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Microphone Month 5

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

Compressed Mono Drum Mic for Effect

Here's a drum tracking trick that can give you great options for your drum sound: Place a single microphone 5-10 feet in front of the kit at 3-6 feet in height. The idea is to capture a solid mono picture of the... Read more »

1176 Color with No Comp

The Universal Audio 1176 compressor is as popular with some engineers for the sonic coloration it provides as it is for its compression capabilities. With the UAD-2 plug-in version of the 1176, you can achieve the... Read more »

MIDI Cable Length

Q: I'm building a studio, and want to route MIDI signals from one room to another. What is the maximum distance a MIDI signal can be sent over a cable? A: The MIDI Specification sets the maximum length for a MIDI... Read more »

2-bus Explained

Q: I keep reading and hearing engineers talk about the "2-bus." Maybe it's a stupid question, but what is a 2-bus? A: In traditional engineer/producer jargon, the 2-bus (not 2-buss, that would be something... Read more »

Two Parallel Pedals in an Effects Loop

Q: I have two pedals that I want to run in my guitar amp's effects loop, but I don't want to run one after the other in series. I want the signal from the effects loop send to split, go through the pedals "side by... 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 »

Cannon or XLR?

Q: I've always wondered, why do people sometimes call an XLR connector a "cannon" connector? A: The Cannon Electric company originally developed the connector we now commonly refer to as an "XLR" connector. The... Read more »

Kemper Profiling Amp and Speakers

Q: Can the Kemper Profiling Amp plug straight into my 4x12 cabinet when I am onstage? A: The Kemper Profiling Amp does not have a power amp onboard; you'll need to route it into a stand-alone power amp or the power... Read more »

Near Field Monitor Height

In the last two Tech Tips, we've discussed near-field monitor distance and spacing and angles. But what about the proper height? As with most things, the answer depends on various factors. Most engineers prefer to... Read more »

Angling Near Field Monitors

Q: I read your Tech Tip yesterday about near field distances and spacing, but what about angling them? Should they be straight, pointed in, and if angled, how much? A: There are two schools of thought on angling... Read more »

Near Field Monitor Distance

Q: What does "near field" mean, exactly? In other words, how far away should I place my near field monitors? A: For smaller 2-way or dual-concentric speakers, try them at about arm's length (around three feet) away... Read more »

Difference Between a Limiter and a Compressor?

Q: What is the difference between a limiter and a compressor? A: In practice, the big difference is the ratio used. Limiters use much higher ratios than compressors, often as close to infinity:1 as possible... Read more »

Multiple MIDI Program Changes

Q: I need to send out several different MIDI program changes on different MIDI channels at the same time by pressing one button. Is there a device that can do this? A: One solution might be the RJM Music MasterMind... Read more »

Compression: Before or After EQ?

Q: I heard that you are never supposed to put a compressor after an EQ. Is that true? A: Not necessarily. It depends on what you want; either order can work fine, depending on the results you are after. There is one... Read more »

Cable Management

Ordering cables? Don't forget cable management! Cable ties may just be one of the best investments you can make in achieving an orderly, noise-free, useful, ergonomic studio or live rig!

6505 versus 6505+

Q: I'm considering purchasing a Peavey 6505 guitar amplifier from Sweetwater, but what is the difference between the 6505 and the 6505+? A: The biggest difference is that the 6505+ has an extra preamp tube for... Read more »

NI Comparisons

We've had a number of questions from customers wondering about the differences and similarities between various Native Instruments bundles, so we thought we'd pass along handy references from the Native Instruments'... Read more »

Volume Pedal Placement on a Pedalboard

Q: I have a guitar pedalboard question for you guys: I play passive electric guitars and use a Ernie Ball VP JR volume pedal on the front end of my pedalboard as a general volume control pot. Should I go from my... Read more »

Outputs on ELOP

Q: Is there a difference between the 1/4-inch and XLR outputs on the Manley ELOP limiter? A: Yes. The unbalanced 1/4-inch outs are designed to be as pure and transparent as possible, with a pristine signal path. The... Read more »

Cool Tool: No Board Tape Mess

Most audio engineers use a strip of tape to label the channels on a mixing console at some point in their career. The problem is, most types of tape suitable for writing on with a Sharpie leave behind a mess of... Read more »

Avoiding Pops and Thumps

Many users of audio equipment and instrument amplifiers complain of loud thumps and pops when powering up or powering down gear. It is normal for upstream devices to send out transients upon power up or down. This... Read more »

Banjo Mic Split?

Q: I need to mic my banjo for a gig, but we don't have a lot of gear available. Can I use a mic splitter to route the mic's output to the mixing board and also to a guitar amp? I want to use the amp as my monitor... Read more »

PreSonus and Lion

PreSonus is asking users of their products and Macs who have upgraded to Lion to participate in a public beta test of their Universal Control 1.5.2 software. Universal Control 1.5.2 makes all StudioLive-series... Read more »

Pre Versus Post Fader for Monitors

Q: For live sound, should I be running the monitors off of the mixer's pre-fader sends or the post-fader sends? A: Pre-fader sends are normally used for monitors, cue mixes, or headphone mixes. This is so that moves... Read more »