Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by The Elf »

cominginsecond wrote:With the way you're talking I'm beginning to think I have a bum reamp box.


I doubt that's the case. Look again at my post above and the amendments I made to guide you.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by Wonks »

cominginsecond wrote:
The Elf wrote:I re-amp all the time. There's no hype - it simply allows you to capture the raw guitar and re-apply processing to it. I see you're using a DI box. -3dBFS (if you mean dBFS) seems way too loud, though. Record with peaks at -10dBFS or lower.


Well, turning down the track will have the same impact as recording with lower peaks. I will try turning down the tracks again, but when I did that it didn't seem to make a difference. In fact, the muddiness was worse with quieter tracks.


It's not the same, because of those probable inter-sample peaks. The D/A converter recreates the waveform captured by the A/D converter. If the initial signal had a waveform that would take it over 0dbFS. then the D/A converter will do the same thing, except that its maximum output voltage is limited to the power rail provision, so any part of the resultant signal over 0dBFS will be clipped.

Let's say sequential samples were recorded at-17, -10, -3, -3, -10 and 1-7dBFS. though the digital peak meter would record the highest value at -3dbFS, the actual waveform peak between those two -3dBFS values will be higher, and probably hit +4dBFS. As the D/A converter can't output more than 0dBFS, the waveform gets clipped and you don't get a true representation.

Record 7dB lower, so the indicated peak is at -10dBFS, and the real inter-sample peak will be at -3dBFS, so the true waveform can be recreated by the D/A converter.
It's a lot simpler to record a few dB quieter and not have to worry about those inter-sample peaks. You also then start to use the same amount of headroom that were used on analogue tape recordings, where 0dBU still allowed for sufficient headroom on the tape for occasional louder peaks.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by cominginsecond »

I will try recording the DI track much lower and with a Boss pedal and I will verify that what's coming out of the output is unmodified. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by The Elf »

Simplify, simplify, simplify. No pedals - that way you can check the basics. Once it's working as expected, then add more.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by Wonks »

cominginsecond wrote:
Wonks wrote:However, that a passive DI box is probably the main cause of your problems. With a quoted input impedance of 140k ohms, unless you have active pickups, then you'll be loosing a lot of top end from the guitar signal.


That is so odd to me because using a passive DI box with something like Amplitube, the signal is so trebly. If I had any more top end in the guitar they'd bite my head off.


That doesn't sound right to me at all.

The API clone is the A12 module, so you must be feeding into a mic level input, and not a line or instrument input.

Can you feed the DI straight into the mic input on the Focusrite, just to see if you get the same general bright sound quality?

Have you tried going straight into the instrument input on the Focusrite to see how that sounds? Just trying to find a way you can eliminate elements in your signal chain that could be causing your issues.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by cominginsecond »

The Elf wrote:Simplify, simplify, simplify. No pedals - that way you can check the basics. Once it's working as expected, then add more.


Wonks recommended the Boss pedal bypassed (when I'm recording the DI track) as a buffer in order to match impedance better. I saw some similar advice elsewhere on the web. I can try it without first, but without that, the only thing I have to try is to record at a lower level, and I really doubt that is going to make the difference in what I'm hearing.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by cominginsecond »

Wonks wrote:That doesn't sound right to me at all.

The API clone is the A12 module, so you must be feeding into a mic level input, and not a line or instrument input.


I'm confused. The A12 has an input and an output. I fed the output of the DI into the input of the A12. It works wonderfully for me for amp sim software.

Wonks wrote:Can you feed the DI straight into the mic input on the Focusrite, just to see if you get the same general bright sound quality?

Sure. I'm willing to try anything at this point.

Wonks wrote:Have you tried going straight into the instrument input on the Focusrite to see how that sounds? Just trying to find a way you can eliminate elements in your signal chain that could be causing your issues.

Sure. Again, willing to try anything at this point.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by Wonks »

The Elf wrote:Simplify, simplify, simplify. No pedals - that way you can check the basics. Once it's working as expected, then add more.


But with a passive DI you may need a buffered pedal in bypass (when recording the signal) between the guitar and the DI box to get it sounding as expected. Just don't use one to start with when reamping.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by Wonks »

Some of the Seventh Circle Audio preamp modules have line/instrument inputs on the front panels as well as a mic XLR on the rear. I just wanted to make sure that yours was a mic input only unit. You know your setup well, but we can only go by what people tell us. It's amazing how often people leave out a piece of vital information when describing their system because they are so used to it.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by cominginsecond »

So recording at a much lower level made it work 100 percent better. With my Timmy pedal, the output is identical. With my Joyo OCD type pedal, it was very close and with a little EQ it was also identical. My current theory is that I was clipping the interface outputs. I think they were turned up too loud in my interfaces mixer software and me recording at a lower level made it so it didn't clip the outputs. Thanks so much for your help.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by Wonks »

That's very good news.

The passive DI box impedance will be affecting the guitar signal a bit, so I'd look into getting an active one with at least a 500k input impedance.

A DI box is designed to convert an unbalanced line-level signal to a balanced mic-level signal. A mic-level signal is around 40dB less than a line-level signal.

A guitar level signal sits roughly in-between a line and a mic level signal, at about 20dB less than a line level signal. As a result, the DI signal is then about 20dB less than a mic level signal when it comes out of a typical DI box. Most mic pre-amps have enough gain to make this up, but more gain means an increase in noise, so it is best not to have to use a DI box that drops the signal level by 40dB or so, and the mic pre then having to raise it by an extra 20dB.

So if you want to improve your recorded guitar sound further, I'd have a look round at DI boxes designed specifically for passive guitar and bass use, with an input impedance in the 1 megohm region (or at least 500k). It's not something I've looked into in any great detail, and have no experience of the more expensive products. But looking round, Warm Audio do a Direct Box Active with a 1 meg input impedance and variable attenuation level. If you were in the UK, the Orchid Electronics products are often highly recommended in this forum.
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Re: Reamping doesn't seem to work with drive pedals for me

Post by The Elf »

+1 Good news.

With a little bit of tweaking here and there I think you are now on the right path. Again, compare and make adjustments until you have a system that you can reliably return to in future.

The trick is to ensure that the signal you generate from your DAW is as close as possible identical to the signal that would come from your guitar.

And to explain what I said above... 're-amping' is generally about re-doing the process of sending a guitar's pickup signal back to its amp for re-recording, just as if it were being played again at source - hence the phrase. That's not a good description of sending a vocal, for example, to some guitar pedals, where no 'amp' (or, indeed, any sense of 're') is likely to be involved.
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