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Video Training Review – SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop – The Next Level With Craig Anderton From Cakewalk

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SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop is the second video tutorial created by Cakewalk that provides comprehensive techniques about using SONAR X1. This is a compilation of advanced workshop videos that provides an in-depth exploration of techniques – the kind that you would expect of a master workshop that will give you real insight into some of the more sophisticated things that you can do with SONAR X1.

SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop is a training series that takes on a wide range of subjects that includes ambience and spatial effects, working with guitars working with vocals, vintage effects emulation, workflow, and much, much more. This is Cakewalk’s second official video tutorial following the release of SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop is 1 hour and 52 minutes in length and contains 30 video tutorials in 8 main areas of focus.

 SONAR X1 - Advanced Workshop – The Next Level

AMBIENCE AND SPATIAL EFFECTS

Video 1, “Better Drums with Virtual Room Mics,” will show you how to create a better drum track through the use of adding ambience to a dry drum track and using the Sonitus:fx Delay to create multiple, short, prime number delays that emulate room sounds. Video 2, “The Preverb Effect,” takes a look at how you can add reverb, then reversing the effect so that the reverb builds up to a sound rather than decaying after it.

Video 3, “Mono-to-Stereo Spreader,” examines how, through the use of the VC-64 equalizer, you can take a mono signal and turn it into stereo through the use of delays. This gives you the ability to make an instrument such as a guitar, and give it a stereo sound. Video 4, “Ethereal Reverb,” will take a vocal track and show you how to use emphasize the reverb tail as it decays for a transparent, ethereal quality.

Video 5, “Stereo Widening,” explores the use of Channel Tools to take your stereo audio and give you a super-stereo sound. This technique works for both single tracks as well as for whole mixes. Video 6, “Neo-Gated Reverb,” while not as in-style recently, with this technique you will have an updated sound for a more flexible, and interesting, gated reverb effect.

 SONAR X1 - Advanced Workshop – The Next Level

GUITAR

Video 7, “Sweetening Amp Sims with De-Essing,” gives you another tool to your arsenal to make your amp sims sound sweeter through reducing harsh frequencies only when they are loud enough to cause problems. Video 8, “SONAR’s Virtual MIDI Guitar,” can be obtained by using the staff view and through the use of some subtle techniques you can create a realistic guitar sound. Video 9, “Virtual Tunings for Guitar,” will show you how to turn a 6-string guitar sound into an authentic sounding 12-string guitar using the Gibson Firebird X guitar and other guitars with hex outputs.

DYNAMICS ENHANCEMENT

Video 10, “The “Acoustifier”,” takes a track and adds some bright dynamics that are generally associated with acoustic instruments. This technique is not limited to guitar, but useful with other instruments such as drums as well. Video 11, “Percussive Compression,” looks at using compression with some phase change tricks so that you can turn compression into expansion that creates more dynamic percussive sound.

 SONAR X1 - Advanced Workshop – The Next Level

Video 12, “Transparent Compression for Mastering,” uses the VC-64 to compress master recordings by using a transparent, non-obvious method. This is an excellent technique for classical and jazz styles of music which do not generally usually use compression. Video 13, ““Pumping” Dance Music Drums,” is a popular dance music effect that uses side chaining to use one drum kit element to trigger heavy compression on the entire mixed drum sound.

MULTIBAND TECHNIQUES

Video 14, “Multiband Imaging for Mastering,” shows you how to widen the bass while keeping it centered using LP-64 Multiband compression that will be used for band-splitting. Video 15, “Multiband Signal Processing,” will demonstrate how you can split an instrument over multiple, non-overlapping frequency bands which can give you everything from ‘clean’ distortion to super-animated timbres.

 SONAR X1 - Advanced Workshop – The Next Level

WORKFLOW

Video 16, “Speed Up Screensets and Browsing,” looks at how to speed up browsing type functionality by making sure that your system is set up optimally. Video 17, “ProChannel Effects Order,” examines how placing EQ, saturation, or other FX before or after compression can affect the sound that you are trying to create.

Video 18, “Create Custom LFOs with Automation,” next shows you how to draw periodic automation curves as well as constructing LFO shapes. Video 19, “Customizing Plug-In Skins,” examines how to change the look of many of the Cakewalk plug-ins. Video 20, “MIDI Guitar Editing Tips,” are especially useful since the MIDI Guitar isn’t perfect and SONAR has options on making the editing of their sound much more smooth.

VOCAL PROCESSING

Video 21, “Hard Pitch-Corrected Vocals,” will show you how to get the hip-hop vocal sound with V-Vocal. Video 22, “Enhance Vocals with Dynamic Filtering,” demonstrates how to trigger filtering from vocals for a subtle type of enhancement and animation.

VINTAGE EFFECTS

Video 23, “Amp Vibrato Emulation,” examines how to get the vibrato effect that some classic amps had and how to make that sound controllable within SONAR. Video 24, “Vintage Tape Flanging,” looks at how to get a much more satisfying tape flanging sound from your flanger.

 SONAR X1 - Advanced Workshop – The Next Level

Video 25, “Wah/Anti-Wah Filtering,” now takes a page from the book ‘Electronic Projects for Musicians’ and provides for a stereo wah effect. Video 26, “Psychedelic 60s “Breathing” Drums,” will show you how to obtain a super-compressed sound that was used by a lot of bands in the 1960’s.

Video 27, “Pentagon I Vocoder/Cross-Synthesizer,” examines how to get a cross-synthesizer from within the Pentagon I Vocoder. Video 28, “Extreme Phaser,” will show you how to get a more pronounced, deeper effect, with a wider stereo spread.

DISTORTION

Video 29, “Preserve Dynamics with Saturation,” shows that Distortion doesn’t have to turn percussion into mud. By using this simple technique you can preserve dynamics. Video 30, “Distortion Construction Kit,” will show you how to use multiple distortion types, filtering, and compression in the ProChannel to obtain a variety of distortion and saturation characters.

 SONAR X1 - Advanced Workshop – The Next Level

SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop – The Next Level is available from Cakewalk for $39.99 and is available as a digital download. It is presented in HD at 720p and works with iPad, iPhone, and other MPEG4 friendly mobile devices.

SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop – The Next Level brings together a lot of information and presents it in short succinct videos that get right to the point. The content is clear and easy to understand, shows you exactly how to accomplish each task and provides a wide range of relevant, useful techniques.

From a training standpoint SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop – The Next Level is not a “how to use SONAR” training package, but rather makes for a good overview of a lot of the components within the SONAR product while introducing many topics and techniques on how to get a certain sound and effect. Based on the quality of this video, I hope to see more of this type of training soon. It is because of this that I very highly recommend SONAR X1 – Advanced Workshop – The Next Level.

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About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.
  • JayBee

    I think this training tutorial by Craig Anderton is excellent, and I have learned some neat tricks from it. However… I am bewildered by the video’s complete lack of any sort of subject index, chapter list, or any other way to find particular subjects. It is maddening to have to fish around for the one thing I am looking for. For a slick “pro” tutorial like this to be missing a menu of any sort is inexcusable.

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