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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

How Often Should I Replace My Audio Cables?

Cables don't "wear out" in the same way that some components, such as vacuum tubes, do. In most cases, unless it is damaged or suffers wear from being coiled/uncoiled, stepped on, pulled, twisted, bent, or otherwise... Read more »

Avid Releases Sibelius 8.4

Avid has just released Sibelius 8.4. In addition to numerous bug fixes and improvements, this update introduces a new Custom Staff Sizes feature. There are now four staff sizes for you to choose among, defined in... Read more »

How to Use Both Delay and Reverb During Mixdown

Delay and reverb are classic effects that you'll find yourself using in almost every mix, sometimes on different tracks, but often on the same track. There are no hard and fast rules as to how you must use these... Read more »

BOSS Updates DD-500 Firmware

BOSS has released a new firmware update for their DD-500 delay, bringing it to version 1.10. The new firmware includes the following additions: Additional Functions A TEMPO HOLD function was added. This lets you... Read more »

Overloud Updates TH3 to v3.2.0

Overloud has released an update to TH3, their amp-simulation software. Version 3.2.0, in addition to bug fixes, includes the following features, based on user requests: A new Chain Overview panel, to make navigation... Read more »

How Can I Tell When Unison is Active on My Apollo?

The Unison technology in Universal Audio's Apollo audio interfaces physically reconfigures the input circuit of the Apollo's preamp and provides the exact impedance, tone, and feel of legendary preamps from Neve... Read more »

Native Instruments Releases Guitar Rig 5.2.2

Native Instruments' GUITAR RIG has been updated to version 5.2.2. This update fixes a number of small bugs and crashes. The main feature of this new update is to introduces "usage data tracking." According to Native... Read more »

How to Record Acoustic Guitars with the Royer R-121

The Royer R-121 ribbon mic has a reputation as one of the most natural-sounding ribbon mics available, known for capturing "the sound in the room" of most acoustic sources with minimal coloration. That said, due to... Read more »

Morgan Pedals and Power Supplies

Morgan Amplification's new line of fuzzes and overdrive — the Fuzz, MKII Professional, NKT275 Fuzz, and Overdrive — are awesome sounding, super-responsive and dynamic pedals that recreate the tones of... Read more »

Double Parts using Different Tones for Extra Thickness

A classic technique for thickening parts is to "double track" them, meaning to record the same part again on another track. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the subsequent doubled recording should sound... Read more »

Does My Guitar Pick Affect the Tone of my Bass or Guitar?

To a certain degree, yes. The material, thickness, and hardness of a pick will have an effect on how percussive the "pluck" of a string will be, which will affect your tone. However, other than that, the specific... Read more »

Should I Use a Mic or DI My Acoustic-electric Guitar?

Q: I'm recording my acoustic guitar, which has a great-sounding pickup system in it. Do I still need to mic it, or can I get by with just running the guitar direct? A: Unless there is some compelling reason not to... Read more »

What is the Difference Between an Active and a Passive DI Box?

The most obvious difference is that passive DI boxes don't need to be powered. Active DI boxes require a power source, usually batteries or phantom power over an XLR jack. But the differences go deeper than that... Read more »

Combining On- and Off-axis Mics on a Guitar Amp

Recording a guitar cabinet with two microphones is a tried-and-true technique. Placement of those microphones is an art. But it's not just the position of the mics in front of the speaker, the distance of the mics... Read more »

When I Turn On My Tube Amp, Does It Need to be in Standby?

There are several schools of thought on this. One goes like this: Tubes operate on two different types of electrical current, a low-voltage AC current that heats up their filaments, and high-voltage DC current that... Read more »

What’s a “Line Check”?

A "line check" is the process of making sure that all of the microphones, cables, and direct boxes on stage are working before the show or soundcheck starts. You can do this by having an associate with a cable... Read more »

Cool Tool: Hand-held Recorder

In these days of computers, smartphones, and tablets, it's easier than ever to plug microphones into an audio interface or mixer, and send all the sources to your DAW of choice. But don't underestimate the value of... Read more »

Live Sound: Cable Organization

Nothing can ruin your set faster than tripping over cables — not only are cables a safety hazard for the performers, it's all too easy to pull over a piece of gear, break an input or output jack, or otherwise... Read more »

Live Sound: Don’t Forget the Extension Cord

These days, nearly every musician needs power onstage — even vocalists need power for charging their iPads! Most musicians know that they should bring an extra power strip or two to the gig, just in case the... Read more »

Preventing Volume Wars

We admit it, we love to hear a cranked up guitar amp, a thunderous bass, and hammering drums — there's nothing like it! But volume can very easily get out of hand, leading to a volume war onstage. The... Read more »

How to “Jump” the Channels on a Vox AC15

Modern Vox AC30 amplifiers have two channels — Normal and Top Boost — and two separate inputs (high- and low gain) for each channel. A fairly common trick to get even more mojo out of a Vox AC30 is to... Read more »

What is a “Snake” and Do I Need One?

"Snake" is a generalized term for many cables all permanently bundled together in a tube or other binding. A snake is useful when you need to route a bunch of cables from one location to another — rather than... Read more »

Tone Tip: Tighter Bottom End at High Volume

For a variety of reasons — some psychoacoustic/perception, some physical — low end can come across very different at different volume levels. For example, when you're playing your guitar by yourself... Read more »

Same Guitar Amp, Different Rooms

When you're recording multiple guitar tracks, most producers recommend capturing different guitar sounds in different takes, in order to give your riffs and songs more texture and depth. But what if you don't have a... Read more »