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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

Push/Pull MIDI Drums for Added Feel

It's never been easier to program drum parts. Nearly every DAW will let you draw a part directly on a musical grid or you can use tracks generated by an awesome instrument such as Toontrack EZdrummer 2. Just... Read more »

How Often Should I Replace My Audio Cables?

Cables don't "wear out" in the same way that some components, such as vacuum tubes, do. In most cases, unless it is damaged or suffers wear from being coiled/uncoiled, stepped on, pulled, twisted, bent, or otherwise... Read more »

Avid Releases Sibelius 8.4

Avid has just released Sibelius 8.4. In addition to numerous bug fixes and improvements, this update introduces a new Custom Staff Sizes feature. There are now four staff sizes for you to choose among, defined in... Read more »

How to Use Both Delay and Reverb During Mixdown

Delay and reverb are classic effects that you'll find yourself using in almost every mix, sometimes on different tracks, but often on the same track. There are no hard and fast rules as to how you must use these... Read more »

Breaking News: Native Instruments Releases MASCHINE v2.4.6 Hotfix

Native Instruments has released the following statement: "The MASCHINE 2.4.5 update uploaded to Service Center on Tuesday contains a critical issue that affects certain third-party plug-ins. A new version, 2.4.6... Read more »

Should I Pan from the Perspective of the Drummer or the Audience?

There's no correct answer to this question. Some mix engineers vary their drum panning based on the sonic portrait they're painting with their mix. For example, are you trying to create a virtual garage or stage in... Read more »

Arturia Updates BeatStep Pro Firmware

Arturia has released a firmware update to their BeatStep Pro controller and sequencer. Firmware version 1.4.0 offers numerous fixes and features improved stability when following MIDI, DIN, or analog external... Read more »

What’s a “Line Check”?

A "line check" is the process of making sure that all of the microphones, cables, and direct boxes on stage are working before the show or soundcheck starts. You can do this by having an associate with a cable... Read more »

Live Sound Tip: Don’t Forget the Drum Mat

Not every venue will have a drum mat or rug for the drums to be set up on. It may not seem like a vital piece of a kit compared to the hardware, drums, cymbals, and percussion, but that lowly mat can be the... Read more »

Cool Tool: Hand-held Recorder

In these days of computers, smartphones, and tablets, it's easier than ever to plug microphones into an audio interface or mixer, and send all the sources to your DAW of choice. But don't underestimate the value of... Read more »

Live Sound: Cable Organization

Nothing can ruin your set faster than tripping over cables — not only are cables a safety hazard for the performers, it's all too easy to pull over a piece of gear, break an input or output jack, or otherwise... Read more »

Live Sound: Don’t Forget the Extension Cord

These days, nearly every musician needs power onstage — even vocalists need power for charging their iPads! Most musicians know that they should bring an extra power strip or two to the gig, just in case the... Read more »

Live Sound: Control Tom Rumble with Gates

If you're doing live sound for a loud band or in a larger venue, you'll likely find yourself needing to mic up the drums and send them through the PA. But as the volume goes up, you can start to have problems with... Read more »

Preventing Volume Wars

We admit it, we love to hear a cranked up guitar amp, a thunderous bass, and hammering drums — there's nothing like it! But volume can very easily get out of hand, leading to a volume war onstage. The... Read more »

What is a “Snake” and Do I Need One?

"Snake" is a generalized term for many cables all permanently bundled together in a tube or other binding. A snake is useful when you need to route a bunch of cables from one location to another — rather than... Read more »

Cool Tool: Ansmann Work Light

Shed a little light on the subject! There's nothing worse than trying to set up on a dark stage or fiddling around in the dark inside or behind a rack loaded full of equipment. Sure, many smartphones have a... Read more »

Use Multiple Mics for More Mix Options

While it's easily possible to capture great sounds using a single microphone or a stereo pair of mics, if you read interviews with audio engineers, you know that they'll very often use multiple microphones to record... Read more »

How to Use Slapback Delay as Tone Thickener

Delay is a popular effect, usually used to create an effect with repeating echoes or to add a sense of space to a track or sound. But short slapback delays can also be used to "thicken up" a sound. Try adding a... Read more »

Give Your Sequences “Feel” with Groove Extraction

The days of sequenced MIDI parts sounding robotic are over. (Unless you want your MIDI tracks to sound robotic, of course. There's nothing wrong with that!) There are lots of parameters and features in most... Read more »

Specs Only Tell Part of the Story

It's tempting to shop by comparing specifications. After all, better gear always has better specs, right? Specs can be tremendously informative and useful when making gear decisions. But specs aren't everything... Read more »

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 »

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 »

How to Choose the Best Drum Head for the Job

When playing live or particularly when tracking a song in the studio it pays to optimize the sound of your drums. One factor that's often overlooked is the contribution of the drum head to the drum sound. It pays 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 »