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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

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 »

Live Mixing: Studio EQ Versus Live EQ

In one sense, EQing is EQing. If you're familiar with the process of scanning for frequencies using an equalizer and boosting and cutting in the studio, the mechanics are the same when using an equalizer in a live... Read more »

Live Mixing: Know Where Your Instruments Sit in the Frequency Spectrum

Anyone who mixes audio needs a good working knowledge of which instruments "live" in which frequencies. But this is especially true of live mixing, where the volumes tend to blend everything into mush if you're not... Read more »

Remote Control PreSonus StudioLive RM Mixers with Studio One v3.2

With the new version 3.2 update, PreSonus Studio One can now remote-control StudioLive RM-series XMAX preamps, as well as the Fat Channel processing for StudioLive RM-series and StudioLive AI Series consoles. The... Read more »

PreSonus Updates Firmware for StudioLive RM-series Mixers

PreSonus has released firmware updates for their StudioLive RM16AI and StudioLive RM32AI 32x16x3 rackmount digital mixers. With the new firmware update, two StudioLive RM-series mixers can be cascaded via AVB... Read more »

Can I Mic Both Speakers in My 2×12 Speaker Cabinet?

Sure! You may find you get a bigger sound by combining the tones of two different speakers (even two speakers of the same type will sound slightly different) and two different mics and mic placements. The only thing... Read more »

What’s the Difference Between Resistive and Reactive Loads?

It's not safe to operate a tube guitar amplifier with no speaker connected. The amplifier needs to see a "load" — normally from a speaker — that gives the power it puts out somewhere to go. Without a... Read more »

Cool Tool: Ansmann Work Light

Shed a little light on the subject! There's nothing worse than trying to set up on a dark stage or fiddling around in the dark inside or behind a rack loaded full of equipment. Sure, many smartphones have a... Read more »

Can I Compress Distorted Audio?

Adding tons of gain to any kind of source material, be it synthesizer, guitar, bass, vocal, drums, you name it, is going to clip the waveform, thereby naturally compressing the signal. So does that mean there's no... Read more »

How to Use Slapback Delay as Tone Thickener

Delay is a popular effect, usually used to create an effect with repeating echoes or to add a sense of space to a track or sound. But short slapback delays can also be used to "thicken up" a sound. Try adding a... Read more »

What is Soft-knee Versus Hard-knee Compression?

Many compressors give you the option of either hard-knee or soft-knee compression. Still others (especially software compressors) give you a slider to adjust the response of the "knee." What does this mean? "Knee"... Read more »

4 Grab-n-Go Pedalboards

Sometimes, simpler is better. Consider these situations: a small stage, a quick set-up and tear-down, a gig that requires a plane flight, a pick-up gig, a jam or rehearsal, or if you simply don't want to deal with... Read more »

Specs Only Tell Part of the Story

It's tempting to shop by comparing specifications. After all, better gear always has better specs, right? Specs can be tremendously informative and useful when making gear decisions. But specs aren't everything... Read more »

RMS vs. Peak Power When Comparing Speakers

When you're researching the wattage of musical instrument/pro audio speaker drivers, you will often find two values for the power handling rating: RMS (root mean square), and "peak." It's important to know what each... Read more »

Small Amp, Big Tone

Think you need a monstrously huge amp to create a big guitar tone? Not necessarily. These days, there are low-wattage (15W or less) amps that sound like huge stadium beasts both in the room and when recorded. The... Read more »

7 Tips for Guitarists Using In-ears

You're finally happy with the sound coming from your guitar amp, now it's time to mic it up and send it back through your in-ear monitors so you can hear it onstage. Somehow, though, from your amp to your in-ears... Read more »

Waves Discontinues TDM Support

Waves has released the following statement regarding their support for the TDM plug-in format: "As of January 2016, Waves will stop supporting the TDM format. Any plug-ins installed or updated via the Waves Central... Read more »

How Hi-Z is High Enough?

Electric guitars with passive pickups will always sound better through a "hi-Z," or high-impedance input. This is because you want to plug your guitar into an amplifier, direct box, preamp, or audio interface that... Read more »

How to Boost, Compress, and Tweak the Bass for Added Punch

Mixing bass guitar is always a challenge. Too much bass can muddy the mix, eat up headroom, and drown out everything else. But too little bass can make a mix sound thin, not to mention that a lot of a song's energy... Read more »

What are the Differences Between Plate and Spring Reverbs?

Plate and spring reverbs are in some ways very similar devices but they are quite different in sound. A plate reverb is a thin sheet of metal, suspended via springs (or sometimes clamps) under tension inside a rigid... Read more »

Mackie Releases Master Fader v4.0

Mackie has released the latest version of Master Fader, the free control app for their popular DL32R, DL1608 and DL806 digital mixers. The new version features the addition of a real time analyzer (RTA) on each... Read more »

Why Are Bass Amps So High Wattage Compared to Guitar Amps?

A quick browse of available guitar amps reveals that while most guitar amps fall in the 15-watt to 100-watt range, most bass amps tend to be 100 to 500 watts or even higher. Bass amps generally need more power than... Read more »

Kemper Releases Profiler OS 3.2

Kemper has released Kemper Profiler and Profiling Amp Operating System Version 3.2. The new version adds a number of enhancements, with the main feature being Kemper's new Pure Cabinet technology. This can remove or... Read more »

Waves Updates Tracks Live to Version 1.2.0

Waves has updated their Tracks Live recording application to version 1.2.0. The new version offers a number of new features including: Improved graphic interface with Retina display support.Tracks can be color-coded... Read more »