Subtractive EQ Part 3: Kick Drum

Miss part 1? Read Subtractive EQ – Snare Drum.

The Kick Drum
If the snare was the primary listening point for Rock music then the kick drum is the second most important. By working in the guitars in over the snare I was then met with the challenge of working in a solid kick drum sound. This kick drum was tracked using two different kick drum microphones, one deeper into the drum than the other. For reference, the first kick signal is called the “Kick-In” microphone and the second is the “Kick-Out” signal. (This is one example of the nomenclature used by many engineers to differentiate between the different microphones placed on a drum set)

Kick In

I started by blending the two signals (more…)

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Subtractive EQ Part 2: Heavy Rhythm and Lead Guitars

Did you miss Part 1? Read Subtractive EQ for Snare Drum.

Guitars
Your guitar tone can change significantly by carving out the correct frequencies and reducing those that introduce unwanted noise. Distorted electric guitars tend to occupy most of the mid-range based on their nature of their sound. This mix was tricky because the band is instrumental and their music relies heavily on the layering of multiple guitar tones.

Rhythm Guitar 1

Here I have chosen to attenuate the unwanted rumbling of the of the low end of the rhythm guitars using the supplied HPF. The bass guitar is rather guitar-like in this song therefore it is important to make room for that. The HPF for Guitar 1 was applied at 50Hz and similarly to Guitar 2 at 47Hz. Why not the exact same frequency you ask? Having the slightest (more…)

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Free Download: White Knuckle Bass Presets for TH2 Producer

I sat down with some of my best session players to collaborate on 50 presets for TH2 Producer that are sure to add some grit to your low-end instruments. It’s no secret that my passion is mostly in the Rock and Metal world of music and I’ve felt that Bass doesn’t get enough love in those genres. Below are 5 examples from the Free Download that outline some great Rock and Metal lead, rhythm, clean, and ambient effects and I would definitely pull out of my bag of tricks for a record.

1. Pick Rhythm

Here’s a style of playing called “Djent” that has been popular in the last couple years. Typically this sound is done with down-tuned guitars but why not just use a bass? I’ve double-tracked this recording to give a wider sound (more…)

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Better together: Try SONAR X3 and Melodyne For Free!

What could be better than Melodyne Essential included with every copy of SONAR X3 Studio & SONAR X3 Producer? Only full integration of Melodyne in SONAR through ARA technology.

The future is here folks! This means the best pitch correction, time stretching, and audio to MIDI conversion in the business are at your command in SONAR X3 Studio & Producer. Whether there’s a flat note in a vocal, or you want to adjust phrasing, Melodyne makes it a snap to polish your recordings.

By adding support for ARA technology (Audio Random Access), we were able to seamlessly integrate Melodyne Essential into SONAR’s Skylight interface. This means no waiting for data to transfer into the Editor. Simply click to open the audio clip and get to work. To convert audio to MIDI, simply drag and audio clip onto a MIDI track and Melodyne takes care of the rest. And if you are using any other version of Melodyne or plan to upgrade, you get to enjoy the same level of integration automatically.

Best of all, ARA integration is available in the SONAR X3 Free Trial!  Download the 30-day Melodyne Trial to experience both together and see (more…)

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New Chocolate Cake Drums for Session Drummer 3

Cakewalk and Chocolate Audio have teamed up to bring you the brand new Chocolate Cake Drums – a flexible and delectable set of highly quality expansion packs for Session Drummer 3. (more…)

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Mixing Music For Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Falk Au Yeong has been making waves in the Video Game industry with many of his recent projects. One of the most notable includes the new Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. We were able arrange an in depth interview about him, his work, and his favourite DAW – SONAR X3 Producer.

When did you first get into SONAR, and what version are you currently using?

I’ve been a Cakewalk user all the way since Cakewalk Pro Audio and Home Studio, mostly working with MIDI. The first version of SONAR I jumped into was SONAR 3 Producer, and I’m currently using X3 thanks to the extremely reasonably upgrade paths and goodies that come with each update. For example, I’m really digging integrated Melodyne right now and I’m not ashamed to say it!

What is the Video Game Orchestra? How did you become associated with them?

The Video Game Orchestra is a group that plays arrangements of Video Game Music, created by Shota Nakama in 2008. They’ve grown from humble beginnings to playing shows in all kinds of formats each year, from rock band, to acoustic, to full-blown “Rockestral” performances which consist of rock band, orchestra and choir. Recently VGO has also started to get involved in recording gigs and self-produced albums under Shota’s curation.

I got involved earlier this year when Shota e-mailed me asking if I’d be up to do a series of small gigs for ‘a very important client’. Little did I know that I’d be working with one of the biggest independent game music production companies in Japan in real-time, via Skype and various audio streaming solutions. But that’s how we started! Crazy post-midnight sessions recording all manner of instruments, from drums to accordion to alto trombone to string quartet.  (more…)

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[Closed] Enter to win SONAR X3 Producer with Gobbler inegration

NOTE: This contest is closed and the winners have been notified.  Congrats to Brendon Foley, Darren Terry, Sanawman, and Jimmy Taylor!

Want to win a copy of SONAR X3 Producer ($500 value)? Take 2 minutes to enter our Instagram contest: http://instagram.com/p/hyduV8zEq1/

Hurry, this contest ends Wednesday, Dec. 18th 2013!

Instagram
Here’s how to enter:
1) Go to Instagram and follow both @CakewalkINC and @GobblerHQ
2) “Regram” the contest photo (just take a screenshot of it & re-post it to your feed)
3) Add “#GOBBLERSONAR” somewhere in your caption
4) You’re done! Just wait until Fri Dec 20th, when we’ll announce the 4 winners!

*Official rules*

With SONAR X3, you can use the newly integrated Gobbler module for peace-of-mind w/ auto-backups to the cloud & collaborate by sending/receiving whole sessions, all direct from the DAW!

Get free Gobbler backup & storage.

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Free Quick Kit Project Templates for SONAR X3 users

Quick Kit Project Templates

In celebration of Drum Month, Cakewalk has put together the first ever collection of Session Drummer 3 Quick Kits. These pre-mixed project templates load right from quick start menu in all three versions of SONAR X3 without any assembly required. Open a quick kit, drop in your sequence, and you’re ready to rock with great sounding drums. Happy drumming!

Quick Kit Highlights:

  • Free download for all SONAR X3, Studio, & Producer customers (thru Dec. 31st).
  • 65 pre-mixed Project Templates featuring Session Drummer 3.
  • 3, 6, & 12 channel templates in 13 genres.
  • Includes simple install instructions to add them to your Quick Start menu in SONAR X3.

How to Download SONAR X3: You can now Download SONAR X3 on the Cakewalk Store for just $105. SONAR X3 Upgrades start at just $49.

How to Download Quick Kits Project Templates: If you already purchased SONAR X3, you can download the free Quick Kits from your My Account page on the Cakewalk Store.  If you have not yet created an account, you will need to use the same email address as your SONAR X3 registration. Then proceed to the My Account section and under “Free Offers” you will see the Free Quick Kit Project Templates.

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A Holiday Miracle: 24 Hours To Write, Record, Produce, Mix A Commercial Track in SONAR X3

“Audio Production Jobs” come in all shapes and sizes these days;-)  Yes, the music industry in general has shrunken to an all-time low in terms of major label budget projects, but the flip side is that there are many nooks and crannies out there to stay creative while making money.  I think the key these days is getting into as many industry circles as possible, and then over-delivering.  If you’re handed a job for writing, mixing, producing or even recording, and you knock it out of the park the first time with low-no hassles to the client, you will certainly come to mind on the next round.  I would also be willing to bet that your name will be referred to other folks outside of that job’s “circle.”  You just never know to where things are going to lead.

Stemming from this theory, I have been fortunate enough to work on some pretty diverse projects ranging from title tracks for Pokémon DVD’s to Major Label artists and just about everything in between in one form or another.  For the work I do now, the one thing that gives me an edge using SONAR X3 Producer over other DAWs is the quickness of the workflow; which contributes to music creation diversity.  Sounds deep right? …well it kind of is.  Here’s a real-world example with italicized words in red representing why SONAR X3 features are crucial to me when facing tough audio jobs.

Just a few weeks ago I was contacted by NYC singer-songwriter Jodi Good’s music attorney Steven Beer on a Friday night to discuss an opportunity for a “Holiday Song” to be placed with a major publication [for Monday].  Now usually, “Holiday Songs” are recorded around August or September and we were already at the end of November, so I knew this was going to be a tough one to accomplish especially since the song had to be written, recorded and mixed fast.  The other strike against me was that this one was a bit out of my rock, and pop-rock comfort zones, but I knew the challenge would be a good experience on many different levels, so I decided to fire up the eggnog and go for it.  Plus I had the comfort of knowing that Jodi is a great songwriter especially in the lyric department, so it was “weekend on.”

Literally that night Jodi was sending me vocal-only words and melodies as text messages on my Samsung S4.  She doesn’t play an instrument and we didn’t have the benefit of time, so we had to start writing via virtual and digital means.  I instantly forwarded them via email to my HP Z400 main rig where I drag-and-dropped them into a session for reference where they automatically created audio tracks.  The next move was simply pulling them down to a midi track where Melodyne’s ARA technology kicked in instantly giving me the notes in Midi.  This helped me to figure out the best chord structures for the verses and pre-chorus and also allowed me to see where I could go writing the chorus melody.  After about a half hour on my trusty acoustic, I had the bones to send back to Jodi via text.

[I'm going out on a limb here for your laughing pleasure ;) Here's the actual writing file on my phone which is what I texted back to Jodi when we were writing the melody - so you can hear how the song started, and where it ended.] (more…)

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Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 2 (SONAR X3 Producer)

Quick Review

In the first part of this article we went through some of the primary effects every user should be aware of inside of Addictive Drums. To review, these effects were the Sampler, Pitch, Volume, and Snare sections of the EDIT section. Read Knowing Your Effects in Addictive Drums Part 1.

As I’ve stated in Part 1, Addictive Drums is a power-house when it comes to the amount of mixing options that are available within it’s mixing engine. Don’t let the small interface deceive you.

What is Compression?

Compression is a tool that has two main uses – controlling levels, and dynamically shaping the volume of a signal over time. Within Addictive Drums there is a compression section that outlines four basic parameters for compression: Threshold, Attack, Release, and Ratio.

Threshold

This parameter is the first part of the compressor that the signal hits (more…)

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