Cakewalk Sonar 8: Use Sonar 8’s Dimension Pro soft synth to create a rhythm section out of REX files

OBJECTIVE: Run multiple REX files inside one instrument. BACKGROUND: Although many people think of Dimension Pro as a sample playback instrument, it also handles REX files very well—you can load up to four REX files (e.g., drums, percussion, bass, rhythm guitar), then trigger them from MIDI tracks.
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OBJECTIVE: Run multiple REX files inside one instrument.
BACKGROUND: Although many people think of Dimension Pro as a sample playback instrument, it also handles REX files very well—you can load up to four REX files (e.g., drums, percussion, bass, rhythm guitar), then trigger them from MIDI tracks.

STEPS

1. To start fresh, click on the Program Handling button and select “Initialize Program.”

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2. Click on the Options button and select “Set Program as Multitimbral.”

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3. Select an Element, then drag a REX file into the Element’s “Load Multisample” window.

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4. A Note symbol (eighth note tied with 16th note) appears toward the right of the load multisample window. Drag this into a MIDI track driving Dim Pro to trigger slices of the REX file, and optionally, turn this into a MIDI Groove Clip so you can “roll out” as many iterations as you want.

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5. On your keyboard, C3 (colored red) plays back the entire REX file. If you lift your finger off the key, the file stops playing; if you hold your finger on the key, the file plays through to the end but does not loop. To transpose the file pitch (yet retain a constant tempo), play over the range of C2 to B3 (colored blue).

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6. Starting upward from C4, the keyboard keys play individual REX slices. In Sonar, you can edit the MIDI Groove Clip’s note pitches, start times, and durations to change how the REX file plays back.

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7. If needed, transpose the REX file’s root note using Dim Pro’s “Transpose” parameter.

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8. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 to load other Elements with REX files.

TIPS

-Although the DSP (LoFi, Filter, Drive, EQ, etc.) and FX affect the entire file, envelopes affect each slice. For example, use the Amplitude envelope to set a short, percussive decay for each slice. Automate volume, panning, and other parameters with Dimension Pro if you want to “remix” the REX files.