Welcome back to the blog! Reamping was a technique that eluded me for years, and what I initially learnt seemed to constantly change as I started learning new information, after new information, as well as everyone within forums wanting to pitch the ‘best’ way to go about this essential skill.
However, after nearly a decade of refining and learning how to go about this specific practice, I think I’m ready to pass on the touch to someone else reading, so you can start experimenting with my thoughts and build upon them.
So, with all that being said, let’s dive in!
How To Re-Amp
Reamping isn’t actually as hard as you might think. All it takes is a few very specific tools and techniques and you’ll be able to play with the formula from there! First off, let's talk about what you will need to achieve the basics.
A Reamping box is a must. Simply put, it’s basically a DI box in reverse, and able to match the impedance of the output of your interface so as to match the required level for the pedal, amp, or poweramp for you to properly achieve Reamping. Without this small, but very crucial box, you'll find a mix of hum, noise, of both due to the nature of impedance. My personal favorite is the ART Dual RDB which I’ve had for years. Not only is it inexpensive, but it will allow you to send the same or 2 separate signals to either the same or 2 separate amp configurations, both enabling you to blend amps, but also save time if you do have duplicates of amps/cabs/pedals as to allow far more efficiency while reamping.
I've had my RDB Reamping box for almost 5 years now and it still works like the first day I got it!
Unfortunately, Reamping does require playing the signal in real time as you record as opposed to rendering offline, as well as they typical set up of a guitar rig - however, over the last few years, technology has gotten so sophisticated that you can start to experiment with shortening the chain in which you send the signal to be Reamped though.
Reamping without Mic’ing Up A Cab
Over the last half a decade, I’ve been lucky enough to work alongside some of the best minds in the industry, including the guys at JZ Mics! But prior to my position here, I was working for companies such as Two Notes Audio Engineering and Neural DSP just as they were starting to get out of the gate.
The Torpedo Captor from Two Notes is in my humble opinion the best tool for attenuating an amplifier so it's at a better recording volume.
Two Notes are very well known for their Impulse recreation due to their plugin Wall Of Sound. They utilize a technology that no one else does where by capturing impulse responses in a totally different way to the rest of the market - and they’ve made sure to work with some of the best names in the industry such as Orange, Mesa Boogie and Laney to ensure they consistently bring their best quality all the time. Thanks to all of this, Wall of Sound is a perfect addition to their pioneering technology within the Loadbox such as their Captor range, which allows you to take the output of an everyday guitar or bass head amplifier, and either attenuate it for a better regulated volume without the compromise of limiting on pushing the poweramp valve stage; but also allowing the use of sending an amplifier's signal straight to an interface and using an impulse to complete the chain and adding a cabinet to the signal without having to mic one up.
Reamping Just For Pedals
One of the main ways I choose to reamp my signals is simply to add pedals at the start of the chain. There’s too many pedals to go into detail on my favorites, but the few I have located under my desk as some of the one I commonly rely upon for various tasks; from compression, to overdrive, chorus to synths.
The main reason I do this if the project requires it, and by that I mean the guitars either aren’t sitting in the mix as well as I hoped, or the takes have been sent to me and I’m mixing remotely so I didn’t have control on the recording side which I tend to like so I can make sure it’s to my specifications. When either of these two things occur, the first thing I go to is the overdrive pedals I have from Ground Control Audio which I have 2 variations of and always help me find more balance in the guitar tones if they’re not quite right.
Another great thing to reamp to pedals specifically for would be time based effects such as reverb, delay, tremolo, or others that might not have been emulated as of yet in the digital world, or there aren’t plugins that sound quite like them - Strymon and Empress Audio have a real habit of creating sounds in their pedals that you can only get by using their pedals for example. And it’s not just guitars that can be sent out to these pedals either, you could also send vocals out to them in order to bring new flavors to your vocal mix, or perhaps a special effect whereby you’ve distorted the vocal (I really like using tubescreamers for this!).
If you already have the means to reamp and you maybe haven’t been for whatever reason, I would urge you to revisit it and see what wonderful sounds you can make. And if you;ve never done it before, I can assure you that you’ll definitely fall down the rabbit hole once you start - but it’s so, so worth doing! In any case though, if you’ve enjoyed this post, please let me know or if you have a topic in mind you’d like me to talk about please let me know as well. Until next time however, stay creative!