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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

Volume Pedal in Effects Loop

Q: I saw yesterday's Tech Tip about running a delay without an effects loop. But what about an odd use for the effects loop: could I put a volume pedal in an amp's effects loop and control the amp volume after the... Read more »

Power-on and Power-off Sequence

The rule of thumb when turning on any audio rig is to power up the sound-creating device last — in most studios, this will be the power amp that drives the monitors or the monitors themselves, if they're... Read more »

TASCAM TA-1VP Auto-Tune Effects

Q: I have the new TASCAM TA-1VP vocal processor and love all the mic and tube modeling features, as well as the compressor, gate, and EQ. And the Auto-Tune feature works so smoothly that none of my friends who've... Read more »

Musician’s Essential Toolkits, Vol. 4 – Guitar/Bass

Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong — and probably at the least convenient time and place. However, a corollary states that whatever you're prepared for won't go wrong. We don't... Read more »

Musician’s Essential Toolkits, Vol. 3 – Live Sound

Murphy's Law states that anything that can go wrong will go wrong — and probably at the most inconvenient time and place. However, a corollary states that whatever you're prepared for won't go wrong. We don't... Read more »

Avid Boom Outs

Q: I enjoyed the Avid Boom tips in last week's inSync (here, here, and here). Is there a way to get individual outs from the channel strips? A: Sorry, Boom doesn't have individual outs for each sound. One workaround... Read more »

Polarity and Phantom Power

Q: Someone was talking about an XLR cable they made with pins 2 and 3 reversed for use with a Pin 3 hot box. It made me wonder if reversing the polarity of an XLR cable or connection would screw up phantom power? A:... Read more »

Roland GR55 MIDI?

Q: I just got a new Roland GR-55, and I love all the great sounds in it. But I want to hook it up to my computer to record the MIDI information, and it doesn't seem to be working. Do I have a defective one? A:... Read more »

Wah First on Pedalboard?

Q: I saw the Tech Tip about running a compressor pedal first in a guitar signal path. But what about when you have a wah-wah pedal? I thought those liked to be first? A: Try it both ways — with the wah first... Read more »

Where to Put a Compressor on a Pedalboard

Q: I'm using an overdrive, a chorus, and a delay with my guitar, and I just bought a new compressor pedal from Sweetwater. Where should I put it in the chain? A: Most players would probably put the compressor first... Read more »

Making the Most Out of Mishaps

At a recent recording session, the upright bass player was also using an amplifier to make his instrument louder. We had a condenser mic on the bass itself and a dynamic mic on the amp. Unfortunately, the bass... Read more »

Live Recording, No Soundcheck, and Inconsistent Levels

Q: A friend recorded my band's live gig for a video that will be broadcast on TV. Unfortunately, we didn't have time for him to do a level check before we started, so during the first song, the levels start out too... Read more »

Which Peak Studio?

Q: I want to buy BIAS Peak Studio, but not sure if I need XT or the new one. Can you help me figure out what the differences are? A: Sure, we're happy to clarify. There are now two versions of BIAS Peak Studio. The... Read more »

Proper MIDI Routing

Here's a handy reference for connecting and trouble-shooting MIDI systems: MIDI outputs always go to MIDI inputs. MIDI thrus always go to MIDI inputs. MIDI outs never go to MIDI outs or thrus. MIDI thrus never go to... Read more »

DIY Balancing an Unbalanced Line

Here's an oldie-but-a-goodie from the inSync Tech Tip of the Day Archives: Let's say you need to run a signal from a keyboard to your mixer. The unbalanced line is quite noisy and you don't have a balancing... Read more »

Power Amp Level Controls

Q: Why do power amps have level controls on them? Everyone I know just turns them all the way up. A: We addressed a similar question a few years back; here's the basic answer. Some of it is just for convenience, but... Read more »

Using Pedals for Signal Processing in the Studio

Q: I've heard of people using guitar stompboxes with their recording gear to get new tones. But it seems like there would be problems with this. How do they do it? A: Using pedals for studio processing is a growing... Read more »

Cool Tools: RJM Music Effect Gizmo Loop Switcher

Q: I was checking out the manual for the RJM Music Effect Gizmo loop switcher, and it seems that the last four loops on the box are not only stereo-capable, but that each is independent, meaning you need to run a... Read more »

Protecting Your Tube Amp from the Heat

Looking to extend the life of your tube amp as we head into the hot and humid days of summer? One thing that can really help extend the life of tubes is to keep them cool. And a good way to do that is simply to get... Read more »

Tweeter Variations

Q: "I have two tweeters; the first one is a piezo, and the other one is a compression driver. They sound different even though the frequency response is the same (1,800 Hz, 20,000 Hz). Why?" A: Aside from the fact... Read more »

How toFigure Out Speaker Polarity

Q: "What is the best way to make sure that the polarity on multiple speaker pairs are in phase when the wiring is all in-wall and the cable is not marked?" A: First, shame on whomever put the wiring in without... Read more »

Power for RJM Music Effect Gizmo/MasterMind

Q: The manual for my RJM Music Effect Gizmo/MasterMind says that I can power the foot controller (the MasterMind) using a 7-pin MIDI cable. I thought MIDI cables only had five pins, and that two of those were... Read more »

Curing PA Rumble

Q: After we EQ our PA and tune our Feedback Eliminator we notice there is always a low rumble coming through the system. We can bring down the level of the vocal microphones and most of it goes away, or we can lower... Read more »

Keep It Clean!

One of the primary predators on electronic equipment is airborne dust. You should cover your mixer, exposed gear, and keyboards when they are not in use. Dust build-up will cause mixer sliders to become noisy, and... Read more »