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electronic MUSICIAN

Cakewalk Sonar: Do “composite” audio or MIDI recording for better performances

By Craig Anderton | February 1, 2009


1. Go Transport > Record Options. Make sure “Overwrite,” “Store Takes in a Single Track,” and “Create New Layers on Overlap” are selected.

2. In the timeline, click-drag across the region where you want to do your overdubs. Click the “Set Loop Points to Selection” button to define this region as a loop.

3. Record-enable the track for your overdubs, then click on the Record button to start recording. Each time Sonar loops, it records a new layer within the track, and mutes previous layers. When done, to see the layers, click on the track’s Layer button. Layers.jpg

4. From the Mute tool’s drop-down menu, select “Click + Drag Behavior > Mute Time Ranges,” then select the Mute tool. To mute/unmute an entire layer, Alt-click with the Mute tool in the layer.

5. To edit the layers, drag across the layer’s lower half (the cursor turns into the international “no” symbol) where you want to mute the layer; muted audio or MIDI data shows as dashed lines. Drag across the layer’s top half (the cursor becomes a square) to unmute.

6. When you’re done editing, select all layers (e.g., drag a marquee around them) then go “Edit > Bounce to Clip(s).” This consolidates all layers into a single layer.

7. Right-click in the strip to the left of the layers and choose “Remove Empty Layers.” Now turn off the track’s Layer button, and your edited part will appear as a standard clip.



- In Step 2, setting Snap to one measure makes it easier to define precise measure boundaries.
- In Step 5, note the M(ute) and S(olo) buttons to the left of each layer. Use these to audition layers.
- Dragging to mute/unmute regions is subject to the current Snap value.

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