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IR db setting..


surfsup1955
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Starting going over a few old patches and thought I'd pull out my IR files and try them again, mostly from Ownhammer.  I've had them for years but have been using the stock cabs 100%.

 

Anyway, my question is (couldn't find the answer anywhere when I searched), is that I find setting the IR "level" at 0db is necessary to clearly hear the tonal differences when scrolling through and sampling the IRs.  Since the default db on the IR block is -18db, which is a long way from zero, I was curious how most of you set yours? 

 

Thx  

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IR block at 0dB? Using any "normal" IR (which usually are normalized to 0dB), that's an incredibly high boost. With most of the IRs I'm using, at -18dB things are roughly perceived as loud as with the IR block on bypass. I just checked with some Ownhammers I have (those once given away as a freebie), and it's pretty much like that with them.

Whatever, I think it's the wisest idea to keep the volume more or less the same with and without IR block.

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13 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

IR block at 0dB? Using any "normal" IR (which usually are normalized to 0dB), that's an incredibly high boost. With most of the IRs I'm using, at -18dB things are roughly perceived as loud as with the IR block on bypass. I just checked with some Ownhammers I have (those once given away as a freebie), and it's pretty much like that with them.

Whatever, I think it's the wisest idea to keep the volume more or less the same with and without IR block.


Interesting, thanks!  I agree that keeping the volume the same would be the wisest course but at -18db, the IR doesn't add much value to the amp block nor is there enough sonic detail to discern any real tonal differences while scrolling between IRs.  The gains, masters and channel volume levels on the amps I'm messing with (PRS Clean and Cartographer) do have some headroom to play with so I'll go back and crank those up  and see how much i can bring the IRs down.  

 

Any other input is welcome.

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3 hours ago, surfsup1955 said:

I agree that keeping the volume the same would be the wisest course but at -18db, the IR doesn't add much value to the amp block nor is there enough sonic detail to discern any real tonal differences while scrolling between IRs.

 

The IR doesn't change its sonic properties just because you turn the volume of the block up. If you can't hear a difference, either turn up the patch volume or don't bother with different IRs (it might not be worth bothering in case the differences are *that* small).

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3 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

The IR doesn't change its sonic properties just because you turn the volume of the block up. If you can't hear a difference, either turn up the patch volume or don't bother with different IRs (it might not be worth bothering in case the differences are *that* small).

 

Piddle'n with it this morning, I bypassed the IR and pulled the patch up in volume via mostly the FRFR and a bit on the amp settings. Reengaged the IR, tweaked the block level and found that -16 is actually the flattest setting for the patch.  At -17 there is a db cut and at -15 there is a db increase.  Too many years of guitars, motorcycles, and jet engines on these ears...Thank you, I think I'm on the right path now.      

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@surfsup1955.... I see you have sorted this out, I'm just adding that I have always found the default setting of -18 to be a SAFE zone to start with. Just a little minor tweaking from there is all you should need. 

 

Another thing I don't see mentioned in this thread is the MIX parameter. 

Under normal circumstances, make sure that is set to 100% for a cabinet, which is the default setting unless you change it! Anything less than that will allow some "non cabinet" tones through, which would not be normal. Sure, there might be times you will want to experiment here, I'm just laying out the best place to start :) 

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13 hours ago, codamedia said:

@surfsup1955.... I see you have sorted this out, I'm just adding that I have always found the default setting of -18 to be a SAFE zone to start with. Just a little minor tweaking from there is all you should need. 

 

Another thing I don't see mentioned in this thread is the MIX parameter. 

Under normal circumstances, make sure that is set to 100% for a cabinet, which is the default setting unless you change it! Anything less than that will allow some "non cabinet" tones through, which would not be normal. Sure, there might be times you will want to experiment here, I'm just laying out the best place to start :) 


Thanks and good point. Yep, I have messed with the mix just for grins but am definitely running at 100%

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For a Cabinet IR 100% mix is "Normal" and most probably sound better this way but let your ears be the judge! I will say that in the case of using an IR to simulate an acoustic instrument, many times 100% mix is NOT the best sound. I often get better results at a lot less than 100% in those cases.

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14 hours ago, guitarno said:

For a Cabinet IR 100% mix is "Normal" and most probably sound better this way but let your ears be the judge! I will say that in the case of using an IR to simulate an acoustic instrument, many times 100% mix is NOT the best sound. I often get better results at a lot less than 100% in those cases.

 

Definitely.  I run my acoustic preset IR mix at about 80% to pass through a bit of string dynamics.  I use 3 Sigma Acoustic IRs and I actually have the IR level at about -3db which is driven by K&K Pure Mini under saddle pickups > Gain Block > Studio Mic Pre > IR.  I found cranking the Studio Pre up too much can get harsh.  After what I've learned this week, I may go back and try retweaking it too..   

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-18dB seems to be a good middle ground / ballpark for an overall gain reduction from power amp output level to studio level:

 

Consider +4dBu (studio gear level) as an ideal mic-ed signal level which is defined as 1.22V. +18db amplification would bring you to roughly 10V.

A Fender Deluxe Reverb i.e. can provide up to 13.3V AC RMS to it's speaker.

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13 hours ago, surfsup1955 said:

 

Definitely.  I run my acoustic preset IR mix at about 80% to pass through a bit of string dynamics.  I use 3 Sigma Acoustic IRs and I actually have the IR level at about -3db which is driven by K&K Pure Mini under saddle pickups > Gain Block > Studio Mic Pre > IR.  I found cranking the Studio Pre up too much can get harsh.  After what I've learned this week, I may go back and try retweaking it too..   

I've also been using the 3Sigma Audio acoustic IR's. I've been having really good luck lately using them with an electric guitar that has piezos in the bridge. The 3Sigma IR's with that guitar are giving a really inspiringly good acoustic sound. I've used their IR's in the past but I was never as impressed with them as I am right now. I also have a number of patches that don't have any amp or preamp block in them at all with those IR's and the acoustic sound is really good without them. 

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6 hours ago, guitarno said:

...I also have a number of patches that don't have any amp or preamp block in them at all with those IR's and the acoustic sound is really good without them. 

 

Interesting, how are you driving the volume for those patches, outboard DI or 'active' guitar preamp?

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18 minutes ago, surfsup1955 said:

Interesting, how are you driving the volume for those patches, outboard DI or 'active' guitar preamp?

 

Both the IR block and the output blocks offer way more than sufficient volume boosts to produce a healthy output. Add to this that you can always add a gain block or whatever. All FX blocks have additional output volume leveling, too.

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12 hours ago, surfsup1955 said:

Interesting, how are you driving the volume for those patches, outboard DI or 'active' guitar preamp?

 

The Studio Pre and Amp models add a lot of color.... I'm sure the reason "guitarno" is saying he doesn't use those, is because his acoustic IR is the color. 

For that type of setup.... and if you need more gain/volume, the simple "gain" block is very transparent (no added color/tone) and gets the job done. 

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Mine usually stay at or near that -18dB mark, sometimes if I have a tone with a drastic EQ settings I'll need to turn them up or down just a little. If things are that quiet, you should probably just turn the output volume up with the IRs at the stock setting until you can hear all those differences. As noted turning up that IR level doesn't change the tone, it just changes how you perceive it due to volume. All things equal, as long as your output meter is still flashing green you can do whatever you want internally with the levels, though. 

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42 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

As noted turning up that IR level doesn't change the tone, it just changes how you perceive it due to volume. All things equal, as long as your output meter is still flashing green you can do whatever you want internally with the levels, though. 

 

This is it, folks... practically every block has a level control, and whether you choose to boost by 3 dB in the IR block, or output block,  EQ block, etc etc, makes no difference. 3 dB is 3 dB no matter where it's coming from, and any perceived tonal change is simply due to the fact that you've made yourself louder.

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1 hour ago, gunpointmetal said:

All things equal, as long as your output meter is still flashing green you can do whatever you want internally with the levels, though. 

Iif you refer to the output block turning black/green/red: Sadly that's not true, it gets red 12dB above the max USB output level. That means you are only safe from output clipping if your volume knob is max @12o'clock (= -12dB) and you're not using Global EQ to boost.

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18 hours ago, surfsup1955 said:

 

Interesting, how are you driving the volume for those patches, outboard DI or 'active' guitar preamp?

I have been adjusting the "db" value of the IR and/or the Level value of the snapshot at the output block. I had struggled with volume/gain levels and volume matching between presets in my previous experiences with the Helix, but I am now trying to make my presets "more or less" level in volume to an empty patch. That means that for gainy amped signal chain for driven electric guitar sounds, I am turning down the channel volume so that it is close to the empty preset level. That makes it a lot easier to have balance with an acoustic signal chain without an amp. I am still experimenting with this setup and haven't used any of this live yet (like where am I going to play right now anyway, right?...).

 

I am going to start building presets with 2 separate signal chains, 1 for cranked electric guitar and 1 for acoustic sounds and I hope to get them both in the same neighborhood volume wise. I am going to use a guitar with 2 separate outputs, 1 regular mags, and 1 piezo with these presets.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, sturge said:

Every IR I have tried has been set to -18. Is this an industry standard or something? If so, why -18?

 

Good question.  The level setting you're seeing and referring to is the default level setting of the IR block which Line 6 designed to load your 3rd party IRs.  It is set to -18db no matter which brand or type of IR you select.  I assume the other modeling units (Kemper, AxeFX, etc) that provide IR support are set the same?      

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6 minutes ago, surfsup1955 said:

 

Good question.  The level setting you're seeing and referring to is the default level setting of the IR block which Line 6 designed to load your 3rd party IRs.  It is set to -18db no matter which brand or type of IR you select.  I assume the other modeling units (Kemper, AxeFX, etc) that provide IR support are set the same?      

IRs are usually normalized so that they are (roughly) as loud as they can get. The AxeFx cab block default level is 0dB. 

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On 10/16/2020 at 3:03 PM, guitarno said:

I have been adjusting the "db" value of the IR and/or the Level value of the snapshot at the output block. I had struggled with volume/gain levels and volume matching between presets in my previous experiences with the Helix, but I am now trying to make my presets "more or less" level in volume to an empty patch. That means that for gainy amped signal chain for driven electric guitar sounds, I am turning down the channel volume so that it is close to the empty preset level. That makes it a lot easier to have balance with an acoustic signal chain without an amp. I am still experimenting with this setup and haven't used any of this live yet (like where am I going to play right now anyway, right?...).

 

I am going to start building presets with 2 separate signal chains, 1 for cranked electric guitar and 1 for acoustic sounds and I hope to get them both in the same neighborhood volume wise. I am going to use a guitar with 2 separate outputs, 1 regular mags, and 1 piezo with these presets.

 

 

 

That's certainly a different approach, look forward to hearing your results - might try building one myself later today?

 

What do you mean by "1 regular mags"?  

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What do you mean by "1 regular mags"?  

 
I mean the regular magnetic humbuckers. I recently bought a PRS Hollowbody II Piezo and that's the main guitar I'm working with for these presets. It has 2 output jacks. 1 for the regular humbuckers ("Mags") and 1 for the piezo output.
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On 10/20/2020 at 11:04 AM, guitarno said:

What do you mean by "1 regular mags"?  

 
I mean the regular magnetic humbuckers. I recently bought a PRS Hollowbody II Piezo and that's the main guitar I'm working with for these presets. It has 2 output jacks. 1 for the regular humbuckers ("Mags") and 1 for the piezo output.

 

Ah, ok..I've often wondered how useful having a piezo on a solid body electric would be - however having one on a hollowbody certainly makes more sense.

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On 10/16/2020 at 11:56 AM, Schmalle said:

Iif you refer to the output block turning black/green/red: Sadly that's not true, it gets red 12dB above the max USB output level. That means you are only safe from output clipping if your volume knob is max @12o'clock (= -12dB) and you're not using Global EQ to boost.

The volume knob doesn't change the USB levels, AFAIK, and nobody should be using the global EQ as a boost unless they only play in a totally controlled environment. While there is no "wrong" way to do it, that's not what the global EQ is for.

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4 hours ago, gunpointmetal said:

The volume knob doesn't change the USB levels, AFAIK, and nobody should be using the global EQ as a boost unless they only play in a totally controlled environment. While there is no "wrong" way to do it, that's not what the global EQ is for.

Well, DA conversion clipping is obviously wrong. If i.e. your floor monitor lacks bass in a venue it's perfectly fine to adjust to it by boosting low frequencies with the Global EQ. I'd argue that's it's intended purpose - adjusting to acoustic environments.

The volume knob doesn't change the USB levels.

Analog output level before DA conversion: USB/recording level + cut from volume knob position (full = no cut) + Global EQ

Level destined to Out1/2 before DA conversion: USB/recording level + cut from volume knob position (full = no cut) + Global EQ

Edited by Schmalle
Sloppy language
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3 hours ago, Schmalle said:

Well, DA conversion clipping is obviously wrong. If i.e. your floor monitor lacks bass in a venue it's perfectly fine to adjust to it by boosting low frequencies with the Global EQ. I'd argue that's it's intended purpose - adjusting to acoustic environments.

The volume knob doesn't change the USB levels.

Analog output level before DA conversion: USB/recording level + cut from volume knob position (full = no cut) + Global EQ

Ok, when I read "boost" in reference to guitar I'm thinking as a solo boost. Yes, that is what the global EQ is for. You're losing me with the "analog output level before DA conversion" because there is no analog level prior to a DA conversion. Last time I checked, the output meter turns red when you're digital signal is going to clip the analog output. 

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39 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

Ok, when I read "boost" in reference to guitar I'm thinking as a solo boost. Yes, that is what the global EQ is for. You're losing me with the "analog output level before DA conversion" because there is no analog level prior to a DA conversion. Last time I checked, the output meter turns red when you're digital signal is going to clip the analog output. 

Right, sorry for my sloppiness there. What I actually mean is the level of the digital signal for Out1/2 before it's DA converted and becomes the analog signal on Out1/2.

Level destined to Out1/2 before DA conversion: USB/recording level + cut from volume knob position (full = no cut) + Global EQ

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