Take Control of Your Mix with Mix Recall

Mix Recall is a powerful way to organize mixes within a project—Whether you want to have a mix without vocals or a version of the song using a different processing chain on the drums—Mix Recall is the perfect solution for these types of situations, but it can do more than that. Say you are handed a project from someone else using SONAR or you got a new plug-in you want to try out using a previously recorded song, Mix Recall can help you handle this as well by getting your project reset back to a neutral position.

Adding the Mix Recall Module

Check that you have the Mix Recall module available in the Control Bar. You can add it to the Control Bar if it’s not already there by right-clicking in a blank space and adding it from the menu.

Creating a Mix Scene

Start by creating a new Mix Scene with the current project setting using the [Save As New Scene] button.  This will allow us to make a change and then come back to the original point to see the difference.

Make a change to the mix by adjusting the volume on a couple of tracks or muting a track previously un-muted.

Click the [Save As New Scene] button on the Mix Recall module again to save these changes into another mix scene. Give this mix a unique name and save it. Now you can reload your previous mix and see the changes reverted back to where we started. Selecting the second mix scene with bring us back to the present state of the mix. You can also use the [Recall Previous Scene] button to toggle back and forth between 2 mix scenes or simply go back to the last mix scene you were at.

Resetting a Mix

Using a project you want to reset, click the drop down arrow on the Mix Recall module and select “Reset Mix…” from the menu. This will remove all automation envelopes, plug-ins, and reset the ProChannel back to the default modules along with any controls in SONAR.

That’s It! Now you can get back to working on your mix instead of trying to manage multiple saved versions of the same song or trying to manually remove each plug-in or automation envelope.

Advanced Techniques

  • Create a save point as you begin your mix once you have basic levels and panning so you can always go back and hear your project from the start.
  • Create save points within your mix to go back and see how it has progressed.
  • Save several iterations of a mix and bounce each when sending it to a client or friend. Here are some common iterations to save as Mix Scenes.
    • Vocal Up Mix (Plus 1-3dB)
    • Vocal Down Mix (Minus 1-3db)
    • No Vocals
    • Radio Edit Mix
  • Time box your mix by only giving yourself an allotted amount of time and dividing that up over what you need to do.  Save each stage as a Mix Scene to go back and look at your progress and how you did at each stage.

Mix Recall is available in SONAR Artist, Professional and Platinum

Subtractive EQ Part 1: Snare Drum

Introduction
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.

Overview
Let’s resonate on the concept of volume momentarily. It is in our human nature to enjoy music at high volume levels. Concerts are a great examples of this. Outdoor festivals and the like tend to blast our eardrums with massive amounts of volume that we cannot experience in any other format. To most, increasing volume directly correlates to better sound. In a mix setting, dramatically boosting various frequencies can be a crutch for inexperienced mix engineers. By increasing the gain of a specified frequency band on an EQ one can subsequently add unwanted gain to the overall mix. Typically the problem that follows is a battle to keep your master fader from clipping and you all of sudden feel stuck in a gain-staging paradox. This can happen to best of us.

In Use
Apply subtractive EQ techniques to your instruments. Instead of boosting your favourite signals try limiting yourself to cutting. We can call this concept “carving”. Let’s take a look at a musical example. This series of articles will demonstrate some key elements of a typical Rock Mix.

Snare
Generally the snare is the focal point of a typical rock oriented mix. I’ve started with all my faders down and raised the snare to a suitable level: 0dBu. This recording was tracked with two snare microphones. The bottom snare microphone captured the sizzle of the snare and the top microphone captured much of the attack.

Snare Bottom EQ

The first drawbacks I noticed when isolating the snare recordings Continue reading Subtractive EQ Part 1: Snare Drum

Chuck Carr Mixes The Hoff’s Vocals for Video Game Release

Producer and Songwriter for video games, Chuck Carr, posted this video to his YouTube account and we wanted to share it with you. In the video, Chuck uses the brand new VX-64 Vocal Strip (included in SONAR 8.5 Producer) to tweak The Hoff’s rendition of ‘Do You Really Want to Hurt Me’ for an upcoming release of the Playstation 3 game, PAIN.

TEC Awards 2009: Vote for V-Studio 700

The 25th Annual Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards voting is now open to the public. You can sign up to pick your favorite products in the categories of outstanding technical and creative achievement. SONAR V-Studio 700 is nominated for the best workstation technology.

Sign up and vote today! 

Click here to see the 2009 TEC Awards Nominees

Add Punch to Your Percussion with SONAR 8’s TS-64 Transient Shaper

One of SONAR 8’s handy new features is the TS-64 Transient Shaper. Although the idea of the transient shaper isn’t new, it’s not a common processor to be bundled with a host DAW.

A transient shaper is a dynamics processor for sculpting the transient dynamics of any percussive-based source material. The TS-64 works best, for example, with drum loops and percussion, electric and acoustic guitars, and piano. While included in SONAR, the TS-64 is not exclusive to the DAW and can be used in any program that accepts VST plug-ins.

Sound On Sound’s Craig Anderton used the tool in SONY Sound Forge and Steinberg’s Wavelab without a hitch! Take a look at his thought on the TS-64 Transient Shaper, it’s controls, and how they can affect the sound of your mix.

Using Envelopes & Automation Controls in SONAR

One of the most cutting-edge features of SONAR is the wide range of automation controls available. While Cakewalk has made use of standard envelopes – volume and pan controls – for a very long time, you can also take your project to the next level through Cakewalk’s plug-in automation.

Why are envelopes so cool? While no one would argue that envelopes and automation give you precise control over your mix with a maximum amount of visual feedback, many people overlook the more creative and non-standard uses for automation. Hopefully, this tip will give you an insight into how to creatively apply automation toyour projects to achieve things that you didn’t think possible!

Learn how to add envelopes to your SONAR mix with this great tip!

MIX Nashville 2009: Town Talents Check Out SONAR V-Studio Series

Day 2 of Mix Nashville started out great but you really can’t go wrong when you are in a town that has top notch music, weather and of course the most important element; BBQ!

In between the panels at the conference, I found myself having some great conversations with local Nashville songwriters, producers and musicians about “all things music”.  I have come to the conclusion that there are more home studios in this town than there are BBQ joints.

Mike Lawson from Lawson Media stopped in to say hello and check out the new SONAR V-Studio 100 and he brought a friend of his by the name of Bob Welch.  You may or may not have heard the name ‘Bob Welch’ but I can guarantee that you have heard his music, if you have listened to the radio and especially if you are a Fleetwood Mac fan.  Bob was the original guitarist for Fleetwood Mac and was also a solo artist chalking up three massive hits from 1977 – 1979 with the songs “Sentimental Lady”, “Ebony Eyes” and “Hot Love, Cold World”.  I had an amazing conversation with him about the digital music age compared to his experiences as a successful musician and artist in the 70’s.  I have always been fascinated with that era of music so I really enjoyed and appreciated talking to him.  I was also psyched to find out that he is a PC user and will be recording some of his upcoming projects in SONAR 8 Producer.

Later in the afternoon while my co-workers and Product Specialists Rich Curtis and Mike Trujillo were exemplifying all the features of the V-Studio 700,  I caught up with Producer / Mixer / Songwriter / Musician Chris Trevett who is a friend of mine that I haven’t connected with in a while.  Chris is an amazingly talented music guy who has two Grammys under his belt (yep 2!) and has worked with many iconic artists such as Britney Spears, The Backstreet Boys and R. Kelly (to name a few).  He was stopping in to check out the new V-Studio 100 as well and I was psyched to catch up with him.

Chris relocated to Nashville from New York about a year and a half ago so he was able to fill me in on what the local music scene in Nashville is really like.  He is also working with some great international artists and I was able to get an interview with him, which will be featured on my Cakewalk Artist Spotlight series in the near future.  In the meantime, check out Chris Trevett’s website for more information on his work.

Later on in the afternoon things started winding down a bit as most of the people were attending the panels and performances.  I did get a chance to meet with new SONAR user Tiffany Shea and also the very talented Nashville Producer / Musician / Songwriter (and Artist) Nathan Meckel who has been busy working with LA-based Singer / Songwriter Sara Hayes as well as his own project “Upside of Envy”.

Nathan was checking out MIX/Nashville with his father Mark Meckel who owns Street Singer Music Publishing. Besides producing and writing for other artists, Nathan has got a great work-horse story and has played shows from Nashville to Israel and I think we will be hearing and seeing more from him in some bigger pictures soon.

To wrap up the conference, I was invited to check out a band called Pico vs. Island Trees and was pleasantly surprised at what I heard and saw.  I highly recommend you check them out.  The band has a very unique sound coupled with great songwriting and an authentic image that works well.  It was an exclamation point on a great trip and also a confirmation that this town is filled with ridiculously talented people.

Thanks to everyone who stopped in to check out the new V-Studio 100 and thanks to MIX Magazine for holding such a great event.

Thanks for reading,

Jimmy Landry
Cakewalk Artist Relations Manager

Live From Mix Nashville 2009: First Stop, The Legendary Sun Studio

Hello, Hello from Memphis and Nashville!

I used to be in Nashville and Memphis from time to time in my past life of a touring musician, but I really forgot how amazing this region of the country is; especially in terms of music. The trip started out early yesterday (3am) when I left my apartment for Newark Airport and then magically found myself in Memphis 5 hours later. I’m not too much of a plane-sleeper but I knew I needed some ZZZ’s for what was going to be a very busy day in “The South”. I met up with Cakewalk’s PR head Steve Thomas at his hotel and we both found it funny that we have more face-to-face business meetings in random cities than we do in the Cakewalk Headquarters. The afternoon rolled in and we headed over to Sun Studio in Memphis.

If you are not familiar with Sun Studio, it’s one of the most famous studios in the United States and has turned out some of the biggest hits in our time some including tracks from Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, BB King, Roy Orbison and U2 to name a few. You might be wondering at this point why we would be visiting Sun Studio on a business trip and I can proudly tell you it’s because Sun Studio is powered by SONAR and as of yesterday, the new V-Studio 700 is at the helm. I had never been to the studio before and Steve has always mentioned how great of a vibe it has… and he wasn’t kidding.

First of all, head engineer James Lott is such a great guy and it was a pleasure to meet him finally. When he brought me into the studio, the combination of the room itself along with the gear and the memorabilia on the walls gave me an overwhelming sense of music history. I can totally understand why people still love to record in this room as it’s one of those places that triggers creative inspiration. Between the way the natural light hits the room, the décor (including authentic and rare photos of Elvis and other iconic artists) and the materials from which the studio was built, there is something very unique and inviting about this studio that I have never seen or felt before. The VS-700 looks great in the room and I’m looking forward to hearing all the tracks in the future that will be recorded on this system.

Continue reading Live From Mix Nashville 2009: First Stop, The Legendary Sun Studio

Day 2: The Future Producers of Hip-Hop Battle It Out

Live From One Stop Shop Music Producers Conference Phoenix, Arizona, Day 2 (May 9th… 1am overlooking Phoenix city lights from a Jetblue red-eye to NYC)

Hope everyone had a Happy Mother’s Day! Day 2 technically starts at 12:00am from yesterday so I will pick it up from there. We found ourselves at Club PHX with Sha Money and many of the talented producers and artists who attended One Stop Shop. I have to admit, I had no idea that Phoenix was such an after-hours kind of town. The club was packed and as always when hanging with a bunch of musicians after midnight, the conversations flowed candidly about gear, projects and the state of the music industry.  Everyone I spoke with agreed that no matter how much turmoil the music industry is facing, it’s an amazing time for musicians who want to take control of their own music (and future) by empowering themselves with tools such as Cakewalk. As you will read later, this proved to be true from the OSS Beat Battle.

My wakeup call rang early. Seth Perlstein and I caffeinated up and prepared for what was to going to be a very busy day. The second day of the “V-100 Challenge” brought new talent early and with fury as MC’s jumped on the Cakewalk mic like it was nothing. I was amazed with some of these cats when I asked them if they wanted to hear the beat first…  or warm up… or something…  nope – these dudes would just step up to the mic and throw lyrics like they had been there all night practicing. Today we had some MC’s representing Boston, Phoenix, Florida, Dallas, Queens, Brooklyn and even Mississippi.  I’m glad I’m not the one deciding on who is walking away with SONAR 8 Producer. Thanks to all the cats that participated and please check Youtube this week for a V-100 video montage.

In between the action of the rap battles, we were pretty psyched to connect with some great producers in the game who stopped by to say hello and get a 1 on 1 taste of the new V-700, that is creating quite a buzz in the Hip Hop world. Neither Seth nor I had ever met Pete Rock and it was a pleasure to connect with him as well as Don Cannon, Just Blaze and Drumma Boy.  Throughout the day there were some pretty heavy panels going on as well.  Sway moderated a panel I caught in the afternoon with RZA, Just Blaze, Pete Rock, Steve Lobel, and many other pioneers in the game.  It was interesting to hear these guys comment on modern production and the state of the music industry.

Later on in the afternoon, we were approached by Microsoft Technical Evangelist, Arif Gursel, along with Sha Money who offered us an opportunity to demonstrate the V-700 right before dinner in front of all the conference goers.  It was a bit of work breaking down our booth and setting back up on stage but it was well worth it.  Seth Perlstein took the stage and did a great job going through some of the main features of the controller, interface, phantom synth and also fielded some questions from the crowd.

In the evening, I interviewed Lee Bannon who has been using SONAR and Project 5 on his recent project with Talib Kweli. Then we checked out the finals of the beat battle and it was crystal clear to me that we are in the middle of a music revolution.  Basically, any undiscovered producer could submit beats for this competition and it was ridiculous how crazy-good the final four contestants were.  Some of these new age producers are really thinking outside the box, that is outside the box with how they are constructing the beats, and the sounds were very refreshing to say the least.

Thanks again to Sha Money and I definitely recommend this conference to any up and coming Hip Hop producer for two main reasons:

1) It’s a great place to easily network with some name brand guys because the vibe is “we’re all in this together”.

2) It’s a great place to get your work out there if you really have an amazing talent.

Summer 2009: Boost Your Sound Library At The Serious-Sounds Network

Cakewalk has teamed up with The Serious-Sounds Network to bring you a summer of endless sound-sculpting possibilities!

Over the next three months (May, June, July) we will be giving away free copies of Z3TA+ and Rapture, along with Craig Anderton’s New Electronic Guitars Expansion Pack. At the end of each month Cakewalk and Serious-Sounds will draw two lucky winners at random.

Serious-Sounds.net is a massive members-only community for music producers providing tutorials, help, and advice on the world of music production and more- all available for free!

TO BE ELIGIBLE to win the contest all you have to do is either log in or register at Serious-Sounds.net(registration is quick, free & easy) and answer a few simple questions located in the exclusive competition thread. Then simply email your answers along with your member username & number to the address provided within.

PLEASE REMEMBER: You must be a registered member at Serious-Sounds.net to view content on The Serious-Sounds Network. If you’re not already signed up, then register today!