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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

Bitwig Studio Updated to v2.1

After a public beta run, Bitwig has officially released Bitwig Studio 2.1. This new update brings bug fixes, enhancements, and new features: A new Amp device is addedMIDI Clock Slave functionality lets you sync up Bitwig Studio 2.1 to external software and hardware clocksTwo new note effect... Read more »

Finding Your Tube Amp’s “Sweet Spot”

Nearly every tube amp has a "sweet spot" — a point at which the tubes are cooking but not pushed too hard, the guitar sustains, has good dynamics, and a full, rich tone. But it's not the same for every amp; some amps are meant to have everything dimed, and sound their best really pushed... Read more »

How Many Takes Should I Record?

As many as you need, and no more. In all seriousness, modern DAWs let you record as many takes of the same part as you want, but there definitely is a point of diminishing returns. First, unless you are purely improvising, you should rehearse your parts so that you can play them straight... Read more »

What is the Ideal Level to Record Tracks into a DAW?

The general consensus is, hot enough to take advantage of the digital resolution available while not so hot that the signal clips or you have problems later, during mixdown. For dynamic tracks, the recommended level — offering a good compromise between resolution, strong output, and... Read more »

Rein in the Reverb

Reverb is an integral part of near every finished recording. It creates space in the mix, and ambience and body for individual instruments. For some types of sound design, a huge, cavernous reverb is an integral part of the overall sound. When playing live, however, consider pulling back on the... Read more »

What are “Matched” Power Tubes?

In general, there's a lot of variation in current draw from one tube to another, even when the tubes are the same type. This has an impact how they'll respond in your tube amp — and could cause diminished performance if the amp is designed to work best with tubes of the same current draw... Read more »

Powered Mixer, Powered Speaker, or Power Amp?

Q: I see powered mixers, powered speakers, and power amps for PAs. I'm a bit confused which do I need? Does everything need to be powered? A: What we're referring to here is an amplifier for driving PA speakers. These days, that amplifier can be built into the mixer or the speaker itself, or it... Read more »

Kush Audio Updates Electra DSP

Kush Audio has released an update to their Electra DSP modeled EQ plug-in. The new version, 1.0.5, is all about CPU efficiency; the new version is up to 75% more CPU efficient than the previous version, with no loss or difference in sound quality. The v1.0.5 Electra DSP update is free for all... Read more »

Genelec Updates GLM to v2.2

Genelec has released version 2.2 of their GLM (Genelec Loudspeaker Manager) software. GLM 2.2 offers improved management and connectivity options for all models of Genelec Smart Active Monitoring studio monitors and subwoofers. The new version means that up to 40 monitors can be integrated for... Read more »

Cakewalk Releases SONAR 2017.04 Update

Continuing their tradition of monthly updates, Cakewalk has released a new SONAR update. SONAR 2017.04 Platinum features a new Transform Tool in the Controller pane, which provides a new way to edit in the Controller pane. It has two main modes, Hard (Default) and Soft. These each control the... Read more »

Korg Adds MIDI Over Bluetooth LE Support to Windows Drivers

Korg has updated their Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) MIDI drivers. The new version 1.12 lets Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 users connect wirelessly with any of the MicroKEY Air 25, 37, 49, and 61, as well as nanoKEY Studio and nanoKONTOL Studio controllers. This update is a free download to all... Read more »

AmpliTube for iOS Adds New Free Emulations In All Versions

With the latest update of IK Multimedia's AmpliTube for iOS, version 4.4 includes more free gear with every version. AmpliTube CS has been increased to three amps and seven stompboxes, AmpliTube LE now offers three amps and nine stompboxes, and the flagship AmpliTube Full version includes eight... Read more »

Antelope Audio Firmware Update includes 5 New Compressors

Antelope Audio continues to expand their library of Realtime FPGA Vintage FX for their audio interfaces. This update focuses on recreations of vintage analog compressors. In addition, the number of simultaneous instances of compressors has been increased from four to a maximum of up to 32. (The... Read more »

Slate Announces Major DAW Compatibility Updates for RAVEN

Slate Media Technology has released new firmware for their Raven series of multi-touch mixing workstations. The big news is Cubase and Nuendo support for Windows 10, but this update is filled with great new features! Raven version 3.3 firmware includes the following: Cubase and Nuendo support... Read more »

Mix Tip: Spread High Frequencies in the Stereo Field

Higher frequencies generally contribute the openness, clarity, and "air" in a mix. However, you don't want your mix to sound too trebly by mixing your high frequencies too loud. This is where judicious use of stereo width can come to the rescue. Since placing signals in different places in the... Read more »

Mix Tip: For Dynamic Mixes, Mix The Loudest Part First

Some songs are really easy to mix. The instruments don't overlap each other's frequency spectrums, or maybe the arrangement is so consistent when you get one part of the song down, the rest of the song falls into place. Sometimes the opposite is true; the song can have a lot of instruments... Read more »

Waves Updates Plug-ins to v9.91

Waves has updated their plug-ins to version 9.91. In addition to fixing bugs, the new update includes the following enhancements: All plugins now have control mapping for Avid S3 and S6 control surfaces.H-EQ: New H-EQ Lite components require less CPU and are well suited for live sound or when... Read more »

Vocalists: Bring Your Own Mic to the Gig

As a vocalist singing with bands (and that includes instrumentalists who sing backups as well as lead singers), it's possible to get by without owning your own vocal microphone. Often the person in the band who owns the PA also owns the microphones. If a club, church, or other venue has a house... Read more »

Are Coil-tapped Humbuckers Still Noise Cancelling?

These days, a lot of guitars equipped with humbuckers offer a switch or push/pull knob that lets you get a single-coil style sound from your pickup, making your guitar more versatile. But does getting that single-coil sound also come with single-coil hum and noise? Maybe — it depends how... Read more »

Peace of Mind: Uninterruptable Power Supply

Many people use an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS) battery back-up power unit for their computer — basically a UPS is a battery that provides power when the AC from the wall is cut. With a UPS there's enough time to save your work and gently turn everything off if you lose power. Many... Read more »