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jaredstanfield

Helix IR's vs Powercab Built in IR's

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So i'm trying to determine which one of the 2 options to get but I'm hung up on the IR piece of it. I'm trying to figure what I gain from getting the plus? The line 6 link to switch cabinet models is nice, but couldn't i just change patches with a different IR on my Helix and get the same affect? On top of that, I'm assuming running a cab model on my helix after the amp, lets say of a 4x12 with v30's, vs the IR built into the cab would sonically be the same coming out of the speaker? 

 

I guess I just need to be sold on the plus. I feel like it will give me more flexibility but I'm not sure if $200 is worth it I'm getting abilities that I already have within my Helix. Thoughts?

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"Built-in IR" is kinda the wrong term for it. The whole point of the built-in speaker models is that it emulates the speaker itself, not a microphone in front of a speaker.

If you're using an impulse response, you're using it as a full range/flat response speaker. So if you already have a unit that allows you to load IRs, then there's no additional benefit in being able to load IRs to the powercab.

 

So no, switching to different IRs instead of switching to different emulated speakers is not the same. Using IRs is kinda missing the main/unique selling point of the powercab, mainly the "in the room sound" aspect. So no, a IR of a 4x12 loaded with v30s will not sound the same as using the v30 speaker emulation in the powercab. One is meant to give the sound as you get when you put a microphone in front of it, the other one as if you had an actual cabinet loaded with a v30 next to you. If you'd use it in flat mode and use the same IR, then yes, they would be sonically the same (or at least very close), but then you're just using it as a fancy hifi/PA-speaker, not as a guitar cabinet. 

 

So bottom line is that the IR loading is geared towards people having an effects unit that doesn't yet support it to expand their options, but if you already can load IRs then this aspect is nothing that will give you more flexibility.

(disclaimer: I didn't hear a powercab in person yet, so all the above is from specs/info I read about - after all it is impossible to convey the "in-the-room" sound in a video-review or audio recording...)

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In addition to what has already been said; even if your modeler can load IR's, using IR's loaded into Powercab can still be useful in freeing up DSP on your modeling device. 

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I received my PowerCab Plus Saturday and I'm finding I really like the 6 speaker emulations for that "Amp in the room" experience.

I played around with the Alure IR's and they sounded great as well, I'm looking forward to loading my 3 Sigma & Celestion IR's.

I was on the fence before purchasing the PowerCab Plus but I'm glad I did now.

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13 hours ago, ak4ray said:

I received my PowerCab Plus Saturday and I'm finding I really like the 6 speaker emulations for that "Amp in the room" experience.

I played around with the Alure IR's and they sounded great as well, I'm looking forward to loading my 3 Sigma & Celestion IR's.

I was on the fence before purchasing the PowerCab Plus but I'm glad I did now.

 

I'm also loving my Powercab + It sounds awesome and is a keeper for me a well . The 6 stock speakers models are excellent!     

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On 4/30/2018 at 4:21 AM, cloph said:

"Built-in IR" is kinda the wrong term for it. The whole point of the built-in speaker models is that it emulates the speaker itself, not a microphone in front of a speaker.

If you're using an impulse response, you're using it as a full range/flat response speaker. So if you already have a unit that allows you to load IRs, then there's no additional benefit in being able to load IRs to the powercab.

 

So no, switching to different IRs instead of switching to different emulated speakers is not the same. Using IRs is kinda missing the main/unique selling point of the powercab, mainly the "in the room sound" aspect. So no, a IR of a 4x12 loaded with v30s will not sound the same as using the v30 speaker emulation in the powercab. One is meant to give the sound as you get when you put a microphone in front of it, the other one as if you had an actual cabinet loaded with a v30 next to you. If you'd use it in flat mode and use the same IR, then yes, they would be sonically the same (or at least very close), but then you're just using it as a fancy hifi/PA-speaker, not as a guitar cabinet. 

 

So bottom line is that the IR loading is geared towards people having an effects unit that doesn't yet support it to expand their options, but if you already can load IRs then this aspect is nothing that will give you more flexibility.

(disclaimer: I didn't hear a powercab in person yet, so all the above is from specs/info I read about - after all it is impossible to convey the "in-the-room" sound in a video-review or audio recording...)

That makes sense. Thank you for the thought out response. Leaning towards the normal power cab as, when I use it, I won't be using very much DSP anyway so I'm not super concerned about freeing up DSP. Plus the stock cab models appear to sound great on their own. 

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On 5/14/2018 at 11:58 AM, Guitarzman said:

 

I'm also loving my Powercab + It sounds awesome and is a keeper for me a well . The 6 stock speakers models are excellent!     

Forgive me if I'm missing something, but what would then be the benefit to the plus if the stock models give the best "amp in the room sound"? Even if you have other IR's, you could just load them on your HELIX, right? Granted the ability to remotely change from a built in IR to another IR or to just the FRFR speaker setting is a nice bonus, but I don't know that I'll really have to switch speakers that often for my application. And if I need to, I'll just use the IR's that have been mentioned in the post you replied to. 

 

Thank you for your insight though! Looking forward to getting my new cabinet soon!

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8 hours ago, jaredstanfield said:

Forgive me if I'm missing something, but what would then be the benefit to the plus if the stock models give the best "amp in the room sound"? Even if you have other IR's, you could just load them on your HELIX, right? Granted the ability to remotely change from a built in IR to another IR or to just the FRFR speaker setting is a nice bonus, but I don't know that I'll really have to switch speakers that often for my application. And if I need to, I'll just use the IR's that have been mentioned in the post you replied to. 

 

Thank you for your insight though! Looking forward to getting my new cabinet soon!

 

I really can't tell you what to purchase that's  your choice   : ))  .... I purchased the Plus because of the extra features and IR loading. and  Speaker expandability. But what I meant to say is that if you purchased the Powercab it's also great because the stock cabs sound great!  

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Not sure if this is clear yet or not. I just got a Powercab this afternoon and think I'm beginning to understand the difference between the three modes: Flat, Guitar Speaker and User IR.

 

First Powercab is primarily intended to emulate various guitar speakers in a room, that is, speaker models without mic models, mic position and mic depth. It accomplishes this by using a coaxial speaker that can have the tweeter turned off in order to actually be a guitar speaker in the room. The woofer is a custom Eminence speaker, similar in construction to a Beta-12CX coaxial speaker, but likely using a cone material and construction to more close match a typical guitar speaker rather than a fuller range PA speaker. When you run Flat/FR Raw, or Guitar Speaker/Natural, you're using just that woofer with no EQ or any other processing - its literally a 1x12 guitar cabinet in the room. The tweeter provides additional flexibility for other purposes, that hopefully are explained below.

 

Flat mode has three voicings: FRFR, LF Raw and LF Flat.

 

Flat/FRFR voicing uses the woofer and tweeter in the coaxial speaker with no EQ for a full range, flat response. Use this if you're using Helix (or HX Stomp) to provide the cab model or IR for the speaker model. Powercab just acts like a typical PA or monitor speaker in this mode.

 

Flat/LF Raw voicing simply turns off the tweeter, and makes Powercab similar to any other 1x12, closed back guitar cabinet. Use only amp models in Helix or HX Stomp, no cab, or IRs for this mode/voicing. This should sound pretty close to a typical closed-back guitar combo amp, with the specific characteristics of that custom Eminence speaker providing the speaker tone. 

 

Flat/LF Flat is a special voicing that also only uses the woofer, but uses an EQ to establish a consistent starting point for the guitar speaker models. All the speaker models are built off Flat/LF Flat, using different EQ and perhaps other custom processing to make the Eminence woofer sound like other speakers. There's no tweeter for these models, and no mic model or mic position. This is what can't be produced by Helix cab models or IRs and what makes Powercab unique. Helix cab models and IRs all involve mics, but Powercab speaker models are variations on a guitar speaker, not impulse responses of a mic'd guitar cabinet.

 

The Guitar Speaker models provide additional EQ on the Flat/LF Raw base voicing to model or mimic other speakers. The mic models and mic distance have no effect on the sound coming from the Powercab speaker, they only effect what's sent to the FOH or PA from the Powercab XLR output. Contrast with Helix where the cab models are sent to your FRFR monitor and FOH and all include mic models. Powercab XLR output needs additional mic processing that's missing from the speaker models to send to the FOH. 

 

What this means is that the guitar speaker models don't include any mic modeling in the Powercab speaker itself, making it sound more like an amp in the room.

 

Speaker model/Natural is similar to Flat/LF Raw - the output from the Powercab speaker is the same, the Powercab tone is determined only by the Eminence woofer. But the Natural speaker model has the option of sending a mic model through the XLR output.

 

In User IR mode, Powercab is essentially set to Flat/FRFR voicing with additional processing provided by user IRs. In this case, the tweeter is on, and the IRs will include mic models. Use this mode if you're using HX Stomp, want to user your own IRs and need to save a block. There's probably less reason to use User IR mode if you're using Helix floor since its probably easier to just include the IR or cab model in Helix.

 

 

 

 

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Hello Amsdenj,

 

That's not exactly how i understood it ! I can be wrong but i think i'm close to the right conclusion.

 

There are three flat modes as you said :

- The FRFR (you can put all you want, the tweeter works, you have the high frequencies)

- The LF Flat and Raw : in those two modes, the 1x12 is the only speaker that works (one with an EQ), but the principle is the same, you have to have a cab in your helix's preset (with the mic'd, etc....) It works like a half FRFR if i could tell so....

 

The Guitar speaker models are like non-mic'd guitar cabs and provide an "amp in the room effect".

Nevertheless, i wasn't entirely satisfied at first even if it gave me the best result.

I read on TGP a post from "GuitarDave" who told that even if there shouldn't have any incidence from the mic'd option in this mode, the choice of mic, position and high/low cut has an incidence on the sound......I was estonished but it has an incidence, it's a fact.

The natural speaker correponds to what you said : directly the sound of the internal eminence speaker.

 

 

 

 

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I think its this:

 

Flat/FRFR - woofer + tweeter for FRFR, use with Helix Cab models or IRs, good for acoustic guitars

 

Flat/LF Raw - woofer only, use as a traditional 1x12 guitar speaker with no additional EQ or processing, use with Helix amp models (generally no cab or IR)

 

Flat/LF Flat - woofer only, but has EQ for a flatter, less mid hump'd traditional guitar speaker - used as the base tone for the Powercab speaker models which add additional EQ processing on top of Flat/LF Flat to simulate speaker tones without requiring a mic.

 

In all Flat mode voicings, the XLR output is the same as the Powercab input, there is no additional processing in Powercab sent to XLR output.

 

Speaker Model/Natural - same as Flat/LF Raw, but includes a mic model in the XLR output to FOH.


User IR mode - woofer + tweeter following IR processing in Powercab, use with Helix amp models only, XLR output is the Powercab output through the IR. Other than the position of the IR in the signal chain, this is identical to using the same IR in Helix (with Powercab in Flat/FRFR mode/voicing) or Powercab.

 

So what's unique about Powercab is:

 

1. it has Flat/FRFR mode/voicing for modern FRFR, but also can be used as a traditional 1x12 guitar speaker with no cab or IR models in Helix.

 

2. It has Speaker model mode where the Flat/LF Flat base tone is adapted with additional EQ matching to sound like other guitar speakers. The amp in the room sound is achieved by modifying the tone of a traditional 1x12 speaker with no IR or mic model. 

 

3. It looks like a traditional 1x12 guitar cabinet, and is light and easy to setup and use.

 

So Powercab can be used as a FRFR for full model and acoustic tones, as a traditional 1x12 guitar speaker with no processing, and as various simulated 1x12 guitar speakers with separate mic models sent to FOH. 

 

Pretty cool!

 

 

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1 hour ago, amsdenj said:

I think its this:

 

Flat/FRFR - woofer + tweeter for FRFR, use with Helix Cab models or IRs, good for acoustic guitars

 

Flat/LF Raw - woofer only, use as a traditional 1x12 guitar speaker with no additional EQ or processing, use with Helix amp models (generally no cab or IR)

 

Flat/LF Flat - woofer only, but has EQ for a flatter, less mid hump'd traditional guitar speaker - used as the base tone for the Powercab speaker models which add additional EQ processing on top of Flat/LF Flat to simulate speaker tones without requiring a mic.

 

In all Flat mode voicings, the XLR output is the same as the Powercab input, there is no additional processing in Powercab sent to XLR output.

 

Speaker Model/Natural - same as Flat/LF Raw, but includes a mic model in the XLR output to FOH.

 

 

I don't think so,

I think that Flat modes need a cab model or an IR for those reasons : 

 

- I've tried without a cab sim and the sound is very harsh, ....A way better with the cab sim !!!

- The flat modes don't bring a mic'd sim on the XLR output because it's already on the cab or IR block

- The sound of the LF Raw and the natural would be the same and that's not the case.....

 

It's not weird that if you don't use an acoustic guitar, you can send an enterily modeling path and having a way to turn off the tweater.....

Following that logic, whatever you send to the FOH, there's a mic'd sim somewhere......

 

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Maybe, but from the Powercab manual:

 

FLAT MODE - Essentially full-range, flat-response, and equivalent to the signal being sent to a front-of-house mixer. This mode is most helpful for simple plug-and-play compatibility, letting your amp modeler do all the work.

Voicing – Selects the final post-processing EQ and crossover settings for the speaker system.

FRFR - Uses the high-frequency compression driver with a flattened frequency-response EQ for full-range operation.

LF Solo - Uses only the woofer with no EQ applied, allowing it to be utilized like a typical guitar speaker.

LF Flat - Uses only the woofer with a flattened frequency response EQ. This voicing is used for the Speaker Mode.

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This is really confusing. I thought all was clear but now, i have a big doubt.

I've read the manual (in my language, it would be easier) again and that's really not clear.

I thought all Flat models couldn't bring the ability to have a mic'd sim and it was logical but this speaker mode in the LF Flat says something else.... 

Does it mean that the LF Flat is a kind of Natural mic'd sim you hear directly ? And i don't even understand the LF Solo / Natural difference (and there's one 'cause the sound is really not comparable....)

 

I'm gonna check it when i'll be back home !!!!    :)

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I've tried it again. I've gone in the FRFr menu, when you change the voicing and go on the LF Flat there's no mic'd proposition that appears as it's the case in the speaker models.....

So i think the Flat models need a cab sim before (Imho, the manual is really confusing). L6 should be clearer on this point. The "Natural" speaker is closer to the definition of typical guitar speaker

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I think it's reasonably clear, but the names could be more descriptive. Flat/FRFR is pretty clear, use with Helix Cab or IR blocks.

 

Flat/LF Raw says it's just the woofer, no EQ and no tweeter. The question is, what does that mean, and how does the name Flat/LF Raw tell us what it means? I think it's just what it says it is, you're getting the woofer only, and there's no EQ processing. What goes out of the XLR outs is the same thing that goes into the input, there's no additional processing.

 

So what is that good for? You're getting just the Eminence speaker with no EQ and no tweeter. That's pretty much a guitar speaker and the core of what makes Powercab different than a PA speaker (whose woofer isn't a guitar speaker). I think Flat/LF Raw is the same as Speaker Model/Natural, except for levels, what goes out the XLR outputs. Flat/Raw XLR output is the same as the input. Speaker model/Natural lets you select a mic model. How best to use this is an open question. If you have a Helix amp block, but no cab or IR block, and you have no need to sending anything through the XLR output, then Flat/Raw would be a good simple choice, treating Powercab like a traditional 1x12, closed back guitar speaker cabinet. 

 

Flat/LF Flat is less clear. Its again just the woofer, no tweeter, so there's no way this is "flat" since there's going to be a lot of high end rolloff. Maybe this is useful as a "flat" guitar speaker that doesn't have the characteristic mid hump that most guitar speakers have. This might be useful as just a different guitar speaker tone. But possibly its broader function is to provide the base tone upon which the speaker models are applied to get the modeled result.

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