Balancing DI / Reamp signal levels

  • While I can fiddle with knobs, use my ears, and get "close enough for rock and roll," the geek in me would really like to match signal levels exactly when tracking DI and then sending the signal back to the KPA.


    I've been poking around but can't find anything beyond the ambiguous color of the Input LED to indicate the actual level of signal coming into the KPA via the main guitar input. I was hoping to find something a bit more specific so that I could track the DI and send the Reamp In signal at exactly the same level that I originally played it. Thus far, I haven't been able to find any indication of input level received, either on the guitar or reamp in.


    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • For reamping distorted Rigs there're two levels you can control, Chris:


    1) The DAW's reamp-output level.

    2) The amount of distortion's relative control, which is “Reamp Sens”.


    For clean Rigs, you only need the absolute reamp level, which you set from your DAW.


    I'm not aware of the sort of level readouts you (and I) would love to see, so our best bet is to use a reference recording where we can compare the amount of distortion a reamped signal produces against the recorded one for the same Rig.


    Once Reamp Sens is set, we'd leave it there, theoretically.

  • Thanks, Nicky.


    I've been leaving the sensors on 0. The main thing I've been trying to sort is what level to track the DI at so that when played back at unity it matches the level of the original guitar input.


    I've got it pretty close just by ear and watching the ever-so-imperceptible twitching of the input light from green to occasional hints of yellow, just trying to dial things in as exactly as I can. Then it's fire and forget, and I just play guitar.

  • This may help, Chris:


    IIRC, the Clean Sense parameter in the Input menu determines the DI-out's level if you're using the Gtr Studio setting for said output. If you've got it set to Gtr Anlg it'll pass your guitar signal through untouched and all-analogue, but you'll need Hi-Z inputs or a DI box to get it up to a decent tracking level, obviously.


    The Gtr Studio setting literally A/D's it so that it can be manipulated as I described using the Clean Sense setting and also in order to "amplify" it up to line level so those for whom the regular-DI-out option isn't viable can still use the straight feed. I'd recommend settling on a Clean Sense setting that balances your clean and distorted levels between Rigs nicely and sticking with it.


    I don't use the latter option 'cause it involves the A/D and necessary D/A conversion, which would of course be added to the A/D conversion on one's interface and then the D/A back to the KPA for reamping.

  • Good stuff, thanks.


    My current setup is running direct out of the KPA, tracking at unity gain, leaving all the sensors at zero. When playing back to reamp, I find I have to bump the mixer bus going back to the KAP by 2db to get the input light looking about the same, but we're splitting hairs at this point. Sound wise I'm hearing the same in reamping that I am when playing through the guitar input, so at this point I think I've got it set to go.


    Of course, my techie / OCD tendencies want to see hard numbers, and have those numbers match exactly, but that's nothing that a couple of beers won't cure. :)

  • I've had a bit of trouble with matching levels as well, even looking at the waveform in the DAW, the re-amped signal is visually and audibly different than the original, even when using the same profile.


    I've been able to get it much closer messing with clean/reamp sens, but it's not just right yet.


    I'm chalking it up to user error, maybe something in my DAW routing software or something.


    I pick this stuff up slowly, it took me a bit to figure out why the "git analog" wasn't working very well for me. :D


    Thanks for the explanation Nicky, some of this comes easy, and some is like pulling teeth. I'm sure I'll get it.


    Reading your post it just clicked with me why clean sens has no effect on git-analog...that drove me nuts one day trying to figure out why the knob wasn't doing anything...'doh!


    Chris: by "unity gain", you mean 0db on the DAW slider, correct? What do level do you track at?


    Monkey_Man , regarding the level readouts that we'd like to see, it seems like I have seen people recommend inserting a VU meter both at the very beginning and the very end of the signal chain of the DAW? Mostly for the purpose of making sure that a particular plug-in sounds better, and is not just louder. Might that help here, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Disclaimer: When I post demo clips for profiles, there will be some minimal post-processing, unless stated otherwise. I normally double-track hard L/R, and add to the main buss a small amount of EQ and a limiter/comp set pretty light as well. Sometimes I get test profiles in advance of release, though 90% of my clips will be from packs I have purchased.

  • Thanks for the explanation Nicky, some of this comes easy, and some is like pulling teeth. I'm sure I'll get it.


    Reading your post it just clicked with me why clean sens has no effect on git-analog...that drove me nuts one day trying to figure out why the knob wasn't doing anything...'doh!

    No worries, Bruce. I'm the same, mate. I sweat facts and shit stats 'til my head can't take it any more, then remind myself of the fact that if I had a few beers in me, I wouldn't give two hoots and that in the real world no customer / client / fan's gonna hear the difference anyway.

    regarding the level readouts that we'd like to see, it seems like I have seen people recommend inserting a VU meter both at the very beginning and the very end of the signal chain of the DAW? Mostly for the purpose of making sure that a particular plug-in sounds better, and is not just louder. Might that help here, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Not necessarily the wrong tree, Bruce.


    The idea is to match levels in order to avoid being fooled by the Fletch-Muns effect, so in this reamping context, if we're trying to compare, say, distortion levels between a tracked and live-reamp signal from the same Rig, anything you can do to match the levels approximately will help. No need to go overboard IMHO; as long as you're in-the-ballpark, a fair comparison ought to be possible.

  • My quick thoughts fr what they are worth.


    I am always amazed that people leave the clean sens at 0. In order to stop the inut light going Orange or Red when playing hard I need to set mine around -7 =O i must play like Animal from the muppets :S


    I leave the DAW fader at unity gain and occasionally tweak the reamp sens in the KPA if necessary. If it is always around 2db could you just save this as an input preset?


    When it comes to matching levels and Reamp Sens the DI signal should be the same strength as the original guitar. If you plug the guitar in and toggle back and forth between the DI and live guitar you have an accurate reference point which should be as good as relying on metering and super fast to obtain. The ability to A/B the inputs from a footswitch/remote would be nice for this purpose though.


    As for meters, even though the A/B test is good enough for me for reamping, I would still like to see better input metering in general.

  • I am always amazed that people leave the clean sens at 0. In order to stop the inut light going Orange or Red when playing hard I need to set mine around -7 =O i must play like Animal from the muppets :S

    Your PU's must be super-hot, just like you, Alan.


    Agreed on all points, mate.