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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.

Guitar Tech Tips

Vocalists: Bring Your Own Mic to the Gig

As a vocalist singing with bands (and that includes instrumentalists who sing backups as well as lead singers), it's possible to get by without owning your own vocal microphone. Often the person in the band who owns... Read more »

Are Coil-tapped Humbuckers Still Noise Cancelling?

These days, a lot of guitars equipped with humbuckers offer a switch or push/pull knob that lets you get a single-coil style sound from your pickup, making your guitar more versatile. But does getting that... Read more »

Peace of Mind: Uninterruptable Power Supply

Many people use an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) battery back-up power unit for their computer — basically a UPS is a battery that provides power when the AC from the wall is cut. With a UPS there's... Read more »

Mix Tip: Subtle Movement Using Tremolo

Tremolo is usually used as an intense effect. Whether a classic surf pulsing or a choppy, almost techno effect, when most people reach for tremolo it's to create something in your face. But tremolo can also be used... Read more »

Do I Need to Put my Guitar Amp on a Stand?

Many players prefer to raise their combo amp up off of the floor, and a dedicated amp stand is often more convenient and stable way to do this versus using a chair. There are several reasons to raise a guitar amp... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Breaking In A Speaker and Speaker Breakup?

Don't confuse speaker breakup with "breaking in" a new speaker — they're completely different things! Often when you buy a new speaker that hasn't had audio pushed through it yet, the cone will be stiff... Read more »

Line 6 Releases Helix Firmware v2.20

Line 6 has updated Helix firmware to version 2.20 with new features for both guitarists and bassists. The new update offers guitarists an additional suite of HX amp models, including new amps, cabinets and effects... Read more »

Boss Releases ES-8 Firmware Update and ES-8 Editor for Mac/PC

Exciting news for guitarists and bassists who use the Boss ES-8 Effects Switching System to manage their pedals and control their amps and stage systems! Boss has released Version 2 firmware for the ES-8. The update... Read more »

Should I Record My Acoustic-electric Guitar Direct?

Sure, why not capture the DI signal along with the miked signal? In the studio, we almost always take a direct out from an onboard acoustic guitar pickup even when we have an ideal situation for getting a great... Read more »

How to Add Dynamics to Your Songs

"Dynamics," as we're using the term here, means the difference in volume between the softest part of your song and the loudest. Dynamics give your song peaks and valleys. The quiet moments make the louder moments... Read more »

Sonoma Wire Works Updates GuitarTone, FourTrack, and StudioTrack iOS Apps

Sonoma Wire Works has updated all three of their iOS apps. The new updates include the following features and fixes: GuitarTone 2.10.2 Update Fixed issue where GuitarJack Model 2 appears as "not supported"Fixed hang... Read more »

What Is Speaker Sensitivity?

Nearly every specification chart for a speaker you'll find will list that speaker's sensitivity in decibels. For the most part, sensitivity tells you how much sound pressure level (SPL) a speaker can produce from a... Read more »

3 Reasons to Use An EQ Pedal for Guitar or Bass

There are three primary reasons to use an EQ pedal for electric guitar, electric bass, or acoustic guitar: 1. To correct for problems in your instrument, your amp, or the room. For example, a guitar's tone may be... Read more »

How Many Channels Does A Rehearsal PA System Need?

Q: I'm starting a new band, and we're going to need a PA for rehearsals. But how do I know how big of a PA I need? A: Few things are as exciting as getting a band together, finding a rehearsal space, and beginning... Read more »

Should Guitar Amp Tubes Glow Blue?

Q: The tubes in my guitar amp are glowing blue instead of sort of a yellow glow. Are the tubes bad? A: That blue glow is just a side effect of a power tube — a fluorescent glow in the blue spectrum. The tube is... Read more »

Why Do Some Guitar Amps Have Complex EQ And Others Just a Tone Knob?

First, let's assume the question is about modern guitar amplifiers. With older amps, fewer tonal options were available. But these days, it's mostly a matter of style. Some amps are designed to have a "tone" right... Read more »

How Often Should I Clean My Fretboard?

Getting in a basic maintenance habit of wiping down your guitar or bass with a soft cloth after each playing session is a great way to keep finger gunk and oils from building up over time. If you can't remember to... Read more »

Surgical EQ vs. Tone Shaping EQ

Sometimes a precision, "surgical" EQ cut or boost is exactly what a track or channel needs to accentuate or remove a trouble frequency or to control feedback or resonances. But other times, a wider bandwidth EQ... Read more »

How Do I Know If My Studio Needs Acoustic Treatment?

There are a few simple answers to this question: 1. If it's a room, then it needs acoustic treatment. Not to be flippant, but unless it's already treated, you can assume that pretty much any room being used as a... Read more »

Don’t Skimp On Interface Quality

It's fun to spend most of your budget on "sexy" pieces of gear — guitars, synths, amps, pedals, and so on; basically, the items that you can use directly to make sound and look awesome doing it! But don't... Read more »

PreSonus Releases Notion 6.1

PreSonus has updated Notion, their notation software application, to version 6.1. In addition to dozens of bug fixes, the new update includes: New keyboard workflowsEnter notes and chords with QWERTY keyboard in... Read more »

Two Notes Engineering Updates Firmware for Torpedo Studio

Two Notes Engineering has updated the firmware for the Torpedo Studio to v4. The new firmware includes the following additions: Arcade mode, allowing faster edition of the audio parameters.Low-cut and 5-band graphic... Read more »

What Is An “Aggressive” Guitar Sound?

"Aggressive" is not in itself a word that describes tone or sonics. The term "aggressive" as applied to guitars and basses has been used to describe everything from completely fuzzed out to clean and jangly. Does... Read more »

Can I Use Unbalanced Cables with Balanced Equipment?

You can — with some caveats. The advantage of using balanced cables to connect between balanced outputs and balanced inputs is that balanced connections have better noise rejection, thanks to a second... Read more »