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Have not used IRs. Feeling a little FOMO....


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I use a Stomp XL and a Powercab 112+. I have not gotten into IRs (yet). I'm feeling a little FOMO. Should I be? Am I really missing out on something amazing?

 

Looking at the new 3.5 version, there seems to be a fair bit of emphasis on IRs, so people must love them, right?

 

Is it not just a "different" way to represent a speaker. And how might that implicate using the Powercab? Are IRs better on the PC or less of an impact?

 

Thoughts??

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To me, IRs have a place. They are amazing if you have a lot of money and free time.

 

To get the best possible sound you will want an IR. Each amp pushes certain frequencies. Each speaker has its own freqs it likes. If the two dont match up, you will not sound as good as it can get. So you either need a lot of really good IRs or some way to make your own. Then you have to try them all out with the amp you want to use to find the "magic" one that works with that amp. This is where the problem is with IRs. Finding the right IR. After you scroll thru about ten IRs they all start to sound bad/weird. At this point most people fall into a rabbit hole and are never happy with the sound. You just cycle thru 100's of "too dark", "too fizzy", "No bass", "WAAHHH", "SKREEESH", "KAAAA" etc.

 

No IR sounds great for every type of playing even on the same amp and settings. One IR may sound great for low note chords but its too fizzy for higher stuff.

 

Most speaker sims have a microphone piece. What if you dont want a mic sound. In your case, using a powercab, you may want it to sound like the speaker. Not a speaker that has been mic'ed.

 

One thing to think about is if you want all of your sounds to have the same tone. You can use the same speaker sim or use the same IR on all of your sounds. You may get a better result if you can find/make an IR that works with that tone across all of your different amp setups.

 

Using the speakers in the Line 6 stuff is the easy button. It will get you 96% there with very little effort. And you may actually learn some things about micing an amp while your doing it. Where using IRs requires some thought about what you want and how to get there. And even then its a roll of the dice finding the perfect IR.

 

EDIT: Another thing to think about is if you have to EQ a speaker sim. If you have the IR as a WAV file, you can edit/EQ the IR and save yourself some DSP usage. This is crucial for low power DSP units.

 

Even if you are using a built in speaker, you could run that speaker thru Room EQ Wizard and create an IR of it. Then EQ it in a sound editor. This gives you a lot of freedom to get the best possible sound. But again, it takes a lot of time. Most people would rather play guitar than spin knobs and tap keys all day.

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The original Helix cabs were "hybrid" IRs. The core cab was an IR and the mics were EQ.

The new 3.5 cabs are pure IR. Many IRs shot and moving the mic segues to a different IR (as I understand it).

Update to 3.5 and dive into the IR world for FREE! And without having to buy, download and audition thousands of separate IRs - just drag the mic around and try new mics and positions with a workflow that up until now has only been available in software.

And it sounds really good. I have many thousands of commercial IRs and while I'll probably continue to use some of them, for the most part the new cabs will be getting used for most purposes.

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The main reason I use IRs is for convenience.  I have a set of around  80 or so loaded with different variations of speakers and some differences in mic and mic placements.  For any given preset and amp it's very easy to quickly cycle through the various IRs to get a feel for what's going to sound best.  I'll probably try the new cabinets with dual mic setups and see how easy they are to dial in a sound but the problem will still come in making comparisons between different configurations on a given preset.

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On 11/5/2022 at 12:50 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Are you sure about that? And if so, how do you know?

 

Helix Cab is an algo, not an iR. Official description;

 

"We call the speaker emulations in Helix “hybrid cabs”, because they use a number of proprietary algorithms to reproduce the same frequency and dynamic accuracy typically seen in a 2048-point impulse response, but at far lower DSP usage.
Not only that, a hybrid cab allows you to move the microphone from directly on the grill to up to 12 inches away (in .5 inch increments), and accurately captures the proximity effect/bass boost of the microphone in all positions while doing so. All
of this detail means that the speaker cabinet reacts just like the real thing, not just sounding better but feeling better under your fingers.
Due to the efficiency improvements hybrid cabs offer, it’s actually possible to run up to four speaker cabinets at once in Helix (depending on DSP load), all with different microphones and microphone positions!
The main thing to get out of all of this is that while Helix offers the ability to load third-party impulse responses, you shouldn’t feel that it’s necessary to do so to get fantastic tones. HX cabs offer authentic speaker and microphone behavior with more flexibility and lower DSP usage, leaving you more processing headroom for effects."

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On 11/5/2022 at 2:46 PM, PierM said:

Helix Cab is an algo, not an iR. Official description;

 

Yeah, I have been reading that already. But where does it say that the old cabs were IRs and the different mics were done using an EQ under the hood?

It's not that I couldn't understand how this could be done (you could for instance measure the sonic differences from one mic to the next and create Match EQ setting to represent the differences), but I never heard/read it was done that way with the old cabs.

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To all who responded, You guy are amazing! I loved reading all the posts and I'd like to respond to everyone because you all brought value to this, now misguided FOMO! But this really captured it....

On 11/4/2022 at 10:46 PM, Mako2112 said:

To me, IRs have a place. They are amazing if you have a lot of money and free time.

 

Ok with that said, now I have more of a Powercab question. One of the nice things about the PC, is that the Helix preset don't need a Cabinet. This saves on DSP and let's the PC do it's thing. But in this case, using the 3.5 IRs seems counter to that. Is there anyway I can move those 3.5 IRs into the PC and run them from there?

 

How does that Helix/PC dynamic work? If I use an IR in the Helix should I set the PC to FLAT?

 

Thank you all again!

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On 11/5/2022 at 3:48 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Yeah, I have been reading that already. But where does it say that the old cabs were IRs and the different mics were done using an EQ under the hood?

It's not that I couldn't understand how this could be done (you could for instance measure the sonic differences from one mic to the next and create Match EQ setting to represent the differences), but I never heard/read it was done that way with the old cabs.

 

They are not an iR, that is not a correct way to describe them. An iR is a finite sample that will linearly convolute the input to a range of specific freqs, each one with its unique level and at a specific octave (and much more). The helix cab does emulate an iR, using dedicated algorithms to simulate the elements that are needed to do an impulse response. (simulation). Mic placement, Mic model, pre-delay, cab model....each one of these is an algo, then we dont know what's the reference model for each one of those. Could be a lookup table, (less memory than an audio file, more DSP efficient), who knows. But a Cab cannot be an iR as a photo isnt a CGI render.

 

Not better, not worse, just different ways to achieve similar results. :)

 

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On 11/5/2022 at 5:50 AM, SaschaFranck said:

 

Are you sure about that? And if so, how do you know?

 

Something I read long ago and no, I don't remember the source.
 

It was discussed long ago

On 11/5/2022 at 7:46 AM, PierM said:

 

Helix Cab is an algo, not an iR. Official description;

 

"We call the speaker emulations in Helix “hybrid cabs”, because they use a number of proprietary algorithms to reproduce the same frequency and dynamic accuracy typically seen in a 2048-point impulse response, but at far lower DSP usage.
Not only that, a hybrid cab allows you to move the microphone from directly on the grill to up to 12 inches away (in .5 inch increments), and accurately captures the proximity effect/bass boost of the microphone in all positions while doing so. All
of this detail means that the speaker cabinet reacts just like the real thing, not just sounding better but feeling better under your fingers.
Due to the efficiency improvements hybrid cabs offer, it’s actually possible to run up to four speaker cabinets at once in Helix (depending on DSP load), all with different microphones and microphone positions!
The main thing to get out of all of this is that while Helix offers the ability to load third-party impulse responses, you shouldn’t feel that it’s necessary to do so to get fantastic tones. HX cabs offer authentic speaker and microphone behavior with more flexibility and lower DSP usage, leaving you more processing headroom for effects."

 

Interesting. I don't know if this was what I read and I inferred that they started with an IR or what.
If they are pure algos then they did a pretty good job. I never thought they were all that bad and the variance between commercial IRs of the same cabs and speakers inclined me to believe that they were "hybrids" of an IR and an algo.
 
I've also been known to drink American beer, so what do I know?
 
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On 11/5/2022 at 8:52 AM, adagosto said:

Ok with that said, now I have more of a Powercab question. One of the nice things about the PC, is that the Helix preset don't need a Cabinet. This saves on DSP and let's the PC do it's thing. But in this case, using the 3.5 IRs seems counter to that. Is there anyway I can move those 3.5 IRs into the PC and run them from there?

 

How does that Helix/PC dynamic work? If I use an IR in the Helix should I set the PC to FLAT?

 

As it currently stands, the Powercab stores single IRs and the magic in the 3.5 IRs is how they meld as you drag the mic around so no.

I'm hoping that the reason we haven't seen an update to the Powercab is that they were waiting for this new tech to be proven before incorporating it in an update along with L6 Link fixes and a new PC Edit for the cab/mic UI. Hoping.

 

I've tried both FLAT and RAW as well as FRFR. Try them yourself and use what sounds best to YOU.

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On 11/5/2022 at 4:13 PM, PierM said:

They are not an iR, that is not a correct way to describe them.

 

Well, but all too apparently, whatever baseline models (used embedded in whatever algorithms) still seem to be based on IRs - at least that's what Digital Igloo said somewhere.

If possible, it obviously makes all the sense in the world to rather have whatever IR-based baseline models represented by whatever algorithms, as that allows for seamless transitions between mic positions, so in case L6 did just that, more power to them (and the new cab blocks are really great, even if I couldn't find a replacement for the handful of IRs I shot, mixed and manipulated myself over the years). After all, the CPU efficiency of the new cab blocks is quite astounding.

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And then there's this, posted by DI today over on TGP:

 

"The reality is that 3.50 added thousands of IRs, shot with those cabs and those mics at those distances, positions, and angles. If there was some special sauce added, we’d mention it, even without a peek under the hood. In this case there really isn’t any—just brute-force IR capture.

Older Hybrid cabs, however, while also “IR-based,” are very different."

 

What's a poor guitar player to think?

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On 11/5/2022 at 6:28 PM, rd2rk said:

And then there's this, posted by DI today over on TGP:

 

"The reality is that 3.50 added thousands of IRs, shot with those cabs and those mics at those distances, positions, and angles. If there was some special sauce added, we’d mention it, even without a peek under the hood. In this case there really isn’t any—just brute-force IR capture.

 

Yeah, that's why I was wondering in the first place.

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So far I'm finding I like the new Cab models/IR... whatever they are...more than the PC speaker models.

 

I am setting up my preset with just  an Amp block, then a new Cabinet block into the PC set to Flat.

 

I really hope they optimize these for the PC and send that out to us as an update to the PC.

 

Only scratching the surface.

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On 11/5/2022 at 12:46 AM, adagosto said:

I use a Stomp XL and a Powercab 112+. I have not gotten into IRs (yet). I'm feeling a little FOMO. Should I be? Am I really missing out on something amazing?

 

Looking at the new 3.5 version, there seems to be a fair bit of emphasis on IRs, so people must love them, right?

 

Is it not just a "different" way to represent a speaker. And how might that implicate using the Powercab? Are IRs better on the PC or less of an impact?

 

Thoughts??

If you want to find out on the cheap, i'll sell you my Ownhammer collection at half price.

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I guess despite my claim in the last post, I'm OCD and have a hard time "letting go." I found the old forum post which had a lot of detailed discussion on this, quotes, etc. So if you want to deep dive:

 

 

Also, I can't be sure if this is just repeated in the above thread, but these are more pertinent posts:

 

 

The observations of thsi final one are interesting, BUT I quote it primarily because it references an early Helix Blog post that talked about stock cabs being made from IRs, but the blog post as it was no longer exists. So requotes of this early marketing material seem to be all that we have left:

 

There you have it. Data. Interpret it as you will I guess, but only my interpretation is the enlightened one because I'm special.  

 

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On 11/7/2022 at 2:11 PM, Kilrahi said:

There you have it. Data. Interpret it as you will I guess, but only my interpretation is the enlightened one because I'm special.  

 

 

Thanks for taking the time to do that. I knew I'd seen it in the past but was too busy (lazy) to dig it all up.

I'm saving a link to this thread for the next time it comes up (next week?). ;-)

 

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Definitely get custom IRs. The problem is you will likely have to sort thru thousands.

 

I found the original cabs in Helix to be quite dull in comparison to a good quality IR, so I never used them much. While I had hoped the update would really change that, well it hasn't, in my opinion. Believe me, I wish it were not the case- I've been tweaking the living daylights out of the new cabs in 3.50, but they still don't compare to the best custom IRs out there. 

 

A LOT more goes into a quality IR than just speakers and mic positions.

 

Here's a couple great free ones, the first is a Marshall cab good for ac/dc, metal, etc.
 

 

The second is essential to creating a truly decent Master of Puppets era sound.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy, and look up some tutorials on how to use them properly if needed.

 

 

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Fwiw, quite some IR companies have dragged their free teasers (or entirely free portfolio) back more or less recently. RedWirez is out of the game (their free Marshall cab hooked me back in around 2008), Ownhammer has no teaser anymore and Seacows is now distributed by Audio Assault.

 

Whatever, here's my main two live IRs. They're pretty far from sounding like most other IRs (and incredibly loud, for whatever reasons which I could sort of describe) but I used them pretty much exclusively on the Floor for around 3 years.

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On 11/15/2022 at 3:08 PM, SaschaFranck said:

Fwiw, quite some IR companies have dragged their free teasers (or entirely free portfolio) back more or less recently. RedWirez is out of the game (their free Marshall cab hooked me back in around 2008), Ownhammer has no teaser anymore and Seacows is now distributed by Audio Assault.

 

Whatever, here's my main two live IRs. They're pretty far from sounding like most other IRs (and incredibly loud, for whatever reasons which I could sort of describe) but I used them pretty much exclusively on the Floor for around 3 years.

 

There seems to be something going wrong with the IR files which people are uploading. It looks as if there was an error when you uploaded yours, but also in an earlier post in this thread the attached media files which should be .wav format are downloaded as "attachment.php". The php thing is something to do with the server AFAIK. If the server is corrupting the uploaded .wav flies then maybe it would be wiser to put them into a folder and then zip it. Possible less chance of the file screwing up even though they are very tiny before zip compression. Just a thought.

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On 11/15/2022 at 5:38 PM, datacommando said:

There seems to be something going wrong with the IR files which people are uploading.

 

With Firefox under macOS I'm getting an option to rightclick the player (which is automatically being added - I don't think it has always been like that), allowing me to select "save audio as" or "copy audio adress" - both resulting in a file with .wav extension.

Whatever, here's the last two zipped.

SF_Live_IRs.zip

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On 11/15/2022 at 4:42 PM, SaschaFranck said:

 

With Firefox under macOS I'm getting an option to rightclick the player (which is automatically being added - I don't think it has always been like that), allowing me to select "save audio as" or "copy audio adress" - both resulting in a file with .wav extension.

Whatever, here's the last two zipped.

SF_Live_IRs.zip 6.46 kB · 0 downloads

 

The option in Safari shows, Download Audio, Download Audio As... or Copy Audio Address - using any of these options results in a file named "attachment.php" being downloaded - very strange indeed.

 

Just Now I have discovered that the other 2 options in Safari are - Open Audio in New Tab or Open Audio in New Window - selecting either of those options results in the correct IR .wav file downloading directly to the Downloads folder on the Mac. Weird!

 

Your zipped folder works perfectly by simply clicking on the file. Thanks.

 

Either way - Solved

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Fwiw, I have a bunch of IRs I created to suit some individual HX amp models (obviously so I would like them), might post them whenever I find the time to sort them out a bit.

Thing is, over the years I learned that mids are a guitar player's best friend, so I always try to bake some of them straight into the IR already (usually I'm looking for some baseline IRs of my own featuring "interesting" mids and then I might cut away some lows and highs in addition).

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On 11/15/2022 at 8:08 AM, SaschaFranck said:

Whatever, here's my main two live IRs. They're pretty far from sounding like most other IRs (and incredibly loud, for whatever reasons which I could sort of describe) but I used them pretty much exclusively on the Floor for around 3 years.

I had to rename the files to .wav but they worked. for some reason they had a long alphanumeric after the filename. 

 

I A/B'd them on some cabs and my marshall IR above.

 

@SaschaFranck what do you think of the Marshall off axis I put above, compared to yours? If you slip it into an existing patch of yours using the gen01, tell me what you think the difference is. Also what kind of sounds are you going for with those IRs?

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On 11/15/2022 at 8:57 PM, DJ5D said:

what do you think of the Marshall off axis I put above, compared to yours? If you slip it into an existing patch of yours using the gen01, tell me what you think the difference is.

 

As said above, mine is sounding pretty thick and mid-heavy. In comparison, yours sounds more shallow. And that shallow character is exactly why I started shooting and baking my own IRs some years ago. There's nothing wrong with your IR, might even be working better on recordings, but for live purposes, the ones I created (fwiw, I usually go for the slightly brighter one) suit me better as they never seem to get lost in a band setting.

 

On 11/15/2022 at 8:57 PM, DJ5D said:

Also what kind of sounds are you going for with those IRs?

 

All kinda sounds I need for live playing. When I had the Floor (I scaled down to a Stomp which is only working as an FX unit on my current live pedalboard, the modeling duties are taken care of by an Atomic Amplifirebox and a NUX Amp Academy, both running a pretty similar IR, only slightly adjusted to suit the amp models a bit better), I was always only using one patch for live, within that patch I had two amps loaded, usually a Princess or Cali IV Rhythm 1 for cleans and a Line 6 2204 Mod or Mandarin 80 (both at pretty low drive settings, so I could slap dirt blocks in front)  for any overdriven tones. The entire palette of tones within that one patch was ranging from very clean to solid rock, including all kinds of lead boosts and what not. Served me just fine for a plethora of gigs (my current board is serving me better, though).

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On 11/15/2022 at 1:36 PM, SaschaFranck said:

As said above, mine is sounding pretty thick and mid-heavy. In comparison, yours sounds more shallow.

 

That's interesting. When I swapped yours into my presets it was kinda dark, but seemed like a good all-around IR. Probably amp settings differences (I tried it on a metal patch I was working on but didnt tweak the amps or fx yet)

 

I like the Marshall 3_01 off axis for 80s metal tones because to my ears it has multidimensional sound.

 

We ought to swap presets- I haven't really had a chance to swap with someone and get feedback on how they sound on different systems. Can you shoot me a preset you created with your IR?

 

Here's one I've been tweaking that uses the Marshall IR - I used Dimarzio Humbuckers, sounds good with Fishman Actives too (with pad set to on). For passives global settings pad should be off and In-Z set to auto, gate is set to -40db. If you are on computer gain staging is at around -18db on the mixer.

 

Going for the Iron Maiden "2 minutes to midnight" rhythm sound here, reverb only for rhythm and all FX on for leads. You may need to tweak EQ/hi cut depending on your system, I have Event 20/20 full-range monitors and Mackie Thump 15s for getting the live PA feel.

 

Helix preset:

 

Powerslave.hlx

 

 

 

IR below:

 

 

Feedback appreciated from anyone. Tweaks to the patch as well! 

 

Note: I reuploaded the Helix patch because the first had the patch on the wrong A/B setting.

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On 11/15/2022 at 8:23 PM, DJ5D said:

Are these files I have uploaded above having the same issue?


Hi.

 

I had the problems that I mentioned in my earlier post regarding the .php file and the real download was actually made to work with the “Open Audio…etc.” option in Safari on the Mac. 
 

I’m at home right now using an iPad, and it is impossible so select and download your IR files, but the “Powerslave.hlx” works as exactly expected, no problem.

 

Actually, I really have no particular interest in any of these IRs, it’s more to do with the downloads being renamed as .php files, which has started to happen a lot quite recently, and not just on the Mac platform. This forum and it’s general maintenance is getting bad once again.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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On 11/15/2022 at 6:34 AM, datacommando said:


If you want to check out free IRs, check out this thread that was started yet @HonestOpinion way back at the dawn of Helix.

 

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

 

 

Thanks for the reminder this is out there! With luck it will spur some new contributions or be a source for some players looking to try out some IRs.

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