Jump to content

IRs...what are they?


benthere77
 Share

Recommended Posts

What exactly is an "IR"?  How are these created?   What is their purpose?

Mind you I ask these questions even after downloading one from a YouTuber to use with one of his presets and it sounds amazing.  How does a specific preset/tone know to use an "IR" and how does it know which IR to use?   (given that you can have like dozens of these installed at one time)   Would an "IR" only be desirable when used with an frfr (or equivalent) speaker?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Without going into details, in the case of the Helix (or other modelers), IRs are usually used to serve as a simulation for a mic'ed up cabinet. They are captured by sending s measurement signal (there's different signals that can be used) through an appropriate signal chain (in this case a mic'ed up cabinet) and then "analysed" to create a small sample of the sonic footprint of that very signal chain which can then be applied to your signal by loading it into an IR block (or an IR plugin, in case you're doing such things inside a DAW (digital audio workstation)).

What this allows for is pretty much anybody to capture their favourite cab/mic combination (it's not all *that* trivial but let's stick with that for now).

By now, there's several companies specialized in creating IRs under studio conditions and you can buy several packs. There's also a plethora of freebies around - unfortunately of pretty verying quality and - even more unfortunately - there's gazillions of them.

 

So much for now, as far as "what they are" goes.

 

Inside the Helix, you would usually use IRs to replace a cab block. And yes, you would usually only need any cab simulation (regardless whether it's the internal cab block or an IR) when running your signal into a fullrange monitoring system of some sorts.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, benthere77 said:


Mind you I ask these questions even after downloading one from a YouTuber to use with one of his presets and it sounds amazing.  How does a specific preset/tone know to use an "IR" and how does it know which IR to use?   (given that you can have like dozens of these installed at one time)   Would an "IR" only be desirable when used with an frfr (or equivalent) speaker?

 

A preset knows to use an "IR" because an IR block was used rather than a Cab or Dual Cab block.  When the IR block is placed into the signal chain you then configure that IR to use one of the IR's you have loaded into the 128 available slots for IRs in the Helix which tells the preset which one of the IRs will be used for that preset.

Generally speaking an IR or a Cab block are interchangeable.  The difference being in a Cab block you have to do all the work of configuring which mic or mic combination is being used, how they are placed on the cabinet, and a number of other relevant factors...all of which can be changed at any time to vary the sound.  An IR, on the other hand, is already preconfigured with that sort of information so it's just dropped in with no additional configuration info needed.  I personally prefer IRs simply because they are quicker and a lot less work than cab blocks.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One difference on how IRs and cabs can be used with HX devices is that cabs have many parameters such as selecting different mics or their distance. These parameters can be switched from snapshot to snapshot. You can achieve a similar result by swapping out the entire IR used by the snapshot. Just different ways of getting there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

A preset knows to use an "IR" because an IR block was used rather than a Cab or Dual Cab block.  When the IR block is placed into the signal chain you then configure that IR to use one of the IR's you have loaded into the 128 available slots for IRs in the Helix which tells the preset which one of the IRs will be used for that preset.

Generally speaking an IR or a Cab block are interchangeable.  The difference being in a Cab block you have to do all the work of configuring which mic or mic combination is being used, how they are placed on the cabinet, and a number of other relevant factors...all of which can be changed at any time to vary the sound.  An IR, on the other hand, is already preconfigured with that sort of information so it's just dropped in with no additional configuration info needed.  I personally prefer IRs simply because they are quicker and a lot less work than cab blocks.

 

Thanks...this actually makes perfect sense and I finally see the spot in the editor that shows there's an IR instead of a cab being used for the preset.  Very cool.  

Is there some kind of online marketplace for IRs?  I only have one and I really like it.  I'd be interested in checking out some others.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, benthere77 said:

Is there some kind of online marketplace for IRs?  I only have one and I really like it.  I'd be interested in checking out some others.

 

Uhm. You are likely about to enter the biggest rabbit hole of the ultimate tone hunting crusade in the digital realm.

For a start, check out Line 6's freebies, the "Allure Pack". They are available here:

https://line6.com/allure/

Then there's a free Marshall 4x12 pack from Redwirez, you only need to sign up for the newsletter, I find these excellent for any kind of typical rock sounds:

https://redwirez.com/

York Audio has a teaser pack for $1, a Mesa 2x12 with V30s, IMO they're quite nice, not just too much variety, but that might even be a good thing:

https://www.yorkaudio.co/product-page/mes-212-v30-limited

If you want the ultimate rabbit hole for free, look up Seacow Cabs (no, I don't post a link - because in case you're just starting out, these will be complete overkill, seriously!)

And if you plan to spend some bucks, here's another list:

http://dshowmusic.com/impulse-responses-for-line-6-helix/

 

Some of these sites offer free teasers, but again, I really don't recommend to jump onto too many of them in case you're new to this.

There's also a plethora of threads about free cab IRs on pretty much any guitar oriented forum, but the same as above applies - it's just too easy to completely get lost.

 

You might as well try out the two IRs attached, I created and mangled them myself, but they're nothing impressive, they're made to suit my live playing needs (I think they're good as an alround cab suitable for pretty much any amp - at least that was why I created them).

 

Gen_01.wav Gen_01_bright.wav

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

29 minutes ago, benthere77 said:

 

Thanks...this actually makes perfect sense and I finally see the spot in the editor that shows there's an IR instead of a cab being used for the preset.  Very cool.  

Is there some kind of online marketplace for IRs?  I only have one and I really like it.  I'd be interested in checking out some others.

 

There are many listed in the link below and an inexhaustible supply to be found on the web.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

Uhm. You are likely about to enter the biggest rabbit hole of the ultimate tone hunting crusade in the digital realm.

For a start, check out Line 6's freebies, the "Allure Pack". They are available here:

https://line6.com/allure/

Then there's a free Marshall 4x12 pack from Redwirez, you only need to sign up for the newsletter, I find these excellent for any kind of typical rock sounds:

https://redwirez.com/

York Audio has a teaser pack for $1, a Mesa 2x12 with V30s, IMO they're quite nice, not just too much variety, but that might even be a good thing:

https://www.yorkaudio.co/product-page/mes-212-v30-limited

If you want the ultimate rabbit hole for free, look up Seacow Cabs (no, I don't post a link - because in case you're just starting out, these will be complete overkill, seriously!)

And if you plan to spend some bucks, here's another list:

http://dshowmusic.com/impulse-responses-for-line-6-helix/

 

Some of these sites offer free teasers, but again, I really don't recommend to jump onto too many of them in case you're new to this.

There's also a plethora of threads about free cab IRs on pretty much any guitar oriented forum, but the same as above applies - it's just too easy to completely get lost.

 

You might as well try out the two IRs attached, I created and mangled them myself, but they're nothing impressive, they're made to suit my live playing needs (I think they're good as an alround cab suitable for pretty much any amp - at least that was why I created them).

 

Gen_01.wav 3.03 kB · 0 downloads Gen_01_bright.wav 5.04 kB · 0 downloads

 

Man, the last thing I need is yet another rabbit hole. For now I will check out these that you have and leave it alone.  

 

Thank you!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Finding a great IR can be very time consuming as has been mentioned. The stock cabs in Helix are actually very good imho, and much simpler to work with. Experiment with different mic options and placement. Also experiment with the Lo cut and Hi cut settings; the sound can be changed quite dramatically.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, silverhead said:

Finding a great IR can be very time consuming as has been mentioned. The stock cabs in Helix are actually very good imho, and much simpler to work with.

 

Generally, I would totally agree with the stock cabs being very good (especially once you start exploring all possible mics for all possible cabs - I think that quite sometimes the default settings aren't working too well), but in case you want something beyond the typical cab/mic options, IRs are still the way to go. In my case, I'm trying to avoid pretty much all "specialities" of IRs, such as resonant peaks and/or reflections.

I'm not exactly trying to get a real "amp in the room" impression (in fact, I find real amps and cabs in a room no less problematic than a decent modeled sound through a typical IR and a fullrange monitor, even more to the opposite), but I wanted something allround-ish to work with each and every amp I run into it. The IRs above are already getting quite close for my taste, there's also a few in the Redwirez Big Pack (which I own ever since it was released) - and the internal cabs of the Helix aren't as suitable for that purpose (even if I'm getting pretty good results from the 4x12 Greenback 25 and the Ribbon mics).

Anyway, I think it's absolutely worth to spend some time exploring the internal cabs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've just ventured down the IR rabbit hole.. My initial thoughts are that they do sound good, but there are so many to choose from it's a bit overwhelming..

 

I have some of the free ones mentioned above and the ownhammer evolution debut bundle, but I haven't really used much more than the summary files.

I think the stock cabs can be pretty good, running two in parallel with a different mic on each works well for me.

 

I could literally spend 10 hours auditioning every IR I currently own in my two or three goto patches, life's too short for that!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 hours ago, andymguitar said:

I've just ventured down the IR rabbit hole.. My initial thoughts are that they do sound good, but there are so many to choose from it's a bit overwhelming..

 

I have some of the free ones mentioned above and the ownhammer evolution debut bundle, but I haven't really used much more than the summary files.

I think the stock cabs can be pretty good, running two in parallel with a different mic on each works well for me.

 

I could literally spend 10 hours auditioning every IR I currently own in my two or three goto patches, life's too short for that!

 

This is one of the most common mistakes people make with IRs.  Just because there are all sorts of variations with the IRs, doesn't mean you need to experiment with all of them.  Chances are what will most likely best fit your needs is right there in the Summary files.  The others are there for completeness, but there's nothing saying you'll find anything better.  I know I never have.  I've purchased about 10 different OH packages over the years and I've never found much need to venture beyond the Summary files, and even then I generally know which ones will be more to my taste given the mic's being used.

Of course some people just can't help themselves and find themselves drowning in IRs and getting confused.  But to each their own.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

This is one of the most common mistakes people make with IRs.  Just because there are all sorts of variations with the IRs, doesn't mean you need to experiment with all of them. 

 

Precisely.

Personally, whenever I feel like looking for some IRs, I set up an amp sound that I know will be working, then scroll through some IRs (fwiw, it's a great idea to keep quite some adjacent IR slots free in the Helix as you can go through them by tapping on the +/- switches in pedal edit mode - I still have over 50 left as I really only use a handful or two, for live even just 3, and then there's a bunch stored "for observation" purposes), and once I find something I like enough, I just stop. I will then look how far I can take things without ever touching the IR again.

I only ever do this these days whenever I really feel like having to "waste" some time. For plain patch construction, I always only use the tried and trusted IRs.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

This is one of the most common mistakes people make with IRs.  Just because there are all sorts of variations with the IRs, doesn't mean you need to experiment with all of them.  Chances are what will most likely best fit your needs is right there in the Summary files.  The others are there for completeness, but there's nothing saying you'll find anything better.  I know I never have.  I've purchased about 10 different OH packages over the years and I've never found much need to venture beyond the Summary files, and even then I generally know which ones will be more to my taste given the mic's being used.

Of course some people just can't help themselves and find themselves drowning in IRs and getting confused.  But to each their own.

 

Totally. 

 

That's kind of what I was saying...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...