Save time with FX Chain Presets – Plus Bonus FX Chains for SONAR X2 Producer users

We all know the feature-set and workflow in SONAR X2 is world-class.  It still amazes me that we can make Major Label sounding records in our homes these days as long as you have a good system, good enough ears and some good old fashion knowledge.  The one feature I personally love that I think gets overlooked is the FX Chain Preset.

We live in a musical world these days where time is of the essence.  While some folks have the luxury of spending as much time as needed on musical works, other folks like myself are not so lucky.  I look at it as a balance between creativity/quality vs. time/money.  With this being said, the FX Chains Presets have been a life-saver for me.

The beauty of FX Chains is that they are in fact a massive time-saver, but still allow you to get unique sounds by creating your own effects.

Time-saver:

What starts to happen when you uncap the power of FX Chains?  You start to build your own library of Effects where at any given point in time you can simply drag-and-drop a chain on any effect bin, bus, or even clip.  For example, let’s say you are working with a certain vocalist/songwriter one week who returns back for another song a month later.  If you have saved that vocalist’s chain as an effect chain preset, you can simply drag-and-drop it from the preset folder to the track in this new project.  It sounds basic but it’s not; what happens over time is that you develop your own catalogue of multiple effects that are instantly available to you on any project.  What is significant, is that these FX Chains presets work with any Cakewalk or third-party plug in your arsenal.  Personally speaking, I don’t know what I would do without them after becoming accustomed to their ease of use.  I’m constantly fighting for minutes in a day, and having the ability to fire-up FX Chains instantaneously without sacrificing any creativity has been a game-changer.  In fact FX Chains presets actually inspire me to create new sounds.

Unique Sounds:

It’s simple to map multiple effects’ parameters to single knobs and switches.  The uniqueness comes in to play when you start to automate the knobs and switches to get some interesting sounds.   The fact that you can control multiple parameters from a single source opens countless doors of sound-character.  For example, the ability to map the “left” and “right” panning sliders to one knob allows me to control where a reverb rests in a mix.  Now if you take that one step further by mapping the “left” and “right” pans of a delay to another knob, you can start to split effects’ signals up.  An interesting effect from here would be adding a flanger, and mapping its’ depth and speed parameters along with the delay’s feedback parameter to one more knob; so as the delay repeats more and more, the flanger effect becomes more intense.

These are just a few real-world examples of how I find the benefits of FX Chains very useful and practical.  SONAR X2 ships with 48 FX Chains in Essential, 76 in Studio, and 160 in Producer.  As a bonus for SONAR X2 Producer Content Club members, I’ve created a new set of 15 FX Chains that work particularly well on buses.   These can obviously work on tracks as well, but I built them in buses thinking they would work well on spacious recordings that encompass vocals, clean guitars, piano and light drums or percussion.  You can experiment with other types of music as well, but I think these are best suited for recordings where there is some room in the mid-range department between 600Hz and 2K.

Some of the highlighted presets in the bonus FX Chain Odyssey pack include:
(Please note for demonstration purposes I have turned up the Effect Send considerably on these examples.)

Circus Buzzards – An eerie reverse reverb that is entrenched in a warm overdrive provided by TH2 and finished off with a modulation option.

Panable Ambiance – A great reverb and delay effect for vocals where you can position the reverb in the stereo field.

Smoke Stack  – This is basically a button box where I have mapped overdrive parameters, wideners, and modulation to various knobs to create interesting overtones.

 

How to download the FX Chain Odyssey pack:

If you already own SONAR X2 Producer, the FX Chain Odyssey presets download is already in your account as a bonus treat from the SONAR X2 Producer Content Club.  If you purchase or upgrade to SONAR X2 Producer by April 30th, you will be able to download the presets from your account on the Cakewalk Store.

Customize your own FX Chains:

Another cool feature about FX Chains presets is the ability to customize the skin with your own designs. You can add interesting graphics, knobs, switches and background colors to keep your eye and mind fresh for those long mixing sessions.

So with all these components packed into the FX Chains preset feature, it’s easy to get uniquely creative while staying on top of the clock.  If you have not done so already, I highly recommend you get acclimated to the world of FX Chains in SONAR X2.  Here is a great overview video to get you started.

 

Thanks for reading and watching!  Try SONAR X2 for free today.

Get Started with SONAR X2 – Watch Free Tutorial Videos Now On Cake TV

CakeTV

Explore SONAR X2’s Skylight User Interface
SONAR X2 takes its award winning Skylight interface to a new level. Learn the basics of Skylight and get up and running quickly with a brand-new CakeTV video series. The first four videos in the series show Skylight’s fundamental features including – workflow with audio and MIDI clips, zooming and navigation, Screensets, and customizing Skylight’s versatile workspace. Watch them now on CakeTV.

Get Started: Skylight
Learn how to arrange Skylight’s workspace in SONAR X2, from docking windows in the MultiDock to rearranging the positions of the Inspector, Browser, and much more.

Get Started: Screensets
Learn how to use SONAR X2’s Screensets, which are ‘presets’ that remember the position, size, and state of every window, plugin, and synth.

Get Started: Zoom & Navigation
Learn how the various ways to zoom and navigate in SONAR X2 like Timeline Zoom.

Get Started: Audio & MIDI Clips
Learn how to work with SONAR X2’s clips, from applying fades, creating Groove Clips, time-stretching, and much more.

Learn more about SONAR X2 and try it for free

What’s in SONAR X1 Producer anyway?

What's in SONAR X1 Producer?

With the First-class Upgrade promotion happening in June, it’s a good time to review the amazing value you get with SONAR X1 Producer. Whether you are upgrading or looking for a new digital audio workstation (DAW), SONAR X1 Producer gives you hundreds of dollars in exclusive features, instruments, and effects that only Cakewalk can offer musicians, producers, and engineers.

Let’s start with a quick video which goes through all the SONAR X1 Producer exclusives:

Now let’s take a look at some of the exclusive features in-depth to see what makes SONAR X1 Producer so special. Continue reading What’s in SONAR X1 Producer anyway?

Life as a Cakewalker and new Get Started video

by Seth Perlstein

Every day that I work on a SONAR video is a good day. However, while it’s a lot of fun to create demonstration videos about a product that I’m deeply passionate about, it’s also a ton of work.

A perfect example of this is the Drum Production Master Class video that I recently created. In case you haven’t seen it it’s a five-part series of videos that goes over writing, arranging, and mixing drums in SONAR.

Despite being roughly forty-five minutes in length and covering a wealth of topics, the Master Class was originally supposed to be a simple Step Sequencer video. Being that the Step Sequencer involves so many other features in SONAR, things quickly ballooned and the video grew to unexpected proportions.

Screen capturing, editing, and doing voice over for that amount of material was a monumental task, though I didn’t realize it would be as such when I started. Thankfully the video turned out well and has received a warm reception from viewers.

Really, though, this is just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve created three categories of SONAR-based videos that we plan to enhance our library with.

* SONAR: Get Started – an introductory, basic overview of a feature, group of features, or plugin
* SONAR: Go Deeper – an in-depth, hands-on demonstration of a specific feature or plugin
* SONAR: Master Class – a comprehensive tutorial of a group of related features within a larger workflow

For example, for those who want to learn about the very basics of the PX-64 Percussion Strip plugin but don’t want to sit through an entire Master Class, I’ve created a Get Started: PX-64 Percussion Strip video.

And there’s so much more to come.

Next week we’ll release Go Deeper videos on PX-64 Percussion Strip and Drum Replacement with AudioSnap 2.0, and we have a laundry list of topics to cover in the coming weeks and months. If I’ve learned anything from making the Master Class video it’s that there’s plenty of fun, and hard work, ahead.

Stay tuned.

SP Headshot No CaptionSeth Perlstein is a Product Specialist for Cakewalk, Inc. He is also a bi-pedal humanoid residing on Planet Earth, a small, blue planet in the far reaches of the Milky Way Galaxy.