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I'm working with sonar producer 7. I plan on building a new machine this summer and upgrading to the new sonar.
For drums I use loops either from outside sources or my own as I have an alesis dm5 that I either play by hand or trigger with my m audio trigger finger for guitars I play through a peavey that is miked and the signal is sometimes split through a tube preamp and mixed with the amp signal.
For bass I go direct into the mixer from an ART preamp compressor and parametric eq for keys I use an old korg piano layered with a yamaha fbo1 that is usually processed with outboard pedals or in the box after recording.
I also use soft synths I have the korg legacy suite and the emu proteus which covers my needs along with the sonar dimension, rapture etc that came with producer 7.
Thank god for auto tune also I use the fruity loops plug in suite juice pak works great I love their para graphic EQ I do my own mastering with magix audio cleaning lab I've tried various mastering programs but this works for me for now I love the simplicity and it supports my plug ins I also use the BBE sonic suite to add some zing to certain tracks on occasion.
I feel I have a warm sound that recalls the analog feel that works best for my style of music . I have given up the fight in the loudness wars I try to maximize my output to around -1 db and if that isn't loud enough so be it.
I have listened to many recordings that are ear fatiguing and painful and don't want to be a part of it.
Further information is available at reverbnation.com/tonydane