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Topic: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

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  1. #1

    Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    I'm working on my first GPO piece in Sonar 4 PE. One of the things I'm having big troubles with is getting the volume right (the 'modulation-volume') IN COMPARISON with other instruments.

    I use modulation (for volume of course) ALL OVER the place to bring things to life. After adding instruments and variations I often find out that certain instrument are too soft (or loud). In the pre-GPO days this problem was easily solved: just lower the velocity (by changing the property of the track or using the destructive option for that). But now... I'm left with a big problem because there is NO way to edit modulation in a similar automated way! Which means I have to edit ALL controller data all over again (in the controller pane), by hand! And after a while, after adding more stuff (or removing stuff) I may have to do that AGAIN!

    I could of course just lower the volume of the track (in the Kontakt player) but that doesn't sound right: realistic lower volumes also means another timbre. Lowering just the volume doesn't do the trick...

    So... my questions are:
    - how do YOU change the modulation data in Sonar? Can it be changed automatically (like an option which let's you change selected controller data by a certain precentage?)
    - WHEN do you edit the modulation data? Only after completing EVERY instrument part...? (Although even then some parts will have to be edited because EVERY volume change has an influence on another instrument). What is the best method of getting the final mix right without having to do all parts over and over again...?

  2. #2

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    This is an excellent question, and one that I am very curious about as well.

    I have been simply lowering or raising the volume knob in the Kontakt player when I'm ready to do a final mix, however, as the previous post points out, this may not be what the musician really wants.

    I also wish to be able to mix the song using the Sonar volume sliders and when I went into options and switched the Kontakt player to use normal volume (i.e., the sliders from Sonar tracks), what would happen is that I could move the Sonar volume slider and the Kontakt player volume knob would move too, but the track wouldn't get quieter or louder. Very strange. I must not understand fully how this is supposed to work.

    Also, I'm wondering if you can initially record all your tracks using the mod wheel for that lovely exquisite control, then when you're ready to do an overall mix, can you switch the Kontakt player to respond to the normal Sonar volume slider, YET, will the track still respond to BOTH inputs. In other words, I would like to be able to perform an overall mix of all instruments, but still have the individual tracks respond to mod wheel so that my expressiveness isn't lost. Am I just wanting the world or what?

    Now, having said all that, there is one more simple way to handle this and that is to set the volume knob in ALL Kontakt player slots to the 12:00 position, and then simply mix on the fly with the mod wheel and be happy with your outcome. The problem with this approach is, again, what hellogood points out above that the musician may not have wanted the particular timbre/brightness levels that they are forced to use at that point.

    I need to read the manual again and/or see if anyone has posted a simple tutorial that goes from recording to mixing with all of these issues.

    Kevin

  3. #3

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Hellogood,

    I'm still using Sonar 3 (just ordered 4), but there shouldn't be any difference. Here is the method I use with GPO.

    First record the midi notes (or input them if you prefer) on a midi track that is feeding GPO. Then I enable record on the same track with "sound on sound" selected, and record the pedal for attacks. Finally, I enable record again and record the modwheel from my keyboard to get the volume changes I want.

    If I find that after I do other tracks, the modwheel needs adjustment, then I just go to the piano roll view and draw in whatever changes I need. If it is just changing relative volumes, then I draw an envelope on the audio track for the GPO player and adjust that. I usually put sections of instruments in separate instances of GPO for that reason. Finally, if all that is not enough, I will "print" the audio track and adjust that. However, with the new freeze function in 4, you would not likely need to do that.

    Hope this helps.

    -- Martin
    http://www.starbirthmusic.com

  4. #4

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Every time you add a MIDI track in Sonar with a GPO instrument, you should also add a corresponding audio track, which outputs to the GPO outs for that track (1/2, 3/4, etc. - don't forget to switch the output for each instrument in the Kontakt player). Then you can use the audio track's volume slider to adjust the volume levels of each track.
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

  5. #5

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Ahh...that was probably my problem. I was creating a single Audio track for a single Kontakt instance which then essentially grouped 6-8 instruments together and thus, the audio track that had, say, 6 different GPO instruments coming into it, could certainly be adjusted, but it would then adjust all 6 instruments together.

    I'll try what Shaz suggests and go with a separate audio track for each GPO instrument (I have this nagging thought that I hope this doesn't increase the CPU load...but it technically shouldn't as long as I have an overall Effects send that I shuttle all the tracks to (rather than using separate effects for each audio track, which would be devastating)).

    Hmmm...very interesting food for thought. If Shaz is correct, then I can "mix" my overall instrument levels using all of the Sonar audio track faders, yet, the volumes/timbres/expressiveness of the various GPO instruments will be managed within Kontakt based on the controller values I sent it when recording (using the MOD wheel and so forth).

    I hope I have this understood correctly...I'll check it tonight and make sure!

    Kevin

  6. #6

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    And what is REALLY bizarre, is that Eric Endres shows that he lives in Richland, WA (which is a sister city to my city of Kennewick, WA - oh, maybe 3 miles away), and I seem to remember knowing a Donna Endres when I was growing up and taking piano lessons from Mrs. Helen Madsen.

    I'll throw all that out and see if Eric bites.

  7. #7

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin B. Selby
    And what is REALLY bizarre, is that Eric Endres shows that he lives in Richland, WA (which is a sister city to my city of Kennewick, WA - oh, maybe 3 miles away), and I seem to remember knowing a Donna Endres when I was growing up and taking piano lessons from Mrs. Helen Madsen.

    I'll throw all that out and see if Eric bites.
    Ah, good old Donna! Actually, I have no idea who she is... I just moved out here from Buffalo, NY, about a month ago, and have no Endres relatives in the area.

    Good to know I have a "GPO brother" in the area, though. Drop me a PM and let me know what you're up to musically in the area. I'm trying to hook up with musicians here for various projects.

    And yeah, with a seperate audio track pointed to the specific output channels of each instrument, you will have seperate control over the volumes of each.
    www.EricHermanMusic.com
    - Cool Tunes for Kids -

  8. #8

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Quote Originally Posted by hellogood
    there is NO way to edit modulation in a similar automated way!
    Fortunately Sonar users have CAL!
    how do YOU change the modulation data in Sonar? Can it be changed automatically (like an option which let's you change selected controller data by a certain precentage?)
    Let's say you want to increase modulation controller data by 15.
    1. Select clip (or part of it)
    2. Hit Ctrl + F1
    3. Double click C-NTROLR.CAL
    4. Controller number: 1 (7 is default)
    5. Hit Enter
    6. You need Fixed = 1, so leave 1 there and hit Enter
    7. Amount to add? 15
    8. Hit Enter
    Done.
    BTW, put 3 in step 6 and you'll change data "by a certain percentage"
    Tell me if you can figure out how to change default from 7 to 1 in step 4 and it'll save us one step.
    sfiks

  9. #9

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Quote Originally Posted by sfiks
    Fortunately Sonar users have CAL!
    Yes! This was the answer I was hoping for! I know about CAL of course but up to now I only used the CAL that humanizes 100% quantized midi notes. The CAL language itself is too difficult for me and all other CAL's that I saw didn't seem very usefull to me. I never noticed this CAL CALled C-NTROLR.CAL! I will definitely give it a try tonight!

    Still, it would be nice if there was also an option or CAL to STRETCH a RANGE of data: sometimes the attack of a sound is right but the loudest part alone isn't loud enough. So, when a sound goes from 1 to 45 and I want it louder, I'd like to make it go from 1 to 65 (for instance) and not from 21 to 45 (which happens when you change all data, like with this CAL). So if anyone here can make a CAL that would let you enter the original range (1-45) and after that the range you want (1-65) and which spreads all data across that range, (1 stays 1, 20 becomes 30, 45 becomes 65, I hope you know what I mean), that would be REALLY cool! Byt until this CAL arrives I'm VERY happy with C-NTROLR.CAL!

  10. #10

    Re: Sonar 4: modulation (volume) editing question

    Quote Originally Posted by sfiks
    Tell me if you can figure out how to change default from 7 to 1 in step 4 and it'll save us one step.
    EDIT:
    OK. Now I've been able to add an option to change dynamic range--option 4 as well as to change the default to CC1. This version will proportionally modify the range of the selected controller.

    If old range is 0-50 and you select a new max of 100, the values will range from 0-100. Because of rounding, etc, this is not always exactly reversible if you run it again with a max of 50. If you select multiple tracks, the ratio will be based on the highest value found in ALL selected tracks, not on a track-by-track basis.

    The formula is (ccVal * cMaxNew)/cMaxOld.

    Its HERE ... use at your own risk.
    Bill

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