Enable EQ in Sonar – Show EQ in Track

Thought this needed it’s own place:

Workthrough on how to enable Sonar’s EQ.

If not already on view you’ll need to edit your display in track view,

Look in following image,

Click white triangle on ‘Display’ to bring up menu,

Add a tick next to ‘Eq’

You should now be able to see an extended ‘Track’ strip with the EQ at the top just above ‘FX bin’

You can now enable your Eq,

Click the Band Semi Circle Thing and it will light up green.

By double clicking on the area shown in the image below you will bring up Sonars built in EQ.

You can then enable each band.

Removing Hum with the Phase Invert on Sonar

If you’re looking for Phase inverting/Reversal VST Plugins scroll to the bottom of the page…

Before you go ahead I must point out that the following article was written in reaction to something I read, this being the internet please be aware that not everything you read is not an absoulute. As with experiments getting your hands dirty is half the fun.

Recently I setup my nice little 5watt Fender Champion 600 so that I could record using some new pedals.

On recording I started to hear a very distinctive ground hum.

Using EQ is the usual way to remove this kind of stuff but when I was investigating on the internet I came across a few forum conversations talking about this kind of thing.

First I needed to find out about Sonar 7 and phase inversion.

The image below shows the ‘Phase’ button encircled in red,

By clicking the above button you are now inverting the audio on that track.

I then went about recording my guitar.

First idea was to record a track with just the amp on with the guitar volume up as it would be during playing.

I then recorded a second track of me playing.

I inverted the phase on the second track and nothing happened.

So I split the track as shown below,

(click image to enlarge)

I copied the split portion onto track one.

I then inverted the phase on track one.

Voila – the hum was gone, well almost.

Take a listen to the recording below. (use headphones or transfer to a system setup with decent speakers otherwise you’ll not hear it.)

Download – hum

You can hear where the cloned track ends as in the above image.

How do I use this?

If I want to edit out hum I can just split tracks and delete was I don’t need.

The top and bottom is that you need to record exactly the same recording for this to work, it needs the same peaks and troughs fo the phase to invert.

Therefore one tool you thing you can use it for is this.

When you have a track with hum on it removing simply using eq dosen’t always work.

Editing your track can also have it’s pitfalls.

So clone your recorded track, invert it’s phase and then edit out your playing leaving just the hum.

When you play quite you will then have no hum inbetween your playing.

You could also try using an eq notch on your second track, a low pass filter around 50 – 60hz should remove hum.

But as with all things these are just ideas.

For me it was something to mess with for a few minutes and could be a really good tool for carving out eq or removing noise without damaging the dynamics in my tracks.

For now though I’m just at the staring stage and maybe I’ll add some more info later.

-Recording setup-

Sonar 7

Dual Core AMD 2ghz Processor + 2gb Ram

Windows XP

Behringer 1622fx Mixing Desk



Fender Champion 600 5w Amp

Electro Harmonix Double Muff

Planet Waves Guitar Leads

Fender Telecaster (Mexican)

-VST Plugins-

RS Phase Reverse VST Plugin: http://www.roughsurface.com/index.php?id=104&L=1

Invada Records: VST Phase plugin: http://www.invadarecords.com/Downloads.php?ID=00000008

FREE OUTSIDER PHASE PLUGIN: http://www.vescofx.com/vfxFreeOutsider

Sonar 7, Console View and Nanokontrol

To increase workflow using the Korg Nanokontrol I decided that I needed to create a project that matches the Nanokontrol.

Please note this only uses 32 tracks(The maximum amount of tracks I limit myself to)

First create 32 tracks.

Now select first track hold ‘shift’ key and select track 9.

‘Move To Track Folder’ -> Create ‘New Track Folder’

Rename Track Folder ->

In the above I’ve renamed the folder to ‘Tracks 1 – 9′

Repeat the above to create 4 folders.

As above image shows 4 folders, these are split according to the NanoKontrols scene button.

You can of course split these how you like and name them how you want.

Now for the magic.

While in track view press ‘m‘ on your keyboard,

Uncheck – Tracks 1 – 9,



Your folder track for ‘tracks 1 – 9′ should now disappear!

To make them reappear simply check the box next to ‘Tracks 1 – 9′.

Now press ‘Alt 3′ to bring up console view.

(please note I’ve now renamed the 32 tracks as numbered so as to demonstrate)

Stretch window to fit tracks 1-9.

Now press ‘m‘ on your keyboard to bring up Track Manager.

We can see at the very bottom tracks 1 – 9 – uncheck the ‘Tracks 1 – 9′ folder and press ‘OK’

Now if you look at the bottom of the image you’ll see,

This way you can bring back tracks 1 – 9 by checking the folder.

So a quick summary of usage:

Alt 3 - to bring up console view

To use tracks 1 – 9 – do nothing

To use tracks 10- 18 – ‘m’ – track manager.

uncheck ‘tracks 1-9′ and press  scene on NanoKontrol once.

To use tracks 19- 27 – ‘m’ – track manager.

uncheck ‘tracks 1-9′ and ‘tracks 10-18′ press  scene on NanoKontrol twice.

To use tracks 28- 32 – ‘m’ – track manager.

uncheck ‘tracks 1-9′ , ‘tracks 10-18′ and ‘tracks 19-27′ press  scene on NanoKontrol three times.


This is only setup for 32 tracks.

You can set this up how you want.

You can name folders and tracks how you want.

Sonar Tips and Tricks: Envelopes

Within Sonar there are some very cool little tricks which go unseen at first.

One of these is the ‘Envelope’ feature.

With the Envelope we can control the parameters of a track such as the ‘Volume’ and ‘Pan’.

There are more parameters but we’ll stick with just these two to start with.

To add an envelope,

Right Click on track,

Add envelope to track

From the screen shot above,

Envelopes -> Create Track Envelope -> Volume.

Volume Envelope

The red arrow points at a vertical light blue line, this is the newly added volume envelope.

To add control we need to add ‘nodes’ – these are like slit points in the line.

:::To Add Node:::

Hover above the blue line and double click on area where you want the ‘node’ to be.

- Or choose a point and right click,

Envelope Add Node

At the top of this box you can see there are 4 choices of node.

Jump, Linear, Fast Curve and Slow Curve.

I’ve chosen Linear. – Try each one to see how they affect the track.

Envelopes Add Node

The arrow in the picture above points at the newly created note.

You can add as many nodes as you like.

As  I said before these control the envelopes parameters.

Click on the node, it turns white.

Drag the node.

Volume: goes up and down as you would expect.

Pan: goes left (up) and right (down).

EQ is a bit more involved and requires a bit of knowledge about EQ settings and parameters.

You can also create an envelope to control the amount and pan level to you ‘effect send’


If you want you can record your volume changes on the fly.

Track Automation 1

Have a look at the above screen shot – look for the ‘W’ button – the Automation Write button.

Click it and it should turn red as shown in the picture below – Automation Write is now enabled.

Track Automation Enabled

Now if you press play and move your volume up and down you’re movements will be recorded.

Note you don’t have to add an envelope to do this. It will add one automatically.

Have a mess with it and see what happens.

Be cool , see ya later.

Sonar Effects Tips and Tricks: Envelope and Automation

Want complete control of your VST effects in Sonar?

Being musical doesn’t just come down to be able to play cool riffs or spiky licks, it comes down to using every tool available to you.

One very cool tool is the ability to control a tracks effects bin by using envelopes.

:::Here’s how:::

Start a new sonar project.

You’ll have 2 audio tracks and 2 midi tracks as usual.

Add a flanger effect to an audio track.

- I’ve added mine to track 2 and I’ve used Kjaerhus’s free flanger vst plugin.

Now import or record an audio file to the same track.

- I’ve used a stock sample of a bassoon played continuously.

Sonar FX: Automate the setup

:::Get Control:::

Highlight your clip, click on recording or imported item.

‘right’ click on the audio track,


Envelopes -> Create Track Envelope -> Classic Flanger 1- (choose your flanger)

Right Click: Create Envelope

Once you’ve chosen the effect you want to automate another screen will appear.

This box contains all the parameters that are available to be controlled using the envelope.

Choose Parameters

Tick each of the the ‘parameters’ you want.

At the bottom right side of the box you can ‘Choose Color’ for each envelope or it will do it automatically for you.

For mine I’ve chosen ‘Delay’, ‘Rate’ and ‘Depth’you can choose whatever, experiment.

Sparkly new envelopes

As you can see from the above picture I now have 3 lines running vertically across the track.

These are the three envelopes I created.

If you hover you’re mouse the ‘envelope’ Sonar will bring a small message informing you what each envelope does.

To edit the parameters we now need to add something called ‘Nodes’ if you know what this means then you’re good to go, so go.

The above can also be applied to individual clips, add an effect to your chosen clip, right click to add envelope choose ‘create clip envelope’ and follow through in the same way.

If you don’t know what a ‘node’ is then you need to read about using envelopes.

Envelopes (click) : How To

Now if you’re still here there’s another cool feature here in envelopes.

The ‘Automation Write’ feature allow you to record you’re parameter changes in real time.

Automation Write Envelope VST Effects

Next to the ‘ACT’ button there are two more buttons.

‘RD’ and ‘W’

If you click the ‘W’ button it will go red.

Automation Write Enabled

Try it now.

Press play and move the ‘parameter’ knob on your vst gui. Make sure it’s the one you set your envelope to control.

You’ll see that your movements are recorded.

That’s it really.

If you have a midi controller mapped properly even better.

Anyway hope you enjoy it.


Sonar Workflow Tips and Tricks: Track Template

Sick of having to name your tracks everytime you start a new project?

A really nifty way to save time in Sonar is to create your own ‘Track Templates’.


Start a new project.

Add a couple of tracks, name them if you want.

Then selct the tracks you want to be in your template using ‘Ctrl’ and click.

Go to ‘File’ – ‘Export’ – ‘Track Template’ – Save as ‘1’ or whatever you want to call it.

Sonar Track Template

Now to import your ‘Track Template’ right click in an empty area of the track screen,

In the following screen shot – ‘Insert From Track Template’ – my template is called ‘1’.

Import: Sonar Track Template

Now you should have a bunch of new tracks.

This is an ideal way of saving time naming tracks or whatever you need.

Unfortunately it doesn’t work with group folders.

You have to do this manually but that’s no major hassle.

UAD Sidechain and Sonar Revisted

The folloing is an update of this article,

After trying to follow what I wrote decided I needed to show where tracks were going to understand correctly what was happening.

I’ve also included screen shots and the actual Sonar 7 file that you can download(here) and test.

:::The SetUp:::

Track to be affected:  Synth? add two ‘Sends’ to track.

Two trigger tracks: can be a ‘Drum Loop’, ‘Kick’ or ‘Vocal’…

Create 5 ‘Buses’

These should be named: In L, In R, Pump L, Pump R, Pump Out



Sidechain UAD triggers and source setup

Sidechain UAD trigger setup

Trigger L -> Pan Right 100% ->Pump L

Trigger R -> Pan Left 100%   ->Pump R

Sidechain UAD Track to be affected setup

Sidechained: Send 1 (No Pan) -> In L

Sidechained: Send 2 (No Pan) -> In R

Note:- Sidechained Output should be set to ‘none’

Sidechain for UAD and Sonar Bus Setup


Sidechain for UAD and Sonar Bus Setup - In L and In R

In L:  -30db – Pan 100% Left -> Pump L

In R:  -30db – Pan 100% Right -> Pump R

Sidechain for UAD and Sonar Bus Setup: Pump L, Pump R and Pump Out

Pump L: Pan 100% Left -> Pump Out + Compressor

Pump R:  Pan 100% Right -> Pump Out + Compressor

Pump Out bus can be used to control the output volume

Download the template here you’ll need to add you’re compressor to the two buses as above.

Sonar Tips and Tricks: Sidechaining with UAD

I found this article on the UAD website click here

As someone who uses both UAD and Powercore plugins I wanted to see if there was a way to set them up as a sidechain effects.

Unfortunately both UAD and Powercore don’t seem to have Sidechain capabilities which means having to use native/pc based plugins instead.

So after looking around I came across the above post about cubase and UAD as sidechain.

The following article is to see if the idea works.

–>UAD as Sidechain<–

For this I’m going to assume you know how to set up buses and how to route tracks.

If you need to know how to do that drop me a line

First the routing idea.

Part 1 : [ Track that is to be compressed]

Create 3 buses: Name them ‘Sidechain Left’, ‘Sidechain Right’ and ‘Silent’

(or whatever you want but make sure you can remember them)

Sidechain Buses volume should be set to -30db

Now create 2 Sends on: [ Track that is to be compressed]

<<<-Bass -> Send 1 100% -> Sidechain In Left Bus

<<<-Bass -> Send 2 100% -> Sidechain In Right Bus

Route Output to Silent bus (silent bus must be silent, pull slider down to zero or remove routing to master).

Part 2 : [ Track that is to trigger compressor.]

Choose the track you want to trigger the compressor.

Make a duplicate of said track, so now we have two tracks these are our triggers.

Note: If this track is to be used in the mix of the track outside of influencing the compressor then make two duplicates.

Pan (Cloned Track) 1 to the Left

Pan (Cloned Track) 2 to the Right

Create two more buses: ‘Pump Left’ and ‘Pump Right’

Route (Cloned Track) 1 to the ‘Pump Left’ bus

Route (Cloned Track) 2 to the ‘Pump Right’ bus


On ‘Pump Left’ bus pan 100% left

On ‘Pump Reft’ bus pan 100% right

Insert a compressor on both ‘buses’

Create one last ‘bus’ call it ‘Pump’ out and route ‘Pump Left’ and ‘Pump Right’ to it.

Now hopefully you should be able to use UAD or Powercore plugins to sidechain.

Bit of work and really you have to follow it to the letter.

If you’re still unsure of what is happening with this check out the post at the beginning of this article.

This article doesn’t shine any new light on the matter, more just a checking if it works in sonar and wether the principles were the same, well they are and it works.

Job done.

Sonar Tips and Tricks: Sidechaining

<–Sonar and Sidechaining–>

For this article I’ve used the free sidechain vst plugin created by slim slow slider download: here

Sonar 7 upwards supports multi-input plug-ins, typically sidechain plug-ins.

Sidechain plugins are VST effects that have two inputs, a main input and a sidechain input.

When a VST sidechain effect is inserted in the FX bin the sidechain capability is detected.

A virtual output is then created for each of the inputs the sidechaining effect has.

Audio tracks, Bus Outouts and Send outputs can be now routed to sidechain inputs.


Sidechaining is usually used with compressors to limit one signal by using the signal level of another.

Common uses of sidechaining are to reduce the level of a bass guitar when there is a kick drum, or to reduce the level of music whenever a DJ/Announcer talks (also called ducking).

Again there’s a multitude of uses and as with everything on this site experimentation is recommended.

Try recording two tracks, one a kick drum the other a bass track.

1. Insert the sidechaining effect you have on track one, the kick.

locate the sidechain effect: slim slow slider

2. Now route the output of track 2 from ‘Master’ to the new virtual output,

routing to the sidechain

Now it’s just a matter of learning how the effect works, go extreme with your settings and listen.

A couple of things to look at, the signal of the kick will disappear when you route it across.

You can use ‘keyvolume’ knob to bring that signal back in.

Instead I tend to introduce/add a new ‘send’ on the kick track – I then route that to the master bus.

Right Click on the track properties, insert send and look for master.

Then click ‘post’ for the signal to be sent. You can change the amount being sent by adjusting the ‘post’ volume.

Be careful not to blow your speakers or ears,  but experiment.

Experience has taught me that the only way to learn this stuff is to mess around with it and see what it does.

<–Bouncing Audio with Sidechain Plug-ins–>
In order to render a sidechain input as part of a mix when bouncing audio, you must select all tracks that contribute to the sidechain input.

–>Freeze and Sidechain Inputs<–
Freeze does not work with the sidechain inputs because Freeze only works on a single audio track at a time.

To mix down sidechain inputs, use the ‘bounce’ command with all sidechain sources selected in the mix.

Try this on youtube: It’s using Logic but the principles are the same:

SONAR 7 includes the following plug-ins that support sidechaining:

Sonitus Compressor
Sonitus Gate
Vintage Channel VC-64 (Producer Edition only)
Sidechaining Signal Flow

Emu 0404 pci sound card clicks and pops

In an earlier article I mentioned that I had installed the EMU 0404 PCI sound card.

I basically got it off ebay for £30, and it was curiosity that made me go for it.

Emu 0404 PCI Card

Curious about it’s zero latency and the built in FX.

I have a UAD card and even though I knew the EMU would not be able to compete I did think it would be interesting to see if it was any good at all.

The card went in fine, software/drivers installed – downloaded updates installed those.

Emu Powerfx

Without touching the Patchbay software I fired up Sonar.

Created a new project and recorded a track.

Recording went fine.

I created a new track and copied the recording over.

Panned each track left and right

So now I’ve got a ‘stereo’ recording.

<—-Track 1—–>

Vol 0db

Panned Left

FX BIN – Sonitus: EQ and Compressor

<—-Track 2—–>

Vol 0db

Panned Right

FX BIN – PowerFX EQ and Compressor


1. Clicks and pops on Track 2 that stop when PowerFX bypassed.

2. Time lag using midi controller to change FX parameters.

<—-Solution to problem 1.—->

Reinstall software/drivers – uninstalled updates and reinstalled older drivers form disc.

Problems still there – reinstall newest drivers still problem.

Disable Sonitus FX – no dice – still a problem.

Change latency settings in Sonar – still problem – in some case get’s worse.

I’ll keep digging but it’s gonna be a few days til I get to it again.

<—-Solution to problem 2.—->

I’m stumped with this one and it’s annoying as hell.

Will be trying to fix this as well.


At the moment I’m contemplating going back to my M-Audio and binning the EMU.

It’s a lot of work really and I can’t in all honesty see myself recommending this device as it stands.

Think I’ll email EMU and see waht they have to say.

I’ll be back…
Ok so here we go solution 1 – Update Sonar

Update sonar 7 with service packs 7.1 and 7.2 – Problem still there

Ok so here we go solution 2 – Disable unused motherboard items in bios

Disable unused items in bios – in this case my Game Port – never use it anyway. – Problem remains

Ok so here we go solution 3 – Check for IRQ conflicts

Sounds to me like a clipping problem, dunno why – but when I dsiable the Powerfx the clipping/click/pop goes away.

Anyway by all accounts the 0404 is even more a bit demanding on a computer’s resources.

So I ran a check

- start -run –   msinfo32

Checked my IRQ assignments for any conflicts with the 0404 – found none – although I did notice the M-Audio 2496 had a conflict with my graphics card???

Think the next step will be to remove that.

—->Removed M-Audio 24/96 – problem still there.
Ok so here we go solution 4 – Totally remove drivers and software completely.

Takes to restarts of pc and will try to install drivers for emu each time – cancelled as I want to run CCleaner.

CCleaner will remove any gunk left over.

Reinstall newest drivers from that point – but will search for any remaining EMU plugins and delete before I start.

Checked registry for problems and cleaned them up.

Now re-install drivers and software – make sure latest are downloaded from EMUs site.

Then downloaded Sonar Tutorial for PatchMix DSP

Might as well start from scratch as I’m convinced now that this is a software problem.


Well the clicking popping was still there after all that.

But anyway after following the tutorial I started to mess with the latencyt settings again and it worked.

After going through a few times I ended up settling for 14ms latency settings.

Defragged again.

Seems a bit better, I’ll keep an ear on it this week.

But for now…

Edit keyboard shortcuts – Sonar

Need to know what Sonars shortcuts are or would like to set your own?

Using the ‘key bindings’ edit function in Sonar can help you speed up your work rate.

Options – Key Bindings


It also helps you understand Sonar more, as you come across shortcuts you never new existed.

So if your just looking for a way to find out what Sonar shortcuts there are then it’s the page you should see…


Circled in red you should see ‘key’ = this refers of course to the ‘key’ on your keyboard.

I have drawn an arrow pointing to the ‘A’

Using your mouse click on the A

I’ve scribbled under ‘Global Key Assignment – you will see that the ‘A’ is assigned to an action/shortcut.

Using the arrow keys on your keyboard move down through the letters.

The ‘Global Key Assignment’ – will change, telling you what each key strokes short cut function is.

From here you can learn your shortcuts –


I’ve found it useful to make sticky notes of new shortcuts and I stick them to my monitor screen.

Using labels to stick on the keyboard helps as well – I usually do two new shortcuts at a time.


So on to editing keyboard shortcuts for your own setup,

Pretty simple, but please remember to make a note of what you are doing.

Best to export what you’ve got already as a backup.



Ok ready to begin…

Start by locating the ‘key’ you want to export.

By clicking Locate key’ all you have to do is press the key you want.

Even better still you can do combinations,

shift + key

ctrl + key

alt + key


When you’ve found the key or combination you want to edit,

Goto funtions,


Choose ‘key’

Then scoll down in functions window,

Find function you want.



Click ‘Bind’


As you can see they are now linked.

And it’s as easy as that.

Click ‘OK’ and you’re done.

X-Session UC-17 & ACT Sonar setup FX

Here is a guide to setting up the X-Session UC-17 to control VST FX in Sonar 7

It is part 1 – showing you how to setup a Control Surface and how to use the ‘midi learn’ function.

This guide is a more advanced version of the article,

X-Session UC-17 – How to setup ACT/Sonar

Watch it through a couple of times and you’ll see how it works.

This guide works as a setup for C1 to C6 as ‘Gain’ controllers…

The rest of this article follows through my setup for all the parameters for the Sonitus Equaliser.

This includes using banks in the ‘ACT’ surface dialogue and setting up the X-Session buttons.

1. Finish Bank 1

If you followed the guide through to the end and everything worked you should now be able to control the ‘Gain’ sliders on the Sonitus.

Follow the same principles to setup C8 to control  ‘Output’.


Click ACT – move slider for output – wiggle C8 on X-Session

Click ACT – Message ‘1 parameter and 1 control touched’


For my setup I mapped C9 – C14 as ‘Freq’ controllers.

Do this the same way as previously.

NOTE: There are no sliders, just touch each ‘Freq’ box with you mouse.

Next wiggle controllers C9-14…

Finally press the ‘ACT’ button

Click ACT – Message ‘6 parameters and 6 controls touched’


<<<—-TIP NUMBER 1 —->>>

By editing the numbers on the Boxes you can change their names.

Just ‘right click’ on the grey part and edit —>

I changed mine from R1 to C1


—>>>- I repeated this straight through.

So now

R1 – R8 = C1 to C9


S1 – S8 = C9 to C16.


Banks can be edited so that you can have more control over your Plugins – means more work setting up though.

Drop down menu – Bank1, Bank 2, Bank 3, Bank 4 —–>>>> brings up more boxes


Drop down menu – Bank1, Bank 2, Bank 3, Bank 4 —–>>>>


As I went I took notes,

This is how I setup each bank – (following the guide)

EQ Plugin Settings – based on maximum of 6 channels

Bank 1






























Bank 2































Bank 3






























Bank 4






























Next was to setup the X-Session buttons – Make sure you’ve saved your preset – hopefully you have as you’ve gone along…


Assign buttons – (My X-Session wasn’t setup with on/off funtion for the buttons, so I needed to edit. I did this manually the Enigma software didn’t seem to work for me…), this is how I did it.

X-Session Setup-

press button 1

press ‘assign’

press 1 4 6 – wait…you’ve assigned the midi command 146 to the button this is the on/off function.

Do this for buttons 1 to 10


I also had to edit the ‘ACT’ surface to make them work properly

Click – ‘Options’ tab

First choose which button to edit:


Change ‘function’ – drop down menu —>>> ‘none’


Untick this box…’Exclude from ACT’


I did this for B1 to B6 and Shift B1 to ShiftB6

B7 – setup as – ‘previous rotaries and sliders bank’

B8 – setup as –  ‘next rotaries and sliders bank’


Now go back to ‘Controllers’ tab.

‘Midi Learn’ each button here first…


Open Sonitus: Equaliser plugin.

Using the guide ‘midi learn’ – then ‘ACT’ learn the buttons

I mapped the buttons to do the

















Prev Bank

Next Bank


All done.

You should be able now to use this as a template.

Remember to save.

Also worth noting – each plugin will need to be mapped using ‘ACT’ but you can use the bank setup to create lots of controllers.

Be careful and take notes.

If I’ve missed anything or have made a boo boo please leave a comment and I’ll take a look.