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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

How High Should I Set My Drum Overhead Mics?

Don't be misled by the term "overhead" into thinking that if you use overheads, they have to be high up or far away. In most cases, the purpose of overhead mics is to capture a balanced image of the entire kit that... Read more »

How Many Features Do I Need?

Q: I'm looking at picking up some new gear, but I can't decide which features I need for the stuff I want — should I get something with tons of control or something simple? There are benefits to both simple... Read more »

Positive Grid Brings Amp Match Feature to iOS Apps

Positive Grid, makers of BIAS Desktop Pro and BIAS Desktop, have made headlines by bringing amp-matching technology to a DAW plug-in and their proprietary ToneCloud. Now they have updated their two iOS apps, JamUp... Read more »

Waves Updates Tracks Live

Waves has updated Tracks Live, their multitrack recording software designed to capture live performances. This update includes many bug fixes and performance enhancements. In addition, it includes the following new... Read more »

Q: What is the Difference Between an “Effect” and a “Processor”?

Many people use the two terms interchangeably. But if we're going to get picky about it, we'd say an "effect" treats your audio, in effect adding its own signal to the existing signal (such as a delay effect that... Read more »

Q: What is “Frequency Bracketing?”

Frequency bracketing, sometimes referred to as just "bracketing," is restricting the frequency content of an audio signal by applying steep shelving high- and low-pass filters to it, effectively removing all of its... Read more »

Flux Loudness Management Software Now Includes AAX Version

Flux realtime and offline loudness management software now ships AAX DSP versions with all software purchases. If you already own the AAX version, you can get an additional authorization for free, so you can, for... Read more »

Effects Tip: Dirty Up Your Reverb with a Bit Crusher

These days, nearly all digital reverb pedals, and all plug-in reverbs, offer pristine full-range, 24-bit sound quality. But in the early days of digital, reverbs were often limited to 12- and sometimes 8-bit... Read more »

Q: How Should I Adjust Compressor Plug-in Settings?

DAWs these days give you amazing visual displays of your audio material. This has revolutionized the way that music can be edited and created. But you hear a lot of advice to "mix with your ears" and to "let your... Read more »

Compression 101: Bus Compression

Compression can make the difference between parts that fit together, and parts that fight each other. Putting a compressor — that's the dynamics controller that squashes the difference between the loudest and... Read more »

Compression 101: Track Compression

Compression is one of the most important tools for recording and mixing music. A compressor is used to control the dynamics — the variation between the softest and loudest parts of an audio signal. Dynamics... Read more »

Mackie Master Fader App Updated to Version 3.1

Master Fader, Mackie's iOS app that provides wireless control over the DL32R, DL1608, or DL806 mixers, has been updated to version 3.1. The new version adds the following features and enhancements: DL Dante... Read more »

Cool Tool: Gaffer Tape Mastery!

Gaffer tape is one of the essentials of life for musicians and live sound and recording engineers. But taping down cables is a drag — who wants to crawl around the floor in who-knows-what debris and sticky... Read more »

What is the Difference between a Balanced vs Unbalanced Audio Signal?

The difference between balanced and unbalanced audio signals has to do with the design of the audio circuit. A balanced audio circuit, like the XLR inputs on a pro audio rack processor, has both positive (+) and... Read more »

How To Get the Most From Your Delay Pedal: Part One

Delay is one of the most powerful and flexible effects available. The concept of repeating a segment of sound is a simple one, but what happens to that segment is where the fun begins: make it longer or shorter... Read more »

Are the only Mobile Devices Capable of Music Creation the iPhone and iPad?

It's true, iOS has a huge head start over Android when it comes to the number of music-creation apps. But with software synthesizers like Caustic 3, and Line 6, Behringer, SoundCraft, PageFlip, AirTurn, and IK... Read more »

Use the Cloud to Collaborate Musically

These days, you can get free cloud storage nearly everywhere — from Dropbox, Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and more. They offer us space for our photographs and music libraries, for our office documents... Read more »

Should I use my Microphone’s Foam Windscreen Indoors?

Nearly all mics come with a foam wind screen accessory; if they don't, you can almost always buy one. You'll find some people suggesting online that using one of these foam windscreens can muffle or dull the sound... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Optical and Tube Compressors?

Optical and tube compressors differ in the circuits used to control the way that gain is reduced. With optical compressors, a photo-optical detector circuit controls how much gain will be reduced. These types of... Read more »

What is a “Strobe” Tuner?

Most electronic tuners work by using a microprocessor to analyze the average period of the waveform of a vibrating string, and using LEDs to indicate whether the pitch of the string is higher, lower, or directly... Read more »

What is a “Side-Address” Microphone?

Many microphones, such as all hand-held microphones, are "top address" microphones. Meaning the capsule is at the top or end of the microphone, so to record with the microphone, you point the top directly at what... Read more »

What is the Difference between X-Y Coincident Pairs and Blumlein Pairs?

X-Y coincident pair and Blumlein pair microphone placement both use two microphones placed close together with their capsules at a 90-degree angle from each other. The difference is that Blumlein pair microphone... Read more »

How to Dual Mic a Guitar Cabinet and get the Phase Right

Dual miking guitar cabinets is a tried-and-true method of getting a great guitar sound. Using two mics, such as a ribbon (the Royer R121 is an example of one that works well for this) and a dynamic (the Shure SM57... Read more »

What is X-Y Coincident Pair Microphone Placement?

Q: What is X-Y coincident pair microphone placement? A: This is a very popular way to record acoustic guitars, among other acoustic instruments. It's a classic Nashville recording technique, although it's popular... Read more »