SONAR displays your project in windows on the screen that are known as views. You can have many views open at once, all showing the same project. When you edit a project in one view, the other related views are updated automatically.
The Track view is the main window that you use to create, display, and work with a project. When you open a project file, SONAR displays the Track view for the project. When you close the Track view for a project, SONAR closes the file.
The Track view is divided into several sections: toolbars (at the top), the Navigator pane, the Video Thumbnails pane, the Track pane, the Track/Bus Inspector, the Clips pane, and the Bus pane. You can change the size of the panes by dragging the vertical or horizontal splitter bars that separate them.
All of the current track's controls, plus a few that are only available in the Console view, are contained in the Track/Bus Inspector which is an expanded version of the current track's controls located on the far left side of the Track view. You can hide or show the Track/Bus Inspector by pressing i on your keyboard (see Track/Bus Inspector, for more information).
The Track pane lets you see and change the initial settings for each track. By default, the current track is displayed in gold. To change the current track, move the highlight using the mouse or the keyboard as follows:
The Clips pane shows the clips in your project on a horizontal timeline called the Time Ruler that helps you visualize how your project is organized. Clips contain markings that indicate their contents. The Clips pane lets you select, move, cut and copy clips from place to place to change the arrangement of music and sound in your project.
The Bus pane shows the buses in the project, and also shows any editing views that are in tabbed (docked) format. The Show/Hide Bus pane button allows you to show or hide the Bus pane at the bottom of the Track view.
As with most other Windows programs, you can also use the Shift-click and Ctrl-click combinations when selecting tracks and clips. Holding the Shift key while you click adds tracks or clips to the current selection. Holding the Ctrl key while you click lets you toggle the selection status of tracks or clips. For more information, see Track View and Configuring the Display of Tracks in the Track View.
The Track/Bus Inspector makes it easy to adjust the current track's (or bus's) controls, because it's a greatly expanded version of the current track's controls that is located on the left side of the Track pane.
In addition to the controls that a track or bus displays in the Track view, the Track/Bus Inspector also contains a built-in 4-band EQ. See the online help topic "Using the Per-track EQ" for more information.
The following graphic shows most of the Track/Bus Inspector's controls (there may not be room to display all of a track's controls on the Track/Bus Inspector, depending on the resolution of your monitor):
The Console view is where you can mix the sounds on all the different tracks to create the final mix of your project. While the Track view provides most of the same controls, you may want to use the more familiar interface of the Console view for mixing.
You use the Console view to adjust the levels of sound for the different tracks in your project, to change the stereo panning, and to apply real-time effects to an individual track, combinations of tracks, or the final mix.
The Console view contains several groups of controls. There is one module for each track in your project, and one module for each bus. You can use bus sends to direct certain tracks to special modules that are known as buses.
As in the Track view, you can change track settings or record new music or sound in the Console view. You may choose to use one view or the other, or the choice you make may depend on which project you are working on.
The Piano Roll view : shows the notes from a MIDI track or tracks as they would appear on a player-piano roll. You can move the notes around, make them longer or shorter, and change their pitches by just dragging them with the mouse. You can also use the Piano Roll view to display and edit MIDI velocity, controllers, and other types of information. The Piano Roll view also contains the Drum Editor, which allows you to "paint" drum patterns using the Pattern Brush tool and play different drum modules from a single track. For more information, see Piano Roll View.
The Staff view : displays the notes from one or more MIDI tracks using standard music notation, similar to the way the notation would appear on a printed page. You can add, edit, or delete notes; create percussion parts; add guitar chords and other notation markings; display guitar tablature; display the Fretboard pane; and print whole scores or individual parts to share with other musicians.
The Loop Construction view : allows you to create and edit Groove clips (SONAR loops that "know" the tempo and key in which they were recorded), and export these clips as ACIDized files. For more information, see Loop Construction view.
The Loop Explorer view : allows you to preview ACIDized files and other Wave files; and drag and drop them into your project. For more information, see Loop Explorer View.
The Event List view : displays the events in a project individually, so that you can make changes at a very detailed level. For more information, see Event List View.
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How you use it...
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To change the meter (time signature) or key signature, or to insert changes in the meter or key signature at specific times in a project. For more information, see Meter/Key View.
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To display the Now time in a large, resizable font that you can read more easily. For more information, see Big Time View.
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To add, move, rename, or delete labels for parts of your project that make it easier to move from one point to another. For more information, see Markers View.
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To add and display lyrics for a track. For more information, see Lyrics view.
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To display a loaded video file. For more information, see Video View.
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Manage your soft synths
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Manage the Now Time in a project
Surround Panner (Producer version only)
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Pan a surround track
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To create, display, store, and edit System Exclusive MIDI messages used to control instruments and other gear that are MIDI capable. For more information, see SYSX View.
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To view and edit the project's tempo changes. For more information, see Tempo View.
You can dock any view other than the Console view in the lower-right corner of the Track view by enabling a view's Enable Tabbed option. You can have as many views open in tabbed format as you want. You can toggle through the different views by clicking the tab of the view you want to see (or use the Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right Arrow shortcut). You can also maximize the pane to do detailed work in a view, or drag the splitter bar at the top of the view to enlarge the tabbed view area. For step-by-step instructions, see the procedures below.
By default SONAR allows only one instance of each view, but you can lock the contents of most views, preserving the current view by forcing a new instance of the view to appear if necessary. Locking views is the only way you can have multiple instances of the same view open. Only the Track and Console views cannot be locked.
To lock a view, just click the lock button at the top right of the view. An unlocked view looks like this , and a locked view looks like this . A view can be locked automatically by pressing the Ctrl key when opening the view.
When a view is float enabled, you can move it outside of the confines of SONAR. This is particularly useful if you take advantage of SONAR's dual monitor support. Using dual monitor support, you can keep the Track or Console view on one monitor and "float" other views to the other monitor by dragging them to the second screen.
For more information, see the online help topic "Floating Views and Dual Monitor Support."
The X-Ray Windows feature eliminates the need to constantly minimize, move, or close windows in order to work in other windows. It works by decreasing the opacity of the current window enough so that you can see and work with the window that's behind the current window. You activate the feature by pressing a keyboard shortcut (default shortcut is Shift+X) when the mouse cursor is over a window you want to x-ray. You can choose to X-Ray whichever window is underneath the mouse cursor, or automatically X-Ray all FX/synth property pages in one step (note: the mouse cursor does not need to be over any plug-in property pages).
- AudioSnap palette
- Synth Rack
- Piano Roll view (when float-enabled)
- Snap To Grid dialog
- Plug-in effects and synths
- Controller/Surface plug-ins
- Use the Options-Key Bindings command to open the Key Bindings dialog.
- If you want to use currently unassigned keys or key combinations, scroll through the options in the Key window until the Global Key Assignment field that is just under the window reads Unassigned. It's a good idea to find two unassigned options that are next to each other or easy to remember.
- Once you've decided on two keys or key combinations that you want to use, select Global Bindings in the Bind Context field, and scroll to the bottom of the list of commands that are in the window below that field.
- In the Key window, highlight the key or key combination that you want to use for the X-Ray command, then highlight X-Ray in the function column of the list of commands, then click the Bind button to bind them together.
- Now highlight the key or key combination that you want to use for the X-Ray All FX/Synths command, then Highlight X-Ray All FX/Synths in the function column of the list of commands, then click the Bind button to bind them together.
- Click OK to close the dialog.
- Use the Options-Global command to open the Global Options dialog, and on the General tab, make sure that the Enable X-Ray checkbox is enabled.
- Make sure that the view windows you want to X-Ray are in the Floating-enabled state: to check this, click the view or fx icon that's in the upper left corner of a window, and select Enable Floating from the dropdown menu. If Disable Floating is in the menu, then the Floating option is already enabled.
- To X-Ray or un-X-Ray a single window, move the mouse cursor over the window, and press the keyboard shortcut (default is Shift+X) for the X-Ray command. The window does not need to have focus (does not need to be the highlighted window).
- To X-Ray or un-X-Ray all plug-in windows at once, press the key binding for the X-Ray All FX/Synths command.
- Use the Options-Global command to open the Global Options dialog.
- On the General tab, you can adust these options:
- Enable X-Ray--enable or disable this checkbox to turn the X-Ray Windows feature on or off.
- Opacity--adjust this value by typing in a value, or by clicking and holding the + or - button to adjust the final opacity percentage value that an X-Rayed window reaches.
- Fade Out Time--adjust this value by typing in a value, or by clicking and holding the + or - button to adjust the amount of time that an X-Rayed window takes to reach its final opacity percentage value.
- Fade In Time--adjust this value by clicking and holding the + or - button to adjust the amount of time that an X-Rayed window takes to restore its original opacity.
- Click OK to close the dialog and accept your changes.
- Open the Cakewalk Plug-in Manager: use the Tools-Cakewalk Plug-in Manager command.
- In the Plug-in Categories window, select the category that the plug-in you want to exclude is in.
- In the Registered Plug-ins window, select the plug-in that you want to exclude.
- If the plug-in is a DirectX effect or an MFX, write down (or select and copy) the CLSID value that's in the CLSID field at the bottom of the dialog.
- If the plug-in is a VST or VSTi, write down the VST ID value that's in the VST ID field at the bottom of the dialog.
- Close the Plug-in Manager dialog.
- Open the xrayexclude.ini file that's in your SONAR program folder (use Notepad).
- At the end of the file, find the [EffectProps View] section.
- Exclude your plug-in by creating a blank line below the last entry in the [EffectProps View] section, and then typing:
- And you wanted to exclude the Cakewalk FxDelay from the X-Ray Windows feature, after creating a blank line you would type:
All main menus and context menus are customizable. You can fine-tune your workflow by hiding menu items that are rarely used and reordering commands that you use frequently. You can even design and save menu layouts specific to different tasks.
Caution: you can move commands completely out of their default menus. For example, you can move commands out of the Edit menu into the Process menu. Keep in mind that this manual describes commands by their original menu locations, so if you're looking for help about the Process-Nudge command, and you've moved the Nudge command to the Edit menu, the documentation for this command will still refer to the command as Process-Nudge. You can always load the default menu layout to restore the original command structure.
- To open the Menu Editor dialog, choose Options-Menu Editor.
- In the Menu Editor dialog, to choose a menu to edit, select one from the Menu dropdown list.
Altering your menus may affect your menus' hotkeys, which allow you to navigate through the application's menus without using a mouse. You can view the hotkeys in your menus by pressing Alt and observing the underlined letters. Pressing the underlined letter on your keyboard will launch that menu command. In order to ensure you have no duplicates hotkeys in your customized menu, do the following.
- Launch the Menu Editor and select the menu or submenu you wish to check for duplicate hotkeys. Right-click the Menu Item and select Check Hotkeys. The Menu Editor will then report back if duplicate hotkeys are found, or if a command has no hotkey at all.
- Note: the Check Hotkeys command examines only commands on the menu that you right-clicked, at the menu level that you right-clicked. It does not examine submenus of that menu.
- If missing or duplicate hotkeys are found, right-click again and select Generate Hotkeys. New non-duplicate hotkeys will be assigned for each item in that menu or submenu (but only on the menu level where you right-clicked, not on any submenus of the menu or submenu that you right-clicked).
- Note: Hotkeys are indicated within the Menu Editor by ampersands ("&") in each menu item's name. The ampersand is placed directly before the letter that represents the menu item's hotkey. If you wish to assign hotkeys manually, you can do so by when you rename a hotkey by placing the ampersand before your preferred hotkey letter for that command or submenu.
You can customize each toolbar in SONAR. You can hide or reorder each component of a toolbar, or add buttons to a toolbar from other toolbars. You can create up to three new toolbars from components of other toolbars. You can also hide or show all toolbars with a single command, and dock toolbars vertically if you want.
- To choose what toolbars you want to see, use the View-Toolbars command, and check the toolbars that you want to see in the dialog box.
- To hide or show all toolbars, use the View-Show Toolbars command. This command is available in the Key Bindings dialog (Options-Key Bindings command).
- Right-click the toolbar that you want to customize, and choose Customize from the popup menu to open the Customize Toolbar dialog.
- In the Available Toolbar Buttons field, select a component that you want to see in the toolbar, and click the Add button to move the component to the Current Toolbar Buttons field.
- Repeat step 2 for any additional components you would like to display.
- In the Current Toolbar Buttons field, select a component that you do not want to see in the toolbar, and click the Remove button to move the component to the Available Toolbar Buttons field.
- Repeat step 4 for any additional components you would like to remove.
- If you would like to move a toolbar component to a different location in the toolbar, select the component in the Current Toolbar Buttons field, and click the Move Up button or the Move Down button to change the button's location in the toolbar.
- Repeat step 7 for any additional components.
- If you want to restore the toolbar to its default appearance, click the Reset button.
- Click Close when you want to close the dialog.
- Right-click the toolbar, and choose Customize from the popup menu to open the Customize Toolbar dialog.
- Customize the toolbar the in the same way as the previous procedure.
- Right-click the toolbar, and choose Rename from the popup menu to open the Rename Toolbar dialog
- Fill in the New Name field, and click OK.
- To dock a toolbar horizontally, drag it to the top or bottom of the interface.
- To dock a toolbar vertically, drag it to the left or right side of the interface.
- To undock a toolbar, drag it to the part of the interface where you want it, or entirely away from the interface.
You may spend a lot of time making sure that all the views are laid out on the screen just the way you want. When you save your work, you can save the screen layout along with it. You can also save the layout by itself and then use the layout with other projects. For more information, see the online help topic "Layouts."