I thought I would share a little recent experience here with my Garritan libraries and Sonar.
For some time I had been planning a one-to-one tutorial session specifically on aspects of mixing in a professional studio. I use my Garritan libraries within Sonar and needed more input on the mixing process there. I phoned around to find a studio that used Sonar but it just doesn't seem to exist. The majority of studios here seem to use Pro Tools and a few use Cubase.
Whilst speaking to one studio nearest to me, the person actually referred to Sonar as, " ..... just a domestic product". I replied curtly that he needs to go and take another look and be educated .. and that it is most certainly used by professionals. Needless to say he didn't get my booking.
Eventually I found a studio where the engineer had first started out in the early days with Sonar but, presently, they are using Cubase. He suggested, quite wisely, that, in any case it would be much better for me if he came to me and we worked together using my equipment and software.
Logically, it also occurred to me that it would be particularly useful at this time if I could be sufficiently ready with my Christmas song and to actually use that for the learning session. Well, that was another matter. I have had sooo little time this year it really has been a struggle. However, my own feelings are that nominating a song is akin to a promise. Before anyone jumps out at me from the forums, I emphasise that this is how it is for me personally. So, I dived in working hours I should be doing other things, often working late at night and in the small hours and made sufficient progress to book my home tuition.
This took place yesterday, (Thursday) and was an excellent experience. It was a real eye opener. We spent a fair portion of the time on EQ and compression, all of which reinforced my own view that 'less is more'. It was also interesting that, on a few occasions, I found myself disagreeing with the 'edited' sound. One was the Garritan acoustic guitar and another was a hi-hat. Obviously we were hearing them differently, or, perhaps, more significantly, this was due to the role they would play in a particular style of music. This only served to increase the value of this learning session and highlighted my developing confidence in using these tools. He was a great tutor.
An aside from all of this was his interaction with Sonar and his response to the tracks generated from the Garritan libraries. He was very complimentary of the sound. He took to Sonar like a duck to water. I now have the new Sonar Producer X3 and he was very taken with it. As the end of the session drew near there were whisperings of "I'm going to buy this". He then explained that he'd been having problems with the old Cubase iLok and that Steinberg were being less than helpful in dealing with it.
We ended with an interesting discussion on why so many studios here in the UK use 'Pro tools'. One of the things mentioned was that so many clients here expect it. It's a PR thing, a perception with many pro clients that if a studio doesn't use it then it can't be a truly professional studio. It would be interesting to know if this is how it is in the US. From the Sonar forums it does seem that Sonar is used in far more professional studios there.
So there it is. Oh .. and .. no .. I didn't manage to finish my mix of my Christmas song so .. it's back to the project and my determination to send it in before the deadline.
It's now less than three weeks to go and I've never been this late before. The upside is that although, presently I have less time than ever, I feel more confident and more informed. That's not to say it'll be right first time but wouldn't it be the icing on the cake if it's close enough.