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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

Line 6 DT25/DT50 v2.0 Firmware

Line 6 has relesed version 2.0 firmware for their DT25 and DT50 amplifiers. The new firmware adds 26 additional HD preamps, taking the total to 30. In addition, any preamp can be combined with dynamic topologies... Read more »

Mini Humbuckers Versus Full Humbuckers

Q: What do the Gibson Les Paul Studio '70s Tribute mini humbuckers sound like compared to the 490R/498T pickups found on the Les Paul Studio '50s Tribute? I've never played mini humbuckers before. A: Mini humbuckers... Read more »

Cool Tool: StageTrix Pedal Riser

If you've got a loaded pedalboard, one of the problems can be that the pedals in the second row are hard to access without messing up the settings of the pedals on the front row. That problem is history with the... Read more »

COOL TOOL: Farley JP Deluxe Guitar Tool

There's nothing worse than showing up for rehearsal or gig and finding out that something on your guitar or bass needs to be adjusted, or you break a string and want to clip the end off or need to pull a bridge pin... Read more »

Fretboard Conditioner

We're often asked what we recommend for cleaning and conditioning an unfinished guitar or bass fretboard (such as a rosewood fingerboard). Both Planet Waves and PRS make great products for this purpose: PRS... Read more »

Charvel Wild Card #7 and Locking Nut

Q: I purchased the Charvel Wild Card #7 from Sweetwater in August. At the top of the fretboard, it has three locking frames covering all six strings [a locking nut], which is intended to control and eliminate tuning... Read more »

TC Electronic Flashback X4 Analog Dry Through?

Q: The information on the upcoming TC Electronic Flashback X4 pedal says that it has "analog dry through." What does this mean? A: With many digital effects pedals, the incoming analog signal from the guitar or... Read more »

Tele Twang Tones

Q: I'm studying to be a mixing engineer, and I was wondering if I could ask for your advice. I have a country mix where the lead guitar has a few solos and the client asked if I could create a "Brad Paisley" sound... Read more »

Better Tuning Through Lubrication

Want your guitar or bass to stay in tune? There are numerous places where a guitar string can get hung up and therefore slip out of tune when you start playing. The solution is Big Bends Nut Sauce, a specially... Read more »

Tube Amps Need to Warm Up

We were reminded again today, while shooting a video, that tube amplifiers need to up. We're not just talking about turning the amp on and waiting until the vacuum tubes are hot enough to pass sound. We're talking... Read more »

Avid Eleven Rack and Guitar Amps

Many guitar players want to use their Avid Eleven Rack as a versatile "front end" along with a regular guitar amp. Here are two essential tips from Sweetwater Sales Engineer Geoff Allen on how to get the most from... Read more »

Adjusting Guitar Amplifier Tone Controls

In honor of Guitar Month here at Sweetwater: Many players, when setting up the tone controls on a guitar amplifier, dial in the settings using the bridge pickup. Unfortunately, many times this results in the bridge... Read more »

Fender Super-Sonic Twin Notch Tune

Q: What does the Notch Tune control do on the Fender Super-Sonic Twin combo amp? A: This control, also found on the Fender Super-Sonic 100 Head, controls the frequency of a movable or sweepable midrange notch filter... Read more »

Snark Metronome

The little clip-on Snark SN-1 tuner is one of our favorites — they work great and they're so small and inexpensive you can buy one for every guitar or bass you own and put one in every room where a guitar or... Read more »

Philosopher’s Twin and Voltage

Q: My Pigtronix Philosopher's Twin came with an 18-volt power supply. But I want to put it on my pedalboard where everything is powered by a 1-spot power supply that provides 9-volt power. Will it work okay? A: Yes... Read more »

Line 6 Variax Expression Control

Did you know that with the latest Variax software (v1.8 at this writing), you can use the volume and tone controls on the guitar as "expression pedals," controlling up to 50 parameters simultaneously from each knob... Read more »

Guitar and Bass

If you're a guitar player looking to be able to cover bass parts (or bass range parts) while still playing your regular 6-string guitar, consider the Boss Super Octave pedal. The Super Octave has a unique "Range"... Read more »

Cool Tools: Mighty Bright Lights

Shed a little light on the subject! Whether you're lighting up sheet music on a stand, illuminating the back of a rack, or lighting a pedalboard — or in search of any other illumination solution, Mighty Bright... Read more »

Amp Won’t Power On, Pt. 2

Continuing our series on troubleshooting tube instrument amplifiers, what to do when your amp won't power up at all? The second consideration when troubleshooting this problem: If the fuse keeps blowing, the output... Read more »

Amp Won’t Power On

Continuing our series on troubleshooting tube instrument amplifiers, what to do when your amp won't power up at all? The first thing to do is to check the fuse. Replace the fuse if its blown and try again. If a... Read more »

Tube Amp Troubleshooting

Our Tech Tip from a couple of days ago dealt with troubleshooting a tube amplifier that developed noise issues. As we said in that Tip, the first thing to try is to turn all gain, channel volume, reverb level and... Read more »

Amp Noise Troubleshooting

If your tube amp starts developing noise issues, the first things to suspect are the tubes. When troubleshooting, here's the first thing to try: Turn all gain, channel volume, reverb level and master volume controls... Read more »

Mountain Lion Compatibility: Native Instruments

Native Instruments has found in testing that some USB devices are experiencing issues with Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion). At this time, they are working with Apple to resolve the issue. According to NI, these... Read more »

DD7, Tap Tempo, plus Expression?

Q: A while back, you ran a Tech Tip on using an expression pedal with a delay stompbox to control parameters. My favorite delay, the Boss DD7, can accept an expression pedal. But, I want to do tap tempo as well as... Read more »