SONAR 3 Power! tips from Scott Garrigus—part three

Last updated on 3/28/2016


SONAR 2 Power!
SONAR 3 Power!
In the SONAR Power! series by Scott Garrigus, you will find helpful tips on an assortment of topics. We have collected a small sampling of tips from SONAR 3 Power! chapters 9-12 that deal with loops, synths, effects and mixing in SONAR.

Links to the latest versions of the SONAR Power! series and other SONAR related books can be found here.

SONAR 3 Power! tips from Scott Garrigus—part three

Quick Groove Clip creation

Instead of opening the Clip Properties dialog box to enable looping for an audio clip, you can right-click on the clip and choose Groove-Clip Looping from the drop-down menu. You also can select the clip (or multiple clips) and press CTRL+L on your computer keyboard. These methods are quicker, but they don't give you access to the extra parameters.

Saving instrumentation presets in the Virtual Sound Canvas DXi

You can set some of the VSC DXi parameters by simply setting the corresponding MIDI track parameters. For instance, by changing the Volume, Pan, Bank, Patch, Chorus, and Reverb parameters of the MIDI track driving one of the VSC DXi parts, you can control the Volume, Panpot, Instrument, Chorus Effect and Reverb Effect parameters for that part. When you save your project, those parameters are stored along with it. But there is an advantage to adjusting the parameters within the VSC DXi itself. You can save all the VSC DXi parameters as a preset using the Preset drop-down list and Preset Save and Delete buttons located at the top of the window. By saving a number of parameter configurations as presets, you can switch quickly between configurations to test out different instrumentation for the project on which you are working.

Tail option in the Cyclone DXi

You might have noticed when listening to Pad Group I that the new snare drum sound gets cut off. This can happen when you replace slices in a sample file because not all slices are exactly the same length. To remedy this, you can choose to have cut slices play through as if they weren't being cut off by having Cyclone allow the tail ends of the slices to play. To do this, select the Pad Group (by clicking on its number) in which the slices resides, and then activate the Tail option for that Pad Group, which is located at the bottom of the Pad Inspector.

EQ graph display

You've probably noticed that in addition to the parameter settings, the Parametric EQ dialog box contains a graph display. This graph shows all the current equalization settings for all four types (bands). Along the left, it shows the amplitudes (gain), and along the bottom it shows the frequencies. The shape of the line drawn on the graph shows you what frequencies in the audio spectrum are either boosted or cut, but that's not all. Four colored points on the graph represent each EQ band. Red is for band 1, blue is for band 2, green is for band 3, and purple is for band 4. By clicking and dragging on these points, you can change the Gain and Center Freq setting graphically for each of the EQ types (bands), essentially "drawing" the EQ settings. You still have to set the Band Type and Q settings manually, though.

Meter performance

If you ever need to lighten the load on your computer during recording or playback, you might want to try turning off some or all of the meters. The meters can take up quite a bit of your computer's processing power and affect SONAR's performance.

Show/hide envelopes

You can show and hide envelopes for easier editing. If you don't see your new envelope, click on the down arrow next to the Envelope Tool button and choose one of the options (such as Show All Envelopes) from the drop-down menu.

Read part one of this series.

Read part two of this series.

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