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electronic MUSICIAN

Learn Power App | Cakewalk SONAR X1

By Craig Anderton | May 1, 2011

Re-create the sound of vintage phaser stomp boxes using equalization

Phase shifters create peaks and notches in the frequency response; sweeping these notches produces the characteristic phaser sound. It''s possible to emulate these effects through parametric equalization, grouping, and automation.


  • If you''re using the ProChannel for track equalization, the Sonitus:fx Equalizer can create the same effects.
  • In Step 1: Experiment with three or four notches, and with different Qs.
  • In Step 1: To emulate the sound of phase shifters with strong positive feedback, create narrow peaks (preferably three or four) instead of notches.
  • In Step 5: For periodic modulation, use Sonar''s Draw tool to draw triangle, sine, saw, etc. automation envelopes.

Enable the ProChannel EQ''s two middle bands, then set the Q to around 8.0 and Level to minimum.

Set the Freq controls so they''re about two octaves apart (e.g., 500Hz and 2kHz).

Right-click on each Freq control and assign it to a group (e.g., group X). When grouped, moving one control causes other grouped controls to track each other.

Right-click on each Freq control and select Automation Write Enable.

Start playback. Move the Frequency controls for the desired phaser “motion,” and Sonar will write automation data to the track.

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