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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

Plugin Alliance All Bundle now macOS Sierra 10.12 compatible

Plugin Alliance has released version 4.4.1 of the All Bundle, which updates all 73 plugins for full macOS Sierra compatibility, supporting Mac OS versions 10.8 through 10.12. In addition to macOS Sierra support, there are numerous bug fixes and enhancements for both Mac and Windows. The update... Read more »

PreSonus Releases Notion 6.1

PreSonus has updated Notion, their notation software application, to version 6.1. In addition to dozens of bug fixes, the new update includes: New keyboard workflowsEnter notes and chords with QWERTY keyboard in Step timeCreate and extend range selections with keyboard shortcutsNavigate around... Read more »

Two Notes Engineering Updates Firmware for Torpedo Studio

Two Notes Engineering has updated the firmware for the Torpedo Studio to v4. The new firmware includes the following additions: Arcade mode, allowing faster edition of the audio parameters.Low-cut and 5-band graphic EQ replaced by a 6-band Parametric EQ.Reverb effect with eight predefined rooms... Read more »

What Is An “Aggressive” Guitar Sound?

"Aggressive" is not in itself a word that describes tone or sonics. The term "aggressive" as applied to guitars and basses has been used to describe everything from completely fuzzed out to clean and jangly. Does the term mean anything at all? Much of the perceived "aggression" in guitar tone... Read more »

How to Automate EQ to Enhance Presence in a Mix

Here's a mixing tip that can not only help you keep a track "in the pocket," but that can have subtle and interesting textural effects as well. Procede with your mix, as you normally would. First, get the level of a part sitting basically where you want it in your mix. Then, use your DAW's... Read more »

Can I Use Unbalanced Cables with Balanced Equipment?

You can — with some caveats. The advantage of using balanced cables to connect between balanced outputs and balanced inputs is that balanced connections have better noise rejection, thanks to a second, inverted signal that has equal resistance to ground as the initial signal. This... Read more »

Kush Plug-ins Updated

Kush has released bugfix updates for Pusher, Clariphonic DSP mkII, and Electra DSP. In all of them, an issue that could cause authorization errors and prevent the plug-in from running under subscription licenses has been fixed as well as an issue that caused Pro Tools to ignore the "consolidate... Read more »

Bitwig Studio Update Features MASCHINE JAM Integration

Bitwig has updated Bitwig Studio to version 1.3.15. The flagship new feature of this update is support for the Native Instruments MASCHINE JAM hardware controller. The update also includes numerous enhancements to Bitwig Studio's support of controllers in general, in addition to bug fixes. The... Read more »

Can I Run a Distortion Pedal into a Raging Guitar Amp?

Sure. Some of the most famous sounds in rock have been using a BOSS Super Overdrive, Ibanez TubeScreamer, or MXR Distortion+ into a distorted amp. You just need to keep the concept of gain staging in mind. If you've already turned up the gain on your amp, it's not just sounding gritty and... Read more »

How Do I “Break In” a Speaker?

When you're dealing with any mechanical device that has moving parts, those parts will naturally move more freely when they have been loosened up by use. In speakers, both the surround (the ring of rubber or foam that connects the edge of the cone to the speaker basket, and the spider (which... Read more »

Native Instruments Updates KONTAKT to 5.6.5

Native Instruments has released a new update to KONTAKT 5, bringing it to version 5.6.5. The main addition in this update is a new user interface tool for KONTAKT instrument builders — a fully customizable XY Pad feature. It also re-introduces the Global Purge controls as part of the File... Read more »

Is It Better to Use an FRFR Speaker or a Guitar Amp with a Modeler?

In the early days of guitar amp modeling, most modelers did not let you separate out the preamp and power amp emulation from the speaker cabinet emulation. This meant that if you played with your modeler through a guitar amp, it would sound small and compressed since the tone itself would... Read more »

Gotta Gig? Bring Backups!

Yes, backing up your computer data is vital. But this article is about another kind of backup: redundant gear, so that if something goes wrong, you're not out of commission. Today's gear is undeniably solid and reliable, but things happen particularly in the heat of battle on a live stage... Read more »

EQ Individual Tracks for the Mix, Then Solo to Fix

How many times have you EQ'd a track so that it sounds perfect when soloed, but when you play that track in the context of your mix it doesn't work. At this point, the temptation is to solo the track again and adjust it, listen to it in the mix, and then return to the soloed track again... Read more »

Do I Need a Keyboard Amp or Should I Plug my Keyboard into the PA?

Here's a fun fact: most keyboard amps are full-range, flat-response (FRFR) speakers powered by a clean solid-state amp. And most PA systems consist of a mixer that can run multiple sources through a clean solid-state power amp into FRFR speakers. So practically speaking, a keyboard amp is... Read more »

Avid Releases Pro Tools 12.6.1

Avid has updated Pro Tools to version 12.6.1. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the new update includes the following enhancements: Pro Tools 12.6.1 includes a new HD Driver that is adapted to the significant changes made in Mac OS starting with OS X 10.10. This new driver restores Core Audio... Read more »

Softube Introduces DAW Control with Console 1

Softube recently updated Console 1 software to 2.3.90, introducing direct DAW control of Presonus Studio One and Cakewalk SONAR. The specific control functions are: Track Selection The new Console 1 software allows the DAW track selection to be reflected in Console 1 and vice versa. Volume and... Read more »

Antelope Audio and macOS Sierra 10.12 Compatibility

Antelope Audio has released the following statement regarding compatibility of their interfaces and the latest Apple macOS Sierra 10.12: "Currently all Antelope Audio devices are fully compatible with macOS 10.12 Sierra. All launchers and control panels have been tested and no compatibility... Read more »

Why Do Live Sound Engineers Use DI for Bass?

When playing larger venues, sound engineers usually mic the guitar cabinets, but ask for a DI signal for the bass, even if there's a bass cabinet on stage. Why not mic the bass cab too? There are several reasons. With a guitar cabinet, the cabinet usually contributes substantially to the sound... Read more »

How to Prepare for an Outdoor Gig

You already know that an outdoor gig has no walls or ceiling. The main effect that walls have is that they contain the soundwaves you project. Without walls, you may find that your amps don't project nearly as far as you thought they would. However, before you buy a 200W amplifier, consider... Read more »