Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Recording with SONAR X1

The recent recordings I made with my son David playing drums have finally gotten me into learning the new interface in my recording software, SONAR. The X1 version had very significant changes, most of which I am coming to believe are for the better, despite meaning that I've had to re-learn how to do certain tasks I thought I already knew.

The other thing about it is, I realize I have done very little recording of any note for most of the last decades, and I'm also learning about things that have been in the SONAR bag of tricks for a while and I somehow missed.

In particular, there is a way to record extra passes of audio into a single track. They are called layers, and provide a nice way of grouping multiple takes together and working with them to assemble a composite performance. (For those that don't know, a composite performance is simply editing down a series of two or more takes of a performance, picking the best parts of each track. Typically, for example, your first take will have a so-so first verse, and an excellent second verse and chorus, while the second take really nailed the first verse and the rest were a little off, etc. Rather than re-recording the entire performance over and over again until there's one ideal take that's as good as can be, often you edit the performances, keeping the best parts of each one.)

I'm currently working on recording an arrangement of Ray Charles' "Unchain My Heart," and I've discovered this feature while trying to get as good as vocal performance as I can, and a good guitar solo.

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