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Guide: Re-Amping with external sound card/audio interface

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I've been working on this the last few days through PM with forum member rm60 and while it may need some refinement, I figured that it was good enough to post at this point. Basically its how I do it and it works....that doesn't mean that I left something out. :)

Now the reason that I'm doing this is because since Cliff added the ability to sync to external digital clocks this is a much easier process and is accessible to a lot more people who may have had clock jitter issues before. The biggest challenge with using an external sound card is that using anything other than digital for the dry signal in my experience has led to noise because the dry signal is so low that there just isn't enough SNR to keep from picking up hum. Basically when I would re-amp all analog you could hear a distinct difference using the same patch. This way uses digital for the dry guitar signal path and analog for the fully effected wet recording. And it works fantastic; you can't hear a difference.

The reason that this is a good idea? Because I can leave my monitors connected to the computer's sound card which has a lot more inputs and features then the AxeFXII's onboard USB sound card (which does work very well, but is only for the AxeFXII to record).

So rather than type up the process I figured that pictures and instructions would work: (updated link)

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Any suggestions are welcome.

UPDATE: Added an animated GIF to show the basic steps in Reaper.

http://i192.photobucket.com/albums/z4/ashasha3/Re-Amping_1_zpstphrxwul.gif
 
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winger

Power User
Thanks for the write up. :encouragement:
Not much into recording at the moment, but you're giving a few new perspectives on the subject for someone like me. 8)
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
Quick bump for the weekend crowd and then I'll late it fade into the oblivion of useless information if no one needs it. :encouragement:
 

rcd

Inspired
I have multiple Axe Fx II units. Can I Reamp more than one at a time simultaneously? Let's say one for rythm guitar and another for overdubs...How would you achieve this?
Thanks for doing this!
 

rickgk

Experienced
Can the axefx IO settings be changed from axedit? My axefx is setup away from my daw so it would be good to be able to alter those settings from my workstation
 

rickgk

Experienced
I've got this all setup but can't figure out how to reamp in the mix using reaper. It seems the whole mix reamps unless I mute all playback tracks minus the dry track. Is it possible to reamp with the whole mix playing back?
 
Thanks a lot Shasha, really helpful !

Do you know guys if it can be possible to switch Axe's input settings thanks to a kind of batch ? (leveraging CC's I assume) ?
That would be helpful to streamline the whole process !
 

imrecs

Inspired
why not just record the fully effected signal digitally as well? Going out of the analog outs and back into an interface in an extra conversion step (DA/AD) which could be avoided by just recording digital only. I could see going analog outs if you were going through some high quality preamps and compressors...otherwise, why not just keep the signal digital in the first place? I've a/b'd a purely digital signal vs the fractal's analog outs into my RME interface, the extra step of conversion definitely lost some quality compared to the purely digital version.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
I've got this all setup but can't figure out how to reamp in the mix using reaper. It seems the whole mix reamps unless I mute all playback tracks minus the dry track. Is it possible to reamp with the whole mix playing back?
Are you sure it's actually sending them all and recording or is it just during monitoring that the guitars seem to sound like crap? Reason I ask is that I mute the original wet track because there is going to be some latency between the original and the re-amp during the re-amp take and it creates phasing issues as well as the levels are jacked up because you aren't mixing at that point (and you shouldn't be jacking with your levels while you record anyway). In my case it's not sending the original wet back into the AxeFXII even though at times it almost sounds like it from the monitors.

Now if you are in fact sending everything back to the AxeFXII and it's recording then you've got to go into the track routing and make sure that you are not sending the other tracks to the digital output....and you may have to check with your interface to make sure that it's not doing it behind your back as well. The only track that should be sending to the AxeFXII's digital input is the dry track and that should not be sending to the master/parent output.



Thanks a lot Shasha, really helpful !

Do you know guys if it can be possible to switch Axe's input settings thanks to a kind of batch ? (leveraging CC's I assume) ?
That would be helpful to streamline the whole process !
It isn't possible yet and I don't know if it'd be something that Cliff would bother with in terms of MIDI CC, but actually it'd be cool if we could do it from within AxeEdit.
 

shasha

Fractal Fanatic
why not just record the fully effected signal digitally as well? Going out of the analog outs and back into an interface in an extra conversion step (DA/AD) which could be avoided by just recording digital only. I could see going analog outs if you were going through some high quality preamps and compressors...otherwise, why not just keep the signal digital in the first place? I've a/b'd a purely digital signal vs the fractal's analog outs into my RME interface, the extra step of conversion definitely lost some quality compared to the purely digital version.
Well that's a great question....you absolutely could, but the only negative is that during the first take you will record only the dry track since it's not a multichannel digital output. Since you would be re-amping anyway it probably doesn't matter too much does it? :)

The only other thing is that it adds another step in the process where you have to change the USB/DIGI OUT SOURCE to OUTPUT 1 to re-amp and back to INPUT 1 for recording the dry take. The way I do it I just have the I/O->AUDIO tab open and twist the knob left or right once between steps.

I don't get all up in arms over digital vs analog for the wet takes because I use the analog output for everything and it sounds good and it's what I use to monitor and create patches and stuff so there is some consistency. For the dry tracks digital is the only thing that provides a good enough SNR to do it well. But I suspect that this wasn't possible until the word clock update in the latest FW release and these steps are based on what I got to work in the past.

And for anyone else interested in doing it this way I did do a test and it works.
 
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