SONAR X2’S Step Sequencer: Powerful, flexible and included in all versions of X2!

The Step Sequencer is included in all versions of X2 and is fully integrated in to the SONAR X2 user interface design. Controls are easy to identify and use, and commands are easily accessible from dedicated drop down menus. Continue reading SONAR X2’S Step Sequencer: Powerful, flexible and included in all versions of X2!

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

An Audio Journey Through The Signal Path in SONAR X1

A question I am often asked is, “Just what exactly is the signal path in SONAR X1?”. You plug in your mic or instrument and the sound flows through your monitors. But what is the journey your audio signal takes in between? Let’s take a trip through the Channel strip and find out!

Continue reading An Audio Journey Through The Signal Path in SONAR X1

Get hands on control of SONAR X1’s ACT functionality with the Roland A-300PRO

SONAR X1′s Active Controller Technology (ACT) allows for full control over your mix and effects via hardware MIDI controller. Not only can you control mix settings like volume and pan on tracks, ACT lets you control parameters on effect and synth plugins in real time!

Coupled with the Roland A-300PRO MIDI Keyboard Controller you can fully immerse yourself in your mixes. No more “mousing around” to draw automation for a filter sweep on a synth, grab a control and get interactive.

ACT has templates for most MIDI controllers so setup is a breeze and hardware controls are already mapped to the most common parameters in all of your plugins. Want to customize the mapping? It’s as simple as pushing one button, clicking the parameters and moving the desired hardware controls. No menus needed!

Watch ACT and the A-300PRO in action Continue reading Get hands on control of SONAR X1’s ACT functionality with the Roland A-300PRO

Converting and Importing Pro Tools SD2 Files from a Mac into SONAR X1

With so many different file formats from digital recording over the last 20 years, sometimes one can be left in a tough predicament trying to get things to work properly.  I was one of those people just recently, so I want to share my experience hoping that I will save someone an afternoon’s worth of conversion work some day.

Old Pro Tools, Digital Performer and Logic programs used a file knows as the .SD2 “Sound Designer File.”  Now if you are like me, you’re always looking for more “sounds.”  Recently I came across a drive that contained killer drum sessions from a record I did at Longview Farms studios a while back.  I knew there were awesome live drums recorded with the best mics and pres along with a slamming drummer.  I jumped on my old Mac, mounted the drive and copied 1.5 gigs of raw SD2 files onto a thumb-drive.

Next, I plugged the thumb drive into my HP workstation and copied the files onto the machine.  To my surprise, when I tried to import the files into SONAR X1 it would not work.  My next logical move was to rename the files with the “.sd2” extension.  After going through this procedure the icons switched into a recognizable symbol, so I was sure that this was the winning formula; but again, the files failed to load.  This time I even got an error message that came along with the grief.

After searching for a remedy I knew I had a problem as most of the help forums read something like this:

I would like to convert some old drum tracks (an album’s worth recorded some time back) from mac sd2 files over to wave files so I can use them in pro tools on pc. Nothing – and I mean NOTHING – I do seems to work.
I tried:
1. Importing the sd2 files in pro tools on the pc but it won’t read them
2. Exporting them as wave files on the mac but pc won’t recognize them
3. Bouncing them as wave files but pc won’t recognize them.

So, after doing a lot of research I found out a few things about the SD2 format in conjunction with the PC:

1.)  If you try to copy SD2 files from a Mac to a PC on an incorrectly formatted drive, the header info is lost along with something known as the resource fork (structured data within a file on a Mac.)  This basically corrupts the file when going from Mac to PC formats.

2.)  By copying files onto the transferring disk that is formatted in FAT file system, the information in the files can be converted after being copied onto a PC.

3.)  You need a trustworthy converter.

Here is exactly how I successfully converted old SD2 files on a Mac onto my Windows 7 HP workstation:

  1. Formatted the transferring thumb-drive so it had the FAT File System
  2. Copied the files onto the thumb-drive and then transferred them onto my PC
  3. Renamed all the new files on my PC with the .sd2 file system
  4. Downloaded and installed a small program called SDTwoWave
  5. Opened the program.
  6. Corrected some of the names of the files as they ended up with bad Characters from the transfer.
  7. Selected the files to be converted in SDTwowav: “SRC” button.
  8. Created a new destination folder on my hard drive and chose it with the “DST” button in the SDtwowav program.
  9. Batch processed all the files.
  10. Went back in and deleted the old SD2 files.

At this point, SONAR X1 recognized and imported the new .wav files with no problem and I had some killer new (0ld) multi-track drums to utilize.

First-Class Upgrade Promotion
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. Just purchase SONAR X1 Producer from any retailer or upgrade at the Cakewalk Store, and Cakewalk will take care of the rest. Just register your purchase at www.cakewalk.com/register, and you will receive email instructions on how to get your first-class upgrade to SONAR X1 Production Suite.

 

EMI Publishing and SONAR X1: Some Recent Sessions in the Project Studio

Why are Major Publishing Companies such as EMI seeing such great success with project studios?  Because with modern technology, top talent and a good set of ears, a demo may turn into a master at any given time.

Over a year ago I had the pleasure of setting up a studio at the EMI building in the meat packing district of NYC after they chose SONAR X1 for their project studio.  Since then, according to Creative VP EMI Jake Ottmann “the room has been a tremendous success” with an array of well known and developing artists from all over the world engaging in music creation.

The EMI project studio facility was primarily created for the roster of EMI artists who found themselves temporarily working in New York City.  “When you’re a hit songwriter, you are traveling quite a bit and find yourself in different cities at different times,” stated Jake Ottmann.  “We built this room up for top-notch artists and songwriters that are in town and need a great place to relax and write music.  It’s been an awesome experience since its inception and we have seen some great success.  SONAR X1 and the PC Audio Labs machine which are both the heart of the room have been rock solid for these artists and writers.”

Some of the recent artists who have been working in the audio lounge include Jay Trill, Lana Del Rey, Mathew Koma, and The Glory Days.

“Sometimes it’s a few hours here and there with the X1 room just for basic writing, and other times it’s a full on technical writing/producing session that could end up on a master, just like a recent session that went down with an affiliated artist/writer/producer who was working out of here last month.”

~Jake Ottmann (VP Creative, EMI Publishing)

When putting this writing room together, EMI made a calculated decision to go with SONAR X1 and a V-Studio 100 all powered by a tailored PC Audio Labs machine.  “We were looking for a solution that covered all,” explained Richard Reuss who is head of the technical team for EMI.  “We wanted something that covered it all delivered in one box.  We didn’t want to get into purchasing plug-ins from one company, and then synths from another; we decided on SONAR X1 Producer not only for everything it comes with, but also for the way the workflow exists in the program.”  “Our writers are very unique and diverse,” added Jake Ottmann.  “SONAR X1 is not only a cutting edge recording tool, but also an amazing writing tool as well, and that was very important to us in our decision; not to mention the fact that the stock plug-ins, synths and drum modules are just as good as, if not better than anything else on the market.  It’s been working so well for us that our in-house audio team has been using it for post-house related projects as well – we’re pretty psyched to get this much mileage out of the system.”

Although EMI Music Publishing has a huge facility for office space, it was obvious to the staffers that there was not going to be a lot of square footage allocated to this music room.  “I think one of the selling points for us was the fact that we don’t have a ton of room in this spot [the room itself], so having the Pro Channel on every track to get a big console sound without the console is huge for us,” explained Richard Reuss who has been a longtime SONAR user.

SONAR X1 continues to be the choice for leading creative institutions such as EMI Publishing.  It’s also the go-to D.A.W. for many creative producers, songwriters and artists who want to be inspired by their system.  Right now, you can get a great deal with the SONAR X1 First Class Upgrade promotion that will help you to create radio-ready tracks.

 

Mixing and Mastering a Song Using only the Z3TA+ Effects Engine in SONAR

One of the great aspects about SONAR X1 is that it’s a very diverse D.A.W.  There are so many different ways to create music and it’s great for people who like to experiment with sounds and develop unique sonic pallets.  One of the main reasons why many pro users choose SONAR is because there are a lot of veiled jewels and tools that help musicians to sculpt a unique and individualized sound.

Similar to the Beatscape Content articles that were posted, I decided to dive into another one of my favorite hidden treasures of SONAR of which some people may not be aware; the pristine and fat FX engine of Z3TA+ that can be used as a standard VST effects unit.

When I first started using SONAR I loved the fact that it came with so many great VST plugins.  It wasn’t until 6 months into using the program when someone pointed out to me that you could use the Z3TA+ synth as an actual VST effect anywhere you use regular plugins – on clips, in bins, on busses… etc.  After dragging Z3TA+ onto a track I was instantly surprised at what I heard. Continue reading Mixing and Mastering a Song Using only the Z3TA+ Effects Engine in SONAR

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

Create Unique Percussion Beats with the Beatscape Factory Content In SONAR X1: Part 2; ProChannel

In Part 1 of this blog series, I highlighted the basic information to get the Beatscape content going in SONAR X1 Producer  without using the Beatscape program.  If you read that post and starting working a bit with the Beatscape content you probably found out that there’s some really good samples in there from which to draw.  In this post, I will dive into a few tips and techniques and focus in on The ProChannel to show how fast and easy it is to create a more tailored sound with Beatscape content (and any other sample based content for that matter.)

For me and my style of music production, it’s all about layers and a multi-dimensional vibe.  I started out like a lot of folks, on 2” tape and followed a lot of rules, but in this new digital era I rely more on my ear than I do on following fundamentals.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s more important now than ever to understand the fundamental concepts of recording and producing music, but it’s also just as important to rely on what you are hearing in relation to what you are going for.  Sometimes I will start out with something that sounds quirky or not pleasing to the ear; a person in the room will look at me like I have two heads, and then within minutes they don’t even recognize what I started with.

I like to blend multiple elements together to create a “part.”  In this video example by simply using the Beatscape content and The ProChannel, I will take 8 samples that sound cluttered together, and then shape them into one interesting loop that will sound more professional than where it began.

1.)    I started with the basics by finding 3 kicks I liked, and 3 snares [snare and claps] I liked and shaped both using the ProChannel so that they worked well together as a groove.  As you will notice, working with the ProChannel is lightning fast in terms of a workflow; everything is right there so there’s no inserting plugins or switching back and forth between screens and menus.

2.)    I then arranged the snares and claps using the Smart Tool so that they created a unified part.

3.)    Next, I added top loops to add depth and dimension to the groove.  As you will hear, when these loops are first pulled into the mix they are very prominent and overbearing.  Again using the ProChannel I was able to quickly sculpt these top loops to add character to the groove as a whole.  Using the Smart Tool once again, I copied over one of the loops and reversed it to set up a dramatic effect.

4.)    Finally, using the ProChannel I called up a mastering Preset which instantly added thickness, volume and control over the whole new loop.

In this video you will see and hear not only how great the Beatscape content is, but also how powerful the ProChannel is in terms of sound, workflow, speed and ease of use.  There’s a solid reason behind the fact that SONAR X1 is buzzing in the music industry.  There’s no other DAW on the market that covers the territory of SONAR X1 Producer.  If you are serious about music creation and production, go to our Dealer Finder here and pick up an investment in yourself and your future; The SONAR X1 Production Suite.