Adjusting volume and pan is always a good place to start when mixing. One of the biggest benefits of SONAR's Console view is that you can easily see the volume and pan controls for many tracks simultaneously, in addition to large meters. Some people also enjoy working in the Console view because it doesn't offer a graphical representation of what the music “looks like”. Since the final outcome will be an audio file, the listener will not be distracted by the visual cues that are shown in the project's Track view. You may find that you are better able to focus on the actual sound when not seeing the clips.
Do one of the following:
Click Views > Console View.Here, we'll be shaping the song's foundation. If you listen to the project as it is, you'll probably notice that it sounds “muddy”. This usually happens because all of the instruments are fighting each other for space in the frequency spectrum and stereo field. They're also all trying to be heard at the same level in the same location.Normally, when recording a track, it is common to try to get a relatively loud signal. This is done to achieve the best level, knowing that you will eventually adjust the final levels during the mixing stage.Some people like to begin “mixing” by turning down every track and then gradually turning up one track at a time, starting with the rhythm section. Begin by increasing the volume of the bass drum to the desired level. Continue with the snare, the rest of the drums and finally the bass guitar, moving on in order of importance. If there was a lead vocal in the song, that would come last, so that it sits on top of the instrumental foundation you have established.Other people approach mixing the opposite way, turning things down a bit one at a time. If one method doesn't seem more appealing than the other, try both to see which one is more comfortable for you.
Important: Pay close attention to the master bus meter while mixing. You never want the meter to reach the very top, which will result in undesirable audible noise. This is called clipping.
Note: You can find the Hardware Output meters on the far right side in the Console view. If you don’t see the Hardware Output meters, click the Console view Strips menu and make sure Hardware Outputs is selected.The next thing we'll try is panning. As with mixing in general, there are no rules when it comes to panning. Be creative, trying different ideas to see how they sound. One important thing to consider is that when you pan two tracks that share the same frequency range away from each other they will become clearer. This especially applies to instruments that have been double-tracked. Try it with the two tracks labeled Cymbals Left and Cymbals Right. Notice how you can hear more definition and detail in the two tracks as you pan them away from each other. When panning double-tracked instruments, try to avoid panning them all the way to the left or right. Doing so may cause the tracks to sound too “separated”, which can take away from the fullness of the sound.
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