A thought on that 'cab in the room' feeling.

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by quadraphonics, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. quadraphonics

    quadraphonics Member

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    I had an odd thought last night, when thinking about amp and cab modeling. I think we can all agree that the actual amp modeling technology has improved greatly in the last little bit; and we as players have a great selection of products to choose from (whether they match everything we would want a unit to do is another matter entirely). The biggest improvement recently has to be in the cabinet modeling, which is why people are adding ESPi units or CABs to rp1000s and HDx units.

    And while this is a pretty good solution, I don't think that it quite gets us there. Many of these cab IRs are recorded much the way one would record an amp in a studio; by placing a nice microphone up on the grill, slightly off axis with some room microphones as well. This can sound pretty good, but it is, at least partially, missing a bit at to how we hear an amp when we play.

    When playing, we are usually a few feet out in front of an amp, facing an audience(either real or imagined). The sound from that amp is coming to us in a number of different ways: though direct sound from the speakers, early reflections, delay/reverb from those reflections coming off of the walls and returning, etc. But the biggest source would be the direct signal coming from behind us.

    And here is part of why Some of us might be missing that amp in the room feel ( minus if course the tactile sensation of air movement). This sound doesn't really sound correct to us, because it isn't taking our Head Related Transfer Function into account.

    This is something that smarter minds in the pro audio community have been working on for a while now. The best example is probably the Smythe Brithers ( the initial scientists behind the DTS technology). They have created a system to take impulse responses, using the listeners head, of listening spaces and their headphone box will properly recreate the environment up to 7.1 surround sound.

    I was wondering how well that would work for guitar cabinet modeling? Could we benefit from looking at capturing IRs using a binaural head microphone, or even better, a system like the Smythe Brothers have come up with? Or would this be a case of reality being less exciting than what has been manufactured?

    Just something to think about.

    Randall
     
  2. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

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    I thought amp in the room was just that, in a room, normal room, not a stage.

    I personaly dont like that feel from the amp behind me that much, i like it when the floor monitors are well balanced and the guitar tone hits me that way.

    There is a headphone amplifier thats very expensive but has a similar tech of what you are refering from the DTS technology, makes you feel in a room and propertly places the sound source, always wondered how would a modeler sound like in such unit.

    Ill try to find the name of it and post it later.
     
  3. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    There are Far Field IRs available where the Cabinet impulse response was captured at a distance with a room mic. I think Jay Mitchell is a proponent of FF IRs and has a couple in the AXE FX library.

    Capturing IRs this way is similar to what you describe.

    I am of the opinion that lot of guys that complain about "amp in the room" just are used to either not hearing their cabinets well live and have little idea of what their rig sounds like in the FOH... Or are used to their cabinet shooting straight in their face in a small room and have no experience with how that same cabinet sounds Mic'd and Recorded or played through a PA system.

    I encourage everyone to record themselves... see if you can get a recording off the FOH mixer at your gig sometime.... that can be humbling.
     
  4. Lain

    Lain Member

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    Do you even have a house?
     
  5. Souper

    Souper Member

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    Going to great lengths to apply 21st century technology to emulate 20th century technology will surely one day come to a halt. At some point the digital revolution will happen, and valves and cabs and emulation of both will be history.
     
  6. quadraphonics

    quadraphonics Member

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    It is by Smythe research and is called the a8 realizer.

    Even with front firing speakers, the shape of the ears will play a big role in how we hear an amp. You, as a studio person, understand this. I am using the amp on stage as an example. The big point I am making is that we might benefit from taking our physiology into account when capturing IRs to improve their perception.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
  7. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Agree completely with all four paragraphs.
     
  8. Steve Dallas

    Steve Dallas Supporting Member

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    I don't see it that way at all. A real guitar cabinet simply sounds and feels different than an IR. I miss the immediacy and bounce, and most of all: chime. I also miss the movement of air from the sound pressure changes. Modelers sound great, and I use them sometimes, but I simply cannot adapt to hearing studio sound through monitors in a live situation. It takes me out of my zone, and I don't play well out there. It took me 25+ years to become so set in my ways. Perhaps in 25 more, I can wean myself off of wanting the sound of a real cabinet.
     
  9. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

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    Well, to fully use that sound in an IR we would need, IMO, somethig like the Lodigy EPSi because that will enter te convolution field.

    I have done some very interesting sttff using SpeakerPhone pluging and the Waves Doppler+S1 imaging plugings.
     
  10. kmanick

    kmanick Member

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    Exactly.
    I thought going FRFR was great (for me) until I dragged my CLR to a couple of band rehearsals and found that no matter how loud I cranked that thing up it still "felt" very thin and 'reproduced" when mixed in with the other guitarists Bogner rig. When I am playing live I do not want to hear a "recorded playback "of my amp through a monitor , I want to hear and feel my amp.
    The sound through FRFR was fine, but I had zero connection to my rig and it made me play like crap, so back to my tube rig. I think the Axe II and the Kempers are fantastic products, I think the playback systems are the weak link. Maybe a good 2X12 FRFR cab or the 4X12 Xitone is playing around would change things for me....I'd have to try it, but having a 1 X12 wedge didn't cut it.

     
  11. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    I think you are confusing things a little bit. Nothing sounds like an "amp in the room" like guitar cabinet in the room... period. The OP references "capturing" that sensation in an Impulse response for headphone/FRFR/recording/FOH environment.

    I am totally on board with your statement and the only way to get a modeller to truly sound like a traditional amp in the same context is to use a power amp + guitar cabinet in whatever combination applicable.

    But we're talking about ditching the cabinet and reproducing that through other means.
     
  12. Jay Mitchell

    Jay Mitchell Member

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    "We" are taking our physiology into account in capturing IRs. Consider that the HRTF that matters while playing through a speaker is the player's and that it is always present and active when (s)he is playing. Given that, the important piece to capture in an IR is the direct (i.e., no room reflections) sound of the cab as it would reach the player's ears. Everything else will take care of itself. FWIW, no close-mic'ed IR can capture the sound I describe here. If that's what you want, then techniques other than close-mic'ing will be required.

    If you want to create a realistic illusion of "cab in the room" via headphones, then a simulated HRTF might be helpful. Otherwise, the actual HRTF is all you ever need, and nature has already provided it.
     
  13. lspaulsp

    lspaulsp Gold Supporting Member

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    You guys are beating a dead horse.
    The same one you beat up last week and the week before.
    It's starting to stink the place up. Haul it off. Get a live horse. :anon
     
  14. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

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    Its an inside joke fom another thread... dont pay too much attention to it.
     
  15. db9091

    db9091 Member

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    This topic made sense when talking entirely about headphones & FRFR's.

    But now you can plug into a cabinet.

    This entire topic becomes moot when you plug your modeler into a real cabinet.

    Problem solved.
     
  16. Jay Mitchell

    Jay Mitchell Member

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    "You" have always been able to "plug into a cabinet."

    That is true if and only if you are happy to give up one of the most powerful benefits of modeling: the ability to create the characteristic sounds of different guitar cabs without having to lug them around or tolerate the onerous sonic penalties they extract.... Many modeler users, myself included, have no such willingness.

    Or not, depending on your POV.
     
  17. 3dognate

    3dognate Supporting Member

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    Good to know .... it was weird and out of place. I deleted my earlier response
     
  18. quadraphonics

    quadraphonics Member

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    Yes, while I didn't say it directly, I was really referencing a direct situation, where using an amp is either not practical or possible.

    You are correct, the movement of air is a big part of the amp in the room feeling. Outside of a transducer, that is something that will always be missing in a modeling situation. What I am looking at, is the sound; how it interacts with the room as well as how ones ear shape affects the sounds.

    Randall
     
  19. quadraphonics

    quadraphonics Member

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    I agree with this quite a bit. I love being able to experiment with different cab combinations on my modelers. It is not just fun, but a good learning experience for me. It wouldn't be financially reasonable for me to have several 2x12 and 4x12 cabinets in my house, as well as the various power amps to drive them.

    I understand that there are. Number of people who don't feel this way, and that is great. This is a subject where there isn't really a right or wrong answer. I just feel that in certain situations, taking a different approach to generating IRs might create a better user response.

    Someone further up mentioned that the fractal folks do this with some of their IRs. Truth be told, I haven't yet had the opportunity to play with an Axefx.

    Randall
     
  20. quadraphonics

    quadraphonics Member

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    Yes, but only when playing through a FRFR, correct?
     

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