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Powercab 112+ and User IRs > XLR Question

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Hey all, 


I experienced some confusion and frustration on the gig last night with my Powercab, and haven’t been able to find a clear answer since.  I’m hoping this ever-knowledgeable community can help me sort it out.  I’ll try to keep it brief:


In the past, I’ve used my Helix (floor) into Powercab+, all analog (XLR to amp) >> Powercab XLR > FOH.  All processing was done inside the Helix and I was using Helix cab sims/mics within the Helix, and sending that signal FRFR to Powercab (using Powercab as stage monitor and sending XLR to FOH, sans mic’ing).   Everything has been great, always sounds great coming out of FOH.


This time, different gig..different needs.. Decided to use 3rd party IR’s and store them in the Powercab (needed to free up processing space, plus figured.. ‘why not’)


Setup was Guitar > Helix > (XLR into) Powercab > XLR > FOH.  Same deal, just 3rd party IR’s and stored in the Cab.  Helix was doing amp sim and effects, but cab IR was on the Powercab.  Much to my dismay, at soundcheck.. everything sounded great on stage, but FOH was getting no IR/Cab sim from the Powercab XLR out.  This brings me to my question, which I can’t find clearly stated in the manual or anywhere else:


Does the Powercab 112+ send the signal of internally stored User IR-processed audio out via XLR?!


Empirical (and embarrassing) evidence from last nights show tells me it does not, which to me is baffling and should really be much more clearly stated (Yes I realize I should and could have fully tested this ahead of time, I just assumed whatever was coming out of the speaker would go out the XLR, which had been my experience doing all of the sim’ing internally on the Helix and sending it into the cab FRFR).  I don’t understand why you would store IRs, process incoming audio through the IRs.. but not send that processed audio out via XLR.  That was my experience, but I can’t find any definitive answer.. is it a setting?  Just the way it is? Helix amp sim > User IR in Powercab > all good out the front, no good out the back.  I feel like that just can’t be right.. but it’s definitely what I was getting.


The quick fix was to dial in the same IR locally on the Helix and use one of my XLR outs (from Helix) straight to FOH, the other to the cab.  However in my embarrassed frustration, I failed to appreciate that put me in 2x IR mode on stage.. not a huge deal (and of course avoidable had I been thinking clearly). 


What was worse, again due to soundcheck timing and frustration.. I forgot to SAVE the patch with IR dialed on the Helix.. powered down.. turned back on at set time.. Needless to say, the first song didn’t sound good.. at all.  Fortunately, the sound guy was quick to drop some EQ, but that screechy un-IR’d sound is going to live in my memory for quite awhile.  


If anyone can definitely help me answer this, I’d be truly grateful.  I’m about to set everything up with an XLR out to my board to see what’s what, I suppose I already know.. but I guess I’m trying to find out if there IS a way to get the IR’d audio out via XLR, or if that feature is just intended for ‘in the room’ use and an FOH IR use must come from the Helix directly.  Again, to me that sounds just super-wrong.  What’s the purpose, to allow you to get the tone you want stored inside the Powercab, but not be able to gig with it.. I just don’t get it (yet :) )


So much for keeping it brief I guess, sorry for the novel.  Any insights would be greatly appreciated.  Thx - Steve

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Have been wondering about this myself. Anyone know the answer? 

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I don’t use IRs in Powercab, so I haven’t tested this. It was my understanding that in Flat mode, the XLR output was the same as the input. In Speaker model, the XLR output was a mic’d version (probably an IR) of the selected speaker. And in IR mode, the XLR out was the processed IR output, the same thing that goes to the Powercab power amp.


That said, I can’t find that stated anywhere in the latest Powercab manual.


Frankly, I don’t see a lot of advantage using an IR in Powercab other than 1) you don’t have a Helix or some other device capable of supporting the IRs, 2) you’re trying to save a block - especially with HX Stomp. But using an IR in Powercab isn’t really leveraging Powercab’s big advantage - Speaker Mode. In this mode you get speaker models (which I think are just simple EQ matching), and no microphone - so the sound is more natural, like an amp in the room. Even with HX Stomp, I’d use the Speaker mode in Powercab. I think they sound quite a bit better than a similar IR into Flat/FRFR mode. 

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