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#71: Reamping Deep Dive – Get The Most Out Of Your Guitar Amp AFTER You’ve Recorded The Perfect Take

#71: Reamping Deep Dive – Get The Most Out Of Your Guitar Amp AFTER You’ve Recorded The Perfect Take

Reamping used to be a problem solving technique.

You recorded a DI as a safety net and when you later found out that the guitar tone didn't fit the song as well as you thought, reamping was your friend. You could just change it after the fact or enhance it by blending it with another amp or pedal. 

More...

These days, reamping has become a standard practice and is part of the plan for many records, right from the beginning. 

Especially when things are recorded at home and then sent to a studio for mixing and mastering.

We believe you should always try to commit to a tone and you should at least take the time to play with whatever you have available, try to reamp yourself until you're happy and then see if your mixing engineer can do any better. 

Also, if you have some cool amps and pedals, why not use them to create unique signal chains and ultimately a unique guitar tone? That is fun! Especially if you don't have to play while dialing in the amp.

In this episode we dive deep into reamping with hardware amps and answer questions like:


  • Should I capture the DI pre or post pedals?
  • Where exactly has the DI box to be placed in the chain?
  • Do I need dedicated reamp box?
  • Is my interface suited for reamping?
  • How do I make sure to hit the amp with the right level?
  • Why does the reamped signal sound different than plugging directly into the amp?
  • What is “real-time reamping” and why would I do that?
  • I don't have a lot of pedals or amps, why should I care about reamping? (Your computer is a huge pedal board!)
  • What should I watch out for technically? Timing, phase etc.?


Let's go!


This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Amps And Tools We Mentioned On The Episode:

Neural DSP Quad Cortex, Little Labs Redeye, Lehle P-Split, Kemper Profiler, Line 6 Helix, Radial Reamp Boxes

Related Podcast Episode:

#21: Spice Up Your Recordings With Creative Reamping And Unique FX

Related Article:

Ever Wondered How To Actually Record DI Tracks?


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 071 - Reamping

[00:00:00] Saturated is overdrives compressors, flippers, all the modulation crazy effects and stuff like that. You can really get creative and like that's my favorite quote about remapping is what you can do before. If it say that's just not possible, unless you have like the world's biggest pedal for that, this is the self recording band podcast.

The show where we help you make exciting records on your own, wherever you are, DIY stuff, let's go.

The self recording band podcast. I am your host. Benedick tine. And I'm here with my friend and cohost. Malcolm. How are you knocking? Hello? I'm great, man. I immediately want to jump into something. Have you or anybody, you know, gotten to try the quad cortex yet? No, I haven't. All right. For anybody that doesn't know what the hell we're talking about?

It's like the new cool kid on the block and the guitar profiling world. Uh, and so like, we've talked about campers and like there's the line six helix and [00:01:00] ax effects and stuff, which aren't all profilers, but they're all digital amps. That sound pretty darn good. Um, and there's a new one called the quad cortex and my buddy.

I won't out him, but he's like in one of the biggest metal bands going on right now, he just sold his camper or is selling it right now. Cause he's like, there's no comparison, dude. And I am just shocked. So I was wondering if you had had, like, if that had been happening out near you yet, or, uh, I mean, I've heard about it.

Personally, not from people I've worked with or like it's not firsthand knowledge, but I've read about it a lot. So I, I I'm sure it might. I mean, I'm sure it's great because everything neural is really great. And, um, from what I understand, it's not really different than their plugins. It's just their, their algorithms, their sound running on a piece of hardware and it can do more than the plugins, but basically.

It's I guess, pretty similar to what they do at, in the [00:02:00] software. Yeah. And that is all awesome. And I love it. So I don't like, of course it's awesome. Yeah. No reason to think it's going to be bad that's for sure. Um, yeah, but I guess according to my friend, Mike, uh, the, the capture is like the, the big thing for him.

Like you can just, you can grab any pedal. Really easily, no external gear pretty much. You're just like, you just need it. And that piece of gear and you're good to go, which is not as easy with the camper. It's quite a process. So could actually capture stuff with the quad cortex. Yeah. Yeah. It's like a level capture.

Apparently that process has quite improved from the, the camper set up, which is very interesting to me for studio use. That could be really fun. So very interested, but, uh, I just wanted to see if it was making the same waves out of your way. Yeah, I it's it's I think it's just as popular here as it is anywhere, but maybe I'm biased because I love and use neural negative ads all the time and that we both know Steven and like, so [00:03:00] maybe I know more about it than other people do over here, but I just.

It's it's becoming pretty popular here as well. The thing is though that the pre-orders or the shipping for those took quite a while, and I know a bunch of people who ordered it, but I'm not sure if they already got their device. So that's maybe why it takes some time to catch up. Yeah. I think the, the COVID stuff kind of delayed production, which is understandable.

Yes, totally. The, at the end of the day, Like I haven't listed my Kemper because it's literally sounds like amps. Like it's, it's awesome. I make records that get on the radio with it. So I haven't really, even though there's something that's apparently more fun to use, it's like, well, this sounds fantastic.

We've hit that point in guitar amps now where it's like, okay, what we're in moving? Isn't the sound anymore. It's just, uh, other features kind of thing. So we're, we're in a golden age of guitar company. Yeah, that's fine, but that's actually very, a very important thing. You just sat there [00:04:00] and I want you listeners to really, um, think about that.

And like, because it's not only get targeted, but gear in general, there's always going to be something like you buy something, you like it, you love it. You use it for awhile and there will be something that comes out that is better than what you have, or seems to be better than what you have. And many people.

Instantly want this new thing and don't like their stuff anymore. And they eventually spent money on the new thing until the next thing comes around, but their work never really improves through that. And it's very important to always remember that no matter how awesome the new thing might be before you buy it, think about if it's really going to make a difference, or if it's just because it's shiny and you, and you want it.

And I think it's a very, very important thing. What Malcolm just said that he sticks his. Although there is something that might be better because the camper does the job and sounds awesome. And there's no reason to replace it, even if it's like 10 years old and new stuff is coming up. So that's really, really important because a [00:05:00] lot of people think they can buy the way out of their audio problems and the jump on every new thing.

And we all have that. I, I mean, I feel that plantation as well. It's see something. But I've gotten better at like waiting for a second, like thinking about it and then realizing it's probably going to be fun, but I don't think my results will be any better if I buy it. Right. Yeah. That is a, that is a lifelong skill in this industry to keep working on addiction.

I don't know. It depends how you look at it. It's still as crazy as it sounds. And I wouldn't recommend necessarily. I wouldn't recommend it necessarily, but that's why there are still people. Make records using the pot farm for something like something like that. You know, of course there are better systems out these days, but if it works for them and it's their sound, I mean, I replace it, something that like, that's the cool thing about software, but gear in general, something that was a great plugin or digital amp or whatever.

10 years ago is still a great plugin today. Like it's [00:06:00] not that it got worse over the years or anything. It's just, there's new options and different stuff and something, some things got better, but records sounded great 10 years ago and did it 20 years ago, so. Yep. Yep. Exactly. Cool. Today's topic is also about making guitar sound cool.

So this is a good segue. Totally, totally. So how we talk about reamping today? Because I think it was your idea, Malcolm, because we haven't really, I mean, we have a reamping episode, but this was not specifically guitar reamping, but like. How to do creative, um, yeah. About, about creative wrapping techniques, something like that.

Like we were talking about some fun ways to use the reamping process or to send stuff through certain gear and create unique sounds with that. But today we talk about reamping in the classic sense of the word, like sending a DEI out of your interface, into an amp, and then capturing that. So. Yeah, that's basically what it is.

And we [00:07:00] specifically talk about reamping with a real amp and a reamp. And not about using plug-ins, you could call that reamping as well, but that's a easier to do. And B um, there might be conflicting information or confusing stuff, so we just stick to using real analog amps. And how would you send a previously recorded?

Out of your computer, into the amp and then record it back in how to do that properly. Yeah. Now to further confuse you, we are still including things like the quad cortex or a camper or any external hardware, kind of digital, that's still included. It's just anything out of your computer. That's what we're talking about.

Yeah. Is said analog. That's not true. I, I mean, anything. Exactly out of the box versus in the box, by the way. I wonder if everybody's heard that. Okay. That's like a very common term for mixers, but in the box and out of the box with listen quickly touch on that in the box means that you're using stuff that is living in your computer, nothing outside of it.

So plugins, whatnot. [00:08:00] Um, and so when you hear somebody mixes in the box, they don't use external hard. So, did you see those big studios full of rack gear? They're not using that if they mix it in the box where out of the box mixing is using all that stuff, you're sending out of your computer, into all that stuff.

And back in. So in this case, we're talking about out of the bag, out of the box guitar. Yeah. Totally. Like I heard out of the box in the box so many times now, and I totally forgot what you were talking about, but yeah, you're probably right.

Yes, exactly. Whatever may come set in the box and out of the box. Um, yeah. So today only out of the box reamping is what we're doing. All right then maybe let's start with, should we explain the process where it actually is or did we already do a great job at that? Let's give it like the ten second version.

Okay. You've recorded a clean Dai through your guitar tracking, but you've decided you want to change the [00:09:00] tone. Um, so you are now going to send it out to your computer. Into an amp again, and rerecord that signal in the new tone you want so that you can have that in your, in your session instead. That is why we're generally revamping.

Yeah. Why would we do that in 2021? If you have. Uh, maybe you just have the right amp for it. You know, you've got an amp, that's the right sound. Um, maybe your sound depends on like a certain fuzz pedal or something like that. You know, you have to get out into that pedal to grab that. Uh, that would be kind of the main reasons I could think of.

Yeah. Well, there's one more for me. Maybe you carefully like set up, um, a rig that you really liked and you have your head and your cabin microphones and everything's. But after recording or after adding additional elements, instruments, when it comes time to mix, um, you realize. The tone is not quite there.

And you want to change you basically like it, and you can't like [00:10:00] do the same thing with, with plugins, but there's something you want to change about it. So you want to go back, maybe move the mic a little bit, change the settings on the amp or whatever, but basically use that setting that you were tracking, um, through, uh, the, the rig that you were tracking through.

So that will be another reason for me. Yeah, it's just a safety net. Sometimes. Sometimes you have a great rig. That sounds awesome. But if you record, if you also recorded the eye, you can just go back, change something and you don't have to fix that with  in the mix then. Very true. Yep. That's a great example.

So that's why and what, what reamping is, um, there's nowadays it's becoming this thing where people are making records. With the full intention of it being rehabbed at mixing, which is interesting. Um, that's kind of like a new thing that has happened in, especially in kind of the format that we're teaching on this podcast, where you're trying to give power to a professional mixer.

Well, capturing it with your home, the [00:11:00] jam space set up. Right. Uh, which is leading people to record eyes as a priorities with the intention of being revamped. Now that's an interesting conversation because. We also tried to preach that you should be committing to your sound on the way in, sometimes you can't.

Uh, um, uh, but if you are just tracking a DEI with the intention of being reamped, hopefully you're also tracking like listening to an app SIM and you can commit that and send it over kind of thing. We definitely, like, I just want to stress that you should be trying to get a sound. That is what you want.

No matter what, um, it's, there's not really an excuse to skip that. But you know what I'm going to touch on that later. I think it's gonna make more sense once we've explained some of this stuff. I wanted to bring that up. Sorry. Sorry, listeners. That's confusing. But suffice to say, um, we, we, I mean, that's something we've always said is recorded the, I recorded VI recorded.

Yeah, it is because your mixer might be able to do something with that. Um, but it's [00:12:00] also make sure you're recording an app or some sending along some kind of monitoring mean signal that you would. Hoping, it sounded like, you know, like it's really hard to make a record with your guitar sounding like the eyes, obviously.

Um, but how do we do it, I guess, is what we have to talk about now, like the actual physical steps and that first step is capturing a DEI, um, and making sure you get that done. Right. So I think we should start. Even if it is something we've discussed before. Um, because actually I know somebody that had trouble with this very recently, so definitely worth covering.

Yep. Okay. Um, I think the base, the, the, yeah, the basics are don't clip, it only record as necessary. Like, don't go super hard on your interface preempt because they, some, some of the cheaper ones, as we said, in other episodes, Tend to sound a little brittle or noisy if you really crank them. So it's better to, when in doubt, just record a quieter signal, you can always bring it up digitally later.

Um, yeah, don't clip it unless it's like intentional, but I would [00:13:00] probably do that after it's been recorded. Like just to be safe, I would record a clean die and don't clip it on the way in, um, use the right Dai, choose a passive or an active one, depending on your risk. Choose one that can handle the, that has enough headroom that can handle the level.

So if your interface inputs, the eye inputs can handle whatever you're sending into the Intuit. Um, you have to use a passive, the iBox for that. Uh, yeah, choose a good one. Basically, if you're going to use it, the iBox compare it to your interfaces, the eye, and use the one that's better. Those are probably the basics, like the most important being the level.

I think because we've already discussed that there's probably not much difference between the eye box and your interfaces input. If you want to use a Diabex use a very good. If you want it to be better than whatever interface has compare it, but that, that all will not be as important as just making sure you don't clip it and record like healthy levels.

[00:14:00] Yup. Yup. Now I think we can take it back a little bit further. Like how do you actually set up a DIY physical TA? Okay. Um, so this. Can be confusing. And it's where do you place the Dai? Um, and I think 99% of the time we're going to recommend sending IDI. That is just your guitar. So what we mean by that is where you put the dye in your signal chain is going to change what it grabs.

So say you have your guitar, uh, a metal zone pedal because that's obviously the best sounding pedal in the planet. And then, then you're hitting your F. You are going to want to probably, unless you really want that pedal, you're going to want to stick that DEI right after the guitar, you know? So because what happens is whenever it gets put in the chain, that's what it's capturing and sending out as it's captured.

So if you put that after the metal zone, it's going to get a DIY signal with that metal. Processing in it. And [00:15:00] now, no matter what you do, when you try and reamp it, you're going to be stuck with the metal zone, which will be a disaster by the way. Um, that's not to say there isn't a time and a place for that.

We've definitely, I've definitely had wet. The, I capture, we call it wet when there's, uh, processing in it. Um, so, you know, maybe there's like a really specific fuzz. Uh, sometimes it's cool to capture a delay before it hits the app. You know? Um, it definitely happens, but as like a, a general rule of thumb, I think you want to go clean because you can always add that stuff back in.

And another way you can always add that delay pedal back in, in the reamp, if you want. Right. That's always an option. You have total flexibility if you have a clean Dai. Um, and I think that's generally worth it. And going back to what I was rambling about earlier, A lot of people are kind of going with this DEI first VI priority tracking style where they just aren't set up to get good guitar tones, and they're hoping their mixer can help them out.

Having that clean. The I's going to be pretty helpful usually. Yeah. I agree with everything. [00:16:00] I'd say, if you are tracking a clean Dai and have the pedal after the DEI, make sure you document the whatever settings you have on the pedal, because my rule of thumb is basically I want to, I want to leave pedals in the chair.

That change the way you play, if that makes sense, like things you interact with as a player, like delays, for example. And if I, so sometimes I want to do that. Put that before the DEI, just because it's part of the performance more or less, it's part of the performance more than an effect. That's not the case usually sounds like some delays.

Yeah. Some modulation effects you just interact with it. It is, it has a timing element to it. And sometimes I want to capture those things. You can still put it after the DEI to be safe, but then I would really document it carefully so that you can get like, th that you can recall it if you needed, because it could be hard.

To recreate the same thing after the fact in the box or during reamping, if you don't know [00:17:00] exactly what settings you have, because it's an interaction between the player and the pedal sometimes. So that's just right. What I would do. Yep. Now this really comes back to, again, the conversation of. If you are tracking with DIA as your priority, you're still the producer, right?

You you're still producing your own record, the mixer isn't. So you have to kind of make those decisions. Is this pedal that you are putting in your chain before the yacht? Is it essential to the performance? Is it really. You have to make that Sonic decision, right? Because that if you put it in the eye, your mixer is going to have to use it if they're rapping.

So it's, you kind of have to put that foresight in and make that call. Yeah. Uh, same thing. Sorry. The same thing is obviously true. If you're not mixing yourself and you send it somewhere and you have some sort of. DIY self-built pedal or some unique or boutique thing that no one else has in that case, you have to capture it.

Like, if you want that on the record, you obviously have to capture it because you can't assume that whoever you're sending your stuff to has all the same stuff that you have. If it's something very [00:18:00] common, they might be able to get something similar or the same thing. But if it's something super unique or like something you've built yourself, you obviously need to capture it.

If you want it on there. Right. Yep. And this is again, the importance of sending along some kind of amp tone that represents what you were aiming for at the very least is so important. Just so the mixer knows that you were trying to get something in that vein. Um, w you know, they can't read your mind. So that helps a lot.

Um, now I want to quickly. Tell you that you can have more than one Dai you can have a dry and a wet Dai. So you could have one at the beginning of the chain and one after your pedals as well. And grab both of those. I've done that a handful of times. I've never ended up using it, but, but in theory, it was there.

So that's cool. Um, a little bit more work, but it's totally possible. You do need external dyes to do that, I guess. Um, and actually you need an external Dai to do any kind of pedal cap. You can't really do it with, uh, like the interface one, because [00:19:00] I mean, you can't, and you could send back out, I guess.

Yeah. But then you'd have to capture it again. It'd be, I don't know if that would work. Um, what do you mean? Like if you want to do both like dry and wet? No. No. So if, if you're just doing one, um, so you've got a two channel interface and you're using the Hi-C inputs and you don't want to capture. That lets you, you, uh, yes.

You don't want to capture the pedal, but you want to use the pedal hitting the app. You are kind of stuck, right? So the, a huge advantage of an external Dai, if you're thinking of getting one is that there is something called a through output. Um, and it's just a split. It just sends your clean signal. Um, or whatever is hitting the DEI signal that is getting split before it goes on towards your amp.

Yeah. Um, so you kind of like, it's a, a Y box. Yeah. That's what I wanted to say. Like those one thing you can do instead of using the ice, if you really like your input on your interface, or you already have. A Dai, but you need an additional channel or capture whatever that are. Um, instruments, [00:20:00] splitter boxes that can, you can use that there there's I had one that I really loved the Lily, um, piece split.

It was called Lila is the company L E H L E P. Split is. Uh, super amazing thing. Um, built like a tank sounded awesome. Uh, you can, um, flip the phase between the two, like the, yeah. The two channels that go out of it. They are separated very well. There's no crosstalk, there's no, um, noise issues. You have a ground lift, you have all of those things.

And I loved using that splitter. Yeah, I, I just split it up between two preamps or two inputs or the iBox and the interface, whatever. Or I used it to send one guitar into two amps at the same time. So there are split of boxes like that. There are, I think radio makes four channel or even more splitters, like where you can have like four amps at the same time.

Um, so this is an alternative to the iBox is if you'd still have the da inputs, obviously, but you can split the signal before, whatever regular. [00:21:00] Yeah, they're actually becoming more popular. I think with like Royal blood coming up, a lot of bass players have been getting splitters like that, the radial APY box and stuff like that.

Yeah. So they're, they're out there. Um, okay. So we've covered capturing the DEI there's, you know, capturing a wet or dry and making sure that you also have a representative tone that, uh, so can either use or at least reference for then rehabbing later. But also keeping in mind that you might want to react.

That's why we're teaching it. Obviously. It's good for you to understand how it works, even if you're not doing it, but you know, it's a lot of fun too. So you might like to do it totally. Um, you need a reamp box. This is something that people aren't always aware of. There is a specific tool that you need and it is called a reamp box.

Um, and what this does is allows you to come out of your interface. Uh, and then you're coming out at. Line level, usually, I guess. Um, and now your amp [00:22:00] is going to be expecting like Hi-C impedance, right? So you have to hit and reamp box and then which is going to kind of convert it to the right level and then hit the app.

So it looks most reamp boxes look like the eyes by the way, but they're not, they're different. They're different. Um, yeah, you you're coming out as like a, as a lane signal and you want to convert that into an instrument signal basically, because otherwise, yeah, you want to match the impedance. You want to match the level.

Now I want to say something. I've had this conversation with a couple of people, and I know that it can work in theory, but I wouldn't recommend it. Some people use and they've asked me, um, this a bunch of times, some people use passive toolboxes boxes in reverse for this. They just use that instead of a

I would not recommend that I've heard examples where it worked, but I've also heard examples where it sounded weird. I don't know why. Exactly. Maybe it depends on the, yet the airbox you're using. I just know that it's not a reliable way to. So I would just, that those are not too expensive. I would just get a reamp box [00:23:00] or get like an all-in-one thing.

Like the little lips red eye that can do everything like split reamp, active, passive, Dai, everything like that. Like just get a proper solution for those things, because there's, I don't know. There is a good reason to save a couple of bucks for like, um, instead of buying a reamp box, just do it properly.

There are these devices made for that purpose just to get one, like, I would always recommend that. I mean, you can't experiment of course, but yeah, I would do it the right way. I told the agree. It's just a. Yeah, you're kind of asking for it to sound terrible if you're not using the right stuff. Yes. So yeah, the RamBox, there are passive ones, active ones.

There are, I have tried some different ones where the, one of the main differences was always the, the level that they send it out. Like I compare it even a couple of passive ones and they somewhat quieter than others for whatever reason. So maybe you got to experiment with that a little bit and make it do comparison.

But I would say as always, if you go. [00:24:00] A trusted brand, something like radial or, um, whoever makes like RamBoxes these days also makes the eye boxes or like these, the well-known brands who make that stuff, you can't really go wrong again. I wouldn't, I wouldn't experiment too much here. I would just go with something trusted, do a little research, see what other producers use and just get one and you'll probably be fine.

Totally. Yeah. Now, uh, some have boxes, like I've got the radioactive one ended up. It has a gain on it, you know, like a trim, so you can kind of adjust the volume coming out of it right on the box. Um, but you actually also have that opportunity in the computer as well in the box. That brings us to the next thing that you absolutely need is on your interface.

You have to have some additional outputs to use, um, because if you can't send out of your interface, you can't get to the reamp box. You can't get to the app, obviously. Right. And some interfaces don't have that, like the focus, right. Scarlet to channel one, doesn't have any extra inputs. So if that's your [00:25:00] interface, you're kind of you're you're out of luck.

Oh yeah. Oh, plus any extra outputs you're out of luck. Um, there is the speaker outputs, but they're attached to the monitor control on that box. So don't, don't try that. I did try that didn't work. Um, I like stupidly side notes. I had that interface and I bought like a lunchbox. And with some external stuff and figured out I couldn't use it after I bought it.

All right.

That's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. That was an impulse buy, but back in the day, um, so you, yeah, you need extra outputs and that's, you know, that's, as you get more expensive interfaces, there's all these extra ins and outs and that's what you're paying for. Absolutely. Um, so I guess we should talk about the technical side of that though.

You're in your session, you've got your clean Dai. You have to set an output on that channel to whatever output is free on your interface. And then you're going to use TRS cable probably coming out of that into your reamp [00:26:00] box. And with that said, you've created in your session. You can then control the volume that you're sending to that output as well.

Um, now. In general. I just put that a unity, which means you put it at zero, um, DB and it's, that's usually great, but you can experiment with hitting it harder or softer as well. Yeah. Um, I don't know if I'd want to get into that, but on the output side of things, It's the opposite of what you do on the input.

Like on the input, I would record as quiet as possible. When in doubt on the output side, it's it can be worth getting close to Ciro and using all the dynamic range you have on your output, because I don't want to explain. Now this is too much for this episode of the podcast. Just know that your D D a conversion like digital to analog converter.

Sounds the best. If you use all the bits, all the dynamic range, and that means going out with a hot level digitally. And then when in [00:27:00] doubt, turn it down on the analytic side. If you have a trim on your RamBox, that's better than going out very low because the noise floor of your output, like it can, it's better or worse.

Um, the device, you have the interface, you have the converter you using, but the noise floor will be the same. And if you go out very quietly and you'd then turn it up before you hit the amp, it will be noisier. If you go up very, if you go out pretty loud, the difference between, uh, the difference in level in volume between your actual signal and the noise floor will be bigger.

And if you don't have to crank it up afterwards, the noise will be lower. So it's. Yeah, turning it up to the point where you don't clip your converters, but you're going out with a loud, a reasonably loud level. Absolutely. Yeah. Uh, just yeah. Don't clip go down. Yeah, exactly. Okay. Um, yeah, that's, that's how you do it.

And unity is a great place to start. I would probably don't touch the send. Make sure that the actual track record, like [00:28:00] I would probably use clip gain or something like that. I would shoot. I would make sure that the DEI is just captured with it in a healthy level. And then I would probably leave the send at zero and then I would adjust chest, go, as we said, go out as loud as possible without clipping it, but then turn it down or up, whatever.

On the analog side, if you have the trim, there is this phenomenon. You would think that the recorded the, I should sound the same as w like w compared to when you plug your guitar directly into the amp, and even if you match levels, Um, just to get the same distortion, the same M characteristics. But even if you do that, the D I out of the computer through the RamBox almost always sounds different compared to tar plucked into the MTA directly.

So you might not only need to adjust the level that comes out of the computer to match whatever level your guitar ascends into. You might also want to do tiny, maybe tiny, huge tweaks. And that sounds a little advanced, but [00:29:00] it can mean that you maybe boost the top end, just a tiny bit, just a very broad shelf to brighten it up a little bit, or it might mean.

Now, whatever difference you're experiencing, it's just likely that if you compare it, that it's going to be a little different. Now that doesn't matter. If what, what you're starting with is the DEI that you reamp. And you've never heard the actual signal from the guitar into the amp, then it doesn't matter.

Just great tone that you like, but if you captured something with the guitar directly into the amp before, and you want to recreate that and maybe just change it a little bit, then you need to make sure that the di you match the sound of the DEI to whatever your guitar sounds like. That's the difference here.

If you didn't do that, if there no real amp capture and you don't want to recreate anything like that, it doesn't matter. Just, just create a tone. You like, just as you would with like in a normal situation. But it, whenever you want to recreate something, you gotta make sure you, you match the DEI because otherwise you'll be wondering why it doesn't sound the same and it's, it can be pretty frustrating, but the reason is the DA's going [00:30:00] through through to conversion stages and also through the reamp box.

And there's just a bunch of stuff in the chain that is not there. If you plug that in directly into your app. Yep. This is going to be different. Um, you just gotta live with it and adjust, uh, and the same is true for the throughout. Put on a DEI it's oh, Different than just hitting the amp with one cable.

Um, I think that's almost always worth it, uh, but it is just different. Um, it's just part of life, but, uh, this, this being able to tweak it by like, you know, adding some IQ or something before it leaves the computer and hit your reamp box. Is honestly the most powerful and fun part of reamping. It is this whole, like, once you wrap your head around that you can do that.

You can do anything. You've got your whole computer worth of plugins. To mess with your guitar tone now. Um, and so like imagine having an unlimited pedalboard yeah, you can do whatever you want to that signal before it hits your app and just get things that are not possible in the analog [00:31:00] domain. Really.

Um, it is, it is so fun and you can really like, just tweak it. So accurately, you know, like let's be honest, the, the cues on amps are, are really caveman

and, and half the time they don't do what they say. Like, if you have a Marshall, it's just like, what the hell is this thing? Just it's filling up space. I'm not sure if it's attached. Um, but, uh, with like, uh, in the box, you can pull up this really cool surgical Dai, where you can see exactly what you're doing, do all types of different things.

Yeah. You know, you've got all your saturated, saturates, overdrafts, compressors, Clippers of all the modulation crazy effects and stuff like that. You can really get creative and like that's my favorite part about Ramean is what you can do before it hits the amp. That's just not possible on this. You had like the world's biggest pedal collection.

Yes, totally. You can do three things. You can be creative as you just described Malcolm. You can just come up with cool sounds. You can compensate forever for whatever flaws your [00:32:00] instrument might have. Like maybe you have a pretty Boomi sounding, low end, whatever. Like you can filter it a little bit. You can make it tighter before you hit the amp.

Maybe your guitar or the strings you chose or whatever are a little dull. You can brighten it up a little bit. Um, you can compensate for, um, yeah, whatever you don't like on your, uh, on your instrument or strings or whatever. And then the third thing is. You can learn so much about how amps or your specific amp react to different signals, that alone is worth it.

And it's worth experimenting with it because not only can you get creative, but you can see where the limits of the emphasis of the EMP, um, are like how much low end can you put into this? How much level can it take before it breaks up? Um, does it break up in a different way? If you clip the die before you hit the.

Is like all those things like is a mid range push, maybe. Cool. Some AMS sound really awesome. If you can, you can, with some apps you can boost insane amounts of mid range before the app, but it doesn't sound really good if you do it [00:33:00] after the amp. So there's all sorts of things. And you can learn so much about how an amp or your amp reacts to the incoming signal, which then informs future decisions may be made maybe for the next record, you're going to choose a different guitar or different pedals or whatever, because now, you know, That last time it was so cool to boost a bunch of low-end into the amp.

And now you want to use a base of your instrument next time or whatever, like just, you just learn your gear that way and you can, you have unlimited possibilities to do so if you use your hands. Yeah, definitely. Yeah. It's really fun. It's the most creative part of this process. Yeah. Um, I guess we should talk about, uh, your favorite Benny, the realtime reamping.

Yeah, exactly. So what I like to do, um, this sounds a little complex, but I, I really liked that workflow is I sort of reamp while I'm tracking guitars. And what I do is I take a guitar cable from the. Like from the output of the [00:34:00] guitar and I plug it directly into the interface or the I, and then the preempt, the converter.

So I go direct in without anything in the chain. So I re I basically record the cleanest possible, like the shortest connection to the computer. Then I would send the output of the channel that I'm recording to have that BI channel in the dark. I would sent that out through an output, into a reamp box and into a.

And then I would capture the real EMP, like I would put a microphone in front of it or capture the Kemper output or whatever it is and record that on another track. So I, and that, that track is what I listen to. So that requires you to have a setup with very low latency because you monitor the, what you hear, what you monitor is going in the computer out of the computer.

And back in the computers are three converters. And so of course you need low latency to, in order to do that very low buffer size. And the cool thing is about that. You'll just listen to your amp, but [00:35:00] you also already listened to the changes that the reamping signal chain does to your EMP and you can, and the reamp is already set up.

What that means is you can play. You can have a very, very good take, but then you're like, you know what, in this part, it would be actually cooler. If you've, if we would use, I don't know, a delay in front of the amp, or if we would change the sound a little bit. Now you don't have to play that part again.

You just instantly hit, like you just hit play, record that part again, tweak the amp and there you have it. Like the reamp is already set up in Duquesne while you producing the record while you're recording the guitar. You can just instantly do a reamp, change the tone a little bit, and then move on. You can, while you record track through your unlimited paddleboard, like you can say, okay, in this part, you know what, let's try this virtual NIC delay pedal, or this part of guitar, Rick, or this module of the, I dunno, neural DSP, whatever.

And you can just [00:36:00] insert pieces of software guitar. In your chain, send it out in real time through the amp and just use that as pedals while you record it, you can change that from part to part. And if you don't like it, it's not, not a problem because it's virtual, you always have to clean capture. You can do whatever you want with it, but you have all the options and you can, you can listen to that in real-time while you're playing and interact with all of that stuff.

So I really liked that. Like, if you can do it, if you can get the latency to, to be low enough so that this works. It's, um, it's a workflow that I really, really enjoy. Very cool. One thing that I think is worth mentioning, and this might be the last thing, I guess, uh, is that when you do do a reamp, there's usually a timing delay, latency thing.

It's often very small, um, but it exists. So I, when I do a reamp, I make a little like blip on the DIY channel at like beat one, started the session kind of thing. And then when I record it through. I go find that blip and then realign it to that same beat or bar. Um, and that just ensures that my [00:37:00] performance is timed back to where it originally was that I don't know if that makes any sense in podcast format format, but essentially it's just, you have to imagine that by leaving your computer and going through all of this processing again and coming back in, there's going to be some delay.

Like it just won't line up perfectly. So we're just compensating. Um, and it's much easier if you make a little marker for yourself in the DEI signal, rather than trying to like line up this fuzzy app capture. Yeah, absolutely. Uh, you have to, you totally have to do that. Like, as I said, you have three conversions.

You like if like two conversions from the Dai, um, from the moment that the eye is captured and. Yeah, you totally have to align that. I was just thinking about three because of the, my real, real time reamping setup. And I'm so used to now and because I have to align the timing. Absolutely. Absolutely. You have to do that.

I can't just record with that setup and then say, I want to blend, um, some amp SIM with the real capture. I can't just put a plugin on the GI track implanted [00:38:00] because the real capture will be late. So I always have to adjust that, but you don't have to do that always. Like, even if you don't do the real-time thing.

If you just have a dye and you send it out and back in, it's going to be, it's also going to be late. So the blip totally makes sense. Yeah, definitely. Awesome. Um, yeah, again, can't stress enough that even if you are planning to revamp your whole album, you still need to be trying to get tones that represent what you're trying to do so that you can make educated choices for all the other things in your album, and then send those along to anger mixer, of course, as well.

Um, It seems like it removes the need for you to carry a book guitar tones when you're capturing a DEI. But that is just not, not the case. So definitely still care about that. Make sure your GI sounds good. That is also a step that is sometimes missed though. Like we're capturing a DEI, but it's like, does it sound good?

But you should check it. Sometimes there's a buzz, uh, and it's ugly or like you've never noticed you need new strings when you're listening to the amp, because there's all this. Busy distortion on it. But when you [00:39:00] listen to the da, you're like, wow, this sounds like dead. Um, the eye tells no lies. Yes, totally.

Absolutely. And we met, uh, shouldn't mention one more thing. I totally forgot about that. There is a called trick we've I think we've mentioned it in another episode, but I want to say it again. You can record two signals simultaneously onto one stereo track instead of two monitor flex. And that can be very, very useful.

And I, I will ask people more in future to do that because it's just safer when they start editing and making, um, making changes to whatever they recorded. Because I like, it's pretty often that people sent me their, the I and their amp and it works fine. And then all of a sudden there's a part where there's weird phasing and for whatever reason, in that part, the timing shifts a little bit, or they accidentally chose the wrong take on one of the tracks or something like that.

And to prevent. Before you do any cuts, any fades, any like editing moves [00:40:00] either like consolidate the two tracks to one stereo track, or just track them onto a stereo track and use a plugin where you can blend between the two or just listen to one of the two, you can figure that out. Like there's a there's ways to do that.

Like, so what I'm saying is instead of recording to two mano tracks simultaneously, Create one stereo tracking your door, assign the input. Let's say like input one and two. One is the DIA two is the amp. And then you'll obviously have like the one on the left side, one on the right side. So you have to insert a plugin where you can pan the signal to one of the sides and then make it mano so that it comes out of the middle again.

So that way you can with the plug and you can decide what you're listening to, but it's like baked into one audio file. And if you cut it, if you edit it, it always stays in sync. That's. Yeah. For, especially for people who are like unsure when it comes to editing and like, they feel that if you fear that you're going to make mistakes, stuff like that, that's just a helpful thing to do.

Yeah. It, it kind of removes a step and, uh, the [00:41:00] possibility of accidentally misaligning things. Um, yeah, like I don't do that. I just group tracks because that's been what I've been doing for over a decade, but for, for people that are new to this, that's, you're totally right. It's just like, they don't even need to worry about making a group then it's done.

That's awesome. Yeah, exactly. Okay. So I think that's it. Um, there's not more to this again, this includes analog amps, as well as digital amps. They, they behave. Like, I would just think of them as the same thing. They behave differently, both depending on the, the signal you send into them. It doesn't matter if it's a camper or a real MP, same principles apply.

They both need a high C um, they have a high C input. They need an instrument level going into it. They're reacting differently, depending on the level you send into it. And one, you capture with them with a Mike or with some, I don't know, load box or whatever. And the other just has now put, but it's the same process, right?

I actually, you know, one thing worth mentioning is some devices have reamp boxes built into them like the Kemper does. [00:42:00] Um, for example, the Kemper has, yeah. In it. So you don't actually need an external one. I don't know if the other competitors in that market do. Um, but I'll say that my external reamp box sounds better than the built-in Kemper one.

So it's, it's like the eyes there's varying qualities. Okay. But the camper one only works. If you connected digitally to your Nope. Nope. Uh, hardware, uh, reamp box on the back. Yeah. There's a reamp return on the back. Oh, I did not. I remember. Okay. I had a camper, but I can't remember this. I thought like, because people do digital reamps with it.

Like they, yes, you can also do that. Okay. That's a good call. Okay. That's that, that gets too confusing now. But when, like, when in doubt as always, you can't go wrong with a good DIY box and a good reamp box, and then it doesn't matter. Like you just use those and then it doesn't matter if it's a camper or a real empty wheelchairs.

So I don't really, especially with things that are not too expensive, like the iBox is in reimburses. I don't really see a need for too much experimentation. It [00:43:00] just takes time and the results won't be that much better. Just grab a good, Abbox a good RamBox use it and don't worry about everything else.

Told them. All right. Thank you for listening. Yep. See you next week. Bye.


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  • […] efficient and fun way to record guitars with ultimate flexibility and the mix in mind. And because this week's podcast episode is all about reamping, I thought I'd explain one of the concepts from that episode again for you […]

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