Time flies when you’re having fun the old cliché saying goes. For me, five years ago, I was in the trenches for a good week going down a rabbit hole not knowing exactly where I would end up. I’m talking about sound panels – building sound panels that is; and if you’re anything like me, you’ve been in a few studios and loved the look and feel of those expensive looking ones on the walls.
When I moved into our new house, my goal was to create a project studio where I could plain and simply put, have fun. My jobs before Cakewalk at Elektra Records and Capitol Records allotted me enough pressure-cooker studio situations to last a lifetime, so this studio was about doing things I wanted to do, when I wanted to do them, and maybe also making some college money on the side for my boy Mack (now 8). Continue reading Building Your Own Professional Sound Panels – 5 Years Later
Thanks to Melodyne’s advanced tempo detection and SONAR’s powerful ARA drag-and-drop integration, your projects can now follow a live recording’s tempo. Simply drag a standard audio clip (or Melodyne region effect) to SONAR’s timeline, and SONAR creates a tempo map that follows the clip tempo. Watch the new video for more information.
A few years back, we showed you a bit about Parallel Compression in SONAR. Now that we’ve introduced Patch Points in the Jamaica Plain update, you can do these same things with a much more efficient workflow.
Let’s quickly define parallel processing: In parallel processing, a signal is duplicated into two or more signals. Each copy of the signal is processed differently but plays back simultaneously with the original. The copy/copies are then mixed together.
Parallel Compression, aka “New York Compression,” is most commonly used on drums to add body to the drum mix without flattening the snappy transients.
Check out the video below to see just how easy (and great sounding) this technique can be:
Some plug-ins and virtual instruments sound better when recording at sample rates higher than 44.1/48 kHz because high audio frequencies can interfere with lower clock frequencies, which causes foldover distortion. This adds a “wooliness” at lower frequencies, and can also compromise high-frequency response. Plug-ins that include internal oversampling do not have this problem, but not all plug-ins—particularly older ones—use oversampling.
The Foxboro update introduced Upsample on Render, which provides the benefits of using higher sample rate processing even in 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz projects by internally 2X up-sampling plug-ins of your choice, rendering them as audio, then down-sampling the rendered audio back down to the original sample rate. While it may seem counter-intuitive that the audio quality from rendering at 96 kHz is preserved at lower sample rates, the lower sample rates have no problem reproducing signals in the audio range, and by rendering at 96 kHz, the problematic frequencies no longer exist.
The Jamaica Plain update now offers Upsample on Playback, so you can preview and compare the difference in real time. To enable either Upsampling on Render or Upsampling on Playback on a per-plug-in basis, click the FX button to the left of the instrument name in the virtual instrument interface.
To turn Upsampling on or off globally for plug-ins that have Upsampling enabled, use the 2X button in the Control Bar’s Mix module.
Here are some representative applications for using Patch Points and Aux Tracks. There are often several ways to accomplish the same functionality, so use whichever is most comfortable. For example, if you already have existing tracks that you want to connect to Patch Points, it’s probably easier to assign their inputs to Patch Points than create new Aux Tracks. However, if you’re setting up a new recording scenario, it will probably be easiest to create an Aux Track as that will create both a track and a Patch Point assignment.
Application #1: Recording the Metronome to a Track
Note: If your project already contains a Metronome bus, skip to step 7.
Choose Insert > Stereo Bus to create a new bus for the audio metronome.
Rename the new bus to Metronome.
Choose Edit > Preferences > Project – Metronome.
Select the Recording check box and clear the Playback check box (you will hear the recorded metronome instead during playback).
Select “Use Audio Metronome.”
Click the Output drop-down menu and select the bus named Metronome, then click OK to close the Preferences dialog box.
Click the Metronome bus’s Output control and select New Aux Track on the pop-up menu.
Cakewalk has been quietly developing a Universal Routing Technology that gives tremendous flexibility when routing signals within SONAR. One of the first examples was the FX Chain, which provided a “container” for routing effect inputs and outputs together, and had the intelligence to disconnect controls if the effects being controlled were removed. The ProChannel and FX Racks are a basic example of taking the “insert jacks” on mixers to a more flexible level by providing two ways of inserting effects, where one block could be pre or post compared to the other.
Synth recording took the concept another step further by allowing real-time recording of synth outputs, but now Patch Points and Aux Tracks introduce a mind-boggling level of flexibility: you can feed tracks (audio or instrument) into tracks, buses into tracks, sends into tracks, or even (get ready!) tracks, sends, and buses into the same track—and much more. It’s even possible to do something like feed track outputs and bus outputs into an Aux Track, when can then feed with other Aux Tracks and a Send into a different track. This may sound complicated enough to make your head explode, but it’s all implemented in a smart, intuitive way that not only adds no clutter to the Track or Console view, but even cleans up unused patch points if the routing changes.
Please note: Projects that contain Patch Points and Aux Tracks cannot be opened in SONAR versions prior to SONAR Jamaica Plain (Update 9). If you need to open a project in an earlier version, first back up the project, unassign any patch points, then re-save the project.
Looking for some advanced, interesting, or downright weird ways to use the new Patch Points feature? Here you go:
Suppose you want to split one track to several outputs, for example to do multiband processing. Here’s how:
The Dry track output goes to Patch Point 1 instead of the master bus. Five tracks, each of which filters a different band of frequencies, have their inputs set to Patch Point 1. The Dry track now feeds all five channels simultaneously. Placing all these tracks inside a track folder makes it easy to fold them up when you want a tidier setup. Continue reading Five Reasons Why Patch Points Rock
Our friends at Roland Australia are big fans of SONAR X1. They asked us to share the post below on how to improve your workflow by knowing your Key Bindings.
Using Key Bindings can totally transform how you interact with your SONAR X1. There are hundreds of commands that can literally be placed at your fingertips that can help you navigate or perform a number of editing routines in your SONAR X1 session. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to explore this very powerful feature. To help you on your way, we have put together a PDF Doc that maps out all the default Key Bindings. Use the rows and columns as co-ordinates to identify the QWERTY key / modifier combination for the Key Binding.
Not only will it help you to memorize the default settings, you can also use the spreadsheet to plan out and record your own custom Key Binding commands. If you identify the commands you wish to use in the Keyboard Shortcut list in SONAR X1’s Preferences, then you can add their descriptions to the vacant cells. If you do make changes, make sure you save a copy of your Key Bindings with a new name by using the EXPORT Button on Key bindings Window.
From getting great tone to releasing a final mix, today’s musicians must master every element of the music production process. SONAR X2 Producer is there every step of the way, and the revolutionary Skylight interface lets you move seamlessly among the elements, instantly going from recording to editing to mixing and back again. Dial up the perfect synth sound with Rapture or a searing guitar tone with TH2 Producer. Record it, tighten it, chop it, and drop it in the Matrix for realtime triggering. Shape it with the ProChannel. Warm it with the Console Emulator. And do it all with a single Smart Tool. It’s genius.