"Everyone uses the same samples and amp sims", "everything's quantized and edited to perfection", "modern productions have no soul", "So many bands sound basically the same", ...
Well, here's the cure:
Make your records sound special and exciting by using and creating sounds that are unique to your production and fit your vibe perfectly.
There are things that you can do during the actual recording, of course, but usually you need to focus on the performance, capture great takes and you don't want to paint yourself into a corner too early in the process.
That's where "creative reamping" comes in. It's the process of taking an already recorded signal, running it out of the computer into a pedal, an amp, a PA system, some weird sounding box, etc. and then capturing it again.
This can be done after the recording, without destroying the original file. And experimenting with it is almost a must, when you are self-recording. Because you have all the time to do this without having to pay for an expensive studio, you can go absolutely bananas here, if you want!
Run your vocals through guitar pedals, send your drums through a PA system into some crazy sounding room, use a boombox or kids toy as a guitar amp, use headphones as microphones, there are endless options to try.
In this episode we'll talk about some ideas and about how to actually do this. Stop making boring records and let's get wild!
Related Blog Post:
TSRB Podcast 021 - Creative Reamping Techniques
[00:00:00] Malcom: [00:00:00] Whoa, man. I wish I could get my drums to sound like that. The easiest way to get there and say, crank up a PA system that loud and make it up. It could be really cool.
Benedikt: [00:00:16] Just the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own. Wherever you are. DIY style. Let's go.
Hello and welcome. To the self recording band podcast. I'm your host Ben at the time. And I'm here with my cohost backroom own flood, who I bet is doing pretty fantastic because he's got exciting news to share. Hi Malcolm. I bet you're doing very well.
Malcom: [00:00:44] I got engaged over the weekend. Yeah, I'm stoked. I've been a think I should know this, but I think me and my girlfriend, Beth have been together for seven years about now.
So it was kind of overdue really. Uh, and we went for it.
[00:01:00] Benedikt: [00:01:01] That's so awesome at Congress and yeah, it's I got a video from Markham or we in our mastermind group get a video from him and, uh, I didn't expect. The edit all. I just saw the video and I was like, I dunno, uh, I just picked it and then I heard some guitar music, and then suddenly, like, I see my com on his knees and I'm like, yo, that's like, that's actually pretty exciting news.
And, uh, yeah. So, so stoked for you.
Malcom: [00:01:35] That was a big moment. Yeah. We had like some really important friends there for we're kind of around and, uh, And my buddy Robin Oban mate of mine, uh, was able to be there and kind of whip out a guitar that he'd hidden, just like right at the right moment. So my, my fiance now, uh, uh, it's the first time I've actually had to say that right on, uh, Beth was just [00:02:00] like so surprised.
She was just utterly in shock. It was awesome.
Benedikt: [00:02:03] Oh, that's that's the best thing. Yeah. You got to get used to that. I think I called my wife, my girlfriend for a long
Malcom: [00:02:10] time
Benedikt: [00:02:10] before I finally
Malcom: [00:02:12] got used to it. So yeah,
Benedikt: [00:02:15] that's part of it. Okay. So yeah, this, that much I can, I can add to this. This is the best, the best news we ever had on the podcast.
I think, um, I, the only thing I can say is, and I only, like, it's not nearly as exciting, but I have to say it because we already, we, we mentioned it on the podcast already. My wife actually decided that we need to get some Indian runner ducks. Now, again,
Malcom: [00:02:39] we've been
Benedikt: [00:02:40] talking about, so we actually have a pair of ducks now.
Yeah. Uh, yeah. And they are like, I think we get, they, we don't have them yet. They think she's got it. She's going to get them this week, but we've already, we know them already. We saw them already.
[00:03:00] Malcom: [00:03:00] Are they going to have names?
Benedikt: [00:03:01] Yeah. It's like a church. It's like German names. They are called, they already have names.
They are called Liza and lotta. So, um, yeah. And I think, are we going to keep that? Um, and yeah, they're gonna. They're going to run around our garden and eat snails. Hopefully. Awesome.
Malcom: [00:03:24] Hopefully not the garden, just the snails, right?
Benedikt: [00:03:26] Yeah. I hope so. I hope so. Yeah. Yeah. But usually they do. Yeah. So that's, that's that, uh, before we like lose the rest of the, of the audience now, um, I wanna tell you real quick what this episode is about because.
Today, we are going to talk about how to make your productions more exciting and add vibe and character to them by using creative reamping techniques. And we're going to show you what that actually means, what that, what that is. And we're going to give you some practical examples [00:04:00] of things you can do and how to actually do that.
And it's something that's really. Cool to do, because I mean, nobody wants to sound like everyone else. Right. And many records nowadays kind of sound the same in some ways, because people use the same sample libraries, they use the same guitar, amp, Sims or whatever. Um, so, and they, certain recording techniques are very popular.
And I'm not saying that all records sound the same, not at all, but everyone's wants to sound unique and the more. Templates and presets and software and samples and stuff we use, the more likely we are to create stuff that's a little, yeah. Normal or like average. And with those, um, creative reamping techniques that we're going to talk about, you can add flavor and vibe and thanks to your.
Productions that's that are totally unique to you and your songs. And that's the coolest thing about it. And you're totally free. There are no rules. Um, but we're going to give you some practical example of it. [00:05:00] Yeah, yeah,
Malcom: [00:05:01] definitely. Uh, it's it's just like a really fun way to switch it up and, and get results that are going to be told to unique.
Um, and does, that's why we thought it'd be fun. Like normally we're kind of talking about fundamental. Recording techniques that are just like, you know, we're always nail the basics first and then, then explore. Um, and if you're looking to explore this, it's like such a great kind of place to jump into. Um, if you have a guitarist in your band, if you're, if you're not the guitarist and you have a band.
The guitarist in your band almost definitely has like dozens of guitar pedals. It's like kind of a thing. Any guitarist is addicted to pedals and now you can actually put them some to some good use. That's.
Benedikt: [00:05:42] Exactly. And that's the, that's the exciting thing about it as well as like we are, when you hit the term, when you hear the term reamping, you probably think about guitars.
And we are actually not going to talk about guitars as much in this episode, we're going to talk about using guitar gear and guitar, pedals, and effects, and like cheap stuff that you [00:06:00] have that you can use creatively, but not on actual guitars, but on other things like vocals and drums, especially because we feel like these are instruments that you can really, um, make exciting and unique sounding by using those tools in a kind of unconventional way.
So let's start by maybe explaining what reamping actually is technically and how it works. So how would you go about it if you wanted to use a guitar pedal on a vocal or. Or drum kit or a piece of the kit.
Malcom: [00:06:32] Right? Well, I guess there, there's kind of reamping in real time and not in real time, but we're talking about after the fact, I think for the most, most part.
Right. Um, so the, the challenge comes in that you need to get your signal out of your door, out of your interface and into these guitar pedals, and then back into your computer. Um, so really that's what we need to break down to understand how to. Creatively reamp things like a vocal or drums or, [00:07:00] or whatever you're trying to send through these pedals.
Um, and there are these things called reamp boxes, which would be what you need for this. Um, ideally I think you can use a DEI, right. Um, but I would definitely recommend getting a reamp box. It's going to be a better fit, more correct. And, um, have some extra. Some extra features. That'll probably be useful.
Like my reamp box has like a gain knob on it. Um, so you can kind of
Benedikt: [00:07:30] hit
Malcom: [00:07:31] the gear, like the pedals in this case, how you need to like to taste, I guess.
Benedikt: [00:07:36] Um,
Malcom: [00:07:37] and, and there's like, you know, ground lifts and all sorts of stuff. So you gotta come out of your interface. Normally you do that by setting like an ox or a bus, um, out of one of the outputs.
Um, and then you send the tracks, let's say we're going to send a lead vocal out, send it out of that. Come out of the actual hardware output of your interface into this reamp box. And then from that reamp box, [00:08:00] you should be able to now use a guitar cable to go right into a guitar pedal, um, or two or three, as many as you want.
And then out of that guitar pedal. Probably into an amplifier and then you just make up the amplifier, rerecord that back in. Um, you also could go into like IDI and then go direct back in, you know, like, or you could probably even go hit back into the high Z input of your interface if you really wanted to, it really depends on what you're trying to achieve.
But the, the main core concept is just getting out into a reamp box, which is going to get the signal converted to the right impedance. So that is going to actually work with these guitar, uh, guitar pedals, how it's meant to. That makes sense. Absolutely. A long winded response. No,
Benedikt: [00:08:44] absolutely. Um, I think, I mean, if it's not an actual guitar, you could see your end, depending on the effect you're using.
You could theoretically just even use the line signal, send it through and see what happens. And that is that you cannot damage anything usually. So. [00:09:00] Um, you don't need the reamp box, but I would also recommend using one just because then you know, that the pedal does exactly what it's supposed to do and you have control over it.
So if you just send out, like if you go out off the, the line output of your interface and into the pedal directly, It could work, but it could also be that the frequency response is not the same. Like you have like, maybe do you, you overdrive the pedal or you clip it or whatever, like it could be cool, but it also could be not.
And it's pretty unpredictable. So to get more predictable results and to make sure everything works the way it's supposed to, I would also recommend getting a reamp box. Definitely. Um, is the cheaper option here is like using a dye in reverse, but that's kind of not the same thing. I've I've heard comparisons where people use that and it's it, it worked, but I've also heard examples where people got noise problems or level problems, and it's like, Hmm, I'd go with the real thing and go with the reamp box just as Malcolm said, but if you don't have one, I want to try it right now.
You cannot [00:10:00] damage anything. Just like I would start with beeping the level really low, going out, go out of the line output, put, plug it directly into the paddle and slowly raise the volume and see what happens and if it's cool. It's cool. So,
Malcom: [00:10:11] yeah. Yeah, this is all very like break the rules could work situation because you're kind of in effect already breaking the rules.
You're now using guitar pedals on other instruments is, is really. What we're trying to do here. Um, there's a band that comes to mind called the set, which was a pretty successful band in Canada. Um, and their singer had this giant pedalboard attached to his Mike's dad. So it was like, kind of up at like hand level for him.
So he could like be stomping, stop guitar, stomp boxes. They were all guitar pedals. I'm pretty sure. Uh, while he's singing, you know, so you'd have like this modulator that made him sound like he was in a fishbowl or something, um, like a Trello and like reverbs, big delay throws that, you know, he would like manually throw him.
So he was like manually mixing all his vocal effects, Okta ups and harmonies and stuff like that. Well, he [00:11:00] was singing and that was like their thing. It was, it was amazing to watch. Um, and you can do that live with this kind of stuff, but you can also do it in the studio. And really get unique, uh, effects into your songs.
Benedikt: [00:11:12] Yes. And what I really like about this is that people like, like the, like the example that you just mentioned, like they use. Guitar pedals typically for typically for that, instead of like, there are some vocal effects, pedals and multi-factor and stuff like that, but I think it's really cool to use vibey stuff and not, not because many of those multi effects of vocal pedals, they just try to do what plugins do like to try to make a vocal mix that you can have onstage like instantly out of a pedal.
Oftentimes at least there are reverbs delays, dabblers, whatever chorus effects. But you can do that in the diet. That's usually not as spectacular, but using like vibey guitar effects, that's where the magic is like guitar delays and I'd have delays some weird reverbs or like overdrive, distortion, um, stuff [00:12:00] like that.
That's what would really, what's really cool about it. And also. Combining that in like this paddleboard that you just mentioned, always like you want to always end up with a very unique combination, very unique sound that you just cannot replicate. And it's unique to you only, you have this combination and the gain staging and everything you used and whatever you capture coming out of the pedalboard will be totally unique to you.
Malcom: [00:12:25] it's even more powerful in the recording world than it is live because things like distortion and stuff like that on a vocal are just going to be like feedback city,
Benedikt: [00:12:32] right?
Malcom: [00:12:33] The sound guy's just going to like leave ditch yet. But in the studio, like, you know, he turns the use headphones or whatever you're going to be in control and you can like get really wild and just absolutely demolished these what your source signal and make some really cool effects.
Um, so like vocally, some ideas that come to mind would be like, Like, I remember like early two thousands metal core stuff, having like, like the radio voice breakdown, you know, like it goes to like somebody speaking through like [00:13:00] a, a megaphone or something like that, that that'd be like really cool sounded to guitar pedals.
Um, and you can do all these things in the dark, but it just does sound different. Um, I think because like Benny said, these. These pedals are designed for, for guitars, not for stuff like vocals. So they, they react in ways that you're not expecting and it can be very cool. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:13:23] And especially with things like that, because like the radio voice or megaphone effects, telephone effects, stuff like that, like is so overused and so cliche sometimes, but sometimes it fits the song. And especially if you want to do something like that, you want to make sure it's sounds somewhat unique or. Like it has some, some character, something that's special about it because yeah, it's really dangerous and can be pretty cheesy to put stuff like that in and that's where guitar pedals and unique sounds are the way to go in my opinion, because it's like the other option, and that's what people do all the [00:14:00] time, is just you put a low pass and a high pass filter on it and whatever stock overdrive you have in your DAW or something like that. And then it sounds like a telephone or megaphone. But that's the boring stuff. A guitar pedal is way cooler and much more unpredictable.
Malcom: [00:14:15] Yeah. It's going to be like, number one is going to be more fun to actually like create with you and your band or whoever you're recording with. Like, it's actually like this experience and people are grabbing knobs in real time. And that is a really cool thing about it. So easy to like have somebody or yourself managing the knobs on the pedal while you're recording.
So you can kind of like automate a pass as you go, which is super, super fun. Um, but the other thing is like with like delays, especially and stuff like that. Um, everybody's always using the same one. Like almost every pro recording engineer. I know, or mixed engineer. I know uses echo boy by sound toys for vocal delay.
It's just like the bee's knees and it's great, but everybody uses it. So it's like, okay, it's starting to become a sound. That's just like the status quo. So if you can [00:15:00] mix it up, it's just another way to stand
Benedikt: [00:15:01] out. Yeah, totally. And delay throws can be especially concerning because there are some guitar pedals that do special things.
There are some, some analytic delays that are not even expensive that I really love and that they, you can't, you cannot do that in the dog. They have, they just have a sound and I don't know why, but I've always loved the, even also when recording guitars, I always loved tracking. And committing to the actual delay pedal more than doing it afterwards.
Um, because I don't know, but just because of that, because it has a certain vibe to it and I just love analog delays. I don't, I can't, I can put it. I don't know, it's just the way it is. Yeah. And it's also like a thing that's just cool
Malcom: [00:15:45] with, with guitars, especially, it sounds really different. Um, you know, cause like it's either, uh, placed into the mix after it's been recorded and that means that it's not reacting to what the room, um, or what the microphones or the speakers or anything [00:16:00] like that.
It's just like, So it's after the fact. So, you know, there's, there's really cool things I like about that. Like, it can be incredibly stereo and stuff like that, but when you throw it out into the room and like actually through the amplifier, now that delay kind of has like this tone imprint of whatever the guitar was also going through.
It's it's a totally different sound. Um, and yeah, I think it's generally more vibe-y to, to print it. You're right.
Benedikt: [00:16:26] Totally. And I think, especially with delayed throws with when like specific parts of a song with a band, once of the lay throw an audible, like delay in there, it can be, sometimes it can be pretty difficult and it's a lot of back and forth often because they say they will send you, I mean, me as a mixer in that case, they sent me.
The the, the drive vocal, and then a note where they explain whether when a half the delay throw, and then I do what I interpret, like the way I interpret this note and I put the today throw in there and make it sound cool. At least I think it sounds cool. And then I sent it to the band. [00:17:00] And then they're like, yeah, that's kind of cool, but not actually what we thought, what we wanted.
Um, can you do like one more or like more feedback or less feedback or can you like make it more low-fi or more whatever. And then we go back and forth a couple of times until I. Exactly nail what they initially thought. And it's so much easier if you just do that and just send it along with your vocal, you can do that on a separate track so that you don't like commit to something that doesn't work, but just included in the multi-track and send it to the mixer.
Because if it's great, you can just use it and you don't, you don't, you're not wasting time trying to figure out. Um, what the initial idea was, just do it, commit to it, come up with a cool, unique sound. And then let's, let's get that into the mix. And I loved getting like committed pre, uh, like delay throws from bands.
That's. That's just something I really appreciate when people do that. And you might be wondering why we are telling you to reamp that stuff, because that's what I just thought while we're talking about this, because you [00:18:00] could just record through those pedals. Right? So before we move on with, with other examples, I'd like to ask you Mac, what's the advantage of like reamping that instead of just singing right through that, the pedal chain, for example,
Malcom: [00:18:14] right.
Well, I mean, stuff like delay throws a for example, are probably momentary instances where you want it. You probably don't want it through the whole song. Um, and there is an added flexibility. Now, if you were to reamp, because you could also send the mixer. The dry signal as well. So you can be like this, but we want a more stereo, you know, something like that.
Um, and then the mixer would now have the ability to, uh, Play with that a little bit, you know, and expand on the idea we're using the dry signal if they needed to. Um, those are the two that come to mind. Is that what you're getting
Benedikt: [00:18:47] at? Yeah, totally. And also, but I think there's another advantage because the it's more fun and it's a creative thing to do when you're sitting together in front of the speakers and tweaking the panels like you, like [00:19:00] one guy or girl is the engineer, the producer, and then there's the singer.
And they sit in front of the DAW and they hear their recorded vocals and they have the pedals in front of them, and then they can tweak it together and come up with cool ideas. That's just a very fun thing to do and a very creative thing to do. So you record your vocals, you probably, as you said, don't want most of the effects throughout the whole song, but it's more a certain like ear candy thing in certain parts. And yeah, you have the dry vocal, you can use that and it's a kind of a safety thing, but also it's like probably going to be the main vocal take.
And then you can just do whatever you want and put up all these pedals in front of you and just play with it and automate it as you go and do it in real time. And you can like sit there and if the whole band is there, you can basically use, I don't know, 10 hands and simultaneously turn all the knobs and come up with cool things. And that's just so fun to do.
And while you're tracking, you should actually [00:20:00] focus on the performance more than turning the knobs. So I think when you're tracking, you should be totally focusing on the vocal performance on the vibe, the feeling of the actual, like what the person is singing. And then, once you got that, you can focus on the tone and stuff.
The only exception for me would be if those pedals and effects you're creating are sort of interacting with the singer. If that's the case, that can be the case with guitars often with delays and stuff, so if that's the case, if it becomes part of the performance, then you have to figure out a way to do it in real time.
And maybe you can split it just so you have the safety measure of like a dry track. But that's the only exception. But if it's not crucial to the actual singing, the actual performance, I would do that as a separate step. That's why we we're saying reamping and I would do it before mixing. I would do it and then send that to the mixer.
Malcom: [00:20:53] Yeah. That's, that's a fantastic point. Creativity can get in the way of productivity if you're not [00:21:00] careful. Um, which is like the hallmark of a good producer is like somebody that knows when to turn off the tap and be like, we're going to turn the creativity. Tap back on in a second guys. We just have to get this down, um, and to, to talk about, uh, What you were just saying with, if it's integral to the performance, you can still just, you know, go through the song dry and then have the singer also lay down a wet performance as well.
You know, I'm just going to punch in that part kind of thing with the effects, in addition to the dry one as well. So you don't have to like, I, I would still just like focus on getting the vocal down, then break out the pedals, get whatever you need. And then you can go into reamping from there.
Benedikt: [00:21:41] Yeah. Agreed.
That's that? I just wanted to, to get that in there because people might be wondering why the hell should we reamp stuff? And what isn't that part of mixing aren't we supposed to record or whatever. So just so that people are not confused. Alright, so we have the, to sum it up, we have the radio voice. We have to delay [00:22:00] throws when you're talking about vocals, what other vocal examples could you think of.
Malcom: [00:22:04] Like it's, it's limitless. Uh, if you got a pedal, you can make it happen. You know, I've got an octave pedal that can be pretty fun. Um, like if anybody's got a POG, uh, at home, which I actually don't have, but I would like, uh, they can do like octaves up octaves down, whatever, you know, um, you can make your voice sound like an organ if you really want it.
It's incredible. So like, You can do that kind of stuff. Um, you know, more modulated stuff like Trello or a course, or, uh, like a rotary speaker kind of effect, you know, that stuff can be so interesting. Um, and you could also do this as layers, you know, like maybe you have your lead vocal holding like this big Epic note in the course, but you've also got a nut, like an overdub layer of it, like with rotary speaker being thrown around the room, you know, you can just do stuff that is not even like, you can't even really do that in the doll very well.
Like I have never found a good rotary plugin. If somebody's got a good drug to replug him [00:23:00] send it to me.
Benedikt: [00:23:01] Yeah. No, that's totally true. Yeah. That's a great application. I haven't thought of, but that's totally true. That can be fun. Um, yeah. Distortion comes to mind. All sorts of overdrive and distortion, like obviously guitar, distortion, pedals, they are a great sounding ones.
And you can use them on your vocal. Um, you can combine them with like accuse or filters and stuff you're getting rid of. Yeah. That's it's limit it's limitless because. Yeah, I can think of so many things because you could just like filter out the top end and just the store at the low end of the vocal and then mix it in.
Or you can make a very narrow mid range band at this, toward that, and mix it in with the vocal. You can do all sorts of cool things. You can distort the delays, which is a pretty cool thing that I love to do sometimes like our lo-fi overdriven delay can sound pretty great. Um, Yeah. I think the big ones for me are delays and distortion stuff, but yeah, the, the more creative, yeah.
Like rotary and [00:24:00] modulating things, they can be fun as well too. I just, I think I don't use them as often because in the genres that I work the most, like in the heavier stuff or the punk rock and stuff like that. I don't know, it's things are pretty basic most of the time, like right. There are not as many like modulating things, but that doesn't mean you can't use them.
Maybe it will be cool if you would do that more often. So
Malcom: [00:24:21] I feel like, I guess we should mention real quick, just going back to the technical stuff that you do need to have lineup puts on your interface. So if you've got. There's some interfaces that just can't do this.
Benedikt: [00:24:30] There's a speaker. I mean, the speaker alphas, our outputs are laying out for us, but you probably, your speakers are connected to them.
So, but you could, you could use, so for example, with my, where is it? I don't have it in front of me right now, but my two channel interface that I have. It doesn't have additional line outs. It has two speaker outputs. Like these are line outs, line up one and two, where it can make your speakers. And then on the front, there is a headphone output and it's the same mix on the headphone outs and the [00:25:00] speaker outs.
So you could theoretically like use the line outs, they'll connect speakers, use those line outs to send stuff out and then back in, in the front. And then, but you couldn't really monitor the whole thing because. Yeah, because you would have to send out the, whatever you're ramping through the main outlets, and that would also be on your headphones.
There's certainly a way to do it, but it's less fun because you probably want to monitor the whole thing in context. So it's a little difficult to do with those two channel interfaces, to be honest. But, um, yeah, that's, that's the reamping problem in general, like reamping without a line out is just difficult to do.
So you want to, you want to have like a four channel interface, at least for that? I think so. You have. Like, or four outputs or something. So you have a pair where you can, so again, you want to basically have two separate mixes. That's the point here? You want to have one mix. That's just always your main out your monitor mix.
And then you want to have [00:26:00] additional available line outs where you can send whatever you want out of the interface. A
Malcom: [00:26:04] lot of interfaces have that, but not all of them. So just were worth mentioning.
Benedikt: [00:26:08] Yeah, absolutely.
Malcom: [00:26:09] I think that's a good, good, a good overview of vocals.
Benedikt: [00:26:12] Yeah, I think so. So let's move on to drums.
Um, this is also really fun and like, this is probably the thing that people don't think about as much because acoustic drums are like many people think about it as just an acoustic instrument, but there are cool things you can do with drums and reamping drums. What, what's the, what's the first thing you would do on them?
Uh, I'll try.
Malcom: [00:26:36] Yeah. There's, there's tons of stuff you can do. Actually, the first thing I want to talk about is drum samples. Um, because we've talked a lot about drum samples on this podcast. Actually, we both love using them and making them sound cool. And that's, this goes back to like, okay, well, how do you make your mix stand out and not sound cookie cutter, especially if you have bought a sample pack that everybody else is using, you know, like there's like this slate [00:27:00] snare that is.
So overused. It's crazy. Um, so how do you make it your own? Well, what you can do is send out your samples into some guitar pedals and distort them, or add a slap back delay or whatever you want, and then send that back into your computer and mix it. And instead, so you can like kind of craft your own samples out of this, you know, um, and really just kind of get a unique tone to mix in there, which can be really, really fun.
Because you will get bored if you, if you only have like a limited amount of samples and you're kind of using those a lot, you start noticing that your like, jump mixes are getting too similar.
Benedikt: [00:27:40] Oh yeah. Yeah, totally. I mean, there are sample packs that are not as obvious as others. So there are some notorious samples that I can always immediately tell when people use them.
But, but still, if you end up using the same samples all the time, uh, it can be, it can be dangerous and altering or changing those samples or adding like. [00:28:00] Yeah, just making them into something new unique that is really a cool thing to do. Absolutely. I think there are also some, uh, common examples, like just as with the low five vocals or is that like the, the, um, radio voice vocals?
There's something similar with drums, the low five drum break or, um, yeah, sometimes it's intros and outros where people use it sometimes. Sometimes people use like a mano room mic, and then they filter it and distorted and they have that going for a couple of bars or whatever. But instead of doing that, you can just send the whole kit or a balance that you want to have of the kit.
And you can send that out and either like put it through some pedals and make it sound weird and distorted, or put it through a guitar amp and make up the guitar amp. And like a guitar cap has this natural kind of filter. So it will sound a little low five. I can distort it. You can cue it, you can do all sorts of things and [00:29:00] just, you can like manually make something like a filter sweep or something like that.
So you could start really low and then slowly opening up and take to the break or whatever, all these, these things that are much cooler to do. If you do them manually with a pedal or a piece of hardware instead of drawing straight line and the dye and doing an automation. So, yeah, that's one thing I can think of this low fry, low fight run break thing, because.
Although that is more unique than the, the radio voice thing I've heard. A couple of records where it sounds pretty similar and where it's like, okay, I know this effect. It's like, I know what's coming up. So, you know.
Malcom: [00:29:37] Yeah, totally. Yeah. Uh, it's worth mentioning. I think that generally when you do this, you end up with like a, you end up sending out a mano signal and getting a mano signal back.
Um, cause the guitar pedal will usually some, some guitar pedals can do stereo, but generally you end up with like a mano thing. Um, which can be just great for adding like a lot of. Punch and add thickness to a drum kit. Uh, what [00:30:00] do you normally like wanting to send out when you're wrapping a drum? Benny?
Benedikt: [00:30:04] Um, depends, um, for the low five drum break, I usually want to send out a mano, some of the whole kit and I just adjust to taste. So I will create a sup mix Amano salt mix, and I will, I will make it sound like a kit basically. And then just individual parts. So in that, yeah, it would be just a mono mix that I will send out.
And if it's for the low FedRAMP break, but there are other examples where I would, I would reamp specific parts of the kit or a blend of specific parts. So for example, there is a thing that I don't know if there's a name for it, but you could, you could call it like "re-rooming" or "re-room miking" or whatever you want to call it, where you kind of send out the whole kit through speakers or a speaker into a room and then just put microphones in that room and capture that and use that as a room mic. Like, for example, when you don't have enough inputs through core actual room mics, you can do that as a separate [00:31:00] step, or you can just take your drum recordings to a really exciting sounding place and do it there to capture the ambience. And that's much more unique and unpredictable than just using an impulse response or a reverb plugin or whatever. So that's a really cool thing. And in that case, sometimes I include cymbals, if I want to add like length to the cymbals or if I want to have like more of a natural room mic sound.
But sometimes I just do the shells if I want to make them more explosive, or if I want to add length to the snare, um, So that's, that could be an instance where I would just send out the, the shells or even just samples and just capture the energy and the explosiveness of the room for the snares, Toms and cakes maybe.
Malcom: [00:31:44] Yeah. I really love the idea of the like re room. Thing. I think that's just like the coolest idea. It's like anybody that's been to like a huge stadium show with like a really big sound system and heard like the drums being soundtrack and here it's like, Whoa, like, man, I wish I kicked out [00:32:00] my drums to sound like that.
It's like, well, this is the kind of the easiest way to get there. It's like crank up a PA system that loud and make it up kind of thing. It could be really cool. I know that. I think it was Bob rock that like first popularized it, but, um, We were talking before we recorded this about machine as well.
Another mixture that we both love, um, who definitely does this pretty often as well. And our buddy Matt does it. I haven't actually done it yet, but I want it, but, uh, they'll, they'll send out they'll kind of ramp in real time and send out like the kick and snare to a PA system, which is in the room with the drummer.
Um, as they play. So you're recording like room mikes of the drummer plane and the whole kit and stuff, but there's like extra kick and snare just being shot out of these PA speakers at the same time. And it can sound pretty massive.
Benedikt: [00:32:47] Yeah. That's, that's a such a cool concept because what I was talking about is like, after you recorded it, you send it out through the room and then ramp it basically or remake it.
But that's that concept of doing it in real [00:33:00] time is so cool to me. If you have the room at the PA system, Because you can just make the actual performance in real time. Sounds so much more massive and you can improve the, like the symbol to shell balance balance a lot, because oftentimes when you put up like, Room mikes when a drummer plays, depending on how good they play, depending on how good the drummer is, you often end up with a symbol mess and not much like explosive shells and stuff, and that can really be a problem.
So if you want to compress that later, or like you want to get, you can just have this massive cymbal mess and it's going to sound harsh and washy and whatever. But if you can do the PA trick, you can add a lot of kick and snare and Toms to the room. And the balance, like the ratio of the shells to symbols will be improved dramatically.
Yeah. And yeah. And it just, as you said, just the feeling of like air being moved and like the subwoofers and everything in the room, this can be so great. Especially when the room is big and there's enough space to [00:34:00] actually fit those low waves in there. But if that's the case, it's like a magical thing.
So yeah, that's such a cool concept.
Malcom: [00:34:09] I was at a summit, a recording summit in Vegas, um, November, I guess. Yeah. Feels like I'm like, like when, when was I allowed to travel last a long time ago now? Uh, but, uh, I was in Vegas for this recording summit and machine that makes her, we just mentioned that does this, uh, was there.
And, uh, he was doing an example on stage and he pulled up this room, mic set, um, in this recording session. And it sounded awesome. Like my first thought was like, well, that sounds really balanced. Like that's a great, they captured the kit. Really fully there. And he was like, this is pretty much worthless to me.
And then he just like carved out all the symbols. And I was like, okay, like he does things differently. Like he's like he wanted literally zero symbols. Yeah. And that that's essentially what he was going through. It was like, how did they, like just demolish the symbols out of these room mikes kind of thing.
But he's like, if I recorded this, it would not have been like this. And it's like, [00:35:00] okay, cool. Totally different way to think of things.
Benedikt: [00:35:02] Yeah. Yeah, that's that's, that's what I, what I meant, like, I sometimes do that as well, but then I only, I do it after the fact after recording and I only send out the shells if I want that.
But sometimes, and that's the more common, um, thing for me, I guess I want to have a, kind of a balanced room mic thing, because I always feel, I don't know. I always feel like if there, if it's just the shells and the symbols are really dry. It kind of feels disconnected to me. I don't know. I just like the impression of a, of a real kid in a room and I heard it all.
I heard all levy like on the URM podcast and he's one of those guys who put up, they could organize the summit. You were talking about. I heard him referred to it as like drums in space where you feel like there are individual parts of the kit in like some space, but not really together. And I don't like that as much.
So I [00:36:00] think that's what you get when you only do shells. But sometimes I do that as well. If I want precise symbols and just the explosiveness. So that's like, yeah,
Malcom: [00:36:09] it all depends. Yeah. I should mention that like machine. Well, I think he's one of the best mixers around, uh, he's got like, he's normally mixing quite heavy music, so like this wouldn't apply to a lot of music
Benedikt: [00:36:23] and that's probably what it depends.
Um, and what it comes down to. And I think that's worth mentioning if you have slow. It can be heavy, but if you have slow, big sounding like drum patterns with a lot of space in between the hits, you can probably do the whole kit and you can, can have also, you can also have long symbols and he can be like this.
Massive wall and this noisy thing, but if it's fast, heavy technical stuff, like if you have doing like a fast death metal record or whatever, you probably don't want these, these long symbols and these overlapping things and these long reverb tails and everything like you want to. [00:37:00] Maybe you want to automate it so that in the, in a breakdown or in a, in a, like a halftime part, you'll have more of the symbol or more of the, the shell.
Um, decade's a stain. And then when a fast double cake part or whatever comes in, you want to make it shorter. Most of the time, you pretty much don't want any symbol sustain or unnecessary length there or any like muddiness there. And so in this, in these Saundra's, it's supposed to be pretty precise. And then I would, I would be very careful what I would send to the room.
Malcom: [00:37:32] Yeah, yeah. Yeah. What we're trying to encourage with this episode is just creativity. Um, like these, these aren't things that happen very often. For me, I'm not normally needing to do these, but when I do, it's like the perfect solution, you know? And I'm just so glad that I went for it. Um, so don't be afraid to have ideas that are literally outside of the box.
And into another box of guitar pedal. So it was out of, there was a terrible punny thing, [00:38:00] but it's absolutely great,
Benedikt: [00:38:01] like out of the box into another box. Yeah. But that's, that's, that's basically what it comes down to. Yeah. And I think we should do that actually more often because yeah, I, I, I do not do that on every production, but, um, If there is the time and the budget.
And like, if you record yourself, you probably have the time to do that. Then it's so worth trying that because that's sometimes the stuff. That cannot happen in a professional recording situation. If the budget is limited and you have just, you just have limited time, you can only do so much of that stuff, unfortunately.
So you have the big advantage of just being able to try that because you're not paying for studio time, you could do it on your own. Right. So that could be really be a way. To make DIY like home recordings sound so much more exciting and unique, and this could even compensate for some like lacks of. Uh, of gear that you have available in your, in your recording space.
So you might be limited to your interface. You [00:39:00] don't, you probably don't have racks of cool vibey Upwork here, but you can kind of compensate for that. If you can just come up with unique, exciting things and, um, Yeah. So that's basically what we want. We want to talk about here. Um, back to drums. I think another cool thing here with the drums is, so we have the low five rom break.
You can obviously the store drums, you can send stuff through pedals just as you can with vocals delays can sometimes be pretty cool. Depending on the genre, but there are some groups that, I mean, delays are by definition, the arrhythmic thing, and you can come up with pretty cool, um, patterns and make the delay part of the drum groove, which can be awesome.
So you can play with that. Um, yeah. And then finally, there's a thing that there's a trick, um, and that's ramping snare drums specifically that I found really useful. So. If you don't have a snare bottom mic. So if you have limited inputs on your interface and you cannot [00:40:00] record a snare bottom, but you want to have to snap into the sound of the snares, you can record the drums without the near bottom, and then you can place a speaker on your snare drum.
Like you put it on the snare drum, the speaker facing down on the letterhead, and then you ramp, you send out the snare through the speaker through output and like feed it into the speaker and then turn up the speaker. And the speaker will cause the snare drum to vibrate and resonate. And it can sound pretty snappy, pretty hard, depending on how loud it is and what the, what it actually sounds like.
And then you just mic the bottom side of the snare and. You can get creative with that. You can kind of come up with weird sounds or you can just use it as a substitute for the actual snare bottom mic and a different take, but it will be totally in time with the actual performance. It will have all the dynamic, um, variations.
It will be very, um, depending on how the drum is tuned, but it will, it works pretty well. So if you get the same dynamics as in the, in the original tape and you can replace a missing snare bottom mic that way. So [00:41:00] that's just one thing I wanted to add here, because it already saved a couple of productions for me.
Malcom: [00:41:05] I love that idea. That's awesome.
Benedikt: [00:41:08] Yeah. Um, that's all I have to say about drums, basically. Anything else that, that comes to mind other than like, there are no rules,
Malcom: [00:41:15] uh, other than that, maybe think of the most ridiculous idea that I actually would love. To build. What if this is so dumb, so dumb, but would be unreal at the same time.
What if you could do the same thing? You send out a signal like to wrap a snare bottom like you, that, like you said, but it went to a machine that was triggered and then swung a drum stick in at the exact same time to hit it. So you could remake any drum. Wouldn't that be unreal velocity of the mini notes.
So you'd like actually just rerecord the snare, for example, like, it'd be like. Yeah, like a robot, like a robot that would,
Benedikt: [00:41:52] I'm going to Google that right now, there has to be some sort of mini robot that you can trigger or whatever, a ramp, or
Malcom: [00:41:59] they would have to be [00:42:00] so precise. Right. They get the timing, right.
They would have to have like, look ahead and I can't even believe we're talking about this on here. Sorry guys. Down the rabbit hole. Um,
Benedikt: [00:42:09] there is something actually, there is. Pretty weird looking DIY pro projects of people that built something like this, apparently, but there's themes. Yeah. That seems to be something that just Google it.
There's like, look it up. There seems to be something, but if you can come up with something really cool, like an actual robot, that would be super awesome.
Malcom: [00:42:32] Oh yeah. It's up. So people are definitely getting onto something here. It looks pretty intense. Yeah, I'm gonna leave this to the professionals, but maybe one day we'll be ramping performances with Medi
Benedikt: [00:42:44] well, that will be such that that's such a great ideas.
That's a great concept. I, I think if there was a solution that really works well, we wouldn't know about it, so I don't know, but, but yeah. Uh, I just loved the idea. I honestly, there's so [00:43:00] much you can do, if you just think about that for a minute. And like it opens up a whole new world. Using an already recorded performance and sending it through whatever you have available just gives you so, so many more options and your deck suddenly you're not limited to your small interface anymore because initially you think I can't do a lot of the vibey stuff of the studios because I only have my interface and like to mix.
But once you get that concept that you realize that you can do so much more because you can. Use your guitar pedals, you can use rooms. And even though it's unconvenient with like an interface without additional line and puts, you can still try it. Maybe, I don't know, find a way, use your PA or whatever to monitor it.
And then just don't plug the speakers in and just find a way to get in and out of the computer. There is a way, and all of a sudden you can use it. Anything that has an input and an output in any room you can overdrive and old PA system mixing desk or whatever you can. Like, I have an [00:44:00] old tube radio here in my control room that has an input and output.
I could use that and put stuff through it and overdrive it. Um, you can do all sorts of cool things and you're not limited to your boring interface anymore. Um, and that's just such, such a cool thing. Once you realize that. And also that makes me think we, while we are telling this, we are learning ourselves so much from, from this.
And we should actually do that more often because definitely should we get the concept? And we hear all these stories from, from friends and colleagues and other musicians and stuff, but. As we said, unless it's our own project, sometimes time is just limited and you can't do a lot of these things, unfortunately.
So maybe we should like preach to ourselves here and just do that more often and try out things more often. But there are, in my case, at least some, some instances where I, I mean the drum, the drum re rooming thing. I did that quite a lot actually. And there is one [00:45:00] story where it is about guitars. So I wanted to save that for, for the NTU, but I wanted to share it with you because it was really fun.
One time we had a band here, a rock and roll band that. Had, um, a part where like the song was about, about drinking and about like a person having like alcohol problems. So like a pretty cliche rock and roll, uh, lyrics and song. And they had a part in it and it goes through the ups and downs of like, People get like getting drunk and then get being sober again and all, everything that that's, that goes into that.
And there's a part in there, like the lowest point of the song and the story basically. And they wanted that part to sound really, really disgusting and like, to feel you want it, the listener to feel like they, like they would have to throw up kind of, you know, like a, really this disgusting hungover feeling.
They want it to capture that in the, in the sonically and the song. So we thought what we could do. And, um, we ended up. They played like, uh, a riff with a bottleneck [00:46:00] thing, a re weird like slidey, bottleneck, um, pattern. And then we reversed it. So it sounded even more like a little weird and like unstable.
And then we reamped that and we put an actual glass of beer in front of the speaker and put an S and 57 inside a plastic bag and dump that into the glass of beer and reamped. The reversed bottleneck thing that came out of the speaker through the glass of beer. And that wasn't like weird enough. So we took a straw and we like blew air into the glass and made bubbles and made it sound like weird moving and with the bubbly sound and everything.
And that's what ended up being the lead part in that riff. And if you don't know the story, you cannot tell what it actually is. It just sounds like a really like weird wobbly, like. Uncomfortable sounding melody. I don't know. So it basically did exactly what they wanted it to do, and it [00:47:00] was so much fun and yeah, that was a reamping reamping thing.
We took the original part, reversed it, reamped it, put it through a glass of beer. Um, made some extra noise and that's what ended up being on the record. So perfect stuff like that. And that's, that's like the fun, the fun stuff, but yeah. See what you can come up with, see what you can do with all that information.
And I would love to get more songs where like Manuel to tracks, to mix where people actually committed to stuff like that or send it along with the dry tracks. So I'd love to see that happening. Uh, because it's so much fun that I just like to hear unique things.
Malcom: [00:47:42] Uh, cause it just kinda like shows that there's a vision involved in the production already and something to get on board with.
Benedikt: [00:47:48] Yeah. So totally. So if you come up with cool stuff and you've, if you have some cool ideas for this, you should totally go to the Facebook community, the self recording band, Facebook community, and just share it there because it [00:48:00] can be really fun. I remember when I did the beer thing, I shared it in a Facebook group and like I got, I dunno.
A hundred comments or something. And people were like asking for the files and talking about it a lot. So it's, it's a topic that like what people like, but the people just like to talk about and exchange ideas because it's exciting and fun. And, uh, just go to the community and start a conversation there.
And usually things get even more creative than because once someone starts, uh, others, like pick up on that, on those ideas and just add their own take and. Yeah, I can get it to a really inspiring conversation. And usually those, those conversations end up in cool new things and cool new ideas that you can try.
So go to the, the self recording band.com/community. This will direct you to this will forward you to the Facebook group. And then just join the group if you're not there already. And post ideas, post weird things, you reamped. Yeah. And let us hear what you came up with.
[00:49:00] Malcom: [00:49:00] Yeah. Not even just a new things. Like if you have stories of stuff you've done and files you want to share from old port projects, we'd love that as well.
Benedikt: [00:49:06] Yeah. The beauty of this is even if you share what you did, it will still be unique because nobody will be, we'll be able to exactly do the same thing. That's the beauty of this, like. If you did what we just told you, uh, uh, then it will be unique because you are the only person in that room with that piece of gear or that chain of pedals or whatever.
So even if you give away your quote unquote secrets, it will still be unique. And that's the difference to a plug preset or something like that. So just share it. And see what you can come up with. Awesome. Right on. All right. Anything else to add? Um, are we done?
Malcom: [00:49:44] No, I think that's a good, a good kickstart to do some creative ideas.
People can try out and yeah, I really hope people do jump into this because like, even if you don't have guitar pedals, you know, somebody that does it, you can borrow some. You know, have fun, give it a shot.
Benedikt: [00:49:58] All right. That's it. [00:50:00] Okay. Thanks for listening.
Malcom: [00:50:01] See you next week. .
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Malcom's and Benedikt's websites:
Outback Recordings (Benedikt's Mixing Studio and personal website)
Outback Recordings Podcast - Benedikt's other podcast
Stone Mastering (Malcom's Mastering Company)
Your Band Sucks (at business) - Malcom's other podcast
Gimme The Beat (The Netflix Documentary Malcom is involved with)
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[…] #21: Spice Up Your Recordings With Creative Reamping And Unique FX […]