Using DX Instruments

Last updated on 3/31/2016

What is a DXi?

DXi’s are SONAR’s new software synthesizers. A software synthesizer is a software program that produces various sounds through your audio interface when the soft synth program receives MIDI data from a MIDI controller or sequencer program. DX Instruments, or DXi's, are an exciting new form of software synthesizer designed and optimized for responsive, low-latency performance on the Windows platform.

How do they work?

DXi's are plug-ins that generate audio through your sound card when receiving MIDI data from another track or through live input, like playing your MIDI keyboard. Some DXi's can be programmed to generate rhythmic patterns or sequences and do not require MIDI input from SONARTM. You may control and play DXi's in real time using their internal interface or external MIDI devices like keyboards, guitar synths, or wind controllers. You can automate the controls of some DXi's. Note that not all DXi's are tone generators, but can be used as MIDI-controlled audio processors, such as vocoders, intelligent pitch shifters, or tempo-based delays. Of course you can also patch audio effect plug-ins to synth outputs for additional sound flexibility.

How do I use a DXi in SONAR?

To Play a DXi with Recorded MIDI Data

  1. Open a project that has at least one pre-recorded MIDI track.
  2. In either the Track or Console view, right-click the Fx field of an unused audio track, aux bus, or virtual main bus. The plug-in menu appears. (Note: If you patch a DXi into a main or aux bus that has no audio track assigned to it, the DXi does not sound. Always use a bus that has at least one audio track sending data to it.)
  3. Under DXi, choose the name of a DXi.
  4. Two things happen: the DXi's interface appears, and the DXi's name appears in the track's or bus's Fx field, with a bypass button next to the name.
  5. Set the DXi's parameters (choose sounds, effects, etc.), and drag its interface out of the way.
  6. If you patched the DXi into an audio track, set the track input to None--do this so that you won't hear any other audio signals through this track.
  7. Click the Out field of a MIDI track that has some notes in it to display the output menu.
  8. Select the name of the DXi that you patched into the audio track or bus.
  9. If the DXi is multi-timbral, choose a MIDI channel for the MIDI track.
  10. Also in the MIDI track, select a bank and patch.

When you play back the recorded MIDI data, you should hear the DXi through your audio interface's outputs. If you don't, make sure your data is in the right range; a bank, patch, and Channel are selected; your monitor speakers or headphones are turned up; and that none of the relevant tracks are muted.

To Play a DXi from a MIDI Controller

  1. Make sure your controller is set to local off.
  2. Make sure that the Audio Engine button in the Transport toolbar is depressed.
  3. In either the Track or Console view, right-click the Fx field of an unused audio track, aux bus, or virtual main bus. The plug-in menu appears. (Note: If you patch a DXi into a main or aux bus that has no audio track assigned to it, the DXi does not sound. Always use a bus that has at least one audio track sending data to it.)
  4. Under DXi, choose the name of a DXi. Two things happen: the DXi's interface appears, and the DXi's name appears in the track's or bus's Fx field, with a bypass button next to the name.
  5. Set the DXi's parameters (choose sounds, effects, etc.), and drag its interface out of the way.
  6. If you patched the DXi into an audio track, set the track input to None--do this so that you won't hear any other audio signals through this track.
  7. Click the Out field of an unused MIDI track to display the output menu.
  8. Select the name of the DXi that you patched into the audio track or bus.
  9. If the DXi is multi-timbral, choose a MIDI channel for the MIDI track.
  10. Still in the MIDI track, select a bank and patch.
  11. Play the MIDI controller that's an input for the MIDI track.

When you play your MIDI controller you should hear the DXi through your audio interface's outputs. If you don't, make sure you're playing in the right range; a bank, patch, and Channel are selected; your monitor speakers or headphones are turned up; and that none of the relevant tracks are muted.

Note: If you solo the MIDI track that you patched into the DXi's audio track, you must also solo the audio track it is patched into in order to hear playback.

Cakewalk // Support // Knowledge Base // Using DX Instruments
Copyright © 2017 Cakewalk, Inc. All rights reserved
Sitemap | Privacy Policy | Legal