5 Tools To Get “That Analog Sound” From SONAR

With the advent of digital audio, some feel a certain quality associated with the analog signal path has been lost. While that may have been true at one point, analog emulations have come a long way since first introduced. Let’s find out how to add that “analog sound” using some of SONAR’s plugins. (Note: Many of the following examples use features are exclusive to SONAR Platinum, so if you don’t already have this version, you can try a free demo by clicking here.)

#5 – ProChannel Tape Emulation

Tape Emulator Gif

Tape does some pretty magical things to audio, so SONAR Platinum includes tape emulation as a ProChannel module. Best  of all,  you can use it as much as you like without having to clean the heads!

Here’s how tape emulation enhances the sound:

  • Emulates the “head bump” of analog tape to enrich the low end, adding subtle warmth
  • Smooths response by slightly rolling off lowest lows and highest highs
  • Increases sustain by smoothing peaks
  • Saturates the signal in a non-linear, analog manner
  • Optionally introduces high-frequency hiss

For a basic application, insert the Tape Emulator in the Master Bus ProChannel. You’ll immediately hear a more cohesive mix. Increasing the REC LEVEL increases the overall saturation. The REC LEVEL knob, TAPE SPD switch, and BIAS switch all interact in unique ways, so try out different combinations to hear how they affect each other.

After hearing how the Tape Emulator affects your sound, try applying it to individual tracks (your drums will sound particularly fabulous). This will be a more subtle effect, adding a sense of depth to the overall mix.

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HOW ILAN BLUESTONE APPROACHES HIS CHARTING EDM TRACKS

SONAR Platinum artist iLan Bluestone’s career trajectory is moving fast.  The jet-setting EDM producer is touring the world, but was kind enough to share not only his time with us discussing his music production techniques, but also his new single collaboration with mogul-producer BT titled “All These Wounds.”  We caught up with iLan in Chicago at the Spring Awakening Festival, and then again down the road at Sweetwater’s Gearfest:

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How Norman Matthew and Murder FM got their Recent Record Deal (Sony/RED)

Congratulations to SONAR user Norman Matthew and his band Murder FM for their first major-affiliated record released just last week.  Entitled Happily Neverafter, the 12 song full-length album was tracked mostly in SONAR over a period of time.  As many commercial records these days, this recording project started out as a demo and then as fate would have it, ended up in the hands of a label and a real-deal mixer (Famous/Sony Red and Beau Hill).

Murder FM have been on the fence about signing with different labels over the years since they debuted a video on http://www.revolvermag.com that shot out of nowhere.   In 2013, the track/video “We the Evil” took over the top spots surpassing major label artists next to Rob Zombie, and projected the band into the public eye as well as the industry eye.  The video alone had 150k views within a short time of it being released and is now up to 320k globally.

Finally, and recently, the band found the right label partner with Famous Records Global (Sony/Red) and the final touches were made which includes a death-defying remix of the focus-single-track by Tommy Lee of Motley Crue.  Interestingly enough, many of the tracks mixed by Beau Hill on the record were created by Norman in his SONAR studio stemming from demos he created over the years.

“SONAR allowed me to capture a lot of great moments where there was really no need to go back to the drawing board.”

Already sharing stages with bands such as Black Veil Brides, Orgy, Halestorm, Powerman 5000, Young Guns, Korn, The Used, The Birthday Massacre, Sick Puppies, Trapt, Rob Zombie, Deftones, Avatar, Five Finger Death Punch, and The Pretty Reckless to name just a few, they embark on touring in support of the new record for the rest of 2015.  As MFM supports their first official global release distributed by Sony/Red, the future is wide open and arena rock will live and breathe again in the fiery form of Murder FM!

For more information on Murder FM visit http://www.murderfmmusic.com

The all new SONAR comes in 3 different versions and can truly help you to create your own artist story.  Click here to try SONAR for free

Last week’s interview on 97.1 The Eagle/Dallas

We the Evil Official Video

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Using Cakewalk Drum Replacer: The “Right” Way and The “Other” Way

The “Right” Way:

There’s more than one way to use Drum Replacer to trigger your drum sounds. Which of these you choose will depend on the material, as well as your preferred outcome and workflow. First, let’s take a look at some of the intended, more traditional uses of Drum Replacer.

A mixed drum track or loop

A fairly standard Drum Replacer use is to augment or altogether change the drum sounds on an already-mixed drum track. The examples below play an unprocessed SONAR drum loop, followed by the same loop reinforced by Drum Replacer.

Filtered Drum ReplacerWith the built-in filter mechanism, it’s easy to isolate each piece of the drum kit and replace it individually. For this particular loop, focusing the filters to 67 Hz for the kick and 673 Hz for the snare ensured replacing the right sound. I wanted to soften this already-punchy loop by replacing the kick and snare sounds with something a little more “airy,” then blending these with the original. I chose the included WholeLotta Kick and WholeLotta Snare samples for their lighter, more pillowy qualities and blended them roughly 70/30 with the original drum track. Combined, they create a pleasantly complex, tight-yet-sustained sound.
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What SONAR Platinum Pro Artists are saying about their Recent Upgrade

At Cakewalk, we are fortunate and proud to have some great cutting edge professional artists who rely on SONAR daily to write, record, and deliver world-class tracks. We are constantly getting feedback from many users to improve our software, so in our recent pole we decided to ask some artists to tell us about their Platinum upgrade experience in their own words:

iLan Bluestone:
International Electronic Producer/DJ
London, UK
Anjunabeats

[Currently touring internationally and working on new tracks]

“Upgrading to Platinum was a big deal for me.  I basically transitioned from SONAR 8.5 and was toggling back and forth between that and X3.  Platinum really put me over the edge to move forward.  Once I was over the initial learning curve which was actually enjoyable, the system became more like a writing partner.  The tools and workflow are like no other – and there are so many options to approach music in different ways, so getting creative ideas flowing is the best thing about Platinum.  This is what really keeps my custom sound always on the cutting edge.”

Javier Colon:
Winner of NBC The Voice
Recording Artist: Concord Music Group

[Currently touring and finishing a Holiday EP while also gearing up for a new full-length record 2016]

“I went from SONAR X2 to Platinum and the new features have been a Godsend for me.  When I have a system that works well I usually just stick with it until I am forced to upgrade.  The difference between X2 and Platinum for me personally meant discovering new ways to make my demos sound way better and more pro.  I often have to send demos from my home studio to my label (Concord Music Group), and since getting onto Platinum, a lot of my tracks sound really polished.  For me and my style of music, the combination of the comping tool and VocalSync meant the difference of actually using some vocals for my new record that I cut on my own – could have never done that with X2.”

Sean Murray:
Composer of Music for Film, TV and Video Games
Los Angeles, CA

[Currently working on a new film and new video game both TBA shortly]

“I upgraded from X3 to Platinum right when it came out.  I usually stay behind new releases but had heard that Platinum was the most stable release to date – and it certainly is in my book.  It’s rock solid and super snappy (the only way I can really explain it).  The features included in Platinum are hands-down better than any release Cakewalk has had in the past.  There are so many ways to explore music creation and that is what keeps my productions sounding fresh.  I find myself using things like Strum Session 2 and Addictive Drums 2 a lot.  The upgrades to the ProChannel have been really useful as well.  And I absolutely love getting the updates now – I look forward to it every month.”

Murray Daigle
Producer/Songwriter/Mixer/Musician
MDS Recording, Toronto

[Just finished writing and delivering the main theme song for the Pan ParaPan Am Games]

“I went from SONAR X3 to Platinum and I was a bit reluctant at first since I’m constantly in the trenches every day with people counting on me to deliver music to labels, artists, publishers etc. This was by far the smoothest transition I’ve had with upgrading my SONAR rig.  Whatever the code-kings did, this version of the program has been absolutely rock-solid.  The biggest thing for me by far has been VocalSync.  With the style of music I write and produce, I have to have big vocals to stay in the game.  VocalSync gives me so many options on how I place vocals in mixes.  I can quickly embellish a lead vocal track by tightening another to it, and then processing it in a whole different way for different effects in the mix.  Time really is money for me, and the tools in Platinum have never been more creative or professional in any prior SONAR release.”

Yogi Lonich
Producer/Songwriter/Musician/Solo Artist/Live and Session Guitarist
(Has worked with): Shakira, DJ Zedd, Koshi Inaba, Chris Cornell, Buckcherry, Wallflowers, Fuel, Melissa Etheridge, Five For Fighting, Meredith Brooks
Los Angeles, CA

[Currently working on music for various forms of media and performing live with various artists]

“I upgraded not too long ago from SONAR X3 to Platinum and have noticed a big difference in the program.  First of all, it’s much quicker and seems to be way more efficient than X3.  To some, that might not mean much, but for what I do it’s important.  Besides playing guitar for some great artists and doing my own music (you can read more about that here http://yogimusic.com/bio/ =), I write a lot of music for commercials and libraries through agencies – this is where time is a factor and Platinum is really efficient.  The ability to totally customize the program to my workflow gives me the ability to deliver more music, and better quality music in way less time.  The upgrade to Addictive Drums 2 is worth it alone not to mention all the other new features and tools.”

Click here to upgrade to SONAR Platinum, and start creating your own artist success story.

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Speed Up Your Workflow With 5 (Rather Hidden) SONAR Features

SONAR has a LOT of features. So many, in fact, that it’s easy for some of them to fly right under the radar. The list below contains five of my favorite SONAR features that can really speed up your workflow!  Download the latest SONAR Free Demo and follow along.

#5 – Clip Coloring

Let’s say you’ve recorded a couple of guitar tracks, and the guitar player changed tone in certain parts of the song. You may want to identify these parts easily during the mixing process. Markers can work, but I typically use those to indicate sections and turning points in the song, and the tone change doesn’t always line up with arrangement changes. Instead, you can change the clip color in these sections to make the parts easier to find.

Here are the clips in their original state:
Clips Before Editing

Make some splits where the pickup change happens:
Clips Have Been Split

Now, select the parts with Shift+Click where the guitarist changes his tone, and using the Foreground selector in the Clip Inspector, color these red:
Clip Coloring GIF

You can now see all the sections where the guitar player used an alternate tone by the red waveform, which can come in very handy while mixing.

(more…)

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Month-end Artist RECAP: JUNE – BILLBOARD CHARTS, PAN AM GAMES, HEAT!

Summer officially kicked off in June with plenty of BBQ’s, beaches and Pro SONAR users doing some extraordinary things.  June also offered the SONAR Platinum Everett update which introduced the world’s most technologically advanced drum replacement feature.  Here are some highlights from last month on a few of the many hard working professionals using SONAR.

Murray Daigle – Toronto, Canada [Official Theme Song for Pan (and ParaPan) Am Games]

SONAR Platinum user Murray Daigle is the one of the most-awarded producers in the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (SOCAN). Based in Toronto, he is also known for his songwriting and mixing skills with major label and independent artists for over 20 years.  In June, Daigle added yet another major accomplishment to his profile when his writing efforts and song-pitch for the 2015 Pan/Parapan Am Games were selected as the official theme song for the event.  The song was written at a “writing camp [workshop]” sponsored by the Songwriters Association of Canada, and then recorded and produced by Daigle with one of Canada’s most established pop artists Serena Ryder. The song, “Together We Are One,” was chosen out of 70 submissions created from the workshop. Seventeen artists perform on the song, including Mykey Thomas (Smashing SatellitesNeverest), Spyro Chalkiotis (lead singer of Neverest) and the Morningstar River drummers to name a few.  The song is currently picking up momentum as Universal has been promoting it to major radio stations, and a video for the song was also cut.  Additionally, the song is being played before every single game as well at the celebratory nightly fireworks ceremonies. (more…)

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How Vivek Maddala’s work in SONAR caught Mix Magazine’s eye (+ his go-to gear)

Vivek Maddala’s story is one that certainly does not lack one single ounce of excitement. From being a successful [modern-day] composer of music for film and TV, to his recent build out of a new state-of-the-art home studio, Vivek has continued to deliver world-class music on his own terms.  He has always been on the vanguard of hip new projects, but now with the new studio, the sky is the limit for this seasoned – yet still young Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist/producer.

One might ask, “What is it that keeps him so busy writing and producing for such interesting projects?” Well for starters, very few people can pull together the diverse musical elements that seem to come so fluently for Maddala.  On one end of the spectrum he is an extremely proficient musician, and on the other he is an expressive individual who seems to be able to tap into emotional components of film while gracefully tying everything together with unique global soundscapes.  He also seems to land projects right in his wheelhouse; ones that lift the human spirit and elucidate the human condition. His works which have been noted extraordinarily diverse in style, stand out among contemporary compositions for their depth of expression, brilliance of sound, and profoundly humanist nature.  It’s in this pocket where he has found so much success and respect scoring a plethora of [major] independent films.

Building off from his busy schedule — currently scoring a feature film, producing two albums, and soon scoring a TV series — it became clear to Vivek that he needed his own production sanctuary to work at any given moment of need or inspiration.  Now, when figuring out how to build a so-called ”home project studio,” it doesn’t hurt to have attended the Berklee School of Music, and also to have degrees in Electrical Engineering from major universities. That is when one’s “project studio” usually takes a turn for the better. ;)  Combining his skills and background in electro-acoustics, Vivek turned to acoustics consultant Kevin Lee Hughes who had recently worked on design for Capitol Studios in LA.  The result was a stunningly beautiful and intricate professional work-space written about here in this month’s issue of Mix Magazine.

 

We recently got a chance to quickly catch up with Vivek and find out how he’s been using SONAR: (more…)

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Cakewalk Participates at the New Music Seminar: June 22/23 NYC

Cakewalk and Gibson Brands will be participating in the New Music Seminar this week, so if you happen to be in NYC please make sure to stop in and say hello.  The New Music Seminar is one of the most prestigious music conferences in the United States, and is held annually each June in New York City.  It originally ran from 1980 – 1995 and was re-launched in 2009 with great reception by the music community. The conference features over 150 CEOs, Presidents, Executives, and leaders in the emerging music business along with over 100 artist performances. The mission of the New Music Seminar is to grow a sustainable and better music business to allow creators the best opportunity to succeed. The NMS strives to enable more artists to achieve success and encourages new levels of investment in music and artists.

Please join Cakewalk and Gibson Brands at New Music Seminar:

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Monday June 22, 2015 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
How to Train Your Computer to be a Songwriting Partner
Gibson Showroom
421 W 54th Studio 5
New York, NY 10019

Come join a private in-studio session at the Gibson Showroom [Cakewalk] Studio 5 NYC:  In a world of zeros and ones, where does the computer fit into traditional songwriting? Songwriter/producer, Mark Hudson, (“Living on the Edge,” Aerosmith – amongst other hits) and digital pioneer, Craig Anderton, along with producer/songwriter Jimmy R. Landry will interactively cover new approaches to songwriting for the modern-day musician.

 

 

 

Tuesday June 23, 2015 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Leveraging The Relationship: Artist and Brand Alignment:
Gramercy Park Suite
Wyndham New Yorker Hotel
481 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001

With the shifting paradigm of the music industry and how artists engage with fans, the importance of relationship management is more imperative than ever. What’s the protocol for artists approaching companies and brands, and once that relationship is established how can it be leveraged for the benefit of both? This panel will dive into strategic plans for artists looking for endorsements and partnerships, while also dissecting past examples that have resulted in success.

Conductor: Jimmy Landry (Head of Artist and Public Relations, Gibson Brands)

Players: Perry Greenspan (Director of Strategy, Platinum Rye Entertainment), Elliot A. Resnick, Esq. (Attorney at Law, SAHWH, LLP), Aimee Berger (Founder/Partner Camplified/ItACampThing, Primary Wave Entertainment), Amaechi Uzoigwe (Manager, RUN THE JEWELS), Ryan Fitch (VP Sync Licensing & Brand Partnerships, MAC Presents)

 

Tuesday 2:30 pm – 2:45 pm  - NMS Intensive:

Grand Ballroom
Wyndham New Yorker Hotel
481 8th Ave, New York, NY 10001

Hi-Res Audio: So What?

Conductor: Craig Anderton (Executive Vice President, Evangelist, Gibson)

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Cakewalk at Gearfest 2015 with iLan Bluestone

On Friday/Saturday June 12th and 13th, Cakewalk and Gibson will be part of a great music event in Fort Wayne, IN called “Gearfest 2015.”  What once started out as a smaller “musician’s conference,” has now transformed into a collective gear-fanatic affair where music equipment enthusiasts from all over the U.S. and beyond converge upon this mid-sized mid-west town.  It’s certainly impressive and appreciated by many that Sweetwater has put this much care and effort into bringing together over 400 manufactures along with hundreds of presenters to this world-class event.

On Friday June 12th 11:15am at Gearfest, Cakewalk will be presenting a very interesting panel with U.K. based SONAR Platinum user iLan Bluestone.  In the last year, Bluestone has gone from newcomer, to one of the most in-demand new acts on the international dance music scene.  This presentation will be an exclusive interview geared [no pun intended] towards a day in the life of a successful touring electronic musician/DJ in today’s industry.  The interview will be followed by a demonstration of iLan’s approach to music production on SONAR Platinum.

Also presenting on 2 panels at Gearfest will be Gibson’s own Craig Anderton.

Friday, June 12th, 11:30am – Everything You Need to Know About Dynamics (Craig Anderton) [Conference Hall 2, Room A]
Saturday, June 13th, 9:45am – How to Master in Your DAW (Craig Anderton) [Conference Hall 2, Room A]
Saturday, June 13th, 11:15am – A Conversation with EDM Producer iLan Bluestone (Jimmy Landry/iLan Bluestone) [Conference Hall 2 Room A]

Details:
Sweetwater Gearfest 2015

Sweetwater Campus
5501 US Hwy 30W
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

We hope to see you there!

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