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Microphone Month

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.

Recording Tech Tips

Can I Mic Both Speakers in My 2×12 Speaker Cabinet?

Sure! You may find you get a bigger sound by combining the tones of two different speakers (even two speakers of the same type will sound slightly different) and two different mics and mic placements. The only thing... Read more »

What’s the Difference Between Resistive and Reactive Loads?

It's not safe to operate a tube guitar amplifier with no speaker connected. The amplifier needs to see a "load" — normally from a speaker — that gives the power it puts out somewhere to go. Without a... Read more »

Cool Tool: Ansmann Work Light

Shed a little light on the subject! There's nothing worse than trying to set up on a dark stage or fiddling around in the dark inside or behind a rack loaded full of equipment. Sure, many smartphones have a... Read more »

Use Multiple Mics for More Mix Options

While it's easily possible to capture great sounds using a single microphone or a stereo pair of mics, if you read interviews with audio engineers, you know that they'll very often use multiple microphones to record... Read more »

Keyboard Shortcuts in Multiple DAWs

Most of us settle on one DAW that becomes our go-to "DAW of choice." However, there are reasons why you might use multiple DAWs. Maybe different members of your band use different DAWs and you need to be able to be... Read more »

Can I Compress Distorted Audio?

Adding tons of gain to any kind of source material, be it synthesizer, guitar, bass, vocal, drums, you name it, is going to clip the waveform, thereby naturally compressing the signal. So does that mean there's no... Read more »

How to Use Slapback Delay as Tone Thickener

Delay is a popular effect, usually used to create an effect with repeating echoes or to add a sense of space to a track or sound. But short slapback delays can also be used to "thicken up" a sound. Try adding a... Read more »

Recording Secret: Mute Unplayed Strings

Strings on stringed instruments resonate. That's what they are supposed to do. When you're strumming open chords that may be exactly what you want. But if you're recording a particularly low or downtuned part that... Read more »

How to Rhythmically Trigger a Compressor

Compressors are often used as "always on" processors designed to be constantly working to tame the dynamics of a track. However, don't discount the ability to use a compressor as a special effect. Using a compressor... Read more »

How to Record Direct with a Guitar Amp/Software Speaker Simulator

Have you ever listened to the sound of a guitar amp direct without running it through a speaker cabinet? It sounds terrible — thin, buzzy, and trebly. This is why guitarists always want to use a speaker... Read more »

Should I Mix with a Limiter?

Q: I'm not finished mixing my song, but my mix is overloading my meters. Should I add a limiter plug-in to the output fader? A: Often, professional mixing engineers — and almost always professional mastering... Read more »

How to Create Pitch Effects Using Filters

Some of the most engaging, energetic synth lines consist of short, pulsing notes that at first listen, sound as if they're changing pitch. But when you listen analytically, you'll hear that, in fact, the fundamental... Read more »

What is “Comping”?

In musical terms, "comping" is instrumentally accompanying a vocalist or soloist. In concert promotion terms, "comping" is giving someone free tickets to a show. But you're probably asking about "track comping,"... Read more »

Give Your Sequences “Feel” with Groove Extraction

The days of sequenced MIDI parts sounding robotic are over. (Unless you want your MIDI tracks to sound robotic, of course. There's nothing wrong with that!) There are lots of parameters and features in most... Read more »

What is Soft-knee Versus Hard-knee Compression?

Many compressors give you the option of either hard-knee or soft-knee compression. Still others (especially software compressors) give you a slider to adjust the response of the "knee." What does this mean? "Knee"... Read more »

Shift MIDI Notes to Compensate for Slow Synth Attack

Ever had a favorite synth sound, but the attack is just a bit slow? When you use that patch to record, it always sounds like it's playing late compared to the drums, etc. You might be tempted to adjust the attack of... Read more »

Specs Only Tell Part of the Story

It's tempting to shop by comparing specifications. After all, better gear always has better specs, right? Specs can be tremendously informative and useful when making gear decisions. But specs aren't everything... Read more »

Avid Releases El Capitan Drivers for Eleven Rack & More

Avid has released updated drivers supporting Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) for the following audio interfaces: Eleven Rack Mbox family(3rd generation) FastTrack C400 FastTrack C600 Pro Tools Quartet (Pro Tools Duet... Read more »

How to Preserve Human Feel by Quantizing Sections of Tracks

Quantization is an amazing timing tool that can help you save a performance that's generally great, but might have a few problem areas where there are noticeable timing discrepancies. When you have a track like... Read more »

RMS vs. Peak Power When Comparing Speakers

When you're researching the wattage of musical instrument/pro audio speaker drivers, you will often find two values for the power handling rating: RMS (root mean square), and "peak." It's important to know what each... Read more »

Small Amp, Big Tone

Think you need a monstrously huge amp to create a big guitar tone? Not necessarily. These days, there are low-wattage (15W or less) amps that sound like huge stadium beasts both in the room and when recorded. The... Read more »

How to Create a Wall of Sound with Different Guitar Tones

It's standard practice in studios to create a wall of guitar sound using numerous overdubbed guitar tracks. When doing this, you'll get great results using the same guitar into the same amplifier for each track... Read more »

Waves Discontinues TDM Support

Waves has released the following statement regarding their support for the TDM plug-in format: "As of January 2016, Waves will stop supporting the TDM format. Any plug-ins installed or updated via the Waves Central... Read more »

How Hi-Z is High Enough?

Electric guitars with passive pickups will always sound better through a "hi-Z," or high-impedance input. This is because you want to plug your guitar into an amplifier, direct box, preamp, or audio interface that... Read more »