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electronic MUSICIAN

Cakewalk Sonar X1: Create “LFO” automation waveforms

By Craig Anderton | February 1, 2011

OBJECTIVE: For effects like flanging and tremolo, create low-frequency periodic automation waveforms.

BACKGROUND: Sonar has a tool for drawing envelopes, but you can also use it to draw LFO-type envelopes: triangle, sawtooth, square, sine, and random. In this example, we’ll automate volume with a synchronized sine wave to create a tremolo effect.

1. Right-click on the Draw tool, and select the desired waveform:


2. Right-click on the Event Draw Duration button, and choose the desired waveform period:


3. Choose Volume with the Edit Filter so you can draw a volume envelope:


4. Click horizontally where you want the waveform to start, and vertically where you want the waveform’s center (“zero-crossing” point). Then, drag up to set the waveform’s peak range:


5. Drag left or right as far as you want the shape to extend:



  • Step 1: If the Tools HUD isn’t visible, type T.
  • Step 1: The F9 function key cycles through the available waveform types.
  • Step 2: You can choose certain periods with keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+Shift+1 = whole note, Ctrl+Shift+2 = half note, Ctrl+Shift+4 = quarter note, Ctrl+Shift+8 = eighth note, Ctrl+Shift+6 = 16th note, Ctrl+Shift+3 = 32nd note.
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