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Loop Recording

If you plan to add a vocal track or an instrumental track (such as a guitar solo) to your project— something that might require more than one try to get right—you might want to use loop recording instead of recording and undoing a single track over and over again manually. Loop recording allows you to record several tracks, one right after the other, without having to stop between each one. Here’s how it works:

  1. If you want to record MIDI tracks, follow steps 1 through 7 in the “MIDI Track Recording and Playback” section presented earlier in this chapter. If you want to record audio tracks, follow steps 1 through 13 in the “Audio Track Recording and Playback” section earlier in this chapter.

  2. Set the Now time to the point in the project at which you want looping to begin. Then select Transport > Loop and Auto Shuttle to open the Loop/Auto Shuttle dialog box (see Figure 6.14). Press F5 on your computer keyboard to bring up the Markers dialog box. Select the marker named <Now> from the list and click on OK to set the start time at which the looping will begin.

    Figure 6.14. In the Loop/Auto Shuttle dialog box, you can set the loop recording parameters for SONAR.

  3. Type an end time for the loop using measure, beat, and tick values. Then activate the Stop at the End Time and Rewind to Start and Loop Continuously options and click on OK. Setting these options tells SONAR that when you start recording, it will begin at the loop start time, continue to the loop end time, and then loop back to the start time to cycle through the loop over and over again, until you stop it.

    NOTE

    SET LOOP POINTS QUICKLY

    For a quick way to set the start and end times, just click and drag in the Time Ruler of the Track view to make a data selection, and then right-click on the Time Ruler and choose Set Loop Points from the drop-down menu. For more information on selecting data, read Chapters 7 and 8.

    NOTE

    THE LOOP TOOLBAR

    You also can use the Loop toolbar to set the parameters for looping. Refer to Chapter 3 for more information about toolbars.

  4. Select Transport > Record Options to open the Record Options dialog box. In the Loop Recording section, select either Store Takes in a Single Track or Store Takes in Separate Tracks. The first option stores each performance in the same track but in different clips stacked on top of each other. The second option stores each performance in a different track, automatically setting the same track parameters as the one you began with. I like to use the second option because it’s more flexible, especially when I want to edit the data I just recorded. For this example, choose the Store Takes in Separate Tracks option. You can experiment with the other option later if you want.

  5. Select Transport > Record to start recording. (Alternatively, you can press the R key on your computer keyboard or click on the Record button on the Transport toolbar.) If you set a Count-In, the metronome will count the number of beats you entered, and then SONAR will begin recording.

  6. Perform the material you want to record until you get a good take.

  7. After you finish performing, select Transport > Stop to stop recording. (Alternatively, you can press the spacebar on your computer keyboard or click on the Stop button in the Transport toolbar.) SONAR will create a new track containing the data you just recorded for every loop you cycled through (see Figure 6.15).

    Figure 6.15. For every loop you record, SONAR creates a new track containing each individual performance.

  8. Each track (except for the original one) is disarmed. To listen to any of your performances, turn off looping by selecting Transport > Loop and Auto Shuttle to open the Loop/Auto Shuttle dialog box. Deactivate the Stop at the End Time option and click on OK. Set the Now time back to its original position and select Transport > Play to start playback. (Alternatively, you can press the spacebar on your computer keyboard or click on the Play button on the Transport toolbar.) To listen to one of the recorded tracks, solo it by clicking on the S button next to its name parameter in the Track view.

  9. After you’ve found a performance that you like and want to keep, delete the others by clicking on the appropriate track number on the left side of the Track view to select a track, and then selecting Track > Delete. If you want to select more than one track, just hold down the Ctrl key on your computer keyboard while you’re selecting track numbers.


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