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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.

Recording Tech Tips

What is True Stereo versus Pseudo-stereo?

In terms of effects and processors, there are a number of terms that can apply to the "stereo-ness" of the signal. Consider these definitions: True Stereo — The stereo signal consists of two related channels... Read more »

Ozone 7 Uninstallation Issue on PC

iZotope has just issued critical Ozone 7.01 and Ozone 7.01 Advanced updates for PC. (Mac users are not affected by these updates.) iZotope has identified the potential for a very serious system issue to occur during... Read more »

AAS Strum GS-2 Updated to Support Native Instruments NKS

AAS has announced that their virtual guitar instrument, Strum GS-2, now supports Native Instruments' NKS hardware format. NKS brings integration between Strum GS-2 and KOMPLETE KONTROL S-Series keyboards and... Read more »

If I’m Recording My Guitar or Bass Direct, Do I Need an Amplifier?

We hate to give the dreaded "it depends" answer, but in this case it really does depend on what you're doing, what gear you're using, and the results you desire. Recording guitar or bass directly into your computer... Read more »

What is the Difference Between Active and Passive Speakers?

The difference is that an active speaker has built-in active (electrically powered, battery or external AC) electronics, such as an active crossover and/or a built-in power amp. A passive speaker, on the other hand... Read more »

What is the Difference between a Balanced and a Ground-compensated Output?

Balanced connections use a 3-pin design consisting of three wires: a positive signal on one pin, negative signal on another pin, and ground on the third pin of the connector. The full signal strength is received by... Read more »

Slate Digital Issues Virtual Mix Rack Fix

Slate Digital has issued the following statement: "A few of our users reported an issue with installing the Virtual Mix Rack update, where their Virtual Microphone System module was removed. If you experienced this... Read more »

How to Make Choruses Bigger By Mixing Verses Smaller

We all want the choruses of our songs to be memorable — catchy, big, and exciting. But sometimes, if your song's verses are dense and punchy, making the choruses even bigger and punchier can be difficult. This... Read more »

Use Parallel Compression to Raise Levels While Keeping Dynamics

While the "loudness wars" seem to thankfully be winding down, that doesn't mean you don't want the level of your mixes to be as high as possible while still retaining natural dynamics. One of the "secret weapons" of... Read more »

How Do Tape and Console Plug-Ins Work?

Tape and console emulation plug-ins, such as Slate Digital VCC, Avid Reel Tape, and the Waves NLS, u-he Satin Tape Machine and Abbey Road Studios J37, and others, are all the rage. A common refrain is that they help... Read more »

MOTU Updates Digital Performer to v9.1

MOTU has released version 9.1 of Digital Performer. In addition to numerous bug fixes, the new update features: Reduced latency for audio I/O and VIs under OS X — host buffer latency under CoreAudio has been... Read more »

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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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 —... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... 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... Read more »