastic seats will have a much longer decay in high-frequency content than a living room with relatively soft wooden walls and a cushioned couch.
The first thing you’re likely to notice about Hall reverbs is that they’re usually longer than other types–about 2 seconds or more. This is because halls are rather large spaces with lots of room for sound to bounce around. Like great prose or a fine wine, reverb has a beginning, middle, and end. For reverb, we’ll refer to these as “Early Reflections,” “Body,” and “Decay (or Tail).” Common Hall reverb characteristics include an audible array of early reflections (more on this later), a dense, sustained body, and a smooth, often dark decay.
Here are some sonic examples of applications of Hall Reverb:
- If you listen carefully, you’ll notice the snare’s attack is quite present in the reverb itself.
- The guitar in this example loses some presence due to the heavy wash of conflicting frequencies.
- In the vocals, most of the consonants are lost to the diffusion, resulting in a reverb body consisting mostly of vowel sounds.
Room reverb times are much shorter than halls, due mostly to their smaller size. These will normally range between about a half-a-second to a few seconds. Rooms are often a bit “darker” sounding than most halls, since the size and materials are prone to more high-frequency absorption. However, any variations in size and material are going to have a large impact on the resulting reverberations, so you can expect much variation from one Room sound to the next. One may have almost no early reflections, a smooth body and quick decay, while another might have a booming attack, and thick body that slowly fades away.
Here are the same tracks as above, but with some Room reverb applied:
- The snare sound gains a presence boost from the stronger midrange information of this reverb.
- The guitar fits nicely with this reverb due to the dense and diffuse body.
- Notice how the vocal reverb now sounds like each word smears together, rather than just the vowel sounds in the hall example.
A plate reverb is a mechanical device that vibrates in response to an audio signal being passed through it. It has transducers that send and receive the signal, and a damping pad to adjust the length of the reverb. These reverbs are often a half-second to a few seconds in length, and have almost no early reflections, but a substantial body and gentle decay. Because of this, it’s not uncommon to see large amounts of predelay added to this reverb type.
Once again, the same tracks as above, but with Plate reverb applied:
- This reverb is quite bright. The snare gains a lush high end that otherwise is rather lacking
- You’ll notice that the guitar sounds a bit harsh running through this particular plate sound.
- The vocals have a bit of an “airy lift” to them, but sibilant sounds (S’s and T’s, for example) might need to be carved out with an EQ to avoid a similar harshness to the guitars.
This one is sort of unique to ReMatrix. Nearly every type of reverb has early reflections, but this particular category isolates them as their own entity. Early reflections, as shown in the diagram below, are the sounds that you hear most immediately after the direct signal, usually within the first 60-80ms. For that reason, they have an almost imperceptible body and decay. Don’t let the short time fool you, though; these reverbs can introduce very unique and desirable sonic characters to any sound.
Here are some examples of early reflections applied to our drum, guitar, and vocal tracks:
This is where all the outliers are found. These IRs include reverse reverbs, modulated sounds, and more. The modulated sounds are typically .wav files that have been modified in some way with another effect like an automated filter, a delay, some kind of pan effect, or just about anything else. Since there are no real rules to this IR type, there’s not much explaining to do here, so let’s jump right into some examples.
- The snare, high in transient information, also yields an interesting result with the panning echoes.
- The busy guitar covers up much of the effect, and you’re just as well reaching for a more suitable reverb program
- The vocals play quite nicely through it, sounding like a high-feedback slapback delay with some sort of weird FM filtering.
- This type of reverb may not fit so well in every mix you do, and the effect may not always be apparent, but it can bring a bit of spice to an otherwise dull part.
This is the length of the reverb. Whenever you see a time control on a reverb, it is measured in RT60, or amount of time it takes for the reverb to be 60dB lower than its original level. Note that when you load a preset or IR in ReMatrix Solo, this setting adjusts to the IR’s original intended RT60 time. Be careful when making adjustments to this as it can sometimes make the reverb sound “chopped” or produce undesired artifacts.
This is the Pre-Delay, or amount of time before the reverb signal is produced. For example, if your song is 120bpm and you want an eighth note’s worth of time between the dry snare hit and the wet reverb signal, you would set this value to 250ms. This is useful for when your original signal starts to sound oversaturated by the reverb. Providing a bit of time between the original signal and the reverb signal gives a sense of distance and depth.
Helpful Hint: 1 ms of pre-delay is equal to about 1 foot of distance from the source.
This knob controls the stereo width of the reverb. A value of 0% will be “mostly” mono. A value of 100% provides an extremely wide stereo image, and dipping into negative values results in an extremely collapsed reverb sound. Try a variety of settings–this parameter has an incredible ability to create a very realistic and controlled sense of space for your reverb.
This is, quite simply, the amount of gain applied at the EQ Freq setting. This applies only to the reverb return signal itself, so adding a high shelf to the snare reverb does not add the high shelf to the snare, just the snare’s reverb.
If you would like to apply a band of EQ to your reverb signal, this is the place to do it. This setting will determine the center frequency of your EQ adjustment. This is useful when you want to modify the coloration of the reverb, or to help it fit more neatly into your mix.
As with any Q setting, this is the width of the EQ band you’re applying to your EQ signal.
— Hi-Shelf affects frequencies at and above the EQ Freq setting
— LPF (Low-Pass Filter) cuts all frequencies below the EQ Freq setting
— Numbers indicate a Band Pass filter — your standard bell-curve EQ. A smaller number creates a wider bell curve, and a larger number creates a very narrow curve.
This is the blend of original, unprocessed signal and “wet,” processed reverb signal. A common workflow would be to create a send on the track to which you wish to apply reverb. Set up the send to go to an aux track, and add the ReMatrix ProChannel module to the Aux Track. Set the Dry/Wet slider to 100% wet. Now, your original track is still totally dry, and the aux track is only the reverb signal. To blend, simply adjust the send level from the original track. More send level = more reverb.
Tips & Tricks:
- Play around with settings and presets to get the most out of your reverb plugins! The sound examples demonstrated one of many different configurations for each reverb type.
- Be conservative — too much reverb can leave your mix sounding distant and oversaturated.
- Be judicious — in most cases, it’s not a good idea to apply reverb to every track.
- Send, not Insert. 9 times out of 10, you’ll have a better experience with separate source and reverb tracks. See the Dry/Wet section for more info.
- Use “just enough” reverb: Solo your source and reverb tracks, and bring up the send level until the reverb is audible. Then, bring it back down 1 dB or so and move on.
- Use your EQ. The built-in EQ on ReMatrix is great for adding color or carving out some space, but don’t be afraid to add another EQ to your reverb track to tailor it further to fit your mix.
- Play with dynamics. Applying Compression, Gating, and Side-Chaining to reverb tracks can result in some really useful and interesting effects.
- Pan your return. A guitar panned left with its reverb panned right can increase the apparent space the instrument occupies
- Not all reverbs will work for your track. It’s well worth the time investment to find the one that best suits your production.
- Don’t write off the harsher sounds. You may notice some IRs sound “better” than others, but the ones that sound “bad” when soloed tend to stand out better in a dense mix.
- It doesn’t need to be realistic for it to be pleasant. It’s okay to have your vocals in a hall, your snare in a dark room, your toms running through a plate, and your kazoo in a bright room.
- Automate the send. Reverb doesn’t have to be on all the time. Automate the send to apply reverb only to certain words, licks, or sections to add motion and excitement to your mix.
You can try REmatrix Solo for yourself in SONAR Professional and SONAR Platinum.
|You might also like…|
|MIXING VOCALS: EASY DYNAMIC
VOCAL FX IN SONAR
A few weeks back, we released this video demonstrating the drastic speed improvement when inserting 100 blank audio tracks into the current edition of SONAR.
If you saw that video, you’ll recall that SONAR Platinum, in less than one second, accomplished what SONAR X3 took about 13 seconds to complete — a 2,600% improvement!
As we continue to make improvements to SONAR Platinum (and Artist & Professional as well) through Rolling Updates, we thought it might be fun to race SONAR Platinum against SONAR X3 Producer in their ability to import actual audio files.
The video below, complete with drag race audio, a rock n’ roll soundtrack, and a couple of millisecond-accurate stopwatches, places SONAR Platinum and SONAR X3 Producer side-by-side to see who is the real speed demon.
I’ll spoil it a little and tell you that SONAR Platinum is the winner here, but the illustrated difference in speed may truly shock you!
Note: If you liked the soundtrack, be sure to check out the Rock Guitar Anthems loop pack!
A few years back, we showed you a bit about Parallel Compression in SONAR. Now that we’ve introduced Patch Points in the Jamaica Plain update, you can do these same things with a much more efficient workflow.
Let’s quickly define parallel processing: In parallel processing, a signal is duplicated into two or more signals. Each copy of the signal is processed differently but plays back simultaneously with the original. The copy/copies are then mixed together.
Parallel Compression, aka “New York Compression,” is most commonly used on drums to add body to the drum mix without flattening the snappy transients.
Check out the video below to see just how easy (and great sounding) this technique can be:
|You might also like…|
|5 TOOLS TO GET “THAT ANALOG SOUND” FROM SONAR||UNIVERSAL ROUTING TECHNOLOGY 202: THE AUX TRACK|
As we work to perfect SONAR, we’ve focused not only on useful new features, but also improvements to the core program. This month, we targeted our efforts on streamlining SONAR in major ways that will help hobbyists and power users alike.
For the upcoming SONAR Kingston update, CTO Noel Borthwick ran a few benchmark tests to compare, apples-to-apples, exactly how much better SONAR is performing now versus SONAR X3. In every case, the SONAR Kingston update showed marked improvements over SONAR X3 to perform the most common tasks.
SONAR is officially supported on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.
|You might also like…|
|ANATOMY OF A SONAR PROJECT: REPLACING THE PLACEHOLDER||5 WAYS SONAR’S ROLLING UPDATES ARE WORKING FOR YOU|
By Craig Anderton
Some plug-ins and virtual instruments sound better when recording at sample rates higher than 44.1/48 kHz because high audio frequencies can interfere with lower clock frequencies, which causes foldover distortion. This adds a “wooliness” at lower frequencies, and can also compromise high-frequency response. Plug-ins that include internal oversampling do not have this problem, but not all plug-ins—particularly older ones—use oversampling.
The Foxboro update introduced Upsample on Render, which provides the benefits of using higher sample rate processing even in 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz projects by internally 2X up-sampling plug-ins of your choice, rendering them as audio, then down-sampling the rendered audio back down to the original sample rate. While it may seem counter-intuitive that the audio quality from rendering at 96 kHz is preserved at lower sample rates, the lower sample rates have no problem reproducing signals in the audio range, and by rendering at 96 kHz, the problematic frequencies no longer exist.
The Jamaica Plain update now offers Upsample on Playback, so you can preview and compare the difference in real time. To enable either Upsampling on Render or Upsampling on Playback on a per-plug-in basis, click the FX button to the left of the instrument name in the virtual instrument interface.
To turn Upsampling on or off globally for plug-ins that have Upsampling enabled, use the 2X button in the Control Bar’s Mix module.