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Blog: Blog2
  • Writer's pictureRyan van Eerde

Getting Amped

The process of re-ampimg metal guitars

In one of my previous blogs, When Metal Gets Heavy, I posted a video describing how a recording engineer technique for capturing low tuned metal guitar sounds. I used that video as a starting reference point for the re-amping session, but what exactly is re-amping.

Re-amping is the process of recording a DI (Direct Injection) signal, which is just a pure unadulterated track with no processing then sending that signal back out to an amplifier to be recorded with your desired sound. The benefits of this is that the artist (me in this instance) can record guitar tracks in my bedroom now then make them sound good with a real amp sound later. It also allows you to record a track multiple times and to tweak and change the sound with different amps, amp settings, microphones, and microphone placements.

Below is an image of my re-amping session, because I have had a little bit of experience with re-amping in this studio before I know that sending audio signal out of its recording console and into the control room generates an ineradicable amount of noise, which is not ideal. To counteract this problem I had an idea to send the signal out of my own laptop/recording interface to my amp and only use the studios recording console for recording the amp sound, and it work.

Re-amp session setup

The basic signal flow going on here is, clean DI electric guitar track which is played out of the Left monitor output, a reamping box, then sent to the amps main input.

For a better and more in depth explanation on re-amping watch the video below.

For the sound capturing part of this session I used 2 microphones a Sennheiser MD421 and a Shure SM57 which are the mics used in my reference video. In the session I tried out multiple different microphone positions and amp settings to see what sounds/tones I could create. For the mic positioning I started out with what the reference video stated which is both mics on different speakers, the SM57 in line with the center and the MD421 between the edge and the center. I recorded a few tracks with this setup whilst adjusting the amp setting, from there I began moving the mics ever so slightly to see what sounds the different positions could give me.

Below is a picture of me moving the SM57 slightly of axis to see what effect that would give me.

Amp and mic placements

As I have 2 guitar tracks which will be panned hard Left and Right in the final project mix I also made sure to change up the amp setting slightly for each side as well in order to create a larger stereo image.

I recorded 5 different tracks for each side so I would have a good selection of guitar sounds to choose from, but in the end I decided to go with the very first tracks the we recorded (the tracks highlight in green in the picture below)

Pro Tools session with all the re-amped tracks

I chose these tracks by listening to them the day after the session and going through all the different sounds and trying to find one that had the most fullness and clarity, which just happen to be the very first tracks. From here I will import my chosen guitar tracks into the final mixing session and hope they sound good in context with the other elements in he track.

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