What is Reamping?
Reamping is a two stage process whereby you first record a dry or clean track and then re-record the track afterwards by sending the clean track back through your amps and effects.
The benefits with Reamping are tremendous: From the musician’s perspective, the best performance is usually captured when the artist is fresh. Before Reamping, the guitarist would have to play for hours while the engineers moved mics in effort to find the perfect sound. By the time the engineer is ready to record, the guitarist is tired and is more prone to errors.
With Reamping, you record the track and worry about the sound later. In other words, capture the performance when the musician is at his or her best. You can then take your time to move the microphones around the room, change amps or add effects as needed. This also enables you to go back and change the sound of the track to fit the mix as the production advances. For instance you may find that a rhythm guitar track is too fat and taking up too much space in the bass region. Once you start Reamping, there is no going back. The process is simple:
How do you Reamp
Start by connecting the guitar to the Radial JDV-Pre, Radial J48 or other direct box. (The X-Amp will also work but requires connecting the input via the Omniport on the Workhorse). The thru-connection on the DI box is used to feed the guitar amp. The DI box out is recorded on track-1 (clean track). While you are at it, you may as well put a mic up in front of the guitar amp and record it. This would be printed on track-2 (the performance track).
Recording a performance track has several benefits. The first is that the guitar player will be comfortable and familiar with the sound. This generally means that the performance will be better. Second, when the guitarist generates sustaining feedback, the sustaining notes will also be captured on track-1 only there they will be clean. Should the guitarist flub a note, this can easily be moved or pitch corrected in the digital domain. You may also find that mixing the original performance with a Reamped track may deliver amazing results. Best of all, you can make these decisions as the production develops. Reamping leaves things open for change.
Now that you have captured the performance with a clean track, you can send the guitarist to the beach. You are ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Send the track-1 clean output to the Radial X-Amp. From there, you can split the signal off to two amplifiers and mic each one independently. Add another mic in the room or even add guitar effects as needed.
The cool thing about Reamping is that once you have the track, you can hit play for hours as you move the mics around and change the amps unit you get exactly what you are looking for.
Where things really become cool is during the production stage… you can hire all kinds of guitarists, let them use whatever amp they like and then Reamp the signals so that all of the tracks on the album sound uniform. This is fact is the trick that Roger Nichols (Steely Dan) figured out and why they could use 3 or 4 different players and still retain the distinct Steely Dan sound.
Reamping has been around for a long time. The Radial X-Amp is a device that makes it easy.