Guitar reamping: effects on the way in or on the way out?

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LupineSound
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Guitar reamping: effects on the way in or on the way out?

Post by LupineSound » Wed Mar 26, 2014 11:37 am

New to reamping here. Do you guys normally record guitar DI with the effects on the way in or manually add the effects when you send the signal back out to the amp?

I've tried to record a guitar performance w/ effects going direct into an ISA ONE with intention that the signal would be reamped later. It seems that the compressors and overdrive pedals don't play well with the ISA, totally over loading the input. Also, when I send it back out through my Keymaster, it seems like the overdrive doesn't hit the amp the same way and the overdrive is no longer in the sweet spot. So I was wondering if that's typical. Seems like it would be kind of a pain (or awkward) to turn the pedals on/off while the DI guitar is playing back through the amps. Another challenge is that some of the delays are timed so recording the guitar direct without effects would mean that the guitarist couldn't play to timing of the delays, which he is used to. :???:

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Post by palinilap » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:02 pm

For me the benefit of reamping is being able to focus solely on the sound coming out of the amp instead of the performance. So I record direct with no effects and get really tweaky with the pedals and gain staging during reamp.

However, if the performance relies heavily on the feel of the effects you can always split the signal at the guitar and monitor off an effects track.

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Post by Jeff White » Wed Mar 26, 2014 1:55 pm

Reamping is either a 'repair" or "creative" process. I use it as a safety (repair) by taking a DI of the pure guitar/bass signal for possible later sound processing if the original sound is for some reason not sitting right. If you have the DIs and really want to bother, you can take a DI path before and after the FX chain and before the amp, this way you have both the clean signal from the guitar and the guitar/FX signal. Either of them can be fed to an amp.

Since the performance is key here, the performer needs to have a comfortable environment in order to get the best performance. Is there a reason why you can't simply go through and amp and into a DI simultaneously, recording both of the signals (miked amp, DI for safety/reamping)?

I have a SansAmp Para Driver (http://www.tech21nyc.com/products/sansa ... verdi.html) whch I use a lot as an amp simulator/DI/recording device. As a matter of fact, I've been tracking guitars, lap steel, and bass through it for the past year and never thought about reamping, etc. It sounds like an amp. And since it has a DI pass-through you can use it as an amp and a DI (for later reamping) when you need to record a lower levels AND if you add a Direct Box after it you could take 3 signals (SansAmp, DI, actual miked amp) and record 3 tracks (4 with a distance mic on the amp) for every take.

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Rufer
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Post by Rufer » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:09 pm

I usually record two parallel direct tracks if I want the option to reamp later. The first is dry - I don't monitor through that one. The second is run through my pedals - I monitor this one and am also not opposed to using it in the final mix too.

I think this is relatively common practice - how it's executed depends on your gear.

For me, I plug straight into a Great River ME-1NV. The balance line out goes straight into my interface. This preamp also has a parallel unbalanced out that I send through my pedal board with a SansAmp at the end to kind-of-sort-of get an ampy sound. From the sansamp it goes into a Hi-Z input on my interface. That gets monitored. Both get recorded.

When it's time to reamp, I send the dry signal out and send it through my reamp, into my pedal board (sans-SansAmp) and into my amp. The reamp device has a pot that allows you to adjust the instrument level to replicate what you'd get with the guitar.

Like I said, I'm sure there are a lot of different ways to split your instrument signal initially to get two parallel signals. I know the Line6 POD devices and similar do the same.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:20 pm

I only record DI when "in doubt" or when the artist is in a "rush".
Otherwise I like to get the sound, and move on.
Sometimes it is cool to reamp an already recorded guitar, to give it a different character you can't get with plug ins. But again, this is rare for my situation.

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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:36 pm

Rufer wrote:This preamp also has a parallel unbalanced out that I send through my pedal board with a SansAmp at the end to kind-of-sort-of get an ampy sound. From the sansamp it goes into a Hi-Z input on my interface. That gets monitored. Both get recorded.
Exactly. Man, how I lived without a SansAmp for so long I'll never know.

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Dry

Post by Osumosan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 2:39 pm

I don't see the problem. Take the dry signal and make that the DI. Then run into the effects into the amp so you have the guitarist working with the effects. Note your settings and start from there (or not) when you are reamping. I pretty much take that approach. Sometimes, I'll take the signal from an initial boost.

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Post by WillMorgan » Wed Mar 26, 2014 3:43 pm

As a related aside, Moby has a video talking about how he ran his instrumental mix through a distortion pedal to better match Mark Lanegan's gravel:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QX1NPaBkOOM

And, the latest issue of tapeop has a review of Radial Engineering's Guitar effects interface.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... -interface

I'm thinking since I already have their re-amp box I could just run the output of that into a pedal and take the output of that into the Hi-Z input of my board to accomplish the same thing.
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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:09 am

WillMorgan wrote: And, the latest issue of tapeop has a review of Radial Engineering's Guitar effects interface.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audi ... -interface

I'm thinking since I already have their re-amp box I could just run the output of that into a pedal and take the output of that into the Hi-Z input of my board to accomplish the same thing.
Yes, which is an awesome thing to do on a console. Send stuff through a bunch of guitar pedals and then back in on another channel/bus. All you need is a reamp'r and a DI. Or send it to an amp and mic it up.

Or this. This looks awesome, too: http://www.radialeng.com/jdx500.php.

More of an explanation found here: http://www.radialeng.com/pdfs/JDX-500-U ... READER.pdf. I'd love to mess around with this.

Jeff
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Post by LupineSound » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:40 am

Interesting to hear how differently you all approach this. The intent of the reamping in this instance was to get a good DI signal to be reamped and recorded at a different location through better gear.

Before I was going: Guitar > Pedals > ISA DI > Pro Tools
Trying to get a perfect take, perhaps not surprisingly, was totally awkward for the guitar player.

I think what I'll do now is go:
Guitar >.......ISA DI > Pro Tools
............ISA TS Out > Pedals > Amp
Then I'll just have to engage the pedals as necessary during the reamp.

I think I might also try going:
Guitar > Pedals > Ampeg V4 Amplifier Out > ISA Direct > Pro Tools
To see if the direct out from the V4 is usuable. Maybe I can get a good DI of the effects this way and not have to engage them on playback of the reamper.

Interesting stuff, this reamping!

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Post by ashcat_lt » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:17 am

All of the problems described in the OP come from messing with the gain staging through the process. You're adding gain at the Instrument input of the preamp and then attenuating on the way back out to the amp.

The thing is that guitar signals aren't necessarily always so much too small that you need all that gain. The S/N ratio has already been compromised by connecting a huge high impedance antenna to a high impedance load, and it ain't gonna get any better by adding gain right before you go into the box.

I'm finding more and more that the right answer is to just run unity gain through the computer. Plug a buffered version of the guitar signal (the output from the pedals will qualify) into the +4dbu line input, and run the +4dbu line out directly into the amplifier. Ignore everybody that tries to freak out about "impedance mismatch" because they obviously don't understand how it works. If you get a ground loop buzz, we'll look into handling that on its own terms. There may be some slight attenuation from rudely unbalancing the output, but that'll be maybe 6db, which is easy to compensate using nice clean, flat, silent gain ITB.

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