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Amp in a Room vs Studio Recorded Tones

Smilzo

Forum Addict
I don't get why the axefx into FRFR should have less "in the room" feel then amp & cabs. Given fair comparison (1x12, enough power, taking into account beam proximity etc etc, parameters tweaking, same room almost same position...) I expect the emulation (amps & cab) to be almost identical. The IR emulate the eq setting, the amp the dynamic (resonance, interaction, etc).
 

Jason Scott

Forum Addict
I don't get why the axefx into FRFR should have less "in the room" feel then amp & cabs. Given fair comparison (1x12, enough power, taking into account beam proximity etc etc, parameters tweaking, same room almost same position...) I expect the emulation (amps & cab) to be almost identical. The IR emulate the eq setting, the amp the dynamic (resonance, interaction, etc).
The IR is reproducing what the microphone hears, which is simply a slice of what the speaker sounds like.
 

FreeMind

Forum Addict
The IR is reproducing what the microphone hears, which is simply a slice of what the speaker sounds like.
Even if there was a mic that was completely flat and lossless, it can only capture a cab in that particular position and direction the mic is placed, it cannot capture the whole speaker and make an FRFR speaker sound completely as if it's a Vintage 30...
 

StickMan

Veteran
Even if there was a mic that was completely flat and lossless, it can only capture a cab in that particular position and direction the mic is placed, it cannot capture the whole speaker and make an FRFR speaker sound completely as if it's a Vintage 30...
I thought most IR's were composed of a mix of different microphones placed in different positions.
 

Smilzo

Forum Addict
The IR is reproducing what the microphone hears, which is simply a slice of what the speaker sounds like.
Ok, but we have a whole speaker in both case. We are not building a sound from zero. We are adjusting the difference between two "not-so-dissimilar" speaker/cabs. The non linearities is taken into account by the amp emulation. The linear part is adjusted by the IR. I understand that the sound may be eq-wise different (both by changing eq position or the listener in the room) but the feel should be very similar.
I don't get why the mic'ed sound is so similar (yes, I undestand why they could sound dissimilar), whilst the in the room feels so different. Given the same source, the mic is the variable. It is realy the weak point, for people who love to feel an amp in the room sound? Maybe there is an alternative way to "unmic" the amp, to emulate this state?
 

admgloval

Inspired
App12, I understand where you are coming from. I tried 3 different FRFR solutions, CLR, Xitone(Very impressive build quality and customer service!) and Yamaha DXR12. None of them sounded "right" to me but the Xitone was closest since it had a switch where you could turn off the high freq speaker which made it sound a little closer to a guitar speaker. I also bought a pair of studio monitor speakers (Presonus Eris E8's) but also don't really like the sound I get from them either. I ended up buying a Carvin solid state power amp(DCM-1540L) and an Avatar 2x12 with Vintage 30 speakers. This got me where I wanted to be. If you use this type of setup, you want to have cab modeling disabled and take any cab blocks out of your signal chain in the AFX. I understand that the AFX is designed to replicate mic'ed tones and not the sound of playing a real amp through cab in a room but that FRFR sound is just not inspiring for me to play at all. Yes, I know it's 'beamy' and sounds radically different as you move around in the room but when you find that perfect spot, it just sounds better to me than any FRFR sound and really makes me want to play more. I am also a bedroom player and not in a band so I play for my own enjoyment and using it this way just works for me. I am planning on trying to start doing some home recording for fun so I guess the studio monitor speakers will come in handy at that point but for now, they sit there, powered off and unused.
 

Jason Scott

Forum Addict
Ok, but we have a whole speaker in both case.
Physically, yes, but an IR does not reproduce the sound of a speaker in whole specifically because it's limited to capturing what the mic hears, somewhat similar to the way the Kemper doesn't capture the sound of an amplifier as a whole; it captures the sound of an amp at a particular setting.

I don't get why the mic'ed sound is so similar (yes, I undestand why they could sound dissimilar)
The sound of a mic'd cab (IR) doesn't sound similar to the original unmic'd cab it's based on.

Given the same source, the mic is the variable. It is realy the weak point, for people who love to feel an amp in the room sound? Maybe there is an alternative way to "unmic" the amp, to emulate this state?
Good luck. Like I said, if you like the sound of an unmic'd cab, use an unmic'd cab.
 

Perdikament

Forum Addict
Here a mindfu*k for y’all.. (inspired by Smilezo’s post)
What would we be hearing if we ran the AXEFX with a Cab Block ON into a Combo Amp or straight into a Head & Cab?
Amp in the room or mic’d amp!!? Lmao :eek::D
 
Here a mindfu*k for y’all.. (inspired by Smilezo’s post)
What would we be hearing if we ran the AXEFX with a Cab Block ON into a Combo Amp or straight into a Head & Cab?
Amp in the room or mic’d amp!!? Lmao :eek::D
Not really anything crazy about that....you'd be hearing a cab/amp in the room, it would just sound funny because the audio source would include IR information. Some people like this sort of thing, I've personally never found a use for it.
 

Perdikament

Forum Addict
Not really anything crazy about that....you'd be hearing a cab/amp in the room, it would just sound funny because the audio source would include IR information. Some people like this sort of thing, I've personally never found a use for it.
I know, I was just being a “Smart Aleck.”
 

mr_fender

Fractal Fanatic
IR's only capture one aspect of a speaker's sound: it's frequency response at one specific listening position. They do nothing to capture or recreate the dispersion pattern of any given speaker or cab. The ways a guitar cab and a FRFR cab project sound into the room are often very different. Upper frequency response in a guitar loudspeaker drops off significantly as the speaker's axis rotates away from you.

Something like this:


0 degrees is the axis of the speaker pointed directly at you. Notice how the blue 5.12K line reaches much further out at 0 degrees, while it's almost none at 45 degrees off axis. That has a significant impact on both the way the direct audio sounds from the speaker as you move around the room and the way various frequencies reflect around the room.

Compare that to the dispersion pattern of something FRFR like studio monitors:

Notice the high frequency spread is MUCH wider because of the dedicated tweeter. So even if the FRFR cab is filtered with an IR to match the frequency response, the way that sound is projected into the room is still quite different. This translates to a sometimes very different listening experience "in the room".
 

App12

Regular
Like unix-guy said, app12 is saying that the axefx doesn't stand up to an ac15 because it doesn't sound/feel as good when played in the room or in a jam type situation. The ONLY productive thing that could happen here is for him to understand the difference between frfr/traditional cab and try out his axefx with a traditional cab since it seems like thats the type of tone/feel he wants. Everyone here is trying to help the guy, and he just seems to continually refuse to understand a pretty basic concept ... We're trying to tell this guy that he & his buddies think the axefx doesn't hold a candle to a 1x12 combo because he's essentially using it wrong. With the understanding that there 'is no right and wrong,' in terms doing whatever you need/want to do to get the tone you want, if the tone you want is a guitar amp through a guitar cab and you're instead running a mic'ed cab through an FRFR...you're doing it wrong. So rather than let this guy spout off nonsense about how an axefx sounds terrible compared to a vox combo, we're trying to help him perform a more reasonable comparison and then make his judgement based off that. Personally, never played a vox other than the valvetronix stuff, so I have no idea how accurate the model is & don't particularly care. But I'm also not going to compare the MkIV, JCM800 & 6505 models against my buddy's real amps into marshall cabs by hooking up studio monitors and comparing the IR tone against the full stacks...that would be ridiculous and a pointless/fruitless comparison.

In other words, its not his 3000$ modeller that isn't doing as good a job as a 600$ amp, its him and his unreasonable adherence to an FRFR system. He's got an indy car on the track and he's driving Ms. Daisy, so its the car's fault that he's losing the race?
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edited to add: I missed the last page of replies before typing this post, but I'm gonna leave it here for posterity anyways. And add this bit

How is it not relevant and how is that analogy at all applicable? He's saying a 600$ amp sitting in the room with him sounds better than a 3000$ modeler running a cab IR through an FRFR monitor. Thats not at all like comparing a tele to an LP, thats more (but of course not exactly) like comparing playing a tele yourself to watching your buddy play an LP. What he's trying to say is that Amp A sounds better than Amp B when both amps are in the room being played next to eachother. What he's actually saying is that Amp A sounds better than Amp B when Amp B is being recorded in a sound-isolated booth and you're sitting on the outside listening on headphones or monitors.
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I'm pretty sure at this point that you've gotta be a troll. There's no other possible way that you've had this very simple idea explained to you so many ways by so many people that are trying to help and you still refuse to accept it. But I'll bite and try this one more time.

Our logic does "stand up to basic questioning." Its yours that absolutely does not. The reason the axefx can simplify your rig is because you can send your signal direct to the FOH (front of house) mains without needing to mic up a cab. The trade-off in that scenario is that you don't have a cab on stage, so you rely on an FRFR speaker, stage monitors, or in-ear monitors to hear yourself playing. None of those monitoring solutions will ever sound or feel like an actual guitar cab sitting behind you on stage. Thats not a flaw or shortcoming of the axefx, thats the way that two very different systems work. Gigging musicians who understand this concept use an axefx so they can show up with a 2u rack and a foot controller, plug one or two cables into the stage snake and be done with setup. They understand that the traditional cab on the stage is only for them, that the audience doesn't hear it anyways, and that they can get a cleaner, often better sound out the audience by running direct. If you take that ac15 to a gig, the soundman is going put a microphone in front of it. He's going to tell you to turn it down quieter than you want it so that your amp isn't projecting much/any sound off the stage and into the audience. He's going to EQ that microphone signal so it sounds good in the venue and he's going to amplify that through the FOH mains. If you stand in the audience during that gig, you're going to hear the sound coming from that microphone, not the sound from that amp sitting in the room. If you put THAT sound on the left side of the stage and then put an axefx with an ac15 model & similar (good) cab IR running through the right and then stand in the audience, the sound is going to comparable.

You continuing to sit here saying a tube combo amp is somehow objectively better than an axefx because it sounds better in the room than the axefx does with an frfr setup is tiring and frankly asinine. If your use-case for an amplifier or the axefx is such that you'd enjoy a tube combo amp more, then by all means, go buy a combo amp and cart that around to play with. Alternatively, spend anywhere from 50$-1000$ on any plethora of options for poweramps (I've had good luck with both an EHX Magnum .44 for ~100$ and a Matrix GT1000FX for ~600$, depending on the volume needed) and a decent 1x12 cab and run the axefx that way. Then you can still utilize the whole library of amp models plus all the effects and everything else.

As far as trying this setup out using the ac15, the best you can do is plug out1 into the regular input (not the top boost) of the ac15, set all the tone controls to noon, set the gain so that its as clean as possible and set the master volume to taste. In the global menu of the axefx bypass poweramp modelling and cabinet modelling then pull up your ac15 preset and see how it sounds. It won't be perfect as there will be extra coloration from the ac15 preamp section, but it should give you an idea. Or, find someone who has a rack poweramp & a cab or any amp/cab/combo with an fx loop and plug into that.

In summary
[tube combo amp =/= axefx into frfr] therefore, these two setups can't be directly compared
[tube combo amp = axefx into poweramp and cab] therefore, these two setups can be directly compared
[tube combo amp mic'ed up at a gig and listened to via monitors or FOH speakers = axefx into frfr or listened to monitors or FOH speakers] therefore, these two setups can be directly compared
Edit: Deleted long post as at the end of the day I actually don’t care what you or anyone else thinks. I used my ears and like the amp. To those with helpful advice, thank you for your time. I will work my way through it as I have time to.
 
Last edited:
Edit: Deleted long post as at the end of the day I actually don’t care what you or anyone else thinks. I used my ears and like the amp. To those with helpful advice, thank you for your time. I will work my way through it as I have time to.
Didn't see it before the edit, but all I've tried to do is help you dude. There's nothing wrong with preferring an amp, there's definitely gotta be a reason the ac15 is a classic tone thats been around for ages and isn't going anywhere. What I & others are trying to help you understand is that you might be able to get that same ac15 tone & feel out of the axefx if you would use it in a method other than frfr, which would then allow you to also get a fender/marshall/mesa/engl/whatever tone in a similar manner. If the ac15 itself is all you need & does the trick for you, then sell off the axefx and ramble on. If you would rather see what the axefx is actually capable of, then try out some of the suggestions we've all presented you with and see what you can do.
 

Smilzo

Forum Addict
IR's only capture one aspect of a speaker's sound: it's frequency response at one specific listening position. They do nothing to capture or recreate the dispersion pattern of any given speaker or cab. The ways a guitar cab and a FRFR cab project sound into the room are often very different.

Notice the high frequency spread is MUCH wider because of the dedicated tweeter. So even if the FRFR cab is filtered with an IR to match the frequency response, the way that sound is projected into the room is still quite different. This translates to a sometimes very different listening experience "in the room".
Let's take into account the dispersion pattern. I expect that the exact sound you capture will be heard in one point, while in other point it will be not-so-exact. The better the FRFR, the wider the range you hear near-to-exact. But I expect the sound that cut through the mix to cut through the band in the room (even with adjusted setting, F.M. fx, etc etc). This is not the case, the real amp cut more, seems to be more "forgiving" in terms of setting. It is true that you heard the amp projection quite different (direct in front you could be killed by tremble!), but still the way them (real and axefx+FRFR) cut seems different to me. The axefx is a charm to record, while it take many efforts to give similar punch in a room in live situation.

In the past (standard time) I heard the difference between real and emulation, and I was aware of difference in attack, clip, sustain, and so on. Now days if anyone ask me I don't have a clue, I feel the difference but I don't know where it is! I hope this thread help us to point in the right direction, or giving Cliff an epiphany... :)
 

666was999

Forum Addict
I don't think a sweet spot is something good. It's cheating yourself, isn't it? You move to the best spot and everyone else stands second best, right? And than you feel happy about your playing and you love your awesome sound....but all others heard something different.

My sound is the same everywhere in front of my Matrix Q12As. That is the advantage of an FRFR system. You guys are telling the beamy behavior of a guitar cab is the better? Are you kidding?

The target is to digitally reproduce the sound from the sweet spot, only this one, no need for the second best spots.
Once you display the sound of the sweet spot through a FRFR system everyone in the room can hear it in the same quality. The sweet spot is everywhere then.
That's a big advantage and a step forward.

There are plenty of settings and all kind of EQs in the axe-fx. And you can get whatever IRs on the planet and even mix IRs to get something that you like.
You can whine and cry about all problems, how a mic in front of a cab isn't capturing all of the speaker and so on. It will not allow you to make any progress.

Lets talk about how we capture that sweet spots sound to get it on our FRFR monitors. That's the OP question?
 

Jason Scott

Forum Addict
You can whine and cry about all problems, how a mic in front of a cab isn't capturing all of the speaker and so on.
No one's whining or crying about anything. People have preferences, and that's precisely what the OP was asking about. If you prefer FRFR, great. If you don't, great. But trying to convince someone else that their preference is illegitimate is stupid.
 
I don't think a sweet spot is something good. It's cheating yourself, isn't it? You move to the best spot and everyone else stands second best, right? And than you feel happy about your playing and you love your awesome sound....but all others heard something different.

My sound is the same everywhere in front of my Matrix Q12As. That is the advantage of an FRFR system. You guys are telling the beamy behavior of a guitar cab is the better? Are you kidding?

The target is to digitally reproduce the sound from the sweet spot, only this one, no need for the second best spots.
Once you display the sound of the sweet spot through a FRFR system everyone in the room can hear it in the same quality. The sweet spot is everywhere then.
That's a big advantage and a step forward.


There are plenty of settings and all kind of EQs in the axe-fx. And you can get whatever IRs on the planet and even mix IRs to get something that you like.
You can whine and cry about all problems, how a mic in front of a cab isn't capturing all of the speaker and so on. It will not allow you to make any progress.

Lets talk about how we capture that sweet spots sound to get it on our FRFR monitors. That's the OP question?
No it isn't...the target is to reproduce the mic'ed tone of the cab which is entirely different from a sweet spot. In general I agree with your post as a couple reasons to go for frfr, but what you're saying there is flawed in that an IR isn't at all capturing what would be a sweet spot where the player is sitting somewhere in the room a couple or many feet away from the cab.

Also, EXACTLY what @Jason Scott said.
 

666was999

Forum Addict
Ok. Let's step one step back from the picture. No assumptions about where the mic has to be placed or if one single or a mix is better or if we take one that colours the tone or is neutral ( like an Earthworks TC30).
What's the best way to get the bedroom players and the direct/FOH-less players their AITR tone by using IRs and FRFR systems?


If there is a sweet spot somewhere in front of a guitarcab and you could place your mic exactly there and if the mic is one that doesn't add colour and you avoid capturing any reflections (because later when you use the IR your FRFR monitor at home will add it's own reflections coming from your room) one should be able to come pretty close to what the AITR fans want?

To make these IRs you'd need a neutral mic or two (stereo) and a room with almost no reflections.
It seems nobody took such IRs until now? Would they work?
 
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