Reader’s Choice: The most popular mixing articles of 2014

by Dan Gonzalez
Mixing is and always will be one of the core elements of each and every DAW. Here at Cakewalk, SONAR features hundreds of a ways to mix and process your tracks for personal and commercial use. Here are some of the most popular articles we have featured in 2014.

How to use Reverb to create depth

Mix engineers that have had their time behind a board can pick out the misuse of Reverb when they hear it. Just like with anything, applying the proper Reverb requires more time than just scrolling through the presets of the basic Hall, Room, and Plate algorithms. Music tends to have a significant three-dimensional experience to it. This concept requires the understanding of width, height, and depth. Check out this article on how to use reverb in your mix.

Subtractive EQ Parts 1-5

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. Check out this 5 part series about how to properly apply EQ

6 creative ways to use the VKFX-Delay

Overloud’s VKFX Delay Module is a rendition of a classic tape delay with an incredible set of parameters that virtually allows you to get just about any sound you please. Check out this frequently read article about how to use this powerful ProChannel module.

Know Your Signal Flow in SONAR

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. Read the article here.

Ten Nasty Mix Mistakes

Mixing is tough enough as is, but avoiding the following mistakes just might help the process go a little more smoothly—and give you audibly better results. Check out this awesome article by Craig Anderton.

Thanks for reading!

 

Virtual Instruments: 5 Tips For The Z3TA+ Junkie

Here are some of our favorite Z3TA+ tips and videos from our archive:

1. EDM Production – Enhance Your Drums with Z3TA+ 2

  • Insert two instances of Z3TA+ 2.
  • Copy your drum sequence to both Z3TA+ 2 tracks.
  • Isolate the Kick on one track and the Snare on the other.
  • Setup the first Z3TA+ 2 to generate a Sine Wave for the Kick.
  • Setup the second Z3TA+ 2 to generate White Noise for the Snare.
  • Adjust the Amplifier Envelope to match the duration of each hit.
  • Within Z3TA+ 2 add Reverb, Compression, and EQ.
  • Mix in under your existing Drum Loop.

2. How to Customize Z3tA+ 2’s Stock Arpeggios

Z3TA+ 2 comes packed with a massive pool of MIDI programs that power it’s internal Arpeggiator, but why stick to the stock programs when you can make your own?

Here’s how:

  • Open Z3TA+2 and activate the Arpeggiator Section
  • Right-Click on the sequence in the arpeggiator and make sure the following are checked
  • Auto Disable Pattern When Dragged to Host
  • Auto Fit Patterns to One Measure When Loaded
  • Load one of the Arpeggios from the Pattern menu
  • Drag and Drop the Arpeggios right into SONAR X2
  • Edit the MIDI Clip to your liking
  • Go to File > Save As
  • Select MIDI 0 in “Save as type”
  • Go to C:\Cakewalk Content\Z3TA+ 2\MIDI Arpeggios and Save it
  • Load it into Z3TA+2′s Arpeggiator by going to Pattern > Load MIDI File…

3. How to create a bass synth with Z3tA+ 2

Who doesn’t like bass? Especially synth bass. Z3TA+ 2 is the answer to all of your sound design needs especially when you are looking to improve your production in the low end. I’ve put together a short tutorial on how to make a simple bass synth inside of Z3TA+2. Once you understand how everything works together you’ll be able to really start to make this plugin work for you.

Picking the right Oscillators

Within Z3TA+2 the first section you need to start working with is the OSC section. First I’ve selected two different square waves for OSC 1 and 2. They were Vintage Square 1 and Vintage Square 2. When creating a bass synth you need to make sure that your patch will not break up in the low end so be sure not to drop the octaves on the individual oscillators too low. I typically set mine to -2 at the most. Once you get to a certain range the instrument will sound weak and lose it’s driving Bass Synth sound

[READ THE REST OF THE TIP HERE]

4. [VIDEO] Digital Sound Factory Z3TA+  Sound Design

5. [VIDEO] Mixing and Mastering a song using only the Z3TA+ effects engine in SONAR

Free Download: White Knuckle Bass Presets for TH2 Producer

I sat down with some of my best session players to collaborate on 50 presets for TH2 Producer that are sure to add some grit to your low-end instruments. It’s no secret that my passion is mostly in the Rock and Metal world of music and I’ve felt that Bass doesn’t get enough love in those genres. Below are 5 examples from the Free Download that outline some great Rock and Metal lead, rhythm, clean, and ambient effects and I would definitely pull out of my bag of tricks for a record.

1. Pick Rhythm

Here’s a style of playing called “Djent” that has been popular in the last couple years. Typically this sound is done with down-tuned guitars but why not just use a bass? I’ve double-tracked this recording to give a wider sound Continue reading Free Download: White Knuckle Bass Presets for TH2 Producer

SONAR X3 Quicktip: Play Guitar, Convert it to Bass

There are times when you are in a bind and need to get a solid bass line down, but there is not bass player in site. Well, now in SONAR X3 you can easily record your bass parts on any instrument and convert it to a virtual bass instrument using the new ARA integration.

First let’s plugin the instrument of your choice. For me, the closest instrument was an acoustic guitar. I’ve been playing around with some chord changes recently and I need a solid walking bass line to jam along with. Unfortunately I don’t have a bass guitar close-by so I’m going record the bass line on the guitar Continue reading SONAR X3 Quicktip: Play Guitar, Convert it to Bass

Special Offer: Dimension LE Virtual Instrument for $19.99

With over 400 sounds, Cakewalk’s Dimension LE virtual instrument for Mac and PC, packs a sonic punch. It’s classic synth sounds coupled with Garritan Pocket Orchestra (strings, bass, woodwinds, piano, and percussion) is everything you need to create one-of-a-kind compositions. Powered by Cakewalk’s Expression Engine, Dimension LE supports multi-sample rendering, wavetable synthesis, waveguide synthesis, REX playback / manipulation, and includes an extensive DSP library of effects.

Don’t settle for the same old sounds. Purchase Dimension LE through April 30, 2010 at the Cakewalk E-Store for only $19.99!

Cakewalk’s Portable Recording Solution for Guitarists & Singer-Songwriters

Every year at this time, Cakewalk travels to Frankfurt, Germany to attend Europe’s largest music trade show event, Musikmesse. This year, we are pleased to launch the V-Studio 20 from the show floor.

As the third product in the V-Studio line of integrated hardware and software by Cakewalk and Roland, the V-Studio 20 is an affordable, all-in-one option for recording musicians. The V-Studio 20 is designed for guitarists and singer-songwriters who want a simple way to make music on the computer with professional results. The V-Studio 20 lets users easily plug in a guitar or microphone and record their tracks to the computer with legendary BOSS effects.


Introducing: V-Studio 20 for Guitarists & Singer-Songwriters

With the V-Studio 20, you can:

– Connect your instrument to the V-Studio 20 hardware
– Dial up the perfect guitar or vocal tone using genuine BOSS effects
– Choose a backing track, hit record, and play your part
– Use the V-Studio 20 as a control surface for mixing and playback
– Master a song and then burn a CD or share your mp3 online

Click on over to our V-Studio Products page for more information on this exciting new product.

Cakewalk’s V-Studio 100 Tops ‘Sound Guys’ Holiday Wishlist

V-Studio 100The Ask A Sound Guy bloggers, Ben and Sanjay, were first introduced to Cakewalk’s V-Studio series last winter at the NAMM Show. The smaller of the two units, the V-Studio 100, impressed them so much that they included the unit in their 2009 Holiday Wishlist.

When they later got hold of a unit to review, they put the portable music studio through its paces. Ben began by recording vocals and electric guitar remotely using the V-Studio 100’s built-in XLR inputs (with phantom power). “The preamps were exactly what you would be looking for in an interface like this,” he exclaimed. “They’re quiet, transparent, and boost the signal accordingly.”

To track the project live, Ben used the V-Studio 100’s on-board EQ and Compression. And to edit and mix the project, Ben integrated the V-Studio 100 with his own DAW. “I set it up to be used inside Logic and Live, and it worked well both times. The 100mm touch-sensitive motorized fader was a really nice feature to have. It’s probably more of a personal thing, but I enjoy seeing a fader move when its reading back automation inside my DAW of choice.”

Lastly, in hopes of pushing the envelope of the V-Studio 100, Ben recorded a full band (drums, bass, guitar and vocals) in a rehearsal space situation. He placed “two mics on the drums, a SM57 on the guitar cab, condenser on the bass cab, and vocals directly into the V-Studio.” Although it was live and “sloppy rock and roll,” Ben reported that the band was pleased with the final recording.

In all, Ben recommends the V-Studio 100 to producers, engineers and musicians on a budget, looking for an “all in one” solution for music production.

Visit Ask A Sound Guy to read the full review.

Classic Cakewalk Tip: Complete Guide to using Rewire with SONAR

SONAR & SONAR Home Studio’s ability to work with ReWire brings exciting new possibilities to already comprehensive programs. ReWire is a software technology that allows two programs to work together in a tightly integrated way. Want to use Propellerhead Software’s Reason as a rack of virtual instruments for SONAR or Home Studio? Done. How about shooting ReBirth’s cool drum and bass line modules into SONAR or Home Studio to get rhythm section ideas down fast? Easy. Care to integrate the live performance features of Ableton’s Live! with backing tracks previously recorded in SONAR or Home Studio? Sure.

Do all this and more with Craig Anderton’s Guide to Rewire at Cakewalk.com

V-Studio 100 Hits Store Shelves Worldwide

The portable music production studio, SONAR V-Studio 100, is now shipping worldwide!

The second product in the SONAR V-Studio line of integrated hardware and software by Cakewalk and Roland is a compact, feature rich, music production studio that enables musicians to create, record, produce, and perform music with or without a computer. SONAR V-Studio 100 is ideal for the musician, singer-songwriter, MC, producer, or engineer on-the-go, regardless of whether they use a Mac or PC.

How will SONAR V-Studio 100 fit your production needs? Read on to found out:

Continue reading V-Studio 100 Hits Store Shelves Worldwide

First Impressions of V-Studio 700: Danny Klein

Just a few weeks ago, Cakewalk’s Zac Kenney met up with Boston-based bassist Danny Klein at Guitar Center-Boston to pick up his SONAR V-Studio 700. A Cakewalk pro-user since the Pro Audio days, Danny was looking for a new controller to use in his SONAR-outfitted studio. After many years producing his music with the Roland JP-1000 and then with an Alesis Mixer, Klein started to seek other alternatives. Since it’s a controller dedicated to SONAR and would speed up his workflow without the aid of a mouse, Danny knew he just had to get the SONAR V-Studio 700!

“I use SONAR V-Studio 700 because of the quality of the system (and the quality and reliability of Cakewalk / Roland products), the many features at a reasonable price, the ease of setting up and using the system and the seamless integration with my SONAR 8 Producer, making this system all I need to make professional recordings in my home studio.”

Danny Klein grew up in New Jersey and came to Massachusetts to study at Worcester Polytechnical Institute in the 1960’s. While attending WPI, he befriended J. Geils and Magic Dick, who taught Klein how to play a washtub bass. The trio formed the ‘J Geils Blues Band’. Eventually they hooked up with ex-Hallucinations percussionist Stephen Jo Bladd and his vocalist, Peter Wolf, as well as keyboardist / songwriter Seth Justman… thus setting the stage for 17 successful years touring as the ‘J. Geils Band’ from Boston.

The group recorded 17 albums and toured with the Rolling Stones, releasing such hits as ‘Centerfold’ and ‘Freeze Frame’. In February 2009, J. Geils Band reunited for the grand opening of the House of Blues-Boston and played two sold out shows at the Fillmore Theater in Detroit. Currently, the band is leaving the door open to new opportunities, hoping to play together again, soon.

In 1994, Danny founded the blues band ‘Stone Crazy’ (produced by J. Geils). The group released its first 14-track, self-entitled album in 2005 and performed its ‘bluesy grooves’ at select clubs throughout New England.

Danny’s latest project, ‘Danny Klein’s Full House Band,’ is a group of Boston’s well known and most talented musicians who come together to celebrate the music of the J.Geils band. Danny Klein’s Full House Band performs at many charitable events throughout the Boston area.

We congratulate Danny on all of his accomplishments and hope he enjoys working in studio with the new SONAR V-Studio 700!