Re-Amping Vocals Utilizing Guitar Harmonics

Hi, guys! I’m Matt Gordon at 1092 Studios here in Nashville, Tennessee.

Today, I’m going to show you a really cool trick on how to reamp vocals using the natural harmonics of a guitar.

So the way I’ve got this signal running is the original vocal is coming out of the computer, out of Pro Tools, into the wall unit, and it’s coming into this amplifier.

Out of the speakers, it’s going to hit this guitar, which is important to make sure that it’s tuned to an open key, because you really want the signal coming from the speakers to resonate the guitar’s natural harmonics.

The next step in the chain is I’ve got this guitar amped with a second amplifier on the back, just as any other electric guitar is normally amplified.

So in the live room, the electric guitar is amplified with this amplifier here in the back, and I’ve kept them separated to make sure there’s no leakage or any bleed problems. I have it miked with a Royer 121, just as I would any other regular guitar signal. This Royer is then coming back into the control room, where I can send it through preamps, compressors, EQ, whatever I so choose.

Okay, guys. So here is what we have. I’ve got the original vocals from a track that we previously recorded. I’m going to play a little bit of that for you right now. It’s an untouched, dry signal.

[vocals, dry]

So what I’m going to do is send that signal out to our chain, which hits the Fender Deville amp first.

So the way I’ve got that wired is it’s going to go out the output of three. The reamped signal I’ve got right here is the input to the final stage of our chain, which is the Royer mic picking up the harmonics of the guitar.

So I’ve got that coming into channel 2, and when I put that on input or record, all we are going to hear is the reamped version, not the original vocals.

So I’m going to go ahead and put that in record. So when I hit record, the original is going to send out to the Fender Deville, the reamp is going to come back from the Royer, here we go.

[vocals, reamped]

I’m not going to stop it just yet. I’m going to let that natural harmonic just resonate a little bit more. Of course, I’d record the whole song, but I’m just going to stop it here.

So I’m going to take this out of record and just for safety, I’ll just solo it.

So as you heard when it was recording, the natural harmonics of the guitar, when tuned to the open tuning of the key that this song is in, resonates those natural harmonics, and it just makes this really cool, distant, church bell ringing sound that just sounds awesome, and when I use it, I just tuck it in behind the lead vocals. You’ll never really hear it, but you can sort of sense it’s there and sense something is happening that you can’t really put your finger on.

So let’s listen to it one more time.

[vocals, reamped]

It just sounds awesome.

So here’s the last thing I want to show you. I’m going to send this out to just here. I’ll take this off solo.

So now what we’re going to hear — I’m going to bring this volume down quite a bit. But now we’re going to hear the original vocal, as well as the reamp tucked in behind it.

Now it’s up a lot more than I probably would put it in when mixing, but here’s the two together.

[vocals with vocal reamp]

Again, so it sounds so awesome, you can either put it way up in the mix or you can bring it way down, blend it in to taste, but it’s such a really cool effect, and of course, it doesn’t stop at vocals. You can do it with a guitar, you can do it — well, you can do it with any instrument you like, but I just love the way it sounds on this vocal for this particular song we were doing!

So I hope you enjoyed that. Thank you very much for watching. Please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and check us out at 1092studios.com.

Until next time, take care.

Mixnotes

Mixnotes

Mixnotes is a YouTube channel with tutorials on mixing, recording, business, plugins and more. We've partnered with them to feature some of their videos on The Pro Audio Files.
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