The Evolution of Comping

Compiling or “Comping” takes is relatively new to sound recording. With the increased ability of technology has come the increased desire to comp with excruciating attention to detail, sometimes all the way down to a syllable or note, to create “The Perfect Take.”

The Acoustic and Electrical Eras (1877-1945)EdisonPhonograph

When audio recording was first introduced, it was an entirely mechanical process. Comping did not exist. In fact, neither did mixing as we know it. Everything was recorded in one take, and level adjustments were made by moving musicians closer to or farther from the horn–essentially the microphone of its time.

In the primitive stages of this recording format, it was not uncommon to have copies of the same record that sounded entirely different. This was because if a band wanted to release 1,000 copies of a song, they would have to record it 1,000 different times, each take resulting in its own uniquely-performed copy.
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Multi-track Drum Editing – Crossfading and Critical Listening

by Dan Gonzalez

In the past 3 articles we have looked at basic tools for drum editing as well as identifying, splitting, cropping, and aligning clips. All of these techniques can be followed pretty accurately by reading along and performing the functions as I’ve written them. This portion of the blog series will require that you listen intently to what you’re doing as we work through it.

Make sure to wear headphones and get your critical listening ears on so that your drum edits are clean and not full of pops. Previously I mentioned that we would need to monitor our drums as we edit them and that erroneous edits come through the most in the cymbal microphones. In order to make this possible we’re going to mute the tom tracks and lower the volume for the kick and snare tracks. This exposes mostly high hat, ride, and overhead microphone signals. Also, make sure to pan the overhead microphone signals hard left and right too.

STEP 14: Turn on Auto Crossfade

SONAR is known for it’s streamlined feel and quick functions. One of the best examples of this is SONAR’s auto cross-fade functionality. Since we’re  putting this drum pattern back together we’ll need some speedy way of making sure the clips do not pop when overlapping.

Within the track view click on the Options > Auto Crossfade. This feature allows you to crop one clip into another and automatically yield a cross fade. Continue reading Multi-track Drum Editing – Crossfading and Critical Listening

Keyboard Shortcuts and the SONAR X1 LogicKeyboard

 

Keyboard Shortcuts are at the heart of any DAW’s workflow, and SONAR X1 is no exception. And the QWERTY keyboard is still the central way in which we use those shortcuts and interface with our DAWs in general.

Traditional keyboards aren’t labelled for anything other than a particular language. However, the custom made, slimline, SONAR X1 LogicKeyboard has SONAR’s default Keyboard Shortcuts printed right onto its 125 multi-colored keys.

When we designed SONAR X1 we took many of the old, not-so-logically organized Shortcuts, threw them onto the table, and reorganized them into Shortcuts that we thought would be not only easier to remember, but also into groups of like Shortcuts that go together, which we call Key Clusters.

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Music Radar’s 12 Ways to Get More Out of SONAR 8.5

SONAR 8.5Make your New Year’s resolution one that you can be proud of. Dare to be more adventurous as a music-maker in 2010 with Music Radar’s 12 Ways to Get More Out of SONAR 8.5. With this guide, you’ll be able to manipulate SONAR’s tools for composing, editing and mastering your projects in ways you never thought possible.

Did you know that you can assign SONAR’s virtual instruments, such as Session Drummer 3, as well as project views, like the Matrix view, to your favorite controller? Trigger pre-loaded sounds and patterns from your controller with these tools and you’ll have a musical mash-up like no other. Does your vocal track need a little work? Use V-Vocal to create multi-part harmonies and AudioSnap to tweak the timing for a more realistic performance.

These tips and more can be found in hard-copy. Pick up Computer Music Magazine (January 2010) for a complete guide to the creatively-charged, SONAR 8.5.

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.

An Affordable Alternative for Mobile Recording

VS-100-Multiple_Screenshots_Black_BGRecording your music, whether on the road or in studio, can be a costly venture. Expenses for instruments, equipment, session time and sound engineers can land you in serious debt. Many of today’s musicians take the DIY approach, either hiring friends in the biz or building their own home studios, to save time, money and resources.

Cakewalk’s V-Studio 100 is a perfect companion for the ‘new age’ musician. An all in one portable music studio, the V-Studio 100 is a high quality audio and MIDI interface, DAW controller, digital mixer and SD Recorder. You can take the unit to a live gig, plug in your instruments, and record the entire show with an SD card. With it’s on-board effects (Reverb, EQ, Compression), the V-Studio 100 doubles as a digital mixer during your live performance. Prefer to record in your home studio? The V-Studio 100 is also Mackie-control friendly, compatible with both Mac and PC DAWs.

As described in the latest issue of Tape Op, the V-Studio 100 is a “very cost-effective package for recording.” The reviewer, Alan Tubbs, goes on to say, “I’m sure you could rig up a similar system out of various components, but it wouldn’t be as compact and would most likely cost more.”

Pick up the latest issue of Tape Op magazine to learn how Cakewalk’s V-Studio 100 can save you more than just a few dollars.

Producing Live DVDs with SONAR

Trev-Wilkins--Scadge-ProducFrom time to time, Engineer and Owner of Scadge Productions, Trev Wilkins gives us a brief update on his travels on the road and in studio. Here’s the latest:

It’s been a long time since I updated the blog but (fortunately) that’s due to being very busy.

The Albert Lee and Hogan’s Heroes DVD, Live in Rome, should be on sale now (everywhere!) after being completely mixed and tweaked in SONAR.

There’s another live album still in progress for Neil Innes (the 7th Python) and his reformed band Fatso from their anniversary tour. It includes a wide range of material that I recorded during the tour including Monty Python and Rutles songs. Currently residing in a SONAR folder, it should be out early next year.

We’ve just finished part II of the Raymond Froggatt Live DVD which should be going to press very soon. The band liked our setup so much that they’ve purchased SONAR and will be recording some material for their next album in our studio.

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Berklee Professor Steve MacLean Talks SONAR in the Classroom

Berklee-Online-LogoHello to all SONAR users!

In efforts to empower artists and music producers it is hard for me to imagine the huge numbers of students I’ve had the opportunity to work with over a 20 year span.  This happens in every format from private one-on-one or small group classes to many years in Berklee classrooms along with the Berklee online school (teaching production techniques in SONAR).  A range of numbers somewhere between 12,000 and 20,000 students is a not so calculated guess!  The truth is that I’m grateful for every one of them as each helped teach me to be a better coach and teacher along with all of the wonderful and amazing musical rewards when students apply what they have learned.  It gives me great satisfaction to know that these people will continue making progress and developing the music careers they wanted. 

One area of confusion that constantly comes up is this: 

I often notice that the technology almost forces people to work in ways that are very unnatural for what they are trying to do.  A great example of this is when the type of musical “style” the student is pursuing vigorously is ultimately made to sound lifeless and sterile.  You might ask, how can the musical style play such a huge role in the successful outcome of various production projects?

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SONAR’s Snap to Grid Function Makes Editing Easier

Cakewalk_Tips-smEditing your tracks can be the most tedious and time consuming part of the whole music-making process. In almost every project, you’re going to need to do things like line up your Acapella track, line up your Loops and Groove Clips, syncopate your Drum clip, extend the intro or outro, add a break, etc.

DJ Serg, one of today’s hottest remix artists, makes editing much easier by giving you this in-depth look at the Snap Options in SONAR. Now, you can spend less time changing the settings and more time expressing your creativity.

What do Garageband & Cakewalk Have In Common?

We stumbled across this video on Youtube and thought it answered the question quite well! The creator of this video, Versyke, shows off his very first song created on the computer. He recorded his guitar solo using Cakewalk’s UA-1G USB Audio Interface and brought the track into Garageband for final editing.

Whether you’re using Garageband or SONAR to create music, Cakewalk’s new audio and midi interfaces can be used to record great tracks with today’s most popular music programs on Mac and/or PC.