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Adam_F

OwnHammer IRs - lots of bass and mud, need lots of EQ - is it normal...?

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Hello there!

 

I've been wondering - is it normal that IRs need so much EQ to make them sound decent?

 

I've recently purchased the OwnHammer Core Tone Bundle, and the IRs seem to me very bassy and muddy and lack punch, as if the cab was covered with a thick, heavy blanket...

 

For instance, with a simplest of setups - Plexi Bright model with stock settings, basic OwnHammer Marshall cab IR (OH 412 MR82 M75A from the Summary folder), I found myself using quite heavy EQ to make it sound at least acceptable, to remove the heavy blanket, so to speak.

 

I put the Cali Q Graphic after the IR with settings like this:

80 Hz - 0 dB

240 Hz - -4 dB

750 Hz - -2 dB

2200 Hz - +4 dB

6600 Hz - +4 dB

 

IR low cut - 100 Hz, high cut - 6,5 kHz

 

The guitar used is a Gibson Les Paul Junior Tribute DC with a P90 pickup.

 

I listened through headphones (AKG 271 MkII) and  monitor speakers (Alesis Active M1 Mk3).

 

I tried comparing to the tone to AC/DC's Back in Black and The Cult's Electric album (yes, of course, I know - different pickups , mics and all - just trying to get in the ballpark, not looking to copy the tone exactly!)

 

So my question is - do you also find that you need to EQ IRs so much, is it normal?

 

Cheers! :)

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The reason there are 12 bazillion IRs on the market is that one man's "mud" is another man's "chunk". And since those terms are entirely subjective, each company has it's own way of identifying which of it's IRs sound like whatever they call it.

 

Ownhammer has at least two ways of doing it. From the manual for the bundle that I have:

 

“BOLD” is a mix that has a forward midrange with a slightly relaxed top and bottom end.

“BROWN” is a more pleasing derivative of the “brown sound”, using a similar hardware configuration.

“CL1” is a page from classic rock, using only condensers and ribbons which are pulled back a little from the cab.

“CL2” is a thicker and slightly darker version of CL1.

“CUT” is comprised of an on-axis 57 and off-axis 57 mic combination.

“CUT+121” adds a 121 mic to the Quick-Start CUT mix recipe.

“CHUNK” is a more “fat” sounding version of the BOLD mix.

“JPS” is a ‘Studio’ voiced mix using hardware utilized by a legendary Long Island prog rock/metal guitar icon.

“JPL” is the darker ‘Live Sound’ counterpart based on documented placements used for this artist’s touring rig.

“JS” is a multi-mic configuration created by Jon Symons.

“MDRN” is comprised of a 57 + 421 mic combination.

“OH1” is comprised of a 57 + 121 mic combination.

“OH1F” is comprised of a more “fat” sounding 57 + 121 mic combination.

“OH2” is comprised of a 421 + 121 mic combination.

“OH2F” is comprised of a more “fat” sounding 421 + 121 mic combination.

“OH3” is a darker mix originally intended for live sound, but also excels with brighter pickups/guitars for studio.

“OH3F” is comprised of a more “fat” sounding version of the OH3 mix.

“RIP” is comprised of a 57 + 160 mic combination.

“SP2” is a multi-mic configuration created by Scott Peterson.

 

Their newest (r)Evolution series uses a totally different code.

 

Your only hope is to read the manual that comes with your bundle and try a few different IRs from different categories.

 

While you're exploring this rabbit hole, don't forget to play your guitar!

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3 hours ago, Adam_F said:

Plexi Bright model with stock settings, basic OwnHammer Marshall cab IR (OH 412 MR82 M75A from the Summary folder), I found myself using quite heavy EQ to make it sound at least acceptable...

 

High and low cuts are your friend, and will be necessary most of the time (at least for dirty tones) whether you're using IR's or stock cabs. The Tilt EQ is also a huge time saver (relative to the graphic or parametric EQ's) for getting rid of problem frequencies, wherever they reside.

 

I use the Plexi Bright a lot, and I have that same OH IR bundle...but in my experience, the stock settings for the majority of the amp models in Helix do me no good at all, perhaps more so for the various Plexis. I've got the bass dialed down usually somewhere between 2 and 3, otherwise there's just way too much low end.

 

Bottom line, you have to experiment... and you really can't assume that any of the stock settings will be at all useful..sometimes they're downright baffling.

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I like the stock cab on the Brit Plexi Brt as is.

For ACDC stuff use stock settings with following changes:

Drive, Bass, Mid,Treble all at 5.

Lower Bass and Mid a bit to taste for more kerang.

Presence is at 5 to 7 depending on how bright the sun shines that day.

Back of Tone and Volume on the guitar a bit.

Experiment with pickup height, too.

 

To reduce mud here is on trick that emulates the C45 switch on Friedmans:

Tilt EQ block before the amp Brt50, CenFreq 670Hz, Level +4,5dB.

 

Sound Sample (Telecaster direct recording - all pickups, different volume knob settings)

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Ownhammer literature suggests a a 3.0 dB cut at 400Hz with a pretty wide Q. Nick Hill on YouTube did a nice walkthrough on setting it up within the Global EQ..

 

Screenshot_20200827-143605.thumb.png.288fa5f968dbf2f0f04786db220e3c56.png

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I use a lot of Ownhammer IRs and have for several years now across a lot of different styles of songs and different guitars and I can't say I've ever had any real problems with getting good, solid tones out of them with very little EQ adjustment.  But as was pointed out by rd2rk, you have to be selective about what mic and mic positioning you use as that, more than anything else, determines the baseline of the tone you're going to get.  The most I've ever had to EQ typically is a simple high cut of around 8khz and a low cut around 125hz, and sometimes a minor adjustment using the low/high shelf and that's it.  If you're doing more than that I'd suspect you'd be better off selecting a different mic combination and positioning.

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22 hours ago, Vic_Winters said:

Ownhammer literature suggests a a 3.0 dB cut at 400Hz with a pretty wide Q. Nick Hill on YouTube did a nice walkthrough on setting it up within the Global EQ..

 

Screenshot_20200827-143605.thumb.png.288fa5f968dbf2f0f04786db220e3c56.png

But if someone does that with the tube amp that is modeled in the helix, won't it have that slight mid scoop already?  I'm not the thread guy but I do not understand why we should have to eq to simulate a tube amp if we are already simulating a tube amp. 

 

I guess though that maybe the OP could try setting the presence and depth to 0 to get that particular tube amp scoop tone and see if he likes it.  Strange suggestion from the ownhamer company I think though, right?  I hope the helix already does this stuff already if it is modeling the tube power amp.  sorta strange too - they said the tube power amp presence and depth - do tube power amps have presence and depth controls?  I thought only preamps have controls like that.

 

I totally am learning it all myself here right now.  I just do not understand why they would suggest that.  seems wrong somehow LoL

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Think of it this way: You wouldn't just take your amp head from one cab to another and expect the same settings to work exactly. If you grab a different cab/IR you should expect to adjust the amp controls for the cabinet. I've only used a handful of OH ir's, but turning the virtual amp dials got me 90% of where I wanted to be, which is about as good as any cab/IR that I've tried except for ML Soundlabs. ML stuff sounds "right" to me for the most part.

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1 hour ago, gunpointmetal said:

Think of it this way: You wouldn't just take your amp head from one cab to another and expect the same settings to work exactly. If you grab a different cab/IR you should expect to adjust the amp controls for the cabinet. I've only used a handful of OH ir's, but turning the virtual amp dials got me 90% of where I wanted to be, which is about as good as any cab/IR that I've tried except for ML Soundlabs. ML stuff sounds "right" to me for the most part.

yea, exactly.  I am just not understanding it i guess.  So... you change the amp settings.  In the amp model. why do they say to "add a eq with parametric curve" blah blah in the cab or after/before the cab? 

 

The amp model should do that, if you set the tone controls like they suggested.

 

i am coming at this new to the helix, but this seems kinda wrong, right?  Hahaha, if you know what i mean.  that company should say to set your amp model like they suggested. 

 

i guess maybe they are saying that you do not have to use a tube amp model, instead you can mimick it with the eq thing?

 

but the guy in this thread who was asking about the tone of the IR product is, presumably, using it with amp models... and thinking it should sound like a cab with his amp models and not need a eq stage to mimick the amp model with the right tone control settings.

 

 

i must be missing something.  keep in mind this is totally new to me.  please, thanks, sorry for not understanding?

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25 minutes ago, Dogaral said:

yea, exactly.  I am just not understanding it i guess.  So... you change the amp settings.  In the amp model. why do they say to "add a eq with parametric curve" blah blah in the cab or after/before the cab? 

 

The amp model should do that, if you set the tone controls like they suggested.

 

i am coming at this new to the helix, but this seems kinda wrong, right?  Hahaha, if you know what i mean.  that company should say to set your amp model like they suggested. 

 

i guess maybe they are saying that you do not have to use a tube amp model, instead you can mimick it with the eq thing?

 

but the guy in this thread who was asking about the tone of the IR product is, presumably, using it with amp models... and thinking it should sound like a cab with his amp models and not need a eq stage to mimick the amp model with the right tone control settings.

 

 

i must be missing something.  keep in mind this is totally new to me.  please, thanks, sorry for not understanding?

I think you're over-thinking the suggestion a little bit. The quoted thing regard EQ is suggesting that a driven tube power amp will change the EQ slightly to have a low-mid scoop compared to a solid-state amplifier that doesn't change the tone at all. There's no real reason to do the EQ suggestion unless you're having an issues with the tone. A slight EQ cut is not going to dramatically change the tone, nor is it going to be accurate to every tube power amp one might come across. Use your ears and dial it in till it sounds good. My original post was directed towards the OP where he mentioned stock settings on an amp model, then having to do crazy EQ stuff after the cab IR to get it sound good. My suggestion would be to treat the amp model like a real amp that you're changing cabs with. If you have a Marshall dialed in for a Marshall cab w/75w speakers, you can't just transfer those settings over to a Mesa cab and have it sound as good/the same.

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Micing a cab is an art in itself. A cab sounds different on every angle and distance. Microphones have their own sound. Also they record less high frequencies when angled and they have a proximity effect that affect the bottom end.

So what is the right cab sound?

How it sounds on your favourite recordings that you got used to?

How it sounds in your practice room? Where do you stand and on what angle do you listen?

How it sounds live on stage? Who miced and mixed the sound? How much does the amp bleed to the audience vs the miced sound through the PA?

At what volumes do you listen? - The Fletcher Munson effect states that you percieve sound differently at different volumes.

More things like hearing fatigue etc also affect cab sound.

 

The art is to make it fit - for the player, in the mix, musically, emotionally.

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On 8/28/2020 at 4:17 PM, Dogaral said:

why do they say to "add a eq with parametric curve" blah blah in the cab or after/before the cab?

 

Because sometimes there are problem frequencies that you need to target with more precision than the bass, mids, and treble knobs on the amp model allow. 

 

Quote

 

The amp model should do that, if you set the tone controls like they suggested.

 

Modelers are not amps, and FRFR speakers and/or headphones are not guitar cabinets... and neither will respond exactly like their real- world counterparts. To use modelers and FRFR outputs effectively requires that you think more like a recording engineer than a guitar player... and that means developing an understanding of EQ, and how various different types of mics (and their placement) affect guitar tone.  

 

 

Quote

 

i am coming at this new to the helix, but this seems kinda wrong, right?  Hahaha, if you know what i mean.  that company should say to set your amp model like they suggested.

 

Don't fixate on anybody else's settings, recommendations, or recipes for success. Just because something works for me, doesn't guarantee that it'll work for you... and neither one of us is "right" or "wrong". In the end, you have to experiment. A LOT. Turn knobs until it sounds good... where any one particular knob lands is wholly irrelevant.

 

Quote

 

i guess maybe they are saying that you do not have to use a tube amp model, instead you can mimick it with the eq thing?

 

but the guy in this thread who was asking about the tone of the IR product is, presumably, using it with amp models... and thinking it should sound like a cab with his amp models and not need a eq stage to mimick the amp model with the right tone control settings.

 

Start with some YouTube Helix tutorials... there are dozens, if not hundreds to choose from. I recommend Jason Sadites' channel. Learn to build a simple patch, and really understand what the various tools at your disposal actually do... it's the only way. Merely duplicating someone else's settings is a fast track to failure. You have to find what works for you... and a thorough understanding the device and the basics of recording is the only way to do that... because what all modelers are designed to do is produce recorded guitar tones. That's what a lot of neophytes miss. They assume that it's just supposed to magically produce the same sounds they've heard their whole lives, from a guitar amp a few feet away... but that's not what's going on here. What you're hearing is the sound of a mic-ed amp, monitored through some other output. In short, what the engineer at the desk hears in the control room... not the sound of the amp itself blaring away in the live room next door. Those are two very different sounds.

 

Quote

 

 

i must be missing something.

 

You just lack experience, as we all did initially. As I said... modelers are not guitar amps, and treating them like one does not work. The learning curve is steep, but it's not insurmountable... it just requires time and effort...considerable time when you're new to it. You will not master this device, or any other modeler for that matter, in a few hours on Saturday afternoon.

 

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Tube amps that are used for shooting IRs should have current feedback from the speaker to compensate their non-linear amplification that is caused by them being current amplifiers so that the impedance curve of the speaker impacts the actual volumes at different frequencies. The current feedback line often has two controls for sound shaping: depth/resonace and presence. These should be set neutral when shooting IRs.

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Thank you all for your input :)

 

Should anybody have a similar problem, here's the settings I've settled for (for the moment ;) as a sort of starting point:

All EQs after the IR block in this order:

Low and High Cut EQ: Low Cut 100 Hz, Hi Cut 5 kHz

Simple EQ: Low Gain +1, Mid Freq 275 kHz, Mid Gain -3, High Gain +3

Tilt EQ: Bright 75, Center Freq 400 Hz

 

I've decided to stick to the IR from the Summary folder - other variations of the IRs sure do sound a bit different, but all of them sound dark and muddy anyways without the EQ above, and I guess the IR from the Summary folder gives me a good generic tone of the speakers in question, so I don't have much of a need to delve into the myriad of possibilities the range of IRs has to offer.

 

I'm quite sure that at gig volumes the sound might be too bright now (Fletcher-Munson, and all that), and I might probably raise the high cut if there was a problem with cutting through the mix - but it sure sounds good on my speakers and headphones now.

 

Of course, YMMV and all that... :)

 

Cheers!

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I get lots of strange frequencies on OH Orange IR's.  

I recently just picked up celestiondigital's orange pack and it's a lot better to my ears.  Less raw.  Fewer strange frequencies.

I pretty much only use Orange IR's since that's what my real cab is so I can't speak to the other ones that much.  I have OH's heavy hitters II pack and their mesa cab bundle, but I just never use them.   

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I purchased the GNR 25 MMC as well as their new Evolution bundle. I use the sounds from the summary folders.

 

My experience was somewhat similar initially in that I found the IR's to be a bit bass-heavy or muddy or whatever term you may use. However, this may be because I was comparing to the stock cabs which have a different (more flat ??) frequency response. Using a low cut at 110 - 130 Hz in the IR block helps a lot and for high cuts (in the IR block) I go around 4.5 - 6 depending on the amp model. For the Plexi Brt the first thing I do is turn down the master volume and the gain. The master volume defaults to 10 but I start with setting that at around 8. Drive is set to taste and depends on what I want to play. Next, lower the bass and play a bit with treble and presence to get a decent balance over the whole range. To get a more tight bottom end I almost always add a tube-screamer with gain at 0.5, tone at default and the level at around 8 or 9 (which is also the reason I turn down the drive on the amp). Works great and give you nice and very versatile (hard) rock tones. That said, the Plexi Brt model can easily become quite aggressive/harsh so be careful with the presence and treble, in particular if you're also going live with this amp. I changed most of my patches to work with the Placater Dirty model. This model is amazing and gives you a very wide range of distorted tones.

 

Other than this I don't use EQ (with an exception here and there of course).

 

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What good does it do to discuss your EQ corrections unless you specify what configuration of mics and mic placements you're using on the IR and what kind of output device you're using to listen to it?  Every bit of the frequency range gets affected when any of those things change and certainly one set of EQ adjustments won't be effective for all setups and settings.  Even within the Summary folder of Ownhammer IRs there's still quite a bit of diversity in tone.

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6 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

What good does it do to discuss your EQ corrections unless you specify what configuration of mics and mic placements you're using on the IR and what kind of output device you're using to listen to it?  Every bit of the frequency range gets affected when any of those things change and certainly one set of EQ adjustments won't be effective for all setups and settings.  Even within the Summary folder of Ownhammer IRs there's still quite a bit of diversity in tone.

 

This should be emblazoned across the front of the Helix box, preferably accompanied by a slap in the face and a stern "Read this!" from the FedEx guy as you're signing for it. It would save tons of grief, not to mention wasted money on someone else's presets. ;)

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