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Microphone Month

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.

Live Sound Tech Tips

Rein in the Reverb

Reverb is an integral part of near every finished recording. It creates space in the mix, and ambience and body for individual instruments. For some types of sound design, a huge, cavernous reverb is an integral... Read more »

Powered Mixer, Powered Speaker, or Power Amp?

Q: I see powered mixers, powered speakers, and power amps for PAs. I'm a bit confused which do I need? Does everything need to be powered? A: What we're referring to here is an amplifier for driving PA speakers... Read more »

Waves Updates Plug-ins to v9.91

Waves has updated their plug-ins to version 9.91. In addition to fixing bugs, the new update includes the following enhancements: All plugins now have control mapping for Avid S3 and S6 control surfaces.H-EQ: New... Read more »

Vocalists: Bring Your Own Mic to the Gig

As a vocalist singing with bands (and that includes instrumentalists who sing backups as well as lead singers), it's possible to get by without owning your own vocal microphone. Often the person in the band who owns... Read more »

Peace of Mind: Uninterruptable Power Supply

Many people use an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) battery back-up power unit for their computer — basically a UPS is a battery that provides power when the AC from the wall is cut. With a UPS there's... Read more »

Do I Need to Put my Guitar Amp on a Stand?

Many players prefer to raise their combo amp up off of the floor, and a dedicated amp stand is often more convenient and stable way to do this versus using a chair. There are several reasons to raise a guitar amp... Read more »

How to Reduce Feedback On Stage

We've all been there: the band starts playing, and what begins as a mild, soft high ringing sound suddenly becomes a harsh and overpowering squeal that overwhelms the sound of everything else and makes everyone... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Breaking In A Speaker and Speaker Breakup?

Don't confuse speaker breakup with "breaking in" a new speaker — they're completely different things! Often when you buy a new speaker that hasn't had audio pushed through it yet, the cone will be stiff... Read more »

Roland V-1SDI Live Video Switcher Software and Firmware Update

Roland has announced both software and firmware updates for their V-1SDI Live Video Switcher. The V-1SDI Version 1.5 firmware update supports capturing a still image from the V-1SDI RCS software for Windows or Mac... Read more »

How to Hear Your Vocals Onstage

Are you having a tough time hearing yourself when you're singing onstage? You're not alone. As a vocalist, you can't simply turn up your instrument at the source — you can only sing so loud; straining may blow... Read more »

To Emphasize an Instrument in the Mix, Boost Its Presence

Many guitar amps feature a Presence control. Depending on the specific amp, the Presence is generally operates as a high treble control, adjusting the range around 4kHz or so. The control is so named because when... Read more »

Listen to Reduce Mic Leakage Onstage

When you're mixing an artist or band live, mic bleed/leakage can be one of your biggest enemies. During sound check, be sure to do a PFL (pre-fade listen) check of each microphone as the full band is playing. Don't... Read more »

Live Mixing Tip: Use Reverb to “Position” Backup Vocals

Getting the balance between lead vocal and background vocals can be tricky, particularly if you're in a small venue where the instruments aren't running through the PA. In these situations, reverb is your friend... Read more »

Digital Mixer Tip: Build a Live Mix Off a Template

Using templates is a time-honored technique for quickly setting up your DAW in the studio. But it can also be a time saver when setting up your digital mixer for a live show. (Various digital mixers may use... Read more »

Yamaha Commercial Audio Updates Firmware of Dante-equipped Products

Yamaha has released firmware updates for many of its Dante-equipped products, introducing AES67 compatibility and connectivity along with a number of other functionality updates. Yamaha CL/QL series Digital Mixers:... Read more »

Re-balance Your Mix After Adding Effects

It's usually obvious when you add or remove an effect such as distortion or compression — an effect that affects a track's or channel's volume — you'll also need to adjust the track's or channel's volume... Read more »

What Is Speaker Sensitivity?

Nearly every specification chart for a speaker you'll find will list that speaker's sensitivity in decibels. For the most part, sensitivity tells you how much sound pressure level (SPL) a speaker can produce from a... Read more »

How Many Channels Does A Rehearsal PA System Need?

Q: I'm starting a new band, and we're going to need a PA for rehearsals. But how do I know how big of a PA I need? A: Few things are as exciting as getting a band together, finding a rehearsal space, and beginning... Read more »

Allen & Heath Updates Qu Series Firmware to v1.9

Allen & Heath has released a major firmware update for its Qu series of iOS app-controllable mixers. The update include the following new features: Pro Factory Mic Presets co-developed with leading microphone... Read more »

What Can I Use For Vocal Effects Live?

Q: I'm the vocalist in a band, and we're doing shows where we're playing the songs off of our album. We want to have the same sound, effects, and processing on my voice as we used in the studio. How can we do it? A:... Read more »

Blend Clean and Distorted Bass for Better Tone

Distorted bass sounds awesome — greasy, gritty, garage-y, and punchy. But if you're not careful, distorted bass can get lost in the mix. This is because using distortion can increase compression (reducing the... Read more »

Surgical EQ vs. Tone Shaping EQ

Sometimes a precision, "surgical" EQ cut or boost is exactly what a track or channel needs to accentuate or remove a trouble frequency or to control feedback or resonances. But other times, a wider bandwidth EQ... Read more »

How to Add Depth to Delay with Reverb

Here's a method for adding depth to and mellowing out the character of a delay effect: Insert a reverb plug-in after a delay plug-in on a channel strip or aux channel in your DAW. Keep the reverb decay short, and... Read more »

Cut the Mud

In most popular music, electric bass generates much of the punch and bottom end, working in conjunction with the kick drum. Because of this, it stands to reason that you want to have as much low end in your bass... Read more »