What is Reamping?

Reamping is the process by which a raw guitar DI performance is turned into a finished, high quality mix ready track.  Rather than plugging the guitar straight into the amp for tracking in a live manner, reamping allows much more flexibility and potential for high quality professional results, and a guitar sound that was custom tailored to your material.  Everybody nowadays wants their album to hit the shelves with an awesome sounding guitar tone.

“Why buy Reamping?” – When mixing rock or metal guitar sounds, it becomes very obvious right away that guitar sounds don’t take to EQ very well, and so it is very important to track as close as possible to the sound that the mix actually needs.

“How do I know what type of guitar sound my mix will need?” – Why worry?  If you are in a position where you are asking this question, then you should be considering professional reamping.  For instance: if you plug your guitar straight to the amp and mic it, then you have to get both the tone and the performance right in one shot or else you have to retrack your song/album again… yikes.  Nobody wants to do that.  Save yourself the hassle by plugging into high quality DI box/preamps/converters and recording your performances direct to your mixer/DAW, and send the DIs to have them reamped professionally.

“For the cost of reamping an album, I can buy a cheap used tube amp.” – Yes, while that may be true, will you be able to achieve professional results from it on your first attempt?  Your second?  Will it take you three tries to get it right?  Ignoring the fact that you also need to buy a high quality guitar cabinet, mics, overdrives, room treatment, preamps, converters, and have a solid room for tracking professional sounding material…  Assuming you already have all of this, actually getting results is quite a different story.  While it is easy to set up a quick guitar rig for a concert performance, it takes years of practice to be able to produce guitar sounds that fit into a professional sounding mix and actually sound musical.  Once you’ve broken that barrier, you can begin to play with amps, mics, and speakers and tweak sounds not to fix problems, but in an artistic way, to actually shape the tone and fit the mix at hand.  This is not something a professional studio musician should be concerned with.

The price of reamping includes the simplicity of not having to worry about how to approach guitar sound for your album, the experience of the person doing the reamping, and the time saved by doing so.  That way you can focus on more important things…  Like re-skinning your drum shells, or buying new bass strings.