SONAR Quick Tip: Save time tweaking levels with Quick-Grouping

Grouping is one of the most powerful tools you can use during both the tracking and mixing process, but SONAR X2 offers up Quick-Grouping as an alternative method for making quick adjustments to your levels.

Let’s say you have mic’d up a drum set and you have been working diligently on the balance.  Without realizing it you are completely clipping your Master Bus, don’t worry this happens to the best of us. The first thing that comes to mind is making a group to correctly adjust all your levels at once. This involves assigning each parameter to a group and then eventually turning that group off and on again when you need to make small adjustments.

Instead of doing that, try the following Quick Groups feature:

  • Select all of your tracks using CTRL+A
  • Hold CTRL
  • This makes a temporary group of your selected tracks
  • Move 1 fader
  • The rest will follow suite and keep the fidelity of your balance

Try SONAR X2 free for 30-days and check out this easy-to-use feature.

 

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SONAR Quick Tip: Changing The Default Preset For A Plug-in – by Scott R. Garrigus

After adding effects to a folder (in the Cakewalk Plug-in Manager), you can also specify default presets for each effect. Right-click an effect in the folder and choose Properties.

In the Item Properties dialog box, choose a preset from the Default Preset menu.

Click OK. Now when you insert the effect into a project, it will automatically default to the preset you selected. See pages 12 to 15 in SONAR X2 Power! for more information about customizing plug-in menus. 

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SONAR Quick Tip: Draw Plug-in Automation with SONAR X2′s Pattern Tools

Within SONAR X2′s Draw Tool users have the option to draw:

  • Freehand
  • Sine Waves
  • Triangle Waves
  • Sawtooth Waves
  • Square Waves
  • Randomized Pulse Waves
“Write Enable” your favorite plugin parameters and begin drawing away.

 

 
 

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SONAR Quick Tip: Use the Marker List to set Now Time – by Scott R. Garrigus

Another quick way to jump to a specific marker is to press G to access the Go dialog box.

SONAR Go Dialog

Then press F5 to bring up a list of all the markers in the current project.

SONAR Markers Dialog

Select a marker from the list and click OK twice. The Now time will be set to the time corresponding to that marker. See pages 50 to 53 in SONAR X2 Power! for more information about Markers. 

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EDM Production: Creating Industrial Drums with Session Drummer 3

SONAR X2 Producer’s versatile drum production tools allow you to get creative with your sound. Want to push the limits of EDM or get that mid-90′s industrial vibe from your tracks? Check out this Quick Tip on how to process your drums utilizing the stock ProChannel effects and Session Drummer’s Tune Parameters.

  • On your Session Drumer track, load PC76 – U-Type Compressor
  • Set Input to 18db
  • Attack 0.5-1.0 ms
  • Fast Release 500 ms
  • Ratio set to Infinite or “All Buttons in Mode”
  • Set Output so that you are not overloading
  • Activate Console Emulator for more saturation
  • Activate the Softube Saturation Knob set this to 2-3 o’clock and set the type of saturation to “Keep Low”
  • Activate Breverb Prochannel. Set the parameters to a rather short Room Reverb

Drums are now over-saturated and over-compressed

Now that you have the basic foundation for a distorted/saturated/pumpy/electronic drum sound lets Mangle it.

  • Activate Write Automation on the Session Drummer Track in the Track View
  • Open the interface for Session Drummer  and go to the Mixer View
  • Activate the Write Automation within the Session Drummer VST Plugin
  • Play the track and move the “Tune” knob (with your mouse or your MIDI controller) for the High Hat in rhythm to create tuning aliasing. This will be labelled “Tune 03″ in your automation.
  • Once this is done minimize the interface for Session Drummer  
  • Within the Track Pane using the Edit Filter go to Automation > Session Drummer x64 1 > Tune 01 (Kick Drum Tune Knob)
  • Select the Draw Tool and draw in some nodes that closely match the same curves and structure as the automation we just laid down.
  • Open the Automation Lanes to see the automation data side by side

Deactivate the Write Enable buttons just incase you are no longer going to automate any more parameters

  • As you do this feel free to adjust your compression, saturation, tuning, tempo, and automation to fully customize

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Approaching the Remix With Cakewalk Synths – Norman Matthew [MURDER FM]

PUTTING MY FACE ON YOUR NAME:

Remixing is one of my favorite things to do in the studio for many reasons. For one thing the song has been written, so the pressure of writing a masterpiece is off my shoulders. I’m also able to listen to a song from beginning to end; a completed thought, if you will. I get creatively juiced immediately if I connect to it. That’s where the magical third thing kicks in – I get to put my musical stamp on another artist and pay tribute to their work by recreating their art through my eyes. It’s an opportunity to let the world crawl inside my head (scary as that may be) and hear it the way I do. (more…)

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Approaching Drums Left of Center with AudioSnap and Session Drummer – Norman Matthew [MURDER FM]

So Last “NorMonday” I went on a little (ok a lot) about how I approached tracking guitars, before that we tapped on my signature vocal techniques. Now it’s time to get into the foundation of it all, drums. Again, prepare yourself for some left of self-centered techniques.

THE KICK DRUM SUCKS…NO WORRIES, THERE’S AN APP FOR THAT

Seems there’s an app for EVERYthing these days. In the recording world, I like to think of plugins as the “apps.” I’ve been part of approximately 16.25 trillion sessions and not a-one has gone by that I haven’t run into a horrible kick drum sound – clicks, flaps, slaps, flops or just generally sounding like a basketball being dribbled through my mic. The flip-side to these tones of course, is that Gawd-awful weak kick drum that sounds like an egg-beater hitting a pillowcase.

Well I have found a Godsend when it comes to such atrocities….SESSION DRUMMER and AUDIO SNAP!

Drum replacement happens EVERYwhere, ALL the time, so don’t let anyone fool you… the key is knowing how to keep the feel and dynamics alive. I learned a lot about drum replacement from producer Beau Hill (Ratt, Eric Clapton, Alice Cooper, etc.), who took me under his production wing and mentored me on many techniques. In music production, we all strive for the best drum sounds because after all, that is what the rest of the music sits on. Unfortunately, we can’t all afford fancy tracking rooms where the walls move to adjust to the natural reverb. So, many of us at one point or another are slaves to the machine: tracking drums in the jam room, or in mom’s garage next to the washing machine (which is constantly on for some reason). (more…)

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4 features of SONAR X2 that make the musician’s life easier (New Videos)

With all the powerful features of SONAR X2, it’s almost impossible for someone to know every single angle of the program.  Even some of the simpler features have some not-so-obvious aspects that can make the musician’s life easier and more musically inventive.  This is why we have created detailed videos for SONAR users to delve into without needing a manual.

This week we have posted four great new videos that are sure to give you some new insight on X2 features and workflow:

The QuadCurve EQ has now proven itself in the industry to be one of the most musical AND surgical instruments around.  With four different modes, it’s easy to carve out and sculpt perfect and professional mixes with ease.

[My favorite QuadCurve feature: The slope – cutting off low frequencies dead-off is essential for getting great vocals to really pop out of the mix without sitting too far in front. You can also greatly clean up your low-end by getting rid of competing frequencies utilizing the slope on guitars, bass and kick drum.] (more…)

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There’s always more to learn about SONAR with new videos from Cakewalk

SONAR X2 is hands-down the most powerful and comprehensive DAW we have ever made. With each new version of SONAR we aim to simplify workflow and make music production more efficient.  Each upgrade also comes with brand new tools and enhancements that compliment SONAR’s core technology.  SONAR X2 is no exception. See what’s new in SONAR X2.

Your creative possibilities are endless with a professional level solution like SONAR X2.  But for new users, and even some seasoned SONAR pros, all this power can make your brain hurt a little.  Users often ask us questions like “what does R-MIX SONAR do?” “how does the Console Emulator effect my mix?” and “why is TH2 Producer better than the guitar amp sim that I already have?”  We hear you loud and clear and want to make sure you know how to take full advantage of the tools SONAR X2 has to offer. As a result, Cakewalk is more committed than ever to providing SONAR users with the best learning resources available. Check out the 3 learning resources below with SONAR knowledge for every skill level (more…)

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Craig Anderton shows you how to use the new Console Emulator in SONAR X2 Producer

Console Emulator

The ProChannel Console Emulator is one of the new features available exclusively in SONAR X2 Producer. Over the past year, the use of console emulation has become very popular with producers and engineers. A Console Emulator plug-in emulates some important analog console characteristics. While these effects are subtle, they’re noticeable; and now thanks to the Console Emulator, they’re controllable as well.

Industry expert Craig Anderton gives you an in-depth look at understanding and applying the Console Emulator into your mix. For even more tips from Craig Anderton, you can also check out his monthly SONAR X2 column in Sound on Sound magazine.

 

 
Try it out for yourself: The Console Emulator is available in the SONAR X2 Producer trial so once you watch the video, you can try out some of the techniques on your mixes.

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