Producing Music with SONAR

Author: Steve Maclean | Course Code: OMPRD-277

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Producing Music with SONAR provides you with the skills to complete all aspects of a multi-track recording using MIDI, audio, loops and plugin effects using Cakewalk's SONAR Producer Edition. Beginning with an introduction to SONAR, its interface, and ways to modify and save your projects, the course moves on to guide you through the details of recording, editing, mastering and mixing at a professional level – essential knowledge for any music producer, musician, songwriter, or film composer. Each week, you'll study a new creative tool within the program, and learn Berklee's expert approach to using it in music production. Every lesson builds upon the last, with the end goal of completing a final mixed and mastered stereo recording that will be evaluated by your classmates and instructor. At the completion of this course you'll have an accomplished SONAR knowledge base, as well as an in-depth understanding of Berklee's world-renowned production techniques.

By the end of this course, you will learn:

The basics of SONAR's configuration, files types and interfaceHow to use softsynths to record and mix your MIDI performanceProfessional mixing techniques using SONAR's mixing consoleAudio editing techniques using SONARHow to use SONAR Groove Clips with both MIDI and AudioSignal flow in the SONAR mixing consoleReWire – the benefits of using other software applications with SONAR as a host

Berklee Online and Cakewalk have come together to offer an educational discount on SONAR X3 Producer Edition. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase the software at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course. Depending on the shipping option chosen, software delivery could take up to eight business days.

Lesson 1: Getting Started in SONAR

Introduction to SONAR64-bit ModeMIDI and Audio TracksSONAR viewsInstallation and Configuration

Lesson 2: Exploring SONAR

SONAR File TypesOpening and Playing Project FilesThe SONAR interfaceModifying and Saving Projects

Lesson 3: Using Softsynths

Signal FlowSound PresetsRouting MIDI in Track View and Console ViewRecording Your MIDI Performance

Lesson 4: Recording and Editing MIDI

QuantizingCut, Copy, Paste, DeleteMaking Editing DecisionsViewing MIDI DataUsing Multi-Timbral SynthsUsing Multiple SynthsRecording ModesArranging Your ProductionUsing MIDI Plugins

Lesson 5: The Mixing Console

Input Channel StripsMixing ModulesThe Master Section, Simple Returns, and Simple BussingAutomating the MixInsert and Send / Return EffectsGrouping Controls for Faster and Better Mixing Results

Lesson 6: Synthesis Demystified

Synth Overview: Subtractive, FM, Physical Modeling and SamplingOverview of common synthesis parameters found on all types of sound enginesTweaking your sounds to fit the production style and partsUsing various modulation sources to bring static sounds to life

Lesson 7: Digital Audio

Understanding how audio is recorded in SONAR – the role of the converter, bit depth and sample rateWaveforms and audio editing basics in SONARSlip Editing techniques for audio clips and using automatic crossfades for natural sounding editsCreating composite tracks from multiple

Lesson 8: Effects Processing and DSP

Dynamics processorsSpectrum processorsTime-based effectstime-based processors: quality versus CPU load

Lesson 9: Loop-based Production

Brief history of using loops in audio productionModern loop techniques and fileLoop Construction windowUsing SONAR Groove Clips with both MIDI and AudioIntroduction to AudioSnap

Lesson 10: Advanced Mixing

Understanding more complex signal flow in the SONAR ConsoleBusses and effects chains Topic 3 – Automation of softsynth and effects processor parameters in SONARUsing multi-output synths versus rendering audio elements

Lesson 11: Mastering

Typical mastering effects chains and Vintage Channel VC64Aesthetic choices: Monitoring basics, EQ and dynamics adjustmentsA/B comparison: original mix vs. mastered mixDither options in SONAR for bit depth reduction to 16 bit

Lesson 12: More Advanced Topics

Control Surfaces overview - assigning faders and knobs to control SONAR parametersReWire – benefits of using other applications with SONAR as hostProject assets of audio files, loops, effect and synth presets and SONAR's enhanced Plug-in ManagerAdvanced creative rhythmic and tempo control of audio and MIDI using SONAR's AudioSnap engineCourse Summary and Wrap

Steve Maclean

Author & Instructor

Steve MacLean is an Assistant Professor in the Electronic Production and Design Department at Berklee College of Music. A guitarist, composer, producer, and engineer, he has been evolving with music technology since the early '80s, when he worked in a New York City recording studio and got hands-on with early versions of the Fairlight CMI, DX-7, Linn Drum, automated mixing consoles, and digital audio samplers. Later, he founded his own recording and production studio and produced/engineered hundreds of artists and numerous award-winning projects including scores for over two hundred commercials and soundtracks as well as a constant prolific artistic output of his own acclaimed works.

An active performer and composer for more than thirty years, he was co-founder of the Portland Experimental Music Collective, has performed original compositions at numerous new music festivals, including several pieces for New Music Across America and similar events. An innovator in the new music circuit, he was curator for a series of concerts "2001 New Music Odyssey," and continues to release recordings internationally on Recommended Records, U.K., and others.

Steve has been a music technology educator both independently and with over 13 years as Berklee College of Music faculty, also previously as a product specialist/clinician with a variety of manufacturers for over 20 years. More than a dozen published CD's of his compositions and recordings are available. Many can be found at www.rermegacorp.com including Expressions On Piano "A rare and quite brilliant record" - Kev Nickells, Freqzine 2011.

None

Berklee Online and Cakewalk have come together to offer an educational discount on SONAR X3 Producer Edition. Once you enroll in the course, you will be able to purchase the software at the discounted price through the Required Course Materials link on your My Home page. Early enrollment is encouraged to ensure software delivery prior to the start of the course. Depending on the shipping option chosen, software delivery could take up to eight business days.

PC Web Browser: Firefox (Recommended), Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or higherFlash Player: current versionQuickTime: current versionAdobe Reader: current versionCakewalk SONAR X1 Producer Edition or higher
Audio interface supported by SONAR. For detailed system requirements, check the Cakewalk support page:Cakewalk supportMIDI keyboard and microphone are suggested, but not requiredWindows 7 or higherIntel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.67 GHz/AMD Phenom Quad Core 9750 2.4 GHz or higher2 GB RAM4.5 GB for minimal install, 20 GB recommended1280 x 800 minimum screen resolution
  • Level
  • Duration
    12 weeks
  • 3-Credit Tuition
    $1,449
  • or
  • Non-Credit Tuition Add 6 CEUs
    $1,200 + $25

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