In the world of digital production, it has become easy for musicians to record in their bedrooms without the hassle and expense of an analog-based music studio. A massive benefit of digital guitar recording is the ability to play or record guitar at a low volume. This, of course, requires the use of a Digital Amp Modeler. The problem is that some musicians prefer, or at least would like the option to use a live guitar amp in their recordings, but can’t use them at a reasonable bedroom volume.

So today, we’re going to talk about how you can easily solve this problem. Let’s learn about re-amping.

Why Re-amp?

The most popular reason to re-amp, and the reason I learned to do it is so that you can take a dry guitar signal, and add an amp sound after it’s already been recorded.

There are many benefits of doing this, such as:

  • You are able to initially record your guitars at low volumes.
  • You are able to edit your guitars before sending them through your amp.
  • You get to surgically tweak your perfect amp tone after the guitar has already been recorded.

How Re-amp Boxes Work

A ‘Re-Amp Box’, such as the Radial X-Amp, takes a balanced line-level signal (generally from a mixer or interface), and makes it into an unbalanced instrument level signal. The purpose of this is so the outputted signal is the correct level for a guitar amp.

You do not want to send a signal to your amp that is anything but instrument level. I cannot stress that enough. Re-amping without a proper re-amp box can damage your amp.

How to Do it

First, you will need to make sure you have all of the correct cables you’ll need for your re-amp box. Most boxes will require a balanced 1/4″ cable. Some of them will have the option for balanced XLR as well.

The setup for re-amping is fairly simple.

Interface Output>Re-Amp Input>Re-Amp Output>Pedals/Amp

Here’s a sweet diagram that I made especially for you:

Re-amp Infographic

On the software side, you don’t really have to do much. Just make sure the guitar signal being sent from the DAW to the interface is completely dry for the best results.

As far as the micing of the amp cabinet goes, that will be the same process it’s always been! Be sure to check out our guide on 5 Tips for Micing a Guitar Cabinet!

The last thing you get to do once everything is in place is set up your guitar tone so that it’s as good as possible for recording. I’d recommend checking out our 7 Steps for Dialing in a Heavy Guitar Tone!

We hope you enjoyed this article! If you did, make sure to check out more, because we upload new reviews, technical articles, lessons, and more daily!

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This article was written by Zac Buras, our editor located in Louisiana


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