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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

RMS vs. Peak Power When Comparing Speakers

When you're researching the wattage of musical instrument/pro audio speaker drivers, you will often find two values for the power handling rating: RMS (root mean square), and "peak." It's important to know what each... Read more »

How Hi-Z is High Enough?

Electric guitars with passive pickups will always sound better through a "hi-Z," or high-impedance input. This is because you want to plug your guitar into an amplifier, direct box, preamp, or audio interface that... Read more »

What are the Differences Between Plate and Spring Reverbs?

Plate and spring reverbs are in some ways very similar devices but they are quite different in sound. A plate reverb is a thin sheet of metal, suspended via springs (or sometimes clamps) under tension inside a rigid... Read more »

Why Are Bass Amps So High Wattage Compared to Guitar Amps?

A quick browse of available guitar amps reveals that while most guitar amps fall in the 15-watt to 100-watt range, most bass amps tend to be 100 to 500 watts or even higher. Bass amps generally need more power than... Read more »

What are the Differences Between Buffered and True Bypass Pedals?

"Buffered" and "true bypass" refer to how the pedal behaves when it is disengaged or bypassed. In a true bypass (sometimes called "hard bypass") pedal, when the pedal is off, your signal is routed directly from the... Read more »

What Are the Differences Between Single-coil and Dual-coil Pickups?

The most obvious difference is that a single-coil pickup has one coil of wire wrapped around a magnet or magnets, while a dual-coil has two coils of wire wrapped around magnets. Dual-coil pickups are generally... Read more »

Sonuus Updates Voluum Firmware, Adds Tuner

Sonuus has updated the firmware for their Voluum pedal to version 1.3.0. New with this version is a tuner, making this the first volume pedal with a built-in tuner. Sonuus says the tuner is fast, lets you tune to... Read more »

Stay In The Flow When Recording

When you're recording — especially if you're recording alone — it can be tempting to stop as soon as you've made a mistake, undo the record pass or delete the offending performance, and start again. That... Read more »

Avid releases Sibelius 8.0.1

Avid has updated Sibelius to version 8.0.1 with over 100 enhancements, including: Fully localised editions of What's New, Tutorials, and Reference guidesThe mouse cursor now changes to a Pen icon when entering... Read more »

Updating to OS X 10.11 El Capitan

Today (September 30, 2015) Apple is releasing the latest update to the Mac operating system, OS X 10.11 "El Capitan." It offers many compelling new features for general use, such as improved performance, split... Read more »

What is the YouTube -13 LUFS Loudness Reference Level?

LUFS (Loudness Units before Full Scale) is a synonym for Loudness, K-weighted, relative to Full Scale (LKFS), which is a loudness standard that aims to normalize loudness levels across broadcast mediums. In other... Read more »

Does Fret Material Influence Guitar or Bass Tone?

The short answer is everything on the entire system — woods, electronics, and hardware — has some effect on a guitar or bass's tone. When you fret a note, that fret takes over from the nut as the... Read more »

Looking for Inspiration? Create Your Own Presets!

So you just bought a new synthesizer, programmable effects processor, or plug-in, and you love the presets. You're thrilled with how it sounds. You explore every preset, tweaking them to your taste and it's... Read more »

Effects Tip: Use an Octave Effect to Thicken your Sound

This effects tip is good for any instrument, and it works both for recording and live performance. If you want to thicken up the tone of an instrument, consider using an octave effect. Mix it in subtly, to the point... Read more »

Q: What is Efficiency in a Speaker?

The "efficiency" of a speaker refers to the sound level in decibels (dB) measured from a distance of one meter. Decibels, in this case, are a measure of perceived volume, not power, so the more efficient the... Read more »

What is the Difference between a Wire and a Cable?

A "wire" is a single conductor (typically copper, but silver, aluminum, gold, and other materials are also used) that may be solid or stranded. Two or more insulated wires grouped together in a sleeve or jacket... Read more »

Eventide Updates Stompboxes

Eventide is releasing software updates for all of their stompboxes. This update adds another routing option — the ability to use one channel for effects ("wet") and the other as an unaltered passthrough... Read more »

Where should I put my Noise Gate in my Guitar Signal Chain?

The short answer is "after the point where there's noise." But it's often more complicated, because noise can occur at many points in a signal chain. That's why some noise gates, such as the BOSS NS-2 Noise... Read more »

What is the Difference between Echo and Delay?

Many engineers and musicians use the two terms interchangeably. But if you want to get tweaky about it, echo effects are a subset of delay effects, but delay effects can be much more than just echo. A basic... Read more »

What is “Circuit Bending?”

Literally, bending a circuit in some way to change what it does. This refers to the adventurous and tech-savvy arming themselves with electrical engineering knowledge, the proper tools and parts, and opening up... Read more »

PreSonus Updates Studio One 3 to v3.0.2

PreSonus has been busy; not only have they released a new free version of Studio One 3 called Studio One 3 Prime, but they have updated Studio One 3 to version 3.0.2. The free update introduces new functionality and... Read more »

How to Capture Both Bass DI and Amped Tracks

There are entire books written about mic techniques for recording electric guitar; for bass guitar, however, it's tempting (and often recommended) to just record direct. After all, that is the "purest" bass sound... Read more »

Is There a Wah Pedal That Can Also Be an Expression Pedal?

Q: I've seen volume pedals that can also be expression pedals, but what I would like is a wah pedal that will also do expression. Is there such a thing? A: The Hotone Soul Press Micro Volume/Expression/Wah Pedal... Read more »

BeatBuddy Manager Updated for Mac and PC

Singular Sound, makers of BeatBuddy the first complete drum machine in a stompbox format, have updated their BeatBuddy Manager software. This is the most comprehensive update yet, featuring: Now both PC and Mac... Read more »