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.

Take control of your tempo with SONAR’s Audiosnap, Available in X2 Producer and studio

SONAR X2’s AudioSnap engine and tempo analysis features give you unprecedented non-destructive rhythmic and tempo control over your audio. Employing sophisticated transient detection technology, the AudioSnap engine automatically analyzes all recorded and imported audio files for rhythmic content to determine where the beats are in the music.  Continue reading Take control of your tempo with SONAR’s Audiosnap, Available in X2 Producer and studio

New In SONAR X2 Producer: Scorching tones and killer effects with TH2 PRODUCER from OVERLOUD

 

SONAR X2 Producer users rejoice. Now you can get awesome guitar tones and effects from clean and spanky to crushing metal with the new TH2 PRODUCER amp modeling plugin by Overloud!  Continue reading New In SONAR X2 Producer: Scorching tones and killer effects with TH2 PRODUCER from OVERLOUD

SONAR X2 Feature Peek: Smart Grid

What’s a snap grid?

One of the most useful features of a DAW is the snap grid. When enabled, a snap grid locks all movement to a defined value. The value can be absolute (e.g. seconds) or musical (e.g. quarter notes) and some programs optionally show grid lines that reflect at least some portion of the grid.

The whole thing makes moving a clip by a beat or a MIDI event by a 64th note much much easier than trying to “eyeball it”. Snap grids are vitally important to almost every DAW user. In most cases, a user relies on the snap grid regularly throughout every session. 

But not all snap grids are created equal. Some only offer the most basic snap options and functionality. Some don’t display their state or give the user easy access to the settings. And many are pretty dumb when it comes to anticipating what the user needs from moment to moment.

Considering the importance and near constant use of a snap grid in music production, we thought this was an area where SONAR could increase its level of intelligence and truly shine. Let SONAR think about snap so you don’t have to. Continue reading SONAR X2 Feature Peek: Smart Grid

How Tim Wynn used SONAR X1 to Create the Music for THE DARKNESS II

SONAR X1 user Tim Wynn is the Quintessential modern day composer/producer, and a rising Hollywood name whose diverse portfolio includes feature films, television series, documentaries and video games for major clients such as ABC, Activision, Electronic Arts, Fox, Fuji, Marvel, Sony, THQ, Universal and Warner Bros.

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, The Simpsons and Warhawk to adding to the sound of the hit television series Supernatural, Tim Wynn is gaining international recognition as a leader in a new generation of highly talented and versatile composers.  His recent releases include Fox Digital’s debut release, the comedy-horror web series Wolfpack of Reseda; the world’s first 3D television series Tokyo Control; the hit drama series Lucky Seven for Fuji TV, and 2K’s The Darkness II, the action-horror video game based on the best-selling Top Cow comics.

The Darkness II is the sequel to the critically acclaimed 2007 release The Darkness. Inspired by the popular comic book series produced by Top Cow Productions, Inc., The Darkness II is an intense first person shooter that puts you in the role of Jackie Estacado, don of a New York crime family and wielder of an ancient force of chaos known as The Darkness. Continue reading How Tim Wynn used SONAR X1 to Create the Music for THE DARKNESS II

Shawn Clement nominated for “Best Score” at eWorld Music Awards; How He Used SONAR X1

Congratulations to Shawn Clement whose score for Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey has been nominated for “Best Score” at the 2012 eWorld Music Awards held at Paramount Picture Studios. The score was written and produced in SONAR X1 and then recorded with the San Francisco Philharmonic Orchestra at George Lucas’ legendary Skywalker Ranch.

The 2012 eWorld Music Awards is a revolutionary music awards show that celebrates cutting edge artists on the world’s biggest platform – the Internet. The awards were created to promote and support the amazing work, technology and diversity in today’s vibrant independent music world.  It’s the only event of its kind celebrating truly independent music.  The eWorld Music Awards honor those groundbreaking forces who’ve been influencing this movement, and iconic individuals for their unique contributions to the art of music.  This year’s 2012 eWorld Music Awards will be the 4th annual awards show, and will air live from Paramount Studios in Hollywood on Saturday, June 16th 2012.  Live music performances and celebrity appearances will highlight this star-studded Red Carpet event.

CW AR:  How did you get yourself in the space to create music for this show and what was the technical process for pulling it all together?

SC: With any project, you first have to understand the film.  Meaning, really know the story, characters and what role the score is going to play. Every production has its specific needs. Say for instance when I created the Wounded Warrior’s Hymn, this was a live performance, so what I needed to do was realize a “mock-up” version of the music so that others could hear where I was going with it.  For example, I would send my “demo” off to Jon Anderson so that he could put together what he was singing on it.  Keep in mind that the “demo” needed to sound as much like the real thing as possible so that anyone involved could really believe in it.  Beyond that, all the tracks in SONAR would then get broken down and sent out to my orchestrator so that it could finally be realized in written music form for the orchestra to play. We had 106 players with a 247 piece choir, and Jon Anderson singing on 2 of the movements. 

From TV to Film to Video Games, Clement has used SONAR to work in a wide variety of genres and styles and has built a vast resume of over 200 credits. He began his professional career helping to originate and develop the musical foundation for the voyeuristic world of reality TV, but years before the phenomena saturated the air waves. By stamping his musical presence on shows like Most Amazing Videos and World’s Wildest Police Videos, he began paving the way for other composers to follow suit.

In the new-age of reality, his music which is always created in SONAR (now SONAR X1) has been featured on American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance as well as other major television shows. One previous noteworthy score that will forever be engraved in television history was the highly-acclaimed cult series classic Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in which he also supplied original songs as well as the score.  His songs in that series were fan-favorites and helped expand the fan base for the show.  Other credits include Women, a series on Showtime, The Savage Dragon, an animated series for Universal, A Rock and a Hard Place (Showtime) and One Way Out (Arrow Entertainment.)

In addition to music for major television shows, Clement is always busy using SONAR to score music for Films as well; some including:

– We Married Margo:  (released by New Line  and winner of the Audience Favorite Award at the HBO/U.S. Comedy & Arts Festal.)  Cast included Kevin Bacon, Cindy Crawford an Tom Arnold,

– Last Chance:  (winner of Best Original Drama at World Fest.)

– Bad Girls from Valley High:  released by Universal (produced by Sid and Johnathan Sheinberg) with a cast that included Julie     Benz, Christopher Lloyd, Johnthan Brandis and Janet Leigh.

– Finale:  (released by Image)

– Virus X (released by Lions Gate)

– Play On (Sports Drama)

– Beyond the Mat (Sports Drama)


The polls are closed now, but we wish Shawn all the best at the event and hope that he brings home another award to add to his “ASCAP Most Performed Underscore Award” (alongside  the other prestigious awards he has collected along the route of his musical voyage.)

Currently, Clement is busy using SONAR X1 working on music for the RAY BRADBURY Documentary, Live Forever: A Ray Bradbury Odyssey.  For more information on Shawn Clement and to hear the music he creates in SONAR X1, visit www.clemistry.com.

Right now is the time to visit Cakewalk.com and participate in the “First Class Upgrade” program.  From June 1st to June 30th, when you buy or upgrade to SONAR X1 Producer, Cakewalk will automatically bump you up to the flagship version, SONAR X1 Production Suite.   In addition, Cakewalk is offering other great upgrades as well.

 

How to make modern music with samples, sequenced drums, and synths – A SONAR Master Class

Modern music production combines many different elements. Loops and samples, sequenced drums and synths, live instruments and more. In this video, you can sit in on a session where all of these elements are used to create a piece of music from start to finish with SONAR X1 Producer.

Pull up a chair, crank up the volume and see just how easy and fun it is to create music when the inspiration strikes using SONAR! After watching the video, download the content pack which includes the Track Templates and presets used in this project.

Continue reading How to make modern music with samples, sequenced drums, and synths – A SONAR Master Class

Drum replacement made fast and easy with SONAR’s AudioSnap 2.0

You’ve got the song, the killer drum performance and everything is ready to mix but there’s one problem. Your kick drum sounds awful and there’s no option to re record the drum tracks. Don’t panic! Using SONAR’s AudioSnap 2.0 and the drum plugin of your choice, you can turn that dud into major thud!

  Continue reading Drum replacement made fast and easy with SONAR’s AudioSnap 2.0

Sidechaining With SONAR’s ProChannel

Ever wondered how to use sidechaining in SONAR X1? Look no further as this step by step, how to video shows you how to achieve professional results with sidechaining using the ProChannel in SONAR X1 Producer.

 

Watch and listen to several different techniques of sidechaining using the PC4K Expander/Gate, PC4K S-Type Bus Compressor and the PC4K S-Type Channel Compressor modules in the ProChannel.

Examples include sidechaining a midi track to control a gate on an audio track, broadcaster style vocal “ducking”, or sidechaining the voice track to control the volume of the background music track, and more!

Learn more about the world of SONAR X1 and watch more tips and tricks videos in full HD on CakeTV

 

Got SONAR X1? Get up and running with our free Get Started series of videos on CakeTV!

So you’ve purchased and installed SONAR X1 and now you’re ready to get in and start making music? Let us make it easy for you with free step by step videos that cover every step of the setup process for all versions of SONAR X1. Available any time you need it, the Get Started series on CakeTV is your on demand resource for the information you need presented in full HD. Watch as we show you everything from setting up your audio interface to recording a track, applying effects and everything in between!

Watch the full Get Started series here

Visit the Get Started with CakeTV page to watch individual videos on setting up your SONAR system.