Tutorial 3 – Recording vocals and musical instrumentsOne of the most important aspects of creating music in SONAR is digital audio recording. This is the process of taking the sound from a microphone or an instrument and recording it to an audio track. Once this step is completed, you can edit and mix the song to prepare it to share with the world.This tutorial will walk you through the steps involved and provide you with some insight on how to get the best possible audio recordings.In Tutorial 1, you learned about opening project templates. Let's open a blank project for this tutorial:On the File menu, click New.
4. Select the Blank (no tracks or buses) template and click OK.A new blank project is created.With the blank project open, you can insert new tracks as you need them. For the task of recording digital audio you'll need a new audio track. Follow these steps to insert one:
5. Do one of the following:
Click Insert and then click Audio Track.
Right-click on the Tracks pane and select Insert Audio Track on the pop-up menu.
6. The track's controls are exposed.Click the Input drop-down menu to select the track’s input.
7. Select the physical jack that your instrument is plugged into. If you know, for instance, that your guitar is plugged into input 1, click the Input control and select the first option. Some audio interfaces refer to their stereo inputs as pairs, like 1/2, 3/4 or 5/6. Most often left channels are represented by odd numbers and right channels are represented by even numbers.
Note: Most microphones and guitars are mono, so you'll want to select either the left or right channel accordingly.
8. Click the Output drop-down menu to select the track’s output.
9. Select the output that you want the audio track to play through during playback. You will usually choose 1 and 2, because these are most commonly the outputs that speakers or audio monitors are connected to.Click the track's Record Enable button .
Note: SONAR only allows recording to tracks that have been record enabled. This is necessary since SONAR allows for multi-track recording. This tells SONAR what track you want your new material recorded to. Otherwise, every track would be recorded to during every take.
10. Click the Input Echo button if you want to hear the input during recording. Many sound cards and audio interfaces have an option to do this automatically at the hardware level. If you can already hear the input signal, simply move on to the next section.Getting ready to recordAt this point, we need to check the input levels to make sure they are sufficient and not distorting.Perform as you would if you were recording and watch the meter on the track respond to the sounds you produce.If the meter never even comes close to the maximum, increase the input level. If the meter even occasionally reaches the maximum, decrease the input level.Input levels are usually adjusted via a knob next to the input jack on the sound card, but features like this may vary slightly between devices. So, if you have never recorded an instrument or microphone with your sound card, you may want to read about doing so in the device's manual.The record meter shows the input levelNow that everything is set up, let's record something!Go to Edit > Preferences > Project - Metronome to access metronome settings. You can also right-click the Playback Metronome on/off button or Record Metronome on/off button in the Control Bar’s Transport module to access metronome settings.
Click Use Audio Metronome, select the Recording check box and set Record Count-in to 2 Measures. For details about each metronome option, click Help.
12. Make sure the track has been record enabled by clicking the track’s Record Enable button. The Record Enable button on the track should be lit in red like this: .Click the Record button in the Control Bar’s Transport module, or press R on your computer keyboard.You'll hear two measures counted in by the metronome and then recording will begin. Start performing at the beginning of the third count.
13. When you finish recording, click the Stop button or press the SPACEBAR.A new audio clip appears.Press Play to play back the project. If you would like to redo the take, go to Edit > Undo to undo the previous recording, then repeat steps 3, 4 and 5 above until you get a perfect take.Now that your first track has been recorded, you can “over-dub” another part. To do so, disable recording on track 1 and repeat the steps in this tutorial. After repeating the steps, you will have recorded to track 2. Both recorded tracks will play during playback. Each will also have its own exclusive volume and pan control, effects bin, and can be muted or soloed. You'll learn more about this in future tutorials.
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