All you need to know and no one ever told you about Reamping!
There are several reasons to REAMP something, but, wait. What on earth is REAMP?
Well, as it name suggests it’s the technique of re-amplifying something that’s already been recorded. Something that was well played, with the right energy, but, with a sound that just doesn’t cut, may be fixed with reamping.
So, let’s check out some reamping tips and tricks and situations this might be used.
In recent years, guitar and bass reamping has been significantly simplified with the plethora of virtual amps around (some built-in in your daw, some for free, some quite cheap, some quite expensive). Now it’s quite a common practice to record a D.I. Bass guitar and then just insert your favourite virtual bass amp on your DAW.
This is true with guitars too, and just gives a lot of freedom to manipulate the amp during mixing, and even automate parameters on the amp itself. Some virtual amp, even lets you position mics however you want. This way, you can record a Rock and Roll-three-piece-band using D.I. for guitar and bass and then use a virtual amp so you don’t need to worry about leakage into the drum mics. Great solution indeed.
The traditional way for reamping, involves real amps, you just route whatever you want to REAMP to an output on your DAW, plug that output into your amp, set the mics, and you are good to go. Well, that’s not entirely true, you’ll need to match impedance first if you don’t wanna have noise.
Luckily enough there are some pretty simple solutions for this, the easiest one is to get yourself a REAMP box. This is is like a D.I. box, but works the other way around. Inside, it has a transformer which converts the line level impedance into instrument level impedance. They go for around 100 dollars.
Other solutions are adapters with built-in transformers, or just use an insert or even an aux send in a mixer. If you still wanna REAMP and don’t have any of this and your budget is 0, you can still go directly from a line level output to an amp input just by turning down the fader on your daw about 30dB (guess that would be safe), anyway, if you choose this way, you’ll still probably get some noise.
You can do lot’s of fun stuff you wouldn’t do any other way like reamping a bass guitar through a guitar amp or viceversa, a Hammond organ through a Marshall Amp or a bass synth through a bass Amp. Any cool combination can be achieved and it’s great to experiment with REAMP.
You can even REAMP a vocal track through a distorted tube amp, a drum buss through a leslie cabinet, etc, etc. Just experiment with whatever you have!
REAMP is not just for guitars and basses. Lots of times you’ll find the snare drum is very well played and with the right energy, but, just sounds too thin. Maybe it was recorded using an awful snare or maybe it was tuned too high for the song.
You can REAMP snares too, and they can sound fantastic!
This is how you do it: first you’ll find a new snare drum with a sound that matches your needs or taste, next, you patch your existing snare track to an output on your DAW, and connect that output to a guitar amp or an active monitor speaker or you can plug it to an amp, and plug that amp to a speaker cone. Face the snare to the speaker as close as you can, and mic it as you’d normally do, next, just hit record in your daw! The speaker will make the snare vibrate, and now you can blend the two snares together to create a new snare!
Sometimes the room where something has been recorded is just too dead, but you’ve got a hall which sounds great or even the control room is pretty live, so, patch anything you want to sound more alive to an output in your DAW, use some active monitors, and mic the room. Now you’ve got a real nice room to play with and make your sounds more alive.
Again, get creative!
I’ve just showed you some tips and tricks for REAMP, but, there’s no right or wrong, just experiment and get creative, you never know what’s gonna work. Experimentation is the key in here. For example, you can do the same stuff that I’ve mentioned with the snare drum, but for a kick drum to add some resonance. The point is, it only takes 15 minutes or so, it’s fun, and one way or another, reamping will bring you great results! So, go ahead, try something new!
If you enjoyed this article, please show your support by sharing it with your friends.[author image=”https://www.producerspot.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/piggy-sounds-logo.jpg” ]Rafael Hofstadter is a recording and mixing engineer and sound designer with 10+ years experience in playing and programming synths, recording, mixing and producing pop/rock/folk albums. He also runs piggysounds.com.[/author]