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NAMM Show Report

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.

Recording Tech Tips

Ableton releases Live 9.2 Public Beta

Ableton has released a free public beta of the latest update to their unique and highly successful DAW, Live. The Live 9.2 beta includes the following new features: The audio warping engine has been improved with... Read more »

How Far Apart Should I Place Stereo Microphones?

Q: How far apart do two microphones need to be when using A-B stereo microphone technique? A: A-B stereo miking, or "spaced pair" microphone technique as it is often called, relies on two microphones being placed... Read more »

How to Get a Great Guitar Sound with Sennheiser Microphones

Capturing energetic, vibrant guitar tone onstage or in your studio is easy when you choose the right microphone. Over the years, musicians and engineers have discovered that certain mics serve up consistent results... Read more »

Bitwig Announces Bitwig Studio 1.2

Bitwig showed off Bitwig Studio 1.2 at the Winter NAMM show. This update introduces a number of very powerful new features: Group Tracks: Consolidate the signal flow of multiple sources through a single Group Track... Read more »

Mesa/Boogie CabClone: Try It With a Speaker

The Mesa/Boogie CabClone is an amazingly useful tool. It lets you send a dry or cabinet-emulated signal directly to a mixer, a PA system, or your audio interface. It has a headphone output for silent practicing or... Read more »

For Guitar Players: Playing Bass like a Bass Player

How many songs have you heard in which the bass sounds either like it's being played by a frustrated guitarist who wants to rip out and solo, or that the bass is playing the same line as the guitar an octave lower?... Read more »

Mastering Tip: The Loudness Wars Are Over

Starting in the '90s, artists and bands wanted their release to be the loudest release in a listener's multi-CD changer, so that it would stand out. Thus, the "loudness wars" began, in which every album fought to be... Read more »

Double-click to Create New Tracks in Pro Tools 11

In Pro Tools 11, you can double-click with the mouse in empty space below existing tracks in the Edit window or next to or below existing tracks in the Mix window. The following give you options for the type(s) of... Read more »

Effect Tip: Use a High-Pass Filter before Reverb

Nearly every mix uses reverb in some way. It can create artificial spaces, make thin tracks sound fuller, and create depth and dimension. However, it can also turn your tracks or entire mix to mush if you're not... Read more »

Pro Tools Tip: Use Key Commands to Select Track Views

The Pro Tools Edit window is laid out to allow you to access nearly everything you'll need graphically, but power users know that to really fly around the interface, you'll want to memorize key commands. One example... Read more »

Pro Tools Tip: Toggling Track View between Waveform and Volume

To quickly toggle the track view, for all tracks, between displaying waveform and displaying volume, hold the Option key (Mac) or the Alt key (Windows), then press the hyphen (-) key on the QWERTY keyboard (not the... Read more »

Blue Cat Audio Updates PatchWork

Blue Cat Audio has updated PatchWork, its "universal patch bay for plug-ins" software to version 1.62. This update includes a new light-blue user interface theme in addition to its original darker color scheme... Read more »

DAW Tip: Colorize Your Tracks

Regardless of your DAW of choice, they all offer you the ability to color to your tracks and mixer channels. Usually, they'll impart a basic color of their own, such as red for audio tracks, and blue for MIDI... Read more »

Why do some MIDI synths have CV/Gate jacks?

Q: Why do some MIDI synthesizers and effects have CV/Gate jacks? A: Back before MIDI, the only way for one device to control another was through the use of control voltage inputs and outputs, and gate (trigger)... Read more »

Dave Smith Instruments Releases OS Update and Soundset for Tempest

Dave Smith Instruments, one of the most acclaimed and beloved designers of analog and analog/digital hybrid synthesizers, has updated the operating system on the Tempest analog/digital hybrid instrument to OS 1.4... Read more »

Do I need a Preamp?

These days, nearly every audio interface includes preamps so that you can get a strong level into your DAW. Some of them include a fair number of features, such as selection among line, mic, and instrument levels;... Read more »

Fix It Before the Mix

How many times have you heard an engineer (or yourself!) say, "We'll fix it in the mix." Smoothing over a rough patch in a song during mixdown is something we've all done — and there's nothing wrong with that... Read more »

Tricks to Avoid Fader Creep When Mixing

Does this sound familiar: You start your mix with the faders flat and ample headroom on your output. You start slowly making one track louder, then another, then another. You can't hear the first track the way you... Read more »

How Can I Improve My Mix Results with Better Monitoring?

Q: What is the best way to monitor when mixing? A: Some people say you should always mix loud, so you hear everything. Others will tell you to always mix softly so as not to fatigue your ears. Another school of... Read more »

Using the Strip Silence in your DAW to Create New Regions

Every major DAW, including Pro Tools, Cubase, Studio One, and so on, has a "strip silence" command to remove sections of audio regions that have no audio. You select the track, choose Strip Silence, and then set a... Read more »

How to Place Your Monitors Around Your Audio Workstation

Proper acoustics is a science. Adjusting the acoustics for bright and dead spots, soundproofing your project studio, and more all go into creating the optimal listening environment. However, the reality is that many... Read more »

How to Stereo Link Two Mono 527 Modules in an API Lunchbox

These days, API 500-format modules are available in all kinds of configurations, including stereo. However, for a long time, only mono modules were available. Some of these modules allowed for stereo operation with... Read more »

Avid Drivers Updated

Avid has released driver updates for OS X 10.10 and 10.10.1 (Yosemite) and 10.9.5 (Mavericks) for the following productions: 003Eleven RackMbox (3rd Gen)Mbox Mini (3rd Gen)Mbox Pro (3rd Gen)MobilePre (2nd Gen)Fast... Read more »

Avid Releases Pro Tools 11.3

Avid has released version 11.3 of Pro Tools 11. The new version provides OS X 10.10 and 10.10.1 (Yosemite), OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks), and OS X 10.8.5 (Mountain Lion) compatibility, along with various fixes and... Read more »