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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

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 »

Drum Shell Trivia, #2

The thickness of a drum shell affects the tone and the projection — a thinner shell will vibrate more and have a "woodier" tone (often preferred for recording), while a thicker shell results in a brighter... Read more »

Drum Shell Trivia, #1

All other things being equal, if the interior of a drum shell is rough, it will be less resonant than a shell with a smooth interior.

How Often Should I Replace Drum Heads?

Q: Even though I'm not a drummer, I have a drum kit that is available for use to my studio customers during sessions. How often should I replace the heads? A: It's impossible to give an exact answer ("after XXX... Read more »

Curing PA Rumble

Q: After we EQ our PA and tune our Feedback Eliminator we notice there is always a low rumble coming through the system. We can bring down the level of the vocal microphones and most of it goes away, or we can lower... Read more »

Double-duty Drum Miking

Lots of engineers like to record both the top and the bottom heads of a drum kit's snare drum, and many also like to mic the kick drum beater. Why not capture both the bottom snare head and the kick beater with one... Read more »

Six Tips for Great Kick Drum Sound

6. As you are trying various things, work at low volume levels. If the kick drum sounds good to you at low volume, it will probably sound even better when the level is wound up a bit.

Six Tips for Great Kick Drum Sound

5. When all else fails, try adding a little EQ. A parametric (or console EQ with sweepable mids) works well for this application, but a graphic can work fine. Boost the gain on the EQ, listen to the kick, and slowly... Read more »

Six Tips for Great Kick Drum Sound

4. Take a look at your musical arrangement. Are there other instruments in the kick drum's frequency range that are masking it, diminishing its punch? Getting a kick drum and a bass guitar or bass synth to "sit"... Read more »

Six Tips for Great Kick Drum Sound

3. Try using a different beater. One made of a harder material may give you more slap. We've even heard of drummers and engineers taping hard materials to the kick drum head where the beater strikes it to emphasize... Read more »

Six Tips for Great Kick Drum Sound

#2. Try miking from the beater side of the drum in addition to your normal kick drum mic placement (assuming you are currently miking from in front of or inside the drum). This should give you more attack. A few... Read more »

Six Tips for Great Kick Drum Sound

#1. First, and probably most obvious is to experiment with mic placement. Try to get as close to the sound you want with the mic before you add any EQ. Take a look at where the drum beater is contacting the head... Read more »

Placing Overheads

Following hot on the heels of yesterday's TTOTD, which was based on the Ross Hogarth session recently held in Sweetwater's studios (see video on our Facebook page), here's a handy method for making sure that pairs... Read more »

Unusual Mic Placements

Super-engineer Ross Hogarth was just here doing an excellent recording session with legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff, vocalist/guitarist Lukas Rossi (from CBS's Rockstar SuperNova), and bassist German Briseno. (You... Read more »

Universal Audio LA-2A versus LA-3A

Q: What's the difference between a Universal Audio LA-2A and LA-3A? A: If we were comedians (or smart alecks), we would say, "one." But since we're neither of those things, we'll say this: in some ways, the two... Read more »

Building a Song from MIDI Drum Loops

Here's a tip drawn from our friends at Steven Slate Drums: Often, a sampled drum instrument will come with a variety of MIDI grooves, fills, and loops that can be used as a "song construction kit." Generally, the... Read more »