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

OBJECTIVE: Record several versions of the same part, then put all the best bits together into a single, composite track.BACKGROUND: With Sonar’s composite recording feature, you can record multiple “layers” of takes in a track. You then listen back to each layer, pick the best sections, mute the rest, and bounce the best parts to a single clip.
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STEPS

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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TIPS

- 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.