Re-amping w/Micro-Amps

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noisejockey
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Re-amping w/Micro-Amps

Post by noisejockey » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:59 am

This technique is nothing new, but I finally decided to try re-amping my own work through guitar amps. I was going for that sense of moving air pressure and tension more than distortion (but having both, of course is tasty). I wanted to share how quick and easy this was to do on a budget and in a home studio context.

Because I didn't have the budget to get into a studio to really crank big cabs loud, I literally scaled it all down. I got a pair of 3W practice amps, set up a pair of cardioids, and rather than distort the channels, I just cranked the output as high as it could go, in my own home (admittedly, not an apartment). I did it in my carpeted bedroom, on my bed, for maximum absorption and the least offensive room sound, all doors to closets open. I used a different brand on the left and right channels so there were some tonal differences, and EQd the amps so they were in the same ballpark while being a little different. I just took the WAV files on a laptop and threw the analog signal into the amps.

Being a field recordist I knew that the ORTF recording pattern is a good way to minimize phase issues, so I just placed each amp accordingly, the mics pretty much right on the grill. Both amps just happened to sound their best being placed at the edge of the speaker cones. I ran 100' cables back into my studio room to the recorder, so that I could have isolated monitoring. Heck, my cat meowed once or twice while recording. And I left it all in. I used tiny electret capsules in a pair of 12 Gauge Microphones; next time I'll see how my nicer MKH Sennheisers fare, or even a pair of cheap Oktavas.

I phase-aligned the recording by hand against the original, and just blended the re-amped signal in about 20% with the original. I didn't EQ them at all, though I expected to need to (which suggests I got the most important thing right, which was mic placement). I'm sorry that I don't have the original to share, but here's the result:

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=88679635 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

While this clip already had some saturation and reverb, I found it added some pressure, tension, and sense of physical space to what was otherwise an all synth track (all the Ciat Lonbarde Tetrax Organ, in fact, recorded in three passes). (More details on how this album is made is available here.)

Just sharing in the hopes others will do more fun stuff with their otherwise over-the-cable electronic music recordings.

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bitSmasher
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Post by bitSmasher » Tue Sep 17, 2019 7:04 pm

Love it, this validates an idea I was pondering to play with :yay:

Planning a small speaker cabinet (EVM12L) powered by a nano amp, for metal tone reamping... small enough it can be taken places to different spaces for micing up.

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Astrolabe23
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Post by Astrolabe23 » Wed Sep 18, 2019 3:16 am

I have a small collection of "crappy" practice amps that I often use for recording and reamping. Most have come from thrift stores for $10 or $20. Coolest one I have is a Randall from the 90's. It's got a great spring reverb and works well on synths. I also use a pair of cheap 90's computer speakers to reamp drums. They distort a bit and have an interesting vibe when mic'd up in a bathroom. They work well to process samples of the real word and dialog too.

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noisejockey
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Post by noisejockey » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:15 am

bitSmasher, as Astrolabe23 points out, the space you record in is a big part of the process and the promise. A battery powered speaker, a battery powered playback device, and a battery powered recorder is a supremely creative re-amping (or "worldizing," as Walter Murch called it) toolkit that can be really inspiring. It's also a great way to create custom impulse responses for convolution reverbs.

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blinosynth
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Post by blinosynth » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:22 pm

What kind of little amp is could be really cool to have??
Any suggestions on brands to look for??

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Post by Technologear? » Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:52 pm

This post inspired me to reamp a voice recording from my phone, through a delay and battery powered micro guitar amp, which I recorded into my wife's phone. Then I did it again the other direction.
Only 2 passes but it really raised the noise floor and compressed the source recording, so it sounds aggressive and loud, especially with the high end hiss, without actually being that loud.

Re amps: I have an orange micro crush. Marshall do them too, they're only 5-6" in size. Blackstar do the Fly which can be fairly hifi in sound. Ignore inbuilt fx in them. Battery powered option is the key as mentioned, to getting creative with placement around the house.

You can also experiment with those portable Bluetooth speakers everyone seems to have. Just use the 1/8 line input not Bluetooth, as you can pick up weird glitchy Bluetooth noise when that's on.

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blinosynth
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Post by blinosynth » Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:10 pm

i justsaw again the Sylvia Massy in those "show your junk" video that she used a lot the zt lbj1 !
what do you think about?
Last edited by blinosynth on Fri Nov 15, 2019 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BenA718
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Post by BenA718 » Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:05 am

That sounds really cool! I LOVE recording synths through amplifiers and speakers.

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