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Reamping

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by i_got_a_mohawk, Apr 26, 2009.


  1. With most of our recordings in recent times, we have just used computer VSTs (Ampeg SVX, Amplitube etc) for the guitar and bass (drummer has an e-kit, so that is recorded as midi then we use addictive drums to give a pretty good beat).

    There is just something missing tonally using VSTs. Previously when we mic'd up amps, it just sounded better and blended better. This may be down to relative in-experience using software etc. But we want to try this again (I dont have much of my recording gear with me, so I'm asking now so I'll have the info to give it a try in a few weeks).

    I'm using a presonus firepod. Should re-amping be as simple as connecting one of the outputs to the input of the amp and just playing the guitar track, while recording it with a mic back to one of the inputs?

    I've seen "reamping" boxes, I realise there will be a difference in impedence from the firepod output and a guitar output, will it make much of a difference? How easy is it to make a DIY reamping box? (I can't imagine it being much more than a transformer in there, so there is no way to justify the price some of them are).

    Or are there any cheap ways to do it?


    Cheers in advance :)

    - Will
     
  2. Beyer160

    Beyer160

    Dec 20, 2008
    NC
    The impedance mismatch will make a difference, but you won't blow anything up by trying it (as long as you use a -10db unbalanced output and keep the level under control). However, you can run backwards though a DI box and get the same effect as a Reamp, just without a dedicated volume control. I've been doing that for years.
     
  3. Hmm, don't have any simple DI's, would the like of the cheapy behringers or ART one's be fine for this?

    Volume isn't an issue as it could be controlled with the firepod :)
     
  4. Beyer160

    Beyer160

    Dec 20, 2008
    NC
    Yeah, any passive DI will work.
     
  5. Cool, shall get one of those ordered up for giving it a bash.

    Only other DI's I have use'd are just preamps (BDDI and Presonus Eureka).

    Again, thanks for the help in both threads :)
     
  6. That DI will work but you are gonna get a real hot signal going backwards through the transformer like that. I'd recommend something with a switchable pad. It's not clear to me how useful the amp/instrument switch on that thing would be, or exactly what it is it does.

    The house brand passive DI at Guitar Center is actually pretty OK.
     
  7. Im sure I can control the output with the firepod to an extent.

    Sadly there aren't any guitar centers on this side of the pond :p
     
  8. fokof

    fokof One day ,I'll be in the future

    Mar 16, 2007
    Here
    You can try a passive DI , try to plug the out of your soundcard to the XLR of the DI with a "Female to Female" XLR and the 1/4 to the IN of your GTR processor. It'S gonna give a higher imp. to the Input stage.

    These are "THE" stuff to do this ;
    http://www.radialeng.com/di-xamp.htm
     
  9. I know there are real reamping boxes, but as I said originally, I can't justify the cost (at least not at this moment in time).
     
  10. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    When using a DI to reamp, is it preferable to use a passive or active DI?

    The manual for Radial's X-amp active re-amplifier addresses generally using a DI backwards as a re-amping device. The manual says an active DI has "more 'reach' or better high frequency transfer of upper harmonic detail." I'm particularly interested in reamping sound of an acoustic bass guitar but don't want to buy a device that only does one thing (reamp), so it seems like an active DI would be better. Thanks for any advice!

    BTW, Mohawk, can you update us with your experience using a reverse DI?
     
  11. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    This question is related to reamping. After doing the iniital DI recording, should that wave form be normalized or expanded before running it back through the amp/cab? The expansion of the wav form adds quite a bit of volume. Perhaps expanding first, and reamping through a reverse passive DI would be best?
     
  12. 4Mal

    4Mal Supporting Member

    Jun 2, 2002
    Columbia River Gorge
    Hey Dave -the less expensive Pro-Reamp from Radial works well. ... never tried the x-Reamp...I don't do any 'expansion' of the .wav I just route my track to an analog output to the box, to the amp and back in ...
     
  13. It has to be a passive DI for reamping. A passive DI is a super simple little circuit playing off the inginuity of transformers, its so simple that if you put things into it the wrong way round it just does the opposite of its normal job with no odd effects!

    An active DI has many 1-way components that simply do not work in reverse. If its active it will have to be a dedicated active reamp device (though I can't think of any like that, all I have come accross are passive I think, apart from maybe the little labs one?)

    So any passive DI will do. All the fancy reamp boxes tend to just add a bigger pad to make the signal close to a guitars, and perhaps a variable resistor so you can control the impedance, changing the amps response a little. They are good, but very much a luxury.

    The speaker/instrument selector's on DI's are normally just pads, labelled for their intended use rather than DB reduction. The 'instrument' setting will be no pad (probably) the 'speaker' a pad of around 30Db. This is normally on the input-side of the transformer, so when being used in reverse it wouldn't protect the transformer from being overloaded (the pad would be on the wrong side) but it would be hard to damage the tranny with a line output, and its simple enough to just turn down the output!

    To Ukiah Bass, no certainly not normalisation. Normalisation is just volume, remember, it no different to just 'turning up'. In the case or reamping you'll generally be giving out a signal too hot anyway, so you're looking to turn down if anything. There are very few times when normalisation is needed in recording. Ditto with expanding really, volume is not what you need so if you did want to experiment with expansion you would need to adjust the make-up (or perhaps that should be 'make-down') gain accordingly.

    Using expansion is not standard by any means, but it could yield some interesting results, especially if you are using an amp which has its own inherent 'compression' charactersitics, Like an old Hiwatt 100 for example. When used carefully expansion before compression can allow you to shape the dynamics in very powerful ways, its not too common to do this, and is more common in dance music where things have to sound larger than life, but may be interesting to get some life back into a heavily distorted guitar!

    To the op, yeah the DAW you use will be able to adjust the recorded signal from full volume all the way down to 0Db, so is a simple as pulling down the fader on the DI track!
     
  14. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass Supporting Member

    May 10, 2006
    Great suggestions, thanks! I look forward to trying this with a used Radial JDI coming my way soon. I will record direct from the JDI into a compressor-->mixer-->solid state recorder. If I run the initial non-normalized WAV back through my mixer and then through the reversed JDI and into the amp, I figure controlling the signal level will be a piece of cake.
     

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