SONAR Tutorial

Mixing with SONAR

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36 Videos | Length: 5hr 27min 24sec
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Chapter 1 : Get Ready

  • Introduction 1:14


    In this series we will mix a song from importing tracks to printing the final stereo master. We use the X1 Expanded Pro Channel along with optional modules for the majority of the project. This series will show a wide variety mixing techniques as well as take you on the tour of the Pro Channel Modules and features.

  • Importing Tracks 8:53

    Importing Tracks

    Import the audio tracks, name the tracks, create track folders.

  • Submix Buses 9:17

    Submix Buses

    Create the 4 primary bus channels, Customize the bus channel colors, assign the tracks to the correct buses, select and label the hardware output, configure the multidock, sync trackview and the console view, hide the metronome.

  • Listen 13:06


    Listen, review the lyrics, mark the song sections, time signature changes, adjust levels for a basic mix.

  • Design Your Desk 7:03

    Design Your Desk

    Build your dream mixing console using ProChannel modules! Watch how we customize the channel strips, bus channels and the master bus for this project.

  • Channel Colors 2:43

    Channel Colors

    Learn a simple trick for better differentiation of channels on your virtual console.

  • Musical Time Calc 2:42

    Musical Time Calc

    We often need to refer to millisecond values to setup echo delay times and compressor release settings among other things. Learn how to calculate those and have them handy during the project.

  • Fast Zoom 3:36

    Fast Zoom

    Learn a macro trick to quickly zoom in and out with single key commands.

Chapter 2 : Lead Vocal

  • Lead Vocal Leveling 12:19

    Lead Vocal Leveling

    We want to focus on the lead vocal first. Before adding any compression or EQ, we start by manually leveling the vocal with some clip automation.

  • Lead Vocal Sound 10:41

    Lead Vocal Sound

    Focusing on the lead vocal we want to apply corrective EQ, add some saturation, compression and enhancement.

  • Vocal Slapback FX 6:19

    Vocal Slapback FX

    We get started with vocal effects by adding a Slapback echo effect on an FX bus. He we use the Channel Tools delay for the effect and Pro Channel EQ to process the single echo.

  • Vocal Stereo Delay FX 5:16

    Vocal Stereo Delay FX

    Next we add a stereo delay to add movement to the lead vocal using the calculations from the earlier video. For the delay effect we use our trusty Sonitus delay plugin!

Chapter 3 : Background Vocals

  • Tightening the BV Pt. 1 21:42

    Tightening the BV Pt. 1

    Here we used Audio Snap to tight up the timing of the background vocals. After doing the manual adjustments, we show how to bounce the parts to lock in the high quality Audio Snap algorithm.

  • Tightening the BV Pt. 2 4:50

    Tightening the BV Pt. 2

    To improve the low background vocals, we separate the low parts and high parts to different tracks and bounce using different algorithms.

  • BV Panning EQ Comp Verb 13:06

    BV Panning EQ Comp Verb

    In this video we show how we set up panning for pairs of background vocals, then review the channel compression and EQ for each part. We also take a look at the BV bus compression and add a TSAR Pro Channel reverb to complete the sound.

Chapter 4 : Drums

  • Overheads 12:17


    We start the drum mix from the overheads. After checking the phase, we do some edits to level the toms then add compression and EQ.

  • Room Mics 7:46

    Room Mics

    We give the room mics some character using the Softube FET compressor module and add focus to the low end with a boost and low mid dip. Then we take it to the next level by suppressing transients using Transient Shaper and then widening using Channel Tools.

  • Kick Sound 8:40

    Kick Sound

    In this video we focus in on the kick sound and tweak the attack and release with the TS 64 Transient Shaper. Then we add EQ from the ProChannel.

  • Kick Sample 8:31

    Kick Sample

    To support the kick for this rock style mix, we add two samples using Audio Snap and a temporary instrument track.

  • Snare Sound 9:20

    Snare Sound

    To dial in the snare sound, we rely on the Pro Channel including the gate and the Softube Passive Equalizer.

  • Kick Revisited 6:31

    Kick Revisited

    With the snare dialed in the Kick isn't quite right so we update the EQ using the Softube Focusing EQ Pro Channel module.

  • Drum Bus 8:26

    Drum Bus

    To really make the drums punchy we add some 1176 style 'all buttons' limiting to the drum bus. But to preserve the transients we use 'New York' style parallel compression. Here we bring in the full version of the Softube FET compressor that includes the mix control and detection circuit EQ. We complete the drum bus processing with a tape emulation plugin.

  • Drum Reverb 4:38

    Drum Reverb

    To add a bit more space to the drums we add some room reverb using the Softube TSAR Pro Channel module.

Chapter 5 : Bass

  • Bass Editing 16:01

    Bass Editing

    First we look at creating a side chain for the bass with the kick drum to lock in the timing. In this song that doesn't do exactly what we need so we move on to some simple editing to lock the kick to the bass on key parts of the song.

  • Bass Sound 12:43

    Bass Sound

    Here we add EQ a touch of compression and blend the straight and fuzz bass tracks to get a bass bass tone to fit the song.

Chapter 6 : Guitars

  • Rhythm Guitars Pt. 1 14:55

    Rhythm Guitars Pt. 1

    There are eight electric guitar tracks in this song. We identify the 3 key rhythm parts apply EQ and panning to each. See how we use delay to add some space and width to electric guitar tracks.

  • Rhythm Guitars Pt. 2 13:13

    Rhythm Guitars Pt. 2

    We bring in additional rhythm parts that support key sections and transitions in the song. See how we apply editing to keep the parts clean and create sectional contrast. We also bring up the overdubbed rimshot parts that play in sync with the guitar 'scratching' figure on the verses.

  • Solo Guitars 11:58

    Solo Guitars

    Solo slide parts are included on a track that has more guitar rhythms. Here we separate those parts to a second track, make sure the transitions are cleanly edited then apply delay effects to the slide and main solo parts.

Chapter 7 : Final Tweaks

  • Shaker 4:08


    A simple shaker part makes up the only dedicated percussion on the song. We edit the shaker to bring it in and out to add sectional contrast. We also apply a simple effect to give this mono track some width.

  • Revisions 17:43


    At this point we make a couple of changes to early decisions. We decide not to use the audio snap versions of the background vocals. In this video we rework the background vocals and also turn off the gating on the snare. We then explain a change we made to the snare setup and the addition of bus compression.

  • MonoMaker 8:49


    Can mono make your mix wider? Sometimes! See how we use a custom FX Chain to automate the drums in and out of mono.

  • The Big Part 3:45

    The Big Part

    See how balancing levels starting from the loudest most intense part of the mix can make mixing more efficient.

  • Automation 14:08


    As we work through the final details of the mix, we apply automation to keep the lead vocal out front, create movement and sectional contrast. we also use a custom effects chain to apply stereo width effects. Then it's time to mix down and listen in the car!

  • Print It 10:35

    Print It

    At some point everything is in place or you run out of time. Either way, the party comes to an end and it's time print the mix to a 2 track master. We make a few final tweaks listen to the song and call it a day.

Chapter 8 : Addendum

  • X1d Pro Channel EQ 7:14

    X1d Pro Channel EQ

    Learn about the new Hybrid EQ mode, color coding and all the other new features of enhanced EQ that debuted in the 'd' release of X1 Expanded.

  • X1d Quick Groups 3:16

    X1d Quick Groups

    This new features can save time and enhance your workflow when making similar changes across multiple channels. It can also speed up normal mix operations. Learn how to use the Ctrl key to activate this simple but powerful feature.

Product Overview

DAW master Bill Edstrom is back with another smash hit title, "Mixing with SONAR". You'll see the mix unfold, from beginning to end, with no stones unturned.. If you use SONAR, this is a must see.

Bill starts at the beginning showing you how to import audio tracks and how to design and set up your mixing board. He then goes meticulously over vocals and background vocals. Drums, bass, guitars are next to receive massaging and then automation, printing for CD and so much more.

If you use SONAR for your productions, this title is a must have. Unlock the true mixing power of SONAR... Get "Mixing with SONAR" today.

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