Jump to content
donkelley

An accurate scientific explanation for why we still need treble cut with FRFR speakers and a virtual cab

Recommended Posts

Hi, I just wanted to post a thread that explains the actual reason why FRFR, PA, and studio monitor speakers typically still require treble cut to avoid sounding fizzy with distortion or overdrive on a guitar tone.

 

THE COMMON PROBLEM

 

I've read through some of the threads on this topic, and while I saw one person post the correct explanation (Without getting the credit or kudos he deserved for it, from what I saw), most people state the problem is that the user is not understanding the difference between guitar speakers and FRFR speakers.  I believe users aren't that naive - and many good comparisons exist where users get great sound from helix (without virtual cab) into power amp into real cab, or other ... simpler..... modeller brand (with only virtual cab) directly into FRFR.

 

However most of those "it's simple - guitar speakers have less treble, so you need to cut treble on FRFR" explanations go on to incorrectly state that the problem is that guitar cabs cut the treble a lot because they aren't flat, where as FRFR speakers are, at least in theory, outputting a flat response - therefore putting out much more volume at high frequencies than guitar cabs do.  I mean, yes, that is true ... but NO that is not the problem. 

 

Again, the scenario is that we ALREADY have a virtual cab or IR in our signal chain - so shouldn't the high frequencies already be cut?  Shouldn't the FRFR speaker just output exactly what that virtual cab sounds like, with the already good sounding treble cut baked into the virtual cab since it's a copy of a real cab???  (The end user, and you here, are asking this.... :-)  )

 

Folks state that you need to think like a recording or mixing engineer, not like a guitarist - which is absolutely correct.

 

But stating that with FRFR speakers you need to cut treble because it is brighter than a guitar cab is not logical, nor correct, since the scenarios being discussed invariably have either a virtual guitar cab already in the signal chain, or a cab IR.  Since we have a virtual cab in a block, we already HAVE that high cut, so the statement is not correct - not in the simple way most folks tell it on this forum, at least.  There is more to it....

 

The common problem from nearly everybody using a helix is with the end users who are experiencing fizz through FRFR, and questioning why, considering they are using a virtual cab or cab IR which is emulating the sound of the cab.

 

WHAT A VIRTUAL CAB OR IR IS ACTUALLY REPRODUCING

 

The simple description of the problem is that it's NOT emulating the sound of the cab FROM a position that a guitarist would be playing and listening to the tone.

 

The facts of why the virtual cab, or many of the cab IRs available, are NOT sufficient to sound like a cab in a room are with how the virtual cab or cab IR were miked up:

 

- In a virtual cab, and in many cab IRS, the cab was, more or less, close miked, in one mix position, on one part of one cone.  That is how many cabs are miked in the studio and live... but is NOT how you get the sound you hear as a guitarist when playing through your amp.  IT IS a MUCH brighter tone, and much LESS COMPLEX than the sound of a real cab in a room.

 

The virtual cabs or many of the cab IRs are miked this way for various reasons - technical reasons (CAB IR files aren't really designed to handle the long recording of room reflections and short plate reverb that your cab in a room would require)..... and removing early reflections as much as possible by close miking in a dead room allows you, the player, to configure the rest of the tone after the close miked speaker on the cab - you can eq to mimick various rooms, you can add room or plate verb for the same reason.... etc.

 

You might think... "Ok, so because the guitar cab is close miked, it is much brighter and fizzier, right?  like how if I put my ear to it and play quietly with a distortion pedal, it sounds bad.... that's your point?  So Why can't I just put my FRFR speaker where my guitar cab would normally go and play and have it sound the same, since it's playing back the exact sound of a guitar speaker in that location, and the room and angle should take care of everything else?"

 

Well, folks, that is an EXCELLENT grasp on the close miked speaker sound, yes it's much brighter and fizzier, but it is missing a couple of important points about the "amp in the room" sound when playing through an FRFR or PA.

 

1) the FRFR or PA probably has FAR better high frequency dispersion than your guitar speaker, up high, and you always hear the on axis tone (IE: the virtual cab sounds like a close miked speaker, so you get that sound everwhere in front of the FRFR without it changing with direction or distance in the way a real guitar cab does).  So where every you stand, relative to your FRFR speaker, it's like having your guitar cab aimed right at, and next to, your ears.

 

2) the close miked virtual cab response or IR response is on one part of the cone and miked from one direction... it is one aspect of the tone.  Dust cap, edge, OR middle of cone, on axis OR off axis, at a specific distance.

 

3) No matter how bright each guitar speaker on it's own sounds, in a cab with more than one speaker there remains much less high frequency sound once you're a certain distance away from it - due to physics of how multiple speaker outputs work together for dispersion, etc.

 

The real sound from the cab as you hear it is a mix of many radically different tones coming from various parts of the guitar speaker.  Guitar speakers are not rigid cones, normally, and the dust cap, edge, middle of the cone, and other areas can truly sound quite different, as can on axis versus off axis tones.  This is why some of the best CAB IR libraries include multi miked files... it's sort of a pre-mixed cab IR that actually sound sound much more like the blend you get from a real cab when you play back through an FRFR or PA.

 

A guitar cab with more than one speaker is extra difficult to reproduce when single miked as a cab IR or virtual cab - because the tone in the room is a wild, chaotic mix of the multitude of EQs and tones you get from the cab, all interestingly blended together.

 

So, a MIX engineer in a studio will be accustomed to taking that fizzy close miked amp recording and EQing it accordingly to make it sound great through studio monitors, which are truly FRFR (and likely the only TRULY FRFR speakers you will ever encounter, since they are typically EQed to be as neutral, or flat as possible, in that control room.  AT least ONE set of their monitors should be like that, anyhow, in a big studio.  They probably mix on something like NS7s though, or other similarly bright and revealing speakers, which also reminds the engineer to cut back on high frequencies and remove the fizz.

 

So yes, think like an engineer, but for the right reasons, and with a little tiny bit more of the full picture than you had before.

 

Saying that guitar cabs aren't as bright as FRFR as a reason to cut treble is simply wrong, since we all know we're placing a virtual guitar cab that, one would ASSUME, must have that same high cut in our signal path. 

It's actually because our virtual cabs, and some cab IRs, contain much more high frequencies than you actually hear from the real cab when standing and playing... and an FRFR or PA speaker will not result in the same high cut in a room as the actual cab would, due to physical design differences between the transducers and the layout of the speakers.  

Basically, the original cab IR or virtual cab was probably not setup as a mic in a room standing where a guitarist stands while playing.... it is probably a MUCH brighter recording that isn't anything like how you normally hear your cab... but is great for a studio MIX engineer to work with.

 

SO YOU STILL NEED TREBLE CUT, EVEN WITH A VIRTUAL CAB, or with MANY IRs (but maybe not all IRs)

 

Rest assured - if you have a virtual cab, you still need treble cut (at the very least) after a helix virtual cab or many of the cab IRs you can buy to sound anything like a real cab when you connect your helix directly to a TRUE FRFR cab or to a PA... and honestly you probably need a bit of plate reverb and possibly some low end cut also to really get you there.

 

But what DOES a virtual cab or cab IR do for you?  it gets you the true EQ of that cab, in a common, popular recorded microphone position for studio use.

 

Just cut 8kHz, more or less, and up from there, ... probably rather dramatically, and it will start to sound similar to a good cab.....but use your ears, choose eq how you like it.  Or, look for an IR library that is a producer blend of mic positions and /or room sound in one cab IR - and you will probably find that you love that sound.

 

Another minor footnote - FRFR cabs you can buy for modelers are not particularly flat response or full range, but they are MUCH more so than most guitar cabs.

 

A PA is often hotter in the highs than a real FRFR speaker is.

 

A REAL FRFR can likely only be found in some recording studios, and even then might not be the speakers chosen by the engineer to work with... for reasons I won't get into here.

 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2
  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be the one who proposed this a while back. Basically a mic’d guitar amp will sound just like putting your ear up to that cone, not a pleasant experience. But it gets something the mix or live sound engineer can work with. It easier to cut too much highs then it is to create them if they’re not there. A typical FRFR will have a lot wider dispersion than a guitar speaker which tends to put the highs out into a very narrow cylinder. That’s why a FRFR doesn’t sound like a guitar amp in the room - because it isn’t. So we adjust to account for the fact that the brightness picked up by the mic used to create the IR is heard over a wider area.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
34 minutes ago, amsdenj said:

I might be the one who proposed this a while back. Basically a mic’d guitar amp will sound just like putting your ear up to that cone, not a pleasant experience. But it gets something the mix or live sound engineer can work with. It easier to cut too much highs then it is to create them if they’re not there. A typical FRFR will have a lot wider dispersion than a guitar speaker which tends to put the highs out into a very narrow cylinder. That’s why a FRFR doesn’t sound like a guitar amp in the room - because it isn’t. So we adjust to account for the fact that the brightness picked up by the mic used to create the IR is heard over a wider area.

 

 

Totally.  So a CLOSE miked guitar amp is much brighter than the sound of an amp in a room, or even the sound of an amp a couple of feet away and a couple of feet up from it.  You take that much brighter version of the cab sound and distribute it evenly with a modern wide dispersion FRFR style speaker (something with a dedicated tweeter), and voila - you have a sound that, no matter where you stand, sounds like you have your ear against the cone (only quieter).

 

Thanks for chiming in :-)

 

I've seen so many unresolved threads on this topic, and people saying it's incorrectly done by Line6.  Folks have to remember that Line 6 was THE INVENTOR of guitar amp and guitar cab modelling.  No such thing existed until Line 6 engineers created it.  These folks not only know what they're doing, but literally everyone else has based their product on the line6 R&D, with improvements and changes along the way.  Even Fractal.  That isn't to say that line6 does it any better... but they certainly know the technology as well as literally anyone else in the world, if not better.

 

I do wish there was a dummy mode for the cab emulation so it could "just work" like it does for, say, a zoom G3 LoL.

 

But I do hope that my big post, and this thread in the future, can be referenced by people trying to understand, or describe, why you have to add high cut to the helix output.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, donkelley said:

Totally.  So a CLOSE miked guitar amp is much brighter than the sound of an amp in a room, or even the sound of an amp a couple of feet away and a couple of feet up from it.  You take that much brighter version of the cab sound and distribute it evenly with a modern wide dispersion FRFR style speaker (something with a dedicated tweeter), and voila - you have a sound that, no matter where you stand, sounds like you have your ear against the cone (only quieter).

 


That's a bit of a broad generalization as it doesn't take into account the mic, mic combinations, or placements of those mic's in either the cabs or IRs.  Yes FRFR style speakers will project the sound more consistently across a wide horizontal field, but it only projects what was captured through the modeled mics and placements on the cab or IR.  In fact, because of the way modern FRFR speakers are engineered specifically for projecting across long distances you will undoubtedly hear more harshness when you're very close to the speaker compared to standing 5 or 6 feet away.  This is why most people avoid sitting right next to a PA speaker in a club.

My personal opinion is most of what people complain about in terms of harshness or "fizz" is simply often fixed with a different combination and mix of the mic's used on the cab or IR.  Maybe not completely, but close enough that it often needs very little high frequency adjustment once it's mixed with the band.  It will also sound much more natural because it's a natural process rather than the bull in the china closet approach of EQ.

The problem is, if all you know is an SM-57 then your sound will always be based on the limitations and characteristics of an SM-57.  And that's rarely the case in any studio and in most live concerts because of the knowledge and skills of the soundman or recording engineer are much better than that.  If you want proof of such things, mic your traditional guitar cabinet with a SM-57 located on axis directly over the cap of a speaker and listen to what it sounds like out of the PA speakers when you stand right next to it regardless of what it sounds like on stage.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:


That's a bit of a broad generalization as it doesn't take into account the mic, mic combinations, or placements of those mic's in either the cabs or IRs.  Yes FRFR style speakers will project the sound more consistently across a wide horizontal field, but it only projects what was captured through the modeled mics and placements on the cab or IR.  In fact, because of the way modern FRFR speakers are engineered specifically for projecting across long distances you will undoubtedly hear more harshness when you're very close to the speaker compared to standing 5 or 6 feet away.  This is why most people avoid sitting right next to a PA speaker in a club.

My personal opinion is most of what people complain about in terms of harshness or "fizz" is simply often fixed with a different combination and mix of the mic's used on the cab or IR.  Maybe not completely, but close enough that it often needs very little high frequency adjustment once it's mixed with the band.  It will also sound much more natural because it's a natural process rather than the bull in the china closet approach of EQ.

The problem is, if all you know is an SM-57 then your sound will always be based on the limitations and characteristics of an SM-57.  And that's rarely the case in any studio and in most live concerts because of the knowledge and skills of the soundman or recording engineer are much better than that.  If you want proof of such things, mic your traditional guitar cabinet with a SM-57 located on axis directly over the cap of a speaker and listen to what it sounds like out of the PA speakers when you stand right next to it regardless of what it sounds like on stage.

The post you quoted here WAS a very broad summary - that was the entire point of the post, since the first thread post was detailed enough.


I won't reiterate the first thread post since it was described in detail there.  Nothing wrong with general summary posts to agree with someone when the first thread post detailed it clearly.

 

My topic didn't discuss mics because I don't believe the solution is to only use a ribbon mic to kill highs and lose fizz.  My solution is the correct one to solve the problem encountered by most people using the helix.  My solution is the one used by mix engineers, to eq WHATEVER mic is placed on the cab to get the sound they want.  The helix cab sims, and IRs, are most like working in a studio, and the logic I described is how you work with that setup.

 

Don't like a 57?  Sure, change to something warmer, or more rolled off in the highs, or extra thick in the lows, or more scooped, or whatever you like.  Or choose an IR that has more than one mic on the cab at the same time and enjoy the great producer mix already created for ya.

 

That is an entirely different part of the topic, however.  And it does not address what I was trying to address... in a live gig you get a 57 on your cab and it sounds great.  Same in a studio.  The engineer EQs that feed, which is the missing part of what most people describe as the reason why we must eq the helix output to sound great and lose fizz.  Nearly all posts I saw on this forum on the topic state that the reason is that FRFR speakers are brighter, so you must cut treble.  They don't address, or may not have been aware of, the fact that a close miked cab has too much treble for a direct PA or mix output to sound great for distorted tones.... and the solution is to EQ that track.  Use different mics?  Sure.  But that is a different solution to the problem that isn't always available to mix and live sound engineers... and the solution I provided, albeit simplistic, is the solution they use in the same situation.  :-)

 

My thread is describing how all of us can, and should, get great tone from whatever mic is placed on the cab... and the reasons why that cab IR or virtual cab sounds so much brighter.  It's all in my first post, which I presume you read.

 

Mic choices are well discussed by other folks already.  My method works with any mic.  And my "solution" is only very vague to help people get started.... I pointed out you need to experiment, listen, see what works best.

 

I believe we agree 100% on everything.  I actually mentioned in my first post about the various IR libraries having some great pre-mixed combinations of mics and not needing high cut, etc etc.

 

So just remember not to read into a summary a strong conclusion.... what you quoted was a high level summary without the details I'd already explained clearly in the thread.

 

Thanks for your post!  Good points, just not actually contrary what I'd already posted :-)

 

Cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let me throw a monkey wrench in.

Every band I have toured with over the decades wouldn't even ALLOW an amp to be shooting out into the crowd. 
So my various amps were always side stage mic'ed up and coming back at me through a monitor mix. My monitor mix was always flat at the monitor board (no cuts). 

Just an SM-57 right up on the speaker of the cab about midway between the cone and edge. And then blowing back at me through my old EV monitor with a 15" and a horn.

Always sounded golden. Pretty much exactly like what was coming out of my 4x12. 

In the studio...same thing. I mic'ed it up. Set it flat. Never cut highs and always tried to achieve a tone that didn't require low cuts either (I go for a real mid "Woody" sound in my high gain for warmth and roundness).

So...I have always run my rig like that...mic'ed up and flat eq on the board. Never had to cut highs.
So how is that explained in all of this "fizzy" debate?

By the way...I'm using an Ownhammer 4x12 IR with all my sounds in my HX Stomp. Never been a fan of using tons of different cabs. I like to keep my sound consistent. And I am not using any high or low cuts. No fizz, no problems. 
Just the way it's supposed to be. :)

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That isn't a monkey wrench at all.   There are a ton of situations like yours in the world.  It's very dependent upon your own personal overdrive/distortion sources and amounts, and your own tone, style of music, which head you use, and if you get much of your tone from the cab and speaker choices or from electronic filtering in your electronic signal chain.  I went direct way before most people did - I was gigging live with a digital rack box direct to the PA without a monitor back in the late 80s, actually.  Learning how to cut the treble after your distortion, fuzz or overdrive point is critical.  I used to do it electronically in my signal path.... but a ton of guitarists rely upon their cab to give them the treble cut.... and may have no idea that this is what is going on.  IF you are one of those guitarists, you will likely find value in my original post.

 

If not - then treble cut would be a bad idea... why cut something that sounds good, right?  :-)

 

In your case, Robbie, I have certainly experienced the same exact thing.  However, with certain amps or distortion pedals, I have also frequently had to use high cut in the studio... but it certainly depends on the situation and on your own tone. 

 

Your amp, your speakers, your "woody tone" absolutely no doubt contributed to the success of a 57 in front of a cone sounding great.

 

Do that with a mesa boogie (on a heavy tone) and a cab with speakers that have good high end, as is a combination that I've come across a fair bit in my life and is a situation I'm dealing with currently, myself, and I'm pretty sure you'd agree with my assessment of the tone.  Very fizzy and needing HF cut, or a very different miking situation.... both on helix and in real life.

 

It seems well accepted that the virtual cabs included with helix are brighter than most IRs and need compensating eq.  I find my own experiences with studio mixing and tone shaping to work similarly with the built in virtual cabs, with similar great results.  I absolutely feel that the built in fender and roland cabs, and if I recall correctly greenbacks (but I might be remembering wrong here), sounds awesome without HF cut, with the right tone come from your amp (not fizzy in the first place).

 

One of my favorite lead tones is with my genz benz el diablo - I've taking the line out from it and recorded it just out of urgency one time to get an idea down when I didn't have a mic available, and it tracked great without fizz... despite being a steve vai-ish lead tone with crazy overdrive.  So again, your own tone control settings are an immense part of it, as is your own amp itself.

 

With my overdriven fender tone (very SRVish), I have done so without any EQ and switching up the mic.  One of my main heavy tones uses a virtual cab and an IR in parallel and sounds crazy good with only a spec of high cut in the virtual cab path.

 

Use your ears, folks, but physics doesn't lie - the way the speaker is mic'd makes all the difference in the world, and if you have heavy tone that inherently has a lot of fuzz in it before you get to your cab, you'll likely find that the standard cab with a 57 trick isn't sufficient to warm your tone enough to sound the way you want.

 

If your tone isn't fuzzy to begin with - then this thread is obviously not solving a problem you have.  There is no monkey wrench thrown into things - with a good cab IR, virtual 57 if you like it, and your own amp tone recreated faithfully, you should sound great direct without any eq cut.

 

Cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, donkelley said:

Do that with a mesa boogie (on a heavy tone) and a cab with speakers that have good high end, as is a combination that I've come across a fair bit in my life and is a situation I'm dealing with currently, myself, and I'm pretty sure you'd agree with my assessment of the tone.  Very fizzy and needing HF cut, or a very different miking situation.... both on helix and in real life.


Not trying to be argumentative. :)
But one of my rigs was a Mesa Boogie Studio Preamp into a Mesa Simulclass 295 tube power amp into a Marshall cab. We were playing hair metal stuff in the late 1980's with that rig. Plenty of gain. No fizz.

My other rigs over the years have included a Marshall TSL, Peavey 5150,  Peavey JSX Joe Satriani head, Bogner Extasy, and my current Mesa Boogie TC-50 (awesome amp with tons of gain). 
I'm just saying...I've heard people using the same amps I just listed who sounded like angry mosquitoes with chainsaws, but they were doing the old treble on 10 bass on 10 mids on 0 thing.
I've never set my tone up like that and never had any fizz.

I will admit that I had some fizz in the beginning with Helix. And it bothered the hell out of me. 

And when I did high cuts it took the fizz away...but I felt like it also took away tone. 

I've found that finding the right IR seems to handle that situation for me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Absolutely, cab IRs are great... solving things at the source instead of in the mix as my thread is talking about.

 

Regarding your mesa tone - that's awesome!  I've heard plenty of fuzzy mesa tones in my life, as well as plenty that aren't, and they get excellent clean tones also.  It's about how you get the tone from a Mesa, what cab you use, the speakers, the gain staging (which is a huge part of it with a Mesa...) and whether you use a tube screamer (or similar) before it to get it there in the preamp stage (which is pre-eq stage).  There are multiple ways to end up with or without fuzz on a mesa.  I've heard terrible fizz from many amps with a distortion box when the guitarist doesn't (imho) know how to use the pedal's tone controls... and so on, and so forth.  So many ways that a guitarist's tone can be full of fuzz, and their cab, design of the cab, choice(s) of speakers in the cab(s), how it's miked, all make HUGE differences to the end result.

 

But I digress, and that is just my opinion :-)

 

The entire point of this is that one can cut treble, and based on the scenario I'm describing - a mic that has a fair bit of high response (most mics are hotter up high than anywhere else, with a couple of fairly neutral popular mics and then ribbons which are less sensitive to high frequencies than most mics), very close to a speaker, getting a lot of energy in the 8k to 12k or 15k range, which includes picking, some attack, a tiny bit of very high frequency overtones in your tone, and.... fizz from any distortion that was generated after the amp's tone stack.  ... If that is what the mix engineer is given to work with, then cutting treble is done all the time.  Hence, my thread's points, and reason for existence, are justified and correct for the scenario in which they are intended.

 

IF someone has trouble with the helix being too fuzzy, this thread corrects a common misreasoning that is used - FRFR are brighter than guitar cabs, which is the problem.  Nope.  FRFR should be neutral, so the CAB should sound just as good as in real life, without fizz.  I went on to describe why that isn't true, and why cutting treble DOES work in these cases.  I'm not saying cutting treble is the only solution.  But I do describe what the true cause is, not the bizarre logic most people jump to, saying there is something wrong with the helix, it's virtual cabs, or that FRFR speakers are magically brighter (completely forgetting the cab already in your chain that should make their point moot).

 

FWIW, in a studio, subtractive EQ in the mixing stage is extremely common... like it's done on MANY MANY tracks in most mixes.  If it is used to remove too much brightness from a miked recording, then it doesn't remove anything that should be there.. just brings the treble back down to where it should be based on how the cab sounds in the room.  It's very literally like Dolby EQ - the close miked cab gives a treble pre-emphasis, and then you de-emphasize it in the mix, resulting in the original sound you wanted.  It gives you the ability to have more treble, if desired, since additive eq is a very dangerous thing in mixing.  It's much easier to take away something than add it.

 

Anyhoo - I'm glad you have your problems solved without EQ - I too prefer to use mike choices and such to improve the tone.  HOWEVER, there are some great sounding virtual cabs in helix that, even with mic choice changes etc, are still letting in more of the close up cone tone than we are used to hearing... and high cut solves that problem.  The virtual cabs give us options that are great, if you know how to work with them.

 

IF you choose to only use IRs, and IRs that are darker by the nature of how they were recorded, that's a great decision.  However there are a lot of people... like... a LOT of people, who have issues with the helix being too bright out of it's cabs.

 

My post does explain why this actually is.  Sure, maybe the helix is even brighter than a real cab... but in a real studio, with real amps, this problem comes up quite often actually, and if you have your guitar part captured great, the performance you want, and it is miked in a way that gives you more high frequencies than you want... solve it like this.

 

Same goes for the helix.

 

You can choose to solve it other ways, if you know how - although you certainly don't have to use IRs.  Virtual cabs, and working with them like you would as a studio mix engineer, work great too and use less resources, should that ever be an issue.

 

IF you feel that everyone out there is doing just great and the helix doesn't get complaints from folks saying it's too fizzy, then maybe you read different forums than I do. :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2020 at 4:01 PM, donkelley said:

.....you have to add high cut to the helix output.

 

Lots of words here, and likely lots of subsequent discussion. But the quote above wraps it up for me. Thanks.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a curiosity -- Besides high cut, does this explanation also apply to low frequency and low cuts? I.e., does the miking process typically generate a low end that is different from what one would hear in a room?

 

With tube amps it is known that a low cut will tighten the tone (a la tube screamer), but in Helix I find this to be necessary even on crunch rhythm tones, whereas with a tube amp I'd only do it for leads.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2020 at 9:02 AM, donkelley said:

Guitar speakers are not rigid cones, normally, and the dust cap, edge, middle of the cone, and other areas can truly sound quite different, as can on axis versus off axis tones. 

 

IMO.... this is the biggest "high cut filter" sound engineers use when micing a guitar cabinet.... live or in the studio. 

  • First they make a microphone choice.... but it can even be as simple as the venerable SM-57, just one - about 1" off the speaker
  • Next it's where they place that mic on the cone! The CENTER is bright, the EDGE is dark, and every 1/2" of movement from CENTER to EDGE acts as a high cut filter! 

Good engineers will not reach for a hi cut filter or an EQ until they have the mic placement the way they want it.... and most often, no further cuts are required once they get that right. 

 

Enter the problem with the helix cabs.... they don't allow this critical movement of the mic placement. You can move it back a few inches, but you can't move it over a few inches. They all appear to be mic'ed at the center only. This would explain why people complain of fizz, and feel the need to over compensate with hi cut filters. It is the brightest position. 

 

The introduction of the simple TILT EQ in 2.8 has provided a simple and elegant solution for this. Insert it after the cab, and adjust the TILT downward (toward dark) to simulate moving the mic toward the edge of the speaker. IMO, each "-10" is about the same as 1/10 movement toward the edge.  FWIW, I set mine around "dark 50".... which is how I would mic a cab in real life... about half way between center and edge. 

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, codamedia said:

The introduction of the simple TILT EQ in 2.8 has provided a simple and elegant solution for this. Insert it after the cab, and adjust the TILT downward (toward dark) to simulate moving the mic toward the edge of the speaker. IMO, each "-10" is about the same as 1/10 movement toward the edge.  FWIW, I set mine around "dark 50".... which is how I would mic a cab in real life... about half way between center and edge. 

 

That's interesting. How's the high cut effect of tilt eq different from using the low/hi cut eq block, soundwise? It looks like the tilt eq has a different frequency response with respect to a high cut filter.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

IMO.... this is the biggest "high cut filter" sound engineers use when micing a guitar cabinet.... live or in the studio. 

  • First they make a microphone choice.... but it can even be as simple as the venerable SM-57, just one - about 1" off the speaker
  • Next it's where they place that mic on the cone! The CENTER is bright, the EDGE is dark, and every 1/2" of movement from CENTER to EDGE acts as a high cut filter! 

Good engineers will not reach for a hi cut filter or an EQ until they have the mic placement the way they want it.... and most often, no further cuts are required once they get that right. 

 

Enter the problem with the helix cabs.... they don't allow this critical movement of the mic placement. You can move it back a few inches, but you can't move it over a few inches. They all appear to be mic'ed at the center only. This would explain why people complain of fizz, and feel the need to over compensate with hi cut filters. It is the brightest position. 

 

The introduction of the simple TILT EQ in 2.8 has provided a simple and elegant solution for this. Insert it after the cab, and adjust the TILT downward (toward dark) to simulate moving the mic toward the edge of the speaker. IMO, each "-10" is about the same as 1/10 movement toward the edge.  FWIW, I set mine around "dark 50".... which is how I would mic a cab in real life... about half way between center and edge. 

 

 

 

Yep.  Totally.  I do need to read up more about the tilt eq though... I haven't used it yet.

 

But, if you want to use the helix virtual cabs, you have to do what I outlined in this thread... which IS what you would have to do if you were a mix engineer with a guitar track that was made too bright... due to mic choice, position, etc on a speaker that wasn't maybe the best choice for this.

 

But the other point of all this is that with ANY close miked cab, it will be brighter and different sounding than a cab in the room.

 

Putting an FRFR or pa in a room doesn't recreate the same tone as a cab in a room, even if the source recording is identical and reproduced perfectly by the frfr speaker, because an frfr speaker has good dispersion, even tone in most directions from front of cab, no interactions between speakers that create very complex tones in different directions that result in a tone that may well be picked up differently by each of your ears and will never quite be perfectly recreated by a single point recording of that cab reproduced by a single point source style speaker.

 

So even a really well setup close miked IR may still be a little fizzier, or if not fizz, then just a little bit "simpler" sounding, less "3 dimensional", since even a mono cab in a room has very interesting stereo reflections going on.

 

We can't have perfection with a single close miked cab IR or virtual cab, but it does justify the use of high cut eq if you feel that solves the problem for you... it's a workable solution to the engineering behind the single mic cab recreations.

 

I personally really do prefer the cab IR libraries with producer-created multi-mic IR files.... many (not all) of those sound really full and more realistic, while still being free of most reflections and therefore allowing me to recreate the room sound using good verb and feeling it's pretty indistinguishable from the real thing.

 

I'm happy that this thread has sparked creative, helpful discussion.

 

By the way, I too am not truly sure what makes the "tilt" eq any better - I suppose it has a different slope to it?

 

Also - I haven't spent much time worrying about the low frequencies, but someone was asking about how the close mic situation would affect them.  Well most mikes have a proximity effect where the closer the mic is the source, the more boomy and exaggerated the bass is.  It's something we use intentionally when miking a cab to choose if we want bass emphasis or not in the initial recording.  a mic an inch from the speaker will typically have much more bass than one further away.  The longer the microphone pickup element, the more pronounced the effect is.  So a long ribbon mic will have intense proximity effect.  A LDC (87/67/47... about 1 inch element) has lots of proximity effect too.  A SDC less so, and some mics have it engineered out of them (EV RE-20, for example). 

 

So mic position could affect the tone - not sure if that is the difference the poster was asking about though.  I normally find that flubby bass comes from either bad amp settings (lots of tube amp settings in helix that you dont' get to play with easily on a real tube amp - make sure you know how to set these like the real thing)... or, of course, bad playback monitors/frfr that introduce their own bass flub into the tone.

 

Personally I don't find that problem with helix - the low end is outstanding, and I use it for bass guitar too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, emagli said:

 

That's interesting. How's the high cut effect of tilt eq different from using the low/hi cut eq block, soundwise? It looks like the tilt eq has a different frequency response with respect to a high cut filter.

 

IMO... it's totally different, more subtle and natural sounding.... just like moving a microphone position. Your not removing frequencies as much as repositioning them... if that makes sense. 

 

In theory... it rolls off highs while increasing lows (when shifting the tilt toward the dark settings) .... this is very similar to what a mic picks up when moving it from the center of a speaker to the edge. You can adjust where the tilt frequency is... but to be honest, I just leave everything set to the default and roll the tilt toward the dark for this application.

 

All I can really suggest is "try it"! Simply insert the tilt after the cabinet, and roll back the tilt settings to see how it responds. It's been a game changer for me... and has allowed me to start using the cabs instead of IR's, but that's just my opinion. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This has been a VERY interesting post. Thank you! i have lots of things to play around with now. The Tilt EQ sounds like it is something I might take advantage of to smooth out the very little bit of high end that I'm looking to adjust in some of my tones. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, donkelley said:

Yep.  Totally.  I do need to read up more about the tilt eq though... I haven't used it yet.

 

But, if you want to use the helix virtual cabs, you have to do what I outlined in this thread... which IS what you would have to do if you were a mix engineer with a guitar track that was made too bright... due to mic choice, position, etc on a speaker that wasn't maybe the best choice for this.

 

Just to be clear, I am in full agreement with your posts, suggestions and opinions. You are providing a wealth of knowledge for those that might not be aware of what needs to be done, GREAT JOB!

 

While your opening post is providing a "book of information", I was merely trying to expand on "one chapter", and how someone might work around it with the stock Helix cabinets. By getting that "cab/mic/position (tilt)" right, a lot of corrective EQ and filters can be minimized later. Note I say minimized, not necessarily eliminated :) 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks codamedia!  Yea, I didn't take it that you weren't supportive of this, thanks though for clarifying!

 

EVERY reply in this thread has been helpful.  I absolutely have no doubt that some folks have never experienced the issues I described.

 

And of course, as I was dealing with one small aspect of physics and how it affects the miked guitar cab tone, I wasn't dealing with the details of how you can improve mike position, type, and so on.

 

Also - totally unrelated to codamedia's post, but something I just thought I'd add to the thread...

 

It should be noted that using more than one mic on a single cab takes a fair bit of real engineering knowledge to pull off with a predictable and good outcome.  So if you have an IR library where they have multi-mic IR files, like with more than one mic used in the single IR to make one great sound together (as opposed to lots of different IRs of the same cab, each with a different mic.. which is great but not what I'm talking about in this paragraph).... give those multi-mic IR files a try.  They are something that only some of the real legendary tracking engineers ever bother with, something most musicians never get to experience on their own playing, and can either be amazing or, well, just different... but it's not something most of us ever would be successful at creating from scratch ourselves.  The phase relationships between the mics is a real monster for most amateurs to figure out to avoid any microscopic but critical adjustments in the daw mix of those mics afterwards.  But it can be an incredible tone, if done well.

 

Cheers!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Excellent read folks! Thanks to all for the information (I thought I knew and didn't know enough on).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, now let's throw Powercab into the mix (no pun intended). Powercab is a key part of the Line6 ecosystem, and how it fits into this discussion may be why. 

 

Powercab has a number of options for getting amp in the room tone that might be better than Helix through a traditional FRFR like a PA speaker or monitor. The first option is Flat, LF  Raw. This like a guitar cabinet in the room because that's exactly what it is. LF Raw is just the Powercab speaker, no tweeter, no mic model, no processing of any kind. And that speaker is a guitar speaker. 

 

Powercab speaker model takes this a step further by using EQ profiles to tailor the LF Flat equalized mode to model different speakers, but still no mic model. I don't know the details of how this is done, but I suspect LF Flat is an EQ applied to the actual speaker used in Powercab to establish a normalized platform for adding the EQ for the different speaker models. That way Powercab could eventually use a different speaker, change the LF Flat EQ, and all the EQ profiles for the other speaker models would work without change. 

 

So LF Raw and Speaker modes using Powercab as a traditional backline is going to sound and feel a lot like a regular guitar amp. That's because it mostly is. The speaker is going to behave, and have the same dispersion characteristics as any other 1x12 or 2x12 ported guitar cabinet. 

 

But Powercab in User IR mode, or in Flat FRFR mode with IRs or cab models in Helix, is still going to sound more like an amp in the room, and behave more like a traditional guitar amp backline than a PA speaker. The reason is the use of coaxial speakers. The coaxial speaker in Powercab is a guitar speaker with a hole in the middle of the magnet. A tweeter horn driver is screwed into this hole to cover the high frequencies which some out through the center of the woofer. 

 

The reason this is going to feel and sound more like a guitar amp is because of the dispersion characteristics of a coaxial speaker. Because the high frequencies are coming through a hole in the middle of the speaker, they will be more focused and direct than a typical horn loaded configuration designed to increase dispersion. So the off-axis taming of FRFR high end will still happen somewhat naturally with Powercab, even in FRFR mode. In this case, a challenging characteristic of coaxial speakers is actually helpful!

 

So a Powercab might be a nice way to deal with overly bright FRFR tones that don't feel like amp in the room, because they're not. 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, amsdenj said:

Ok, now let's throw Powercab into the mix (no pun intended). Powercab is a key part of the Line6 ecosystem, and how it fits into this discussion may be why. 

 

Powercab has a number of options for getting amp in the room tone that might be better than Helix through a traditional FRFR like a PA speaker or monitor. The first option is Flat, LF  Raw. This like a guitar cabinet in the room because that's exactly what it is. LF Raw is just the Powercab speaker, no tweeter, no mic model, no processing of any kind. And that speaker is a guitar speaker. 

 

Powercab speaker model takes this a step further by using EQ profiles to tailor the LF Flat equalized mode to model different speakers, but still no mic model. I don't know the details of how this is done, but I suspect LF Flat is an EQ applied to the actual speaker used in Powercab to establish a normalized platform for adding the EQ for the different speaker models. That way Powercab could eventually use a different speaker, change the LF Flat EQ, and all the EQ profiles for the other speaker models would work without change. 

 

So LF Raw and Speaker modes using Powercab as a traditional backline is going to sound and feel a lot like a regular guitar amp. That's because it mostly is. The speaker is going to behave, and have the same dispersion characteristics as any other 1x12 or 2x12 ported guitar cabinet. 

 

But Powercab in User IR mode, or in Flat FRFR mode with IRs or cab models in Helix, is still going to sound more like an amp in the room, and behave more like a traditional guitar amp backline than a PA speaker. The reason is the use of coaxial speakers. The coaxial speaker in Powercab is a guitar speaker with a hole in the middle of the magnet. A tweeter horn driver is screwed into this hole to cover the high frequencies which some out through the center of the woofer. 

 

The reason this is going to feel and sound more like a guitar amp is because of the dispersion characteristics of a coaxial speaker. Because the high frequencies are coming through a hole in the middle of the speaker, they will be more focused and direct than a typical horn loaded configuration designed to increase dispersion. So the off-axis taming of FRFR high end will still happen somewhat naturally with Powercab, even in FRFR mode. In this case, a challenging characteristic of coaxial speakers is actually helpful!

 

So a Powercab might be a nice way to deal with overly bright FRFR tones that don't feel like amp in the room, because they're not. 

 

 

Well, the powercab IS an excellent product, for sure.

 

As far as dispersion goes.... just so it's understood:

The powercab is a 2 way speaker, 12" main speaker, 1" horn tweeter.  a "Compression" speaker is a horn speaker.  Properly designed horn tweeters have VERY controlled dispersion... the exact range of dispersion is built into the shape of the horn.  However, it is still a high dispersion tweeter, just like you get in any 2 way speaker, PA, home, FRFR or otherwise.

 

The fact that the tweeter is in the center of the main speaker (woofer, although it can do more than woof, as you'll see later) doesn't change it from having great dispersion in treble, just like any other 2 way speaker with separate horn - although it can (depending on how far they went with the physics of the design) produce a much more even dispersion through the crossover frequencies where both speakers are outputting the same part of the signal in varying levels.  So it's a great design, potentially, like some famous studio monitors by Tannoy, home speaker by KEF, and other coaxial designs of note.

 

But, as long as the tweeter is running, it has exactly the same things going on as any PA or 2 way (or 3 way) FRFR speaker has with a separate tweeter... location of the tweeter makes no major difference.

 

HOWEVER - the magical thing about the powercab is that in "flat" mode (maybe it's LF Raw, as you said... sounds like the cool feature I'm talking about!), if I recall the setting name correctly, it actually doesn't run the tweeter at all.. instead it runs only the "woofer" as a full range speaker and frequency compensates (in other words, turns up the treble a bit, probably, to make up for natural rolloff of the large 12" speaker in that range) to still be FRFR.  But since it's a huge speaker trying to output 8kHz through roughly 20kHz, those high frequencies will be pretty much 100% beamed straight out in front of the speaker with little to no dispersion to the sides.  Which does mean that the powercab, IN THIS MODE ONLY, works more like a real guitar cab.... so there IS that benefit for sure.  In the other modes, if I recall it's operation properly, the tweeter runs at high frequencies, making it a good old fashioned 2 ways FRFR monitor.  Tweeter in middle of cone still has tweeter output dispersing as well as if tweeter was installed in cabinet beside the woofer.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/20/2020 at 3:02 PM, donkelley said:

Guitar speakers are not rigid cones, normally, and the dust cap, edge, middle of the cone, and other areas can truly sound quite different, as can on axis versus off axis tones.

I always believed the edge of the cone produced a darker sound. I remember reading a long while ago an engineer from a top speaker company, I forget which, stating that the different parts of the cone sound much the same and that the loss of treble as you move the mic across the cone was due to phase cancellation from the different parts of the cone. So when in the middle kinda balanced and as you move to the side the same frequency arrives at increasingly different times from the left and right of the speaker. Due to proximity only shorter wavelengths higher frequencies are mostly affected.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, RRMark said:

I always believed the edge of the cone produced a darker sound. I remember reading a long while ago an engineer from a top speaker company, I forget which, stating that the different parts of the cone sound much the same and that the loss of treble as you move the mic across the cone was due to phase cancellation from the different parts of the cone. So when in the middle kinda balanced and as you move to the side the same frequency arrives at increasingly different times from the left and right of the speaker. Due to proximity only shorter wavelengths higher frequencies are mostly affected.

Well said, sir!  The resulting EFFECT, though, is that the outer edge is darker sounding, on any speaker, whether your first assumption is correct (which it actually is, in some designs), or the speaker engineer's description is correct (which is true of other designs, no doubt those he worked with and sold).

 

BUT, the speaker engineer's statement isn't entirely true, at least not of all speaker designs.  Guitar speakers and full range single cone speakers as well as speakers for some other purposes, SOME of them at least, are actually designed to have the cone flex in certain ways depending on the vibrating frequency, so the inside of the speaker handles the high frequencies more (less mass allowing it to vibrate faster for higher frequencies more easily, less surface area which is ok for high frequencies which require less surface area for what we consider to be the same output level as the bass), while the outer part of the cone vibrates as a piston with the inside at lower frequencies, adding support for the low frequency output.  There are plenty of speakers (not musical instrument speakers, generally, but hifi or similar styles) that try to be piston like over the entire surface - entirely rigid, in other words... but it isn't always the best choice.

 

So yes you are right, but you were also right in your initial assumptions too, and the person from the top speaker company may have been speaking specifically about designs of his company's manufacture.  He is correct, in many cases, but not ALL cases.  Take also, for example, the "whizzer cone".... why does that work?  Why does adding an extra small rigid cone on the voice coil instead of just a dust cap make more treble come out of the speaker?  Taking the speaker engineer's statement as always true, it wouldn't make any differende to add the whizzer cone, since the whizzer cone and the other cone, both attached to same voice coil, would still just work as pistons together, and it would simply be the listening, or miking, position on the overall moving surface that affects how much treble you get due to the reasons he specified.  However, it isn't true, in this case.  A whizzer cone makes DRAMATICALLY more output in the treble for a given speaker, assuming the entire speaker was designed with the whizzer cone in mind.

 

Because the cone of the speaker (in that design) is slightly flexible, and the entire surface area of the cone doesn't move as a piston at all frequencies, but only below a certain range (probably roughly 6k or 8kHz or something, just a wild guess, for sake of conversation).... but the whizzer cone, which is attached directly to the voice coil also, is fully rigid, light, and very efficient at high frequency output... Well this basically makes the whizzer cone into a tweeter, with a heck of a lot of mass on the voice coil compared to a real, dedicated tweeter (hence why it's not a particularly great tweeter, but better than nothin'!).... and makes the dual cone speaker (ss this design with whizzer cone is commonly known) work as a much better full frequency range speaker than it would without the whizzer cone.

 

Speaker technology isn't all identical :-)

 

My studio reference playback monitors have polypropylene woofers and midranges... with limited range on each because poly is a pretty rigid surface compared to treated pulp paper cones, and also heavier than paper.  The highs just don't come out, so it has to be a 3 way speaker to cover everything (tweeter does highs, midrange does mids, woofer does lows, and the woofer and midrange sound truly horrible if operated above their designed frequency range, so it has a high ratio crossover network to ensure it all works perfectly.  And it sounds incredible....)

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, donkelley said:

The phase relationships between the mics is a real monster for most amateurs to figure out to avoid any microscopic but critical adjustments in the daw mix of those mics afterwards.  But it can be an incredible tone, if done well.

 

Does this problem really happen when using multiple mics in a Helix dual cab block? If the mics in Helix are all "simulated" at cab center (or anyways at the same position) I guess there should be no phase issues. I combined dual mics in the dual cab block with variable results, but never had the impression of having phase issues.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, emagli said:

 

Does this problem really happen when using multiple mics in a Helix dual cab block? If the mics in Helix are all "simulated" at cab center (or anyways at the same position) I guess there should be no phase issues. I combined dual mics in the dual cab block with variable results, but never had the impression of having phase issues.

 

Apparently there doesn't seem to be any problem with the stock cabs.  I know Jason Sadites uses dual stock cabs in almost all of his YouTube videos and has never mentioned any phasing problems.  In my experience the most common phasing issues involve combining IRs, particularly ones from different manufacturers.  Although some manufacturers like Redwirez specifically state they build all their IRs to ensure there are no phasing problems when combined and mixed together.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, emagli said:

Does this problem really happen when using multiple mics in a Helix dual cab block?

I've tried, intentionally, to create phasing problems with the stock Helix cabs, and in my tests never was able to. I used same cab, different cabs, same mic, different mic, and varied the distance offset between the two mics in all of those cases, with the final signal being summed back to mono, and couldn't create anything that sounded like phase cancellation. If the Line 6 cabs really are IR based, like some claim, then they are probably MPT IRs, in my opinion.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yea, with stock virtual cabs, no issues.  Again, what I meant was if you are literally miking up a cab and trying to create your own IR.  If you are miking a cab with multiple mics and recording it (like, in a real studio), it's incredibly tough to do with success.  But if you do it right, it can be an excellent sound.  Some of the IR libraries have IR files that are made up of a multi-miked cab... again I mean you use one single cab IR who's tone is a IR (recording, really) of a cab from multiple microphones, all phase aligned in the studio.

 

IF you want to try that kind of thing, the only way with success you'll normally be able to is by using one of those specific cab IR files.

 

You can sort of get there a bit with multiple virtual cabs in helix, sure!  It's safe and fun to try.  But you can only run a couple of cabs in parallel, right?  I mean, I guess maybe you can run 4 with some path playing, which is cool, if you don't use more than one path for your effects.  So there's that option, which yes, is safe and fun to do :-)

 

One note - if you put cab after cab in series (in same path) it isn't the same thing as multiple mics, that's putting one mic through another through another and on and on.  Parallel multiple mics requires cabs running beside each other, each fed the same signal and then mixed together again, so you need one path per cab.

 

Although, of course, being on separate paths you can also add different effects before/after each cab, if you wanted to do that... or pan the outputs so the cabs are literally across the stage or around the room in different places.... all kinds of fun things. That's only useful if you are recording direct in stereo or playing in a stereo setup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In my somewhat limited experience, coaxial speakers that have the tweeter in front of the cone, vs. those that have the horn driver screwed into the back of the speaker magnet have very different dispersion characteristics. In the case where the driver is screwed on the back of the speaker magnet, you can have a much larger driver that can handle wider frequencies and more power. That’s a good option for musical instrument applications. But the driver is loaded first by the depth of the voice coil, a small cylinder, and then by the round speaker cone. The impact on dispersion depends on the depth and width of the voice coil and the wavelength of the frequencies the driver is responsible for delivering. 

 

I find the dispersion of Powercab, to be quite different than a PA speaker horn because the PA horn doesn’t have the voice coil cylinder, and often isn’t round, dispersing more horizontally than vertically. 

 

But it would be nice if Line6 published the dispersion characteristics of Powercab, like most PA and and high end HI-Fi speakers to. Otherwise we’re mostly guessing by ear.

 

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great discussion! Thanks Don Kelley for one of the most informative and well stated topics on fizz I have seen on the forum.  Your explanations sound plausible and correct. Tips and techniques about how to get a great tone are incredibly helpful but I truly appreciate getting a better fundamental understanding of how speaker technology works.which you have provided here. This kind of information really helps inform how I construct my presets.

 

At the risk of being reductive it sounds to me like Impulse Response technology and the capability to process it on the Helix and other devices still has a ways to go. In general it would appear that we need much more complex IRs to get closer to capturing all of the nuances the human ear picks up when a guitar speaker is played "in the room". Creating those would require multiple mics at various proximities and axes to the cone, including mics placed further back that pick up the room's reflections. Granted there may be already some IRs out there like this but I don't think the Helix has the capacity(yet?) to handle them. IRs need to be of longer duration and larger file sizes and the equipment that uses them is going to require the capacity to handle them. Not to pick on the Helix but the current 48kHz, 16-bit, mono, .WAV type IRs of up to 2,048 samples is probably not going to cut it if we ever want to get to IRs that get closer to capturing the sound of an amp in the room without requiring additional EQ and processing. At some point either the firmware on the current HX line or the Double Helix when it comes out needs to be able to handle larger IR sizes. Not to say that there are not plenty of IRs that sound great now on the Helix as well as the native cabinets. As you point out though it is the darker cabs/IRs, used alone or combined with a brighter one, that tend to play better with FRFRs if you don't want to have to EQ to limit the fizz.

 

I have to mention that my experience in years past with analog mixing boards and passive speakers largely echoed that of robbieb61. A decent guitar amp/cab set properly with a single SM57 in front of it could sound great, often with little to no tweaking at the board.  It was almost as if the old mixing boards and speakers inherently did what a guitar speaker does which is limit the frequency response(and range) on the mid/higher end of the frequency spectrum in a very musical way. When I eventually switched over to digital boards and powered speakers, it was like a blanket was lifted off of the PA and  everything gained more clarity and got really crisp and defined but also got much more easily brittle and ice pick on the mid/high end. This applied to vocals and instruments. I found my digital boards generally required more EQ to sound "warm".  A highly subjective adjective I know but I think most musicians know what I mean. It took more adjustments than the older analog equipment, particularly to the mids and highs, to dial them in so as not to cause listener fatigue over the span of a few hours.  The same sort of requirements apply when using an FRFR as a stage monitor.

 

I honestly think we have not quite evolved enough yet with native cabinets or impulse responses. Until we have I agree that either EQ or a darker cab&mic/IR without EQ is often the way to go if you are looking for a warmer sound with minimal fizz when playing through an FRFR, be it the PA or your monitor.  How much if any EQ'ing you need to do, as you have pointed out, depends to some extent on your playing style, tonal preferences, other elements in your signal path, choice of monitors, mic selection and position/distance, room, hands, genre, etc..  Ultimately although the Helix has been provisioned with a wealth of EQs - graphic, high/low cut, parametric, Booogie, tilt, the amp's tone stack, etc., dialing out the fizz by just chopping the high end to provide a more guitar in the room sound can take some of the tone with it as others have pointed out and many of us have experienced when designing presets. You often have to look for more more subtle methods that may not even utilize EQ, like for example changing cab/mic parameters or using multiple cabinets and other tricks that can diminish or eliminate the amount of EQ required. 

 

If for whatever reason you still have fizz when you have dealt with other elements in your signal path, it would be great to be able to select an automated EQ option or just a factory EQ template that might provide a more complex and natural sounding EQ to shave fizz than what a typical user might dial in. These "templates" might be specifically designed for FRFR use. You shouldn't have to think or design presets like a recording engineer if you just want to be a guitarist and I think digital equipment has the potential to meet the challenge of providing a great sound more quickly and easily to a wider range of users.  It would be particularly useful to new users. Automatic EQ or EQ templates are just a proposed workaround though until native cab design and IR technology gets sophisticated enough to at least diminish the need to EQ when using an FRFR. 

 

It is impossible to believe that the current status quo will remain in stasis for digital modeling. I doubt anyone in 1980 could have anticipated an interface as streamlined and intuitive as HX Edit or an HX device. I think options will get deeper and wider but setting up a great sounding preset more easily will also progress, good as it may be already.

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for this very informative and extensive discussion. Getting a good tone, in particular a good live tone, is getting easier for me based on what I've learned over here for the last about 1.5 years. From my experience the stock settings on most amps and cabs are usable for playing at low volume or over headphones. However, once volume goes up and tones are meant to be amplified at loud volumes things change (Fletcher Munson) and this harshness or fizz or whatever you want to call it starts to become a problem (for me at least). What I nowadays do (but this may change again, this is a journey....) is to cut the IR or cab block at around 5.6 - 6.0 KHz which more or less corresponds to cutting at around 12 KhZ when using an EQ block (see the video from Jason Sadites and elsewhere on this forum). Initially I thought this was quite a bit but upon doing some "measurements"  it turns out that there still exists a significant portion of signal in the frequency range above that cutoff frequency (even going up to about 10 KHz). The cutoff filter merely attenuates those higher frequencies (i.e. 6 - 10Khz) but doesn't take them out alltogether. (This is probably known to sound engineers but it was a bit unexpected for me as an amateur.)

 

The OP suggests to start with a cutoff at 8KHz and work up from there. What does that mean? Cutoff on an EQ block or on a CAB/IR block? And, if you say "work up" does that mean go below 8KHz or above?

 

Also a suggestion was made to use the tilt EQ as a way to model mic position. Great idea and it might be an alternative to using cuts, but what is the center frequency that you use/ suggest?

 

BTW, I've also received some live presets from other users which do not at all require high cuts to be made. So, amp, cab and mic selection as well as the amp settings also allow to get a great tone without any cuts and without the "fizz".

 

Thanks again, this is a very helpful thread!!!

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

I've tried, intentionally, to create phasing problems with the stock Helix cabs, and in my tests never was able to. I used same cab, different cabs, same mic, different mic, and varied the distance offset between the two mics in all of those cases, with the final signal being summed back to mono, and couldn't create anything that sounded like phase cancellation. If the Line 6 cabs really are IR based, like some claim, then they are probably MPT IRs, in my opinion.

I was thinking about what you said, i supposed if they are phase aligned you could put a delay on one mic to simulate extra distance travelled, but then I worked out it's only 0.0739426ms per inch so not really doable on helix?!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Hillman1312 said:

Also a suggestion was made to use the tilt EQ as a way to model mic position. Great idea and it might be an alternative to using cuts, but what is the center frequency that you use/ suggest?

 

I'm the one that suggested the "tilt" as a way to "simulate" moving a mic from the center to the edge of a speaker. 

 

I just insert the block and dial back the "tilt" setting.... I don't touch the default frequency which I believe is set to 1k. I'm not saying you shouldn't change it, I'm just saying I've had no need to change it :) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/23/2020 at 2:40 PM, HonestOpinion said:

Great discussion! Thanks Don Kelley for one of the most informative and well stated topics on fizz I have seen on the forum.  Your explanations sounds plausible and correct. Tips and techniques about how to get a great tone are incredibly helpful but I truly appreciate getting a better fundamental understanding of how speaker technology works.which you have provided here. This kind of information really helps inform how I construct my presets.

 

You're very welcome!  Thanks so much for your appreciative remarks! :-)

 

Quote

 

At the risk of being reductive it sounds to me like Impulse Response technology and the capability to process it on the Helix and other devices still has a ways to go. In general it would appear that we need much more complex IRs to get closer to capturing all of the nuances the human ear picks up when a guitar speaker is played "in the room". Creating those would require multiple mics at various proximities and axes to the cone, including mics placed further back that pick up the room's reflections. Granted there may be already some IRs out there like this but I don't think the Helix has the capacity(yet?) to handle them. IRs need to be of longer duration and larger file sizes and the equipment that uses them is going to require the capacity to handle them. Not to pick on the Helix but the current 48kHz, 16-bit, mono, .WAV type IRs of up to 2,048 samples is probably not going to cut it if we ever want to get to IRs that get closer to capturing the sound of an amp in the room without requiring additional EQ and processing. At some point either the firmware on the current HX line or the Double Helix when it comes out needs to be able to handle larger IR sizes. Not to say that there are not plenty of IRs that sound great now on the Helix as well as the native cabinets. As you point out though it is the darker cabs/IRs, used alone or combined with a brighter one, that tend to play better with FRFRs if you don't want to have to EQ to limit the fizz.

 

Well while that seems like a good idea, there are pros and cons to what you suggested, and it isn't just a technology limitation, actually, it's a physics limitation... and the current solutions work really well and are pretty much all we are able to do, based on physics.

.....(Meaning, the way we play live, and the way room sound is heard by both microphones and our ears, how a cab being recorded for an IR file is in a room and your FRFR speaker is also in a room, and how live sound standards already just use a single mic on a single part of a single speaker on your real cab... all work together to make any changes to that a limitation of physics, not what our modelers and IR technology are capable of doing).

 

Multi mic IRs do exist.  I have some - they can be amazing.  The ones I use are still done with all close miking, mostly still trying to avoid the room sound.

 

Quickly I will touch on the problem with having a mic or two further back to get the tone of your cab better recorded:

- Mic further from amp gets much less level from the amp, and therefore pics up OTHER sounds much more.  In a room, your amp's sound is reflected back surprisingly loudly by walls, particularly the wall it faces, but all walls reflect back a ton of sound... floors are horrible for this, even carpeted floors (carpet just reduces some high frequencies, but it's still there, and mids/lows are not reduced at all by carpet).    So you have a mic a foot or so away from your amp, pointing at it, maybe at a bit of an angle... seems like a great idea, right?  And such things DO exist, by the way.  But now that mic picks up early reflections from floor and walls, which are NOT an attractive sound, generally.  Not something you want baked into your tone, since when you place your FRFR speaker down and play through it live, it has it's own fair share of early reflections and "speaker in a room" sound, not the cab effects, no, but still it's a speaker in a room... and having the original room sound in the IR on top of your frfr or pa speaker sitting in a room with it's early reflections too... well it CAN sound pretty horrible, I'm afraid.

 

Therefore, we generally speaking, we do NOT want the "sound of the room" in the cab IR. 

 

Once you bake in a room sound by having mics further from the cab to get the great distant cab sound, you cannot remove the sound of the room again. 

 

IF you want distant miking of your cab (distant being anything other than right next to cone), then getting room sound mixed into the tone is a nasty side effect that is nearly impossible to avoid, hence my repeated points about room sound being baked in. 

 

Room sound is, initially and mostly, a bunch of early reflections, and, just like when recording vocals, you want no room sound at all normally and recreate it electronically afterwards to give you full control over the mix and tones. 

It's like having an undefeatable short analog delay effect with multiple repeats at a very short speed and fast decay rate.  CAB IRs INTENTIONALLY have as close to zero room sound, in other words early reflections, as possible, because they give a specific tone that you can't take out again.  You can add them IN again easily with early reflection reverb/delay effects.... but YES, to your point (and mine in the first post), the newly added ones don't sound quite the same because they don't include the various speaker angle output reflection complexity that helps our cabs sounds like they do in a GOOD room.

 

Ideally you want to make your Cab IR recordings in an anechoic chamber (a room without any echos).  Such things do exist, but are not even available in most recording studios, let alone something you can just build yourself or have easily available.  The next best choice is making cab IR files out doors - but it must be completely silent where you are.  Bird chirping?  ahha, can you imagine?  distant train sound, or a spec of wind noise?  Ugh.  So it's really tough making great CAB IR files, the initial recordings.... without room sound.

 

So the compromise is that mose are made in GREAT sounding, well treated rooms, in recording studios where the walls are properly aligned to reduce early reflections of the same length, and so on.  But even then, we normally don't want it to sound like ANY room at all, since playback with a speaker will, normally, be in another room when you use your helix.

 

HOWEVER, there are folks to have tried distant miking for a cab IR - and I'm certain that there are uses for it, if you can live with the side effects that I described in this post.

 

Does technology allow us to have longer CAB IR files that include distant mic information, assuming we are ok with a bit of room sound, or find an anechoic chamber to use?

 

YES!  Helix doesn't support super long cab ir files, but a major competitor does, and people play with those some.  However, despite what the inventor of the competing product says, nearly all cab ir libraries try to avoid room sound and early reflection sound because of the reasons I described, and also because a cab IR file that is a convolution of such a long cab IR recording is going to be a very big file, and it will take a LOT of cpu processing power to work with it in real time.  In hardware, the world does have such power available (it's sort-of in the competitor product but you lose slots when you do so), but it's expensive to add just for some potentially difficult to work with cab IR files that might sound bad when you play through FRFR in another room....  in a world dominated by short cab IR file standards, and it so far hasn't proven worth the effort to become a supported standard.  Maybe it will prove itself one day, but for now it's a niche thing.  Audio engineers are used to working with close miked cabs and can do great stuff with them.  We are also used to working with distance miked cabs, and they too can sound amazing in recordings... but you NEVER get that sound in a live environment.

 

 

Another note:  YOU CAN MAKE Your OWN CAB IR FILES!

 

IF you want to play with miking technique and room sound and such, try it out for yourself!  It's hard to do, but even a bad cab ir file is still an exciting success moment, and you will probably find, as I have, that at first it seems like the magic solution and all's good, but then you use it in another room or situation and go, oh man, it really only sounds great through headphones, or recorded.. but when I play through FRFR I always get a headache.  LoL.... I had that happen.  I'm pretty sure it's because I had room sound over room sound, and the harsh peaks and reflections just irritated me after a while.  I do have a decently treated room, but it's still nothing like a proper room where IR files are typically made professionally.

 

Still, check out this site - it actually worked for me back when I did this myself some for fun:  http://www.grebz.com/simulator_impulses_creation_eng.php

 

 

Quote

 

If for whatever reason you still have fizz when you have dealt with other elements in your signal path, it would be great to be able to select an automated EQ option or just a factory EQ template that might provide a more complex and natural sounding EQ to shave fizz than what a typical user might dial in. These "templates" might be specifically designed for FRFR use. You shouldn't have to think or design presets like a recording engineer if you just want to be a guitarist and I think digital equipment has the potential to meet the challenge of providing a great sound more quickly and easily to a wider range of users.  It would be particularly useful to new users. Automatic EQ or EQ templates are just a proposed workaround though until native cab design and IR technology gets sophisticated enough to at least diminish the need to EQ when using an FRFR. 

 

 

I know right?  Thing is, they have tried that stuff in the past, and still have sort of preset cab fix eqs in some competing products, and I had them in my eleven rack and stuff.  It never is a universal solution, and you still end up dealing with fixing it all with EQ, but sometimes with those products you're actually turn the treble UP in EQ to make up for the fizz remover feature's tone changes that might seem to extreme.  It's never easy to have a universal fix for musicians who are far from universal :-)  But yea, I wish they had something like that in helix just as a "simple setup" option to get you started, that you can then remove or customize how you want.  Oh well :-)  Takes more work without it, but it's YOUR tone this way, which is ideal in the end.

 

Quote

It is impossible to believe that the current status quo will remain in stasis for digital modeling. I doubt anyone in 1980 could have anticipated an interface as streamlined and intuitive as HX Edit or an HX device. I think options will get deeper and wider but setting up a great sounding preset more easily will also progress, good as it may be already.

 

I'm sure it is constantly progressing!  And the competition between line6 and the other big modeling company, and with kemper (a different take on things), and the other slightly lesser products (no offence to them) like zoom, headrush, and so on... )... are only improving each product's features and technology through competition and more scientists and engineers doing R&D constantly to break new ground!

 

Also - computer-based modeling is actually quite a bit more powerful, just WAY less convenient... and a lot of amazing cab IR stuff can be done "in the box" like that but not yet on all devices.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, RRMark said:

I was thinking about what you said, i supposed if they are phase aligned you could put a delay on one mic to simulate extra distance travelled, but then I worked out it's only 0.0739426ms per inch so not really doable on helix?!

You actually CAN do this, and I do it on purpose sometimes to fine-tune the stereo image of my presets I use for recording. There's a couple tricks:

 

Option 1: Use the 'Dual Delay', set the mix to 100, set feedback to 0, and dial in a small delay on one channel. The smallest you can go here is 0.1msec.

 

Option 2: Use the stereo version of the Simple Delay. Set the mix to 100%. Set the feedback to zero. Set the 'Time' to a very small value, e.g. 0.1 msec. Then, set the scale parameter -- this sets the delay of the right channel relative to the left. So for example, if you set Time to 0.1msec, and set Scale to 50%, your overall signal would have 0.1msec latency now, but you would also have an offset of 0.1msec*50% = 0.05msec between the L & R channels, with the right channel 'leading'. You can tune very tiny offsets using this approach (e.g. 99% scale with 0.1msec Time would give you .01*0.1 = 0.001 msec offset between channels). The downside is, the 'leading' channel will always be the right one, unless you use something like a 'Stereo Width' block before and after the delay block to swap L&R and then swap them back again.

All the usual cautions regarding phase apply to this. If you take it too far, you'll start getting phasing/cancellation issues, so make sure to always check the final output summed to mono and through a good set of monitors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 7/24/2020 at 1:56 PM, donkelley said:

 

You're very welcome!  Thanks so much for your appreciative remarks! :-)

 

 

Well while that seems like a good idea, there are pros and cons to what you suggested, and it isn't just a technology limitation, actually, it's a physics limitation... and the current solutions work really well and are pretty much all we are able to do, based on physics.

.....(Meaning, the way we play live, and the way room sound is heard by both microphones and our ears, how a cab being recorded for an IR file is in a room and your FRFR speaker is also in a room, and how live sound standards already just use a single mic on a single part of a single speaker on your real cab... all work together to make any changes to that a limitation of physics, not what our modelers and IR technology are capable of doing).

 

...

 

 

True and short of some new quantum mechanical approach to modeling that would leverage but not violate other laws of physics I understand there are physical constraints on what can be done; but I believe it is possible to emulate those laws more accurately and comprehensively in the modeling world than we are currently. Modeling has already come along quite a bit since we started and it ain't done yet.

 

 

Quote

 

Multi mic IRs do exist.  I have some - they can be amazing.  The ones I use are still done with all close miking, mostly still trying to avoid the room sound.

 

Quickly I will touch on the problem with having a mic or two further back to get the tone of your cab better recorded:

- Mic further from amp gets much less level from the amp, and therefore pics up OTHER sounds much more.  In a room, your amp's sound is reflected back surprisingly loudly by walls, particularly the wall it faces, but all walls reflect back a ton of sound... floors are horrible for this, even carpeted floors (carpet just reduces some high frequencies, but it's still there, and mids/lows are not reduced at all by carpet).    So you have a mic a foot or so away from your amp, pointing at it, maybe at a bit of an angle... seems like a great idea, right?  And such things DO exist, by the way.  But now that mic picks up early reflections from floor and walls, which are NOT an attractive sound, generally.  Not something you want baked into your tone, since when you place your FRFR speaker down and play through it live, it has it's own fair share of early reflections and "speaker in a room" sound, not the cab effects, no, but still it's a speaker in a room... and having the original room sound in the IR on top of your frfr or pa speaker sitting in a room with it's early reflections too... well it CAN sound pretty horrible, I'm afraid.

 

 

Yup, well aware that multi mic IRs exist. I have many of them. I fully acknowledge that getting room reflections that sound good can be difficult and that there are plenty of reflections you don't want to capture but a properly designed room can sound great and I don't see anything wrong with capturing those reflections. Recording artists frequently select specific studios or even old castles to capture the way certain spaces reflect sounds. I think digital modeling can ultimately use those kinds of signature rooms/spaces to good effect for quickly and efficiently getting a great tone. Perhaps a more advanced IR or call it something else if you want(IR+?) might include a certain amount of reverb, EQ, and post processing built in to more faithfully render a given tone in a specific room or even outdoor space.  That would also require a modified "IR+" processing engine.

 

 

Quote

 

IF you want distant miking of your cab (distant being anything other than right next to cone), then getting room sound mixed into the tone is a nasty side effect that is nearly impossible to avoid, hence my repeated points about room sound being baked in. 

 

Room sound is, initially and mostly, a bunch of early reflections, and, just like when recording vocals, you want no room sound at all normally and recreate it electronically afterwards to give you full control over the mix and tones. 

 

 

I agree. With the sort of more complex and comprehensive IRs I am describing there would be a "baked in" result that would make them less conducive to customization. That is not necessarily a bad thing though. Not everyone relishes the prospect of having to dial in an IR and manually add the attributes of a great room. Many would prefer to "point and shoot". I believe there is an appreciation and need for more complex IRs that require little to no tweaking although there are some that already hit that bar. This will still leave literally hundreds of thousands of IRs available for those who prefer to add their own finishing touches after the fact. Again it goes back to catering to not just studio savvy users and tweakers who prefer extensive control over their sound, but additionally getting a great sound quickly for those who prefer a simpler, faster, and more straightforward approach.

 

 

Quote

 

So the compromise is that mose are made in GREAT sounding, well treated rooms, in recording studios where the walls are properly aligned to reduce early reflections of the same length, and so on.  But even then, we normally don't want it to sound like ANY room at all, since playback with a speaker will, normally, be in another room when you use your helix.

 

HOWEVER, there are folks to have tried distant miking for a cab IR - and I'm certain that there are uses for it, if you can live with the side effects that I described in this post.

 

 

You may well be performing in a completely differently constructed room or space than the advanced or more complex IR you select that included room/space reflections, but this "venue to IR" inconsistency applies to other effects as well. Reverb jumps immediately to mind. In much the way you might not want to select a cavern or stadium reverb when you are playing a small club, or even just too much reverb, you would have to be judicious in your use of IRs that included audio information from the room/space.  You could argue that it is completely inconsistent and nobody playing in a 50 seat bar should be modeling an 8x12 Marshall stack but that's never stopped anyone and surprisingly it can sound great on the right tune and preset, all without hitting 140 decibels. :-)

 

 

Quote

YES!  Helix doesn't support super long cab ir files, but a major competitor does, and people play with those some.  However, despite what the inventor of the competing product says, nearly all cab ir libraries try to avoid room sound and early reflection sound because of the reasons I described, and also because a cab IR file that is a convolution of such a long cab IR recording is going to be a very big file, and it will take a LOT of cpu processing power to work with it in real time.  In hardware, the world does have such power available (it's sort-of in the competitor product but you lose slots when you do so), but it's expensive to add just for some potentially difficult to work with cab IR files that might sound bad when you play through FRFR in another room....  in a world dominated by short cab IR file standards, and it so far hasn't proven worth the effort to become a supported standard.  Maybe it will prove itself one day, but for now it's a niche thing.  Audio engineers are used to working with close miked cabs and can do great stuff with them.  We are also used to working with distance miked cabs, and they too can sound amazing in recordings... but you NEVER get that sound in a live environment.

 

I think the jury is still out and it is a matter of opinion as to whether or not these more elaborate and larger IRs "haven't proven worth the effort". Even if I were to concede the point that they haven't yet, I don't believe that means that they won't in the relatively near future. As far as expense goes, computing power continues to increase(as do prices) but we may find that the cost of the hardware necessary for this kind of processing will decrease even if it does not deliver exactly the same price point of the current Helix.  I believe that we WILL at some point get so close to the sound of a live environment that most listeners will be unable to distinguish it from the real thing. That probably will accompany a gradual change as to the expectations for what a "live" sound is. It will probably require modifying how we build our PA speakers and monitors(if we continue to build them at all, see next paragraph) and listening technology along with how we do our modeling, cab creation, and IR capture.  I think it is fair to say that the PowerCab is one of the first in a generation of hybrid equipment that seeks to meet that challenge.

 

It may only be science fiction now but there may come a day where an entire audience is wearing IEMs and there is no PA. If that ever happens we will be having a very different discussion regarding issues like "amp in the room" and horn dispersion and how the sound changes depending on where you are standing in relation to the speaker/PA/monitor.  When listening with IEMs, changing where you are standing doesn't change the sound. Everyone gets their own customized mix at the volume they prefer and it remains excellent no matter where they are seated in the stadium or room.  Nosebleed section would sound just as good as the seats behind the centrally located FOH mixing board. Outdoor stadium concerts could last until 3am with nary a neighboring homeowner complaining to the cops. I agree you can do incredible things with the technology and IRs available right now but it is enjoyable and I believe can be productive to meander as to where modeling can improve and may move towards in the next generation.

 

 

Quote

Another note:  YOU CAN MAKE Your OWN CAB IR FILES!

 

I know but making my own IRs only has limited appeal to me at the moment. The wealth of inexpensive or free IRs available already, made as you pointed out under much more ideal circumstances than I would probably provide, has not compelled me to do that yet although I find it intriguing and will probably get around to it at some point. Probably starting with some of the apps that allow you to mix, match, and modify existing IRs rather than making them from scratch. 

 

For the most part I agree with your points regarding the abundance and excellence of what is already available as well as the flexibility to engineer it to our preferences. I also like to speculate on what might come next. Particularly when I see new parts of the puzzle being innovated regularly by various modeling companies including Line6. Call it a proletarian approach to tone design but getting a great tone, at least on stage,  is something that any guitarist with a decent ear and a fairly modest level of technical proficiency has been able to produce in the past. For live use I would prefer not to see that level of tone production excellence move to being reserved solely for technocrats and engineers although that is certainly the level of expertise I prefer for a finished product like an album or even a live performance done for thousands(or in pandemic-speak, groups over ten people)  :-) 

 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, HonestOpinion said:

 

I think the jury is still out and it is a matter of opinion as to whether or not these more elaborate and larger IRs "haven't proven worth the effort". 

 

 

Totally!  I agree with literally everything you said.  From your prior post it wasn't clear to me that you had actually tried all of this stuff and knew about it - but also I wanted to describe the pros and cons here for reference for others reading in the future.  :-)

 

I was suggesting similar "but it actually can be done, and could sound good" reactions, like you, after my "this is why we don't" paragraphs LoL, because I too like the idea of that and have played with those CAB IR files (not on a helix).  They are really cool - but... I work like a recording engineer when I do this stuff, so I really do prefer the traditional (studio method) of working with a dry file and adding the wet effects (room sound etc) electronically after the cab block.

 

But yea, totally.... there are not only ways to do it now (outside of helix, maybe a little bit within helix if it's still a short convolution file), but it's music we're making here... and guitar (or bass or whatever) that we're playing through this (probably in real time)... so just use the tech to work how we each want to use it to get the sound that inspires us!

 

If baked in room sound is a good sound, then yea, go for it!  I am aware of some of the experiments with cab ir files... just that in my own experiments with those files, they were more of a special case use, not an every day use.

 

But just like how we all have some form of HOF reverb now (well, many of us anyhow) on our real or virtual pedal boards.... for some big room sound.... we can do the same thing with big room cabs, no matter if we're in a big room or playing through headphones.  I personally feel that doing so, and then actually playing through a big reverberant room would end up being headache inducing... but that is more from my own single test of that theory than lots of experimentation.

 

Cheers!

 

Also, if you have suggestions from experimenting of long cab IR files that sound good for you, please post ideas here!

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
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.


×
×
  • Create New...