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January Clearance 2017

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

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 »

Avid releases Sibelius 8.0.1

Avid has updated Sibelius to version 8.0.1 with over 100 enhancements, including: Fully localised editions of What's New, Tutorials, and Reference guidesThe mouse cursor now changes to a Pen icon when entering... Read more »

Updating to OS X 10.11 El Capitan

Today (September 30, 2015) Apple is releasing the latest update to the Mac operating system, OS X 10.11 "El Capitan." It offers many compelling new features for general use, such as improved performance, split... Read more »

What is the YouTube -13 LUFS Loudness Reference Level?

LUFS (Loudness Units before Full Scale) is a synonym for Loudness, K-weighted, relative to Full Scale (LKFS), which is a loudness standard that aims to normalize loudness levels across broadcast mediums. In other... Read more »

What is the Difference between a Wire and a Cable?

A "wire" is a single conductor (typically copper, but silver, aluminum, gold, and other materials are also used) that may be solid or stranded. Two or more insulated wires grouped together in a sleeve or jacket... Read more »

Drum Recording Tip: Let It Bleed

In the early days of pop and rock recording, when tape recorders had a limited number of tracks and too much bouncing of tape tracks would result in degraded audio, drums were recorded with just a few mics; maybe... Read more »

What is the Difference between Echo and Delay?

Many engineers and musicians use the two terms interchangeably. But if you want to get tweaky about it, echo effects are a subset of delay effects, but delay effects can be much more than just echo. A basic... Read more »

What is “Circuit Bending?”

Literally, bending a circuit in some way to change what it does. This refers to the adventurous and tech-savvy arming themselves with electrical engineering knowledge, the proper tools and parts, and opening up... Read more »

PreSonus Updates Studio One 3 to v3.0.2

PreSonus has been busy; not only have they released a new free version of Studio One 3 called Studio One 3 Prime, but they have updated Studio One 3 to version 3.0.2. The free update introduces new functionality and... Read more »

Should I Use Graphic or Parametric EQ?

A graphic EQ is designed to cut or boost level on equally spaced frequencies, such as 1/3-octave or octave spacing, with a preset bandwidth value. Parametric EQ, on the other hand, gives you fewer EQ bands, but with... Read more »