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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.

Drums Tech Tips

The quickie guide to mixing, Part 4

In Part 3 of this series, we set levels for optimum signal-to-noise before clipping. So what do we start with first and how do we keep levels from creeping back up to overload as we add more instruments? There are... Read more »

Ten ways to prepare your band for top TV performance #4

Another in our series of tips on how to best get your band ready to make a television appearance. Come prepared with a Drum Submix! As we mentioned in the previous tip, if your band has a drummer with an acoustic... Read more »

Fun with Gates

Gates can be handy tools for dealing with bleed in situations where there are several mics in close proximity to each other, such as drum recordings. But gates can be used as creative tools as well. For example, if... Read more »

Unmasking Masked Sounds

Masking occurs when two tracks dwell in similar frequency ranges, and the common frequencies either fight or cancel each other, so that the sounds obscure one another. Two common culprits are bass guitar and kick... Read more »

How to Cut a Hole in a Kick Drum Resonant Head

We don't want to start an argument about whether kick drums record better with or without a resonant head. Likewise, we'll avoid the "hole or no hole" debate. But if you decide to cut a hole in your resonant head... Read more »

Toggling Drums and Bass on the BOSS DR-3

Q: "Can the bass part be turned off on the Boss DR-3?" A: Yes, you can listen to the drums, bass, or both. Here's how to choose: 1. Press Edit. Cursor right to System, then press Enter. 2. Turn the Value dial to... Read more »

Fast Session Setup

There are a number of things you can do to speed up the setup time between tracks. If the band you're recording is planning to do a few songs, you may find it works best to do the drums for all the songs first... Read more »

Isolating Miked Drums In A Small Room

Making good acoustic recordings at home can be difficult - you usually have limited space, and there's not much isolation for recording multiple sources at the same time. One solution for capturing drum tracks with... Read more »

Tracking a Full Band Using an 8-input System

Most home recordists don't have access to the huge 32-channel (or more) boards found in commercial recording facilities. We thought it would be interesting to delve into the basics of recording a full band using the... Read more »

Beat Replacement with Pro Tools & Reason

The pros have been using sampled beats and SoundReplacer to smooth over less-than-perfect drum performances for a while now. However, there is a way for the rest of us to rescue an unsteady kick track. 1. In Pro... Read more »

What can I use to soundproof the ceiling of my room?

Isolating one surface of a room will rarely yield the necessary results. This is especially true if you are playing/recording live acoustic drums. In a basement studio, for example, the sound is not only going... Read more »

Waveform display shows no graphic in NI Battery 2

Q: After starting Native Instruments Battery 2, I don't see the waveform graphic display anymore. A: This can happen with corrupt .nov files. These files store the audio file's analysis data. Search your hard disk... Read more »

Enhancing bass guitar and kick drum sounds in Pro Tools

Use this method to achieve more definition from bass guitars. The same tip can also be used on kick drums. First, make a duplicate of the bass track. Then process the duplicate track in Pro Tools with the... Read more »

Creative Layering with BFD

BFD 1.5 offers a number of ways to create your own unique kit sounds. Here's a layering technique that works well with both the stock BFD sounds and the 8 Bit Kit. Kick Layering Click the picture of the drum kit to... Read more »

Use Reason Adapted to create drum loops for Pro Tools sessions

Take advantage of the advanced sequencing features built into Pro Tools software: Here's how to set up a Pro Tools session to use sounds from the Reason Adapted Redrum module, without using Reason's built-in... Read more »

Playing Live with a Click Track, Part Three

One of the most difficult situations you will encounter when playing to a click track is maintaining slow tempos with a cohesive feel. Let the click help you by subdividing the tempo. This is a practice many... Read more »

Stem Mixing in Logic

One of the limitations of Logic's automation system is that there is no way to increase or reduce all automation data at once. Consider a typical mixing scenario: you've adjusted all your backing tracks until you're... Read more »

Roland V-Drums “Cross Stick” Sound vs. Technique

Acoustic drummers who try Roland's mesh-head V-Drums kits for the first time are usually impressed by the natural feel and response. They find they don't have to make much of an adjustment to effectively play on the... Read more »

Extending the life of your ribbon mic in close-miking applications.

Ribbon mics are back in a big way thanks to new technologies that allow them to stand up to some pretty fierce SPLs for close miking, but keep in mind; a ribbon is still a 2.5-micron strip of aluminum. We're talking... Read more »

Patch Chaining on Roland V-Drums

One function in the Roland V-Drums TD-8, TD-10, and TD-20 modules that can make live gigs much easier to navigate is the Chain feature. This allows you to arrange drum kits (both presets and user kits) in the order... Read more »

Teach Your K2600/2661 Some Groovy Tricks

Looking for some new Kurzweil sounds to spark your creative drive? You need the "Best of V.A.S.T." collection, available free from Kurzweil. It's a series that includes 99 Setups, 240 Programs, and 115 Songs that... Read more »

The Top Five Questions about Electronic Drum Mesh Heads

Drummers and non-drummers alike use electronic kits, but most customers have some basic questions when they're considering their purchase. Here are the most-asked questions about the mesh heads found on Roland... Read more »

Using the UAD-1 in Pro Tools HD and Automatic Delay Compensation

First introduced in version 6.4 of Pro Tools, Automatic Delay Compensation (ADC) makes life easier for people using plug-ins that cause some latency, like some look-ahead gates and limiters, up-sampling EQs, as well... Read more »

Avoid “Snap-to-Gridlock”!

When working on any music project (remix or original), at some point you're going to want to move your clips around. In almost every project, you need to do things like line up an a cappella vocal track, line up... Read more »