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Tech Tips

inSync Tech Tips cover over 4,800 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.

Latest Tech Tips

Mix Tip: Spread High Frequencies in the Stereo Field

Higher frequencies generally contribute the openness, clarity, and "air" in a mix. However, you don't want your mix to sound too trebly by mixing your high frequencies too loud. This is where judicious use of stereo width can come to the rescue. Since placing signals in different places in the... Read more »

Mix Tip: For Dynamic Mixes, Mix The Loudest Part First

Some songs are really easy to mix. The instruments don't overlap each other's frequency spectrums, or maybe the arrangement is so consistent when you get one part of the song down, the rest of the song falls into place. Sometimes the opposite is true; the song can have a lot of instruments... Read more »

Waves Updates Plug-ins to v9.91

Waves has updated their plug-ins to version 9.91. In addition to fixing bugs, the new update includes the following enhancements: All plugins now have control mapping for Avid S3 and S6 control surfaces.H-EQ: New H-EQ Lite components require less CPU and are well suited for live sound or when... Read more »

Vocalists: Bring Your Own Mic to the Gig

As a vocalist singing with bands (and that includes instrumentalists who sing backups as well as lead singers), it's possible to get by without owning your own vocal microphone. Often the person in the band who owns the PA also owns the microphones. If a club, church, or other venue has a house... Read more »

Are Coil-tapped Humbuckers Still Noise Cancelling?

These days, a lot of guitars equipped with humbuckers offer a switch or push/pull knob that lets you get a single-coil style sound from your pickup, making your guitar more versatile. But does getting that single-coil sound also come with single-coil hum and noise? Maybe — it depends how... Read more »

Peace of Mind: Uninterruptable Power Supply

Many people use an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) battery back-up power unit for their computer — basically a UPS is a battery that provides power when the AC from the wall is cut. With a UPS there's enough time to save your work and gently turn everything off if you lose power. Many... Read more »

Apogee Updates Symphony Control Software for Symphony I/O Mk II

Apogee has updated their Symphony Control software for their flagship Symphony I/O Mk II series of audio interfaces. The release offers significant new features for users, including standalone AD/DA functionality, multi-unit support, compatibility with Apogee Control hardware remote, and an all... Read more »

Mix Tip: Subtle Movement Using Tremolo

Tremolo is usually used as an intense effect. Whether a classic surf pulsing or a choppy, almost techno effect, when most people reach for tremolo it's to create something in your face. But tremolo can also be used for subtle modulation that can add beautiful motion and energy to a track. Try... Read more »

What’s The Difference between a Sealed and a Ported Bass Cabinet?

Let's get the basics out of the way first: a ported cabinet has a port, or opening, that is either in the front or the rear of the cabinet. A sealed cabinet has no ports, and is pretty much air tight. So that's the physical difference; what is the sonic difference?   Sealed bass cabinets, much... Read more »

Rob Papen Predator 2 Now Supports Native Instruments NKS Format

Rob Papen Soundware has updated its Predator 2 softsynth with support for Native Instruments' Native Kontrol Standard (NKS) extended plug-in format for KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE 2 hardware. Now using Native Instruments' innovative hardware browser brings up Predator 2... Read more »

Do I Need to Put my Guitar Amp on a Stand?

Many players prefer to raise their combo amp up off of the floor, and a dedicated amp stand is often more convenient and stable way to do this versus using a chair. There are several reasons to raise a guitar amp off the floor: 1. When placed on the floor, the amp will "couple" with the... Read more »

How to Reduce Feedback On Stage

We've all been there: the band starts playing, and what begins as a mild, soft high ringing sound suddenly becomes a harsh and overpowering squeal that overwhelms the sound of everything else and makes everyone cover their ears. While a guitarist playing musical feedback can be a beautiful... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Breaking In A Speaker and Speaker Breakup?

Don't confuse speaker breakup with "breaking in" a new speaker — they're completely different things! Often when you buy a new speaker that hasn't had audio pushed through it yet, the cone will be stiff, meaning that it won't vibrate quite as freely as a "broken in" speaker. Many... Read more »

Synchro Arts Update Revoice Pro

Synchro Arts has updated their professional vocal production software, Revoice Pro to version 3.3. Revoice Pro 3.3 includes the following enhancements and improvements: Improvements to level and pitch editing — sibilants are automatically identified and instantly adjustable.New processing... Read more »

Roland V-1SDI Live Video Switcher Software and Firmware Update

Roland has announced both software and firmware updates for their V-1SDI Live Video Switcher. The V-1SDI Version 1.5 firmware update supports capturing a still image from the V-1SDI RCS software for Windows or Mac, plus support for 1/3-size PinP window in addition to the 1/2 and 1/4 sizes... Read more »

Line 6 Releases Helix Firmware v2.20

Line 6 has updated Helix firmware to version 2.20 with new features for both guitarists and bassists. The new update offers guitarists an additional suite of HX amp models, including new amps, cabinets and effects. Included in the update are six amp models, seven cabinet models, and nine effect... Read more »

Arturia Releases First MatrixBrute Firmware Update

Arturia has released Firmware Update 1.1 for the MatrixBrute, chock full of new features: Real-Time Recording — Set the length of your sequence, press the Record and Play buttons in sequencer mode and let yourself freely ride on immediate inspiration. Matrix Arpeggiator — The Matrix... Read more »

Bitwig Announces Bitwig Studio 2.1 Beta

Bitwig has announced that the beta of Bitwig Studio 2.1 has begun. The new version brings a number of fixes and improvements, as well as new features and devices: A new Amp device is addedMIDI Clock Slave functionality lets you sync up Bitwig Studio 2.1 to external software and hardware... Read more »

Cakewalk Releases SONAR 2017.03 Update

Cakewalk has released it's latest update to SONAR Artist, SONAR Professional, and SONAR Platinum. SONAR 2017.03 offers a thorough redesign of the Piano Roll View (PRV) Track Pane and the Controller Pane.You can now click any MIDI track to bring that data into focus, while Auto Lock prevents you... Read more »

How to Hear Your Vocals Onstage

Are you having a tough time hearing yourself when you're singing onstage? You're not alone. As a vocalist, you can't simply turn up your instrument at the source — you can only sing so loud; straining may blow out or injure your voice. And endlessly turning up the vocals in the monitors... Read more »