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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

Cool Tool: StageTrix Setting Saver

Looking for a great way to mark your settings on stage gear or in the studio? Check out the StageTrix Setting Saver! Markings made with the Setting Saver are in a highly visible fluorescent green ink that you can... Read more »

Should I Boost or Cut EQ?

Q: I keep reading and hearing that I should only cut with my EQ. But it seems like I naturally want to boost a lot of the time. And, when I watch other engineers, they're boosting all over the place. Is boosting... Read more »

Should I Use a Direct Box or the Instrument Input on my Preamp/Audio Interface?

Q: My microphone preamp has an instrument-level input. Is it okay to use that, or do I have to use a direct box? A: If you are able to position yourself close to the preamp (regular instrument cable distance), there... Read more »

Line 6 StageScape M20d v1.2 Software Released

Line 6 has released version 1.2 software for the StageScape M20d digital mixer. The new version adds a traditional-style Fader View to the StageScape's innovative and intuitive Stage View. Fader View emulates the... Read more »

Hotter Than You Think

Did you know that a black item placed in direct sunlight can easily reach temperatures exceeding 150 degrees? What color is a lot of gear? Black! Temperatures that high are well beyond the operating limits of most... Read more »

Cool Tool: Galaxy CM-130

Take charge of the volume level of your sound system! Mix at the recommended 80-85dB level. Monitor levels to prevent hearing damage and ear fatigue. Those are just a few of the tasks that a good SPL meter will... Read more »

What is Lead-free Solder?

Q: I do some soldering work on my guitars — replacing pickups, pots, switches, etc. — and usually use regular old solder. But I see there is now lead-free solder. What is the difference? A: Most solder... Read more »

Should I Use a Speaker Cabinet If I am Using the Red Box?

Q: I like the idea of using the Hughes & Kettner Red Box 5 to feed the output from my amplifier onstage straight into the PA with speaker emulation, so I don't need a mic on the amp. I still want to use a cabinet... Read more »

Cool Tool: Evans EQ Pad

Getting just the right amount of ring and resonance in a kick drum when recording can be a challenge; typically we resort to the tried and true (but certainly not ideal) trick of stuffing a blanket into the kick. It... Read more »

Waves MultiRack 9.5

Waves has released version 9.5 of MultiRack. The new version includes: Improved, more responsive GUI Record to two computers simultaneously Load up to 1,000 snapshots Run Waves Signature Series plug-ins Support for... Read more »

Doyle Dykes Guitar Tone for Video

Q: Doyle Dykes is getting such a great amplified sound in his Guitars & Gear interview with Mitch Gallagher. The video reveals that he uses an LR Baggs LB6 and a Stage Pro element preamp with his Doyle Dykes... Read more »

What is the Difference Between the Original Shure SM7 and the Current SM7B Microphone?

Q: I think the Shure SM7B is a great dynamic microphone for vocals and instruments, but I always wondered, what is the difference between the original and the current model? A: The Shure SM7 dynamic mic was... Read more »

Mackie My Fader App Available for DL1608 and DL806 Digital Mixers

Mackie has released the free My Fader app for using an iOS device — including an iPhone or an iPod touch — to control the DL1608 or DL806 digital mixers. My Fader includes touch control over key mixing... Read more »

New Apps for Mackie DL Series Mixers

Mackie has released two new free iPad apps for their DL Series digital live sound mixers (which offer iPad control). Master Fader v1.4 — adds new Vintage EQ, Compressor, and Gate. Also has updated show management... Read more »

What does “-20dB Pad” Really Mean?

Q: I always thought that it was weird to say you were using a "-20dB" pad. How can a pad be negative? Doesn't the term "pad" itself indicate that you are dropping the level? Wouldn't a negative pad value indicate... Read more »

Cymatic Audio LR-16 Owner’s Manual

The compact and affordable Cymatic Audio LR-16 Live Recorder 16-track audio recorder has been an instant success! It's the ideal tool for making on-the-spot live multitrack recordings and is incredibly useful in the... Read more »

Improve Your Critical Listening Skills

Harman International, parent company of JBL, Lexicon, Digitech, AKG, Soundcraft, Crown, BSS Audio, and more fine brands, is offering a great, free opportunity for you to improve your critical listening skills. A... Read more »

Cool Tool: Cymatic LR-16 Live Recorder

Want to capture a live multitrack recording of your band, a church service, a school band or orchestra performance, or another live performance event? Then you must check out the Cymatic LR-16 Live Recorder! This... Read more »

How can I Run an ADAT Optical Cable Long Distances?

Q: I need to run an ADAT optical cable for a long distance. My understanding is that there is a limit to how far you can go with one? Is there another solution? A: The ADAT spec puts the limit on optical cable... Read more »

Line 6 Releases Free SoundScape M20d Software Update

Line 6 has released version 1.1 software for the SoundScape M20d digital mixer. The new version enhances the mixer's onboard recording features and enables remote iPad control over the mixer via existing Wi-Fi networks.

Cool Tool: Pro Co Sign Off

There are moments onstage when it would be useful, as a performer, to be able to mute your microphone. Maybe you want to talk to a bandmate without broadcasting through the PA. Maybe you're a singing drummer who... Read more »

What is an Encoder?

Q: I see a lot of keyboards and control surfaces that say they have "encoders." Isn't this just a regular knob? A: A rotary encoder does indeed closely resemble (and perform) like a traditional control "knob" on a... Read more »

PRM1 Precision Reference Microphone for PreSonus Smaart Measurement

The PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2 and StudioLive 16.4.2 digital mixers offer affordable audio analysis and correction via Smaart Measurement Technology, which is super handy for optimizing your system for ideal sound... Read more »

How to Rackmount Non-rackmount Gear

Q: I have a piece of gear that I want to install into my rack, but it's not rackmountable — there are no rack ears, and I can't find a rackmount kit for it. What can I do? A: There are a number of rackmount shelves... Read more »