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- Recording and making music on the PC or Mac
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Cakewalk presents “Mix it Right” month
We have been busy this month creating new resources to help you craft better mixes. Check out all the tips, tricks, and video from experts like Craig Anderton, Dan Gonzalez, and Jimmy Landry who have all worked professionally in studios and bring decades of mixing knowledge to the table (and console).
EQ: Carving Out The Right Sound For Your Mix
One of the most important aspects of mixing is using EQ to “carve out” a specific frequency range for instruments so they don’t conflict with each other. If instruments have their own sonic space, it’s easier to hear each instrument’s unique contribution, which increases the mix’s clarity. Learn more
When To Break The “Rules” Of Digital Mixing
Sometimes you need a mix to have a certain sound and the so-called rules of digital mixing go out the window. Recently Cakewalk’s Jimmy Landry was hired to produce a song with some “grit” and “acoustic-oriented authenticity,” so he grabbed his 5-Year Old’s harp out of a toy chest, his acoustic guitar, and got to work in SONAR X3. Learn more
“Object-Oriented” Clip Mixing in SONAR
When you need to get really detailed, object-oriented mixing is a convenient solution. Craig Anderton explains how to approach this in SONAR. Learn more
How to Use Reverb to Create Depth
Applying the proper Reverb requires more time than just scrolling through the presets of the basic Hall, Room, and Plate algorithms. Cakewalk’s Dan Gonzalez covers the dos-and-don’ts of Reverb for guitars, vocals, drums, and more. Learn more
Video: How to Use Compression
Mixing with Compression is an essential part to shaping and creating a great sounding track. In this video series Dan Gonzalez shows you how to use compression on various types of instruments in SONAR X3 with the CA-2A T-Type Leveling Amplifier. Learn more (more…)
When you need to get really detailed, object-oriented mixing is a convenient solution
by Craig Anderton
Many times when mixing, you’ll want to apply an effect or volume change to a small, specific section. Clip Automation makes it easy to handle Gain or Pan changes, but you can also work with effects by isolating specific “objects” in a track, then processing them individually. This is different from the usual method of applying effects to an entire track, but can come in really handy for detailed work. Also note that object-oriented effects processing works with any type of clip—audio, MIDI, or groove.
Here’s a step-by-step example of how to apply object-oriented mixing by adding maximization to one drum fill to make it really stand out. Download SONAR X3 to give this a try.
1. To isolate the object from a selected track, alt-click with the Smart tool at the beginning of the section you want to isolate, or place the Now time at this point and type “S.” Do the same at the end of the section.
2. Right-click on the object, and select “Open Clip Effects Bin” from the context menu (keyboard shortcut: Alt+K).
3. An effects bin opens up that’s similar to the standard track effects bin.
4. Right-click on a blank part of the effects bin, choose Audio FX from the context menu, then drill down to find the effect you want.
5. The effect will now appear in the bin. Like a standard effects bin, the small “power symbol” circle (blue for enabled, gray for disabled) appears to the effect’s left. To insert more effects (more…)
Signal Flow is an important concept to understand, and it may be easier to think about when presented with a diagram of how audio is passes through SONAR.
The first concept to understand is the relationship between Inputs and Outputs. There isn’t anything complex about the subject unless you over-think it. It is the underlying theme to just about anything within your Digital Audio Workstation. Always remember the following:
Sometimes Outputs can be named “Outs or Sends” and sometimes Inputs are labelled “Ins or Returns.” If you’re a guitar player then you can associate this concept with the FX Loop that exists on the back of your amp. You use this to Send audio to your effects pedals and then back to your Amp’s Return.
First, let’s start where audio starts. Typically it begins with an instrument or audio file:
Upon opening SONAR many users will head straight to their Media Browser and (more…)
In the midst of recording a whole record it’s always a good idea to take some samples of the drum set so that you can replace and reinforce the drums later on in mixing. Here is an 11-part video series that shows you how to apply some basic EQ, Compression, and Editing techniques to get your drum samples to sound pro within SONAR X3.
So you just brought home your shiny new dream machine computer with the most powerful CPU, loads of drive space and more RAM then you know what to do with. First thing you do is fire up SONAR to work on a project but wait – you can’t find any of your favorite plug-ins. It’s time to migrate all of your favorite settings, and this handy article will show you how.
Musikmesse 2014 brought a lot of things together for Cakewalk in the grander picture under the Gibson Brands family. For the first time, Gibson Pro Audio brought together its family of TASCAM, KRK, Stanton, Onkyo, Cerwin-Vega and Cakewalk at a major trade show – and it was pretty fantastic to say the least. All brands were representing their latest and greatest products to an international group of industry professionals, music creators, musicians and producers from all over the world. Besides the Pro Audio space which covered close to 6,000 square feet, Gibson also had its instrument space on the lower level which sprawled across an even greater area; so there was no shortage of Gibson at Musikmesse this year.
If two spectacular booths are not enough, why not throw in an eye catching/death defying stunt show outside in front of the all the halls? Introducing: The Gibson Motodrome: a 16 meter diameter pitted-cylinder-wall where vintage motorcycles and a speed-racer circa 1928 whizzed around avoiding what would seem to be an inevitable crash. The only logical thing to do after getting this contraption going onsite was to have a visit from Rudolf Schenker who is the guitar player for Germany’s own The Scorpions. (more…)
Many users have been very interested in the types of PC’s we run at the various trade shows we attend like AES, NAMM, and MusikMesse. Well, here’s a nice rundown of the different specifications of our demo machines
Missed Part 1? Read it here.
When should I boost?
Some of you may read this and field this very question. Boosting is something that you can do any time you want with any given instrument. Obviously it is your own choice in the matter but if you find yourself constantly pulling your faders up and down because your master level is clipping then you may want to apply these EQ techniques to your workflow. In my world it is always a matter of reducing first and then boosting later.
Mixing is as much of an art as it is understanding the logical ways that instruments interact with one another. (more…)
Miss part 1? Read Subtractive EQ – Snare Drum.
The bass in this track caters to fans of the early Metallica era. Bassist Cliff Burton popularized this distorted sound on such tracks as (Anesthesia) Pulling Teeth. It’s important to blend this type of bass tone into the bottom of the guitars. In this mix the guitars and the bass become a single unit ebbing and flowing with one another at certain points through the song.
Understandably one can assume that there was much processing done to this track before it’s transfer into SONAR. It’s important to capture the sound before you start mixing so that your mixing process is not a patch-job.
This tone is aggressive and piercing to the ear. A significant way to know that this instrument needs attention is by the aural fatigue that you may experience while soloing this track and listening to it rather loudly for more than 10 seconds. I aimed to adjust the bass track to fit like a glove under the mix by applying a HPF at 78Hz with a steep bandwidth setting. The amount of bass here needs control. Using a compressor to control the sound would be redundant because of how much overdrive was applied to this track. The overdrive has ultimately eliminated any trace of strong transients.
Lastly, there is another dip in the EQ around 2.2kHz. This adjustment reduces some of the aforementioned piercing sound. Any harsh tones in this register will be too overbearing in the mix.