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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.

DJ Tech Tips

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 »

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... 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 »

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... Read more »

Native Instruments Releases MASCHINE Hot Fix for Pro Tools Users

Native Instruments has issued the following statement: "We've recently noticed that some Pro Tools users aren't able to load the MASCHINE software as a plug-in. Today we're releasing MASCHINE 2.6.2, a free update... 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 »

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 »

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 »

Native Instruments Releases MASCHINE Software Update

Native Instruments has updated MASCHINE software to version 2.6. The new update brings features previously only available for MASCHINE JAM, and vice versa. MASCHINE 2.6 offers JAM's Variation Engine, which features... Read more »

Sonoma Wire Works Updates DrumCore to v4.1.0

Sonoma Wire Works has released DrumCore v4.1.0. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the update features seven dedicated stereo auxiliary outputs for busing sub-mix channels within a session. The full drum mix is... 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 »

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 »

What Can I Use For Vocal Effects Live?

Q: I'm the vocalist in a band, and we're doing shows where we're playing the songs off of our album. We want to have the same sound, effects, and processing on my voice as we used in the studio. How can we do it? A:... Read more »

Propellerhead Releases Reason 9.2 Update

Propellerhead has just updated Reason to version 9.2. In addition to bug fixes, the main focus of this release is that it introduces Software Development Kit (SDK) 2.5 to developers, which features: User sample... 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 »

How to Add Depth to Delay with Reverb

Here's a method for adding depth to and mellowing out the character of a delay effect: Insert a reverb plug-in after a delay plug-in on a channel strip or aux channel in your DAW. Keep the reverb decay short, and... 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 »

Native Instruments Updates MASCHINE and TRAKTOR

Native Instruments have released MASCHINE 2.5.5 and TRAKTOR 2.11 with Ableton Link support. Connecting two or more systems via Ableton Link gives users the ability to synchronize all systems to a common timeline and... Read more »

Native Instruments Updates Reaktor with Ableton Link Support

Native Instruments has released Reaktor 6.1, which includes Ableton Link support. This offers hassle-free timing sync across multiple devices and apps, including MASCHINE, TRAKTOR, iOS apps, and Ableton Live. The... 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 »

Bitwig Studio Update Features MASCHINE JAM Integration

Bitwig has updated Bitwig Studio to version 1.3.15. The flagship new feature of this update is support for the Native Instruments MASCHINE JAM hardware controller. The update also includes numerous enhancements to... Read more »