Fig. 1. The EQ’s Low and Mid band frequency knobs (left) are grouped together and set to record automation, The Level controls are at minimum, and Q at maximum, to produce the deepest notches. Note the two automation sweeps for the EQ knobs in the track at right.
A classic phase shifter creates
a series of frequency response notches that
sweep together, and it’s easy to emulate
this effect in Cakewalk Sonar X1 (Producer
Edition), because you can group
the controls in its 4-band ProChannel
To create a four-stage phase shifter
like the original Univibe (which produced
two notches), turn the Q control
for two parametric peak EQ stages to a
high value—typically between 10 and 16.
Now, turn the level controls of the two
EQ stages to minimum (-18dB) to create
two steep notches (Fig. 1). I like to set
these about two octaves apart, so set one
EQ frequency to 500Hz, and another to
2kHz. Choose the Pure or E-Type equalizer
mode (with Hybrid, the notches are
too narrow to have an audible effect).
Creating the notches is only half the
story, however, as they need to sweep
together to create that “whooshing” effect.
So, right-click on each Frequency control,
and assign both to the same group. Now
you can automate your Frequency control
moves by enabling automation write for
the two controls. Right-click on each one,
and select Automation Write Enable. To
sweep the effect, move one of the controls
(the other will follow because it’s
grouped). After recording automation,
uncheck Automation Write Enable for
the two controls, and then check Automation
For an even more intense effect, you
can emulate an eight-stage phase shifter by
creating notches in all four bands (choose
initial frequencies of 500Hz, 1kHz, 2kHz,
and 4kHz with Pure mode), and similarly
grouping and sweeping them. Make sure
the highest and lowest bands are set for
peak/notch response and not shelf.
But why stop there? You can also create
phase-shifter sounds that never existed—
such as three notches and one peak, two
pairs of notches grouped closely together
but with each pair several octaves apart,
and more. You might be surprised at just
how many tones you can coax out of the
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