Re-amping is a recording method that sound engineers use to save time and lower music production costs. In the past, guitarists had to spend hours repeating performances while sound engineers fussed with the amplifiers and recording equipment until they had finally perfected the tonal qualities for the session. Musicians eventually get tired and become more prone to making errors.
By using re-amping techniques, the performer is able to record a track without worrying about the specific tonal quality of their guitar while playing. This allows musicians to focus their efforts on their performance alone. After a recording session is complete, the music can be altered to change the tones as needed to perfect the final sound.
The process is simple, but there are a couple of pieces of equipment that you are going to need. Beyond the guitar, microphones, cables, and amps, you will need to be familiar with your recording software and your interface. To capture the dry input of the guitar performance you are going to need a DI box and some microphones. To make use of the signal again later, you need to have a re-amp box as well. Markertek offers great pro-audio equipment needed for this process including the re-amplifier.
You are going to need tracks to work with. You must first get your performance tracks down. To do that you need to create your dry input signal. Once the guitar is all tuned up, plug in your output cable to your DI box. The DI box acts as a very high quality Y-cable. The two outputs from the DI box send the input from your guitar to your amp and also to your interface. You can record directly onto your system, but it is helpful to capture more than just one signal at a time. Set up a microphone in front of your amp as well.
The musician can use any amp while playing. Many performers have their own preferences and produce better quality tracks when they are free to use their own gear. Sometimes artists will show up with the amps that they use in practice. They are familiar with the sounds already, and they do not need to experiment as much during their performance.
Once the performance is recorded, you can fine-tune the sound quality with just the recorded tracks. To do this, you need to set up your output from your interface. Run a cable to your re-amp box. Then plug your output from your re-amp box into the amplifier you will be using. Set up your microphones and recording equipment as usual. Playing the tracks from the recording software through the re-amp box is just like having the live performing guitarist right there. The re-amp box functions as the guitar, except that it is using the recorded signal. That signal is passed through the re-amp box into the amplifiers in a way that duplicates the performance the artist created.
You can alter and adjust your amplifiers, microphones, and settings as necessary to manipulate the results as you see fit. This liberating and powerful technique frees recording artists to focus on producing a quality recording instead of trying to record the same track over and over again. Check out this video clip by The Pro Audio Files for a more visual demonstration of the re-amping process.