- Recording and making music on the PC or Mac
There’s no doubt that SONAR X1 comes with a lot of great content, but one component that I think is sometimes overlooked is the Beatscape content. Beatscape originally came with SONAR 8 and it’s a great sampler machine for mixing and mashing up content. And now with the power of the Browser, Drag and Drop and the ProChannel, anyone who is looking to make creative drum beats that really stand out from the crowd can utilize all this content right at their fingertips in SONAR X1.
The Beatscape content is great for creating drum tracks from scratch, or embellishing existing drum tracks. Whether or not you have Beatscape installed does not affect the ability to utilize this content in X1. In fact I prefer to use the content in X1 without Beatscape at all. Here’s how easy it is to utilize the Beatscape content.
1. If you do not have Beatscape installed, copy all of the “Beatscape Factory Content” from your SONAR X1 install disc or from the file in your download purchase and place it somewhere on your hard drive.
*If you do have Beatscape installed, you will navigate to the Beatscape Content folder in the next step. Your Beatscape folder is usually in these locations depending on whether or not you are running a 64bit system:
If you are running a 32bit system of Windows:
“C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Beatscape\Library\Beatscape Factory Content\” or you can search for the folder easily in Windows.
If you are running a 64bit system of Windows:
“C:\Program Files (x86)\Cakewalk\Beatscape\Library\Beatscape Factory Content\” or you can search for the folder easily in Windows.
2. In the SONAR X1 Browser, navigate to where the “Beatscape Factory Content” folder is and save that location by simply clicking the “save content location preset” button. You can also rename this location by double-clicking inside the text rectangle.
3. In the “Media” tab, make sure Auto Preview, Preview at Host Tempo and Loop Preview are all checked.
4. You can preview any loop by clicking on it. With the Beatscape content file system; the word “combo” is used in the files that have the complete loop. The great thing about this content is that for most loops, the parts are broken apart so you can use them all together for the complete “combo” loop, or you can pull in just single elements of the loops. When pulled in separately you can combine them with other loops or you can pull them all in and then layer them on separate tracks.
5. Experiment with different individual loops by simply dragging and dropping them into the track view and layering them on different tracks.
You can get quite creative with the Beatscape content, and it’s just another quick and simple way to get up and running fast on SONAR X1. Next week I will show some of my favorite tips and techniques to get unique sounds from the Beatscape content using the ProChannel and other effects.
Upgrade to SONAR X1 Producer to get Beatscape and it’s massive content library.
In case you missed part one of this two-part series, Cakewalk’s Seth Perlstein shared his favorite SONAR X1 music production tips, tricks, and techniques like using the Mod Matrix in FX Chains 2.0, Groove Matching with AudioSnap, creating variations with the Loop Construction View, and much, much more.
Plus, he gave a sneak peak of the X1d patch, which is now free for all SONAR X1 users.
Congratulations to Paul Oakenfold and TC Spitfire who found themselves at #3 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs this past week with the track Surrender.
The track was written by Paul, TC and J Hart who also sang the track. TC Spitfire who is a passionate SONAR X1 Expanded user co-produced and mixed the track using a combination of all the ProChannel modules. “This new era with the ProChannel and X1d [Expanded] is on a serious elevated level. The combination of the modules has me staying more and more inside SONAR natively,” TC told us.
On a daily basis, TC is very busy individual. Between writing new music, producing, mixing and remixing, he finds himself a bit overextended these days and “taking it and enjoying it while it’s there.” Most recently, he has worked with artists such as Cher, Matt Goss, Matt Morris and Jean Baptist – and that is just in the recent past. “On a daily basis I will jump from remixing a track for 4 hours, to writing in another studio for 4 hours, and then back to our lab for another however-long-it-takes-session – for the next barrage of musical craziness.”
For the track Surrender which is currently charting on the Billboard Dance Club Chart, TC collaborated with both Paul Oakenfold and J Hart on the writing side and then built and mixed the song completely in SONAR X1 Expanded.
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CW AR: This vocal sound is huge in this track. What was some of the processing involved?
TC: On the vocal track I used the new Hybrid mode in the ProChannels QuadCurve EQ. I cut quite a bit of the low end off and had quite a bit of mids popping for this track around 1.8k. I was able to surgically cut out some other frequencies in the mids to get the vocals away from other keyboard parts in that range.
On top of that, I used the PC4K channel compressor along with a slight touch of the Softube Saturation Knob with the switch on the “high” setting. I also sent multiple lead vocal tracks out to a lead vocal bus which had the PCCL Limiter on it for a slight boost and some tightening.
CW AR: This track and all your tracks for that matter are really tight, what are the main factors for you in achieving this sound?
TC: It’s pretty simple, but it’s also pretty complicated. It’s simple, because most of it has to do with compression, EQ and limiting, which are 75% from the ProChannel in my tracks. It’s complicated because carving the frequencies, making the decisions on where to compress and how much, and what to use a limiter on – all factor in. Sometimes, over compressing and using too many limiters will just make a song sound flat-lined and not breathing. I think another factor is not using too many of the same compressors or EQ’s on every single track. I really like mixing up my inserts. On some tracks I will use the 76 and others I will use the Softube compressor. I even use the PC4K bus compressor on tracks – call me crazy – haaa. There are no rules in the digital world and use my ear and the tools SONAR X1 Expanded provides to get the sound to where I need it to be.
In the next year you will be hearing a lot more from Paul Oakenfold and TC as a new deal was just signed with Sony Records. As soon as the details are released on that we will keep you posted. Until then, you can check out SONAR X1 for free here.
SONAR X1 is the most intuitive D.A.W. on the market today. It’s easy to get up and running, and it’s just as easy with practice and experience to become an advanced user. If you are running windows, and you are a musician, now is a great time to pull the trigger with the SONAR X1 Advanced Workshop Giveaway Promotion.
“SURRENDER” [Completely recorded, mixed and mastered in SONAR X1 Expanded:]
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.”
In part two of the series let’s take a look at another crucial element for recording guitars, the microphone.
Just as a speaker plays a large role in the sound of an amp, the microphones used to record it are just as important to getting that tone into a recording. And just like speakers, all microphones have a different sound. Huge differences in sound can be heard even in mics that sell for the same price so experimentation is key when looking for a mic (or mics) to capture your golden tone. (more…)
As a conclusion to my series on Building Cost Effective Acoustic Treatment, I wanted to put a link to all three articles in one place along with a “before and after” video. I also wanted to put this up on our forum in one place in case anyone has any questions about what I did with my studio. If you are planning on trying to save some money by building your own acoustic treatment panels these three articles are worth reviewing.
The effort to build all this acoustic treatment was not minimal, but well worth it. Besides saving a lot of money I was able to customize the panels so that they fit the room well. Using the QuadCurve EQ which comes with SONAR X1 Expanded is where I can really tell the difference in my environment. The QuadCurve EQ is very advanced and allows the user to surgically taylor frequencies. Now that I have my room treated properly, I can really hear the difference between the EQ modes.
So the first step is to get going with a version of the SONAR X1 family, and then do your homework and figure out the best listening environment FOR YOU.
Looking for a way to create dub style delay effects in SONAR? Look no further, by following these steps you can easily get that classic dub sound.
First, insert two stereo busses into the project. The first bus “Delay feed” will send the drum signal to the other bus “Delay” which will house the delay plugin. (more…)
You’ve seen it before. That painful scanning procedure on startup that makes many DAWs seemingly take forever to let you start actually making music with them. Is it a necessary evil? I mean without it you wouldn’t have all your plugins available to you.
Or would you?
SONAR X1 has a very sophisticated and clever mechanism that only scans your plugin folders for changes – and it does this with incredible speed. In fact, it’s almost imperceptible. With “Scan VST Plug-ins On Startup” checked in SONAR’s preferences you get the best of both worlds; newly installed plugins ready and available and yet a blazingly fast startup time without the painful wait of other DAWs. Who wants to wait for an excruciating VST plugin scan when all you want to do is rock? (more…)