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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.

Guitar Tech Tips

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 »

Can I Run a Distortion Pedal into a Raging Guitar Amp?

Sure. Some of the most famous sounds in rock have been using a BOSS Super Overdrive, Ibanez TubeScreamer, or MXR Distortion+ into a distorted amp. You just need to keep the concept of gain staging in mind. If you've... Read more »

How Do I “Break In” a Speaker?

When you're dealing with any mechanical device that has moving parts, those parts will naturally move more freely when they have been loosened up by use. In speakers, both the surround (the ring of rubber or foam... Read more »

Is It Better to Use an FRFR Speaker or a Guitar Amp with a Modeler?

In the early days of guitar amp modeling, most modelers did not let you separate out the preamp and power amp emulation from the speaker cabinet emulation. This meant that if you played with your modeler through a... Read more »

Gotta Gig? Bring Backups!

Yes, backing up your computer data is vital. But this article is about another kind of backup: redundant gear, so that if something goes wrong, you're not out of commission. Today's gear is undeniably solid and... Read more »

How to Prepare for an Outdoor Gig

You already know that an outdoor gig has no walls or ceiling. The main effect that walls have is that they contain the soundwaves you project. Without walls, you may find that your amps don't project nearly as far... Read more »

The Importance of Your Workspace When Recording

No, this isn't a tip about applying feng shui to your studio. There's a lot out there on the acoustic properties of a good studio, but let's talk a bit about the ergonomic properties that will help you get the most... Read more »

What Software Ships with Positive Grid BIAS Amps?

The Positive Grid BIAS Head, BIAS Head Preamplifier, BIAS Rack, and BIAS Rack Preamplifier all ship with BIAS Amp Pro software for controlling the BIAS Head, managing presets, and crafting your own tones.

Does the Positive Grid BIAS Amp Work with MIDI Controller Pedals?

Yes! All of the BIAS amps (Head and Rack, amp and preamp versions) are fully MIDI compatible. BIAS amps respond to both Preset Change and Continuous Control messages. There is no need to change banks via MIDI... Read more »