Are modelers recorded direct good at these type of tones?

Messages
2,555
This thread is about how well amp modeling recorded direct (no cabs/FRFRs/mics) can produce sounds indistinguishable from real amps recorded via a not-so-close mic (ie. a recording setup designed to pickup the acoustics of the room). This is NOT a thread about comparing recorded sounds to how an amp in the room sounds to those in that same room.

I often hear comparisons between real amps and modeled tones that are very close, I also often hear recordings of mic'ed amps that I don't know that I've ever hear a modeler recorded direct reproduce well. Usually these are recordings in which "the room" is very present vs. direct mic'ed amps recorded to eliminate (or greatly minimze) the natural sound of the room they are in.

Usually these are very simple setups too. For example this one from Audley Freed has a ton of just phenomenal tones in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTA0CV6ULtU&feature=player_embedded

These are very simple, guitar-into-amp recordings with little (sometimes no) pedals involved. Just a simple mic'ed amp sound where you can hear some of the room in the recording.

The Germino recordings that our South African friend, Lance (aka GuitarTone), points to in these discussions are pretty good examples of this as well. (http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=991524&songID=10617885&showPlayer=true and http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page_songInfo.cfm?bandID=991524&songID=10617796&showPlayer=true)

So, it's not that there aren't examples that are amazing and even others where a real amp vs. modeler are indistinguishable. I'm just saying that I've personally rarely heard a modeler recorded direct that is indistinguishable from the types of tones in the links above.

9 times out of 10 attempts to reproduce these type of sounds via a modeler result in something that sounds somewhere between decent and great, but rarely the same. Usually it sounds closer / more in your face vs. a recording of a great amp sound mic'ed up in a room.

Are there examples of this that I've just missed somewhere along the way? Or, is this still pretty darn hard to pull off with these type of setups?

I would be interested to hear great examples of what I'm describing done by modelers recorded direct (vs. thru a cab / FRFR and mic'ed up).

Discuss....

<Caveats IfYouCare="yes">
I'm a big fan of modeling, partly because I'm a computer geek by trade and just dig technology and partly because it allows me to use the same setup live, home, recording, etc. w/o having to blow down the walls to get a tone I like.

I own and love an AxeFx Ultra. I routinely play both at home and live with it.

I've heard TONS of great tones from modelers.

I understand there is a difference (and always will be) between amp in the room and recording of amp in the room. I'm at peace with this.

I'm usually not very successful in recording sounds like I describe here when recording direct. I would LIKE to be.
</Caveats>
 
Messages
2,555
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-P1lKbwlrE

This ancient sound check of AC/DC at around 2:55 is a decent example as well. (the recording comes and goes so listen at 2:55 or you will not hear what I'm talking about.)... Just simple rockin' tones with a measure of room acoustics in the mix. I've never successfully duplicated these type tones with any modeler (personally) while recording direct.

I've owned most PODs (not the HD stuff), Tonelab and AxeFx to-date.

Probably just my level of expertise at this at fault vs. the modelers, but I don't struggle to record these type of tones using mics and amps.
 

GuitarTone

Senior Member
Messages
3,223
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-P1lKbwlrE

This ancient sound check of AC/DC at around 2:55 is a decent example as well. (the recording comes and goes so listen at 2:55 or you will not hear what I'm talking about.)... Just simple rockin' tones with a measure of room acoustics in the mix. I've never successfully duplicated these type tones with any modeler (personally) while recording direct.

I've owned most PODs (not the HD stuff), Tonelab and AxeFx to-date.

Probably just my level of expertise at this at fault vs. the modelers, but I don't struggle to record these type of tones using mics and amps.
Yep, that tone at 2:55 smokes...it's like the pickups, valves and speakers are alive & breathing.
Not sure how to get that 'recorded' tone from a modeller with my limited skills and a HD500, perhaps some studio trickery/mastery can pull that off with a modeller.
 

TheJudge

Member
Messages
455
One way to get where you want to go is to load up some IRs in your DAW and don't use any cabinet or mic sim in your modeler. Use a "ROOM" IR for one of your tracks/channels. Mix the room IR with a close mic SM57, MD421, a ribbon, or whatever else you want to use. I have found the Redwirez room IRs to be really good, and they give you quite a few mic selections and room choices.
 

TheJudge

Member
Messages
455
For example, with a Marshall amp sim, try a U67 Room Away IR on a greenback cab mixed with an SM57 cap on axis. You should get a really natural room flavor mixed with nice mid range bite from the SM57 for a classic marshall sound.

There was a great article put out by Sound On Sound about mic techniques for electric guitar. There were quite a few quotes from legendary engineers. The combination above is one that has been used a lot.
 
Messages
2,555
Any examples of what you are describing already recorded? I've never bothered with the IRs to-date. It would be nice to hear beforehand if possible.

I listened to some of the Ownhammer stuff a while back and thought it sounded a bit better than most of the Redwirez I'd heard to-date. Does Ownhammer have room away IRs as well?
 

Julia343

Member
Messages
7,611
Yep, that tone at 2:55 smokes...it's like the pickups, valves and speakers are alive & breathing.
Not sure how to get that 'recorded' tone from a modeller with my limited skills and a HD500, perhaps some studio trickery/mastery can pull that off with a modeller.
That tone smokes.

Yep, you can. Use the Greenback cab IR from Redwirez, use a doubler plug on the guitar for fullness, and use two send busses to two AUX channels. Both AUX channels have an incidence of Waves IR1 (efficient) with the venue IR of your choice (say Stockton Studio C) on them. AUX 1 has only the early reflections and adjust the amount on the send to taste depending upon how up front you want the instrument - more ER for further back in the mix. AUX 2 has only the tail with a pre-delay and adjust level and length to taste. It will completely alter the dry tone of the guitar and add ambiance and fullness. Run all the instruments through them to put all instruments in the same venue.
 

Bobby D

Member
Messages
11,821
For example, with a Marshall amp sim, try a U67 Room Away IR on a greenback cab mixed with an SM57 cap on axis. You should get a really natural room flavor mixed with nice mid range bite from the SM57 for a classic marshall sound.

There was a great article put out by Sound On Sound about mic techniques for electric guitar. There were quite a few quotes from legendary engineers. The combination above is one that has been used a lot.

THAT ^^^^ sounds like what i would try :YinYang
 
Messages
2,555
Julia343... wow. That's pretty involved. I had to read that a couple of time. I'm not sure I know what a "doubler plug" does (I don't own Waves - is this part of that suite perhaps?). Is it doing more than I get if I just copy/paste the track so that I double the recorded sound. I've done this lots historically.

Do you (or TheJudge) have any examples of these techniques to approximate the Angus tone I posted by chance. I would love to hear them if so.

Regardless you've given me some things to try that I have not to-date.
 

TheJudge

Member
Messages
455
Ok. I threw the following clip together just to demonstrate one possibility using IRs to mimic multi mic techniques. I used the following Redwirez IRs for the guitars:

Right Guitar -
Marshall 1960A G12M U67 Room Away
Marshall 1960A G12M SM57 Cap 2"

Left Guitar -
Marshall 1960A G12M U67 Room Away
Marshall 1960A G12M MD421 CapEdgeOffAxis
Marshall 1960A G12M Beyer M160 CapEdgeOnAxis

I just mixed the levels in Pro Tools since I had one mic for each track. It is very easy this way to raise or lower the level of the room ambience.

I hope this clip helps you hear one sample of what adding a room/ambience IR can do for you. Let me know if you have any questions.

http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=10701684
 
Messages
2,555
@TheJudge: I'm listening to what you posted in my headphones right now and playing with the EQ and balance a bit. To be honest that's quite a bit better than I expected. You may have just convinced me to trouble with the IRs after all.

What guitar is this? AxeFx or other? Effects / EQ in modeler, ProTools, both?

Thanks for taking the time to do this. Very educational for me to hear what you achieve and how.
 

TheJudge

Member
Messages
455
Hey Banjoze! You are welcome, and I am glad it is helpful for you.

The guitar is a 2004 Gibson Custom Shop Historic R8 Les Paul into my AxeFx standard. For the right guitar I used the bridge pickup and added a tape drive block in front of the amp. For the left guitar, I used the neck pickup and reduced the drive on the amp for a cleaner tone.

I did not use any EQ within Pro Tools.
 

Scott Peterson

TGP Co-Founder and Administrator
Staff member
Messages
37,536
What are we hearing in the clip? There's ambient room mixed in that feed - just listen to what the sound guy is doing there. You can hear a) the ambient mic up in the room first; then b) him pulling up each feed, and setting EQ (you can clearly hear him sweeping a parametric EQ on Malcom just before he pulls up Angus in the mix). Then vocals. So you have close mic'd speaker combined with ambient mic.

So the tone you are chasing is comprised of: a) Angus/guitar/amp/cab; b) close mic/ambient mic; c) EQ on board and viola. Duplicating that chain is a very good place to start. Don't miss that the final thing you are hearing is a parametric EQ.

To get that you need a close mic IR that works for the tone and then you need early reflections and reverb tails (the two components of the 'room' sound) to replicate the room you hear.

Farfield IR's will NOT, IMHO, generate that completely. You need to do it within the reverb block(s) if you are attempting to replicate this sort of tone with a direct recorded modeler. The early reflections balanced against the reverb tail is most important. In the Axe-FX it is pretty simple to do this using the early reflections and reverb levels and mix. Other processors without those parameters might need more than one block to do the same thing.
 

fr8_trane

Member
Messages
6,944
What are we hearing in the clip? There's ambient room mixed in that feed - just listen to what the sound guy is doing there. You can hear a) the ambient mic up in the room first; then b) him pulling up each feed, and setting EQ (you can clearly hear him sweeping a parametric EQ on Malcom just before he pulls up Angus in the mix). Then vocals. So you have close mic'd speaker combined with ambient mic.

So the tone you are chasing is comprised of: a) Angus/guitar/amp/cab; b) close mic/ambient mic; c) EQ on board and viola. Duplicating that chain is a very good place to start. Don't miss that the final thing you are hearing is a parametric EQ.

To get that you need a close mic IR that works for the tone and then you need early reflections and reverb tails (the two components of the 'room' sound) to replicate the room you hear.

Farfield IR's will NOT, IMHO, generate that completely. You need to do it within the reverb block(s) if you are attempting to replicate this sort of tone with a direct recorded modeler. The early reflections balanced against the reverb tail is most important. In the Axe-FX it is pretty simple to do this using the early reflections and reverb levels and mix. Other processors without those parameters might need more than one block to do the same thing.
Yup. The 2:55 tone that everyone is raving about is when the engineer brings up the close mic. The ambience is probably from the drum overheads.

Replicating a great live sounding guitar track is basically down to close mic + room mic or close mic + room reverb (unless yer going for a more ambient cavernous sound)

FWIW this is how good sounding drum tracks are made as well.

I can tell you that lots of guitars featured on big budget album have been incorporating modeling for years. they've also been using sampled drums on alot of great sounding trax as well. Any tonal issues are not due to technological shortcomings IMO.
 
Messages
2,555
Replicating a great live sounding guitar track is basically down to close mic + room mic or close mic + room reverb (unless yer going for a more ambient cavernous sound)
The difference between these two (room mic vs. reverb) is very much of interest to me. I'm wondering how different the final product ends up sounding with one vs. the other. Need to experiment a bit.
 

Julia343

Member
Messages
7,611
Julia343... wow. That's pretty involved. I had to read that a couple of time. I'm not sure I know what a "doubler plug" does (I don't own Waves - is this part of that suite perhaps?). Is it doing more than I get if I just copy/paste the track so that I double the recorded sound. I've done this lots historically.

Do you (or TheJudge) have any examples of these techniques to approximate the Angus tone I posted by chance. I would love to hear them if so.

Regardless you've given me some things to try that I have not to-date.
Yes. Just duplicating the guitar track just makes it louder. The duplicate needs modulation so as not to "recruit" all the frequencies and lose separation.

Waves Doubler: http://www.waves.com/content.aspx?id=351 you can see that it is $38. It is typically $150 as a single plugin. I just got it about a month ago and I used it recently to make a guitar track sound fuller. It really works. Here's more about it: http://www.waves.com/Content.aspx?id=246 You can see it uses delays and pitch modulation to achieve this. You can make it as extreme or as minimal as you want. What it does do with this is keep the waveforms from simply lining up perfectly which is what you want for fullness. Thing that is cool is that you can use it for vox or any instrument. Nice deal and a lot less than it would cost even in a bundle. NOTE: iLok required. I already have one so it wasn't a consideration.

Here's a freebie: http://www.vacuumsound.de/plugins.html It's the ADT.

The other way you can get this is with a IR loader like Waves IR1. You use the full mono-stereo version of it and you can load up to four cabinet IRs in it to essentially simulate a close mic, near mic, and a room mic, but you won't get the exact same effect.

Typically what I hear in most recorded amp samples is a very dry signal coming from a single 57 directly on the edge of the cone. While this will sound a little fuller than a DI model, it still sounds thin when comparing to a pro recording.

Still I'll go for my convoluted way of doing it with a real room IR and run then mix through that. I've gotten some really good results. I did a little tweaking to something I did not too long ago, and I'll re-upload it later. Heck I'll just upload a new copy and leave the old one there for you to compare. I used the Waves IR1 -- someone left a comment and I looked and noticed I forgot to bus the guitar to the AUX tracks. You can hear how all the instruments sound in the same room. Keep in mind that the drums and B3 are VIs, too, and I turned off the verb in those VIs. It's not the Angus tone, but you'll get the point.
 




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