I got my first re-amping box from Radial almost 15 years ago. My initial cause was to be able to offer guitar re-amping services for home recordists utilising the quite big amp and cabinets collection we had in the studio. However soon enough I discovered that re-amping can be much more than just a tool for guitar or bass recording. Through these years I literally re-amped almost every possible recorded audio source: from acoustic instruments and snare drums, all the way to sampled loops, VST instruments, vocals and whatever you could imagine and gradually re-amping became a powerful and quite generic processing tool rather than a simple signal converter.
There are several benefits that such a processing tool can add to your workflow:
Natural ambience: With so many audio signals recorded direct or in extremely dry and neutral recording spaces, re-amping can be a key factor in regenerating space depth and a larger stereo image plus with the ability to have complete control in the amount added to the original signal. Imagine being able to add the completely natural and organic room mic effect to a dry recorded drum kit in a later time or adding the vibe of your preferred room to a direct recording of an acoustic guitar. The resulting ambience can beat every artificial reverberator regardless the price range any time.
Replacing missing elements: re-amping can be a great tool in adding a missing element to a sound. Imagine getting a bunch of drum tracks to mix only to find out that there is no bottom mic for snare thus a complete lack of this characteristic rattling sound… you can simply re-amp the top mic track by placing a snare on a speaker and recording the perfectly articulated resulting rattle….or you can re-amp a kick drum track to add the response of a bigger or smaller drum cell or even a different percussion! The options here are endless!
Sound design: re-amping can be a tremendous sound design tool! You can breathe life in to these boring soft synths, pads and leads simply by driving them through a great valve amp and recording the the resulting sound… or you can add your guitar rig to any audio signal you choose experimenting with new soundscapes…imagine your favourite germanium fuzz pedal through your favourite tube amp and speaker cabinet on a vocal line, melodic instruments or percussion! Re-amping can be the key to open new creative paths and add new sounds to your arsenal.
Sonic signature: Getting your own sonic footprint or signature is probably the most important aspect of being a music producer or a mixing engineer. Re-amping can help you get even closer to creating your own unique character and sound. Simply by adding the “vibe” of your own room or recording space to a bunch of selected tracks. Your space has a unique vibe that simply cannot be repeated anywhere in the world…contrary to your loops, samples and most processing tools which are already used by thousands other producers and engineers the very same moment with you!
Technically speaking re-amping can be pretty simple as a procedure… you only need a dedicated re-amping device if you need to run a recorded line level signal through a guitar or bass amp. In such a scenario it is necessary to convert the line level low impedance signal to an instrument level high impedance one, thus you need the proper gear.
So, for me and for lots of other producers and engineers out there, re-amping proved to be a very creative and innovative tool making it a lot easier to get closer to our sonic goals? have you tried it? Well if you already done so you know what I'm talking about...if no, start experimenting now and discover the new potentials this unique approach can bring to your workflow!