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Microphone Month 4

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

Avoiding hi-hat plosives

Hi-hats can be difficult instrument to recorded well. Part of the problem stems from the fact that there are two different kinds of sounds you're trying to capture: the attack on closed hi-hats, and the "swish" of... Read more »

Quickie Guide to Mixing, Part 13

Previously, we discussed the elements of boosting EQ in the upper and lower treble range. As we move down the frequency spectrum, we encounter the midrange, which we divide into three sections: lower, mid, and upper... Read more »

The quickie guide to mixing, Part 12

In the previous tip, we discussed adding "air" or extreme high-frequency content to vocals and possibly other instruments. Let's move down the frequency spectrum a bit to the high treble (or top) and lower treble... Read more »

Isolating the snare mic

There are a million ways to mic a snare drum. A common method is with a dynamic mic slid ever-so-carefully between the hi-hat and snare. But have you ever soloed the snare track and heard more hi-hat than snare? Due... Read more »

The quickie guide to mixing, Part 8

Now that you've established levels and balances, it's time to add plug-ins. In the past, we've advised creating a sequence template to speed the recording process. For mixing, a template may not be necessary since... Read more »

The quickie guide to mixing, Part 7

Let's say you have your basic rhythm section and vocals in balance, but you have heavy guitars and synth pads that are covering up the vocals in certain places. The problem is, that you like the level of the guitars... Read more »

The quickie guide to mixing, Part 6

In Part 5 of this series, we discussed subgroups and how they make overall level adjustments easier. Let's talk about those adjustments and when not to make them. We tend to group drums and backing vocals more than... Read more »

The quickie guide to mixing, Part 5

Back in the prehistoric times of the Large Formatus Consoleasaurus, creating subgroups was a smart move, since it meant less faders to move. For example, one fader could control the level of an entire submixed drum... Read more »

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 »