picture of Phil Muir working at a PC

Contact:

Accessibility Training
Telephone:UK +44 (0)1747-228-459
Mobile:UK +44 (0)7968-136-246
Email:info@accessabilitytraining.co.uk
Picture of Phil's mixing desk

Welcome To the Sonar FAQ On Accessability Training

The following are responses to some over 900 E-mails that I have sent out to various lists. You can use the various headings in this document to jump to sections of interest. Feel free to check back, as this FAQ will be updated on a regular basis.

Audio Driver Questions

  • Q: I have been told that I will achieve better performance in Sonar with ASIO drivers. Is this true?
  • A: Not necessarily. We have found that in general, most people seem to achieve better audio performance on core duo and above PC's with WDM drivers. My advice, try both as in some instances, you will achieve better performance and lower latency with WDM drivers, rather than ASIO ones

  • Q: I am using WDM drivers. How do I achieve the lowest possible latency?
  • A: First, it's important to remember that when using WDM drivers, there are two places where settings need to be adjusted that affect latency. First, go into your sound cards control panel and set your sound cards buffers to 64. Note: Sometimes what you actually see in your sound card control panel, may look a little different. For example, in the Tascam FW-1884 control panel, this setting is achieved by putting the slider to 16%. Then, go back into Sonar and set the latency slider in the "Audio Options" dialog box to 3%. This should give you latency of around 1.5MS. If you get dropouts then, bring the slider up in the "Audio Options" dialog box in Sonar and reprofile your sound card until the dropouts stop.

  • Q: I want to use WDM drivers. Are there any special settings that I need to know about?
  • A: you may want to try altering the KsUseInputEvent entry in your Aud.ini file. Changing this setting from 0 to 1 can sometimes improve audio driver performance.
  • If your using Sonar 8, and you have installed Sonar on your C drive then, this file can be found in the following location:

    C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Cakewalk\SONAR 8 Producer Edition

    Folder.

    Once you have altered the entry, it will look like this:

    KsUseInputEvent=1

Recording Questions

  • Q: I want to record some instruments such as drums, bass guitar, electric guitar acoustic guitar, vocals and some keyboards in Sonar. What is the hiest level that my record metres should read when I press stop after recording?
  • A: If the converters are good on your sound card then, you should be able to push them right up to minus 0.1 DB. You may wish to go for a peak of say minus 1 as you wouldn't want to go above minus 0.1DB as that would push you into dijital clipping. Remember that if you are unable to achieve a height enough level from an instrument on a track that you can always peak normalise it up to minus 0.1 DB.

  • Q: Where do I find the peak normalise option?
  • A: you will find that option in the “audio menu”, which is inside the “process menu.” Remember when peak normalising audio that the hiest you should do this to is minus 0.1DB. Don’t use the "Normalize to maximum peak value" preset as that will normalise your audio to 0DB and add digital clipping to the audio.

  • Q: After playing back my project, what is the hiest possible level that my metres should be reading before I am going into clipping?
  • A: if the metres on your master bus or any other track/bus is at 0DB then, you have gone into clipping. Clipping in digital, starts at 0DB. So, the hiest level you would want after playing a project back on a track/bus on the metre column is minus 0.1DB.

Audio Affects Questions

  • Q: how do I insert a softsynthe or, audio affect on to the affects bin in the track view?
  • A: When focused over the affects bin, press the applications key and choose an audio affect from the “audio Affects menu” or, a softsynthe, from the “Softsynthes Menu.”

  • Q: In versions of Sonar from 6 and beyond, I can’t see any affects in the track inspector. How can I enable this feature?
  • A: Go into the modules option in the track inspector and go into the affects menu and check the "show Assignable controls" option.

  • Q: I have inserted an affect but can’t see many parameters. How can I access more?
  • A: when focused over a parameter in the track inspector, you can press the applications key and assign the current parameter to a different one. You can alter parameters with the bracket keys. You may need to press the bracket keys several times before you see a parameter change.

  • Q: I can’t see all 4 bands of EQ in the track inspector. Why is that?
  • A: You won’t be able to display all 4 bands of EQ in the track inspector, unless you hide absolutely everything else under display options in the Track Inspector, including affects. Also, remember once you have done this to check the radio button to display all 4 bands of EQ.

  • Q: In Sonar 8 I hear that it’s possible to read off real world values on .VST affects. Are there any affects that I can test that have this functionality built in?
  • A: The V-64 in Sonar has real world values that can be read off in the Track Inspector.

  • Q: how do I perform non-destructive pitch shifting on a track?
  • A: You would insert the pitch shifter into a bus in the bus view. Then, assign a send to it on the track in the track view. This would be a totally non-destructive way of doing this, and you will be able to keep the dry signal.

  • Q: I have put a chorus affect on to a track however; I am not getting enough control over the affect. How can I gain more control over the chorus affect?
  • A: Put the chorus on the affects bin in the bus view. Then, insert a send for that bus in the track view.

  • Q: how do I associate a particular affect with a send?
  • A: once you have inserted your affect into the affects bin in the bus view then, go back into the track view and add a send and route it to the bus that contains the affect in question.

  • Q: why am I able to insert the same send on a track in Sonar 8 and route it to the same bus?
  • A: you are able to do this because in Sonar 8, it’s possible to use mono outputs in hardware. In instances like this, inserting two sends would be desirable, as you would want separate control over each of the mono sends, going to mono outputs.

Recording Automation

  • Q: how do I record an automation snapshot in Sonar?
  • A: You can do this in two ways. If you wish to arm a single control for automation, when focused over it, press the applications key, followed by the letter W. That will arm the control in question.
  • If you wish to arm all controls on a track for automation then, arrow over to the automation write button and press the enter key.

  • Q: I would like to record automation on a track so that the affect will be enabled on part of a track. How can I do this?
  • A: patch the affect into a track. Then, assign a send to it. Then, Go to the start of your project and turn the volume of the send right down to. inf.  Now record an automation snapshot within focussed over the sends volume.  The keystrokes for this are, the applications key, followed by the letter S.  Then, go to where you want to hear the affect start and stop playback where you wish the affect to come in then, record an automation snapshot.  hen, resume playback and go to where you want the affect to disappear again, stop playback and record another automation snapshot.  Now unarm all controls for automation on the track by locating the automation write button and turning it off with the enter key.

  • Q: Can I record automation on controls such as volumes, sends etc in the bus view?
  • A: You can however, remember that you can't easily remove shapes in the bus view.

Enabling Scrubbing On A Control Surface

  • Q: How do I enable scrubbing on my control surface?
  • A: In order to enable scrubbing on your control surface, you will need to add a couple of entries to your Cakewalk.ini file.
  • If your using Sonar 8, and you have installed Sonar on your C drive then, this file can be found in the following location:

    C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Cakewalk\SONAR 8 Producer Edition

    Folder.

    Add it to the [WinCake] section so it should look like this:

    [WinCake]

    JogPosTimer=60


    PauseOnJog=1

Vocal Tuning

  • Q: is it possible to use the Pitch to MIDI feature in V-Vocal?
  • A: There isn't any way to get that to work currently as in order to do this, you need to drag and drop a V-Vocal clip on to a MIDI track.

  • Q: do other packages such as AutoTune5 also have this feature?
  • A: packages such as AutoTune5 do however, in order to get it to work in AutoTune5, you need to go to the .VST properties of AutoTune and check the box that will cause AutoTune to show up as a softsynthe. Then, you can insert it as a softsynthe and use the MIDI track attached to it to alter the notes that AutoTune is playing.

  • Q: how do I enable AutoTune5's MIDI features in Sonar?
  • A: in order to get the MIDI side of AutoTune to work, you need to set-up AutoTune as a Softsynthe. You can do that from within the AutoTune interface. When in there, tab over to where your screen reader says, "VST options then, press the enter key and choose the .VST properties option from the menu. tab over to where it says, "configure as Softsynthe" and check that box. Then, close out the interface and delete it from the audio track. Then, rescan your .VST's and choose AutoTune from your Softsynthe menu. Finally, once you have opened up the AutoTune interface again, activate the "Target Notes Via MIDI" option. Note: in order to achieve the best accessibility with AutoTune5 and the Jaws screen reader, you will need to use HotSpotClicker and the .HSC set for AutoTune5. You will find HotSpotClicker, over on the:
HotSpotClicker

web site.

  • Is it possible to tune individual notes vea MIDI in AutoTune5?
  • it's definitely possible however, in order to really get the best out of AutoTune5, you will need to spend a lot of time in the manual, smile!

.VST Questions

  • Q: I have downloaded some .VST affects/softsynthes. How can I get them to show up in Sonar?
  • A: You will need to create a folder for the downloaded .VST's. In this example, we will use G-snap.

Assuming that you have installed Sonar on your C drive, create a folder called G-snap inside your:

C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\VstPlugins

folder

Then, place the G-snap.dll and any associated documentation inside it. Finally, do a .VST scan either in Sonar's plug-in Manager or, from within Sonar's "Global Options" dialog box on the .VST tab.

  • Q: I have a number of .VST's made by the same vendor. Is there any way that I can install them so that they will show up in the same menu?
  • A: Here's how you do it. In this example, we will use the Kjaerhus Audio plug-ins.

1: After downloading all of the Kjaerhus Audio affects such as all of the free Classic series, remove the word "Classic from all of the folder names. This will leave you with, compressor, chorus etc.

2: Create a folder inside your

C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\VstPlugins

folder

called

Kjaerhus Audio

3: Cut all of the folders E.G, such as the compressor, chorus etc with the .dll's and documentation into the Kjaerhus Audio folder. Tip: you may wish to cut the

VintageChannel

Folder from your:

C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\VstPlugins

Folder

And place it inside the:

Kjaerhus Audio

Folder as this plug-in is made by Kjaerhus Audio.

4: Finally, do a .VST scan either in Sonar's plug-in Manager or, from within Sonar's "Global Options" dialog box on the .VST tab.

  • Q: Sonar has trapped all audio affects/softsynthes names in the menus, beginning withthe the letter L. Is there any way of working around this issue?
  • A: In the case of .VST affects/softsynthes, yes. For example, if you place the and sign in front of a folder name then, this will work around this issue. I have done this with the Linear Compressor and EQ that ship in versions of Sonar from 6 and beyond. I also used the technique described with the Kjaerhus Audio affects to place the Linear affects into the same menu. Note: it's not possible to do this with .DXi affects/softsynthes. Here's how it's done:

1: Remove the word Linear from the Linear Compressor and Linear EQ folder names. This will leave you withfolder names of compressor and EQ.

2: Create a folder inside your

C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\VstPlugins

Folder

Called

&Linear

3: Cut the Compressor and EQ folders into the &Linear folder.

4: Finally, do a .VST scan either in Sonar's plug-in Manager or, from within Sonar's "Global Options" dialog box on the .VST tab.

Event View Questions

  • Q: I would like to edit some shapes that I have created. Why can’t I press the enter key on an edit field of a shape event and change it?
  • A: Unfortunately not all events can be edited. Shapes can’t be edited. The event view comprises a number of columns.  Some can be edited and some can't.

  • Q: I would like to edit Audio/MIDI events in the event view but, not everything appears to be showing up. Why?
  • A: It’s possible that your events are cropped. If this is the case then, cropped events can sometimes be hidden. When in the event view, press the letter D to “show cropped events.”

  • Q: I would like to alter an individual MIDI note on a track. How do I do this?
  • A: go into the event view, find the note that you need to edit.  Press enter on the note column and type in the new note.

Softsynthe And MIDI Questions

  • Q: I have closed a softsynthe. How can I open the window again, if I have decided to switch to another program etc?
  • A: open up the syntherack view in Sonar with the Sonar keystroke Alt and the number 8 on the top row of your keyboard or, by going to the view menu, Alt and the letter V. Then press the letter H to open up the syntherack view. Note in packages such as: Jsonar
    , you may need to control tab in order to get back into the syntherack view. You will then be able to reopen any synthes in your projects with the letter P. You won’t need to do this in: CakeTalking
    as CakeTalking, automatically refocuses you back into the syntherack view, when you close out a softsynthe.

  • Q: I can’t seem to find any presets in softsynthes such as DropZone, Dimension LE, Dimension Pro, Rapture LE, Rapture and SessionDrummer2. How do I access them?
  • A: All of the above-mentioned Cakewalk softsynthes have a program browser. If you have HotSpotClicker installed then, you can access this with the .HSC keystroke, Alt Shift B. If your using CakeTalking then, all of the various options in the above-mentioned softsynthes including the programme browser, can be access by pressing function key F 4, when in the preset dialog box for the softsynthe in question.

  • Q: I have programmed up some drums on one MIDI track but I would like to EQ them all separately. How can I do this?
  • A: suspect you may be better running several instances of the softsynthe in question.  That would give you more control over panning etc. Note: in order to do this, you will probably want to run the “split notes to cal script in Sonar. This script will split out MIDI notes on one MIDI track to separate MIDI tracks that contain individual notes.

  • Q: the softsynthe that I am running is using up a lot of system resources. Is there anything I can do about it?
  • A> if you have done everything that you need to do with the softsynthe such as added affects etc then, you can select the track associated with it and freeze it. Freezing a softsynthe will give you back some CPU cycles as freezing the synthe, bounces all of the softsynthe and affects data to a wave file.

  • Q: I have an external MIDI keyboard and I want to record several sounds from it into Sonar. What's the best way to do this?
  • A: the best way to do this is to record the sounds to MIDI tracks separately. In this example, we shall record drums and piano. Once you have recorded the drums to a MIDI track, record an audio track with that sound on. Then, archive the drums MIDI track or, mute it so that it won't play. Then, record the piano on to a MIDI track. Then record that as audio. Once you have done that, archive or, mute the piano MIDI track so that the MIDI no longer plays. You can then if you wish, use the procedure above to go on and record other instruments.

  • Q: My MIDI notes keep getting stuck in Sonar. How can I prevent this from happening?
  • A: There are a couple of things you can try. 1: in Sonar in the "global options" dialog box, on the first tab, there's an option that says, "Set Now Time With Full Restart." Check that. Finally, Sonar has a button that can be added to your transport menu. This button is used to reset MIDI and is known as the "panic button."  Note: the "panic button isn't there by default. You will need to add an entry to your Cakewalk.ini file. If your using Sonar 8, and you have installed Sonar on your C drive then, this file can be located in the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\User Name\Application Data\Cakewalk\SONAR 8 Producer Edition

Folder

Add it to the [WinCake] section so it should look like this:

[WinCake]

PanicStrength=1

General Sonar Questions

  • Q: How do I remove empty bars in Sonar?
  • A: Use Sonar's delete dialog box.  It's in the edit menu. Once in that dialog box, check the "delete whole", and "shift By Whole Measures boxes. That should do it!

  • Q: I would like to keep my project in tacked but, the Delete dialog box, isn’t removing any bars. Anything else I can try?
  • A: Load up the project and go to the start. Then do a select all and find the part at the end where you would like the project to finish and press function key F10 to highlight it. Now, go back to the start of the project and cut the selection to the clipboard. Make sure that you have all of the check boxes checked in the cut dialog such as "delete whole" and "shift by whole measures" checked. Then, paste all of the tracks back into the empty project, making sure not to paste it all to one track and also making sure that you have the "replace old with new" radio button checked.

  • Q: I have created a number of presets for various audioaffects/softsynthes and I want to back them up or, move them to a second system such as my laptop. How do I do this?
  • A: You can back up your presets in Sonar in Sonar's plug-in manager. You can then if you like, restore them later or, copy them over to another machine. You can amongst other things back up .VST, DXi instrument and audio affects as well as control surface presets such as ACT etc. You can get at the plug-in manager from within Sonar via the tools menu however if you do that then, you will need to click on the Window with the Jaws cursor. You can also click on the executable or create a shortcut to it. The .exe file is in the following location. Assuming you have installed Sonar on your C drive:
  • C:\Program Files\Cakewalk\Shared Utilities

    folder.

    The file your looking for is called:

    PluginManager.exe

    There's also a PluginManager.chm help file file in the same folder.

  • Q: how do I save a project in its own folder?
  • A: Before you start any recording you should go to file, new and type in a name for the project and choose the template for it etc. If you do that then, providing you have left everything else in that dialog as is then, you will end up with a new project in it's own folder.

    • Q: I have mixed down a project but the tale for the reverb is being cut off. Any way around this and do I need to apply destructive affects?
    • A: no you don't need to apply destructive affects. However, you may need to put in a blank measure or 2 at the end of the file to allow for the reverb tale to fade off.

    Installation Questions

    • Q: I want to completely remove all version of Sonar from my system. How do I do that?
    • A: This assumes that you have installed Sonar on your C drive.  If not then, you will need to alter the driver letter accordingly.  Do the following: 

    Go to Control Panel | Add or Remove Programs and uninstall SONAR 7 Producer Edition.  When prompted to "Remove Shared Files", tab over to the "Yes to All" button and press the enter key.

    Go to Start, Run, and type

    "regedit".

    Navigate to the following registry key: 

    HKEY_Current_User\Software\Cakewalk Music Software\SONAR Producer\

    and delete the "7.0" key.

    Navigate to the following registry key:

    HKEY_Local_Machine\Software\Cakewalk Music Software\SONAR Producer\

    and delete the "7.0" key.  Note: if you don't have any other versions of Sonar installed then, you can safely remove the Sonar Producer Keys in both of the above-mentioned registry entries.

    Open Windows Explorer, [windows key E] and Navigate to the following directory:

    C:\Program Files\Cakewalk

    folder

    And verify that the SONAR 7 Producer Edition directory has been removed.

    Open the "Shared Utilities" folder which is inside the

    C:\programme files\Cakewalk

    folder

    and delete:

    PluginManager.exe

    and

    VstScan.exe

    Navigate to the:

    C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Cakewalk

    folder

    and delete the "SONAR 7 Producer Edition" directory if it exists.

    Navigate to the :

    C:\Documents And Setttings\User Name\Application Data\Cakewalk

    folder

    and delete the "SONAR 7 Producer Edition" directory.

    • I have installed Dimension Pro but, I forgot to write down the serial numbner in a document. Is there any way that I can access the serial number for it?
    • A: Using the following procedure will get you to the correct part of the registry where you can access your Dimension Pro Serial number.

    1: Go to the run dialog box and type the following and press the enter key:

    regedit

    2: we need to navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry entry.  You will get there by pressing down arrow 3 times.

    3: press the letter S 3 times until you hear Jaws say: "Software."

    4: press the letter C until you hear Jaws say " Cakewalk Music Software."

    5: press the letter D until you hear Jaws say "Dimension Pro."

    6: press the tab key in order to get to the list view of the Dimension Pro registry entry.

    7: press the end key to jump you to the bottom of the list.  You will hear Jaws read:

    "Serial number =CWDM-" and a lot of numbers.

     8: to copy your dimension pro serial number, press the applications key and choose "modify", from the menu. This will bring up the Serial number in an edit field.

     9: press the home key  and use the key combination control plus shift  end to select your Dimension Pro serial number.

     10: use the keystroke Control plus C to copy it to the clipboard.

    • Q: I would like to move where my Dimension Pro content is stored. How do I do that?
    • A: Using the following procedure will get you to the correct part of the registry where you can alter the location of Dimension Pro's sample content folder. This is handy if like me you run a multiboot system. I now have various registry files, which, I have made up for each of the boots. Tip: if you have Sonar 7 installed or, other Cakewalk Softsynthes such as Dimension LE that need a lot of hard drive space for their content then, you can also move where your DimensionLE content is installed.  You would just find the Dimension LE registry entry and use the same procedure.  The Dimension LE registry entry is just above the Dimension Pro entry.

    1: Go to the run dialog box and type the following and press the enter key:

    regedit

    2: we need to navigate to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry entry. You will get there by pressing down arrow 3 times.

    3: press the letter S 3 times until you hear Jaws say: "Software."

    4: press the letter C until you hear Jaws say " Cakewalk Music Software."

    5: press the letter D until you hear Jaws say "Dimension Pro."

    6: press the tab key in order to get to the list view of the Dimension Pro registry entry.

    7: arrow down until you hear Jaws say "Multisamples Folder REG_SZ"

    This will be followed by the current folder location.  For example: Jaws may say something like this:

    "Multisamples Folder REG_SZ G:\Dimension Pro Samples

    8: to alter the location of your Dimension Pro Sample Content folder, press the applications key and choose "modify", from the menu. This will bring up the folder location in an edit field where you can type in a new folder location.

    Note: once you have altered this location in the registry, don't forget to move the Sample Content folder!




    Back to Free Music Technology Resources Page

    Back to Home Page


    All copyrights are the property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.