Get Your Groove On: The Loop Explorer

Last updated on 3/31/2016

Tech Tips from Craig Anderton

Every month, Sound on Sound magazine — Europe's #1 recording and music technology magazine — publishes SONAR Notes, written by Craig Anderton. These articles are packed with cutting-edge tips designed to help you maximize your experience with SONAR, and other Cakewalk products like Home Studio 2002, Home Studio XL, Music Creator 2002, and Plasma.

Through an agreement with Sound on Sound, we have a tip from Craig on using the Loop Explorer window. We also have a link to his first SONAR Notes installment which is now available on the Sound on Sound web site.

Get Your Groove On

The Loop Explorer window's main function is to audition loops, which you can then import into the program and convert into Groove Clips. But you can also audition multiple loops simultaneously in this window. This is particularly good with 'construction kit' sample CDs that might have several loops for snare, hi-hat, percussion, and so on; you can test the parts together to see how well they work. Similarly, you could check out how a bass loop sounds with a particular drum loop.

Unless the loops are 'Acid-ised' Groove Clip loops, you're limited to loops of the same tempo if you want them to all play together. Also, you can't include loops from more than one folder. Nonetheless, multitrack loop exploration is still a very useful technique. Here's how you do it: click on the first loop to select it and click the Loop Explorer's Play button; Ctrl-click to select or deselect loops.

I prefer to enable the Loop Explorer's Auto Preview button so that, whenever you select a loop, you hear it play with the others. If Auto Preview is off, then you need to hit the Play button every time you select a new loop if you want to hear it.

This works best for loops stored on your hard drive. Loops auditioned from CD-ROMs are OK too, but because they're slower, the audio engine may stop when you add another loop, necessitating a quick click on the Play button. After selecting all the loops you want to use, drag them en masse over to the track view pane.

SONAR Notes 1

Craig's first SONAR Notes installment is now available. It covers vocal thickening, generating harmonies, and using some of the interface improvements in the Track view. We also have a tip from Craig on using the Loop Explorer window.

Click here for the tips.

Click here to subscribe to the International or UK print editions, or the electronic edition of Sound on Sound. 

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