Helpful ReplyThe things I do when using Sonar

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interpolated
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2017/08/14 21:45:16 (permalink)

The things I do when using Sonar

I am going to list some of things I do when mixing and arranging in Sonar these days. For some of this might seem to over the top or unproductive.
 
So this is the presuming you have all of your tracks recorded and at hand.
 
  • Order my tracks by category (i.e. Drums, Instruments, Synths, Vocals).
  • Colour code my tracks (with slightly different hues to signify slight differences in the same group). Follow Bus colour allows you to quickly assign tracks to groups and find them easier during mixing and arrangement.
  • Use pink noise (C-Weighted, 0dBFS) to level tracks and adjust the faders to suit. Which is when I can only hear the pink noise when the track is soloed. This may not be necessary on every occasion if you have a treated studio. Although I find this is a ready reckonner to balance each track. 
  • Group each fader for related tracks together for the same category. Even if this is never automated, it means whenever a track is automated or mistakenly reset - the original volume differences will be maintained.
  • For EDM, I use the Kick drum as my target loudness and never compress along with others until the very end of the project.
  • Currently I aim for between -18dBFS and -16dBFS for my average mix level. During mixing I keep this between -23 and -20dBFS.
  • Low end frequencies are hard too or impossible to produce on small speakers or with certain formats. MP3 and general lossy formats will discard certain frequencies, however always save your master as a WAV/AIFF first. Then from your stereo master produce your lossy formats although I think FLAC or ALAC are better music formats if a little larger.
  • Metering is important. Use a RMS meter such as the one in Adaptive Limiter.
  • Keep it musical and not everything has to be precise. 
There is tonnes of stuff I do however whether it is right or wrong is another story. I like to experiment plug-ins, mix them up and abuse them. Like use delays as a phaser or chorus effect by using discreet values and touch of feedback and modulation. Reverse MIDI notes and record them with an instrument track. Then bounce the audio and reverse the sound to create ambient effects. 
 
 

I have computer stuff.
 
https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
#1
gswitz
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/15 03:23:21 (permalink)
Pink noise thing was interesting. I might try it.

Other than that, I didn't find your list too interesting... no offence.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to use a pan pot to alternate between two stereo tracks.
#2
interpolated
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/15 06:25:37 (permalink)
Your interest is not my concern . No offence.
post edited by interpolated - 2017/08/15 07:25:08

I have computer stuff.
 
https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
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batsbrew
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/16 14:45:30 (permalink)
well, your list is a great starting place for beginners to wrap their head around work flow.
 
a lot of it is common sense, but some of it is arriving at conclusions thru actual practice,
for your own workflow,
which i find is the most important stuff.
 
on low end:
 
if you cannot hear low end, you cannot mix low end.
 
if you have a room that has issues, and they are not corrected,
you will never get a balanced mix.
 
regardless of the output format,
you have to START with a known entity.
 
you have to trust your mix.
that's what all the other malarkey is trying to get to.
 
post edited by batsbrew - 2017/08/16 18:25:51

"Stay"
"The Time is Magic"
https://soundcloud.com/bats-brew
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Sonar 6 PE>Win XP>RME Babyface Pro>Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH>GeForce 8400>2GB DDR2 SDRAM
 
#4
interpolated
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/16 18:20:38 (permalink)
I think the thing about room calibration is always an issue. Your integrated digital will balanced from one point of view however once it's analogue and bouncing off walls, a completely different story. At least your addendum was useful not a display of unnecessary apathy ;-).
 

I have computer stuff.
 
https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
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batsbrew
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/16 21:19:33 (permalink)
interpolated
I think the thing about room calibration is always an issue. 



 
actually, it's the MAIN issue.
 

"Stay"
"The Time is Magic"
https://soundcloud.com/bats-brew
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Sonar 6 PE>Win XP>RME Babyface Pro>Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GH>GeForce 8400>2GB DDR2 SDRAM
 
#6
interpolated
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/17 07:07:26 (permalink)
The thing with room acoustics and all of those aspects, you could spend thousands and never be happy. If your music sounds rubbish or the techniques you use aren't up to scratch like improper equalisation, overuse of dynamic compression, excessive bleed from reverb effects etc. It may become more obvious and evidently you still need to learn you craft so to speak.
 
I hate stating the obvious. Firstly even though it is professional software, you don't have to be professional to use it. 
 
My perfect setup would be a SSD driven Intel system (or perhaps AMD Threadripper) as I work mainly in the box. Wouldn't mind an outboard mixer for multiple monitor sets (my current, Genelec or Adam Audio, Neumann). Also they say you should never mix with the same speakers or/and room. However lets presume that's not an option, so I would love a pair of midfields as well to save needing a subwoofer.
 
Again once you have all of that, there is a strong argument you should make money from that. Always wanted to be a mix engineer or similar. Whether freelance or for a commercial studio.

I have computer stuff.
 
https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
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sharke
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/18 02:48:00 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby gswitz 2017/08/22 03:03:29
I take a different approach to EDM kicks and bus compressors. The first thing I do is slap the compressor on the master bus. I like the idea of mixing into a compressor anyway (it ensures your fader decisions are final and you're not going to have to go back and rejigger everything when you turn the compressor on), but in EDM I'm of the opinion that the mix compression is doing more than just gluing. It's also giving the track its groove. I love it when the GR needle is pumping in time with the kick, it gives the track some movement and bounce the absence of which you really notice when you turn the compressor off. I find it musically inspirational and it influences the mix in a different way than if there was no compression happening. My go-to settings for this are attack around 30ms (so that you don't lose any of the kick's impact), ratio either 2:1 or 4:1, and a fast release. 

James
Windows 10, Sonar SPlat (64-bit), Intel i7-4930K, 32GB RAM, RME Babyface, AKAI MPK Mini, Roland A-800 Pro, Focusrite VRM Box, Komplete 10 Ultimate, 2012 American Telecaster!
#8
interpolated
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/18 07:01:42 (permalink)
I'm going to get my next track/remaster mastered through Cloudbounce. So keeping all the final stuff off as much as possible. Although I'm going to put through NLS Channel/Buss to emulate a console before I mix it down to stereo.
 

I have computer stuff.
 
https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
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gswitz
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/22 03:43:05 (permalink)
@sharke

I usually mix into compressors too, but I lift it from time to time while I mix to make sure nothing is being damaged in an unfriendly way. This usually involves bypassing limiter/compressor and adjusting input gain on the master bus.

Kinda like opening the trunk on a trip from time to time to make sure nothing is getting crushed in there.

By and large, I do what you do.

StudioCat > I use Windows 10 and Sonar Platinum. I have a touch screen.
I make some videos. This one shows how to use a pan pot to alternate between two stereo tracks.
#10
interpolated
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Re: The things I do when using Sonar 2017/08/22 20:39:01 (permalink)
Actually I don't know WTF Cloudbounce does? Is it my mastering options, I don't know. Everything sounds trashed.
 
Are they just determining the average RMS, adding an algorithmic eq curve based on genre and then cranking the crap out of it. My premaster was sitting at -20dB yet still sounded like it was being fed through Waves GTR.
 
But rant over, I am going to try the remaster myself until I can afford to get it done proper. A treated studio and calibration is my problem currently. So I am not going for commercial loud mastering levels for the moment.
 
 
 

I have computer stuff.
 
https://soundcloud.com/sigmadelta
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