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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.

Live Sound Tech Tips

Two Compressor Tricks

Here are two compressor tricks to try for your next mixdown: 1. Parallel compression - split the signal so that on one side/channel it passes directly through unprocessed while the other side goes through the... Read more »

Finale to Sibelius

Q: I need to get some notation files that are in Finale into Sibelius. Is there an easy way to do this? A: Sibelius 5 will directly open .mus Finale 98/2000 files. For Finale 2001 or later, Sibelius will open .etf... Read more »

Cleaner Mixes

Want to get an immediate improvement in the clarity of your mixes? Take out the trash! Specifically, run each track through a highpass (a.k.a. lowcut) filter to remove infrasonics - thumps, booms, rumbles, and more... Read more »

Combining MIDI Signals

Q: I need to send two the outputs from two MIDI controllers into a single sound module. How can I do this when the module only has one MIDI input. A: A device that can merge the two MIDI signals together is going to... Read more »

Proper A/B Test Etiquette

As musicians, engineers, and producers, we're constantly comparing things with our ears - two overdrive pedals, two takes of a vocal, the sound quality of two compressors, the difference between an in-the-box mix... Read more »

It’s That Time of Year

In many parts of the country, winter can be one of the worst seasons for the well being of musical instruments made of wood, which, of course, includes most acoustic and electric guitars and basses. Winter generally... Read more »

Preamp Out/Power Amp In

Q: I saw a video demonstrating the limited-edition Fender Hot Rod Deluxe guitar amp on another site, and the guy said that the preamp out connection was to feed an external power amp, then you should bring the power... Read more »

A Few PA Pointers

Q: My band is getting more and more bookings and we have realized that the PA systems in the places we perform are mostly substandard (if not downright pathetic). But we're arguing over what to buy. Some of us think... Read more »

Keeping Consistent Volume Levels on the Yamaha Motif

When playing a live set, you want all of the songs saved on your Motif to have the same relative volume. The easiest way to accomplish this is by assigning a compressor or limiter as the Motif's MASTER EFFECT. That... Read more »

Down and Dirty

Q: I just laid down a great solo on my synth, but I'm not happy with the way it sounds. It seems too clean for the track it's being playing on. Is there anything I can do to change the sound but without having to... Read more »

The Proper Order in Studio Processing

You've got all the gear for your studio, and now it's time to make all your connections. But wait! In what order should you put the various dynamics processors, EQ, and effects? Some all-in-one hardware DAWs come... Read more »

Track Lanes and Groove Patches in Reason 4

There is a great way to save your various takes (including rough "scratch tracks") or unused note sequences in Propellerheads Reason 4, which is referred to as its Track Lanes. Essentially, as you are beginning to... Read more »

It’s Just a Question of Amplitude

Q: I have heard that using a master volume control on a tube amplifier is not as good as really overdriving the entire amp - that is, both the preamp and power amp. If this is true, how can I possibly choose an amp... Read more »

Cautions When Using the Octaver Feature in Guitar Rig 3

When using the Oktaver effect in Native Instruments' Guitar Rig 3, you can generate two signals: One octave below and another signal that is two octaves below the original pitch. But there are two important cautions... Read more »

Incomplete KOMPLETE Installation

Q: I'm having a problem installing Native Instruments KOMPLETE on my Mac. It gets to a certain point and then quits. Any suggestions? A: It would be good to know where the installation hangs up. Try this: Rather... Read more »

More Tracks from Your Korg M3 Sequencer

The programmers at Korg have given M3 owners a magic bullet for use with the internal 16-track sequencer. See, if you run up against the 16-track limit and need more, keep in mind that the Korg M3 has the ability to... Read more »

What Will Sound Check Really Do For You?

Q: I recently completed a song in GarageBand, but when I transferred it into iTunes, the volume was much lower than other iTunes songs. A friend suggested that I turn on Sound Check in the iTunes Playback... Read more »

Enhancing your guitar tone with a compressor

Q: Can you suggest a setting I can use on my compressor that will make my guitar sound better? A: Some compressors actually have presets specifically set up for acoustic and electric guitars, but if yours doesn't... Read more »

How do I set the ratio control on my compressor?

Q: I understand what the threshold and attack controls do on my compressor, but the ratio thing is harder to understand. Got any tips? A: The ratio simply sets the degree of compression once you have exceeded the... Read more »

Powered Speaker Interconnect Cables

Trying to cut down on the number of cables in your studio or live sound rig? If you're using powered monitors or PA speakers/monitors, then check out Pro Co Siamese Twins - one of those products that makes you... Read more »

Using Compression in Kontakt 2

There are actually two modules that provide compression in Kontakt 2: the Compressor and Saturation modules. The Saturation module provides a different type of compression effect than the Compressor module. Its... Read more »

MIDI Transpose vs. Tune in Kontakt

There are two easy ways to change the tuning of all samples globally in Native Instruments Kontakt 2. If you are simply attempting to bring a sample set up a or down in pitch by a small amount to match other... Read more »

What is the difference is between MIDI volume and expression?

Q: What is the difference is between MIDI volume and expression? A: Volume (Continuous Controller 07) and expression (Continuous Controller 11) both do the exact same thing. However they give users two different... Read more »

Rear Speaker Placement in a Surround Sound System

As more people move up to the latest flat panel, widescreen televisions, they quickly realize that the onboard speakers simply don't deliver much in the way of sound quality. This has led to more surround sound... Read more »