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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

Should I Adjust My Guitar’s Neck Myself?

Adjusting the relief on a guitar or bass neck is generally quite simple and safe to do. It's something we think every guitar or bass player should at least be familiar with doing, in case of an "emergency" when a... Read more »

Does the Power Amp of the Positive Grid BIAS Head Amp Need To Be Disabled During Silent Recording?

The power amp section of the Positive Grid BIAS Head Amp is always on. However, that's not a problem for silent recording. Unlike tube amps, which always need a speaker load attached, the BIAS Head Amp has a... Read more »

Signal Path for sE Electronics X1A Recording in Video?

Q: I really like the acoustic guitar sound in your video demonstrating the sE Electronics X1A microphone. What was the signal chain: preamp, interface, etc.? A: inSync editor Mitch Gallagher recording Don Carr... Read more »

What Does the Presence Knob on a Guitar Amplifier Do?

It's obvious from the labels what most controls on guitar amps do: the Treble knob adjusts treble (high)frequencies, the Bass knob adjusts bass (low) frequencies, and so on. Many guitar amps also have a knob labeled... Read more »

Is “Play” in an Electric Guitar Vibrato Good or Bad?

When talking about electric guitar tremolo and vibrato systems, "play" refers to how loose the bar is. A tremolo bar with little play will remain in any position in which it is placed. It will feel tighter in your... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Speaker and Guitar Cables?

There's a reason you shouldn't use guitar cables to connect an amplifier to a speaker cabinet, or speaker cables to connect a guitar to an amp. Speaker and guitar cables are not the same. Guitar cables are meant to... Read more »

What Is Headroom in a Guitar Amp?

You may have seen this amp or that guitar amp described as having a lot of "clean headroom" or heard that high-wattage guitar amps have more "headroom" than lower wattage amps. Headroom is a simple concept, but... Read more »

What Can’t You Fix in the Mix?

We've all heard the saying "We'll fix it in the mix" — the idea being that if a performance is a winner, but with a few fixable flaws, it's best to keep that performance and address the few weak spots later in the... Read more »

Line 6 Helix 2.0 Firmware Includes New Amps and Effects

The Helix 2.0 firmware from Line 6 for the Helix and Helix Rack, in addition to bug fixes, stability improvements, and optimizations, includes new amp and effects models. The new models in Helix 2.0 firmware... Read more »

Reverb: Before the Amp or in the Loop?

The classic guitar rig setup is to put your reverb in the effects loop of your amplifier. But does this have to be the case? Not necessarily. In fact, for certain tones and some kinds of music, you might just want... Read more »

Backward Guitar Recording the Easy Way

The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix both experimented with recording guitars (or other instruments) to a reel of analog tape that had been reversed on the tape recorder. Once the part or parts are recorded, the reel was... Read more »

Got the Backline Blues?

Some performers don't mind playing gigs in which all the acts are expected to share the same backline. Others get twitchy if they can't use their own beloved, trusted gear, and are forced to rely on supplied... Read more »

Creative Recording: Mic Your Headphones!

Sometimes, getting that narrow-band, old-transistor-radio type tone is just what a song needs. Many EQ and filter plug-ins offer some kind of "telephone" setting, but if you want to have some fun getting that effect... Read more »

Line 6 Releases AMPLIFi Remote 2.6

Line 6 has updated their AMPFLIFi Remote app, which allows mobile device integration with their AMPLIFi series of amplifiers — including the AMPLIFI 30, AMPLIFI 75, and AMPLIFI 150, as well as AMPLIFI FX100... Read more »

How to Quiet a Noisy Guitar

If you're playing guitar around gear with transformers or other gear that emits an electro-magnetic field (EMF), it can interfere with electric guitar pickups. That interference usually takes the form of the dread... Read more »

How to Get Better Results with a Speaker Emulator

Sometimes when recording, you just can't let your amp blast through a cabinet; you have to record "silently." The mic- and speaker-emulated outputs on some amps can be invaluable in this situation, allowing you to... Read more »

What is True Stereo versus Pseudo-stereo?

In terms of effects and processors, there are a number of terms that can apply to the "stereo-ness" of the signal. Consider these definitions: True Stereo — The stereo signal consists of two related channels... Read more »

Q: Should I Upgrade the Pots and Wiring in My Guitar?

In most cases, the stock electronics in an electric guitar or bass function just fine. When should you consider upgrading? 1. If there's a problem — scratchy pots, loss of high frequencies when turning down... Read more »

If I’m Recording My Guitar or Bass Direct, Do I Need an Amplifier?

We hate to give the dreaded "it depends" answer, but in this case it really does depend on what you're doing, what gear you're using, and the results you desire. Recording guitar or bass directly into your computer... Read more »

To Rack or Not to Rack

The '80s may have been the heyday of the "rack of doom"-style guitar rig, with huge, refrigerator-sized equipment racks filled with all sorts of processors. This resulted in something of a backlash against monster... Read more »

Isolated versus Non-Isolated Pedal Power Supplies

Non-isolated power supplies for guitar pedals are basically one power source that a number of different pedals can draw from, often in "daisy-chain" fashion. In most cases, this works fine. However, more pedals... Read more »

What is the Gear for Sweetwater’s Angus Young Video?

Q: I was wondering what guitar rig Mitch Gallagher is using in a video he did on Angus Young's guitar tone? I love the tone in that video! A: Mitch tells us: I'm glad you like that guitar tone! In the video, I'm... Read more »

How to Connect an Extension Cabinet to a JVM410C

Q: I'm going to buy the Marshall 1960BV and I need to know how to hook it up to my Marshall JVM410C combo so I can also use the internal combo speaker. A: The JVM410C has five speaker outputs, you can use either one... Read more »

When Should I Change My Guitar or Bass Strings?

Some players change their strings on a regular schedule whether they need to or not, just to be sure their strings never go bad. Other people don't really think about their strings, and keep them on their instrument... Read more »