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Dual cab sims being "too mcuh"?


ChaserHUN
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I was wondering. A lot of times I saw people using dual cab sims/IRs in their presets. Whenever try to use them I feel it's a bit overwhelming, the sound is somehow not as clear or defined as with one cab sim/IR. Feel the tone is a bit more saturated no matter if I am building a guitar or bass preset. 
Do you have the same feelig or am I missing here something? Or simply I am just not putting together the right cab sims/IRs?

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The only real use I find for dual cabs is when I use stock cabs and want a specific pair of different mics and mic placements.  I never use dual IRs as IRs can be captured with various mic combinations and placements, so there's no need.  I do use a lot of IRs that are shot with dual mic setups.

Other than that I'm not sure I see any real benefit from dual cabs.  Multiple mic IRs is a different matter however.  I do occasionally use IRs with multiple mic and mic placements, in one case as many a five different mic and mic positions, as that can make a significant difference in the overall realism of the cabinet's sound.

However, as is the case often with the Helix, I think people use multiple cabs because they can...and then convince themselves of the benefits.

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If you sum the signal coming from the dual cab block, it will be about 3dB louder than a single cab block, so perhaps some of what you're hearing is simply the volume change. You can account for that boost by lowering the level of each block.

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Since cabs are mono, the main advantage I see is in the studio, for stereo imaging. But, the effectiveness diminishes in complex arrangements. In a simple arrangement (e.g., power trio) or LCR mixing, being able to place two mono sources in a stereo spread opens up the sound. With a dense arrangement, dual cabs can just add clutter. As to whether the OP is "missing something," it's more likely he's not missing that often, less is indeed more.

 

My main application for multiple cabs is with multiband processing. Then each cab can be optimized for a specific frequency band. However, it's just as likely that the multiple cabs end up in mono, for the reasons given above. Think of it this way: a bi-amped studio monitor is like having two cabs, one for the lows, and one for the highs, but in the same enclosure and creating a mono point source. I'm basically making a virtual cab with low, low mid, high mid, and high speaker drivers in the same virtual enclosure. So it's more like a "big single cab" sound than something that's perceived as a dual cab, or stereo.

 

FWIW back when I used two amps on stage, they were in stereo but right next to each other. People thought I was stupid to have a stereo setup that didn't spread out the sound, but what the audience heard was two sounds essentially mixed in mono. I often create that same kind of effect with Helix. 

 

Finally, another use for dual cabs is putting them in parallel, and throwing one path out of phase. You still end up with the sound of a single mono cab, but everything the cabs have in common cancels, and what's left are the differences. Even though there are two cabs, the sound is thinner than a single cab, and sometimes can fit well in complex mixes. On the other hand, you can't really anticipate what the sound will be until you try it...sometimes it works, but sometimes it totally sucks :)  HTH

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