Making Music with SONAR Home Studio Paperback – 9 Apr 2010
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About the Author
Craig Anderton is one of the most widely respected pro audio writers today. He is currently editor-in-chief of Harmony Central and executive editor of EQ magazine. He has played on, produced, or engineered more than 20 major label releases and written more than 20 books, as well as given seminars on technology and the arts in 38 states, 10 countries, and three languages. He maintains an active musical career; in addition to playing with German underground legend Dr. Walker, he's also one half of the "power duo" EV2 with Brian Hardgroove of Public Enemy.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If you follow the instructions in the book you will learn how to create loop based music, how to record real instruments, how to use virtual instruments, how to use synthesizers, how to add effects, and finally how to mix and master a recording. The written instructions are very easy to follow and the there are many illustrations to supplement the teaching materials.
Where Sonar parts company with Garageband is in the use of synthesizers. Sonar's parent company is Cakewalk and Cakewalk is known for its phenomenal synthesizers. To operate these synthesizers you need to understand midi (musical instrument digital interface) and this book covers the topic in a very non-threatening way.
It took me 3 months to finish the book from cover to cover and I am able to create the exact sound I want. My failings as an instrumentalist and vocalist can be edited.
Sonar Home Studio is a relatively old program that works on notepad computers with little memory or hard drive storage. Sonar has moved on with far more sophisticated software which works best on System 7 and 64 bit operating platform. Having finished the instructions in this book you will have the pleasant choice of sticking with a very adequate recording program or taking on the challenge of working with the latest Sonar software which incorporates much of what is in version 7 but which competes in another league with other high-end recording software.
You really get the impression Craig lives with this stuff and takes the necessary time to explore and formulate what it is he wants to teach you. I've been following him since his electronics columns in Guitar Player in the 70's and rank his earlier book, "Sonar 3 Mixing and Mastering", as one of the best audio software books ever written (If you can find a copy it's slightly less broad than this book but goes even more in-depth on mixing and mastering).
I started out over a decade ago using Cakewalk Home Studio and currently use Sonar 8.5. If you're a complete beginner with this type of software I'd recommend first spending serious time with the online help and tutorials (augmented with some of the better videos you can find online). Unfortunately, some introductory books I've seen amount to little more than a rehash of the help file, so you might as well save up for the better titles.
But once you know your way around you should have no problem translating Anderton's examples and techniques to the particular version of Sonar (or frankly whatever software) you're using. Environments, hardware, and economics continue to change, sometimes rapidly, but the core concepts and techniques of digital recording have remained consistent. It's worth your while to learn from someone who has been there from the start and approaches it as a musician first and a technician second.
To paraphrase the author, ultimately no listener cares what kind of preamp or soft-synth you use. They only care about whether or not they feel an emotional connection with your music. Anderton shows you how to overcome the knowledge hurdle and take creative control of Sonar so you can focus on creating that emotional link.
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