Re-amping is a production technique that is both a creative method used to inspire new drum sounds, as well as a way to bring new life to drum tracks that might be letting down the rest of your mix.
Drum signals are usually recorded ‘dry’ or without much processing into a console or Digital Audio Workstation (DAW). The practice of re-amping involves taking the already recorded signal, routing it back out of a console or DAW, running it through external processing, before returning to the editing or mixing environment. This is usually performed on individual tracks, with kick drum and snare being the driving forces. Re-amping of toms may also be desired, as well as room or overhead mic signals to modify or enhance the ambience.
Re-amping provides opportunity to alter the drum’s sounds to improve character, tone and body. As drums are a driving force in a song, this practice gives opportunity to add musical energy and modify the imprint of the recording environment on the original audio signal, offering more definition, added depth or even changing the whole aesthetic.
Drum signals can be processed through different types of amplifiers, speakers and effects units in addition to introducing other audio effects such as distortion, sonic filters, compression and harsh EQ for create effects. Common re-amping objectives may include musically motivated amplifier distortion, capturing room tone and resonance, applying effects and adding depth to stereo imaging.
This type of audio signal processing has very few boundaries: it can be used to both improve quality and musicality of any instrument track, as well as for creative processing and modifying tone.