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Topic: Distortion in Sonar 4

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  1. #1

    Distortion in Sonar 4

    I'm working with a rather large score in Sonar 4. About 35 tracks. When they are all playing at once, I get quite a bit of distortion. So muted all the tracks and unmuted them one at a time. By the time I got to the 9th or 10th track, the distortion started creaping back in. I'm using the X-Custom forlder and usng the track volume controls for mixing. I've tried lowering the volume on the individual tracks. This seems to have little effect. I've tried lowering the volume setting on the individual instruments in the GPO player. When I do this they just pop back to their original setting when I hit play in Sonar. How do I get rid of this distortion?

    Aric

    P4, 2.6, 1 gig ram, audigy 2 zs, windows xp sp2

  2. #2
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    Re: Distortion in Sonar 4

    Aric,

    Could be a few things. Not sure if it is volume distortion or digital distortion you are experiencing. First make sure your soundcards setting are configured properly - that there isn't a +6 db enabled or a master volume fader up somewhere. Next, check your biffer setings and raise them and se if this improves things. Make sure you only have dry instruments loaded and if you have an effect loaded(like reverb) make sure the outputs are not set too high.

    If you are using the X-Custom, then the instruments load at full volume (the oposite of the standard version). Make sure you adjust the modwheel settings or CC#1 down. Hope this helps.

    Gary Garritan

  3. #3

    Re: Distortion in Sonar 4

    Quote Originally Posted by Garritan
    Aric,

    Could be a few things. Not sure if it is volume distortion or digital distortion you are experiencing. First make sure your soundcards setting are configured properly - that there isn't a +6 db enabled or a master volume fader up somewhere. Next, check your biffer setings and raise them and se if this improves things. Make sure you only have dry instruments loaded and if you have an effect loaded(like reverb) make sure the outputs are not set too high.

    If you are using the X-Custom, then the instruments load at full volume (the oposite of the standard version). Make sure you adjust the modwheel settings or CC#1 down. Hope this helps.

    Gary Garritan
    I'm not sure of the difference between digital or volume distortion. But I do hear it when I turn down my speakers master volume. Could you explain?

  4. #4

    Re: Distortion in Sonar 4

    Aric,
    There are several places in the audio path that can be overdriven, causing distortion.

    1. The first one is in the Kontakt players themselves. If you have your SONAR midi volumes too high, you will overdrive the players and can get distortion or clipping. You must open the players to determine this. However, as a starting point, I would make sure that in general, your midi volume sends should be no higher than around 70. Many run them substantially lower. The default is 101 in SONAR, which is way too high in any case.

    Some folks don't use the midi volumes in SONAR--only the preset volumes in the players that are established when you load the instruments. That's up to you how to go here. They turn off the "Use Std CC#7/CC#10..." option in the player to disable the SONAR midi volumes. I prefer to use the SONAR midi volumes myself.

    2. I would suggest that if you are not already doing so, you turn on the meters in SONAR on the synth audio tracks and on the submix busses if you are using those (which I strongly recommend).

    With the meters, you can see if you are running in the red on any audio channels. Peaks a -6dB are recommended if you're recording at 24-bit.

    3. Route all the synth audio tracks to a submix bus, which should be the only output to your soundcard. Make sure that's not running in the red. Ditto on the peaks.

    This 3-tiered approach gives you the best control over volumes at all points in the chain in SONAR.

    After that, it's down to the soundcard itself and its relationship to your amp (if any) and your speakers, which you should be able to check by playing an audio CD.
    Bill

  5. #5
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    Re: Distortion in Sonar 4

    Try disabling the CC7/CC10 option in the player. With this option enabled, 101 in Sonar equals about 6 db in Kontakt thus creating the distortion. If you want to use CC7, then set the levels in Sonar to about 60 to start out with.

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