The Sound of Console Emulation in SONAR X3

The age of hybrid studios

The day has come where digital audio has caught up to the analog trends of the pre-xyz age. Hybrid (digital/analog) home-studios are more common and the need for more analog flavored plugins is a must. Cakewalk has harnessed these trends in some of the latest software additions to the X-series with their track by track Console Emulation ProChannel plugin.

At a glance

Simplicity is one of the key ingredients in the world of plugin interfaces and the Console Emulator is no stranger to that. It’s an easy tool to use, just turn up the Drive! Each algorithm has the same 3 parameters for locking in the sound, Drive, Tolerance, and Trim. Each version of the plugin reflects the circuitry of 3 classic large format console from the past 30 years. Every board has it’s own sound because each circuit is completely different than the other.

Let’s take a closer listen 

For most part, Console Emulation is about subtle character. If you apply subtle changes to your entire mix it will collectively sound different. One track may not sound all that different in the final mix, but if you apply this effect to the entirety of your session, well then you’ll probably start to hear some differences. These DSP algorithms are tuned Continue reading The Sound of Console Emulation in SONAR X3

Beatboxing – Watch What Happens to the Frequency Analyzer in SONAR X3

Within the Vocal world  there are all different styles of singing and beatboxing is one of the more complex and percussive styles that the human voice can produce. Typically there is a single frequency range that vocalists stay within but beatboxers span the entire frequency range to achieve the sounds that come from their mouth. Check out this video with a local Boston street performer as he shows us how it’s done:

Wanna try the QuadCurve EQ? Check out SONAR X3 30 Day Trial

How to EQ: Carving Out The Right Sound For Your Mix

Sometimes EQ is more about “sonic sculpture” than anything else

by Craig Anderton

One of the most important aspects of mixing is using EQ to “carve out” a specific frequency range for instruments so they don’t conflict with each other. If instruments have their own sonic space, it’s easier to hear each instrument’s unique contribution, which increases the mix’s clarity.

Dan Gonzalez did a great series for the Cakewalk blog on subtractive EQ, and how cutting frequencies can help create a better a mix; this is more of a complementary article about how I carved out EQ for various instruments in a cover version of the song “Black Market Daydreams” (by UK songwriter Mark Longworth). All the displays are set for +/-6dB.

Choirs: Using a low-shelf response to cut starting at the midrange gives the choir more brightness and “air.” This way it sort of floats over the mix. The same approach works well for ethereal pads, and lets you mix them a little lower to make space for other sounds. Also note that I couldn’t resist throwing a little Gloss in there…

Try the QuadCurve EQ in the SONAR X3 Producer Free Trial

Guitar power chord: Enabling the high pass and low pass filters creates a broad bandpass in the midrange area where there’s not a lot of energy Continue reading How to EQ: Carving Out The Right Sound For Your Mix

Subtractive EQ Part 5: When Should I Boost EQ?

Missed Part 1? Read it here.

When should I boost?
Some of you may read this and field this very question.  Boosting is something that you can do any time you want with any given instrument.  Obviously it is your own choice in the matter but if you find yourself constantly pulling your faders up and down because your master level is clipping then you may want to apply these EQ techniques to your workflow. In my world it is always a matter of reducing first and then boosting later.

Conclusion
Mixing is as much of an art as it is understanding the logical ways that instruments interact with one another. Continue reading Subtractive EQ Part 5: When Should I Boost EQ?

SONAR X3: Exploring Your New EQs

SONAR X3 comes with an array of brand new EQ plugins. All of them have their own purpose sound and functionality. A great new feature within SONAR X3 is the ProChannel QuadCurve EQ Zoom & Analyzer as well. Using both of these you can truly get an idea of how each one works and how it affects your audio signal.

I’ve sent some pink noise through the new QuadCurve EQ & Zoom’s Analyzer so that you can see how the settings are affecting the full frequency spectrum.

The first one is the British Tone Equalizer. This is a 3-band EQ with a Low Shelving Band, Midrange Band, and a High Shelving Band. All have variable bandwidths.

You can see in the diagram below that, even though this appears to be a rather simple EQ, it’s middle adjustment is perfect for instruments that sit in the mid-range.

Both the high-shelving and low-shelving frequency adjustment are not as complex, but would be ideal for carving out their respective frequencies in both the high and low spectrum.

The Bandaxall EQ is a quickly and easy two band EQ with fixed frequency cut offs. This is perfect for Continue reading SONAR X3: Exploring Your New EQs

4 features of SONAR X2 that make the musician’s life easier (New Videos)

With all the powerful features of SONAR X2, it’s almost impossible for someone to know every single angle of the program.  Even some of the simpler features have some not-so-obvious aspects that can make the musician’s life easier and more musically inventive.  This is why we have created detailed videos for SONAR users to delve into without needing a manual.

This week we have posted four great new videos that are sure to give you some new insight on X2 features and workflow:

The QuadCurve EQ has now proven itself in the industry to be one of the most musical AND surgical instruments around.  With four different modes, it’s easy to carve out and sculpt perfect and professional mixes with ease.

[My favorite QuadCurve feature: The slope – cutting off low frequencies dead-off is essential for getting great vocals to really pop out of the mix without sitting too far in front. You can also greatly clean up your low-end by getting rid of competing frequencies utilizing the slope on guitars, bass and kick drum.] Continue reading 4 features of SONAR X2 that make the musician’s life easier (New Videos)

How Building Cost Effective Acoustic Treatment for the Music Studio Will Help Your Music Production; Final Links and Video

A 3 Part Resource for D.I.Y. Acoustic Sound Treatment and Room Development

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.

Part 1: Building a sound cloud over your mix position

Part 2: Building corner traps

Part 3:  Building wall panels

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 X3Producer is where I can really tell the difference in my environment.  The QuadCurve EQ is very advanced and allows the user to surgically tailor 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 X3 family, and then do your homework and figure out the best listening environment FOR YOU.