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Introduction

Introduction

This book will get you started making music with one of the most powerful Windows-based music production programs available—Cakewalk's SONAR 3 Producer Edition. It is an equally useful guide to SONAR 3 Studio Edition, Cakewalk's less-expensive but still feature-rich offering. In these pages you will find everything you need to demystify the deep and powerful functions of this popular program, regardless of your prior experience.

SONAR 3 Ignite! takes you step by step through MIDI sequencing, digital audio recording, and mixing your song into a finished product. You'll learn how to set up your project, create tracks, edit MIDI and digital audio clips, and utilize virtual instruments. Finally, you'll see how SONAR's effects plug-ins and exciting new bus architecture enable you to realize a great-sounding mix that's ready for CD or web distribution.

If you want to make music and you're looking for maximum-strength tools with a minimum learning curve, SONAR 3 Producer Edition and this book will have you jamming in no time.

Who Should Read This Book?

This book is intended for novices who are new to music production software or new to SONAR. Because its capabilities are so vast, SONAR can seem pretty daunting at first, so each topic deals with a manageable chunk of technology. Each successive topic builds on the previous topics, taking you to the summit one sure-footed step at a time. Nearly every step in this book is accompanied by a clear illustration, so you'll never have any doubts about whether you're looking at the right screen or choosing the right tool. The non-technical language helps move you gradually from neophyte to seasoned user with a minimum of trauma—If you're looking for techno-babble that you can use to impress your friends, you won't find any here!

Each task is clearly identified by heading, so you can easily find what you need by checking the table of contents. Although the materials are intended to be taken in order, if you're inclined to skip around or jump straight to what you need, this book will suit your working style and help you find what you're after.

Added Advice to Make You a Pro

You'll soon see that everything in this book is distilled to the essentials that will help you get results, going step by step without lengthy explanations. Be aware, however, that you're jumping into some sophisticated technology, so here and there you'll find the following special boxes to fill you in on important details:

  • Tips give hints and advice to help you be more efficient and productive in SONAR 3.

  • Notes provide more detailed information about key features and let you know what to expect from a situation.

  • Cautions alert you to anything that might bring you undesired results or that could cause you frustration.

At the end of the book are three appendixes that delve more deeply into the technology behind SONAR's sequencing and recording capabilities. Discover ways to manage your system's audio setup, learn the ins and outs of MIDI and digital audio and why they're such a complementary team, and find ways to get the best performance out of your computer.

It doesn't matter if you're into classical recording, hip-hop production, or becoming the next Beatles—you've got the power in your hands, so let's get started.

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