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Tech Tips

inSync Tech Tips cover over 4,700 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

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 »

Should I Play My Bass with My Fingers or with a Pick?

We recommend having at least some familiarity with playing both ways. Many bassists who use picks also use their fingers, and vice versa, Depending on what the song calls for. Both techniques can be perfect... Read more »

How Do I Know If My Studio Needs Acoustic Treatment?

There are a few simple answers to this question: 1. If it's a room, then it needs acoustic treatment. Not to be flippant, but unless it's already treated, you can assume that pretty much any room being used as a... Read more »

Don’t Skimp On Interface Quality

It's fun to spend most of your budget on "sexy" pieces of gear — guitars, synths, amps, pedals, and so on; basically, the items that you can use directly to make sound and look awesome doing it! But don't... Read more »

PreSonus Releases Notion 6.1

PreSonus has updated Notion, their notation software application, to version 6.1. In addition to dozens of bug fixes, the new update includes: New keyboard workflowsEnter notes and chords with QWERTY keyboard in... Read more »

What Is An “Aggressive” Guitar Sound?

"Aggressive" is not in itself a word that describes tone or sonics. The term "aggressive" as applied to guitars and basses has been used to describe everything from completely fuzzed out to clean and jangly. Does... Read more »

Can I Use Unbalanced Cables with Balanced Equipment?

You can — with some caveats. The advantage of using balanced cables to connect between balanced outputs and balanced inputs is that balanced connections have better noise rejection, thanks to a second... Read more »

How Do I “Break In” a Speaker?

When you're dealing with any mechanical device that has moving parts, those parts will naturally move more freely when they have been loosened up by use. In speakers, both the surround (the ring of rubber or foam... Read more »

Gotta Gig? Bring Backups!

Yes, backing up your computer data is vital. But this article is about another kind of backup: redundant gear, so that if something goes wrong, you're not out of commission. Today's gear is undeniably solid and... Read more »

Why Do Live Sound Engineers Use DI for Bass?

When playing larger venues, sound engineers usually mic the guitar cabinets, but ask for a DI signal for the bass, even if there's a bass cabinet on stage. Why not mic the bass cab too? There are several reasons... Read more »

How to Prepare for an Outdoor Gig

You already know that an outdoor gig has no walls or ceiling. The main effect that walls have is that they contain the soundwaves you project. Without walls, you may find that your amps don't project nearly as far... Read more »

The Importance of Your Workspace When Recording

No, this isn't a tip about applying feng shui to your studio. There's a lot out there on the acoustic properties of a good studio, but let's talk a bit about the ergonomic properties that will help you get the most... Read more »

Thicken Bass With Modulation Effects

In the '80s, nearly every guitar player drenched their sound in copious amounts of chorus and/or octave effects. It created many of the most distinctive songs and tones of the (think "In A Big Country" by Big... Read more »

Should I Adjust My Guitar’s Neck Myself?

Adjusting the relief on a guitar or bass neck is generally quite simple and safe to do. It's something we think every guitar or bass player should at least be familiar with doing, in case of an "emergency" when a... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Speaker and Guitar Cables?

There's a reason you shouldn't use guitar cables to connect an amplifier to a speaker cabinet, or speaker cables to connect a guitar to an amp. Speaker and guitar cables are not the same. Guitar cables are meant to... Read more »

What Can’t You Fix in the Mix?

We've all heard the saying "We'll fix it in the mix" — the idea being that if a performance is a winner, but with a few fixable flaws, it's best to keep that performance and address the few weak spots later in the... Read more »