R-26 Mixing Tips Enhance Your Recordings Using the Bundled SONAR X1 LE Software
Text by Akira Hanagiri (Tomo Music)
Roland’s R-26 Portable Recorder features two types of built-in stereo mics—directional and omnidirectional—allowing you to capture high-quality audio recordings with an exceptional level of depth and detail. While R-26 recordings sound great on their own, you can use the powerful mixing and mastering tools in the bundled SONAR X1 LE DAW software to combine, enhance, and polish them for even better results. This software is based on the renowned SONAR X1, the professional audio software favored by many top musicians, producers, and engineers.

After recording with the R-26’s two mic types, transfer the audio files to your computer and import them into SONAR X1 LE. Once in the software, you can easily mix them together to find the best balance, use equalization to adjust the tonality, add ambience with reverb, and perform many other adjustments.

In this series of tips, I’ll introduce you to mixing and mastering various R-26 recordings in SONAR X1 LE, show you some real-world effects settings, and offer before-and-after audio comparisons to let you hear how the software can improve the sound.
Basic Flow of Mixing & Mastering
The R-26’s two mic types capture sound in different ways:

  • • Sounds recorded with the directional (XY) mic have excellent localization and an “up-front” presence.
  • • Sounds recorded with the omnidirectional (OMNI) mic capture the natural ambience and depth of the recording space.

By mixing the XY and OMNI sound files together in SONAR X1 LE, you can adjust the desired balance of direct versus ambient sound, and enhance the overall tone using the included plugin effects.

Here’s a basic flow for mixing and mastering your R-26 tracks in SONAR X1 LE:

1. Assign the audio files to two stereo tracks:
  • Track 1—XY mic
  • Track 2—OMNI mic

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2. Send the two tracks to a stereo bus and name it "MIX."

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*A bus is a mixer function for creating a “submix,” which allows you to control the overall volume of several tracks with one fader. You can also add effects plugins directly on a bus, and use “SENDS” to route signals to other busses.

3. On the Mix bus, insert the “Cakewalk Para-EQ” equalizer to adjust the tonal quality and the “Cakewalk Stereo Compressor/Gate” to control the dynamic range of the sound.

Cakewalk Para-EQ

Cakewalk Compressor/Gate
If you want to use reverb, it’s best to insert the Cakewalk Studioverb II on another stereo bus (named "Rev" in the example below) instead of inserting a separate Studioverb II on each track. Then, use the Send controls to route audio from individual channels or the MIX bus to the Rev bus. This process makes one reverb effect available to all tracks and busses, providing a unified sound along while conserving CPU resources on your computer.

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Cakewalk Studioverb2
4. On the MASTER fader, use the Cakewalk Stereo Compressor/Gate to maximize the overall sound level.
Mixing Techniques for Various Musical Instruments
Acoustic Piano
Acoustic Guitar
Ensemble (Shakuhachi, Guitar, Percussion)
String Quartet
String Quartet: Advanced Mixing Using SONAR X2 Producer
R-26 product pageSONAR LE product page