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February Giveaway

Innovative New Effects with Eventide Fission

Eventide has released a new plug-in, Fission, that brings new capabilities to the world of audio processing based on innovative Structural Effects technology. Structural Effects is a patent-pending technology that... Read more »

Free QMix-UC App for PreSonus StudioLive and Studio 192

PreSonus has released a new version of the QMix-UC app, which allows for remote control over StudioLive Series III and StudioLive AI mixers asw well as Studio 192-series audio interfaces. The free app allows up to... Read more »

How to Control Delay with a Noise Gate

Adding delay and echo effects in a mix is a time-tested and great-sounding way to add depth and texture to a song. But if you're not careful, delays can make a mix sound messy and cluttered. Here's a cool mix trick... Read more »

LR Baggs Synapse Personal PA System at Winter NAMM 2017

Mitch Gallagher stops by the LR Baggs booth at NAMM to check out the Synapse personal PA system. With 500-watt Class D amplification and a compression woofer and tweeter with matched sound propagation for seamless... Read more »

Everywhere with Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash. This article could end right there. Few names in music pack a bigger wallop than the Man in Black himself – and today is his birthday. With Spring Break coming, it might be interesting to get a few... Read more »

Native Instruments Releases MASCHINE 2.6.1 Hotfix

Native Instruments has released the following statement: "Today we are releasing a hotfix for the MASCHINE 2.6 software update. We noticed an issue that prevents new users from accessing the library properly. While... Read more »

Nick Bowcott Interviewed by Sweetwater

Mitch Gallagher interviews the one and only Nick Bowcott, the newest member of Sweetwater's Marketing Team. Known for his aggressive guitar antics with British metal band Grim Reaper, and more recently as Director... Read more »

Avid Releases Pro Tools 12.7.1

Avid has updated Pro Tools and Pro Tools HD to version 12.7.1. The new version includes a new HD Driver and includes a host of fixes and enhancements: Editing Deleting automation on a frozen track no longer deletes... Read more »

TC Helicon Releases Perform-VK App

TC Helicon has released the Perform-VK app, which allows for easy control over the mic-stand mount Perform-VK vocal processor. The app contains more than 1,000 presets; provides new styles, including Doubling... Read more »

Steinberg Teases Upcoming Nuendo 8 Release

Steinberg is previewing the upcoming release of Nuendo 8 at the GDC (Game Developers Conference) in San Francisco. The new version is said to offer game composers enhanced connection to the Audiokinetic Wwise audio... Read more »

How to Add Dynamics to Your Songs

"Dynamics," as we're using the term here, means the difference in volume between the softest part of your song and the loudest. Dynamics give your song peaks and valleys. The quiet moments make the louder moments... Read more »

Pittsburg Modular Lifeforms Foundation Evo Synthesizer Demo

Perry Willig from Pittsburgh Modular presents the Lifeforms Foundation Evo modular analog synthesizer. With 15 Eurorack modules pre-loaded in a sturdy case, the Pittsburgh Modular Lifeforms Foundation Evo is a... Read more »

PRS J-MOD 100 John Mayer Signature Amp Demo

Don Carr travels to PRS Headquarters to meet with Paul Reed Smith and Doug Sewell, to put the J-MOD 100 John Mayer Signature tube head to the test. Designed with John Mayer to be his go-to guitar amplifier for... Read more »

Focusrite Releases RedNet Control 2

Focusrite has released a major update to their RedNet Control software, RedNet Control 2, which provides remote control over the company's range of RedNet hardware. The new RedNet Control 2 was developed largely in... Read more »

Native Instruments Releases Kontakt 5 Update

Native Instruments has released an update to Kontakt 5. The new version 5.6.6, in addition to bug fixes, offers a return to full key coloring on the virtual keyboard, making switch placements and sound and sample... Read more »

Keeley Dark Side Workstation Analog Multi-effects Pedal Demo

Aaron Pierce from Keeley Electronics presents the Dark Side Workstation analog multi-effects pedal. Combining biting fuzz, multi-head tape-style delay, and vibrant modulation effects, the Keeley Dark Side... Read more »

Softube Updates Console 1 Software with UAD Plug-in Support

Softube has released a Console 1 software update with support for selected UAD Powered Plug-ins from Universal Audio. This update allows users of Console 1 to add to their collection of Console 1 EQ, Compressor... Read more »

Fender American Professional HSS Shawbucker Stratocaster Review

Don Carr presents the Fender American Professional HSS Shawbucker Stratocaster. It's been crafted to give you the best design elements from classic vintage Strats and the most popular modern features in one... Read more »

Steven Slate Interviewed by Sweetwater

Mitch Gallagher is joined by Steven Slate, CEO of Slate Digital. He talks with Mitch about his early days creating drum sample collections, his work as a recording engineer, and what drives him to continue creating... Read more »

Come as You Are

Today is February 20, and Kurt Cobain would be celebrating his 50th birthday. Let that sink in for a second — Kurt Cobain. Fifty. Unfortunately, the events surrounding Kurt's tragic death tend to overshadow the man... Read more »

8 Best Mic Preamps for Recording Vocals

Ask a dozen engineers about their favorite console or mic preamp for vocals, and you'll get a dozen different answers. Everybody hears things differently and we all have different preferences, so the topic of "best"... Read more »

Sonoma Wire Works Updates GuitarTone, FourTrack, and StudioTrack iOS Apps

Sonoma Wire Works has updated all three of their iOS apps. The new updates include the following features and fixes: GuitarTone 2.10.2 Update Fixed issue where GuitarJack Model 2 appears as "not supported"Fixed hang... Read more »

PRS Sonzera Amplifier Demo

Don Carr visits PRS headquarters to try out their line of Sonzera amplifiers. Don is joined by Paul Reed Smith and Doug Sewell to learn more about what make these amps tick. The Sonzera series amps offer two... Read more »

Yoshi Ikegami, President of BOSS, Interviewed by Sweetwater

Join us for a very special interview as Mitch Gallagher is joined by Yoshi Ikegami, President of BOSS, as well as Jeff Slingluff, Product Manager for BOSS. Yoshi Ikegami is taking a four-month tour of the USA to... Read more »

Tech Tip of the Day

02/28/2017
How to Control Delay with a Noise Gate

Adding delay and echo effects in a mix is a time-tested and great-sounding way to add depth and texture to a song. But if you're not careful, delays can make a mix sound messy and cluttered. Here's a cool mix trick that will ensure that the delay is triggered only when there's space in the mix: use a noise gate with a sidechain input to control when the delay is audible.

1. In your DAW, create an aux track with a delay on it.
2. Put a noise gate with a sidechain after the delay.
3. Set the gate so that it clamps down on the output whenever it receives signal from the sidechain.
4. Create a send to the aux channel input on the track (or tracks) you wish to send through the delay.
5. Set whatever track(s) you want to "mute" the delay to the gate sidechain.

So for example, let's say you want the lead guitar to be delayed, but you want the delay to stop as soon as the vocal comes in. Create a send on your lead guitar channel to the delay aux. Set your vocal track as the sidechain control for the noise gate. This way, your guitar echo will be muted whenever the vocal comes in, but will ring out when there is space for it.

Experiment with different signals controlling the sidechain "muting" the delay; a mix of tracks could also be used to control the sidechain using a bus.

More Tech Tips

Word for the Day

02/28/2017
Brass Instrument

Brass, or brass instruments are wind instruments that produce sound through vibrating air in a tubular resonator in sympathy with the vibration of the player's lips. Different mechanisms, such as slides, valves, or keys are used to change effective length of tubing, while the player's lip tension and air flow serve to select the specific harmonic produced from the available series. These days,modern brass instruments come in one of two families:

Valved brass instruments use a set of valves (usually three or four but there can be as many as seven or more) operated by the player's fingers that introduce additional tubing, or crooks, into the instrument, changing its overall length. The valves are usually piston valves, but can be rotary valves.

Slide brass instruments use a slide to change the length of tubing. The main instruments in this category are the trombone family, though valve trombones are sometimes seen in jazz.

View Glossary