HOW UPGRADING TO SONAR X3 GAVE THESE PRO ARTISTS AN EDGE

Luigie Gonzalez
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Grammy nominated Producer, Songwriter, Mixer, Multi-Instrumentalist

“When I walk into sessions with my SONAR machine, I hear ‘what is THAT’ a lot from other producers and artists.  And then like clockwork, I hear a lot of ‘whoah’ and ‘wow’ when they see what I can do beyond their limitations.  I’ll never forget Jimmy Jam being blown away once in a studio when I started getting my sounds going in SONAR – that was a pretty cool feeling because he could see and hear what made my **** sound different from other producers on the scene at that time.”  

Since upgrading to SONAR X3, my favorite new feature is the Nomad plugin suite.

The Nomad Bundle that comes with X3  has been a go-to for me when boosting mid and high frequencies.   The mids are awesome and super-musical!  I also usually use them for HiHats to boost 8KHz – 16KHz without sounding to square-digital or harsh.   It just has a nice sizzling tone that sounds so different than any other plugin in my arsenal of VSTs.  When I mix I am very observant of the “stereo image,” and Nomad’s “Imager” is the trick to help make room for things.  Also, I use the Tempo Delay often because of its warmth and versatility.   I also, love the Tempo Delay’s parameter controllers – having 3 independent delay configurations is great to achieve the perfect delay tone in my mixes.  I can really get unique sounds with the delays and shape them to my heart’s content.

On the other hand, I cannot live without the Console Emulator (I believe this was new to X2 but it just never gets old)…  It just opens my mixes in such organic ways that have I become addicted to it!  I use the trident (A-type) mode for kicks, bass and everything with low end character because it adds great sub harmonics.  The SSL (S-Type) I use for snares, kicks and everything in between to achieve that pocket /punchy sound which warms up the top end frequencies without dulling the sound.  The Neve (A-Type) for Vocals, synths, guitars and everything that needs to sound frontal or cut through mix.  It helps my “center” in the mixes along with some nice mid-frequency response.

I always add a bit of drive (Console Emulator) to my buses to emulate the console circuitry saturation because it works without distorting anything too much – just enough to add more random harmonics and make the whole mix sound even more organic and full.  I think the Console Emulator is one of the best features to SONAR in a long time, and I’m very happy Cakewalk implemented it as part of the ProChannel.

Track coloring is also something I was waiting for some time.   It helps me keep organized especially when mixing 100 plus tracks sessions which is usually the case for me.  It’s so smart that the track colors respond to the bus colors, this way I stay even more organized by visually understanding my large mixes.

I really dig the QuadCurve ProChannel EQ as well.   It’s super-transparent and colorless on certain modes which plays an important part when carving very precise frequencies.   It’s kind of like the FabFilter but the fact that it’s part of the ProChannel makes it easier and faster to use.  It’s also dead-precise while still sounding amazingly clean!

~Luigie Gonzalez

DJ Spooky
Location: New York City and The Poles
Producer, Music/Song/Sound Creator, Author, Visionary

When you are as diverse of an artist as DJ Spooky you need some serious music-creation tools.  Take Of Water and Ice for example.  This album is the result of DJ Spooky’s art residency at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Of Water and Ice is a composition for string quartet and video that evolved out of his large-scale multimedia work Sinfonia Antarctica: an exploration of the composition of ice and water, and our relationship to the vanishing environment of the arctic poles. DJ Spooky created The Book of Ice based on his travels to the poles. All of the electronic sounds are generated by interpretations of either algorithms that mirror the geometry in ice crystals or the math of climate change data.

“The biggest asset to me upgrading to SONAR X3 was the speed Continue reading HOW UPGRADING TO SONAR X3 GAVE THESE PRO ARTISTS AN EDGE

Professional SONAR users weigh in on SONAR X3 – Stability, Performance, & Workflow

X3 is being hailed as the most rock solid edition since SONAR’S inception.  Beyond the new tools and features, a lot of work was put into the core functionality of the program to make sure that even top-notch music-making professionals would find performance improvements.  From the Skylight User Interface enhancements, to audio engine improvements – and everything in between, professional users who depend on SONAR day-in and day-out for their livelihood are weighing in:

 

Timothy Wynn (Sonic Fuel Studios / SonicFuel.net) – Los Angeles, CA

Congratulations to SONAR X3 user Timothy Wynn on winning Best Score at the CineRockom Film Festival for “The Liberator” this year.  With several globally successful franchises already to his credit ranging from blockbuster video games such as Command & Conquer, Dungeon Siege, GUN, The Punisher, Red Faction, 2K’s The Darkness II, The Simpsons and Warhawk to music in the hit television series Supernatural, Tim Wynn has gained international recognition as a leader in a new generation of highly talented and versatile composers.

Most recently, Timothy used SONAR to work on the feature films “The Starving Games” and “MK Reloaded (2014),” while also scoring EA Sports Madden 25 with Chris Lennertz.

“Cakewalk software has always been great for me in general, but this round of SONAR has really been stepped up.  SONAR X3 is the most stable DAW I have ever used.   I’m running huge projects Continue reading Professional SONAR users weigh in on SONAR X3 – Stability, Performance, & Workflow

How Jon Lee Uses SONAR X1 Expanded to Create Music for Some of America’s Favorite TV Shows

Some artists spend more time trying to catapult their image into the status spotlight than they do actually creating music.  Some artists lay low under the radar diligently doing their thing.  In this day and age, there really is no right or wrong way to be an artist in the music industry, you just have to do what you do best and run with it.  If the content is great, it will find its way.

A great artist example of this notion in my book is SONAR X1 Expanded user Jon Lee.  Working and residing in Santa Monica, Jon Lee lays low under the radar while creating music and sound-scapes for some of today’s most popular “verite” style TV reality shows.  If you have seen the show Cops, than you are probably familiar with one of the most prominent production companies in the biz, “Langley Productions.”

Continue reading How Jon Lee Uses SONAR X1 Expanded to Create Music for Some of America’s Favorite TV Shows

Jon Lee: Capitalist Turned Composer

profile picSo how does one of the top television-scoring professionals in the business get to where he is today? 

If you’re Jon Lee, first you run a hedge fund for 15 or 20 years…

Huh?

You’ll have to forgive Jon for not taking a more traditional route to the top of the film and television-scoring business. He found his true calling a bit later in life than most. But that hasn’t stopped him from making quite a name for himself in the field.

Although Jon started out in finance, it became a job he ended up “totally hating.” During his last few years in the business, he decided to do something about it and began pursuing his avocation: learning to play music. He took piano lessons, which eventually led him to composing. With the music bug firmly in his system, he soon enrolled at the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, where he studied with many well-established composers.

Jon got his Graduate Certificate in Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television, marking the formal end of his career in finance, and set out to land some initial gigs. He soon connected with fellow USC alum Timothy Michael Wynn, a hardcore SONAR user who co-founded the music production company Sonic Fuel. Jon went to work with Tim and his partner Chris Lennertz for about a year, “’til they kicked me out and said ‘go get a career,’” as Jon jokingly recalls.

Continue reading Jon Lee: Capitalist Turned Composer