As you may know by now, the Bakers at Cakewalk are constantly on a mission to improve upon SONAR. Whether that’s a bug fix, a new feature, or a feature enhancement, we’re giving you the tools to be creative and get the job done. In 2016 we brought you workflow improvements for comping such as improved copy and paste functionality, keyboard shortcuts (adjusting stretch and crossfades), as well as visual improvements and customization options for take lanes. With the 2017.02 release we take things to a whole new level, with a host of new features based on your feedback. Don’t forget, if you have features or enhancements you’d like to see, drop us a line at bakery.cakewalk.com and let us make SONAR even better! For now, let’s dig in:
Celemony has graciously introduced a brand new Melodyne update to the world, and we’re including it in the SONAR Manchester Update free of charge for all Professional & Platinum customers with an active Rolling Updates Membership. What makes this Melodyne upgrade so great?
Edit Entire Mixes
Melodyne 4 introduces a new Universal algorithm, ideally suited to time-stretch and pitch-shift entire mixes. It also provides a more CPU-friendly way to edit polyphonic material without sacrificing any of the superior quality you expect from Melodyne.
Modern New Interface
Much like SONAR, Melodyne’s new UI has been designed to fit your workflow, adding customizable configurations and better information overviews. It’s also been optimized for compatibility and stability with all the latest 32-bit and 64-bit Operating Systems and DAWs.
Improved Tempo Detection
Melodyne 4’s new tempo algorithms detect tempos, time signatures and changes more accurately than ever before, allowing you to to match the tempo of any audio clip or loop to any other audio clip or loop more precisely.
Multi-Track Viewing (Melodyne Studio only)
SONAR users can enjoy the ability to view the data from multiple audio tracks all in one single Melodyne window, making it much faster and easier to synchronize notes on different tracks. This unprecedented new feature is useable exclusively in the current edition of SONAR.
For more information about Melodyne 4, please visit http://www.celemony.com/en/help/helpcenter
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|SONAR PLATINUM VS. SONAR X3 PRODUCER: IMPORTING AUDIO||THE EVOLUTION
by Dan Gonzalez
Optimizing vocals with DSP
Craig Anderton brings you on a DSP-inspired journey through all the different ways in which you can get your vocals processed and finalized. Various topics involving the VX-64, EQ, Compression, Expansion, and much more. Check out the article here.
How to use a vocal double to enhance lead vocals
One of the toughest things about working with a lead vocal track is getting it to pop out, while allowing it to still sit in the track nicely in context with its surroundings [other tracks]. Every mixing engineer has her/his bag of tricks, but here are a few ideas to utilize a “vocal-double” which may help support and embellish the lead vocal track. Cakewalk guru Jimmy Landry shows you how he worked on the vocals for his Javier Colon demo track. Check out the article here.
Make your voice sound thicker (studio & producer)
Vocal production can lead to many different types of processing. Sometimes subtle enhancements to your vocals can make all the difference in the final mix. SONAR X3 Studio and Producer introduces Melodyne Essential as a fully integrated and pitch correction editor. This easy to use software allows users to access their Melodyne right from the Multi-Dock without needing to perform any special tricks within the software – including fattening up your vocals. Check out this highly-read article here.
Make your voice sound like Daft Punk with Melodyne Editor and SONAR X3 Producer
Certain effects have defined generations of music. The decade of the 80’s for example was a major era for reverb. In today’s pop music, the use of pitch correction software seems to be an effect that many artists and producers are utilizing creatively. Daft Punk has been using this effect for a number of years now, making them one of the first to bring this vocal style to the level of popularity it is today. Check out the article here.
Hum a melody and convert it to MIDI using ARA
As a musician, inspiration can hit you on the train, during dinner, or even while you’re driving somewhere. Many musicians carry some sort of recorder around with them. I know sound designers who always have a device ready for taking samples, and guitarists that hum melodies to themselves when they feel they’ve come up with something original that they want to remember. Now you can import your melodies right into SONAR and convert them to MIDI using the innovative ARA integration. Check out the articles here.
1. SONAR has redefined mixing in the box.
The ProChannel redefines the way you work with the Console View. Each audio track, instrument track, and bus comes with a complete modular strip of analog effects. Even the inspector allows the users to preview a selected track’s ProChannel strip right from the Track View. With the click of a button users can expand this analog mixing console and fully customize it by dragging around the modules, or loading up a ProChannel presets. Load up the Compressors, Tube Saturation, Reverb, Console Emulators, Tap Emulators, and the new QuadCurve EQ Zoom with Analyzer by simply right-clicking. SONAR’s ProChannel lends itself to an immensely visual experienceand to enhance this feature a step further Cakewalk introduced the fly-out panel for the Quad Curve EQ (SONAR X3 Producer Exclusive). Adding this allows users to see and modify their audio signals in real-time across a spectrum analyzer.
2. The best pitch correction software that exists is fully integrated.
ARA technology is Celemony’s way of allowing DAW’s to host the functions of any audio edit capable plugin. ARA Integration means that Melodyne can now run as a fully integrated feature within SONAR X3. Yes, you read that correctly, SONAR X3 can now run the world’s best pitch correction as a native component and SONAR X3 Studio & Producer now include Melodyne Essential.
Melodyne interacts with the new Region FX clips in SONAR – allowing users to highlight any mono audio clip and apply Melodyne pitch correction. ARA’s high quality time stretching replaces the older time stretching capabilities run by AudioSnap and SONAR X3 has the ability to convert Audio to MIDI by simply dragging and dropping audio to a MIDI track. This deeply integrated technology makes SONAR perfect solution for complex pitch correction!
3. Floating windows get in the way, so SONAR solved that problem.
If you’re looking to purge your workflow of a cryptic DAW with an unsettling interface that is not conducive to a creative environment then you should really check out what SONAR’s been doing since the X-series overhaul. We’ve pretty much ended the floating window interface to bring users a more efficient musical experience. Our Smart Tools HUD can be accessed anywhere in the interface. Our main track view houses several different workflows that are a single click or shortcut away. Screen-sets lets you save window configurations and swap between them using your numerical keys. The list goes on and on and we’re continuing to make it better with more intuitive features.
4. It takes minutes to create something awesome.
There are programs that exist only to record and edit, and then there is SONAR – which is the major contender for the entire creative experience. Every part of SONAR’s MIDI and virtual instrument implementation allows users drag in, route, and start composing within seconds.
You can save your favorite instrument and track routing as track templates and load them into other projects without any hesitation. Complex routing tasks like a multi-track setup for Addictive Drums requires no thinking – just doing. Our synth rack stays separate from the Track View and Console view so that your processing plugins stay separate from your synthesis plugins. Organization, clarity, and not a second wasted, that’s why SONAR stays on top.
5. We don’t bundle useless plugins with SONAR.
The Nomad Factory Blue Tubes bundle ships with SONAR X3 and contains as many dynamic, time-based, and eq-based plugins that you could ever need. We have astounding instruments from AAS: Strum Acoustic SONAR, and Lounge Lizard SONAR. Lastly, Addictive Drums – which will make you want to fire your drummer and spark your MIDI programming addiction. It doesn’t stop there, check out the full list of effects and get yourself on board with the future of the DAWs.
6. You’re not limited to a Track Count or Plugin Count.
There’s always that moment when you realize that your DAW has hit a brick wall with the amount of plugins or tracks that it can handle at once. SONAR doesn’t have that problem, in fact it goes above and beyond to give you the best 64-bit architecture, unlimited tracks, buses, and effects that money can buy. We even have surround sound support! No need to constantly submix your tracks or work in parts because you don’t have thousands of dollars to drop on a “pro-system”. Even at our $99 value we’ve taken out track and effects limitations and still retain flagship features like ARA and VST3.
Upgrade to SONAR X3 Producer today!
Still not convinced? Check out SONAR free for 30-days.
by Dan Gonzalez
In modern EDM music you’ll see the use of audio loops everywhere. These could be created by a third party or by the person writing the music. It doesn’t matter, but what does matter is the music you create with those loops and how you construct them in a way that brands your own sound.
Do yourself a favor and check out Melodyne Editor. You can analyze and edit polyphonic data easily – and with SONAR X3 you can use this data to enhance and inspire the creation of new and innovative melodies for your music. Continue reading How To Create Melodies From Audio Loops with SONAR X3 & Melodyne Editor
If you liked this Quicktip Continue reading SONAR X3 / Melodyne Quicktip: Custom Screensets with Melodyne
If you liked this Quicktip Continue reading SONAR X3 / Melodyne Quicktip: Create Harmonies in a Region FX
If you liked this Quicktip Continue reading SONAR X3 / Melodyne Quicktip: Copy and Paste a Melody Region FX
Can’t quite hit the high or low notes? Melodyne usually can.
by Craig Anderton
If you don’t have a wide vocal range, you have to choose a vocal’s key very carefully—the low parts can’t go below your range, and if you’re going to hit the harmony notes, you have to pay attention to where the highest notes fall as well. Unfortunately the voice sometimes loses power when you start hitting your lower limits, but if you choose the best possible range for your lead vocal then you may have a hard time hitting the harmony’s high notes. What’s a singer to do?
My solution is to choose the optimum key for the lead vocal, then reach for Melodyne Essential to synthesize the harmonies. Most of the time I can hit the harmonies so I’ll sing them “for real” and bring in Melodyne as needed, but I’ve also found merit to using Melodyne to generate the harmony even if I can hit the notes—it gives a different character that works well in some musical contexts.
Generating harmonies requires some manual effort, but it’s worth it.
1. Clone the lead vocal.
2. Create a Melodyne Region FX for the clone.
3. Solo the lead vocal and clone (Dim Solo can be useful for this application so you can hear the vocals in context).
4. Start adjusting the clone’s blob pitches to create the harmony (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Thanks to a paint program’s transparent layers, colorization, and cut and paste, this shows the harmony line (blue) superimposed on the lead vocal.
Usually the easiest way to do this is by ear, but if you’re theory-minded, you can always apply those rules to determine which pitches to use for the harmonies.
I highly recommend choosing Edit > Pitch Grid > No Snap and adjusting the harmony pitch by ear. Snapping doesn’t always produce the most musical results.
Also, check out my article Easy Automatic Double Tracking with Melodyne Essential, which describes how to add slight timing and pitch variations to do automatic double tracking. Applying the same technique to the harmony line prevents it from “shadowing” the lead vocal, and helps the harmony establish itself as an independent entity.
There’s a video on my YouTube channel that uses Melodyne Essential for creating both ADT and the harmony effects described in this article. In fact, there’s only one vocal track in the entire song; all the others were derived from it using Melodyne.
Finally, I demoed this technique during the video I did at Berklee College of Music last March. You can see the video here.
There’s a great ADT program lurking within Melodyne Essential
by Craig Anderton
So is Celemony’s ADT (Automatic Double Tracking) program any good? If you have Melodyne Essential, you can find out for yourself—because it’s the same program. Yes, hidden within SONAR X3‘s Melodyne Essential is a very cool ADT effect that’s extremely effective with vocals.
Double-tracking is the process of singing a second vocal on top of a main vocal to “thicken” the overall sound. It’s impossible to sing a vocal exactly the same, so there will be slight timing and pitch differences that add interest and depth. Automatic Double Tracking produces this effect electronically, which can give more control over the double-tracked vocal. While there are dedicated plug-ins to give the ADT effect, Melodyne has all the tools needed to do this. I’d go so far as to say Melodyne can produce one of the best electronically generated ADT effects I’ve heard.
The Melodyne ADT effect works best with vocals where you haven’t already added extensive pitch or timing correction. As an aside, I never do a “wholesale” quantization of notes; to my ears, removing the “incorrect” pitch variations in a vocal actually create a less compelling performance. Instead, I manually correct only those notes that actually sound “wrong.” Even then, I don’t always quantize exactly to pitch. Music is about tension and release, and subconsciously, you’ll often sing a little flat or sharp (tension) and end up on pitch (release). Making all the pitches “perfect” removes this emotional component.
As an analogy, conside B. B. King’s guitar playing. He often bends a flatted 7th not quite up to pitch. By not resolving the note, instead of completing the phrase it leads you into the next one. Timing and pitch variations are an essential part of music, so don’t overdo the correction.
It’s easy to set up the ADT effect with Melodyne.
1. Clone the vocal to which you want to add the ADT effect.
2. Right-click on the cloned click and create a Melodyne Region FX.
3. Select all the notes in the vocal.
4. Turn up Correct Pitch Center to about 60% (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1: Correcting pitch and timing subtly on a cloned vocal track can produce an automatic double-tracking effect.
5. Turn up Quantize Time Intensity to about 60% (Fig. 1).
6. Evaluate the ADT effect, and tweak the pitch and timing correction amounts as appropriate.
Generally you don’t want too much pitch or timing correction—just enough to be different from the main vocal.
Mixing ADT Vocals
When mixing, centering the two vocals tends to maximize the similarities to chorusing; the vocals sound somewhat more diffused, which works well for “gentler” material. Panning them slightly oppositely (about 30% right and 30% left) can give a more spacious sound in stereo.
With sparser mixes, centered panning often fits best while the somewhat spread sound helps the vocals have more presence in dense material, like hard rock with lots of distorted guitar. However, these aren’t “rules” as ultimately, the song itself will dictate which works best in the final mix.
Give this technique a try—I think you’ll be as surprised as I was about how effectively it provides an authentic, convincing ADT effect.