Re-amping is a technique that
lets you change amp sounds after recording.
When tape ruled, guitarists played
through an amp to get the right vibe, but
also sometimes split a dry guitar signal to
a tape track. On playback, they’d patch
the dry tape track output to an amp set
to the desired sound, and then record the
miked amp sound to a new track.
|Enabling the monitoring function in (clockwise from top) Cubase, Live, Sonar, Studio One, and Pro Tools.
Today, when you record into a DAW
using an amp sim plug-in, the DAW
always records your dry, unprocessed
guitar sound. On playback, this dry sound
goes through the amp sim, which adds
any processing and plays along with your
other tracks. So essentially, your DAW is
As you record, you’ll likely want to
hear the sim-processed sound, not the
dry one. So, the DAW has to send your
input signal to the amp sim, which processes
the signal and then sends it to the
DAW’s output so you can hear it. Monitoring
your sound through plug-ins requires enabling the correct monitoring function
for your DAW.
• Steinberg Cubase, PreSonus Studio
One: Enable a track’s Monitor button.
• Cakewalk Sonar: Enable a track’s
Input Echo button.
• Apple Logic: Go Preferences > Audio
> Devices > Core Audio and check “Software
Monitoring.” Track must be recordenabled.
• Ableton Live: Enable a track’s In
button (under the Monitor section).
• Avid Pro Tools: Enable a track’s
• MOTU Digital Performer: Go Setup
> Configure Audio System > Input Monitoring
Mode, then check “Monitor Record-
Enabled Tracks through Effects.” Track
record and monitor must be enabled.
• Acoustica Mixcraft 5: In the Track
tab, enable Monitor On.
• Sony Acid Pro: Under Record Input
selection, choose “Input Monitor Mode On.”
The disadvantage of always re-amping
is that while recording, the amp sim
takes a little time to process your signal,
so what you hear is delayed by a several
milliseconds compared to what you’re
playing. Whether this is objectionable
depends on your computer’s speed, interface
drivers, and other factors. (For tips
on how to reduce latency, see the article
“Lowering Latency” at www.guitarplayer.com/article/lowering-latency/13.)
If the latency is too much for you, there’s
a simple solution if your interface offers
a feature called zero-latency monitoring.
Split your guitar output with a Y cable.
Feed one split into your audio interface’s
Instrument input (a special high impedance
input designed for guitar). Send
the other split into a guitar processor or
stompbox to get a satisfying sound for
recording. Then, patch that to any spare
interface input. An interface with zerolatency
monitoring will include an accessory
software mixer application that lets
you mix one or more signals at the interface
input with the DAW output. So, you
can hear your DAW’s tracks combined
with your multieffects’ output (which
won’t be going through your DAW, so
there’s no delay). Record the dry signal,
and optionally, the processed one in case
you like it too.
Now you can play through effects as
you record and not hear any latency as
you record your dry guitar sound for reamping
through an amp sim during mixdown.