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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.

Drums Tech Tips

Sonoma Wire Works Releases DrumCore 4.2

Sonoma Wire Works has updated DrumCore to version 4.2. The new release adds UI zooming: right-click anywhere to set the zoom factor between 50-100%. DrumCore 4 fits better on laptops and smaller screens. In... 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 »

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 »

How to Choose a Kick Drum for Metal: Bigger Isn’t Necessarily Better

It's no secret that heavy metal features big drums smashing away with pounding bass and grinding guitars. It's tempting to think that means you need a huge kick drum in your kit. And some metal drummers do prefer... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Make Sure Snare Mic Is In Phase With Overhead Tracks

Sometimes, you just can't seem to get your snare recordings to sound punchy. You do all the right processing in your DAW — compress the snare, EQ it to be snappy, but it still sounds lackluster. What you may... 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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

How to Create a “Mic Room” for Kick Drum Mics

Getting a clean kick drum sound is the Holy Grail of drum recording. Therefore, it's important to minimize bleed from other drums as much as possible. One trick is to isolate the kick drum mic with a "fort" made of... Read more »

Creative Recording: Mic Your Headphones!

Sometimes, getting that narrow-band, old-transistor-radio type tone is just what a song needs. Many EQ and filter plug-ins offer some kind of "telephone" setting, but if you want to have some fun getting that effect... Read more »

Sonoma Wire Works Updates DrumCore to v4.0.11

Sonoma Wire Works has released a bugfix update to their drum instrument, DrumCore 4. The new version, 4.0.11, fixes an incorrect sample rate issue in Sonar X3, a WAV file naming and default folder issue when... Read more »

Options for Tuning the Bottom Head Of Your Toms

If you tune the bottom head of your toms to the same pitch as the top head, you'll get a purer tone with more sustain. This is great for jazz, and songs or productions in which you want the toms to ring and linger... Read more »