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View Full Version : How suited is SONAR6 for movie post-production?



musicpete
10-25-2006, 04:39 AM
Hello!

I could not find a "Sequencer Software" subforum so I dared to post in here. :D

Since I am growing increasingly unhappy with Steinberg's bad treatment of their customers, I started investigating a switch to SONAR6. Now I happen to (ab)use my Cubase SX2 sometimes for doing basic sound postproduction for amateur movies (basic mixing, re-recording and sound effects, adding and mixing sound effects tracks, final mixdowns and dubbings) and it works reasonably well, considering it was never meant for that.

The pressing question is: How well would I be able to do this after switching to SONAR6? Do you guys have experience with this?

Thanks for reading this!

MCS
10-25-2006, 05:37 AM
Guten tag and hello! :)

Im not doing very much sound post production in SONAR, but everything you can do in cubase you also can do in SONAR. I tried both and SONAR is much easier to handle and has a clearer structure. (of course a personal oppinion). SONAR is surely a very good alternative to cubase.

best,
Michael

ps: sehr coole musik! :)

kitekrazy
10-25-2006, 06:24 PM
Hello!

I could not find a "Sequencer Software" subforum so I dared to post in here. :D

Since I am growing increasingly unhappy with Steinberg's bad treatment of their customers, I started investigating a switch to SONAR6. Now I happen to (ab)use my Cubase SX2 sometimes for doing basic sound postproduction for amateur movies (basic mixing, re-recording and sound effects, adding and mixing sound effects tracks, final mixdowns and dubbings) and it works reasonably well, considering it was never meant for that.

The pressing question is: How well would I be able to do this after switching to SONAR6? Do you guys have experience with this?

Thanks for reading this!

I do believe a demo is available.

Have you considered also trying Vegas 7? It's a video app but many like it for it's audio features.

Will Roget
10-25-2006, 06:27 PM
Sonar's great for that and even for sound design/effects. Wonderful multitracking, bus structure, plugins, audio editing tools, has VST support now... can't go wrong ;)

karmacomposer
10-25-2006, 09:30 PM
I scored a game trailer last week with Sonar 5 Producer Edition.

It was effortless.

I used vsti instruments, sample sets with Kontakt 2 (pmi emperor and KHSO Emerald) and Stylus RMX

Sonar has a built in video track and is frame accurate - I believe it even locks to smpte, etc.

It was easy and a no brainer.

Mike

peter269
10-25-2006, 09:55 PM
I scored a game trailer last week with Sonar 5 Producer Edition.

It was effortless.

I used vsti instruments, sample sets with Kontakt 2 (pmi emperor and KHSO Emerald) and Stylus RMX

Sonar has a built in video track and is frame accurate - I believe it even locks to smpte, etc.

It was easy and a no brainer.

Mike

I love your studio location....

karmacomposer
10-25-2006, 10:57 PM
My studio location used to be a mile away from my house in my RECORDING STUDIO.

However, three very nice hurricanes decided to remove my roof.

After my necessary re-location, I decided to only record corporate and multimedia clients, or clients from other states/countries and no more local bands - hence not requiring a separate recording facility.

It's paid off more than I can say. In my recording studio, recording bands and even church choirs and such, I was stiffed left and right. Businesses simply have more money and they pay you IN ADVANCE!

I have plenty of clients that come in and record - and have zero problems with the fact they have to do so in a nice, treated room in my house.

I mostly work with motivational speakers, narrators and multimedia, games, spots, etc.

Now I love what I do.

BTW, if that was meant as sarcasm, you would be surprised just how serious a job you can get in a home project studio - and how powerful a computer music network in your house can allow you to do almost anything imagineable. Never judge someone based on their location.

Hell, I was being funny when I typed that - I thought, who the heck cares where I am. I always seem to be in my house anyway!

You know what else. I get to see my son on the bus every morning and take him off the bus every afternoon. Then we get to spend father/son time after that for hours. I LOVE it. I would not have it any other way. In between I work. Late at night I work.

Mike

musicpete
10-26-2006, 03:34 AM
Hi and thanks for your replies!

@kitekrazy: The suggestion with the demo is great, but unfortunately the guys from Cakewalk don't offer one (yet?!?). The last demo was for Sonar 4 and that did not work with my soundcard (M-Audio Delta Audiophile 24/96). I *could* download a cracked copy of the full DVD from various filesharing networks but would prefer a real demo... Maybe they actually want people to do that? It would save them the work of preparing a demo... :confused:

I will also check out Vegas. It is from Sony, right?

@Will Roget: Many people claim it's great and I DO believe you. On the other hand I remember reading for years how flaky and bad the VSTi/video support in previous versions of Sonar was. Lots of people in forums were unhappy with that. It would be great if you could confirm that it is actually working now.

@karmacomposer: Thanks for your reply! However I seem to have made my point unclear: What I want to do with Sonar (besides composing for picture) is sound-design, audio-postproduction and re-recording, dubbing, mixing, foley, adding sound effects tracks, ... In one word: Complete audio post-production for video projects, as someone might do e.g. in Nuendo (Which is some price-leagues out of reach).

Thanks again for the input! However even more replies would be great! Maybe someone has reallife experience with what I try to do?

@Michael: Schoenen Gruss nach Linz! If I would live closer to you, I'd visit your studio and get some firsthand impressions from someone who is working with SONAR. Did I just invite myself? :D :D (Just joking!)

MCS
10-26-2006, 04:36 AM
@Michael: Schoenen Gruss nach Linz! If I would live closer to you, I'd visit your studio and get some firsthand impressions from someone who is working with SONAR. Did I just invite myself? :D :D (Just joking!)

hehe. :) Would be no problem actually, if i would be at home more often... :)

btw: the last demo of cakewalk is SONAR 5PE
http://www.download.com/Sonar-Producer-Edition/3000-2170_4-10477942.html?tag=lst-0-4

best,
michael

Houston Haynes
10-26-2006, 08:17 AM
@karmacomposer: Thanks for your reply! However I seem to have made my point unclear: What I want to do with Sonar (besides composing for picture) is sound-design, audio-postproduction and re-recording, dubbing, mixing, foley, adding sound effects tracks, ... In one word: Complete audio post-production for video projects, as someone might do e.g. in Nuendo (Which is some price-leagues out of reach).

As a Cubase and Nuendo user, I've got to say that you really, really, really should look into the Cubase 4 upgrade. For sound design and foley it's worth the upgrade price just to have Sound Frame/Media Bay. And honestly, unless you need something specific in Nuendo (like 9-pin/DeckLink support, some additional post/surround plugins or one of the more esoteric hi-def frame rates) Cubase really has everything you need. There are lots and lots of Nuendo 3 users that are taking advantage of the cross-grade to Cubase 4, with good reason.

Also, I have the Vegas+DVD combo, and use it all the time for cutting up scenes and carding my demo cues to render and burn to a DVD - but I don't think I could ever use it for a MIDI mockup environment. Even with their recent addition of VSTi support, the editing is still *way* too rudimentary. Maybe v7 fixes some of that - I honestly haven't had time to upgrade and look at it. They have their own Media Manager tool (that's based on .NET/MSSQL) that lots of people swear by, which can be an option for you if you're interested in organizing a large sound FX/foley library and are dead-set against Cubase.

I'm *not* saying that Sonar is *not* suited to the tasks that you list, on the contrary, I have no idea how v6 looks and feels (I've not even looked at a screen shot). I just wanted to caution you against "the grass is always greener" effect.

dominus
10-26-2006, 10:43 AM
Hi and thanks for your replies!

@kitekrazy: The suggestion with the demo is great, but unfortunately the guys from Cakewalk don't offer one (yet?!?). The last demo was for Sonar 4 and that did not work with my soundcard (M-Audio Delta Audiophile 24/96). I *could* download a cracked copy of the full DVD from various filesharing networks but would prefer a real demo... Maybe they actually want people to do that? It would save them the work of preparing a demo... :confused:

I will also check out Vegas. It is from Sony, right?



Sonar 5 worked perfectly with my Audiophile 24/96, and Sonar 6 works perfectly with my Audiophile Firewire. Vegas is great for post work & video editing, but it's not exactly a replacement for Cubase. I'm sure Cakewalk is working on a Sonar 6 demo, where you'll NEVER see a Cubase demo.

I know what you mean about Steinberg's customer service. Take a look at the tone on Cubase.net (when posts are fresh, before they get deleted) and on the Cakewalk forums. Big difference on how people are treated.

jeffn1
10-26-2006, 10:45 AM
Sonar 5 worked perfectly with my Audiophile 24/96, and Sonar 6 works perfectly with my Audiophile Firewire. Vegas is great for post work & video editing, but it's not exactly a replacement for Cubase. I'm sure Cakewalk is working on a Sonar 6 demo, where you'll NEVER see a Cubase demo.

I know what you mean about Steinberg's customer service. Take a look at the tone on Cubase.net (when posts are fresh, before they get deleted) and on the Cakewalk forums. Big difference on how people are treated.

And I am not aware of Cakewalk ever deleting a critical post in their forum.

jeffn1

kitekrazy
10-26-2006, 11:18 AM
I'm *not* saying that Sonar is *not* suited to the tasks that you list, on the contrary, I have no idea how v6 looks and feels (I've not even looked at a screen shot). I just wanted to caution you against "the grass is always greener" effect.

Something to keep in mind is if you are willing to spend the time learning a new app.

JonFairhurst
10-26-2006, 12:35 PM
I use Sonar (okay, an older version) for MIDI, print the tracks, then do post in ACID or Vegas.

The most critical aspect of movie post is the dialog, second is foley, third is music. ACID/Vegas really fall to hand for quickly adjusting levels, duplicating tracks, adding processsing, routing busses and so on.

Let's say a line of dialog has a soft "T". It's quick and easy to bump the envelope during the weak syllable. Still not hard enough? Find a stronger "T", copy it onto another track, trim the audio, adjust the timing, mix it in.

As an example my HS-aged daughter wanted to do some multitracking. I opened Sonar and she got confused and upset. I opened ACID and she started making music. It just falls to hand.

I'm learning ACID's MIDI capabilities piece by piece, so I can do basic projects in one app, and so I can perform minor MIDI tweaks on bigger MIDI projects during the mixing phase in ACID without having to go back into Sonar.

The day ACID's MIDI capabilities surpass Sonar's, I'll be a very happy camper! I get the feeling that Sonar's look and feel are too entrenched to be improved to my liking as a post tool.

wst3ae
10-26-2006, 01:23 PM
In terms of features, I can't imagine that any of the major tools are really lacking at this point, arcane things maybe one or two, but each of the major platforms seems to have copied from eachother often enough that the capabilities exist in all of them.

I think the choice of platform tends to be more about user interface and workflow these days.

I use Sonar as my sequencer, and I do quite a bit of editing in it as well. With the exception of some glitchiness with video playback on my aging system (output video via Firewire takes care of that) I really have no complaints.

I use Sound Forge for most of my really picky audio editing.

Mostly, I think I use these two tools because I've always used them... not in the sense that I'm afraid of change so much as in the sense of I'm used to them, or their workflow makes sense to me. Which came first???

I continually evaluate all of the tools, and if one of them leaps ahead of the others I'll reconsider, but at the moment I'm quite happy using Sonar for most of my audio post productions tasks.

Composing - I use Finale as my composition tool because I prefer to work with standard notation, and Finale works for me. I do keep an eye on Sibelius, but the notation features in any of the sequencer based tools leave me cold.

Sound-design - That's a little ambiguous, but if you mean creating sounds then yes, I do that mostly in Sonar. Sometimes I'll use Sound Forge too.

Dubbing - not sure what you mean by dubbing, but by any of the definitions I am accustomed to Sonar does the job.

ADR - I do very little dialog replacement, but I have found Sonar's looping and marker tools to make it darned easy.

Mixing - I don't mix in the box unless I have to. However, the ability to draw in envelopes to control so many things is awfully appealing.

Foley - I still record all my Foley created effects with a tape recorder. I place them using Sonar.

Adding sound effects tracks - Sonar rules! The clip features that have been added over the last couple of revisions have made Sonar a great tool for working with sound effects! The one thing that is missing, and it is missing from every platform, is a cataloging tool.

Hope this helps...

musicpete
10-27-2006, 04:11 AM
Thank you so much for all those replies!

You helped me a lot, but in a way I am even less sure if I should invest in the upgrade to Cubase 4 or sav up for Sonar. Well, I guess that is how things go nowadays: Every software is great in its own way, which makes decisions harder.

I will now check out the available demos, and dig into some research on the topics you brought up.

Thank you again for contributing!