Reamping - Tools, Tips, and Techniques

I see a lot of creative potential in reamping sounds from a DAW. The most basic approach would be to send it through pedals and guitar amps, but I also imagine directing a speaker towards a drum and placing a contact mic on the head. Or even just getting some natural reverb.

I imagine this could be a unique way to add dirt, color, and space to the music I make. Please share your tips, techniques, and favorite tools. I basically know very little about this subject (besides get a reamp box).

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I remember reading a few articles over the years in Tape Op about creative reamping… here’s one on reamping drums. There are probably more on there, as well as some on sound on sound.

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I have one of the balanced monitor outputs on my mastering console permanently connected to an Orchid Electronics Amp Interface (a passive transformer reamp box with ground lift, polarity reverse and attenuator. I love it, just as good as the Radial boxes but cheaper). This means by switching away from the main monitors and to the reamp, I can send any source (analogue or digital) to the reamp. What the reamp is connected to is just a guitar lead, which can of course be plugged into anything in the studio. It’s usually plugged into my Deluxe Reverb clone (tube guitar amp) for recording with a mic, but it can just as easily be plugged into the Eventide H9, a number of different guitar effects boxes, my Moog Grandmother (great for the filters, spring reverb and crazy AM or FM shenanigans), which are then connected back to the mastering console for recording.

It’s an extremely versatile setup with some truly astonishing results, but takes time to set things up. It’s nice to dedicate a day to just reamping and re-recording stuff. Coolest thing I did recently was send a lead vocal through the Moog and tube amp that was slightly overdriven and spring reverbed, and then mix that back in subtly with the regular vocal take. Lent it an extra special something!

But really the sky’s the limit with reamping. You can also just run things through your monitors and record them with a stereo pair of mics for real room sound, no reamp box needed then! AFAIK Martin Hannett (Joy Division producer) did a lot of this.

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Thanks for the reminder! I agree that reamping seems to offer great possibilities. I’ve phantasized about it for so long, yet somehow I’m always too lazy or short of time to really do it…hmm. Staying in the box is convenient when there’s a family in the house etc.

It shouldn’t be that hard, though (is what I tell myself), especially since I’ve already gathered the gear. My ambition has been to run stuff from my DAW (Live) out through pedals/guitar amps. On the way out I’ll send audio out through a Radial Xamp-box and on the way back in through some hi-Z input/linebox. Maybe there’ll be some latency I have to measure etc.

I should do a rough test tonight!

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Go for it! As said above, and you restate, it takes a bit of logistics to get it all working, but is worth it I think. Try dedicating just one whole session to reamping stuff, see what you come up with!

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