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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

Cool Tool: Pearl Throne Thumper

Electronic drum kits are awesome for so many reasons — controllable volume, direct feed to a PA or DAW without microphones, sonic flexibility, and pure convenience, among a long list. But one thing an... Read more »

Vocals Getting Lost in the Mix

Q: I'm very happy with the big sound of the drums, bass, guitars, and piano in my mix, but I'm having trouble getting the vocals to punch through clearly. Any quick suggestions? A: This is clearly a deep topic, but... Read more »

Wavedrum Replacement Head

A poster on our Facebook page asked about what replacement heads to use for the Korg Wavedrum. The answer is that any standard 10-inch drumhead can be used. When installing the new head, be sure to tighten the lugs... Read more »

Always Carry a Backup

Last week, Sweetwater hosted the regional finals for the Roland V-Drum Contest. There were amazing drummers here, tearing things up on a TD-20 electronic drum kit! One player, however, had problems with his memory... Read more »

Louder Sound Without Compression

Want to make a mix seem louder without resorting to heavy compression or limiting? One trick is to try adding some boost around 2kHz. This is the frequency range where our ears are most sensitive, so pushing the... Read more »

Drum Damper

How many times have you been in the studio recording drums and ended up with toms that are too resonant or that have too much ring? The solution is often to either place duct tape on the batter head or to tape an... Read more »

Learn to Tune Drums

Our friends at PreSonus have put together a video on tuning drums featuring legendary drummer Jonathan "Sugarfoot" Moffett. In addition to discussing his philosophy of drum tuning for kick, snare, and toms, Moffett... Read more »

Musician’s Essential Toolkits, Vol. 1 – Drums

Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong — and probably at the most inconvenient time and place. However, a corollary states that whatever you're prepared for won't go wrong. We don't... Read more »

Parallel Compression and Phase Issues

Q: I'm trying to do parallel compression on my drum track in Pro Tools, but the sound seems like it's screwed up, almost like it is out of phase. Why is this happening? A: It probably IS out of phase. The first... Read more »

Brighter Snare

Need to make a snare drum, either from a track you've recorded or from a virtual instrument or drum machine sound brighter, more lively, with more attack? You could try boosting the high-frequency EQ. But that isn't... Read more »

Avid Boom Outs

Q: I enjoyed the Avid Boom tips in last week's inSync (here, here, and here). Is there a way to get individual outs from the channel strips? A: Sorry, Boom doesn't have individual outs for each sound. One workaround... Read more »

Avid Boom Trick #2

Here's another "hidden" feature in Avid's Boom virtual drum machine: You can change the sound that is assigned to a channel strip by clicking the drop-down "Sample Selector" menu. But you can only access one type of... Read more »

Avid Boom Trick #1

Here's a hidden feature that will let you expand the sounds you get from Avid's Boom virtual drum machine. Underneath the "M" and "S" buttons on the instrument channel strips, there's what looks like a philips-head... Read more »

Making the Most Out of Mishaps

At a recent recording session, the upright bass player was also using an amplifier to make his instrument louder. We had a condenser mic on the bass itself and a dynamic mic on the amp. Unfortunately, the bass... Read more »

Sculpting a Mix with EQ

For excellent clarity in your mixes, where instruments and tracks aren't fighting one another, use EQ and filtering to specifically define the frequency range each track is living in. By carefully stacking the... Read more »

Mic Cable Labels

Want to speed up set up time and sound check the next time you play a gig? (Or run a session in your studio, for that matter...) Dedicate a mic cable to each microphone and label it on both ends. Lead vocal? Give... Read more »

Cool Tool: Tama TW100 Tension Watch

Find yourself struggling to tune up drum sets on stage or in your studio? Then you need Tama's TW100 Tension Watch! This handy gadget greatly simplifies and accelerates the process of tuning drums using a specially... Read more »

Purchasing a Double Bass Pedal, #4

Tips on how to choose a double bass drum pedal, from Sweetwater's own Derek Senestraro. There are lots of great double bass drum pedals on the market today. Just as with a single pedal, there are some things to look... Read more »

Purchasing a Double Bass pedal, #3

Tips on how to choose a double bass drum pedal, from Sweetwater's own Derek Senestraro. There are lots of great double bass drum pedals on the market today. Just as with a single pedal, there are some things to look... Read more »

Purchasing a Double Bass Pedal, #2

Tips on how to choose a double bass drum pedal, from Sweetwater's own Derek Senestraro. There are lots of great double bass drum pedals on the market today. Just as with a single pedal, there are some things to look... Read more »

Controlling Click Bleed, #2

If a song has a fade on the ending, or if instruments/chords/cymbals ring on at the end of a song, be sure to mute the click before the song ends, so that you don't get bleed into the audio as it fades to silence.

Purchasing a Double Bass Pedal, #1

Tips on how to choose a double bass drum pedal, from Sweetwater's own Derek Senestraro. There are lots of great double bass drum pedals on the market today. Just as with a single pedal, there are some things to look... Read more »

Floor Interference from Floor Toms

Here's a tip from super-producer/-engineer Keith Olsen, taken from the clinic he did here at Sweetwater last night: to improve the sound of floor toms when recording, set the drum at a slight angle, rather than with... Read more »

Why Are Bass and Vocals Panned to the Center in Most Recordings?

Q: "I'm pretty new to recording and mixing. I've been listening to other recordings more critically since I got my system and one consistent thing I've noticed is that the bass, bass drum, and lead vocal are always... Read more »