Well-Known Member
Oct 19, 2012
Gear owned
DM 4800
Hello all,

Just looking for some pointers, I am running Sonar X1 on a DM 4800, I am using the remote layer to mix, I know there are a ton of options but my question is broad. and I am looking for some different viewpoints, here we go, on mixdown. the returns from the Sonar are channels 33 to 64, these faders control the levels then the remote layer controls these levels ??? So if this is correct then I assume I should set the in put channels as hot as I can to get decent levels I guess I am looking at gain staging on the return channels from Sonar X1 and some tips on mixdown in that realm ??? any suggestions would be appreciated thanks as always you guys are an important resource !!!!
Sounds like you're mixing out of the box - in otherwords - routing Sonar signal into the DM, using the DM's EQ/comps, efx and faders, then sending a stereo mix out of the DM back to either Sonar or a mixdown device. Is that accurate?

Essentially, the remote layer mirrors the virtual faders in Sonar. Those are the source of your signal, so you'll need nominal levels set there first. What's 'nominal?' That depends on what - if anything - is inserted into those Sonar channels. If you have hotly set compressor plug ins, then you may need to attenuate those Sonar faders (or reduce the outgain on the plugin) so you don't clip the outgoing signal. Also a good rule of thumb is to stay around -3 to -12 db. This provides you some headroom for the DM's faders and effects - which should follow a similar principal of not exceeding -3db. But you'll still have headroom even if the channel shows 0db.

Another good practice is to pay close attention to EQ and compression level boosts in the DM. Clipping can occur internally, so the way to deal with that is to apply channel trim attenuation - an option you'll see in each channel's Setup screen. For example, say you boost a bass EQ level by +4db. Instead of lowering the channel fader to compensate, attenuate the trim level on that channel by -4db. That keeps the channel's output at nominal level after it's left the EQ stage.

There's a lot of headroom in 24 bit digital; but at the same time, it's a good idea to allow some breathing space, because everything sums to the stereo buss. So check the stereo output meter frequently when mixing - either with the external unit or by hitting the 'Meter' button and observing the STereo output. And when mixing, be sure all your channels are set to POST FADER for the most accurate picture of all the gain stages.

Of course, your ears are the final judge of a mix. If something doesn't sound or feel right - it probably isn't. Numbers are just guides; they're not the end result.

Hopefully this makes some sense.

Thank you Capt Dan, So correct me if Im wrong but the remote layer seems to be a set and let situation and then mix on the 32 return channel faders and channels features ???? in the DM, ????
Yes, in most cases that would be correct. However, you may run into a situation where you might want to apply your DAW's automation (creating a crescendo effect, for example.) In that case, you'd enable Sonar's automation, and write the desired move using the DM's remote fader.

Although you'll likely use the DM's automation engine for final mixes, it's nice to have an additional option for special purposes.


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