Helpful ReplyFriday's Tip of the Week #167: Behold! Dual Mono Becomes Stereo!

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southpaw3473
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/24 18:29:15 (permalink)
Great tip, as always!! Thanks Craig!!

We'll not risk another frontal assault-that rabbit's dynamite!!!

Tommy Byrnes
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Anonymungus!
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/24 18:47:11 (permalink)
Thanks Craig, Who Knew? I'll have to play around VX-64 now & check it out!

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fitzj
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/24 20:20:13 (permalink)
Great Craig many thanks for this tip.
pentimentosound
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/24 20:35:12 (permalink)
Like the sound(s) of that one! LOL
Thanks
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/24 23:33:34 (permalink)
Oh yea, the doubler + delay sound excellent 

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bitman
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/25 09:35:44 (permalink)
Great. There goes the weekend.
 
listen
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/25 10:07:08 (permalink)
Craig it is greatly appreciated!!!!
 

- Listen -
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Zargg
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/25 15:56:43 (permalink)
Thanks for yet another great tip, Craig 
All the best.

Ken Nilsen
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ZincTrumpet
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/02/27 05:37:23 (permalink)
+100 
I have used VX64 on quite a few vocal tracks but that chorus on guitar is so subtle.
Loving the doubled echoplex too. Used with some of those CA-X amps it sounds glorious.
 
Thanks Craig 
Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/04 02:49:13 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby EyjolfurG 2017/04/01 09:09:18
Week #135: An Efficient Workflow for Pre-Masters
 
So you’ve recorded all your tracks…but that doesn’t mean much unless your project ends up in a finished form, which usually means mastering (whether by yourself or someone else). Some people master by inserting processors in the final stereo bus, and in some cases that makes sense. But if you’re putting together an album or collection of songs, mastering individual songs on an ad hoc basis ties your hands. It’s much better to create “pre-masters” with no master bus processing (along with some headroom—at least a couple of dB), and collect them as a group. Then you can bring them into a program like CD Architect, or Studio One’s mastering page, to work on them together for sonic consistency as you assemble the album.
 
This is something I do often, so I’ve come up with a workflow that I find quite efficient. Referring to the screenshot, here’s how it works.
 

 
The project itself has all the tracks (1-17) recorded. When I’m happy with the mix, I don’t export it; I bounce it to a new track (tracks 18-21, with 21 being the most recent mixdown). There are four main reasons for mixing down within the project:
 
  • Take advantage of the drag-and-drop Browser (more on this later)
  • The final mix is part of the project—backing up the project backs up the mix too
  • There’s a logical tie-in with the Mix Recall function
  • A-B comparisons with other mixes are easy
 
For example, suppose I’ve completed a project (at least in theory…). I do a mix by bouncing the tracks to a new track, and save a corresponding Mix Recall scene. Here are the parameters used for bouncing—pretty much everything, saved as a preset called “Mixdown.” (And by the way, if you don’t know the virtues of saving Export presets for different applications, it’s a topic worth studying.)
 

 
Another tip…assign the mixed track output to your hardware out, not the master bus, just in case you do end up inserting something in the master bus and forget to bypass it, or change the master bus level.
 
Anyway…after there’s a mix, I live with the track for a few days, play it over some different systems, and typically find I want to make a few tweaks. So, I re-open the project, make the tweaks, bounce to a new track, and save another Mix Recall scene. In the screen shot, you can see I’ve done this four times. Each mix file is named with the date—the same name as the Mix Recall scene, so it’s easy to see which file corresponds to which Mix Recall scene.
 
Now put that thought on hold for a second.
 
THE PRE-MASTERS FOLDER
 
I’ve also created a folder called Pre-Masters, which you can see in the Browser. This collects all the songs that are part of a project (in this case, the follow-up to my “Neo-” album, titled “Simplicity”). This folder is also the folder from which I draw files for the album assembly process. For easy access, I’ve saved the folder as a Content Location preset (which is a very handy feature if you haven’t explored its talents).
 
When I create a new mix to use for the album assembly and replace a previous mix, I right-click on the existing version in the pre-masters folder, select “Rename,” hit ctrl+C to copy the name, and then delete the file. Next, I drag the new mix over into the Browser, right-click and select “Rename,” then type ctrl+V so it has the name of the previous mix. This is important not just to keep the names straight, but because the program you use to assemble the files into an album will likely not recognize a file with a different name.
 
The eventual result is a collection of pre-masters that are just what I want, so they’re ready to be mastered and graduate to being an album. But we’re not done! After all, this is a "Friday’s Tip of the Week," so…
 
BUT WAIT—THERE’S MORE!
 
As wonderful as Mix Recall is, the process of recalling a mix isn’t instant, especially if there’s a lot going on that needs to be recalled. And since auditory memory is short, using Mix Recall to do A-B comparisons can be iffy.
 
So you might be wondering whether the mix from yesterday is really better than the one you did today. Or maybe the first mix, which you did a while ago so you’ve forgotten about it, captured a moment you were never quite able to duplicate. This is why having all your different mixes (and Mix Recall Scenes) contained in the project can be so cool.
 
To A-B mixes, just enable the Exclusive Solo button. Now you can solo with total abandon among the mixes to A-B them. Furthermore, you might find that part of one mix was better than the same part in another mix. Easy: “Split at Selection,” then replace the appropriate part of a mix with the other section. I’ve even used this technique to add interest in a song—it’s almost like a weird kind of snapshot automation, where there’s a shift in the song’s feel when the new section appears.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
ZincTrumpet
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/04 09:29:22 (permalink)
Great ideas Craig!

I do find it tricky keeping track (no pun intended) of different mixes outside of the project and deciding which I prefer so it makes a lot of sense to keep them within the project file. I will definitely be trying this one.
 
Now I must go and look up Content Location presets... 
Brando
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/04 12:52:51 (permalink)
Thanks Craig. This one is really full of so many little clever ideas that I will be rethinking how I work. I really like the idea of bouncing mixes down to tracks for A-B purposes. Also I have been under exploiting the browser or at least the use of folders for organisation purposes. And Presets for track bounce/mix Export.  Great tip!

Brando
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/04 13:05:11 (permalink)
Agree with the others. It's certainly got me thinking, and I can't wait to get back to the studio and give some of this a try. I do bounce mix's into the project, but I still havn't really got a good process going for either mix recall or saving of each mix outside the project. I confess to not really using the browser at all. I've known for a while I need to allocate some time to develop a better process for filing. Great place to start. Thanks Craig.

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pentimentosound
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/04 18:58:04 (permalink)
Oh man, that is better than a white macadamia nut cookie! Well, in an ITB sort of way........
Thanks Craig! There a lot of off shoots to explore in that one...
Michael

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kzmaier
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/05 13:55:49 (permalink)
Great tip!!!  This will bring mix recall into my workflow, as the delay was hard to work with, given my short attention span.  Thanks Craig!

Best Regards,
Ken
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FCCfirstclass
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/05 15:27:12 (permalink)
Thank you so much Craig.  Your tips are always welcome. 
 
I had not twigged to this particular flow before.  I will try it today! 
 

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And away we go!
chuckebaby
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/05 18:04:21 (permalink)
This is not something I am used to doing but the cool thing about this is it will allow me to explore new ideas, which is the best way to learn new things. Thanks Craig.
Great idea about the Pre masters folder in the browser. I cant figure out why I have not tried this yet. its brilliant.

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Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/05 22:05:45 (permalink)
The reaction here tells me that general workflow-type tips also resonate, not just specific techniques. I also have an idea for a more off-the-wall tip topic for next week. Worse case is no one likes it, and I get back to normal the following week 

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
bitman
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/07 18:39:33 (permalink)
Mmmm. good stuff. I export then "master" in another program. I don't even date the CDs.
I'm going to employ this. Just to save myself from myself.
bitman
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/07 18:42:37 (permalink)
Unrelated question: What are you doing albums for?
 
Do you have a deal to fulfill or is this just to annoy relatives and crushes with?
I ask because we all need motivation.
Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/07 22:23:39 (permalink)
bitman
Unrelated question: What are you doing albums for?
 
Do you have a deal to fulfill or is this just to annoy relatives and crushes with?
I ask because we all need motivation.



I'm not actively pursuing a deal for a few reasons. First, I'm not in a position where I can support/promote an album properly. Second, after 20 years of doing stuff for labels, it's really great to be able to just do whatever I want. An album like Neo- where every cut is different is a record label nightmare.
 
So, I do the albums for several reasons. I need vast quantities of library music for the corporate and educational videos I do, and a lot of those come from remixes of material from the albums (e.g., mixes without vocals). So in that respect, they're like raw material from which I can mine soundtracks. It's like having soundtracks in the bank.
 
Also, songs will often develop in the process of testing software, writing articles, etc. and I just take them to their logical conclusion. My articles on techniques etc. are about 70% my projects and 30% other peoples' projects. Finally, there are quite a few people who like my music (go figure), so I post what I do on craiganderton.com and my YouTube channel. If I start gigging again, I'll have merch but I'm seeing what would be involved in selling USB memory sticks with the songs, artwork, lyrics, maybe even some of the loops and such. 

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
ampfixer
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/07 22:47:11 (permalink)
I've known quite a few professional musicians with solo careers. I've asked just that question. Why do you do it? They are not really famous and few people buy CD's anymore. They don't have big expensive tours and all of them are making less money today than they did ten years ago, yet they toil on. The two most common answers are a) It's all I know how to do, and b) I still have something to say and I have to get it out.
 
Last year I finished a two year project helping a good friend write a 700+ page about his life on the road with his brother. If you read that book you would never take up music as a profession, unless you were just born to be a musician. Birds have to fly and fish have to swim.

Regards, John 
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Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/07 22:55:33 (permalink)
ampfixer
Birds have to fly and fish have to swim.



Agreed...and to add to that, even if there was no practical or monetary reason for me to continue making music, I would do so anyway.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
bitman
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/07 23:04:05 (permalink)
Anderton
bitman
Unrelated question: What are you doing albums for?
 
Do you have a deal to fulfill or is this just to annoy relatives and crushes with?
I ask because we all need motivation.



I'm not actively pursuing a deal for a few reasons. First, I'm not in a position where I can support/promote an album properly. Second, after 20 years of doing stuff for labels, it's really great to be able to just do whatever I want. An album like Neo- where every cut is different is a record label nightmare.
 
So, I do the albums for several reasons. I need vast quantities of library music for the corporate and educational videos I do, and a lot of those come from remixes of material from the albums (e.g., mixes without vocals). So in that respect, they're like raw material from which I can mine soundtracks. It's like having soundtracks in the bank.
 
Also, songs will often develop in the process of testing software, writing articles, etc. and I just take them to their logical conclusion. My articles on techniques etc. are about 70% my projects and 30% other peoples' projects. Finally, there are quite a few people who like my music (go figure), so I post what I do on craiganderton.com and my YouTube channel. If I start gigging again, I'll have merch but I'm seeing what would be involved in selling USB memory sticks with the songs, artwork, lyrics, maybe even some of the loops and such. 


Uhg - you have purpose. I'm so jealous.
 
Thanks for replying. 
Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/08 00:00:40 (permalink)
You have purpose too...self-expression. Don't underestimate what you learn about yourself in the process of making music, and how it affects your entire being.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
WalkerTalker
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/08 07:14:12 (permalink)
Thank you Mr Anderton.
 
Returning to the pre-mastering process: is there a reason to not use the 64 bit mixdown engine? I  searched the forum, but nothing showed up.
 
John

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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/08 12:08:59 (permalink)
Anderton
ampfixer
Birds have to fly and fish have to swim.



Agreed...and to add to that, even if there was no practical or monetary reason for me to continue making music, I would do so anyway.


This is me. :-)

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to do a physical loopback on the RME UCX to get many more equalizer nodes.
Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/09 21:20:49 (permalink)
Week 136: Sonitus Presets - Yes, We Can!
 
I'm posting this on Thursday, because I'm going to be travelling all day tomorrow and hate to miss deadlines. Actually I was going to do a different type of tip this week (how to get a great blues harmonica sound), but didn’t have time to post the audio example so I’ll do it sometime after I get back. Meanwhile, let’s solve a long-running SONAR mystery: managing Sonitus presets.
 
Those who listen with their eyes sometimes dismiss the Sonitus plug-ins, but those who listen with their ears know that these venerable effects are unique and extremely versatile. However, saving presets can be confusing. If you use the VST header to save presets, they end up somewhere in the bowels of the scary registry—good luck sharing them or moving them to a different computer. (This is the kind of thing that only scook knows how to do, because he has some kind of powerful flashlight that allows him to see into the darkest corners of the registry.) Then there’s the Sonitus preset manager, which is actually quite cool once you figure it out.
 
But I ran into a problem where I couldn’t save presets or create new banks (not helped by the documentation not showing how to create banks correctly, although I eventually figured out that part). It would look like presets were being saved, but if I removed the plug-in and re-inserted, none of my shiny new presets was listed.
 
So, of course I did the standard procedure of going to the forum, and creating a thread called “MAJOR SONAR BUG!!!!!!!!!!! SONITUS CAN’T SAVE PRESETS!!!! SWITCHING TO REAPER!!!!” Three minutes later Cakewalk’s elite Forum Monitor SWAT Team appeared, analyzed the problem, added a patch to the Command Center, and all was well.
 
Ok…I made that up. What really happened is I contacted The Cakewalk 24/7 Express Support Help Line (code-named “Google Search") and within a few seconds, found out that you either need to a) run SONAR as Administrator, or b) fix permissions for the preset file.
 
SO WHERE DO THE PRESETS LIVE, ANYWAY?
 
The Presets created using the Sonitus Preset Manager live in C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Shared Plugins as .ini files. They include the name of the Sonitus effect, e.g., FxModulatorDX.ini. If you need to fix permissions, right-click on the file, choose Properties, and under Security, enable “Full Control” permissions for everyone.
 
HOW DO YOU CREATE A BANK?
 
When you want to save a preset into a new bank, click on the Presets button and choose Add Preset. Click in the “Add to Bank” field and type in the name for the new Bank. Give the preset a name, click Add, and now the preset manager will show the Bank with the preset you just made.
 

 
However, we’re not done yet: click on the Presets button, choose Preset Manager, and click on Save. Now your new bank and preset will be written to the .ini file. (Note that while you can open the .ini file in Notepad and see parameters and such, that’s not recommended. Make any desired changes within the Preset Manager.)
 
If you want to keep the original factory presets, rename the original file - for example FxModulatorDX_old.ini. That way the plug-in will load the new FxModulatorDX.ini presets, but you can also import the old one if desired.
 
A COUPLE COOL FEATURES YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
 
If you call up a preset and modify it, you can update the stored preset by clicking on the Presets button and choosing Update Preset (this also lets you see the preset name, which otherwise isn't visible in the plug-in). You still need to Save using the Preset Manager to make any changes permanent. 
 
Also note that you can have two different Setups, i.e., two variations on the same effect or different effects entirely, as well as copy one setup to another if you want to try out some tweaks so you can compare the two without altering the original preset. If you update a preset as described above, you can update based on either setup. Also note that you can export individual presets, Banks, or if you click on “Available [name of plug-in] Presets” in the Preset Manager, you can export all presets and Banks for that effect. Remember to save after importing something.
 
SO WHY DOES THIS MATTER?
 
Because the Sonitus effects are wonderful. As just one example, the Modulator can do true though-zero flanging that really does sound like tape flanging, dual-voice resonators where you can vary one voice smoothly over an octave range (almost like a variation on portamento), and even some lofi effects—like the sound of a trashed speaker, a bad boombox, or a warped record…as well as add vibrato to a “flattened” Melodyne note.
 
Over the years I’ve created a bunch of presets for various Sonitus effects, and they are an essential part of my SONAR toolbox. Here are just a few of the ones I’ve created for the Modulator.
 

 
These plug-ins may be from 2003, but Ultrafunk—the Norwegian company that created them—got it right. Ignore these plug-ins at your own peril.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
telecharge
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/09 21:44:36 (permalink)
Anderton
...good luck sharing them or moving them to a different computer.
 
Over the years I’ve created a bunch of presets for various Sonitus effects, and they are an essential part of my SONAR toolbox.



Thanks for another great tip, Craig. Any chance you're willing to share some of these? You know, for testing purposes.
Anderton
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Re: SONAR X August: 31 Days of Tips 2017/03/09 22:11:17 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Zargg 2017/03/09 22:21:43
telecharge
Anderton
...good luck sharing them or moving them to a different computer.
 
Over the years I’ve created a bunch of presets for various Sonitus effects, and they are an essential part of my SONAR toolbox.



Any chance you're willing to share some of these? You know, for testing purposes.



Stay tuned...there's a reason why I didn't show the bank name. All will be revealed at the appropriate time.

The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!
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