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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.

Latest Tech Tips

How to Hunt for Problem Frequencies Using Parametric EQ

Many times, you'll be pleased with your recordings, but there's just something — a buzz, some fizz, a whistle, a harmonic — that doesn't sit quite right. In these cases, parametric EQ, which offers you the ability to adjust the EQ frequency, the gain, and the bandwidth (sometimes... Read more »

How Many Watts of Bass Amp Do I Need?

Bass amplifiers, even more than guitar amps, have crazy variations in wattage. Just a quick search of Sweetwater.com turns up 20W bass amps, 2,000W bass amps, and everything in between! But do you really need a 2,000W amp? The answer depends on your use. In general, bass amps need higher... Read more »

How to Create a “Mic Room” for Kick Drum Mics

Getting a clean kick drum sound is the Holy Grail of drum recording. Therefore, it's important to minimize bleed from other drums as much as possible. One trick is to isolate the kick drum mic with a "fort" made of blankets, coats, or whatever you've got. Drape them over a couple of low mic... Read more »

Got the Backline Blues?

Some performers don't mind playing gigs in which all the acts are expected to share the same backline. Others get twitchy if they can't use their own beloved, trusted gear, and are forced to rely on supplied speakers and amps. With backline, you're at the mercy of promoter- or venue-supplied... Read more »

Creative Recording: Mic Your Headphones!

Sometimes, getting that narrow-band, old-transistor-radio type tone is just what a song needs. Many EQ and filter plug-ins offer some kind of "telephone" setting, but if you want to have some fun getting that effect in a more hands-on, old-school analog way, here's a trick you can play around... Read more »

Sonoma Wire Works Updates DrumCore to v4.0.11

Sonoma Wire Works has released a bugfix update to their drum instrument, DrumCore 4. The new version, 4.0.11, fixes an incorrect sample rate issue in Sonar X3, a WAV file naming and default folder issue when exporting the timeline, and assorted memory leaks. A few remaining known issues:... Read more »

PreSonus Universal Control 1.8 for AudioBox Interfaces

PreSonus has released Universal Control 1.8 and recommends it for all AudioBox interfaces. The new update adds: AudioBox Series interface support, including new Windows driver and firmware updates for AudioBox VSL and i-Series.A standalone uninstaller script for Mac that uninstalls classic... Read more »

Line 6 Releases AMPLIFi Remote 2.6

Line 6 has updated their AMPFLIFi Remote app, which allows mobile device integration with their AMPLIFi series of amplifiers — including the AMPLIFI 30, AMPLIFI 75, and AMPLIFI 150, as well as AMPLIFI FX100 and AMPLIFI TT — to version 2.6. The new version features the ability to... Read more »

Cakewalk Releases SONAR 2016.08 Update

Calkwalk has released the 2016.08 update for SONAR Artist, SONAR Professional, and SONAR Platinum. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the update includes the following new features: In the Plug-in Browser, users can now sort and organize plug-ins, assign plug-ins to categories, and create new... Read more »

Modulate Sample Start for Better Synth Sounds

If you're looking for a simple way to make a sample-based synthesizer patch more dynamic, try modulating the sample start using velocity. If the sample has a powerful and punchy attack transient, modulate the sample start in reverse via velocity, so that the harder you play, the more of the... Read more »

How to Quiet a Noisy Guitar

If you're playing guitar around gear with transformers or other gear that emits an electro-magnetic field (EMF), it can interfere with electric guitar pickups. That interference usually takes the form of the dread 60-cycle hum or electrical interference noise. It's particularly noticeable with... Read more »

How to Get Better Results with a Speaker Emulator

Sometimes when recording, you just can't let your amp blast through a cabinet; you have to record "silently." The mic- and speaker-emulated outputs on some amps can be invaluable in this situation, allowing you to route the sound of your amp into your mixer or audio interface with no audible... Read more »

What is the Difference between Word Clock and Clock Sync?

Every digital device has an internal clock that determines when each sample should be captured (recorded) or reconstructed (replayed). This is the "word clock" — a digital clock that governs the sample rate of the device. Some devices offer a word clock output so you can use the word... Read more »

How to Use a Subwoofer with a PA System

It takes a lot of energy to project low-frequency sound. This means that in a medium-sized or larger venue, it's easy for kick drums and low toms, synth bass, and bass guitar — especially low-tuned or 5- or 6-string basses, and other low-frequency sounds to get lost. If this happens... Read more »

Options for Tuning the Bottom Head Of Your Toms

If you tune the bottom head of your toms to the same pitch as the top head, you'll get a purer tone with more sustain. This is great for jazz, and songs or productions in which you want the toms to ring and linger and have almost a melodic quality. If you tune the bottom head lower in pitch... Read more »

How to Use Auto-panning for “Pseudo-stereo” Effects

If you have a mono sound that you wish to subtly spread across the stereo field, one creative trick is to use an auto-panner plug-in, such as Soundtoys PanMan, which lets you automatically pan a mono signal back and forth across the stereo field. An auto-panner generally let you choose the... Read more »

What is True Stereo versus Pseudo-stereo?

In terms of effects and processors, there are a number of terms that can apply to the "stereo-ness" of the signal. Consider these definitions: True Stereo — The stereo signal consists of two related channels, with correlated material in the left and right outputs. For example, using two... Read more »

Ozone 7 Uninstallation Issue on PC

iZotope has just issued critical Ozone 7.01 and Ozone 7.01 Advanced updates for PC. (Mac users are not affected by these updates.) iZotope has identified the potential for a very serious system issue to occur during uninstallation if you are a PC user with Ozone 7 or Ozone 7 advanced installed... Read more »

AAS Strum GS-2 Updated to Support Native Instruments NKS

AAS has announced that their virtual guitar instrument, Strum GS-2, now supports Native Instruments' NKS hardware format. NKS brings integration between Strum GS-2 and KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and MASCHINE hardware. Strum GS-2's key parameters have been mapped in order to provide... Read more »

Q: Should I Upgrade the Pots and Wiring in My Guitar?

In most cases, the stock electronics in an electric guitar or bass function just fine. When should you consider upgrading? 1. If there's a problem — scratchy pots, loss of high frequencies when turning down, volume or tone taper that isn't smooth, and so on — then an upgrade may... Read more »