Feedback for Cab Pack Makers? What can be Better?

Discussion in 'User Cabs and IR's' started by austinbuddy, Aug 1, 2017.

  1. austinbuddy

    austinbuddy
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    Hi:

    As I sit down to do dozens of mixes from a new cab pack (20 cabs!) I shot recently here in Austin using great and rare vintage amps/speaker cabs from Austin Vintage Guitars as well as house cabs at Spoon drummer Jim Enos' recording studio Public Hi-Fi, was wondering if you could give me some feedback.

    Many Cab Packs (including this one) come with hundreds of IRs. The idea is that you have maximum flexibility in using Cab Lab 3 to blend mics to create your ideal tones. That's good, but...

    Have gotten a real sense that most players buying Cab Packs simply don't have a lot of time to do audition or fool with lots of custom mix choices. Am hearing you just want great mixes or great one-mic shots right out of the box - ready to go, without a big time investment by you to sort them all out.

    Also hear from some they sort of view Cab Packs as a supplemental to the Factory Cabs -- "if I can't get the sound I want out of the Factory Cabs, I need to get a Cab Pack that will do the job..."

    So...in addition to the hundreds of cab IRs and .SYX files a cab pack comes with, QUESTION: what would you like to see in a final Cab Pack product to make using them easier?

    ------
    Here's what I'm thinking now, given discussions with users...reactions, is this on the right track?

    For every cab, in addition to all core IRs by cab, have a "Producer Picks - Start Here" folder. In this, you'd find:

    1. any exceptional one-mic shots the producer thinks is outstanding as a stand-alone use item (could vary by cabinet, from one per cab to maybe three or four selections)...and not every cab my have one, but some may, as standouts.

    AND

    2. Three producer mixed mics for the cab (keeping an overall band mix in mind" -- one balanced, one brighter, one darker. In theory, the balanced one you'd use for live gigs -- go it first, then you could grab the brighter or darker if need to make things sit better.

    In my own project, that still mean making 50-60 producermixes -- a lot. Or alternatively, at least one "Producer" mix IR of the cab.

    QUESTION: would that be helpful? Other thoughts?

    -----
    QUESTION: do you like getting LOTS of cabs in a pack, or just a few/handful? I've seen some packs just focus on one cab, for example.

    QUESTION:
    Do you want to them to stick to a specific genre of Cab, or have lots of varied choices? For example, would you prefer a Cab pack specific ONLY Fender Tweed amps, or one that mixed them up with Marshalls and boutique amps?

    Reactions, ideas, feedback? We know other Cab Pack makers have methodologies..really want to know what you, as consumers of these Cab Packs, need from us to make your life easier and make it more likely you'd really audition the cabs and use them in making your tones.

    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. unix-guy

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    I've only purchased a handful of cab packs. I personally appreciate having all the variations in the event that I suddenly develop a case of "free time" and also purchase CabLab :)

    That being said, I have so far stuck primarily to the "recommended" (producer pick) IRs as I think that I'm already paying them for their ear and skill, so that trust is sort of established.

    I like the idea of more cabs for variety... But I also like "affordable" packs. I know that those tend to be mutually exclusive!

    Anyway, I hope this helps?
     
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  3. favance

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    Would be cool to have cabs that match what the real ones sounded like: Live or Studio versions. I think one of the pitfalls of the Axe-Fx Cab model is that we (guitarists) want the Live sound on stage, w/a miked cab to FOH. For the Studio version, the best recorded guitar sound w/options of adding more room sound, that could be further eq'd at the console.
     
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  4. Rex

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    Most guitarists don't trust their ears (or their hands). They spend a lot of time looking at each other, trying to figure out what's cool and what they should like. How many Internet posts have you seen that read, "I have a chance to get an XYZ guitar at a cheap price. Are they any good?" They don't trust their own assessment of the guitar in question—they're looking for someone to tell them, in general terms, what's good. No one wants to looks stupid by showing up at the gig with the wrong name on the headstock. :)

    I think that spills over into IRs. Faced with a new cab pack with dozens or hundreds of IRs, they just want someone to "Tell me what sounds good." You know it's not that simple, but they don't—or they wish it really were that simple, and I can't blame them. Remember that, before modeling, most guitarists only auditioned a few dozen cabs in their lifetimes.

    Then there are some guitarists who live for the tone quest. They'd like 10,000 IRs in each cab pack, and they're as much into the thrill of the hunt as they are into actually playing.

    Where you go with that info depends largely on what proportion of IR buyers fit into each group. I suspect that the majority of them are in the "keep it simple" group, but I don't know the market well enough to make that call.


    For myself, I sometimes enjoy delving into the subtleties of different captures. But eventually, I realize that's not how I want to spend my time. When I open a cab pack, I value finding a handful of IRs that have been vetted—in context—by their creator. It's also nice to have all the other captures, neatly organized, for those times when I want to dig deeper. But that's secondary. When I think of all the cab packs I have, and the tens of thousands of IRs in them, I realize that there aren't enough hours left in my life to fairly compare all of them.


    Bottom line: I think it helps to have a cab pack title or brief description that lets the potential buyer make a quick decision about whether it's worth their time to complicate their lives with another cab pack. Throw in a top-level folder of "choicest cuts" that screams for attention (like your "Producer Picks - Start Here" idea), and you're well on your way. Some form of bright/medium/dark categorization would help as well.
     
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  5. vinnyburns

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    I have bought 3 or 4 packs from different sources and used none of them. I just don't have the time or inclination to go through them all. I found the whole thing a bit overwhelming. Also, I found that they are all geared to now. Believe to or not, albums managed to get recorded before the Royer Ribbon mic came out. :) :) :)
    In the studio, I generally get by with AKG 451, and Shure SM57's for rhythm and AKG 414 for solos. I have Sennheiser 421 mic's here but I never personally use them on guitar although I have worked with engineers that have used them on my cabs.
    I don't know what to suggest to improve things as already you have people who want all the choice and people like me who really don't have time to wade through thousands of IR's. I just settle on a cab and then forget about it and get on with the job of playing.
    In my studio, I have my favourite cabs and mic's so that can be just quicker and easier for me.
    It's certainly a fine balance making everyone happy.
     
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  6. #6 austinbuddy, Aug 12, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2017
    austinbuddy

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    This is very helpful! Thank you guys. I am going to include a favorites of single mic, plus some
    Basic mixes for each amp in the future Cab Packs... should make it easier for folks to get a great sound from the start.
     
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  7. Soultrash

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    this might be OT but i think the biggest "problem" with IR packs is that people are doing the same thing over and over again,
    there is absolutely no innovation and forward thinking!

    Speaking of IR packs in general, i feel absolutely owerwhelmed having hundreds of IR's to choose from,
    as to my taste these either sound all the same, in a bad way or unreasonably balanced, too much low end, too much sizzle etc.

    Combining dozens of IR's does not make any sense to me as well!

    Thinking of the best guitar tones these are mostly done with one or two mics, so why does an IR pack have
    50 different microphones in 50 different positions when everything can be done with just two mics, correct mic placement etc.

    Well, tone is perceived differently by everyone guess that's why you have to offer a bit for everyone i gues, but IMHO
    that's what makes most IR packs "bad" at the end...

    ...just a few thouhghts.
     
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  8. austinbuddy

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    Helpful, thank you. The Cab Packs I'm producing are definitely not the standard 4x12 variety (even though that's really the big market).

    My goal is to fill in needed IR niches, based on what studio engineers, producers and some artists I know tell me they love and want, and get Fractal Cabs IRs into the market that are not really available elsewhere, so that Fractal users have access to just about anything they need. It's to round out the sound sculpting tool kit available.

    So this includes rare and boutique cabs, old vintage combo amps/cabs of varying sizes, and some 1x15, 2X12 and 2X10 mostly vintage cabs. I've got enough IRs shot for up to three different cab pack releases (we'll see if we combine or not, Fractal has a say), and there are some IRs in here that are just killer and best examples I've heard so far for vintage-style amps for music like jazz, blues, roots rock, country, and classic rock. I don't expect all these to be best-sellers because these packs are not aimed at the modern music or metal crowd, this is more the vintage and boutique amp crowd stuff, the kinds of rare or boutique "go-to" amps you find in high-end recording studios. I'll be able to share more soon.

    All this feedback is really helpful -- it makes no sense to release an unorganized cab pack that the user can't just immediately get great sounds out of it. I don't want people to wade through 150 IRs trying to find what they like, rather them have 2-3 mixes and then another 5-6 mics for each amp that are "best picks" to start from....but I want them t o be able to make their own IR mix if they choose to, everyone has different ears, and sometimes to get an amp to sit well in a mix you need it to be darker or brighter and not just "balanced" which is what I go for.
     
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  9. vinnyburns

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    Have the Pacific Woodworks 1x12 ported cabs ever been covered? Used a pair of these in LA in 1988. They sounded great. :)
     
  10. unix-guy

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    If you are taking requests, I would love some IRs of the Budda Phat 12 speakers. I played Budda amps for about 8-10 years before switching to the Axe Fx and a pair of Phat 12s in a combo cab or external (both solid pine finger jointed) are great!
     
  11. austinbuddy

    austinbuddy
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    Boy that is a good idea. Unfortunately I don't have access to a Budda amp here. But on the list for futur session. I shot two different Matchless 2x12 DC-30s that are pretty killer for people who love that amp. Did both speakers and a "blend"
     
  12. unix-guy

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    Too bad I'm in California... I'd happily lend my Super Drive II 18W 2x12.
     
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  13. austinbuddy

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    "Too bad I'm in California..." There are Texans that would agree with that, but I'm not one of them -- lucky YOU to be in California! Al;though I love Austin just fine -- just not when it's 100 degrees outside like most of July and August...
    ;)
     
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