What Is Guitar Reamping?

What Is Guitar Reamping?

Reamping is actually the process often used in multitrack recording in which the recorded signal is routed back out of an editing environment as well as run through a reverb chamber or external processing. Originally, this method was used mostly for a guitar. This facilitates a separation of guitar that plays from the guitar amplifier processing, which was a record audio program previously and played back and recorded again where anyone can add ambience, effects, and modified tonality.

Reamping has evolved to include numerous applications. It can be also applied to some programs and instruments including synthesizers, virtual instruments, and recorded drums. Some common reamping objectives are room tone, envelopes, EQ/filters, gating, resonance, and musically beneficial amplifier distortion. It is also often used in warming up dry tracks that often means adding filtering, distortion, complex yet interesting compression, and some pleasing effects.

Through playing the dry signal through the main monitors of studio and using microphones in the room to capture ambience, professionals are able to make realistic reverbs as well as blend wet signal with original dry recording in achieving the right amount of depth.

Reamping is particular useful in softening stereo drum tracks. Through pointing monitors away from each other, the image of stereo can be preserved well and the new depth may be added to tracks. It is essential to check that mics used are in phase to get rid of the issues with the mix.

A quick reamping diagram


The re-recording process was used throughout the origin of the recording studios. In 1930s and 1940s, Pierre Schaeffer used recorded sounds including trains and consider playing them back with a bit of alteration and re-recording the result. Later, Edgard Varese and Karrlheinz Stockhausen used the same techniques.

Mary Ford and Les Paul recorded layered guitar paths and vocal harmonies, which modifies tracks with effects like ambient reverb while recording the result together in the new track. Paul placed the loudspeaker at an end of the tunnel and a mic at its end. Its loudspeaker played back the recorded material while the microphone is recording the altered sound.

Roger Nichols claimed to use a guitar in the re-recording process in year 1968 to spread the stress on the cranked tube amps around several amps. The sound will be dialed-in for hours on the cranked guitar amplifier. If this will wore down amplifier components, another amplifier will be used in recording the remaining work.

It was also noted that the re-mixing of Let It Be of The Beatles by Phil Spector in year 1970 may have been re-recorded through the guitar amplifier.

Reamping Example

The guitarist records the unprocessed, dry, and unaffected track in the recording studio. Oftentimes, this is achieved through connecting guitars into a Direct Input unit, which is fed to the recording console bypassing it through utilizing an outboard preamplifier. More often than not, the signal of the guitarist is sent to the guitar amp and recorder simultaneously, which provide the guitarist the proper amplifier ambience while tracking the dry signal.

Then, the direct, dry and unprocessed guitar recording will be fed to the bridging device in re-recording the unprocessed performance of the guitarist through the dedicated guitar amplifier as well as external effects boxes.

Guitar amplifiers will be placed in a live room or an isolation booth of recording studio and set up in producing the right tonal quality such as room reverberation and distortion character. The microphone is also placed near guitar speaker and the new track will be recorded that will produce the processed and re-amplified track. The cable of microphone is connected in mixing mic preamp or console utilizing the cable without the need to use the bridging device.

The Perks of Reamping

Reamping lets guitarists and some electronic musicians to record their tracks while leaving the expert to spend more time in dialing the right effects and settings on the prerecorded tracks. When reamping the tracks of electric guitar, the guitarist does not have to present for engineers to experiment for hours with the range of mic positions, effects, effects pedals, speaker cabinets, overall tonality, and so on, which replay the prerecorded tracks continuously whole experiment with the tones and new settings. When the desired tone was achieved, the dry performance of guitarist is reamped or rerecorded with additional effects.

The manufacturers of an instrument processing gear like guitar effects or reviewers may gather a library of the dry performance tracks, which are edited and performed well and run such tracks through the gear processing to show the sounds that it can make. The unlimited number of the performance playback passes, which include looping and enabling to try out numerous combinations of various settings faster like mic techniques.

When the amp simulator or guitar amp designers try different circuit component settings or values, they can utilize dry tracks as prepared, consistent signals, and input test signals that are always available.

Electronic Interfacing

DI or Direct Inject is a method or device for connecting high-impedance, unbalanced, and low-level signal into the designed auto equipment for low-impedance and balanced signal. The reverse DI means operating the same device in reverse, which connects a high level signal into the audio equipment, which was made for unbalanced, low-level, and high-impedance signals including the guitar amplifier.

Playing back the signal from a recording studio equipment directly into the guitar amplifier may cause unwanted side effects like treble loss, input-stage distortion, as well as ground-loop hum. Therefore, sometimes, there’s a need for the impedance conversion, ground alteration, and level-matching. Like running the guitar signal through the guitar effects pedal, which is set to the bypass, reamping shows several degree of the sonic degradation when compared to playing the guitar live directly into the guitar amp rig.

The reamping device employs the reversed DI transformer with several resistors added for impedance and level shift. Impedance and level adjustment may be achieved through adding the adjustable or potentiometer resistor. The proper reamping device converts the balanced signal to the unbalanced signal, shifts the result to the high instrument, and reduces the high studio-level signal down to the low level guitar signal.