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Live Sound Month!

To Emphasize an Instrument in the Mix, Boost Its Presence

Many guitar amps feature a Presence control. Depending on the specific amp, the Presence is generally operates as a high treble control, adjusting the range around 4kHz or so. The control is so named because when... Read more »

Sib Hashian — Remembering the Drummer That Wasn’t

With the passing of drummer John Thomas "Sib" Hashian this week, rock 'n' roll fans are remembering Sib as the rhythmic force behind one of the most influential bands of the '70s — Boston. But before the fame and... Read more »

Ampeg SCR-DI – Bass Preamp with Scrambler Overdrive Pedal Demo

Dino Monoxelos from Ampeg presents the SCR-DI bass preamp pedal with Scrambler overdrive. Buy the Ampeg SCR-DI bass preamp pedal here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/SCR-DI

DOD Carcosa Analog Fuzz Pedal Review

Don Carr presents the DOD Carcosa analog fuzz pedal. No pedal has done more to accelerate rock music than the humble fuzz. The two-voiced DOD Carcosa Fuzz pedal provides a heaping spoonful of vintage and modern... Read more »

FabFilter Issues Hot Fix Update for Pro-Q 2

FabFilter has issued the following statement: "After releasing an update for all FabFilter Pro plug-ins on March 13, we discovered a bug in Pro-Q 2 that would cause a crash when dragging a band to the far left side... Read more »

Boss Releases ES-8 Firmware Update and ES-8 Editor for Mac/PC

Exciting news for guitarists and bassists who use the Boss ES-8 Effects Switching System to manage their pedals and control their amps and stage systems! Boss has released Version 2 firmware for the ES-8. The update... Read more »

Guild T-Bird ST P-90 Electric Guitar Review

Don Carr presents the Guild T-Bird ST P-90 guitar. Based on the classic Guild guitars seen in the hands of players such as Buddy Guy and Black Keys guitarist Dan Auerbach, the Guild T-Bird ST solidbody electric... Read more »

500 Series: Why You Should Add One to Your Rig

Where It All Began API Founder Saul Walker In 1966, Saul Walker started designing audio components for his new company, Automated Processes Inc. (API). These components were modular building blocks built to fit into... Read more »

Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Custom Electric Guitar Review

Sweetwater's Nick Bowcott presents the Epiphone Tony Iommi SG Custom. A limited edition version of his iconic SG, Tony's instructions to Epiphone were to make his SG Custom something he would play on stage. To that... Read more »

ESP LTD Kirk Hammett Signature KH-202 Guitar Review

Sweetwater's Nick Bowcott presents the ESP LTD Kirk Hammett Signature KH-202 electric guitar. Metallica axeman Kirk Hammett's signature guitar gives you a comfortable contoured basswood body that fits you like a... Read more »

Wampler Dracarys Distortion Pedal Review by Sweetwater

Sweetwater's Nick Bowcott presents the Wampler Dracarys distortion pedal. Many distortion pedals make your down-tuned riffs sound flabby. And when you crank up the gain, your tone becomes thick and sludgy. That's... Read more »

New CITES Regulation Impacts International Import/Export of Rosewood Instruments

On January 2nd, 2017, a new regulation came into effect that requires official documentation — and in a lot of cases, fees — when shipping rosewood (and certain types of bubinga, too) in or out of the... Read more »

Native Instruments Releases FORM 1.1 Update

Native Instruments has released a major update to their new synthesizer, FORM, part of the KOMPLETE package. The new update focuses on new sounds, but also includes a significant number of fixes and features. New... Read more »

Save Up to $900 on RedNet and Red Interfaces with Trade-in

Looking to upgrade your rig to Focusrite's amazing Rednet or Red 4Pre or Red 8Pre interfaces? Now's the time, because you can get up to $900 for your trade, depending on the interface you select. Qualifying... Read more »

Dunlop KH95 Kirk Hammett Signature Cry Baby Wah Pedal

Sweetwater's Nick Bowcott presents the Dunlop KH95 Kirk Hammett Signature Cry Baby wah pedal. With one stomp, you've got Kirk Hammett's iconic wah tone injected into your rig. This signature wah pedal was developed... Read more »

Bob Taylor and Andy Powers Interview

Mitch Gallagher sits down with Bob Taylor (co-founder) and Andy Powers (Master Luthier) from Taylor Guitars. For Taylor, building guitars is more than just a process, it's a way of life. Construction begins with the... Read more »

Listen to Reduce Mic Leakage Onstage

When you're mixing an artist or band live, mic bleed/leakage can be one of your biggest enemies. During sound check, be sure to do a PFL (pre-fade listen) check of each microphone as the full band is playing. Don't... Read more »

George Martin, Rupert Neve, and the Focusrite Red Range

The Focusrite story begins in 1985 when a producer approached Rupert Neve and asked for custom modules for his studio's Neve recording console. That producer was none other than Sir George Martin, of Beatles' fame... Read more »

Behringer Releases New DeepMind 12 Firmware

Behringer has released new firmware for the DeepMind 12 synthesizer. Firmware version 1.05 includes a whole host of new fixes and features: Added CC#5 Portamento Time and Aftertouch destination options to GLOBAL >... Read more »

It’s only Chuck ‘n’ Roll: 3 Contributions Chuck Berry Gave to Music

To say that rock 'n' roll will have to go on without Chuck Berry is ridiculous. Chuck Berry is rock 'n' roll. His impact, influence, and innovation physically changed the way we approach the genre today. In other... Read more »

Eventide Fission Structural Sound Effects Plug-in Review

Mitch Gallagher presents the Eventide Fission effects plug-in. It employs Structural Effects technology, a patent-pending technique that cleanly splits a sound into tonal and transient components. This results in... Read more »

Antelope Audio Adds Full Session Saving To All Audio Devices

Antelope Audio has added a new feature to all of their audio devices: all control panel options can now be saved and recalled with one mouse click. You can restore Gain levels for every input and output, clock... Read more »

Ampeg Classic Analog Bass Preamp Pedal Demo

Dino Monoxelos from Ampeg presents the Classic Analog Bass Preamp pedal. Use the 3-band tone stack to explore a wide range of bass tones for any genre. Add extra high-end definition or low-end weight with the... Read more »

Ampeg Scrambler Bass Overdrive Pedal Demo

Dino Monoxelos from Ampeg presents the Scrambler Bass Overdrive pedal. The sound ranges from extremely subtle harmonic enhancement to screaming overdrive. Dial in some treble to help your tone cut through, then... Read more »

Tech Tip of the Day

To Emphasize an Instrument in the Mix, Boost Its Presence

Many guitar amps feature a Presence control. Depending on the specific amp, the Presence is generally operates as a high treble control, adjusting the range around 4kHz or so. The control is so named because when you boost the amp at this frequency, the result is that the tone tends to cut through, almost like it's being highlighted. In other words, it is more present.

Live sound mixers can boost this frequency using the mixing board EQ to bring out nearly any instrument or vocal in a mix that needs emphasis. Just a bit of a boost is generally enough — don't go crazy.

Do you want to emphasize the lead singer? Boost her around 4kHz. Does the guitar solo need to cut through? Boost it around 4kHz. Are the drummer's cymbal hits getting lost behind the guitars? You guessed it: boost around the presence range of 4kHz.

Of course, this isn't a magical cure-all. In fact, if you don't use this type of EQ very carefully, you'll end up with too many things boosted at 4kHz, and a harsh strident mix. But if you use this type of EQ very selectively, you'll be able to use it to emphasize an instrument when you need to have it pop out of the mix.

More Tech Tips

Word for the Day

Assistant Engineer

The assistant to the main recording engineer that is running the session. An experienced assistant engineer will be the one to place microphones, stands, cables, music stands, and other items in preparation for the session. He or she may operate tape machines, break down equipment after the session, and perhaps most important, document the session — in other words, the assistant takes care of all the ancillary audio recording tasks, allowing the main engineer to focus on what is being recorded or mixed.

View Glossary