History of re-amping

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History of re-amping

Post by vvv » Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:34 am

Inspired by here, what is the first known use of re-amping?

I think I remember reading reading about it first regarding this record:

Image

altho' I can't remember if it was re-amping or just a remote amp recorded during the performance.
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Post by vvv » Sat Jul 11, 2009 4:24 pm

So that's a "no", eh? :twisted:
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Post by rty5150 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:12 am

first i had heard was alex lifeson was running a di into the console. they were just blending the DI with a mic'd track, though.

i thought about it with the introduction of amp modelers. the pod was the first i know to do reamping as an effect in post.

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Post by chris harris » Sun Jul 12, 2009 11:38 am

amp modelers and "reamping" aren't the same thing.

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Post by roygbiv » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:42 pm

Yo vvv

Some digging turned up this old thread on Gearsluz.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much- ... #post20542

Near the bottom of the thread it has the the two big players (Reamp and LittleLabs) fighting it out to answer your very question - in a public forum! God I love the internet. I think they both make their points pretty well.

Here's the two most salient exchanges:

First, John Cunniberti (Reamp):
I have been following this and other Reamp? threads with interest. Initially I just wanted to sit back and read what people had to say about it and not jump in with a sales rap. Unfortunately I can no longer sit back because others have decided to promote their own version of the Reamp. But first a little history: In 1993 when I built the first Reamp to save a Joe Satriani live bass recording I had no idea that nine years later it would be ?common practice? among so many great engineers. I fact, I had to give away, for free, the first 50 Reamps that I had built to engineers in L.A. just in order to prove its usefulness. Now I receive emails every week from users who tell me how the Reamp has changed the way they record or how it saved a performance slated for re-recording. At this point there are over a thousand of my Reamps in use and the demand for more has been constant. The popularity of my device has encouraged others to cash in on my hard work and personally financed promotion of re-amping. This is what has prompted me to write my own sales rap. Aside from the fact that they are, in my opinion, infringing on my patent and trademark, they have not built a better device. The use of a custom wound UTC style transformer mentioned by one such manufacturer has always been a part of my Reamp design. This isn?t rocket science -- if you what a device that does only what it was designed to do perfectly, has been proven in the field by thousands of users, comes in an indestructible high tech aluminum box with a lifetime guarantee, then my Reamp is the only smart choice. $240.00 with free two day shipping in the U.S.A. >reamp.com<
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Then, the response from Jonathan Little (Littlelabs):
First of all this wasn't a Reamp thread this was a thread to announce a NEW product called the Redeye. I sort of feel like how I did when the local gang bangers tagged my wall.

Anyway I suppose re-amping was new in a small northern California village in '93 but anyone who has been around long before that, unless they drank too much Grateful Dead jungle juice knows the concept, and devices that can re-amp have been around a long while. Also as John himself states re-amping is not rocket science, it is the bringing of a lo impedance to a hi impedance and dropping level whohee! Not a big deal. John Cubernetti is not the father of re-amping, It is more likely someone like Les Paul.

"Aside from the fact that they are, in my opinion, infringing on my patent and trademark, they have not built a better device."
"Apparently, that upsets some people for reasons lost on me."

Since I introduced my PCP and received letters from someone's lawyer I have researched and have found much of what the legal circles call prior art ...everywhere, USA and EU. So lets be clear I'm not infringing on the patent and I use the term re-amp which is short for re-amplify as used commonly in the English language and cannot be trade marked. Oh and the transformer in the redeye and PCP is custom wound, the transformer in the REAMP is a stock Magnetika 0-10. I used those originally and found a different winding sounded better.
Reamp however is trade marked so be careful using that term, you too could get a letter from our friend. As far as building a better device, are you kidding? Come on John, lets be real here the PCP is so much more powerful than the Reamp, as far as the redeye, I'll get to in a second why it is hands down a better device than the REAMP. This is not a bash, this is a fact.

Anyway lets hope someone doesn't come up with a patent on micpre for a mic-pre and start trying to collect licensing on every mic preamp. Geez would the recording world be better off with one mic or one compressor? Anyway I always referred people to the REAMP when that is all they wanted (sorry if I'm not using the registered mark, I'm not much for that formality in a forum environment and anyway I have no idea how to make my keyboard write that). Shouldn't creativity in making better gear and improving upon concepts be encouraged and applauded.

I think our friend George summed it up with this statement:

"Finally, what I'm proudest of is less in designing devices alone, and more in exploring the ever-expanding applications and uses of gear, and then applying that knowledge to designs. "
George Massenburg

Now in direct comparison why is the REAMP the only smart choice?

REDEYE: converts to a passive hi quality passive DI at the push of a button .
REAMP: no DI available strictly a re-ampifier.
REDEYE: re-amplifier input impedance 8.6kohm pad in 3.5kohm pad out (can be multed without loading).
REAMP: input impedance 600ohm fixed(too low to mult off an output).
REDEYE: Expandable can be used with any active DI or +4dB output and multiple redeyes to create a multiple out re-amp or guitar splitter with total isolation between amp heads. Jacks are provided for this and a switch to select it.
REAMP : Not expandable, impedance 600ohm too low to daisy chain and no jacks provided. Also ground lift switch lifts xlr pin 1, not the transformer output so no ground isolation would be available between amp heads (essential in this application).
REDEYE: Polarity (phase reverse) switch provided
REAMP: No Polarity switch provided
REDEYE :Three year warranty
REAMP: LIFE time warranty!
REDEYE: List price $250 Mercenary Price $225
REAMP: $240 with shipping and tax included

Well you be the judge , that Lifetime warranty is awfully enticing. HUH ? So maybe some of you gear slutz could encourage John and his affection for lawyers to get off my back. Spend a little more time and build a better product John, and then post your own New Product Alert.
I want to make cool gear and if someone wants to make even cooler gear well... that's cool with me.
OH and
In the name of good American competition and this guy bugging me I'll throw in free overnight shipping on the redeye if you buy direct and mention this thread.

Thanks and welcome John to a particpating role in the gear slutz forum.
All da best
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There are a few more minor exchanges, but that is the gist of it.

From this exchange (and other reading I've done) it seems to me there was prior art.

However, Reamp had the moxy to apply for and finance the patent for the method.

Doesn't mean they invented it, merely that they had good lawyers and the drive to get it done. Hence my earlier comment in the post you linked - Reamp may not have invented re-amping, but they were the first to patent it and market a device that makes it easy for the unwashed mases.

This stuff happens all the time in other fields too. Somebody patents a technique known to people in the field, in order to sell a product and make money.

Product is successful, turning more people onto the new invention and approach. This leads to lots of "old guys" shaking their head wondering how an old concept could ever be patented.

However, without the "new guys" marketing the device, nobody but the "old guys" would even know of the new method.

So, I feel ambivalent about the whole thing. Reamp guy should be paid for what he did, but he shouldn't be spending to much time hassling other people since his patent seems to be built on rather loose sand. I would be disturbed to see him going down the MonsterCable road, but he seems to have backed off (based on all the new products with the word "Reamp" in them).
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Post by rty5150 » Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:09 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:amp modelers and "reamping" aren't the same thing.
umm...this i know. i use both in different capacities. that was the first time i was introduced to the concept, not the technique.


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Post by vvv » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:50 pm

Hey, roygbiv: 8)
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Post by cgarges » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:58 pm

I certainly know people who were doing it in the 80s.

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Post by ubertar » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:05 pm

The US patent system goes by "first to invent", not "first to file". A patent on something that was already being done is not valid and can be successfully challenged. The only thing that's patentable is whatever you add to the idea that's new.
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Post by losthighway » Mon Jul 13, 2009 5:52 pm

As much as that was an unusually awkward exchange between two gear companies I can help but feel that the Redeye would get my dollar first. But then again I might just buy a $100 Radial Reamp and be done.

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Post by roygbiv » Mon Jul 13, 2009 6:08 pm

ubertar wrote:The US patent system goes by "first to invent", not "first to file". A patent on something that was already being done is not valid and can be successfully challenged. The only thing that's patentable is whatever you add to the idea that's new.
I agree, that is how it is supposed to work - in theory.

However, in reality, sometimes bad patents are granted, and remain on the books unchallenged. Why? because it is often:

1. too expensive
2. too difficult
3. not worth it

to challenge an already granted patent. Maybe because the assumption is that the granted patent is valid, and thus you have to spend extra effort to disprove it?. I don't know. Also, I'm not saying bad patents aren't challenged, but from my understanding, it is not cheap to do so (at $250/hour patent lawyer time).

And how much money is there to be made off of the Reamp concept anyway?

(Please note - I am not a lawyer, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. However, as a research scientist, I do have experience discussing these issues with patent lawyers, including some of my previous scientific colleagues who went on to become Bpatent lawyers in the Biotech field).

BTW, I shouldn't have implied in my previous post that "this happens all the time", rather, it is "not unheard of" for bad patents to be granted.

EDIT: I just re-read your comment - I missed the last part where you stated "the only thing that's patentable is whatever you add to the idea that's new". You are right, that is the jist of whether it is patentable or not.

However, I think it is the "whatever you add to the idea that's new" clause that generates all the arguing/disputation/increasing-lawyer-fees.

Also, I forgot to mention, that sometimes people get patents that they know may end up being challenged, but in the meantime, they (exclusively) make money/sell patent rigths before the patent is successfully challenged. (Like Amazon's "one-click shopping" patent?)
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Post by Jeff White » Mon Jul 13, 2009 7:48 pm

Seems like every recording forum on the interwebs gets a visit from John Cunniberti regarding the reamp thing claiming that he single-handedly invented/patented/is the father of it/is the reason why it is common practice. I will give him credit... I never heard of it until I saw one of his ads in a magazine. I think that he needs to separate the process of re-amping from the product called Reamp.

From what I have heard, which has been kicking around the internet for a few years now, is that there was a lot of reamping going on in the 1970s in the studio with Steely Dan. And the reason for this was the fact that there were so many guitar takes that amps would crap out, so getting a direct signal to route through an amp later on saved on amp repair bills. True or not? No idea.

Does running vocals through a leslie speaker constitute reamping? Because if it does, then Geoff Emerick may have invented reamping while recording "Tomorrow Never Knows" during the Revolver sessions. Not sure how things were routed during that session. Will have to look through a bunch of Beatles books. However I've used a re-amping device to effect vocals before, and I've called it that.

John Cunniberti was the first to patent his Reamp design. I purposefully did not pick up his design because I found the Radial X-Amp to be much more robust. And... here is the kicker... after reading posts by him arguing with folks on forums several years ago (when I was shopping for such a device) I simply found him to be someone whom I did not want to receive my hard-earned cash.

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Post by Jitters » Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:44 pm

ipressrecord wrote:...From what I have heard, which has been kicking around the internet for a few years now, is that there was a lot of reamping going on in the 1970s in the studio with Steely Dan. And the reason for this was the fact that there were so many guitar takes that amps would crap out, so getting a direct signal to route through an amp later on saved on amp repair bills. True or not? No idea..
True or not that's pretty funny! :lol:

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Post by chris harris » Mon Jul 13, 2009 10:14 pm

The Reamp device probably is responsible for the surge in interest in a technique that had been used for years. The internet, and messageboards are DEFINITELY responsible for the weird hype regarding this "technique". I, personally, use a re-amping device as a tool in specific situations where it would be advantageous to do so. I definitely don't think that having an army of engineers out there who believe that a good sound requires catching a DI track of every take so that they can postpone yet another decision about the sound until later, is really an advancement of the art of recording.

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Post by Jeff White » Tue Jul 14, 2009 8:02 am

subatomic pieces wrote:I definitely don't think that having an army of engineers out there who believe that a good sound requires catching a DI track of every take so that they can postpone yet another decision about the sound until later, is really an advancement of the art of recording.
+1

It's a bridge for me, mostly.

I like to use it to bridge the world of DAW tracks with the world of guitar pedals and amps. Simply a nice impedance matcher to preserve good sound in the process. Besides, all of those VIs sound a lot better running through a tube amp. Sometimes vocals do as well.

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