Gates are wonderful processors that can clean up background noise and bleed in your audio tracks. They’re a bit tricky to understand because the key to successfully using one is often a specific feature that’s hidden or buried in the interface. The feature I’m referring to is called the sidechain. It’s a powerful element of my mixing workflow and I’d like to show you why.
In its simplest form, a gate allows a signal to pass through it only when its decibel level is above a set threshold. This means the gate is ‘open’. If the signal falls below the threshold then no signal is allowed to pass. This means the gate is ‘closed’. The sidechain becomes an integral part of this entire process because it’s what the gate uses to detect whether or not the signal is above or below the set threshold.
1. Eliminate uncertainties with a pre-production demo.
If there is a single doubt in your mind about a song on your record then it’s time to sit down and work out those uncertainties before you get into the studio. Idolizing a recording studio as a creative space is only productive when you’ve booked studio time for being creative. Get that demo sounding as close to the final product as possible so that every part and idea is thought out.
SONAR X3 is ideal for experimenting with those finishing touches. For example, TH2 is a great way to easily grab an amp tone for your bass or guitar. The advanced sound behind Overloud’s flagship product allows you to change amps, input your own impulse responses, and get as close to your final product as you can. The best part about it is that it’s a virtual amp, so you don’t have to commit to your final guitar sound until you’re in your mixing stage.
2. Learn the songs cold.
Studio preparation should involve regular and productive practice schedules. Try to learn the songs so that you can play them all the way through without stopping. Playing full takes will get you the best possible performances of your song and allow you to think more about the other players rather than yourself. Continue reading 4 Tips for Songwriters Before Entering the Recording Studio
Cakewalk announces the newest additions to the growing line of affordable, high-quality hardware products, designed in conjunction with Roland. These three new USB audio interfaces, the UA-4FX, UA-25EX and UA-101, provide a simple solution for the mobile musician and/or recording studio to connect and capture audio to Mac & PC.
ALSO Cakewalk announces a new line of powered stereo monitor speakers. The Cakewalk MA-7A Stereo Micro Monitors and MA-15D Digital Stereo Micro Monitors deliver superior audio in a myriad of settings; the home recording studio, classroom or media lab, college dorm room, even in your living room entertainment system without stressing your budget.
Click on the links above for more information on these products
Check out Cakewalk’s Youtube page to watch the new videos
Joe Stokes specializes in Post Production Sound and Video Editing. He worked for several years in theater as a production manager, in corporate television as a producer and later as a visual effects production manager for POP on films such as Independence Day, What Dreams May Come, and Star Trek: First Contact.
He is the founder of Stokes Audio, Recording & Post located in Tarzana, CA. Recently, Cakewalk’s Steve Thomas visited Stokes’ studio with the SONAR V-Studio 700 music production system. Joe shares some of his favorite features and a few production tips & tricks:
Pick up the latest issue of MIX Magazine to see an extensive review of the complete SONAR V-Studio 700 system. Engineer and MIX contributor, Tony Nunes, tests the SONAR V-Studio 700 in his home studio and during a commercial studio tracking session.
For testing purposes, Nunes interfaced the SONAR V-Studio 700 with a machine running a 32-bit Windows Vista Ultimate operating system powered by 3GHz Intel Core Extreme CPU Q6850 with 4GB of RAM. He also installed the latest software and firmware updates to ensure that the system’s various parts would work at the greatest potential in each environment.
Read the full review to get a closer look at SONAR V-Studio 700’s control surface (V-700C), the I/O and Roland Fantom VS Synth (V-700R), and digital audio workstation (SONAR 8 Producer). Here’s a few of our favorite quotes from Nunes’ stellar review:
“The V-700C is a full blooded control surface that’s tightly integrated with SONAR. Top features include EQ and plug-in manipulation… The V-700C’s faders are a step above the rest with unique features such as Channel Branch mode and locking faders.”
“The V-700R is a solid 24-bit/192 kHz USB interface with a plethora of inputs and outputs that sound clean, detailed and unbiased… the expandable Roland Fantom VS Synth is attractive to keyboardists and saves CPU load.”
“Plug-in manipulation was a breeze with ACT, which brilliantly mapped SONAR’s TL-64 and VC-64 plug-ins to the Channel Strip control section. I also appreciated how quickly I could access all the different SONAR views from the Access Panel, while the T-Bar combined with SONAR’s X-Ray kept my plug-ins from cluttering up my screen’s real estate.”
Cakewalk’s Director of Engineering Bob Damiano, or the artist known as Roberts Reason, was recently featured as the Center Stage artist on the Saturday Night Rocks internet radio show at Mixposure.com. Bob is a seasoned guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and engineer who has been playing in bands since he was 15 years old. When not behind the scenes at Cakewalk, Bob runs Rock Science Studios.
The program director for Saturday Night Rocks is Mike Kohlgraf, a SONAR fan and Cakewalk forum member.
Join us at ASCAP’s New York Sessions on March 10, 2009 at Frederick P. Rose Hall (Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center) at Broadway and 60th Street in Manhattan. NY Sessions is a one-day career boosting event for songwriters and composers, featuring a special keynote speaker, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Rob Thomas.
Throughout the day, Cakewalk’s Product Specialists will be giving hands-on training sessions of the new SONAR V-Studio 700 music production system. Cakewalk is also sponsoring other events during the event, see below for more information:
Cakewalk Teaching Studio: A producer and engineer will develop a piece of music in a fully-functional on-location studio. SONAR V-Studio 700 will be the ‘centerpiece’ of the room.
Cakewalk Demonstration Room: Cakewalk Product Specialists will perform live SONAR V-Studio 700 and SONAR 8 demos. An experience station in the back of the room will provide an opportunity to get hands on with Cakewalk’s software.
The event is open to ASCAP members and non-members.
Must register on ASCAP’s website to attend the event: Visit ASCAP’s Event Page for more information.