So why are good quality IRs only available in high end modellers?

Discussion in 'Digital & Modeling Gear' started by gregrjones, Apr 22, 2015.

  1. gregrjones

    gregrjones Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    So why are good quality IRs only available in high end modellers?

    Is it because the "working man" modellers don't have the processing? Do IRs require more horsepower?
     
  2. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,310
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    They aren't only available in 'high end' modelers. There are plenty of freeware IR's that are just as good as anything in the POD, Axe, Kemper, etc. And no, an IR is an IR...
     
  3. burningyen

    burningyen Vendor

    Messages:
    13,358
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2002
    Location:
    CT
    I'm guessing it's because companies don't want to deal with customer support issues caused by the extra complexity and because most hobbyists don't know/care about IRs in the 1st place.

    BTW, there is beta firmware that lets you load IRs into the GSP1101. DigiTechRep has repeatedly posted that not many people have taken advantage of that feature. Not that DigiTech widely publicized it.
     
  4. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

    Messages:
    5,207
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    Yes and yes.

    Cabinet/mic IRs are objectively measured in quality by their length. It corresponds to objective quality the same way resolution does to a photo. More length or resolution in either case provides more detail and more "there" there.

    To run those with no perceptible latency after the guitar amp sim signal requires horsepower.

    Those things add to cost. That being said, having an "objectively" higher quality third party IR is no guarantee that you'll have a better sounding patch than the low-res IRs that are stock cab/mic sims on consumer modelers. I've heard Pod XT tones smoke Axe-FX and Kemper ones across a number of genres. Don't just assume that a low-res cab sim means you CANNOT get a good tone. It's not true in the least. You just have to be skilled with EQing the unwanted frequencies away from the low-res cab sim.
     
  5. gregrjones

    gregrjones Member

    Messages:
    197
    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2011
    when I claimed the working man modelers did not have sent IRs, I was referring to their built in ones. Of course I understand you can download third party ones.

    so I'm gathering so far that the reason line 6 impulses may not be of good quality is because their hardware lacks the horsepower to process the code.
     
  6. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,822
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    Indeed, in order to load IR's onto a device, you have to transfer them from a third party source to the device. That would leave a significant chunk of the software in a modeler out of the control of the manufacturer, and allow a port into the unit that could be used improperly. Many manufacturers simply do not want to allow that kind of control (and possibility for disaster) in the hands of folks outside their company.

    As I understand it, IRs are not terribly large in size, but take a lot of DSP to process. For example, the little EPSi dedicated IR stompbox has a 32 bit 266mHz SHARC DSP. That's a lot of horsepower for just processing IRs. As a comparison the HD500 has a single 32 bit 366mHz SHARC, and the AxeFXII has two more capable (and insanely expensive) TigerSHARCs. There's more to the capability comparison than bits and clock speeds, but this gets the general idea across.

    Even though the GSP1101 allows IR loading, IIRC it is not really advocated by the company. If someone buys a new GSP1101 and loads the beta firmware into it, will Digitech still honor the warranty?

    Last night I was checking out an EPSi that I'm about to sell, so I plugged it into my HD500 with the latest software upgrade (with the global EQ) and the Vintage model pack. The new HD Vintage Pack models sound very good, the global EQ is terrific, and I get good results with the unit live, but still the HD500 can be greatly improved with good external IR's. So much so I am debating whether to sell the EPSi, the HD500 sounds so much better with the external IRs.

    I've been kind of hoping that Line 6 would eventually add IR loading to the HD series, but after seeing the size of the DSP in the EPSi, compared to what is in the HD, the HD just might not have the grunt to run third party IRs.
     
  7. zaboomafoo

    zaboomafoo Member

    Messages:
    58
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    I don't think Line 6 modelers use IR for the cabinet modeling.
     
  8. mikah912

    mikah912 Member

    Messages:
    5,207
    Joined:
    May 22, 2012
    They do.
     
  9. phil_m

    phil_m Supporting Member

    Messages:
    8,312
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2012
    Location:
    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
    They have pretty much said this was the case. I believe DI said something like to run an IR with a decent sample length would use up 50% or more of the HD500X's DSP resources. By the time you add the amp model into that, it wouldn't leave a whole lot. I don't know how useful it would be to people if only the simplest chains were available when using a third-party IR.
     
  10. MKB

    MKB Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,822
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    BTW, just for curiosity's sake, here are prices of the SHARC DSP chips in a few products. The TigerSHARC is a guess, I read in a review that the AxeFXII had two 600mHz TigerSHARCs, so that is what is priced here. Not sure if that is the exact one or not.

    EPSi; 32 bit 266mHz SHARC: $16
    HD500, 32 bit 366mHz SHARC: $32
    AxeFXII, 600mHz TigerSHARC: 2 @ $362 each

    That's one reason why the AxeFXII is better than the HD500. And more expensive.
     
  11. Scott Peterson

    Scott Peterson Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,849
    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2002
    Location:
    Michigan
    It doesn't take processor horsepower to use IR's; it takes processor horsepower to utilize IR's in a low latency/no latency manner. The higher resolution the IR being processed in real time, the MORE horsepower necessary.

    For instance DAW plug-in's have latency no matter what due to a number of factors; but most hardware processor users would not accept the same latency from their hardware unit.
     
  12. olejason

    olejason Supporting Member

    Messages:
    3,310
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    Hardware based DSP will also have latency to a degree. Most optimized modern DAW's will have latency around 2-5ms which is more than comparable to hardware units.
     
  13. iamspartacus

    iamspartacus Member

    Messages:
    495
    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2006
    Location:
    Escondido
    There are many on this forum who say the L6 HD cabs are no good. I respectfully disagree. The cabs in the HD units are perfectly fine and sufficiently tweakable. If you cannot get a good tone out of your HD unit, yes, you can tweak the tone with 3rd party IRs. But the unit itself has plenty of ways for you to sculpt your tone, without the need to use anything external.
     
  14. toelessfoot

    toelessfoot Member

    Messages:
    237
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    I agree, I think the stock IRs are mostly a scapegoat for people's ineptitude at tweaking patches.
     
  15. chrisjnyc

    chrisjnyc Member

    Messages:
    4,406
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Yea, the Epsi is only $200 new, that seems very affordable to me...
     
  16. shredmiyagi

    shredmiyagi Member

    Messages:
    917
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Location:
    chicago
    The IRs make a difference but in the whole forum frenzy with IRs, preamps have become completely under-valued.

    A high-quality preamp and reverb is still paramount to getting a better direct sound.

    On that note, even if you don't use IR Cabs, the EPSi is great as a reverb. It's the only set-up I've used where a pedal's spring reverb sounds as good as my Princeton's. It'd be wise of Fractal/Kemper/etc. to start adding convolution reverb to their modelers.
     
  17. CheeseGrater

    CheeseGrater Member

    Messages:
    708
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    Location:
    Hampton Roads
    Well, we are talking modelers, so we are talking real time, which means we need more HP to run better IR's.

    With more of the dedicated cab sim boxes showing up that sound great, that likely won't help push mid level guys like line 6 to include high end cabs in their next units. Just like alot of tech things, if you want the best quality, you often need a dedicated unit vs "all-in-one" solution. By the way i'm a line-6 user - I just don't use the cabs.
     
  18. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,921
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Honduras
    Its all about profit.
     
  19. rsm

    rsm Member

    Messages:
    14,165
    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    Location:
    On an island in the Atlantic Ocean
    It's all about understanding your market...

    Can I use your new studio for free? I mean, do you charge for time in your studio? for studio musicians? for engineering? producing? post-production mixing, mastering, etc? I guess that's not about profit, just enough to cover your costs perhaps? :)


    :p
     
  20. nicolasrivera

    nicolasrivera Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    5,921
    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Honduras
    IRs, IMO, should all be standardized, ONE format to rule them all. But no... Seems every one wants to have its own proprietary format for one reason or another.. Its a mess....If Only Steve Jobs would have been a guitar player...
     

Share This Page