SONAR Platinum is the newest, greatest, and most advanced version yet. It contains all the tools and accessories that anyone would need in order to produce, mix, master, and compose their own music. In this mixing tutorial I’ll be using SONAR Platinum exclusively to show you the various ways I went about mixing this track.
There are a total of 6 synth tracks in this song. All of them are quite trance-y and bring a unique dance flavor to this song. Let’s take a look at a few of the things I did to the more prominent synth tracks. For the most part this song reminds me of bands like The Killers. Maybe it’s the voice of the singer and the style of drumming but it has that kind of feel to it.
The first synth track that you hear running in the background behind the marching tom hits is a pretty dry track to start with. It’s already processed to some degree but in my opinion needs a little bit of low end and an equal amount of space in the mix. Taking this into consideration I add a low shelf on the Quad-Curve EQ at about 191Hz. This thickens it up a bit so that the song has a strong entrance with the pounding toms.
New to SONAR Professional and SONAR Platinum is the increasingly popular and imaginative REmatrix Solo. REmatrix Solo uses convolution to mimic real life halls, rooms, plates, and other reverberant spaces. In order to do this, engineers use something called a sine sweep or starter pistols to excite a real space like a church or bathroom. Typically you need to use a space that has a particularly natural short or long decay and does not have artifacts like flutter verbs or cancelling frequencies. You can even capture the sound of other reverb plugins and import that sound into REmatrix Solo.
This version is based off of a the full REmatrix plugin by Overloud. Currently, REmatrix Solo allows users to play a single IR but in the full version, you can play up to 5 IRs at once – allowing you to cross-pollinate your favorite reverbs into one lush space.
What’s the difference between Breverb and REmatrix Solo
Breverb and REmatrix Solo actually use different technology to create reverb. Breverb is based on a famous digital reverb found in almost every major recording studio. Breverb uses a dedicated or similar algorithm to recreate things like Early Reflections, Late Reflections, Pre-Delay, Decay, and other elements of a reverb. Breverb recreates a digital reverb whereas REmatrix uses the aforementioned convolution methods to convolve passing sounds with data from real life spaces. Breverb lets you tweak the elements of reverb and REmatrix creates a space around your sound.
Here’s a in depth look at the REmatrix Solo plugin brand new to SONAR Professional and SONAR Platinum.
SONAR Platinum user Norman Matthew of Murder FM has been making some serious musical strides on many fronts. Since touring internationally and becoming a new dad wasn’t enough, he decided to open a “School of Rock” so to speak in what tiny bit of spare time he could squeeze. “The Sound Foundation” which houses SONAR Platinum at the core, is based on teaching kids the side of music that one generally will not learn in a class room. “This is about teaching kids how to find their heart and spirit through music,” Norman told me at #Namm2015 when we caught up for a bit. “The changes I see in the confidence of these kids through the process is amazing. Each student is treated uniquely to identify exactly what is needed to reach their musical goals. What happens throughout that process is simply magical to witness, and really what makes this place so special. SONAR is a big part of this place. These kids love it and recording some great music on their own thanks to the simplicity of the program.”
Quite frankly, The Sound Foundation is picking up where the labels are falling short on the Artist Development side of the coin. Since the fall of the Major Label system, the words “Artist Development” are rarely heard. A lot of people don’t realize that a good amount of money that was coming into the labels back-in-the-day was going right back into developing new artists. Labels were actually gambling on 150k deals here and there knowing that 1 out of 5 newly signed artists may break long term. Those days are long gone, and this is where people like Norman Matthew are picking up the slack.
This model is working, and to drive home the point Norman has recently brought on CJ Pierce of Platinum selling Artist DROWNING POOL to join The Sound Foundation. “This is a big deal for me. I have always had so much respect for CJ and Drowning Pool – and to have a guy of this caliber involved with our program is priceless.”
CBS Dallas has bought into Norman’s educational process and ran a piece on The Sound Foundation today:
The Ford Company has also taken notice of Norman’s work ethic and has featured The Sound Foundation on Episode #1 of their Good Works Series:
Mix Recall takes your mixing to another level by offering SONAR Artist, Professional, and Platinum users the ability to save different mix scenes of the same mix within a single project. Mix Recall saves track parameters, bus parameters, and even instrument presets. A great way to use this feature is to audition different drumkits using the included Addictive Drums 2.
Instruments these days are full of all kinds of choices, especially ones that are as expansive as Addictive Drums 2. When working on a track I like to take the same pattern and switch between the custom kits that I’ve made. Addictive Drums 2 and Addictive Drums 1 both let the user take pieces of all the different kits that it comes with to make your own. Mix Recall let’s you take this workflow a step further.
Original drum passage
Here we have a simple Indie Kit from Addictive Drums:
VocalSync (SONAR Platinum exclusive) is a new technology developed by the DSP gurus here at Cakewalk. We’ve engineered an algorithm that analyzes and synchronizes phonemes (among other characteristics specific to vocals) between similar vocal parts. This type of technology is often used to synchronize backing vocals, doubled vocal parts, and used to align dialogue to picture.
Something you’re probably wondering is, well – “Why would I use such a thing?” Well the question you should actually be asking yourself is “Why haven’t I been using vocal synchronization?”
What does it do?
Vocal Synchronization is something that has been around for a long time but by methods unfit for today’s demanding deadlines. Before, vocal editing would consist of manual cutting, editing, moving and quantizing – kind of like multi-track drum editing but with less instruments. We’ve taken this idea and tied it into our Region FX technology so that users can work inside the Track View and not in another part of the program. With VocalSync Continue reading SONAR Platinum: What is VocalSync?
Large projects yield large mixes. As a mix engineer myself I tend to stack up on mix buses to make it easier to control multi-mic’d instruments or groups of tracks.
As of SONAR X3, experimenting with different types of bus processing is somewhat cumbersome due to a lack of useful A/B switching mechanisms. Mix Recall changes that in the newest version. Elevating your workflow is what SONAR is here for, and SONAR Artist, Professional, and Platinum now offer a goldmine of mixing workflows.
When you first open up Mix Recall make sure to save your project – or else all of the buttons will be inactive.