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Topic: Questions on Sonar

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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Questions on Sonar

    Hi,

    I've been having some problems trying to use Sonar. I should say that I start a Sonar project with loading in a pre-existing MIDI file, which was not originally created with Sonar. I don't know if this is a factor, although in the past, on my previous computer, it didn't seem to be too much of a problem. My Sonar is Sonar 6 Producer, running on Windows 7.

    Anyhow, these are two specific problems:
    1) It drops notes here and there. Sometimes, even on a sustained note, it only sounds a little bit of it in the middle. I think my computer has adequate speed (>2.8 MHz). On my previous computer, I used a special soundboard, Audigy 2 ZS. Unfortunately, my current computer, a Toshiba laptop, has no slots to insert a board, so I'm using the built-in soundboard - a Conexant.


    2) With the many views in Sonar, I've been trying to figure out how the parameters relate no matter what view you are in. For example, Volume (CC7) in Aria should be the same as Volume in Track View, and if you change one, the other will change as well. I don't find this to be the case (notwithstanding the fact that they are specified differently - one using 0 -127, and the other in decibels). How is that supposed to work ? If you wish to change Volume, where should you do it ?

    I'd appreciate any help.

    THanks

    Jack

  2. #2

    Re: Questions on Sonar

    It is very likely you have the common problem of poor performing WDM audio. The usual improvement is to install the ASIO4ALL.

    Check here. It usually fixes the goofy WDM interface problems.

  3. #3

    Re: Questions on Sonar

    I use Cakewalks UA-1G ( http://www.rolandus.com/products/pro...9&ParentId=436 )external audio interface with a Dell 1721 laptop.-Low latency and no problems with dropouts etc. I'd highly recommend finding an external audio device or try asio4all as a solution

    I do all cc etc changes in Sonar X1d using piano roll cc lanes or automation envelopes and leave the soft synth controls alone just to keep things all in one place.
    fred

  4. #4
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    Re: Questions on Sonar

    Thanks for your help.

    Actually, the one thing I am doing, which you both suggest, is using ASIO4ALL.

    Jack

  5. #5

    Re: Questions on Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksiru View Post
    ...these are two specific problems:
    1) It drops notes here and there. Sometimes, even on a sustained note, it only sounds a little bit of it in the middle. I think my computer has adequate speed (>2.8 MHz). On my previous computer, I used a special soundboard, Audigy 2 ZS. Unfortunately, my current computer, a Toshiba laptop, has no slots to insert a board, so I'm using the built-in soundboard - a Conexant.
    Hi, Jack - Good deal, I'm glad you took me up on the idea of starting a Sonar discussion here in General, which is the most visited board. And you've already been getting helpful responses.

    OK - I went through a period of using a laptop for music, and it went OK - BUT I've never managed to get any music production work done with the built in sound card on any computer, desk or laptop. I'm sorry to say the Conexant
    comes up often as especially problematic. I know people manage to get by, using ASIO4All, as has been said here, but it never worked well for me when I was working with a similar set up as you. And now you've confirmed you're
    already using 4All - that makes sense, because otherwise, I doubt if you'd be getting anywhere at all.

    It's been quite awhile since I've used 4All, but there's some kind of latency slider in it I think. You've probably tinkered with it, but you need to take a look again, see if making that setting a bit larger will help.

    In Sonar - a setting you need to check:

    Top menu Options>Global Options>MIDI - at the bottom under Playback, "Prepare Using ____ Millisecond Buffers." I've had that set at 1,000 for a long time, and I know that's much larger than the default - whatever that was, been so long I can't remember. But change that, see if it helps.

    If there's any way you can get an audio interface, you would be set. There are many that do the same thing, and are around $150. To have an interface completely replace your mother board card is such a relief. Icing on the cake is that you have handy knobs for volume control, headphone level etc - all right there where you work, without dealing with on screen controls.

    You don't need slots for replacing the internal sound card. You need a USB interface to replace your card.
    Quote Originally Posted by jacksiru View Post
    ...2) With the many views in Sonar, I've been trying to figure out how the parameters relate no matter what view you are in. For example, Volume (CC7) in Aria should be the same as Volume in Track View, and if you change one, the other will change as well. I don't find this to be the case (notwithstanding the fact that they are specified differently - one using 0 -127, and the other in decibels). How is that supposed to work ? If you wish to change Volume, where should you do it ?...
    I can explain that exactly, Jack:

    --By default, the MIDI faders in Sonar control the faders in Aria. You can see this for yourself by inserting ARIA, loading an instrument, then floating ARIA over close to the Track Inspector MIDI slider so you can see that when you grab and move that Sonar fader connected to slot one in ARIA, the mixer's slider in ARIA will move.

    --Grabbing the slider in ARIA doesn't make the fader in Sonar move, because that's not the direction of the MIDI signal flow.

    --If you don't want to have everything controlled in Sonar, hover over the MIDI fader in Sonar, right click, and at the bottom, choose "Disable Control." Now, don't touch that fader again or you'll re-connect it. At that point, you can set your levels in ARIA. When you start playback, the faders in ARIA will stay where you had them. But if you Don't disable Sonar's fader, then ARIA's slider will jump to wherever the Sonar fader is--because they're totally connected, see?

    --So - it's much easier to just use the defaults. Use Sonar for setting your basic instrument levels in ARIA.

    --NOTE: It's actually more accurate the way Sonar's MIDI faders are labeled 0 through 127 - the range of MIDI data. It's a generic control which will connect with whatever MIDI device becomes associated with it. But the faders in ARIA do indicate decibels, as you said, and that choice was made since we're looking at controls for an instrument and we think in terms of decibel audio level.

    Hope some of this helps!

    Randy

  6. #6
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    Re: Questions on Sonar

    Thanks, Randy.

    I'll check all these things out.

    Jack

  7. #7

    Re: Questions on Sonar

    Quote Originally Posted by jacksiru View Post
    Thanks, Randy.

    I'll check all these things out.

    Jack
    Great, Jack - And please come back with more questions and issues as they arise. Once you get Sonar working for you, I know, with your talent, you'll enjoy the heck out of working on your music with the software.

    Randy

  8. #8

    Re: Questions on Sonar

    Hi Jack,

    Like you, I use a laptop, although still with windows XP, for most of my work.

    My personal solution was to find a high end PCMCIA card, sometimes also called cardbus. It's the tiny slot in the side of the average laptop. In hardware terms it's like having a high end audio card plugged inside a desktop or tower PC and doesn't suffer the latency and MIDI jitter problems to nearly such a high extent as USB or Firewire.

    After a little time, a couple of months as I recall, I found a second hand E-MU 1616m cardbus unit with original box, connectors and manuals, CDs etc. for a considerable discount off the original price, on eBay. It took a little while to understand the PatchMix software that comes with it, but when you "get it" it's quite logical in use. It comes with ASIO drivers for low latency and a good breakout box with many connection possibilities. Sadly now out of production.

    Here's a review: http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/oct0...s/emu1616m.htm. You'll see its specification is amongst the best on the market, even today. Many of the slightly negative comments in the review have been addressed by E-MU in later software releases, the review is from 2005.

    Whether one can be found today in good condition at a sensible price is another matter.
    But the idea of a PCMCIA card is one I thought I'd add to the discussion.
    One point of warning though, the Laptop has to be used on mains supply as they can drain the battery pretty quickly.

    I was also very careful to find a laptop with an eSATA port. This means I can have a high speed, external drive hosting the sample libraries. I use a 500 GB WD caviar black drive for this.

    So far it has proved more than adequate for the sort of work I do, but probably not in the league of some of the others here.

    Just my 2d.
    SysExJohn.

  9. #9
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    Re: Questions on Sonar

    Thanks for your help.

    I have a PCMCIA card, which I used on my previous (Compaq) laptop, but there is no provision for it on my current (Toshiba) laptop. I think I have to go USB.

  10. #10

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