Multi-tracking a band during a live performance can be a challenging task at the best of times. Less-than-ideal guitar tones are one element that could ruin your live recording.
I was recently doing a session for a radio station multi-tracking a three-band event. The radio technician and I set up a MacBook Pro connected to the FireWire output of a Behringer
X32. For this session, the DAW of choice was Pro Tools 10. The computer instantly detected the 16 channels we were using and performed flawlessly, tracking three bands over four hours. The only issue that came up during the session was that a couple of the guitar players had unbearably bad amplifier tones, rendering those tracks unusable. Luckily, we decided to DI the guitar players before the amplifier and record a raw track that we could then re-amp later to salvage the recording.
I used the Radial JDI passive DI box to get the direct clean guitar into our Pro Tools session. There are many devices to choose from for re-amplification, but I prefer the Radial X-AMP as it gives you two outputs that you can send to different amplifiers of your choice to sculpt some great tones.
Often when recording a live performance, there is no time to get up on stage and adjust
the guitar player’s amp if you’re not liking the tone you’re getting at the console. Using reamping as one of your tools can get you out of a tricky situation when times are tight and tones are tough!
Jason Borys is an audio engineer and modular synth artist from Edmonton, AB. Borys has spent the last four years touring the world with the band Junior Boys. Previous tours have had him work with such artists as Shout Out Out Out Out, Chromeo, Matthew Good, and The New Pornographers. When not on tour, Jason spends his time as the house technician at Pawnshop Live in Edmonton.