Here's a collection of the most recent and previous 100 SONAR Notes monthly articles from SOUND ON SOUND magazine. The most recently-published 5 workshops are locked and accessible only to subscribers, but the others are now free for all to enjoy.

(Use the SEARCH page to find even more past articles.)

Making The Most Of SONAR

Making Sends

Sonar Tips and Technique

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Get creative with sends and buses in Sonar X3.

Version Therapy

Craft the perfect cover version in Sonar X3.

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Craig Anderton explains his approach to creating a perfect cover version.

Take A Browse

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Find what you're looking for faster with Sonar X3's new Browser.

Taking Notes

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Use Melodyne Essential, included in Sonar X3 Studio and Producer, to turn your audio into MIDI.

Make The Upgrade

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Migrating Your Plug-ins & Settings To Sonar X3.

Previous 100 SONAR NOTES workshops (unlocked)

Comp Together

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Craft the perfect take using Sonar X3's new Track Lanes.

Master The Art

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Use Sonar X2's bundled tools to master your mix.

Fix It In The R-Mix

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar's R-Mix VST plug-in is a DAW-optimised version of Roland's R-Mix software, which isolates audio based on frequency range and stereo positioning

Fix It In The R-Mix | Media

Sonar Tips & Techniques

Audio files to accompany the article.

Space Exploration

Sonar Tips & Tecniques

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Create new and unusual effects with Sonar X2's Breverb Plug-in.

Sim City

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Don’t save Sonar X2’s TH2 Producer amp-sim just for guitars: drums, synths and vocals can all benefit too.

Model Behaviour

Sonar Tips & Technique

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Find out how to make Sonar X2’s Console Emulator plug-in work for you.

Prep School

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Optimise your vocal tracks in Sonar X2 before you start mixing.

Take Control

Sonar Tips & Techniques

Sonar X2 replaces Track Layers with Take Lanes, which come with far more flexibility...

Group Therapy

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Discover Sonar X2’s Quick Groups and Auto-Zoom updates — and become more efficient.

Pitch Perfect

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Fix vocal pitch in Sonar without nasty correction artifacts.

The Long Way Round

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Create looper effects with longer delay times in Sonar.

Well Defined - Using Instrument Definition files

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Instrument definitions make life easier when using hardware instruments or effects with Sonar.

2 Unlimited

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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You don’t have to give up Session Drummer 2’s content when you move up to 64-bit Sonar X1.

Up To The Wire

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Thanks to Sonar 64-bit operation, the 14-year-old ReWire protocol is back in the limelight!

Pitch Invasion

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Love it or hate it, ‘hard’ pitch correction is still a much used technique — and it’s simple with Sonar’s V-Vocal.

Expansions For Sonar X1

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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The Pro Channel is a highlight of Cakewalk’s Sonar X1 Producer — and some new add-ons make it even more powerful.

Active Controller Technology (ACT)

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Dust off that hardware controller and make it your best friend in the studio, with this simple way of using Sonar's Active Controller Technology.

ProChannel Flexibility

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Previously a hard-wired channel strip, ProChannel is now an 'open' plug-in host offering unprecedented effects order flexibility — which can make a huge difference to your sound...

Flanger Management

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Take Sonar back to the ’60s with this vintage-style tape-flanging effect!

Phase Switching

Sonar Notes

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Have some phase‑switching fun in Sonar X1!

FX Chains

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Create virtual multi-effects with Sonar X1e's FX Chains 2.0

Quantise Drums With AudioSnap Pool

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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If you’d like to make your quantised drums a little more human, dive into Sonar’s AudioSnap pool.

Pitch Transposition In Sonar X1

Sonar Notes

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Understand the pitch-changing options in Sonar X1 for better results with your audio.

Stretch Drum Loops Smoothly

Sonar X1

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Use Sonar X1 to slow down your drum loops drastically — and retain fidelity!

Multi-band Processing & Distortion

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Multi-band processing in Sonar needn’t stop at compression: using the same approach on distortion is easy and effective.

Guitar Rig 4 Plug-in

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Why settle for harsh amp-simulator tones? Find out how to produce a more organic sound using Sonar X1’s Guitar Rig 4 LE plug-in.

Screen Savers

Cakewalk Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar X1 screensets dynamically adapt to your project as you work. Find out why this matters, and how you can take advantage of it.

ProChannel Compressors

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar X1's ProChannel offers two different compressor types, both modelled on famous classic hardware.

X1's GUI

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar X1 offers a very different user interface experience to previous versions — so here's a guide to the new GUI.

Managing Backups, Part 2

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Having looked at routine backups last month, the second of this two-part series explores the more arcane art of archiving.Read Part 1.

Managing Backups, Part 1

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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In the first of this two-part series, we look at the best ways to manage your day-to-day backups in Sonar.Read Part 2.

Snapshot Effects Automation

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Snap it up! Transform your music with snapshot effects automation.

Sonar | Crazy Vocal Effects

Sonar Tips & Techniques

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Sonar can help you produce great normal vocals — but it can also do all kinds of crazy things to your voice...

Sonar: Stepping Out

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Step sequencers are known for their mechanical sound. But do they have to be so rigid? Not in Sonar 8.5...

Sonar: Track Template Tips

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Use track templates to give your electric guitar an acoustic sound and perk up your synths.

Cakewalk Sonar: Managing Plug-ins

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Plug-ins are likely to be integral to how you work, so it’s worth making sure they’re organised and well behaved.

Sonar: AudioSnap Tips

Sonar Notes & Techniques

AudioSnap always had potential, but never quite fulfilled its promise. However, those of you now taking a second look will like what they see.

Sonar: Up & Drumming

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Put together quick and easy drum tracks with Sonar 8.5’s Session Drummer 3.

Sonar: Recording Solo Performers

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Last issue, we covered methods for recording a solo artist. This time Craig Anderton covers editing and comping.

Sonar: Recording a Solo Performer

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Recording a solo performer requires a different approach from recording a band, and different ways of using Sonar.

Sonar: Matrix Magic

Sonar Notes & Techniques

We explain some of the tricks and composition methods opened up by Sonar 8.5’s new Matrix view.

Optimum Vocals with VX64 Vocal Strip

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar 8.5’s VX64 Vocal Strip offers new possibilities for vocal processing.

Sonar: Punchy Percussion with PX64

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Get to grips with Sonar’s brand-new PX64 percussion strip, which offers all the processors you need for treating drums.

Sonar: Making A Virtual Drum Room

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sampled drums lacking realism? Synthesize stereo room mics to add authentic ambience with Sonar’s built-in effects.

Sonar: Bigger Beats

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Get a big, ‘produced’ sound from Sonar’s classic analogue drumbox samples.

Sonar: Stereo Tools

Sonar Notes & Techniques

If you’re interested in M/S (Mid/Side) recording or stereo image tweaks, Sonar’s Channel Tools could be your best friend.

Exploring Sonar 8’s Dimension Pro Synthesizer

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Now that Dimension Pro is included with Sonar 8, it’s time to investigate how to exploit it beyond the usual sample-playback functions.

Sonar: Integrating External Hardware With Your DAW

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Is it time to lighten the load on your CPU and put that outboard signal processing hardware to work inside your DAW? We explain how...

Using REX Files in Sonar 8

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar has more facilities than the average DAW for exploiting REX files to their best advantage. We guide you through where to find those facilities and how to put them to use.

Exploring Sonar 8's Beatscape Instrument

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar 8 introduced Beatscape, a new Cakewalk instrument designed specifically for the groovily inclined. We dig behind the interface for some tips and tricks you won't find in the documentation.

Transient Shaping With Sonar 8's TS64

Sonar Notes & Techniques

There's more to dynamics than compression and expansion, and now transient shaping is part of Sonar 8, courtesy of the TS64 Transient Shaper plug-in.

Sonar: Creating Loop-based Music

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar was one of the first DAWs to take looping seriously — which means that you'll find plenty of tools for making loop-based music easier.

Bass Guitar Recording With Sonar

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar includes many effects that are useful for bass guitars, and also offers bass-friendly features that help speed up the recording process.

Console Tips & Customising In Sonar

Sonar Notes & Techniques

When it comes to the Sonar mixing console, you don't have to simply take what you're given, because there are lots of ways of making it fit your working methods. We explain how, and pass on some handy shortcuts along the way.

Sonar: Audio Editing Techniques

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Why take two digital audio programs into the studio, when you can optimise Sonar to do many of the common tasks you'd expect to need a dedicated audio editor for?

Creating A Rhythm Track In Sonar

Sonar Notes & Techniques

A walk through the process of composing and processing a drum track highlights how to use various Sonar features and useful shortcuts - some of which you may not have come across before.

Customising Sonar To Fit The Way You Work

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Did you know that you can make Sonar fit your working methods like a glove, via its many customisation options? Here's our guide to just a few of the most useful.

Customising Sonar's SFZ Files

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Understanding how to program SFZ files opens up lots of ways to better exploit what Sonar's bundled soft synths have to offer. Don't panic: it's easier than you might think...

Using Sonar's z3ta+ Synth as an Effects Processor

Sonar Notes & Techniques

When is a soft synth not just a soft synth? When it's also an effects processor...

Using Side-chains in Sonar 7's Plug-ins

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Side-chain inputs on software processors can open up a whole new world of control possibilities — and now Sonar 7's plug-ins have this facility. We show you some ways of using it in your music.

Introducing Sonar 7's Step Sequencer

Sonar Notes & Techniques

One of the new features added in the Sonar 7 update is a very flexible step sequencer. We investigate its features and suggest some ways to make the most of it.

Optimising Preferences In Sonar

Sonar Notes & Techniques

With Sonar 7 just out, it's time to tweak all our preferences to perfection, before they're transferred over into the latest version of the software.

Object-oriented Editing In Sonar

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Working directly with 'objects', such as MIDI or audio clips of any length from a few milliseconds upwards, opens up a non-linear approach that can provide creative opportunities and also save you CPU resources.

Sonar: Features To Help With Songwriting

Sonar Notes & Techniques

DAW software is optimised for helping you record your songs and add lots of production polish, but don't forget that programs like Sonar can also help in the songwriting process, offering features that could make it easier to capture inspiration when it strikes.

Automatic Error Correction With Sonar MIDI Plug-ins

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Why wait to fix it in the mix when you can mend MIDI tracks while you're recording them? Sonar's MIDI plug-ins allow you to automatically fix anything from incorrect timing to inconsistent velocities - and more.

Making The Most Of Sonar 6's Synth Rack

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar's Synth Rack is a great time-saving concept that has started to deliver on its full promise with version 6 of the software. However, not all aspects of it are completely obvious - so this month we'll be doing our best to put you on track with the Rack.

Using Sonar's ACT With Hardware Controllers

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Ever wished you could use your favourite control surface to change not just mixer controls, but effects plug-in parameters and virtual instrument settings? Apparently someone at Cakewalk has too...

Using Session Drummer 2 In Sonar 6

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar's Session Drummer has evolved from a MIDI plug-in to a sophisticated tone module that also includes pattern playback capabilities. We take a look beneath the surface.

Audiosnap Applications In Sonar 6

Sonat Notes & Techniques

Sonar's Audiosnap time-stretching tools offer some mind-boggling possibilities, including REX-like beat slicing and sophisticated audio quantising.

Exploring Audiosnap in Sonar 6

Sonar Notes & Technique

One of the biggest new additions in Sonar 6, Audiosnap, is a powerful time-stretching audio toolkit promising better-quality stretching and enhanced controllability. This month we'll explain the basics of using the new tools, following up next month with some real-world applications.

Sonar 6: Exploring VC64 Vintage Channel

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar 6's new 'channel strip' offers multiple routings that enable techniques such as parallel compression, frequency-conscious dynamics control and side-chaining.

Customisation Options In Sonar 6

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar seems to get more customisable with every version, and the newly released Sonar 6 is no exception, allowing you to tweak various aspects of appearance and operation until the program looks and feels just the way you want it.

Working With Video In Sonar 5

Sonar Notes & Techniques

As video becomes more accessible, Cakewalk have taken notice, adding a lot of video-friendly features to Sonar 5. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to combine the worlds of audio and video within the program.

Programming Sonar 5's Pentagon I Soft Synth

Sonar Notes & Technique

The Pentagon I soft synth bundled with Sonar 5 is a powerhouse that even offers vocoding facilities. If you've overlooked it so far, remedy the situation with our tips, tricks and programming guide.

Sonar: Optimum Mixing

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Sonar offers several ways to mix, but is that a benefit or a source of confusion? Learn what the various mix modes do and you can choose the one that's right for your project.

Using Off-Line DSP features of Sonar

Sonar Notes & Techniques

If you never venture into Sonar's off-line DSP section, now could be the time to check it out, following Cakewalk's v5 revamp of these useful functions.

Recording Killer Guitar Sounds in Sonar 5

Sonar Notes & Techniques

The technology for easily achieving an expensively produced effect when recording guitars is becoming more and more accessible. We take a look at what Sonar has to offer in this department, and examine other tools for creating killer guitar sounds.

Useful Sonar Features You May Have Missed

Sonar Notes & Technique

In a program as complex and feature-rich as Sonar, it's almost inevitable that there are useful little facilities that could make your life easier, but that you have somehow overlooked or forgotten. We turn the spotlight on some of the best.

Using the RXP REX-file player in Sonar 5 Producer Edition

Sonar Notes & Technique

Now that the RXP REX-file player is bundled with the Producer Edition of Sonar 5, the creative possibilities of REX files have really opened up for Sonar users. We take a tour around RXP and discuss its features and uses.

Project Navigation In Sonar

Sonar Notes & Technique

Take the trouble to discover the ways of moving around your project quickly and efficiently: it saves time and improves workflow.

Using Sonar 5's Cyclone Loop Tool

Sonar Notes & Techniques

The Cyclone 'groove sampler' DXi, bundled free with Sonar, is a powerful tool that allows loops of all kinds to be dissected, manipulated and generally bent to your will...

Using MIDI Functions In Sonar 5

Sonar Notes & Techniques

Cakewalk have strengthened the MIDI side of Sonar 5 considerably, in recognition of the rise of software synths that benefit from enhanced MIDI controllability. We run through some of the new features and suggest how you might want to use them, as well as rounding up the usual Sonar news and background info.

Sonar Notes

News & Tips

When the version number's most significant digit increments, you know something big is going to happen — what's inside Version 5?

Using Sonar's Dreamstation Soft Synth


This modest little soft synth has been bundled with Sonar since version 1.0 and is very kind to your CPU resources, yet many Sonar users are still unaware of just how much you can squeeze out of it. We present some evidence.

Sonar Notes

News and Tips

Sonar technology takes over Cakewalk's entire product line, from low to high end, while the Studio and Producer editions get an audio engine tune-up. Read all about it...

Dynamics Control In Sonar 4


Both Sonar Producer Edition and Studio Edition offer several choices for dynamics processing. How do you pick the right one for the job?

Increasing Your Screen Space

Sonar Notes

More screen space without having to buy a second monitor — just one of the Sonar nuggets we've got for you this month...

Loop Construction In Sonar 4


Sonar 4 offers excellent loop editing facilities, and this month we're going to show you how to use them.

Sonar Notes

News & Updates

News this month includes more about 64-bit computing and details of a Mackie Control update for Sonar users — plus we offer handy tips on taming mute tools and MIDI notes.

Making The Most Of EQ In Sonar v4


When is an EQ not just an EQ? When it's the Sonar v4 Producer Edition Sonitus EQ and you use it for some of the amazing processing tricks we're about to explain!

Sonar LE, utilities and more...

Sonar Notes

Sonar LE appears, we find a utility that lets you zoom with a mouse wheel, and Project 5 slightly changes direction...

Creating Easier Drum Parts In Sonar&4


Producing great drum parts can be quicker, easier and more fun with the dedicated facilities Sonar&4 provides. We explain.

Cakewalk Z3TA+ Bandlimited Waveshaping Soft Synth

Sonar Notes

Cakewalk go global, and release a new soft synth.

Exploring Sonar 4's TTS1 Synth


The TTS1 soft synth bundled with Sonar 4 has many hidden talents — but you have to know where to find them. Read on...

Sonar: Studio or Producer?

Sonar Notes

It's time to address the Studio versus Producer question, as well as looking into a new Sonar remote-control option.

Composite Vocal Recording (Using Sonar 4)


The audio sequencing facilities we have at our disposal these days make it easier than ever before to produce world-class vocal recordings by taking the best parts from a series of takes and producing a composite from them. Here's how to do the job in Sonar 4.

Sonar: Going 64-bit

Sonar Notes

A quick look at the Project 5 update and news of Sonar's rewrite for 64-bit processors.

Sonar: Metering options explained

Sonar Notes

Sonar offers lots of useful metering options you may not even be aware of, so this month we run through them and why you might want to use them, as well as getting clever with colours and explaining how to make your screen setup a hint more transparent...

Sonar: Hands-free Recording & Other Tips

Sonar Notes

This month, find your way around projects, undertake hands-free recording, configure an external MP3 encoder and create pseudo-Track Folders for MIDI.



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