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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.

Bass Tech Tips

What Is An Amp-Like Pedal?

Most good overdrive and distortion pedals are responsive to picking dynamics and guitar volume shifts. So how come certain distortion or overdrive pedals are billed as more "amp-like" than others? There are two... Read more »

How to Dial In a New Overdrive Pedal

There's nothing quite like the sound of an overdrive or boost pedal that you've dialed in perfectly to get the tone you hear in your head. Getting there, however, can require a lot of trial and error, and knowing... Read more »

Zoom Updates MS Series Pedals

Zoom has updated the firmware for their MS series of guitar and bass stompboxes. For the MS-70CDR MultiStomp, Firmware Version 2.0 offers 51 all-new effects, including classic effects such as Tremolo, Slicer... Read more »

Eventide H9 Update Adds PitchFuzz

Eventide has updated the H9 Harmonizer Effects Processor with a new effect, PitchFuzz. PitchFuzz combines fuzz, three pitch shifters and two delays for an amazing range of tonal shapes. PitchFuzz is something new;... Read more »

How Many Takes Should I Record?

As many as you need, and no more. In all seriousness, modern DAWs let you record as many takes of the same part as you want, but there definitely is a point of diminishing returns. First, unless you are purely... Read more »

Rein in the Reverb

Reverb is an integral part of near every finished recording. It creates space in the mix, and ambience and body for individual instruments. For some types of sound design, a huge, cavernous reverb is an integral... Read more »

What are “Matched” Power Tubes?

In general, there's a lot of variation in current draw from one tube to another, even when the tubes are the same type. This has an impact how they'll respond in your tube amp — and could cause diminished... Read more »

Powered Mixer, Powered Speaker, or Power Amp?

Q: I see powered mixers, powered speakers, and power amps for PAs. I'm a bit confused which do I need? Does everything need to be powered? A: What we're referring to here is an amplifier for driving PA speakers... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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 »

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 »

What Is Speaker Sensitivity?

Nearly every specification chart for a speaker you'll find will list that speaker's sensitivity in decibels. For the most part, sensitivity tells you how much sound pressure level (SPL) a speaker can produce from a... Read more »

3 Reasons to Use An EQ Pedal for Guitar or Bass

There are three primary reasons to use an EQ pedal for electric guitar, electric bass, or acoustic guitar: 1. To correct for problems in your instrument, your amp, or the room. For example, a guitar's tone may be... Read more »

How Many Channels Does A Rehearsal PA System Need?

Q: I'm starting a new band, and we're going to need a PA for rehearsals. But how do I know how big of a PA I need? A: Few things are as exciting as getting a band together, finding a rehearsal space, and beginning... Read more »

Should Guitar Amp Tubes Glow Blue?

Q: The tubes in my guitar amp are glowing blue instead of sort of a yellow glow. Are the tubes bad? A: That blue glow is just a side effect of a power tube — a fluorescent glow in the blue spectrum. The tube is... Read more »

Blend Clean and Distorted Bass for Better Tone

Distorted bass sounds awesome — greasy, gritty, garage-y, and punchy. But if you're not careful, distorted bass can get lost in the mix. This is because using distortion can increase compression (reducing the... Read more »

How Often Should I Clean My Fretboard?

Getting in a basic maintenance habit of wiping down your guitar or bass with a soft cloth after each playing session is a great way to keep finger gunk and oils from building up over time. If you can't remember to... Read more »

Surgical EQ vs. Tone Shaping EQ

Sometimes a precision, "surgical" EQ cut or boost is exactly what a track or channel needs to accentuate or remove a trouble frequency or to control feedback or resonances. But other times, a wider bandwidth EQ... Read more »

Cut the Mud

In most popular music, electric bass generates much of the punch and bottom end, working in conjunction with the kick drum. Because of this, it stands to reason that you want to have as much low end in your bass... Read more »