Skip to main content

Re-amping a pre-recorded guitar


I've just recorded a guitar line track monitoring via an amp-simulator plugin in my DAW (only as a test).

Now I'd like to reproduce this guitar track through a real guitar amp and try to record it.

I've seen many products like REAMP box or Radial JD7, but I'm not interested in buying such equipment.

I only would like to know if any of you (recording addicts) have tried it already and, if so, how did you do that with a nice result?


cusebassman Wed, 12/06/2006 - 06:06
As far as I know you would have to buy such a device in order to reamp, but yes, it will (portentially) produce a good result. I've recorded guitar and bass DI into my setup (with no effects put on the signal whatsoever), and then later, ran the particular channel out to the reamp box, and then mic'd the amp it was running to. If you have a decent recording and DI setup, you should be able to reproduce just about what you would get from having played through the amp in the first place.

Its especially effective for me since I play jazz and blues a lot, and have a Fender Blues DeVille, which is quite the beastly amp. To crank that thing to decent recording volumes, you really need to turn it up past the tolerance level an apartment full of people will take. So, I often record DI, and then take my rig to a nice space (like the on-campus chapel, during non-service times), and reamp that way. That allows me to turn the thing up as loud as I need, and since the performance is already captured, I can just sit back after setting up the mics and amp, and let it do its thing.

anonymous Wed, 12/06/2006 - 07:31
You can re-recrod tracks of any sort. in fact, it's done often enough.

The issue with sending your track to a guitar amp is one of impeadance. You will have to go from line level to guitar level. However you are able to do that it's up to you.

Whatever box you use it must be able to convert the line level from your recorder into a guitar level suitable for your guitar amp.

CombatWombat Wed, 12/06/2006 - 08:52
DIGIT, does this hold true as well if I want to send a signal out to a stomp box and then record just the output of the stomp box? Would a reamp device be necessary there?

The specific use I'm thinking of right now is sending out a pre-recorded vocal track to a rotary speaker simulator stomp box that I have.

Sorry to hijack your thread hemophagus...just seemed like a related issue.

cusebassman Wed, 12/06/2006 - 10:40
I think the general rule of thumb is that anything coming out the board is going to have to be converted to instrument level before being run into any instrument-specific effect or device (like an amplifier). Think about it - an amp and an effects pedal both are designed to accept guitar input straight from source, so if you need to use a reamping device for the amp, you would probably need to do the same for the pedal, and then run it into a new channel. However, I could be wrong - I've only ever reamped to an actual amp, and then mic'd the source... I've never had to use a pedal or other instrument level processor for an effect being inserted into the path on my mixing desk.

CoyoteTrax Wed, 12/06/2006 - 14:26
You'll definitely want to "flip" your signal from inside the box to an unbalanced hi-z signal whether you're reamping through a guitar amp or just a stomp box.

What works for me is simply a passive DI box used in reverse. A passive DI box takes an an unbalanced instrument level signal and (by way of transformer) converts it to a balanced signal suitable for injection into a mixing board, console, DAW, computer interface, etc. Since a passive box doesn't care which way the signal is running you can route your signal from your DAW to the balanced (xlr) jack on the passive box and route the 1/4" input jack to your pedal or amp. In other words: go in through the out door on the passive DI box.

There are several inexpensive options for passive DI out there from groove tubes to whirlwind and several other manufacturers in between. Even the cheapest will suffice.

If you experience distortion of your signal just lower your output volume or gain on your DAW's output. It's relatively easy to mistakingly overdrive the device you're reamping to.

Don't forget to mute the channel in your DAW you're recording to or you'll get feedback. Monitor from the headphone jack on the device you're reamping to.

anonymous Wed, 12/06/2006 - 14:46
>>DIGIT, does this hold true as well if I want to send a signal out to a stomp box and then record just the output of the stomp box? Would a reamp device be necessary there?
It is a related isee and someone above was correct in saying that, generally speaking, the issue it one matching levels/imped, between any given OUTPUT and any given INPUTS. Once you match them you are good to go.

anonymous Wed, 12/06/2006 - 16:50
A question--

I know that going from lo-z to hi-z will give you the authentic signal of a passive guitar, in order to do a similarly authentic re-amp.

However, many stomp boxes are available that will essentially bring you to line-level, and people feed those into amps all the time.

Or, many people use guitars/basses with active electronics, which will give you a line-level signal. A lo-z into a line-level input will have not only a loss of level, but a loss of harmonic content. But if you're delivering a line-level signal, and going to a lo-z input, the only risk factor I can see is actually a non-issue; namely, overloading the amp's input. Since amps can accomodate signals from FX or from active guitars, I don't think this danger exists in practice but only in theory.

So while I know the benefits of going from hi-z to lo-z if you're recording to a source that expects line-level, I don't quite understand the benefit of doing the reverse. If you can record an 'active' guitar signal, surely you can re-amp using a line-level signal as your source?


anonymous Wed, 12/06/2006 - 20:43
I can't really compare, never having invested in a reamp (ie. line-level back to hi-Z) box. I can only ask the question, not provide the answer. ;) I've provided my above logic to other people before, to get feedback on why it is or is not a valid approach or perspective, but I've yet to get a definitive answer. :(

Keep in mind, I DEFINITELY acknowledge that the only way to get the "same" signal back to the amp, if it was a passive guitar to begin with, is to use a re-amp box. That logic is clear. Wouldn't dream of suggesting otherwise. But assuming either:

a) that the original recording was done through processing or with an active guitar
b) you used a passive guitar, but don't care that the re-amp won't be exactly authentic to a standard passive lo-z signal

Is reamping from line-level not still a valid option?

I'm sure my line of questioning implies that I think it SHOULD still be a valid option, but the question is sincere and I honestly couldn't give anyone a 100% definitive answer with confidence, so a more seasoned opinion than mine is definitely valued.


Hemophagus Wed, 12/13/2006 - 03:30
I found this...


I found this explanaiton in the Reamp's web page regarding about using passive DI boxes in reverse way:

"Question - Some people say I can use a passive direct box in reverse for reamping. Is this true?

Answer - – No. This would not work because of the large level differences between a microphone level signal and a line level signal. On the direct box the instrument input is designed for instrument level signals (-20dbm) and the microphone out is designed to give a microphone level signal (-60dbm typical) using a direct box in reverse would put a +4dbm signal into a –60dbm output and would cause extreme signal distortion before you even plugged into the amp."

anonymous Wed, 12/13/2006 - 19:05
Active guitar = line-level signal
line-level signal = well, line-level signal.

I'm still not sure why, other than authenticity in the case of re-amping a signal that was originally from a passive guitar, why you can't re-amp directly from a line-level signal.

I wouldn't put a DI in the path... I'm referring about going directly from line-level.

I still think it can be done...! I don't see why not.

Kev Wed, 12/13/2006 - 21:15
read the Jensen application notes and countless other papers from experience EEs on the subject

you can read the patent online

start at the wiki

there is a link on that page to the patent
( ... ... etc ))

here at RO there was a thread 6 months ago perhaps ?
(Dead Link Removed)
look for the Jensen links

or even

and of course there has been much said on various threads ... on various forums
here is just one

check out page 5
for a look inside a Reamp
then refer to the old RO thread

oh bugger it !!
just buy a Reamp and make John C. very happy
( Cuniberti - is that the right spelling ? )


Your recently read content