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Avoiding the IR rabbit hole - AmpliFirebox and Torpedo CAB

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by journo, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. journo

    journo Member

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    Hi!

    At NAMM I met with the CEO and brain behind the Torpedo products. He told me about the new Remote for my Torpedo CAB and about the new feature allowing you to use two microphones. We discussed how much easier it is to just move the microphones around in the Torpedo Remote than to find an IR of a cabinet you like, load it and listen to it, most often realizing that you want it at a different distance. So you find and load a new IR and listen to it. Sounds OK but maybe you want a mix with two microphones. So you start it all over again. Very soon I get tired and instead of getting to the playing/recording phase, I just quit because it's so boring.

    I have, and use, the Atomic Amps FireBox and the AA6 (love the new pitch shifter!) but if I don't like the matched speaker IR, then there I go again. Find an IR that I hope will work and probably won't and so on and so forth.

    So, tonight I updated the Torped CAB with the new firmware and downloaded the new Torpedo Remote and had blast with the built in cabinets and the two microphones. And ,man, it's so much easier and infinitely more rewarding using the Torpedo CAB than going down the IR rabbit hole.

    So now my "analog style" recording rig looks like this:
    Boss FV500H -> Keeley Tone Workstation -> Keeley Dark Side -> Keeley Monterey -> AmpliFirebox (no speaker IR) -> Torpedo CAB -> old TC Electronic Chorus/Flanger -> T-Rex Replica -> audio I/F.

    The reason I call it "analog style" is that I treat it like I usually treat an analog rig. Select an amp (AmpliFirebox), select a speaker and put up the microphone(s), turn the knobs on the pedals until you are happy and just enjoy playing. Very, very rewarding and encourages me to play.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
  2. djd100

    djd100 Member

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    Indeed Mats, real-time mic positioning is "DA BOMB" (seeing that's how it's done with real mics)!

    With real-time mic positioning one can choose their mic(s) based on the mic's sonic signature, then position the mic(s) to work with whatever guitar/pup/amp/cab/speaker combination they're using, quickly and efficiently.

    Also, the tube power amp sims are real good for those with preamps, new EQ and a decent mono Room Sim, the WOS Plugin, software IR Capture and Mix software, Software Editor, all under MIDI Control, what's not to like?

    For those loving longer IR's, all Two Notes cabs and IR's are now 40ms in length, and RTL Latency is 2ms.
     
    JmpOne likes this.
  3. frthib

    frthib Member

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    Torpedo includes more exotic mics than the bread and potatoes r121, md421 and sm57..

    I love exploring weird condenser and ribbon mics (as included with the mesa world tour cab).
    Also, the sound of the back of the back of cab mic is really interesting.

    It requires a bit more knowledge to get a -great- sound but it's way more satisfying and unique to that session

    The only downside, and it's a very minor one, is i'm not a fan of purple. UI (of wall of sound) could be modernized a litlle but ...
     
  4. bdrepko

    bdrepko Supporting Member

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    So instead of spending hours trying different IRs you will now spend hours fiddling with mic placement.
     
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  5. frthib

    frthib Member

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    It's really easy to find a great sound. You just grab the mic and move it.
     
  6. JmpOne

    JmpOne Member

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    Yes! I think I likened selecting an IR Vs using the Torpedo environment, as a little like trying to get somewhere via repeatedly dropping through cloud cover in a helicopter Vs driving there with a map. You could get there either way but the driving option means getting in the neighborhood quickly, finding the street then slowing down to read the house numbers. I much prefer that!

    I haven't done the update yet on my Cab, but I'm looking forward to it :)
     
  7. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    Wait...I thought it was supposed to be more simple.
    But yeah...why use a 121 4" of the Cone when you can stick an exotic mic on the back instead? ;)

    I started in WOS and had a CAB for live.
    I consistently got better tones choosing the right IR, than turd polishing with the WOS controls.
    Once you know a library of IR's and you know the conventions of mic choice and placement, choosing the IR isn't hard.

    If you want to make things simple, get a simple IR library like CabIR or LiveReadySound.
     
    BillTrantos likes this.
  8. frthib

    frthib Member

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    To be perfectly honest, I know CelestionIR and Ownhammer like the back of my hand, and 99% it's what I use :)

    It's an purple exotic tool for when the mood strikes.
     
  9. Watt McCo

    Watt McCo Supporting Member

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    Isn't that basically saying "once you've chosen the IRs you like, choosing an IR isn't hard"?
     
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  10. John Mark Painter

    John Mark Painter Silver Supporting Member

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    Once you KNOW HOW to choose an IR it isn't that hard.
    I dislike IR libraries with 'exotic mics' because I don't know what many of them sound like.

    That's why generally speaking, most people are better off with a simple pack of basic IR's.
    I understand recording principles and I still often use the simple ones.

    Big IR Libraries include EVERYTHING. Most of it is basically useless unless you are combining 3-5 IR's together (which is another can of worms).

    If I walk into Blackbird Studio, I would grab 3 cabs and 4 mics and start recording.
    But Blackbird has every guitar, amp, speaker and mic known to man (and some that AREN'T known to man).
    And many of those combinations sound terrible.
    If some one just started trying random combinations, they would be in trouble.
    They would go on TGP and say "the gear at Blackbird is all too dark" (...or too midrangey, or has harsh high end)
    Then they would find a combo they liked at Smoakstack and say "the amps at Smoakstack are perfect for Telecasters"....

    And then the internet repeats that.

    What I WOULD LIKE, is if Ownhammer or Redwirez made a dedicated IR loader that allowed you to choose different mic positions and mics and speaker IR's without modelling.
    Actually loading the IR for the position that you chose.
    From using WOS and CAB and UA and Helix I just don't think the modeling USUALLY sounds as good as a straight IR though I have gotten sounds I liked from those.
     
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  11. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Member

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    It's just a different rabbit hole!
    I used to have a C.A.B and Two Notes allows you to get some wonderful tones
    with their software. Great stuff.
    There used to be a sign in an office I worked at that read:
    Meetings: A wonderful alternative to work!
    In this office it would read:
    Browsing cabinet and mic simulations: A mind numbing alternative to playing guitar!
    But honestly there is always going to be a bit of time and effort involved in finding what works for you.
    My only advice is to make sure you truly know how to adjust the parameters of your modeler when it comes to the amp, cab and EQ blocks before you spend time and money on CAB IRs, etc. Also, when you are auditioning these things, be sure to give your ears a break every 30-45 minutes. Otherwise your ears will be fatigued and you'll just be chasing your tail.
    Jace
     
  12. dmock66

    dmock66 Member

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    Sage advice.
     
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  13. journo

    journo Member

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    Please note that my OP was not a jab at Atomic Amps in particular but rather at all products (software and hardware) as I find all of them having less than user friendly IR handling.

    The reason I use Atomic Amps products in my OP is that I think they have the most natural amp modeling in the sub-Fractal price range and I use them all the time. So hats of to Tom, Marc and Jace for great products and great service.

    Cheers,

    Mats N
     
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  14. frthib

    frthib Member

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    I guess i'm lucky that ownhammer oh1-4, oh2-4 or celestion Higain sm57+r121 and tlm107 fits my needs for whatever speaker I feel like.
    I wouldn't dream of scrolling through all the mics for every tracks on1 every session I do. It's pointless, once you find what you like, keep it. It's a recipe. Just change the speaker or cab if you want a different sound. Don't touch the mics.

    Yesterday I was recording something with a celestion EVH. The rythm tracks were great. We I recorded the solo, it was too dark and bassy. Instead of "moving" the mics to a brighter position, i uses a celestion H30. The lead instantly was clearer, stood out and was perfect.
     
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  15. bdrepko

    bdrepko Supporting Member

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    +1. I have a couple Ownhammer IRs that I use. I tend to use the same ones for all my sounds.
     
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  16. Imerkat

    Imerkat Member

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    To avoid the rabbit hole I would stick to real world experiences. Use speakers that you have heard in real life that you like. if you listen to a plethora of speakers without a point of reference you'll be spinning in circles for the most part.
     
  17. frthib

    frthib Member

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    I you used IR all your life, as it may be the case for some younger players, there is no "real life" parallel, just theorical knowledge.

    The cab room in Amplitube, with all it's qualities and deficiencies, is a great learning tool.
    Somebody once said "he used it as a flight simulator to teach how to place mics to others".
    As far as I know, it's the only cab simulator who didn't modify the time information, the phasing is intact.
     
  18. Jace Nuzback

    Jace Nuzback Member

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    I didn't take it as a jab at all.
    No worries!
    I was just adding to the conversation.
    And thanks for the kind words.
    Jace
     
  19. Baba

    Baba Supporting Member

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    This is my problem with the IR thing, and why I stay away from them. I'm not a recording guy, never have been. The last time I was in a studio, was decades ago, and the engineer stuck whatever mic he wanted in front of an amp that wasn't mine, so, that's my knowledge of cabs and mics.

    I'm a live player, and before I started going direct, it was basically a 57 on my amp, no matter what bar I was playing. That's where my knowledge begins and ends, lol. I don't even know what a 121 looks like (even tho it's my go-to in the Helix).

    So, IR's, to me, are just different EQ settings that make my tone sound different when I try different ones, and I've found my tones MUCH quicker in the Helix by using stock cabs, for the reasons listed above. Hell, I *still* try new/different IR's from time to time, just to see if I'm missing anything, and I'm always disappointed.
     
  20. Imerkat

    Imerkat Member

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    Well, real life experience is the best reference point but a close second is favorite artist gear as reference points. The OP has the Fire-Box which has IR capabilities and to shelve out ~400 on the CAB to me is unnecessary.

    Speakers have a dramatic affect on the feel and tone of any patch. Limiting yourself can really make the process much more fruitful; it's all I'm saying
     
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