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Real-Time Reamping

Daily Blog - June 24th 2021

To me, what I call "real-time reamping" is by far the most 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 here.

Real-Time Reamping

Here's a step-by-step instruction:

  1. Plug your guitar (or bass) straight into a DI box or Hi-Z input using the shortest possible cable. No pedals in between, the DI is the first and only thing in the chain.
  2. Record that pure DI to a mono track in your DAW and set the output of that track to a physical output on your interface (not your main output! 2-ch Interfaces won't work for this or for reamping in general). So you're not going to hear the clean DI, because the recorded DI leaves the computer immediately through an extra output.
  3. Connect that output to a reamp box 
  4. Connect the reamp box to your amp (and/or pedals), using the shortest possible cable.
  5. Record the cab with a mic / record the amp with a loadbox / record the line out or DI out of your amp. Whatever setup you have.
  6. So this amp signal goes back into the computer to another channel in your DAW and this is what you'll be listening to. Just send the output of the amp channel to your monitor out/main out or your subgroups in the DAW, as usual.
  7. Make sure the buffer size is as low as possible, because latency can be a problem with setup like this. Remember, you're going in -> out -> in again -> and out again to your monitoring. That's four conversions. It's totally possible with most modern interfaces and a solid computer, but maybe not with every setup. You'll have to try and find out.

The advantages of "real time reamping":

  • You're hearing how the amp reacts to the reamping chain right away, as it's always connected to the reamp box, not the guitar directly. So you don't have to adjust and match the signal later, if you're reamping certain parts.
  • You can use your computer as a giant pedal board! Your computer is always in the chain before your amp, so you can use plugins to manipulate the signal you're sending to the amp. Infinite possibilities to correct or creatively shape your tone!
  • You're always recording the highest quality direct signal from your guitar. So you have that safety net in case you don't like the amp tone.
  • You can change and adjust sounds for each part quickly, using reverbs, delays, overdrives etc. in your computer. Just like you would with pedals. You can be quick and intuitive here because, again, you always have that DI as a backup.
  • If you need to change something, it's super easy, quick and fun! So if you recorded a perfect take, but the tone was not quite right for the part, you just hit play, listen, change the settings and reamp immediately without having to perform that part again. The reamp setup is always in front of you ready to go and the tones will be exactly the same, as you're always listening to the reamp chain while playing.

Yes, I know. This is another concept that probably sounds a little confusing at first, but when you make it work and get to try it, you'll love it! It's so much fun!

-Benedikt

PS: If you're looking for an amazing community to get feedback from and provide your own expertise for, check out The Self-Recording Band Community. It's 100% free and can be the growth accelerator you've been missing all the time.

PPS: Downloading one of our free guides and joining our email list is also a great way to connect with your peers, as we will invite you to events and keep you in the loop about what's going on in our community. We just had an amazing video meetup last weekend and together we helped 5 people improve their recordings, arrangements and mixes by listening and giving collective feedback live on the call. Join us now!

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