Join Garrick Chow for an in-depth discussion in this video Loop recording, part of Learning SONAR X2.
Alright. In the previous movie, we looked at how to auto punch sections of your recordings which can be useful to correct mistakes. But there will be times when you want to do a complete or longer takes of a recording as you're trying to nail down your performance. In those cases, you can set up Sonar to record each take and then you can compile or comp the best sections of each take into the final performance. Let's take a look at how to do this. If necessary, right-click in the control bar. To bring up the loop module. Mine's already right here. And it looks very similar to the punch module. It also works in a very similar fashion. As with the punch module, you can manually enter start and stop times.
But again you'll probably find it easier to make a selection. So let's say for this example I'm going to be looping the last selection of this guitar part. From right here at measure 13 on to the end. So I'll place my cursor on the clip. I have, snap to grid, on. So it's very easy to put it right here on measure 13. And you can always tell what measure you're on by looking at the display up here in the timeline. I'll just click and drag to the right. Let's take that all the way to measure 20 and that'll give me some buffer time to get ready when the loop goes back to the beginning. And you'll see what I mean when I go to record. And now I'll click to set the loop points to the selection, which as you can see automatically enables looping.
So, here, in yellow, I can see my Loop section. Now, I should mention here that looping isn't just for recording. Turning on looping is a good way to review a section of the song over and over again, maybe to learn a part, or just to practice playing along with it before you record. But, in this case, I do want to record, so I need to check a couple of other options. First, I'm going to right click the Record button again to open up its Preferences, and the two sections I'm concerned with here are the Recording Mode, and the Loop Recording section. Depending on what combination of selections I make, I'll get different results. If I choose Sound on Sound, and stores taken a single track, that puts all the takes I do onto a single track.
If I have Sound on Sound and store takes in separate tracks selected, that puts each of your takes on its own track. Meaning that each time the selection loops back to the beginning, a new track will be created. So you still get to keep each take, but they end up on separate tracks. I don't really prefer this method especially if I think I'm going to be doing a lot of different takes. Overwrite and store takes on a single track, meets all takes but the last one that you did. And I think this one is more preferrable for auto punching. And with Overwrite and Store Takes In Separate Track selected, nothing will get muted automatically, meaning every take will play simultaneously.
And you'll probably want to avoid that combination. So, let's select Sound On Sound. And we'll store the takes in a single track and we'll see what happens. So, I click OK. And next, I'll record-enable the guitar track. Should start my levels. Make sure my guitar is turned up here and let's just click the place and now time over here so I can get ready. Now when I start recording it will start recording from the now time but once it reaches the end of the loop area it will loop instantly back to the beginning of the loop area which is why I put in this little area of buffer space so I can get ready for the next run.
Okay. And I'll hit record or R on my keyboard. And I'm going to record maybe 4 or 5 takes of this section.
Totally missed that one. That's okay. I'll just wait for the next pass.
And I just hit the spacebar to stop recording. So I recorded a bunch of takes there and the performances range from pretty good to not so pretty good. Now the reason I like keeping everything on one track is because Sonar actually does make it easy to see all of these takes kind of on their own seperate tracks anway. Each track has what are called take lanes. And you can view them by clicking this button here. Scroll back up. So you can see this is a guitar track.
I'm just going to press f on my keyboard for a moment, I can fit everything in here. So here's a guitar track, track two. And here are all the takes. Now I have two takes here that are just empty lanes. You can see there's nothing in there. In fact, let me just reduce the zoom level here, so we can really see that. So, here's the first take I just did. And you can actually see this is the counting time that we had at the beginning, but the rest all line up. Here's Take 2, Take 3. Just looking at the wave form there, I can see that one wasn't very good. Take 4, I didn't play it all and Take 5, here's Take 6.
And let me scroll down just a little bit here. And this is the final recording I made, Take 9. And that's where I stopped the recording, but it did record just a little bit there. And here are the original recordings, these are T1 and T2. Somehow, they got moved down to the bottom of the list, here, but I'll fix that in a moment. But here's the auto punch that I made in the previous movie, and again these are the original takes. So each take lane has its own set of controls. For example I can manually add another take lane if I want by clicking the plus button, which I won't do in this case. Or I can remove takes that I know I don't want to keep.
For example I know I don't need this one because it's just a little clip of nothing here, so I hit the X. That's gone. Now, I also know that this take was particularly bad, so I can remove that one. And, this one, which has nothing on it. I'll remove that one, as well. I'll scroll back up a little bit, here. And there really is nothing on these two tracks, so let's get rid of those. And, lastly, let's just move. These back in order. I'm just going to grab, Take 1. And again, I have this double headed arrow, so I can drag it up.
There's that. I'll do the same for Take 2. Alright. So now we have these 6 take lanes. Once again, this is my original take, my punch in. And then these are the 4 recordings that I just made that I'm going to keep. Now, Take Lens also have a Mute, and Solo, and Record Enable buttons. And this area here, is actually for taking notes. I can click in there and start typing. And, this might be useful if you want to help yourself remember why you picked or passed over certain takes. And again, the rest of the controls are similar to what you find in the main track controls. Note that, that you can only solo one take lane at a time.
Notice clicking solo mutes all the other takes. Now I won't bother making you listen to these all again, but I certainly could just by soloing one. Moving my now time in playing. And you know I'm going to disable looping now since I don't need it any more. But, let's just say for this example, maybe I like the first part of this take, in this case Take 2, and maybe I like the second part of Take 4. So, what I want to do is what's called Comping the takes together.
I'm going to take the sections of the two takes and make them play together as if I recorded them at the same time. Now there are a couple of ways to do this. When we get into editing you'll see that you can use the edit tools to split clips and then move them around. But that can involve deleting clips and maybe I want to hold on to all of these takes just in case I ever change my mind. So what I want to do in this case is just mute the takes that I don't want. I'm just going to place my cursor over here to expand the height here a little bit. And now I'm going to come up to the Tools, and select the Mute tool. It's paired with the Erase tool here. So I select mute.
And this is used to mute the sections of the clips that I select. So if I were to drag over this section, it would be muted. We'll just undo that. But you can also reverse the effect of the mute tool, by holding down Ctrl. Mute all the other takes in the track, except for my selection. So, holding down Ctrl, I'm going to highlight the first section of the guitar part here, on Take 2. And, you can see, that mutes all the other takes here in the section. Now, I'll do the same, and hold down Ctrl while dragging over the second part, here in Take 4. First, I'll place my cursor, and it's snapping into place, and I see that little black square, meaning I can use my tool here, so I'll hold down Ctrl.
And I'll just drag across. And now we have this section. And now when I play back I should hear the 2 parts combined, just rolled the now time back a little bit Of course we don't hear that now because I still have this soloed, so let's go back again Now the transition wasn't too great there, I heard a little bit of a click.
Let's listen again. So in which case I might want to hit undo a couple a times. Release ones there. Anyway just take that back a little bit farther. I'm going to switch my snap time to maybe sixteenth notes so I can get in there. And I might even want to expand it a little bit so I can see the wave form a little bit better. Oops, I chose eighth notes by accidents, let's go to sixteenths. Here we go. Maybe right about there.
So again, holding that Ctrl I'm just going to drag across. Just right about there same back out and now let's try that. Alright that sounds much better. So, this case I was able to preserve all of my takes. If I wanted to go back and sample any of these others, I could simply un-mute them. And create any other combination of these takes that I like. And again, this is sometimes preferable, than simply deleting takes.
because maybe you're really struggling trying to figure out which take you want to use. This is a good way to comp your different takes together to see which combinations produce the best results. When I'm done I can close the take lanes by pressing Shift+T. Shift+T toggles take lanes open and closed. I'll just press F to expand my tracks again. And there are my takes. Let's unmute these other tracks, I'm going to take the guitar out of record and I'm just going to listen once to make sure everything's the way I need it to be.
Alright, so I can hear the comp guitar tracks now. Alright, so that's how to perform loop recording to capture multiple takes of a performance, and also how to review those takes, and select the portions that you want to use in your project.
- Setting up audio inputs and outputs
- Creating a new project
- Importing audio
- Recording real instruments
- Looping audio
- Connecting to MIDI devices
- Creating groove clips
- Editing tracks
- Creating FX Chains
- Creating sends and busses
- Automating parameters