Re-Amping - Recreating The Tone
Re-Amping is a way to take a recorded signal and then send it back out to an amp. This is mainly used for guitars but can really be used for anything that you desire to add the tone of an amp too. This is a huge advantage to engineers and allows us to revisit a recording and re-tweak it if we are unhappy with the sound or just want to add something more to it. There are multiple ways you can do it and with a few careful considerations, once you understand the basic principles, there really are no rules on how you use this technique.
So how do you do it?
Take an output of the signal, from the interface, desk or patch bay and plug it into the input on the Re-Amping box. For this purpose you may need some type of lead adapter depending on the output you use and the re-amping box, some have XLR ins and ¼ inch outs, others have a choice. The purpose of the re-amping box is to lower the output signal from line level back down to instrument level. So once that's done simply plug it into your amp and play your signal. This is where you can start having fun dialing in the tone you want and playing with mic positions to capture the sound you are after.
In this video we see Sean take a range of approaches,
using different pedals and amps to achieve different things with his guitar tone.
If you want the option to Re-Amp later, it is a good idea to always take a DI Signal when recording because this will be the most useful signal to re-amp, however, this is not to say that clean is the only way to go, it all depends on what you are trying to achieve. There are so many ways you can use Re-amping within a production. It might be quite practical to record the bass or guitar parts with a DI and re-amp them later but it could also be a way to add some extra warmth or grit to anything you record. You could use this technique to get that industrial drum sound you're after or to give some analog warmth to synthesizers. How to set up Re-Amping and 14 ways to use it
As an example when Gareth Jones started working with Depeche Mode in 1983 he thought they sounded much better live than on record so he started to focus on getting more room tone into their studio sound. He would run the synth lines back out through guitar amps to record through close and distant mics and then blend them back into the mix. This did create an edgier live sound and is now a much more common practice within electronic and industrial music for synth and drum parts.
We used this technique for the Zed Leppelin Project which was mainly so we could capture the live performance of the bass player and drummer playing together without the bass amp bleeding into the drum mics. This worked quite well and once we were all set up it didn’t take long to run the tracks back through and record our new sound into the DAW. I would like to use this in much more experimental ways and to explore the ways I can shape the sound in the room. I think that the possibilities that Re-Amping gives us, makes it worth the extra time and I really look forward to using this technique in new and exciting ways in the future.
Depeche Mode - People Are People (1984).
Montejano, R. (2017). What´s Reamping, how to set it up, and 14 ideas on how to use it. RogerMontejano.com. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from http://rogermontejano.com/en/articles/item/whats-reamping-how-to-set-it-up-and-14-ideas-on-how-to-use-it
Richard, B. (2017). CLASSIC TRACKS: Depeche Mode 'People Are People' |. Soundonsound.com. Retrieved 27 November 2017, from https://www.soundonsound.com/people/classic-tracks-depeche-mode-people-are-people