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Making Music with SONAR Home Studio [Paperback]

Craig Anderton

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Book Description

March 10 2010
Computers have changed the way we make music. For less than a thousand dollars (including the computer!), you can have a studio in your bedroom that rivals the capabilities of million-dollar studios of not that long ago. One of the best tools at the recording musician?s disposal is SONAR Home Studio, a powerful and relatively inexpensive digital audio workstation. But to truly maximize your creativity, you need more than just the program and the manual, you need guidance on how to actually use the program to make music- guidance included in this book. Making Music with SONAR Home Studio shows you how to use Home Studio as a creative tool, not just a recording program. It goes beyond the user manual to help you get started recording the right way in your home studio, then explains the how and why of using the program in easy-to-understand language. Everything from optimizing your recording setup to composing, recording, and mixing down a song is covered. Each recording scenario offers step-by-step detailed instructions and points you in the right direction for reaching your ultimate musical goals.

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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.

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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Used as a Teaching Manual Rather Than a Reference Book Oct. 7 2010
By Nikoli Gogol - Published on Amazon.com
The price of Sonar Home Studio 7XL has dropped so dramatically that it has become the PC equivalent of Apple's Garageband. The Sonar program is far more feature rich but is not as intuitive as Garageband. This book solves the problem for Sonar.

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.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Step-by-step details are powerful in customization and options June 15 2010
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Making Music with Sonar Home Studio is a fine pick showing how to use the Home Studio program as a creative tool. It uses the program's owner's manual as a foundation for explaining how to use the program, from optimizing a recording setup to composing and mixing down a song. Step-by-step details are powerful in customization and options.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Music with Sonar Home Studio May 28 2010
By Graham Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is what the software manual should be, and more. A must read for any Sonar Home Studio user. Every chapter is full of useful info and tips on how to get the most out of this great software. Highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't Be Biased by Versions Dec 23 2010
By frankp93 - Published on Amazon.com
Craig Anderton's Sonar books tend to lag behind the current version but don't let that discourage you. The quality of his writing and the depth of experience he brings to the table far exceed that of other seemingly more current titles where each year the writer simply reworks a chapter or two and slips in a few pages about some new feature.

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.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Massive Undertaking, Done Well Dec 14 2013
By Dragon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hi: First of all, I have been around audio recording since way before computer audio recording ever existed. This book is a composite of a number of different generations of this program, which had to be a massive challenge for the author to assimilate evenhandedly. These programs (including the video ones) are like the seven cities of Troy, with each generation being built on the foundations of the previous one. Imho, these programs become vastly complicated, to anyone who is not deeply knowledgable about the nuances of these programs. In fact, I find it so complicated, as I am basically teaching myself, and even though I feel I am fairly computer comfortable, I just really and truly miss analog recording, just so I don't have to go through all of the frustration with the intricacies of working digitally. Then again, I am not a teenage computer Wiz Kid. I do however, own Sony Acid Studio 9, and it seems to be a little more user friendly, and it appears to have more capabilites, but then again, I use Sonar on my XP computer, and Acid on my Windows 7 Home Premium computer. All in all, I tip my hat to this author, who must be one heck of a digital music technician...

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