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xmacvicar

First IR epiphany

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I will say for the longest time I was against IRs. I figured dialing In great tones with built in cabs was possible and ir was not needed. 

 

Well lollipop.  Tonight I was working with my Adam Jones tool patch and I loaded up an IR based on a Mesa cab and holy lollipop. Helix came to life. Doing an A/b comparison is night and day. Built in cab sounds weak and lifeless. IR patch sounds huge and alive. Just no comparison!!!

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It really has nothing to do with IR versus stock cabs.  It has to do with someone that has experience mic'ing cabs and capturing it in an IR.  If you have the same level of expertise as the person that captured the IR you could do it with Helix stock cabinets.  It just takes a little more time to set it up.

 

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You seem to have found an IR that you love. That's great, but it doesn't mean IR's are great compared to Stock Cabs... it just means you haven't learned the best method to setup the stock cabs to your liking. 

 

It's like being handed a shade of color you love, rather than the RED/GREEN/BLUE to create your own shade :) 

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1 minute ago, codamedia said:

You seem to have found an IR that you love. That's great, but it doesn't mean IR's are great compared to Stock Cabs... it just means you haven't learned the best method to setup the stock cabs to your liking. 

 

It's like being handed a shade of color you love, rather than the RED/GREEN/BLUE to create your own shade :) 

 

It really is a night and day difference. I'm going to do a sound clip comparison and host it here. 

 

This would be the mesa helix 4x12 vs a third party IR

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4 minutes ago, xmacvicar said:

It really is a night and day difference. I'm going to do a sound clip comparison and host it here. 

 

This would be the mesa helix 4x12 vs a third party IR

 

If you are going to do that... post the specs of the IR. What cab, what speaker(s), what mic's and what positions? 

The next question will be... what mic choices and positions have you tried with the stock cab.... or did you just insert it and hope for the best? 

 

FWIW... I use an IR live that is very close to what I have gotten used to hearing for many, many years. But when recording I use Stock Cabs because they are far more flexible than merely IR swapping. Others may approach it very differently... YMMV. 

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2 minutes ago, codamedia said:

It's like being handed a shade of color you love, rather than the RED/GREEN/BLUE to create your own shade :) 

 

Well, yes and no.

When I bought the Helix, I first thought I'd never use any IRs (especially as I'm a kind of freak when it comes to "data control" - and the Helix IR management situation so far is a plain mess regarding that). And well, I actually think that the internal cabs are quite fine. Yet, I also found that I constantly needed further EQ tweaks (the main reason likely being the rather wide slope of the cuts) and even with those tweaks there's some IR'ed sounds and "qualities" that I absolutely cannot reproduce with the internal cabs, especially when it comes to my live needs (I have spent quite some time to create some IRs myself just for that very task). In a nutshell, if I was only recording, I possibly would be fine with the internal cabs, but for live playing, I'm a lot happier with IR solutions.

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7 minutes ago, xmacvicar said:

 

It really is a night and day difference. I'm going to do a sound clip comparison and host it here. 

 

This would be the mesa helix 4x12 vs a third party IR

 

If you can, post a take without any cab simulation as well. That way people could have a look whether they'd be getting close with the internal cabs.

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19 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

In a nutshell, if I was only recording, I possibly would be fine with the internal cabs, but for live playing, I'm a lot happier with IR solutions.

 

Out of curiosity...  did you see what I said in my next post from the one you quoted? 

It looks to me like we are in agreement :)

 

23 minutes ago, codamedia said:

FWIW... I use an IR live that is very close to what I have gotten used to hearing for many, many years. But when recording I use Stock Cabs because they are far more flexible than merely IR swapping. Others may approach it very differently... YMMV. 

 

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21 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

And well, I actually think that the internal cabs are quite fine. Yet, I also found that I constantly needed further EQ tweaks (the main reason likely being the rather wide slope of the cuts)

 

Positions and EQ choices are also made by those creating quality IR's... just sayin'. 

 

As for the slopes, there are many options of those within he Helix, you don't have to use the ones that come with the cab blocks. EG: Many people prefer the slopes in the filers on the Parametric EQ over the ones in the cab blocks.

 

The only point I am trying to make is don't settle for a stock cab in it's default settings. Learn how different mics sound, learn how different positions sound, learn how to create a dual cab with two different mics and learn how to apply filters. WHY? Because that is how great guitar tones are made on recordings, and because that's how those great IR's are also made!  

 

I've said this many times on these forums, I'll repeat again here. The ONE THING missing from the stock cabs is the ability to move the mic from CENTER to EDGE. Since 2.8 that can now be simulated quite decently with the TILT EQ after the cab block(s). Just dial the TILT setting back toward the dark side to your liking. I tend to use "dark 50" to "dark 60" a lot. 

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46 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Out of curiosity...  did you see what I said in my next post from the one you quoted?

 

Nah - missed that, sorry. So we're in pretty much a similar camp.

Well, I use IRs for recording, too - but that's simply because my way of handling them is extremely comfortable and likely surpassing fooling around with HX Natives cabs (HXN is pretty slow to open whereas I don't need to open Logics Space designer at all to select IRs).

 

38 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Positions and EQ choices are also made by those creating quality IR's... just sayin'.

 

Sure - but they're already made. Which might or might not be an advance.

 

Quote

As for the slopes, there are many options of those within he Helix, you don't have to use the ones that come with the cab blocks. EG: Many people prefer the slopes in the filers on the Parametric EQ over the ones in the cab blocks.

 

Sure - and that's what I used when I started out on the Helix. But maintaining one single IR block for me is just easier than dealing with a cab block plus an EQ. And the IRs I'm using live don't need any adjustment because I took care of that when mangling them already, so that adds to the comfort.

 

Quote

The only point I am trying to make is don't settle for a stock cab in it's default settings. Learn how different mics sound, learn how different positions sound, learn how to create a dual cab with two different mics and learn how to apply filters. WHY? Because that's how those great IR's are also made!  

 

I absolutely agree with that. The stock settings are quite strange here and there (not as bad as some of the stock amp settings, though... fortunately).

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On 2/2/2020 at 9:17 PM, xmacvicar said:

I will say for the longest time I was against IRs. I figured dialing In great tones with built in cabs was possible and ir was not needed. 

 

Well lollipop.  Tonight I was working with my Adam Jones tool patch and I loaded up an IR based on a Mesa cab and holy lollipop. Helix came to life. Doing an A/b comparison is night and day. Built in cab sounds weak and lifeless. IR patch sounds huge and alive. Just no comparison!!!

Been saying this for years. IMO there is abso no comparison. HX cabs are totally lacking of any warmth to my ears. I have hundreds of patches. I used to think i had one patch that i liked with HX cabs,  but now theres not even that one. Remembering that good IRs are a near exact replication of some of the most sought after tones in guitar history, yet some are convinced that HX cabs sound better. Makes no sense to me lol .  Most of the guys that i know, that swore by HX cabs, have eventually turned their thinking around 180 degrees.  The others that havent still are not putting out sounds that i find interesting.

 

I do however think its important to note that most of the sounds i tend to deal with are mid to higher gain. Context is definitely something to consider.

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On 2/3/2020 at 3:17 AM, xmacvicar said:

I will say for the longest time I was against IRs. I figured dialing In great tones with built in cabs was possible and ir was not needed. 

 

Well lollipop.  Tonight I was working with my Adam Jones tool patch and I loaded up an IR based on a Mesa cab and holy lollipop. Helix came to life. Doing an A/b comparison is night and day. Built in cab sounds weak and lifeless. IR patch sounds huge and alive. Just no comparison!!!

 

I think it is hard to generalize. I find single stock cabs may not be very lively sometimes, but dual cabs are very good. Plus, it's a different thing if you are playing at home/studio or live. A sound that is a bit dull/harsh at low volumes (like using a cab with SM57 mic) may cut through very well in the mix on record or live. For IRs, I find they usually sound very good at low volumes, but many of them are too scooped for live use (for my taste). YMMV.

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If L6 ever adds a horizontal mic placement option, then the stock cabs will be comparable. Right now, all it has is a distance parameter and that's not enough for me. IRs sound better by miles and it has nothing to with knowing how to mic a cab, other than I know that I have to move the mic somewhere besides the edge of the cap and straight forward or back with certain mics/cabs and the stock cabs don't have that option. 10/10 times if I get a tone I like with stock cabs, dropping an IR of the same cab(s)/mic(s) in place of it will be an automatic improvement. I love all the options available in the Helix, but its much, much, much less time consuming to drop a good IR in there than to set up a dual-cab chain, move mics around, mix levels, etc. 

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Not to hijack this thread....

If your into IR's, get Mikko and be done with it.    Every IR or stock cab I was using got blown out of the water once I made IR's for my patches.   

stock cabs are nothing compared to Mikko generated IRs IF you know what you are doing.   IMHO....

 

Of course there are those that may be completely happy with stock cabs and IRs.  and that's totally awesome and respect that. 

 

 

 

I made my IR's by sending my signal out of the helix into Logic with no IR/Cab block.   Then I insert Mikko as the plugin and dial away until I get the tone that cuts in the mix the right way. 

I always have a mix going when I'm dialing in.     Cabs make a bigger difference to tone than switching out between amps imo.   Once i'm happy with the IR, i save, export and import into the helix and apply it to the patch.   Down the hatch.   tasty tones all night long. 

 

its more work to this, but the ROI on my soul being happy is worth it. 

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Fwiw, almost by accident I discovered some IRs that I simply found to be pretty much as excellent as they get. They're part of the Hotone VStomp Amp plugin which I purchased for around 9 bucks when it was on sale. It's just 12 IRs but at least 8 of them IMO are really, really nice. Now, I'm defenitely not talking anyone into purchasing the plugin (it's really not as great but I could recommend it to some folks not having much else, at least for that price), but from all I know, the IRs are as well installed with the demo, so you could just snag them off that. IMO absolutely worth it.

https://vstomp.hotoneaudio.com/ProductsDetail.php?id=1

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