> make music now / 250 daw power tips
01Do you ever feel like you might have lost your way when mixing a big project? When that happens, it’s often best to simply start from scratch. Fortunately, Sonar makes that easy – simply use
Mix Recall to reset a mix. This will remove all FX and reset all automation.
02It can be quite confusing when your clip names don’t correspond with your track names. Thankfully, Sonar has you covered. In the Track View, you can quickly get your clip names to follow the track by using the Track and selecting Copy Track Name(s) to Clip Name(s).
03Soup your workflow up in a couple of ticks by committing these keyboard shortcuts to muscle memory… >C – open/close Control Bar >I – open/close Inspector >D – open/close MultiDock >B – open/close Browser > Insert – drop in a new track based on the last track type created > Ctrl-Shift-A – deselect All >W – go back to the start of the Project
04Converting audio files to MIDI is a cinch thanks to the advanced pitch analysis in Melodyne. In fact, it’s easy to do and can be quite inspiring – for example, you could make a bass track using your guitar, drag that to a MIDI track and then use the MIDI data to drive a synth bass.
05Timestretching loops to match your project’s tempo is old-hat – Sonar allows you to do the reverse! You can drag a clip to the timeline to create a tempo map that conforms to the clip’s tempo, which is great for live recordings, or recording done without a click.
06Enable upsampling when you’re using software synthesisers and amp sims, and you’ll get the benefits of recording at high sample rates in 44.1kHz and 48kHz projects.
07Sonar can load a default set of ProChannel modules automatically whenever you create a new track. Set your ProChannel as desired for the default, then
right-click on any module header and choose Set Modules as Default for Tracks.
08Sonar’s Step Sequencer has a probability option, injecting an element of chance into its workings and helping you add cool, random variations. Try it on percussion parts or set it slow to trigger low-volume ambient elements in the background.
09With Quick Groups, select multiple tracks, hold the Ctrl key, and when you move a parameter, the same parameters on the other selected tracks will move with it.
10With the Multidock, Sonar allows us to access a number of useful windows without leaving our main view. If you find yourself constantly switching between Multidock views, you can speedup the process of stepping through the tabs by holding down Ctrl-Shift and using the left/right arrow keys.
11You can use the Z3TA+ synth as a multieffects processor. With features like tempo-synced modulation, it’s a great bus processor to add spice to anything from backing vocals to lead guitar.
12To zoom quickly and efficiently, hover the cursor over the top half of the Track View time ruler so that the cursor turns into a magnifying glass. Hold down the left mouse button and drag down to zoom in horizontally, or up to zoom out (hold down the right mouse button for vertical zooming). The horizontal zoom centers around where you clicked, not the Now Time.
13To set effects (or synths that can act as effects processors) to receive MIDI input, choose Enable MIDI Input from the VST 2 or VST 3 dropdown menu in the plugin header. If the effect can respond to MIDI, this will expose an input to a MIDI channel.
14Dig the big picture in a glance. Sonar allows you take in the whole project in an instant by letting you zoom the entire project in or out horizontally to fit within the Track View. It’s easy – simply double-click with the magnifying glass in the time ruler’s top half.
15Right-click in the FX bin for powerful features like Convert FX Rack to FX Chain and Save FX Rack as FX Chain Preset. This allows you to save and organize FX Chains for quick recall of complex multi-effects.
16Once an FX Chain is created, right
click in the grey area to add knobs and buttons that can control up to four effect parameters at once. These macro knobs and buttons can then be automated for incredibly unique effects.
17The Control Bar’s Custom Module is very handy if used correctly. Store all your quick workflow needs – pretty much any command or any menu item – in the Custom Module to have those functions right at your fingertips.
18To split Rex Clips into separate slices, bring a Groove Clip into the Track View, and place the Now Time at or before the clip’s beginning. Every time you hit tab, the Now Time lands at the beginning of a Groove Clip slice. Press S to split and repeat.
19TH3 Cakewalk includes the Cabinet IR module, a convolution processor which has a limit on the lengths of the impulse responses it can load up. Try loading almost any short WAVs into it to get truly experimental.
20When it’s time to back up your projects – or to swap them with other Sonar users – you’ll be pleased to learn that Sonar offers the ability to save your entire project, audio files and all, in a single monolithic format called a ‘Cakewalk Bundle’, or .BUN.
Inject some random action into your sequences with the Step Sequencer’s Probability option
Cranium-crunching cabinetry can be yours thanks to Cakewalk’s edition of Overloud’s TH3
Instantly convert racks full of effects to an FX Chain, then assign Macro knobs to your favourite parameters