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Tech Tips

inSync Tech Tips cover over 4,700 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

Cakewalk Releases SONAR 2016.07 with New Theme Editor

Cakewalk has updated SONAR to version 2016.07. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the main new feature is the Theme Editor. Users can now change colors and customize images across the program using an external image editor such as Adobe Photoshop, Paint.net, or the GNU Image Manipulation... Read more »

Phasiness When Tracking in DAW

Q: I'm having a strange problem. I bought a new audio interface and now when I record enable a track in my DAW, the incoming signal sounds all phasey and hollow. What am I doing wrong? A: Our bet is that when you enable record for a track in the DAW, you're inadvertently monitoring from two... Read more »

What is the Gear for Sweetwater’s Angus Young Video?

Q: I was wondering what guitar rig Mitch Gallagher is using in a video he did on Angus Young's guitar tone? I love the tone in that video! A: Mitch tells us: I'm glad you like that guitar tone! In the video, I'm using a Gibson Custom Angus Young Signature SG guitar, a Marshall 1987X 50-watt... Read more »

Aim for Unity Gain through Most Plug-ins

With today's high track counts and nearly limitless power to add plug-in processing, it can be easy to lose track of gain levels, and ignore the fact that one plug-in or another may be be raising the gain or lowering the gain of an entire track. As a general rule, you want to try to keep... Read more »

How to Connect an Extension Cabinet to a JVM410C

Q: I'm going to buy the Marshall 1960BV and I need to know how to hook it up to my Marshall JVM410C combo so I can also use the internal combo speaker. A: The JVM410C has five speaker outputs, you can use either one cabinet or two cabinets; how you connect them depends on their impedance. It's... Read more »

Korg Releases Electribe V2.0 and Free Patterns

Korg has released a new version 2.0 operating system for their Electribe and Electribe Sampler. The Version 2.0 operating system addresses three big user requests: Single-level undoPattern chainingOn-screen original parameter display Korg has also released more than 400 free bonus patterns... Read more »

When Should I Change My Guitar or Bass Strings?

Some players change their strings on a regular schedule whether they need to or not, just to be sure their strings never go bad. Other people don't really think about their strings, and keep them on their instrument far past their useful life. There are no rules, since the answer depends on how... Read more »

Push/Pull MIDI Drums for Added Feel

It's never been easier to program drum parts. Nearly every DAW will let you draw a part directly on a musical grid or you can use tracks generated by an awesome instrument such as Toontrack EZdrummer 2. Just remember, if you're going after realistic drum tracks, real drummers don't play exactly... Read more »

Should I Record Through Effects?

There's two school of thoughts when it comes to recording effects. One says record the signal dry, and add effects during mixdown. That way, you can tailor the tone and level of your effects to the final mix. If you record with delay, for example, the repeats may end up not being loud enough... Read more »

Crank It Up, Turn Down the Bass Control

When you're playing your guitar parts by yourself at lower volumes, you'll probably want to turn your bass knob on your amp up to give your guitar full-bodied sound. However, when you're playing loud, especially in a band situation, the low end of your signal will be a lot more present. At that... Read more »

Mix Tip: More Exciting Bass

On some of the most popular listening devices, such as headphones, earbuds, and computer speakers, the ability to reproduce bass is severely limited, and too much low bass in a mix will overwhelm the music. However, this doesn't mean you can't have low end in your mixes. Bass-specific harmonic... Read more »

How to Place Studio Monitors for Stereo Mixing

There are some rules of thumb when it comes to placing monitors. For example, it's best not to place the speakers tight against a wall as this results in a low end build up of 3dB. Symmetry is also important — especially if you're working in stereo (which most of us are). Ideally, you... Read more »

How to Convert Arturia V4 Presets to V5

Arturia has released a Preset Updater for updating presets made for their V Collection 4 software instruments to be compatible with V Collection 5 instruments. Simply download the preset updater app, click to start scanning your presets, select the presets you want to convert, and you're done!

Yamaha Updates MONTAGE Firmware to v1.11

Yamaha has released the version 1.11 update to the operating system of their MONTAGE line of keyboard workstation synthesizers. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the following new features are available in the updated firmware: New Performances have been added.From the Performance Play (Home)... Read more »

Toontrack Releases EZDrummer v2.1.2

Toontrack has updated EZDrummer to version 2.1.2. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the new update includes: Pasting onto an empty track sets the time signature to that of the pasted loop.Drumkit preset menu signals if the selected preset does not represent current state.It is now possible to... Read more »

How to Record the Output of a Reason 9 Player Device to a Track

One of the new features in Propellerhead Reason 9 is Player devices (such as Note Echo, Scales and Chords, and Dual Arpeggio), which let you alter playback of a MIDI performance in realtime. This means if you record your performance into the Reason sequencer, you'll just record the notes that... Read more »

How Often Should I Replace My Audio Cables?

Cables don't "wear out" in the same way that some components, such as vacuum tubes, do. In most cases, unless it is damaged or suffers wear from being coiled/uncoiled, stepped on, pulled, twisted, bent, or otherwise abused, a cable will continue to perform just as it did when you purchased it... Read more »

Soundtoys Releases v5.0.4

Soundtoys has updated their processors to version 5.0.4. This update fixes a MIDI-syncing issue with Tremolator, PhaseMistress, PanMan, and FilterFreak in several digital audio workstations. Version 5.0.4 is a free update for all Soundtoys version 5 product owners. The installers may be... Read more »

Cakewalk Updates SONAR to 2016.06

Cakewalk has issued their latest monthly update to SONAR. The newest version, 2016.06, includes: Numerous bug fixes and enhancementsSmart SwipeTH3 ChangesTheme Fixes Smart Swipe Track Controls let users instantly enable/disable buttons on multiple tracks by clicking a button in one track, then... Read more »

EQ Before or After Compression?

Whether to use EQ before or after (or both before and after) applying compression is a creative choice. But to make the best decision, you should understand how a compressor will affect an EQ'd signal: When you EQ a signal, you are emphasizing and/or de-emphasizing frequencies. When you... Read more »