inSync Tech Tips cover over 3,800 music and audio topics spanning 15 years of technological development. Look here to find answers to your tech questions, cool tips and tools for making music, and more.
Q: I'm thinking about swapping out the hard drives in my computer for solid-state drives. What are the advantages and disadvantages? A: There a number of advantages offered by solid-state drives: Increased durability due to no moving parts to wear out or fail Significantly faster data transfer... Read more »
Akai Professional has released version 1.3 of MPC software. The new version includes support for multitimbral VST and AudioUnits plug-ins, "Vintage Mode" for rawer 12-bit sound quality, improved workflow, easy grid and waveform zoom, instant program creation by dragging and dropping entire... Read more »
Q: Sorry if this is a newbie question, but I'm recording through my audio interface into my DAW. My question is this: are the meters I'm seeing in the DAW pre-fader or post-fader? A: All questions are good questions! We all benefit from shared knowledge. There's an easy way to check whether... Read more »
Most ribbon microphones are passive devices - they have no onboard active electronics or preamplification. Because of this, the impedance of the preamp input to which they are connected is critical to the sound produced by the mic. If the impedance is too low, frequency response will change... Read more »
Q: I have a bunch of audio files in .m4a format that I want to convert to MP3 and WAV. Any suggestions for ways to do it? I can't seem to get iTunes to do the job for me. A: There are many ways to convert one audio file format to another audio file format. One you might consider is Audio Ease... Read more »
Apple has released iOS version 6.1.2 for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The new version has a short feature list: "Fixes an Exchange calendar bug that could result in increased network activity and reduced battery life."
It is an essential working priority to document everything that happens in a session from good takes to bad takes, mic placements, hardware settings, and more. In the Software Age, it may seem less critical to do this, since so much information is saved in a DAW file. However it is still good... Read more »
Looking for a cool omnidirectional mic that will connect directly to your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch? Then check out the MicW i436! Designed as a flat-response measurement mic, i436 is especially cool when paired with DSP Mobile's Analyzer app, which offers an optional optimized frequency... Read more »
Q: I want to use my guitar pedals in some of my studio mixdowns, but whenever I connect them to my audio interface I get distorted sounds. What can I do? A: Using guitar pedals for studio applications is a cool way to get new sounds and to get double duty out of your stompbox purchases!... Read more »
iZotope has released version 5.03 of Ozone and 1.13 of Nectar. The new versions include support for the AAX Native format running under Pro Tools 10. Previously, iZotope released AAX-compatible versions of RX 2, Alloy 2, Trash 2, and Insight.
Q: I need to run an ADAT optical cable for a long distance. My understanding is that there is a limit to how far you can go with one? Is there another solution? A: The ADAT spec puts the limit on optical cable length at five meters (around 16 feet). However, the length you can achieve depends... Read more »
Q: What is the Difference Between Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 ethernet cables? A: All three cable types are similar in design (four twisted pairs of wires inside a single casing) and function. The primary difference is the data transfer rate supported by each: Cat 5: Up to 100Mbps at up to 100MHz... Read more »
Line 6 has released version 1.1 software for the SoundScape M20d digital mixer. The new version enhances the mixer's onboard recording features and enables remote iPad control over the mixer via existing Wi-Fi networks.
One of the most common tips given by mix engineers is to highpass filter tracks to remove unwanted low-frequency noise, to regain lost headroom, and to improve clarity. However, the key to effectively being able to use highpass filtering when mixing is to know the frequency ranges of the... Read more »
Q: Sometimes when I see guys using Marshall amplifiers, they have a short cord that is connecting the jacks on the front. What does this do? A: Some Marshall amps, such as the JTM45, 1959HW, and 1987X are two-channel amps. However, these are not traditional channel-switching amps. Each channel... Read more »
Q: I was just wondering, why do we always pan the bass drum to the center in stereo? I know The Beatles did some recordings where the drums were on one side, but I haven't heard too many others. A: Good question! One credible answer we've heard has the reason dating back to the ancient age of... Read more »
Q: I'm very interested in the new Focusrite RedNet system because it is easily expandable and routing everything around via Cat 5e cables makes sense to me. What are my options for connecting RedNet interfaces to my computer DAW? A: There are three methods for connecting RedNet 1, RedNet 2... Read more »
There are moments onstage when it would be useful, as a performer, to be able to mute your microphone. Maybe you want to talk to a bandmate without broadcasting through the PA. Maybe you're a singing drummer who wants to mute his mic when not vocalizing. Maybe you'd like to be able to mute the... Read more »
Yesterday, we talked about the Radial Gold Digger, which is a 4-in/1-out microphone switcher designed for quickly and easily comparing mics in the studio. But at most sessions, the comparisons don't stop with the microphone, they extend to the preamp as well! And that's where the Radial Cherry... Read more »