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Do you use virtual mics with your cab IRs?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by braveheart, Jan 16, 2021.

  1. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

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    Cab IRs are already mic'ed. So using the virtual mics is like micing a mic'ed cab.
    In my experience with Radar,Hotone Binary IR cab or Torpedo C,A.B. those virtual mics add digital/artificial ugly hi-end harshness/agression.

    What do you think?
     
  2. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    Here's what I think.

    The marketing angle wants to put a ton of mics and cabs and stuff into the box, many of which you will probably never use, because you see a list of 20 mics, each of which costs $50 to $2000 in the real world, increasing your perception of the value proposition.

    A "mic sim" is (again IMO) just another EQ curve and maybe some distortion at higher levels? So I don't know why there is not just a section with EQ and distortion controls to where you could just dial it in.

    Let's suppose you're me and the closest you have ever come to any sort of well known mic is the SM57s they have at the local open mic. And your perception of them is "they seem to work". So now you're looking at the UI of your modeler and there's an SM57 model. You put it on but you think the midrange is too much. Or lacking. Or whatever. So then you think, "oh dear, I must go find a better mic for this" and spend the next 30 minutes trying to do that.

    Back to your question, do I think that mic sims add digital/ugly hi-end? Maybe if you clip them. Otherwise, no more than any other sort of digital processing.
     
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  3. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

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    "A "mic sim" is (again IMO) just another EQ curve and maybe some distortion at higher levels? So I don't know why there is not just a section with EQ and distortion controls to where you could just dial it in."

    right...instead of an EQ section, the Hotone Binary cab IR has a mic dial knob...when you turn it clockwise everything gets more "open" starting with the SM57
     
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  4. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    I don't. My sim allows choice of IR and size adjustment, beyond that I've never needed to add anything to sound legit.
     
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  5. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

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    what do you have..the CABDRYVR?
     
  6. Blues Twanger

    Blues Twanger Tele-Afflicted

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    Yup, satisfied customer.
     
  7. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

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    I love the CABDRYVR...I have 3 in use! :)
     
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  8. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    The Radar gives you choice of mics, but not"no mic," if that was the intent of the question. I almost always use the SM57.
     
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  9. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    If it were that simple, that's how it would be done. Microphones aren't any different than speaker cabinets; they work in the opposite direction (sound to electricity vs. electricity to sound) but still have a set of acoustic properties that makes them what they are, and you model them pretty much the same way.

    An ideal cabinet IR would have been created in an anechoic (isolated) space using a measurement microphone that has completely-flat response. The result would reflect just the behavior of the cabinet and nothing else. You'd create a microphone IR the same way: make an impulse noise in an isolated space and digitize what comes from the output. Then you'd pick the cabinet and mic IRs you like, put something in the middle to model position relative to the center of the speaker and you're in business. That's essentially what @braveheart 's Hotone Binary is; my Ampero is a superset of that.

    Few modelers can run more than one IR at a time to mix and match speakers and mics, so IRs are usually sold in bundles with one cab and combinations of mic and position. You definitely don't want to re-mic those, but applying a mic model to a cabinet-only model would make sense if you want that sound.

    Sure, but that's going off half-cocked with half the solution. The SM57 model alone doesn't cover the effects of the PA, its speakers and the room. Capture an IR of the missing parts, insert it downstream of the SM57 model and you'll get something closer to what you heard at the venue.

    The half hour of horsing around isn't any different than what someone spends tweaking their pedals to get that sound they heard in their head.
     
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  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    Some of the stock Hotone IR mic models can get that way. What's worked best for me is the R121 moved offset to the back. When I use OwnHammer IR's I prefer the multi-mic room ones and I turn off the built-in mic IR.
     
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  11. braveheart

    braveheart Tele-Afflicted

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    thanks,I will try that...
     
  12. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Can you have an IR of a cab or speaker WITHOUT at least one mic in the IR creation chain? How can you capture the colour of the cab/speakers vs the source without.

    i am making my own IRs for my piezo equipped acoustics guitars.. works very well for lockdown recording work where I do not have total control over background noise. Can’t see a way to do it without a mic listening.
     
  13. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    There's a whole class of microphones called measurement or reference microphones that are designed to have extremely flat response.
     
  14. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    Yep. I get that. Then you can get an IR for a mic colour on top. But we still need the base sound captured acoustically. So basically, is it worth getting independent mic IR’s? Or just loading a premade cab/mic/position combo. At what point can a human no longer detect the effect in the mix?
     
  15. Itgoesto11

    Itgoesto11 Tele-Meister

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    I use York IRs for their Marshall greenback 4x12 and Matchless 2x12 cabinets. They have multiple mic combinations available for each cab and it’s been fun to dial in the right tone using my Iridium
     
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  16. Blrfl

    Blrfl Tele-Afflicted

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    For most people, combos are going to be the way to go because few modelers have the facilities to run two IRs independently and model mic placement. Many can compromise: the Helix will run two IR blocks back to back but only models distance on its built-in cabs and mics; the Ampero will let you run its built-in mics and model distance and cone placement against third-party IRs.

    Most mics are audibly different; it's pretty easy to tell a SM57 and a Beta 58 apart. Different styles of music gravitate toward different mics; the MD421 seems to be a favorite with metalheads. Placement does make a difference; if you want, I could record a short demo.
     
  17. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Friend of Leo's

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    I think my frustration with amp, cab and mic sims in general is that, unlike a tone control, if you perceive that the sound is missing a little "something", there is, at least IME, no easy way to nudge the sound in the direction of that "something" by changing the amp, cab, or mic. You just pick the next one on the list and hope for the best. Of course, you CAN adjust the EQ at that stage. Maybe it makes more sense to just think of amp, cab, mic as "broad strokes" and EQ as finishing detail.

    I've been using my modeler for at least a year and I cannot tell you which cabs or mic sims I generally use. I just rotate the knob and go "OK". If I were using real mics I don't think this would be the case. Partially because I wouldn't have so many and partially because holding the thing in your hand and hooking it up etc is just 1000% more tangible.

    On the other hand, I notice the Captor-X has a "voicing" knob, which seems to cut/boost midrange primarily. This seems a nod to practicality at the expense of authenticity. Not that anyone really cares.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not anti-modeling in the least.
     
  18. northernguitar

    northernguitar Tele-Holic

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    I use IRs from ML Sound Labs and Ownhammer. They have the mics baked right into each .wav file. When I download the files, I end up with what seem to be thousands of files. Every cab usually has 8-9 mics sims, which each have ten or so different placement sims. It can be overwhelming unpacking it all!

    I open the Two Notes Wall of Sound (excellent plugin!!) and run it in Garageband. With a guitar tuned to drop D, I cycle through the various sims until I narrow in on the ones I like best. I keep these collected in a file or load them on to a Mooer Radar. Both the WoS and the Radar don't leave the option to add a mic open.
     
  19. SRHmusic

    SRHmusic Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Just noting there are a couple options for handling IRs. It would be interesting to see how different developers handle this. (any links to info, anyone?)

    First, IR captures could be corrected to "back out" (remove) the IR of the measurement mic and system. (This sort of thing is done in radio frequency (RF) design for measuring circuits and antennas.) I'm not sure whether there is such a thing as a perfectly flat mic or source to allow calibrating a mic, but that could be possible.

    Or, if there's always a mic IR in the chain, even an uncalibrated set of mics would allow measuring differences between mics to generate "delta" IRs to add in the chain to change from one mic to another.

    Also note it's not just an EQ gain curve, but phase and dynamics (compression) which can vary by frequency, that matter as well. (Kemper probably has this sorted out pretty well.)

    I guess if the goal for recording is to mimic a particular mic'd rig, then leaving a mic in the IR chain is good.

    Now I'm curious about live use of IR modeling... Through a PA it might make sense to have it sound as if mic'd, but without the mic IR it might sound more natural like the amp alone?
     
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