SONAR X3: Under The Hood Of Our Demo Machines

 

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

1. The HP 17″ inch Z-Book

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Subtractive EQ Part 5: When Should I Boost EQ?

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.

Conclusion
Mixing is as much of an art as it is understanding the logical ways that instruments interact with one another. (more…)

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Subtractive EQ Part 4: Bass

Miss part 1? Read Subtractive EQ – Snare Drum.

Bass
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.

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Subtractive EQ Part 3: Kick Drum

Miss part 1? Read Subtractive EQ – Snare Drum.

The Kick Drum
If the snare was the primary listening point for Rock music then the kick drum is the second most important. By working in the guitars in over the snare I was then met with the challenge of working in a solid kick drum sound. This kick drum was tracked using two different kick drum microphones, one deeper into the drum than the other. For reference, the first kick signal is called the “Kick-In” microphone and the second is the “Kick-Out” signal. (This is one example of the nomenclature used by many engineers to differentiate between the different microphones placed on a drum set)

Kick In

I started by blending the two signals (more…)

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Free SONAR X3 Explained video with any SONAR X3 purchase – Ends March 31

SONAR X3 Explained

Go pro with SONAR X3 for as low as $49 – plus get a free video
Create music in any style with cutting-edge instruments, effects, and creative tools. Thanks to the award-winning Skylight user interface, SONAR X3 lets you move seamlessly in your production workspace, instantly going from recording to editing to mixing and back again. Produce flawless tracks with the 64-Bit Double Precision audio engine and upload polished mixes directly to YouTube and SoundCloud. Plus, SONAR X3 lets you do it all without limiting the number of tracks and plugins; all while supporting the latest technologies like VST3, multi-touch, and Gobbler cloud save.

PLUS GET A $40 VIDEO: When you purchase or upgrade to SONAR X3 from February 1st-March 31st you will also receive the Groove 3 SONAR X3 Explained video free ($40 value). Watch and learn as SONAR guru, Eli Krantzberg, takes you from beginning to end, showing how to unleash the true power of this fully featured, cutting edge DAW. The Groove 3 SONAR X3 Explained video will automatically be added to your order and available for immediate download.

Download SONAR X3 today
Upgrade for as low as $49

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Subtractive EQ Part 2: Heavy Rhythm and Lead Guitars

Did you miss Part 1? Read Subtractive EQ for Snare Drum.

Guitars
Your guitar tone can change significantly by carving out the correct frequencies and reducing those that introduce unwanted noise. Distorted electric guitars tend to occupy most of the mid-range based on their nature of their sound. This mix was tricky because the band is instrumental and their music relies heavily on the layering of multiple guitar tones.

Rhythm Guitar 1

Here I have chosen to attenuate the unwanted rumbling of the of the low end of the rhythm guitars using the supplied HPF. The bass guitar is rather guitar-like in this song therefore it is important to make room for that. The HPF for Guitar 1 was applied at 50Hz and similarly to Guitar 2 at 47Hz. Why not the exact same frequency you ask? Having the slightest (more…)

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Subtractive EQ Part 1: Snare Drum

Introduction
Equalization is one of the most powerful tools that an audio engineer can get their hands on. Live engineers, post-production engineers, and recording engineers all have their specific uses for it. It’s so powerful that some beginner engineers habitually reach for it without understanding what it can ultimately do to a mix.

Overview
Let’s resonate on the concept of volume momentarily. It is in our human nature to enjoy music at high volume levels. Concerts are a great examples of this. Outdoor festivals and the like tend to blast our eardrums with massive amounts of volume that we cannot experience in any other format. To most, increasing volume directly correlates to better sound. In a mix setting, dramatically boosting various frequencies can be a crutch for inexperienced mix engineers. By increasing the gain of a specified frequency band on an EQ one can subsequently add unwanted gain to the overall mix. Typically the problem that follows is a battle to keep your master fader from clipping and you all of sudden feel stuck in a gain-staging paradox. This can happen to best of us.

In Use
Apply subtractive EQ techniques to your instruments. Instead of boosting your favourite signals try limiting yourself to cutting. We can call this concept “carving”. Let’s take a look at a musical example. This series of articles will demonstrate some key elements of a typical Rock Mix.

Snare
Generally the snare is the focal point of a typical rock oriented mix. I’ve started with all my faders down and raised the snare to a suitable level: 0dBu. This recording was tracked with two snare microphones. The bottom snare microphone captured the sizzle of the snare and the top microphone captured much of the attack.

Snare Bottom EQ

The first drawbacks I noticed when isolating the snare recordings (more…)

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Better together: Try SONAR X3 and Melodyne For Free!

What could be better than Melodyne Essential included with every copy of SONAR X3 Studio & SONAR X3 Producer? Only full integration of Melodyne in SONAR through ARA technology.

The future is here folks! This means the best pitch correction, time stretching, and audio to MIDI conversion in the business are at your command in SONAR X3 Studio & Producer. Whether there’s a flat note in a vocal, or you want to adjust phrasing, Melodyne makes it a snap to polish your recordings.

By adding support for ARA technology (Audio Random Access), we were able to seamlessly integrate Melodyne Essential into SONAR’s Skylight interface. This means no waiting for data to transfer into the Editor. Simply click to open the audio clip and get to work. To convert audio to MIDI, simply drag and audio clip onto a MIDI track and Melodyne takes care of the rest. And if you are using any other version of Melodyne or plan to upgrade, you get to enjoy the same level of integration automatically.

Best of all, ARA integration is available in the SONAR X3 Free Trial!  Download the 30-day Melodyne Trial to experience both together and see (more…)

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SONAR X3 Making Its Mark in the LA Scene

On the backend of the 2014 NAMM Show, we had an opportunity to take a spin around LA and drop in on a few SONAR users hard at work.  From rock, to EDM and just about every genre in between, here are what some SONAR X3 users in the LA scene are up to:

Adventure Club

While we were making the rounds, we were lucky enough to find out that the Canadian duo Adventure Club was camping out in downtown LA for a while with their mobile SONAR rig.  Adventure Club is defining a new wave of modern musicians and SONAR is at the forefront of their sonic assault.  Originally hailing from Montreal, the duo has recently been all over the globe playing to more and more dedicated fans after seeing the success of over 1.3 million views with their single “Gold” feat. Luna.  Their SONAR tracks have been streamed over a million times on Spotify, and they were noted in the 2013 Top 10 artists most consumed on SoundCloud.

AC has been touring across North America, as well as parts of Europe and Australia and has also played at various music festivals including the American Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, Nevada. They also made their first appearance at the Ultra Music Festival-2013 in Miami and additionally found themselves playing at the Ultra Music Festival in Seoul, South Korea in June 2013.

The duo’s remix of “Crave You” by the Flight Facilities was featured in the episode “Restraint” of the MTV television series Teen Wolf.  We got a chance to sit down with Christian and listen to some of his productions in SONAR and found it interesting to see how he gets some of his unique sounds (more…)

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Guitar Month Bonus Pack (Free Downloads)

Guitar month is almost over but we’ve saved the best for last: All customers can now download the Guitar Month Bonus Pack, which includes a selection of Craig Anderton’s AdrenaLinn loops that he sampled using Roger Linn’s famous AdrenaLinn effects pedal.

Download AdrenaLinn guitar loops

Craig has also designed a one-of-a-kind Bass Guitar Instrument for Dimension Pro that samples one of the eight basic sounds obtainable with a real Gibson EB 5-String electric bass, and includes five programs based on these samples.

Download Gibson EB-5 Bass for Dimension Pro

And, in case you missed them, here are two free guitar FX Chains that Craig posted on the blog earlier in Guitar Month. Now go make some music!

CA Power Chord FX Chain

CA Vintage Wah FX Chain

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