Hidden Gem: The Blue Tubes Stereo Imager [SONAR X3 Studio & Producer]

Now in SONAR X3 Studio and Producer we’ve included a wonderful hidden gem.  The Blue Tube Stereo Imager is a spatial plugin that allows you to widen and narrow out your mixes with a simple slide from left or right.

This type of effect can be useful in situations where you need to A-B mixes quickly in mono.  Some one would say “I can just use the pan pots or stereo interleaved switch” but the beauty of this plugin is that you could use this plugin in both a musical and technical fashion. (more…)

Share

SONAR X3: Exploring Your New EQs

SONAR X3 comes with an array of brand new EQ plugins. All of them have their own purpose sound and functionality. A great new feature within SONAR X3 is the ProChannel QuadCurve EQ Zoom & Analyzer as well. Using both of these you can truly get an idea of how each one works and how it affects your audio signal.

I’ve sent some pink noise through the new QuadCurve EQ & Zoom’s Analyzer so that you can see how the settings are affecting the full frequency spectrum.

The first one is the British Tone Equalizer. This is a 3-band EQ with a Low Shelving Band, Midrange Band, and a High Shelving Band. All have variable bandwidths.

You can see in the diagram below that, even though this appears to be a rather simple EQ, it’s middle adjustment is perfect for instruments that sit in the mid-range.

Both the high-shelving and low-shelving frequency adjustment are not as complex, but would be ideal for carving out their respective frequencies in both the high and low spectrum.

The Bandaxall EQ is a quickly and easy two band EQ with fixed frequency cut offs. This is perfect for (more…)

Share

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Setting Up Your Addictive Drums

Addictive Drums is the brand new drum synth available in SONAR X3 Producer. The sounds, fast load times, internal mixing, and abundant groove clips makes this possibly the only drum synth you’ll need to use from now on.
There are a couple ways to insert this new synth into SONAR X3 Producer. The first way is to insert Addictive Drums as a simple instrument track.

  • Within SONAR X3 Producer go to the Media Browser and select the “Synth Tab”
  • Click the + button and go to VST 2 and/or Addictive Drums


Share

SONAR X3 Workflow Tip: Organize with Color Customization

Organization during a session is a skill that should come second nature to any engineer or artist. Some aspiring engineers are reluctant to see the value in organization until they receive a session that has a track count higher than their usual intake. One of the best tips that just about anyone can benefit from is organizing your tracks by color.

Color organization is a new feature within SONAR X3 and supports just about any shade you need to organize your tracks.

By hovering under the number of the track (more…)

Share

Convert Audio to MIDI in SONAR X3

Converting Audio to MIDI has never been easier. Now in SONAR X3 Studio and Producer, Melodyne Essential with deep ARA integration makes it a very simple process.

  • Open up SONAR X3 Studio or Producer
  • Go to the Media Browser and make sure you are on the “Media” tab – Selecting the letter B on your computer keyboard will open and close this view.
  • The drop-down menu below “Media” will give you the different content options for SONAR X3.
  • The “Move up one level” button allows you to move backwards through the file hierarchy of your computer. Selecting this 2 times will bring you to your Cakewalk Projects folder.
  • Use the Media Browser to locate a mono audio file.
  • Once located simply drag and drop it onto a MIDI Track.
  • You can also drag an audio clip from an audio track onto a MIDI track.

Conversion will occur.

All this is made possible with the newly integrated ARA technology from Celemony.

Learn more about ARA and SONAR X3.

Share

Did You Know That BiFilter2 is a Sound Designer’s Dream?

When installing SONAR X3 Producer your eyes may have sailed across a plugin by Tone2 called “BiFilter2”. This program is more than just a filter, its a sound designer’s dream. It’s simplicity is misleading at first glance, but once you open up the hood of this plugin you’ll be grateful of it’s existence.  This filter has everything from basic EQ cutoffs, Comb Filtering, to even FM filtering.

Most of the time plugins of this nature are limited to the filter type being set as a preset and then the user having the ability to automate and modulate the different parameters within that preset. BiFilter on the other hand allows you to radically switch between filter types without hassle and even automate distortion types all within a single automation lane.  Essentially, one could use a single BiFilter per track and switch distortion filter types without stacking up on multiple plugins or introducing unwanted CPU usage.

BiFilter alone is worth cracking open and listening to.  Once you hear this unbelievable plugin every template you make will have one pre-loaded into your FX Bin.

Learn more about Bifilter 2 and SONAR X3 here.

Share

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Gating unwanted noise using the NEW logical gate/expander GX622

Using the new Blue Tubes Logical Gate/Expander you now have yet another incredible tool for your day to day projects. A pretty common problem that happens when recording an entire band is noise bleed from other instruments when one stops and another is still playing.  In this particular case there is quite a bit of drums leaking  in the quiet parts between chord stops of this piano part.  Some would argue that throwing a Gate on there can make your signals sound robotic and choke your signal if not set correctly. So, let’s go through a step by step way of setting up your Gate setup correctly.

  • First start with all of your controls turned to (more…)

Share

EDM Production Tip: Ducking Synth Melodies using Sidechaining

Ducking is a popular technique used in EDM music to apply percussive processing to pads, leads, and bass lines using side-chains on compressors. This technique is also used as a method for getting bass and drum passages to subtly fit together in mixes. In order to successfully apply ducking to your track you must have the following:

  • Compressor inserted on a pad or lead track with side-chain capabilities
  • Percussive source to key the side-chain

First, grab a kick drum sample and align it to the desirable rhythm you need.  Next, insert a compressor onto your synth lead or pad track.  Afterwards insert a send on the sampled kick drum track and set the send to “Pre-fader”. In SONAR, deselecting the [Post] button enables pre-fader sends.  Mute the kick drum sample and turn up the gain on the send.

Once you have the signal flow set, enable the Sidechain on the Compressor.  Now, every time the kick drum sample plays the Side-Chain will trigger the compressor and “Duck” the signal.  You can set the compressor using the Threshold, Attack, and Release settings to shape the kind of effect you want.

Try it yourself with the SONAR X2 Producer free 30-Day trial.

Share

The Distance Effect: How to make audio sound far away using Reverb

Creating distance in a mix or sound design project often results in the use of a distance effect.  This effect can make anything sound as if it’s 50 ft away, and is quite easy to setup.

1) Insert a pre fader send onto an audio track. Within just about every DAW and/or mixing board there is a setting on the Sends sections called “Pre”.  Within SONAR this setting is enabled when the “Post” button on the send is deactivated.

2) In SONAR, I right-click on the Sends area in the console view and select “New Stereo Bus”.

3) Rename the bus “Distance Effect”. Now my audio is routed to this Bus. It’s often good practice to label your buses, or else mixes become confusing to work with.

4) Insert an instance of Reverb onto that bus. In this example I used BREVERB SONAR and called up a Plate preset.

5) Mute the audio track and hit play.

 

To read more about BREVERB SONAR check out Breverb: A 2013 Sound Design Odyssey on our Knowledge Base.

Try the BREVERB ProChannel Module for free – Download the SONAR X3 Producer Trial

Share

How to make your Kick and Snare sound more aggressive using compression

Compression can be used in many different formats but one of the most useful methods is for adding an aggressive sound to your Kick and Snare. A typical compressor’s settings involve Threshold, Attack, Ratio, and Release.

  • Threshold is a setting in decibels. Once it senses that audio surpasses the set decibel level it activates the compressor.

  • Attack is a measurement in milliseconds for how fast the compressor should begin compressing audio that exceeds the set threshold.

  • Ratio is the amount of gain reduction applied to the compressed signal.

  • Release tells the compressor how fast to stop compressing the signal once the threshold is no longer exceeded.

 

By setting the Attack and Release times relatively fast it allows for each drum’s initial hit to sound and then afterwards reduce the audio transient in gain. From our ears’ perspective, each hit sounds more aggressive.

Pictured above: The ProChannel in SONAR X2 Producer.  Try it free!

Share