Want to reamp with SPDIF, but you don't have SPDIF and don't want a new interface? Here's what you need to get for < 100.

  • I was in the situation where I wanted to reamp using SPDIF with the Kemper, but my interface only has a digital INPUT and with Toslink connector to begin with. Unfortunately having only an Input (or only an output) makes reamping impossible since that is a two-way operation. You need both an Input and Output. Also, the Kemper uses RCA plugs for the SPDIF

    So, what to do? Well, luckily there is at least ONE (I didn't find any others! ) device that makes it possible from a hardware point of view, without you needing to spend hundreds on a new interface.

    ESI U24 XL, which is about 90 euros (100 USD). It uses USB to transfer the data from SPDIF to your DAW: https://www.esi-audio.com/products/u24xl/
    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/esi.jpg]

    Handy little piece! But, unfortunately that is not enough. You most likely already have a decent audio interface, or would rather use a different device for playback and recording (other than the reamp).

    ASIO4ALL to the rescue! http://www.asio4all.org/

    Among other things that it is more known for (low latency for less-optimal audio devices), it has the critical little feature we will need to use SPDIF for reamping while using your main interface for everything else.

    In ASIO4ALL, you can merge arbitrary ASIO devices into one virtual device. This is because in every DAW, you can only use ONE ASIO device at any given moment. So beyond switching cables back and forth with your main interface and the U24XL, you need a better solution. And that is the virtual device you can "build" with ASIO4ALL. You basically select which Inputs and Outputs you want to include in the virtual device - for example Input 1, Input 2, Output 1 and Output 2 from your main interface, and then the SPDIF Input/Output from the U24XL:

    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/1.png]

    Here I have activated the Output 1/2 (stereo), Input 3/4, and Input 1/2 from my main interface (Audient iD14), and the Input and Output from the U24XL.

    Here are the settings in my U24XL - the critical things are to pick "Digital" and 44100 Hz which the Kemper uses:
    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/2.png]

    Now when you open your DAW, you will pick the ASIO device called "ASIO4ALL v2" instead of your main one:
    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/3.png]

    Then comes the important part. Add a new MONO Input source to your DAW, and select the RIGHT side channel (= U24XL 2) instead of left as the input.
    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/4.png]

    And then, equally important, add a new STEREO Output, which you can call Reamp out for example. Assign channel 1 (U24XL 1) to the Left side, and channel 2 (U24XL 2) to the Right side:
    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/5.png]

    And on your Kemper,

    1) press Input, and make sure the Input Source is "SPDIF Input Reamp"

    2) press Output, and make sure the SPDIF Output is "Git / Master Mono" (or if you haven't updated to v5.5, it is called "Git / Master Left" (I think...)

    You might also check on Page 5 of the Output settings that SPDIF Clock is at 44.1 kHz

    And now... drumroll... we can start reamping!

    1) On your DI track, select the output as Reamp Output (the one that sends to U24XL 1 and U24XL 2 in output settings)

    2) Then create a second audio track, and select the Mono input (U24XL 2) as the input source.

    3) Arm the audio track for recording, and start recording. It will start to write the signal to the audio track

    [Blocked Image: http://juhau.mbnet.fi/6.png]

    And if you are unfamilar with reamping - yes, you need to record in real time. If you have 4 tracks of guitars and the song is 4 minutes, doing a complete reamping will take at least 4 * 4 = 16 minutes. You might move all 4 tracks one after another to record in one go instead of track by track.

  • Great post thanks. Any drawbacks when using asio4all?

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  • On Mac one should be able to create an aggregate device within one's DAW. Done.

    In Digital Performer, the one I use for example, it's simply a matter of highlighting whichever interfaces you want to use (they all appear in a list), hit "OK" and... done.

  • Great explanation! I tried this a year ago. Bought a second hand U24XL along the Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 I already had.
    I thought the U24XL was perfect, as it also featured direct monitoring. Well, turns out this is only for analog inputs X/

    Others might have better experienves, but in the end it was all kind of a hassle with the ASIO4ALL being a bit buggy, which might have been caused by the drivers of the U24XL, which didn't seem all that stable to me. Also, I had to use the direct monitoring of the Focusrite, for which I needed extra cables again.

    In the end I sold the Scarlett 2i4 and bought the 6i6, which is a better solution in me experience. The U24XL is still for sale in The Netherlands, anyone? :D

  • it also featured direct monitoring. Well, turns out this is only for analog inputs X/

    Couldn't you monitor from the Kemper headphone out? Or if want the backing tracks also, then you could either get the master out from the DAW, or setup a separate monitor mix with whatever tracks you need (eg. drums-only).

  • Couldn't you monitor from the Kemper headphone out? Or if want the backing tracks also, then you could either get the master out from the DAW, or setup a separate monitor mix with whatever tracks you need (eg. drums-only).

    Well, yes I want to hear the DAW output ánd the guitar when I'm recording. But I want to hear the guitar with minimum latency.

  • Just my 2c, but I had that ESI interface. It's now in the garbage. :D

    It gave me blue screens and crashes every second time I connected it to the computer, YMMV etc.

    I've heard the same, but so far so good :) And as I noticed, it is the only device like that that I could find 8| Of course, it's a bit special use case, since I already had an interface prior. Of course, if you are in the market for a new main interface, then it makes sense to just buy an interface that does have the SPDIF I/O built-in. The cheapest such is the Focusrite 6i6, but it doesn't have the best sound quality for other things like mics. The proper devices would be closer to 500+ range.

  • Any experience about the ESI when working with a mac? In the moment I got the Lindy converter, but due to clock problems getting noises all couple of minutes. Kemper can not be set to slave, so the ESI must be able to offer the option to get set to external clock (the Kemper), cause otherwise the noises will show up. Any infos about that ........ when working with a mac?

  • Well the honeymoon was quite short :D

    It has the usual USB problem that after the computer hibernates, the USB does not wake up anymore, until you re-plug it. Unfortunately this seems to make it disappear from ASIO4ALL and you end up with seemingly working config, but no sound coming in through the SPDIF. A few times it has even required a reboot to make it work.

    So I guess it's back to my original plan of saving money for a proper interface that comes with RCA SPDIF built-in :)