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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

Orange VT1000 Valve Tester Acclimation

Certain users have reported that they get different readings from the same vacuum tube after the VT1000 Valve Tester has been moved. According to Orange, this is to be expected; the tube analysis system in the... Read more »

Should I Use a Direct Box or the Instrument Input on my Preamp/Audio Interface?

Q: My microphone preamp has an instrument-level input. Is it okay to use that, or do I have to use a direct box? A: If you are able to position yourself close to the preamp (regular instrument cable distance), there... Read more »

Can I bypass the Kemper PowerHead Power Amp and Record Direct?

Q: I'm thinking about getting a Kemper Profiler PowerHead; can I bypass the onboard power amp/speaker outputs and still record direct from it? A: Yes, the PowerHead can be used for direct recording or to feed... Read more »

How Do I Set the MIDI Channel on the iRig BlueBoard

Q: The iK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard sends on all MIDI channels out of the box. How do I change it to one specific MIDI channel? A: In the BlueBoard app, below the yellow-ish bank display in the center of the screen... Read more »

How Do I Change Preset Banks Using the iRig BlueBoard?

Q: The iK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard says that I can access up to 128 presets but there are only four switches. How do I access the higher preset numbers? A: The BlueBoard app has a setting under Menu: "Allow Bank... Read more »

iRig BlueBoard Compatibility

The iK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard uses a newer version of Bluetooth called "Bluetooth LE" (low energy) found in newer computers and iOS devices. According to iK: iOS: iRig BlueBoard is compatible with iPhone 5s... Read more »

iRig Blueboard Not Connecting to Amplitube on iPad?

Q: I've got an iK Multimedia iRig BlueBoard set up with my iPad, and it seems to be working fine — presets change in the BlueBoard app, etc. — but it's not changing presets in Amplitube. I don't see a... Read more »

Minifooger Expression Pedal Input and CV

Looking to take charge of the new Moog Music Minifooger pedals? All five of the Minifooger pedals include an expression pedal input for real-time control, but of course, Moog always offers something extra! You can... Read more »

What is the Battery Life of the Fishman TriplePlay?

Q: How long will the batteries last in a Fishman TriplePlay wireless MIDI pickup? A: The TriplePlay is rated for over 20 hours of battery life.

What is the Range of the Fishman TriplePlay?

Q: How far away from the computer can use my guitar with the Fishman TriplePlay wireless MIDI pickup? A: The Fishman TriplePlay wireless MIDI guitar system is rated for up to a 100-foot range, depending on the... Read more »

Why 18 Volts?

Q: I've seen some new guitar pedals, such as the Pigtronix Quantum Time Modulator, that require 18-volt power supplies (as opposed to the 9-volt supplies used by most pedals). Why do they use higher voltage than... Read more »

What is Lead-free Solder?

Q: I do some soldering work on my guitars — replacing pickups, pots, switches, etc. — and usually use regular old solder. But I see there is now lead-free solder. What is the difference? A: Most solder... Read more »

Should I Use a Speaker Cabinet If I am Using the Red Box?

Q: I like the idea of using the Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 to feed the output from my amplifier onstage straight into the PA with speaker emulation, so I don't need a mic on the amp. I still want to use a cabinet... Read more »

Help Diagnosing an Ailing Tube Amp

Are there strange sounds coming from your guitar or bass tube amp? Buzzes, crackling, ringing, odd noises? Are fuses blowing? Most of these problems, and more, can be traced to bad vacuum tubes. Our award-winning... Read more »

Can I use the Squier USB Stratocaster Headphone Output without USB?

Q: Can I use the headphone output on the Squier USB Stratocaster without plugging the guitar into USB? A: No, the headphone output on the Squier USB Strat is only active when the guitar is connected to a Mac or PC... Read more »

5881 Versus 6L6 tubes?

Q: I saw the Tech Tip on July 30 on swapping 5881 tubes with 6L6 tubes. What is the sonic difference between these two types of vacuum tube? A: We have to speak in generalities here, because tube types vary widely... Read more »

Wah Before or After Fuzz?

Q: Should I place my wah pedal before or after my fuzz box in my guitar signal chain? A: The answer depends on the result you're after. Placing the fuzz in front of the wah results in a more intense wah effect... Read more »

Can I swap 5881 or KT66 Power Tubes in Place of 6L6 Power Tubes?

Q: I have a guitar amp that uses 6L6 power tubes, and I would like to try KT-66 and 5881 power tubes to hear what difference it makes in tone and volume. Can I do this? A: We do not recommend that you try this sort... Read more »

Doyle Dykes Guitar Tone for Video

Q: Doyle Dykes is getting such a great amplified sound in his Guitars & Gear interview with Mitch Gallagher. The video reveals that he uses an LR Baggs LB6 and a Stage Pro element preamp with his Doyle Dykes... Read more »

Disconnect Power from the Orange VT1000 Valve Tester before Removing Tubes?

Q: I love the Orange VT1000 Valve Tester, and have been using it to check all the tubes in my amps and my box of used tubes. The manual says I should insert a vacuum tube, then connect the power cable. But it... Read more »

Fishman TriplePlay v1.1 Released

Fishman has released version 1.1 software for the TriplePlay wireless guitar controller. The new version includes more than 50 improvements and new features, including 64-bit compatibility for both Mac and Windows... Read more »

Does Marshall Hammer Screws into Their Cabinets?

Q: I watched the video you posted on how Marshall makes the custom-shop amps for Sweetwater. At one point in the video, the workers are shown hammering screws into the cabinet to attach hardware. Why do they do it... Read more »

Line 6 Releases Mobile POD 1.5.0

Line 6 has released version 1.5.0 of their Mobile POD app for iOS. The new version, which comes free of charge with the Sonic Port iOS guitar interface and is a free update for existing users, includes support for... Read more »

Kemper Releases Firmware v2.0 for Profiling Amp

Kemper has released version 2.0 firmware for the Profiling Amps. Version 2 is a major update, adding a collection of new polyphonic pitch shifting effects, including a real-time formant shifter optimized for guitar... Read more »