Reamp® JCR™ Using & Applications

Reamping is a two-part process. One typically begins by recording a dry track using a direct box and then plays it back via the Radial JCR Reamp. The Reamp does the work of converting the balanced signal to unbalanced, sets the level and introduces transformer isolation to eliminate any hum and buzz that may be encountered when mixing balanced professional studio gear with unbalanced guitar amplifiers.

As with all audio equipment, make sure all levels are turned down and audio components turned off before making any connections. This helps avoid plug in transients that could damage sensitive electronics or blow speakers.

Complete details on using the JCR Reamp can be found in the manual (PDF download).

Recording Process

Connect your guitar to the input of the Radial J48 direct box or other. The 'thru' put is then connected to the guitar amplifier. This enables the guitarist to play his guitar and hear his amp under normal performance conditions. We recommend placing a mic in front of the guitar amp so that you can record the wet signal. This can be used to play back the track to the guitarist to review the performance.

While this is happening, take the balanced low-Z out from the direct box and send this 'dry track' to a preamp. This should then be recorded on a second track and saved for later Reamping. You will find that editing flubbed notes, moving things around or adjusting pitch is much easier when the track is dry (clean) as opposed to wet (distorted). If you are satisfied with the performance, you can now send the guitarist home. You are now ready to start Reamping.

Reamping Process

Take the dry track from your recording system and send it to the Reamp. The Reamp is equipped with both XLR and ¼" input jacks that make it easy to adapt to most recorders. Connect the ¼" guitar output from the Reamp to the guitar amplifier. Hit play… then bring up the level on your recorder and then slowly raise the level on the Reamp until you have reached a comfortable listening level. If you like, try interfacing some pedals in between the Reamp and your amp to hear their effect.

Once you get comfortable with the effect, we suggest you go back and test the levels by first connecting the guitar directly into your amp and then comparing the loudness when you are feeding the track from your recorder. You should take note of the signal levels on both your workstation and the Reamp so that these can be repeated.

Using the EQ switch

The JCR Reamp is equipped with a three-way toggle switch that introduces two types of filters or may simply be bypassed to revert back to the original Reamp circuit. The down position is bypass.

Moving the switch to the middle position turns on a high-pass filter that reduces the low frequency content of the signal. This can be helpful when trying to clean up the sound of a guitar track that is sounding too muddy. This can be particularly effective with heavily distorted tones.

Using the Mute Switch

The Radial JCR Reamp is equipped with a super handy mute feature. This is designed to allow the musicians in the studio to temporarily turn off (I.e., mute) the incoming track without changing any of the guitar amp or Reamp level settings. In other words, the amp levels may be excessive and you may need to discuss a mic placement with your assistant. You can have the recording system playing back a loop and simply mute the Reamp to allow you to converse as you move things around without having to go back into the control room to stop the track.

Using the 180º Polarity Reverse

There are several benefits to having a polarity reverse switch on hand. The most obvious is when using two Reamps together on two amps - you may find that one is out of phase with the other. By depressing the 180º polarity reverse, you can bring the relative phase in line. The easiest way to test if you are in or out of phase is to face both amps together up close and play bass notes. If the notes disappear, you are out of phase.

The other is when Reamping with a couple of mics in the room. Switching the polarity will actually move the hot spots (room modes) which can sometimes eliminate troublesome resonance. Simply depress the switch and listen.
Choose whatever setting sounds best.

Using the ground lift switch

The very fact that the Reamp JCR is transformer based means that you will immediately enjoy the benefits of 100% isolation. This being said, there is still a common ground that connects the input to the output. This ground connection can be broken by depressing the ground lift switch. This lifts the pin-1 on the XLR. If you encounter hum and buzz, it is most likely being caused by a ground loop. Often, lifting the ground will alleviate the problem.