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How important is the position of IR in signal chain?


alfredo_elia
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I have both Helix and the Powercab.

I wonder if I use the IR from Powercab it will be applied at the end of the chain, while when I used the IR block in the Helix patch it can be placed after the amp but before the reverb and delay.

How much this position (pre/post) delays and reverbs would affect the tone?

Thanks for those who will reply.

Alfredo

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On 4/14/2022 at 10:41 AM, alfredo_elia said:

I have both Helix and the Powercab.

I wonder if I use the IR from Powercab it will be applied at the end of the chain, while when I used the IR block in the Helix patch it can be placed after the amp but before the reverb and delay.

How much this position (pre/post) delays and reverbs would affect the tone?

Thanks for those who will reply.

Alfredo

 

No rules mate!

Try it both ways and use the one that sounds best to YOU!

How's this for a revolutionary concept - maybe on SOME presets it sounds best one way, and on other presets it sounds better the other way?

JUST DO IT!

 

Hmmm, I seem to have run out of applicable marketing slogans... :-)

  • Haha 1
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Tone is not affected by IR block position but beware that: 

 

  • IR blocks can change the signal level (usually the input level will differ from the output level) and this can lead to tone differences depending on the blocks following the IR (any block that reacts so input level will sound different, like the tape saturation block, for example)
  • IR blocks change the frequency content and this can lead some to blocks behave differently (the LA2A compressor for example)
  • IR blocks are mono, therefore any stereo signal will collapse to mono after the IR block.

 

 

 

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On 4/15/2022 at 10:16 AM, HotRats73 said:

Tone is not affected by IR block position..

 

 

Well one certainly wouldn't want to put the IR as the first thing in the chain... or anywhere else before the amp block for that matter. Yes, we all like to repeat the "no rules in modeling" mantra, but blanket statements like this overstate things a bit, because you really can't just toss your signal chain in a blender and let the chips fall where they may....because nine times out of ten you'll end up with a boiled turd as your end result. 

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On 4/15/2022 at 11:01 AM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Well one certainly wouldn't want to put the IR as the first thing in the chain...

Actually with my acoustic guitar presets I often put the acoustic IR as the first (or very early) block in the signal chain. My reasoning is that acoustic IRs are generally designed to emulate the tonal influence of the guitar body - which happens before the sound emanates from the sound hole where the mic is placed. All other signal processing comes after that.

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On 4/15/2022 at 11:06 AM, silverhead said:

Actually with my acoustic guitar presets I often put the acoustic IR as the first (or very early) block in the signal chain. My reasoning is that acoustic IRs are generally designed to emulate the tonal influence of the guitar body - which happens before the sound emanates from the sound hole where the mic is placed. All other signal processing comes after that.

 

Ok... an acoustic IR, perhaps... and I'll go ahead and assume that there's no amp block in that chain, either.

 

But good luck with mic/cab sims placed before an amp block. That'll be forever useless.

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On 4/14/2022 at 11:41 AM, alfredo_elia said:

I wonder if I use the IR from Powercab it will be applied at the end of the chain, while when I used the IR block in the Helix patch it can be placed after the amp but before the reverb and delay.

How much this position (pre/post) delays and reverbs would affect the tone?

 

IMO/IME.... once you get past the amp model, the importance of IR placement is "almost" irrelevant. There will be some exceptions of course. 

 

Try a test for yourself. 

  • Set your Powercab for Full Range (FRFR mode)
  • Open one of your presets in the Helix with an IR placed after the amp. 
  • Start moving the IR one block and a time (toward the output) and take note of any changes... I think you will find them less obvious than you thought they would be. 
  • NOTE: It is noted above already... moving it from one side of a compressor to the other is likely where you will notice the biggest difference... not because the placement changes tone, but because the LEVEL might have changed which always affects how a compressor reacts/sounds. 
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On 4/15/2022 at 12:09 PM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Ok... an acoustic IR, perhaps... and I'll go ahead and assume that there's no amp block in that chain, either.

 

But good luck with mic/cab sims placed before an amp block. That'll be forever useless.

Correct - no guitar amp; just a Tube Preamp block. And I agree about the mic/cab/IR before the amp block. Not good.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/15/2022 at 5:01 PM, cruisinon2 said:

 

Well one certainly wouldn't want to put the IR as the first thing in the chain... or anywhere else before the amp block for that matter. Yes, we all like to repeat the "no rules in modeling" mantra, but blanket statements like this overstate things a bit, because you really can't just toss your signal chain in a blender and let the chips fall where they may....because nine times out of ten you'll end up with a boiled turd as your end result. 

 

I was obviously referring to the normal use of a cab emulation and answering a question that clearly is about IR blocks placed after the amp.

But ok, next time I'll make it clearer for you.

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