SONAR 2.0 Tips: Part 2

Last updated on 3/31/2016

In the new SONAR 2 Power! book by Scott Garrigus, you will find helpful tips on an assortment of topics within SONAR 2.0. In part 2 of our series, we have collected a small sampling of tips from chapter 6-8 for recording and editing within SONAR. Throughout the coming months we will continue to bring you more tips from SONAR 2 Power!

Sampling Rate and bit depth

In order to store music on CD, the audio data is required to have a sampling rate of 44,100 Hz and a bit depth of 16. These values cannot go higher or lower. They must be exact. Of course, you can start off by recording your audio with different settings. For example, if your computer has a limited amount of memory or hard disk space, you may want to use smaller values. I wouldn't recommend this, though, unless it's absolutely necessary, because lower values mean lower quality audio. You can also record using higher values, which actually raises the quality of your audio data. When it comes time to put the audio on CD, however, you must convert the sampling rate and bit depth to the values mentioned above.

Using SONAR's "Change Audio Format" feature, you can convert the bit depth rate of the audio in your project. Just select "Tools>Change Audio Format" to access it. Unfortunately, the "Change Audio Format" feature only lets you convert between 16- and 24-bit.

Multiple track recording

Even if you 're using a basic sound card to record audio, you can still record two different audio tracks at once. You can do so because your sound card has a stereo input. This means you can use the left and right channel separately to record two individual tracks. When you set up the tracks prior to recording, just select the the input for one track to be the left audio channel of your sound card and the input for the other track to be the right audio channel of your sound card. You also might need a special audio cable. Most basic sound cards provide only one stereo input connection at a 1/8-inch size. The cable you will need is called a y-adapter audio cable with a stereo 1/8-inch mini plug to phono plugs.

Editing your project while playing

Instead of using the "Scrub" tool, you might want to try a more useful technique for hearing what your changes sound like. Did you know that you can edit the data in your project as it's being played back? Of course, it's a bit difficult to edit anything while SONAR is scrolling the display as the project plays. I like to work on a small section of a project at a time. I set up a section of the project to loop over and over, and as SONAR is playing data, I make any changes I think might be needed. Because the data is being played back while I edit, I can instantly hear what changes sound like. This procedure is much easier than having to keeping going back and forth, making changes and manually starting and stopping playback. By the way, you can use any of the views to edit your data while SONAR is playing a project.

Tapping out a tempo value

Instead of using your mouse to click the "Click Here To Tap Tempo" button, you might find it easier (and more accurate) to use the spacebar on your computer keyboard. Click the button with your mouse once just to highlight it and then use your spacebar to tap out a tempo value.

Adjusting audition time

By default, the "Audition" feature plays only the first few seconds of the selected data. You can adjust the "Audition" time by selecting "Options>Global" to open the "Global Options" dialog box. Under the "General" tab, set the "Audition Commands For" option to the number of seconds you want to use for the "Audition" feature. I usually like to keep this set anywhere between 5 and 10 seconds.

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