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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

Cool Site: PedalboardPlanner.com

We're not associated with this site, but we use it all the time: PedalboardPlanner.com. It's an interactive site that allows you to choose a Pedaltrain pedalboard, then load on and position images of pedals so you... Read more »

Dialing In Guitar Tone

Q: The humbucking neck pickup on my guitar always sounds too dark and muddy. What can I do to make it sound better? A: There is always the option of swapping out the pickup for a new one that offers the response you... Read more »

Exp Input on Delay?

Q: I'm looking for a delay pedal for my guitar that will let me control the delay time and/or other parameters using a foot pedal. Does anything like that exist? A: Definitely! There are a number of options for... Read more »

Roto Choir Stereo?

Q: The Tech 21 Roto Choir pedal says it has a stereo output, but it only has one 1/4" out. What gives? A: The output jack on the Roto Choir is a TRS jack. Plug in a regular mono guitar cable and you will get mono... Read more »

Line-level Pedals

Q: I want to use my guitar pedals with my studio gear and keyboards, and I also want them to run in my amp's effects loop, which is line level. Most of my pedals can't handle the line level and distort (not in the... Read more »

Bigger Guitar Sounds

Q: I'm trying to get a bigger electric guitar sound, more like what I hear on the classic rock songs I hear. My friends keep telling me to turn up the gain, but I'm not sure that is giving me what I want. A: The... Read more »

Popless Guitar Changes

We've all learned the hard way that unplugging a guitar from a live amplifier can result in a loud pop — annoying and potentially damaging to speakers. To prevent this, you could switch the amp to standby, or... Read more »

Cool Tool: On-Stage Stands RS4000 and RS6000

Want to improve your onstage guitar tone? One easy solution is to tilt your combo amp back so that its speaker actually points at your ears instead of serenading your knee caps! The problem is that you need a secure... Read more »

Big String Tuner

Q: I'm using one of my guitars for a lot of very low tunings (almost like a baritone guitar) and I want to use heavy strings so I can have good tension when I am tuned down. What is the biggest size string that I... Read more »

Roland VG-Strat Without Battery?

Q: I'm wondering, if the battery in my VG-Strat loses power, what happens? Can I keep playing, or do I lose sound completely? I'm concerned about what might happen if a battery dies onstage. A: Here's how the Roland... Read more »

Reamping: Not Just for Amps

Think that you can only use a reamp device, such as the Radial Engineering JCR Reamp for driving an amplifier? Think again! You can use a reamper to drive any instrument-level input, such as those on a guitar or... Read more »

Tube Amp Crackle

Q: My tube guitar amp makes a low-level crackling noise all the time, sort of like bacon frying. It doesn't get louder when the volume is turned up, it is pretty much always at the same volume level — just... Read more »

Single-coil Pickup Noise

Q: We have a live venue where we have a lot of noise problems with single-coil pickup guitars. If the guitarist turns 90 degrees left or right, the noise almost disappears. We have tried running a battery-powered... Read more »

Coil Tapped versus Split?

We run into a lot of confusion over these two terms. Many people use them interchangeably, but there is a subtle difference. Both refer to ways of switching the coils of a double-coil humbucking pickup. Coil Split... Read more »

Semi-hollowbody Pickup and Pot Trick

Changing a pickup or a pot on a semi-hollowbody guitar, such as a Gibson ES-335? It can be challenging to fish the control harness through the guitar's f-holes and to get each pot and switch back into their... Read more »

Check Neck Relief

This time of year, as the humidity drops in many parts of the country (such as here in Indiana) guitar necks shift a bit, and you may find the action on your axe raising up. Usually, the neck has warped forward a... Read more »

Frozen Guitar Bridge Piece

Q: I have a guitar where sweat and age have frozen a height adjustment screw on a bridge piece. Is there any way to free that screw so that I can adjust the action? A: This can be a frustrating problem. What you... Read more »

Bridge/String Contact

Q: My guitar has a Tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece. The high E and B strings on my guitar are hitting the back of the bridge on the way down to the tailpiece. Is this right? A: Most players prefer the string... Read more »

Cool Tool: Ultimate Pedalboard?

Have more pedals than you know what to do with? If you're a stompbox junkie and you need instant access to everything in your collection, then this Cool Tool is just for you: The Pedaltrain Grande! (a.k.a... Read more »

Half Nashville versus Nashville Tuning

Q: I see that Wechter offers both Nashville tuned and half-Nashville-tuned guitars. What is the difference in the two tunings? A: With Nashville tuning, the lowest four strings (E, A, D, and G) are all tuned up an... Read more »

Vocals Getting Lost in the Mix

Q: I'm very happy with the big sound of the drums, bass, guitars, and piano in my mix, but I'm having trouble getting the vocals to punch through clearly. Any quick suggestions? A: This is clearly a deep topic, but... Read more »

Improve Your Guitar Tone

Here are three quick, easy, nearly free things you can do to instantly improve your guitar tone: 1. Get it in tune — and not just tuned up, but accurately intonated. Playing in tune is the cornerstone of great... Read more »

Strap Lock Fit

Q: I'm trying to install Schaller Strap Locks on my guitar strap, but I can't get the washer and nut down far enough to tighten up properly. Any suggestions? A: If the hole in the strap isn't big enough, the strap... Read more »

Gibson Torrified Maple Fingerboard Care

Q: I have one of the Gibsons with the torrified maple fingerboards. Do I need to do anything special to care for it? A: A gentle cleaning when you change strings and a little bit of conditioning now and then should... Read more »