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Fighting my CLR

DLC86

Power User
Couldn't do the de-phase since it's not there but tried the GEQ and that doesn't get me what I want to hear. I don't think it's an eq thing. It's the "sound" of the CLR.
Dephase or smoothing is fundamental to get the "in the room" sound. Tell me a factory cab you use in one of your preset and I'll send you the dephased version so you can try it yourself
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
Dephase or smoothing is fundamental to get the "in the room" sound. Tell me a factory cab you use in one of your preset and I'll send you the dephased version so you can try it yourself
I normally use ownhammer but I do like the 5153 mixes and also the citrus v30...thanks!
 

brianv4

Power User
This is the key right here. Sticking your head in front is what IEM's are producing as is FRFR. Because it is hearing what the mic hears when sticking it right in front of the speaker. It is absolutely in our heads. We have this notion after so many years of playing about how things should sound and work ect. Honestly the way most guys hear a tradition amp set up is not exactly natural. Sound blowing behind us at our waist or below rolls off lots of high end.

Back in the day I had many different rigs including 3 channel dual rec, tri axis with a 2:90 (and a strategy 500 before that) and a VHT (Fryette Sig X) I loved my live tone on stage but never ever ever liked anything I heard recorded live. It did not translate well to anywhere but me on stage. This forum has guys who fall in to camps. Those who only care if they sound good to themselves on stage and those want it to sound good to the crowd. FAS changed my life in 2010. I started understanding some things about FOH sound and why my tone did not sound well in the past when recorded live. Since 2010 I am super happy with my love tones, sounds guys love me and I get complements every time I play out.
Bam, you hit the nail on the head. we listen to speakers either on axis or off. When in the studio, you want to be in direct line with the monitors. When you play a (traditional) guitar amp you're not sticking your ear directly in front of the speaker(s). So when using a CLR or other FRFR and you're not digging the sound because it sounds thin, bright etc whatever and you're not getting that "amp in the room" sound - change it's position. Instead of setting it up as a stage monitor, put it in backline mode (so it sits on the floor as your guitar amp/cab would). Now that you're not directly on axis you can listen to your sound "in the room". You can't expect amp in the room sound on axis. A guitar amp won't give it to you that way either. You have to listen to it, well, in the room.
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
Bam, you hit the nail on the head. we listen to speakers either on axis or off. When in the studio, you want to be in direct line with the monitors. When you play a (traditional) guitar amp you're not sticking your ear directly in front of the speaker(s). So when using a CLR or other FRFR and you're not digging the sound because it sounds thin, bright etc whatever and you're not getting that "amp in the room" sound - change it's position. Instead of setting it up as a stage monitor, put it in backline mode (so it sits on the floor as your guitar amp/cab would). Now that you're not directly on axis you can listen to your sound "in the room". You can't expect amp in the room sound on axis. A guitar amp won't give it to you that way either. You have to listen to it, well, in the room.

The problem is I have done that...in qall positions and the CLR still has this "sound" to it that doesn't sound like the amp in the room. I know it's a preference thing and it's something I can deal with from time to time but moving it and putting it in different configuartions, eqs, etc doesn't change the sound of the actual speaker that the tone is coming through. Not the IR or cab...the sound of the CLR.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
The problem is I have done that...in qall positions and the CLR still has this "sound" to it that doesn't sound like the amp in the room. I know it's a preference thing and it's something I can deal with from time to time but moving it and putting it in different configuartions, eqs, etc doesn't change the sound of the actual speaker that the tone is coming through. Not the IR or cab...the sound of the CLR.
You're never going to get a full-range monitor to sound like an amp in the room regardless of the IR used. One reason for this is dispersion. A traditional guitar cabinet has a beam pattern that decreases with increasing frequency. This means less high frequencies when listening off-axis. A full-range monitor will have more highs. Now some will argue that if you capture the traditional cab off-axis in the far field then you'll get the same thing but you won't because the monitor is not interacting with the environment in the same way. The traditional cab will send less frequency content to off-axis which is then reflected off the floor, walls and ceiling. The monitor will send more highs off-axis that are reflected. Our hearing relies a LOT on the spatial cues of reflection and the reflections will not be the same.

Compound the above with the fact that 99.9% of IRs are near field captures which sound nothing like the far field.

I believe trying to get a monitor to do amp in the room is a lesson in futility. If you really want that sound use a traditional guitar cab.
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
You're never going to get a full-range monitor to sound like an amp in the room regardless of the IR used. One reason for this is dispersion. A traditional guitar cabinet has a beam pattern that decreases with increasing frequency. This means less high frequencies when listening off-axis. A full-range monitor will have more highs. Now some will argue that if you capture the traditional cab off-axis in the far field then you'll get the same thing but you won't because the monitor is not interacting with the environment in the same way. The traditional cab will send less frequency content to off-axis which is then reflected off the floor, walls and ceiling. The monitor will send more highs off-axis that are reflected. Our hearing relies a LOT on the spatial cues of reflection and the reflections will not be the same.

Compound the above with the fact that 99.9% of IRs are near field captures which sound nothing like the far field.

I believe trying to get a monitor to do amp in the room is a lesson in futility. If you really want that sound use a traditional guitar cab.
I totally understand that. I might be confusing people here...I'm not trying to get the same sound/feel from the CLR that I get from a real cab. I get all that. I've been saying the sound of the CLR is adding something to the tone...at least I can hear it. If I record direct to my computer/interface/monitors, I don't hear it. My whole point is I hear something different when running the CLR that isn't as pleasing to my ears. I'd compare it to the sound every line 6 product adds...digital something. It's nowhere near as bad but it doesn't sound as transparent as the CLR is said to be...to me anyway.
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
Couldn't do the de-phase since it's not there but tried the GEQ and that doesn't get me what I want to hear. I don't think it's an eq thing. It's the "sound" of the CLR.
This is a long thread all of which I have not read so I don't really know which particular problems you are having with your CLR.

But in my own experience of A/B'ing my CLRs with the other offerings out there in the same/similar price range, the CLR always comes out on top.
So I suggest that it's not the CLR's sound you don't like.
It's either your specific Presets that you don't like because they still need tweaking, or you, like me, just can't get used to the sound and feel of playing live through FRFR systems at all.

In my case...
I've never been comfortable monitoring myself in the studio through the studio's near-field monitors.
To me, as a jazz musician, I think of the recording process as being the act of *trying* to capture the sound the musicians make in the room they are making it in.
To me, the final result of the stereo recording has always been a compromise compared to the original music.
And playing electric guitar through studio monitors never really fully represents the sound I get out of my gear and just feels, relatively speaking, uncomfortable to play.
Over the years, of course, I've gotten used to playing through FRFR near-field monitors via a mic'd cab, begrudgingly.

But the types of monitors we use on stage are not designed for the near-field.
They're designed to project and to project with a specific dispersion pattern which is way different than the way that sound disperses out of a guitar cab.
So, while I'm used to playing through near-field FRFR systems (with mic'd cabs or IRs of mic'd cabs), I still can't get used to those same signals coming out of a monitor like the CLR even though the CLR is about as good as those types of monitors get (w/o spending 3 Xs as much).

I.e. Maybe live FRFR just isn't for you?
There's no shame in that. :)

One of the things that I find so cool about the Axe is that if I ever get a gig (e.g. a musical theatre show) where I HAVE TO use an FRFR feed, the output of the Axe's Cab Block sounds musical enough to me that I don't have to freak out about it.
I remember a gig I had in Vegas (Alladin Hotel - circa 1989) for a month where I had to run my amp into a Red Box and then into a little hot spot monitor because the pit bosses didn't want any sound leaking onto the casino floor from the lounge.
I was so stressed out by the sound I was getting that I was basically a basket case for the entire gig.
The Cab Block's output is several orders of magnitude better than that scenario.
And evidently if you're doing gigs where you need to use an FRFR system live, the Cab Block is pretty easy to get used to or there wouldn't be so many Axe-FX users out there using FRFR systems at the moment.

Good luck finding what you're after.
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
The problem is I have done that...in qall positions and the CLR still has this "sound" to it that doesn't sound like the amp in the room. I know it's a preference thing and it's something I can deal with from time to time but moving it and putting it in different configuartions, eqs, etc doesn't change the sound of the actual speaker that the tone is coming through. Not the IR or cab...the sound of the CLR.
Just curious...
Have you shot an IR yet of the speaker in the guitar cab that you use with your power amp to A/B with the CLR?
Shooting a good IR of a cab can be tricky.
E.g. I have yet to shoot an IR of my own cabs that is satisfactory.
My driver of choice is an EVM-12L though and they seem to be tricky beats to capture with an IR anyway.
But lots of other folks wear by it.
Might be just the ticket for you.
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
Just curious...
Have you shot an IR yet of the speaker in the guitar cab that you use with your power amp to A/B with the CLR?
Shooting a good IR of a cab can be tricky.
E.g. I have yet to shoot an IR of my own cabs that is satisfactory.
My driver of choice is an EVM-12L though and they seem to be tricky beats to capture with an IR anyway.
But lots of other folks wear by it.
Might be just the ticket for you.
I've shot many IRs...but the IR is not the issue for me. See a few posts up...it's the sound the CLR has. When playing the same presets through other monitors (studio), I don't hear something being added to it.

Again, I'm going to work at it. I know it won't sound and feel like a real amp/cab in the room. That's not my point. I can make it work for what it is. I was saying that the CLR is changing what I hear from other sources.
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
I've shot many IRs...but the IR is not the issue for me. See a few posts up...it's the sound the CLR has. When playing the same presets through other monitors (studio), I don't hear something being added to it.

Again, I'm going to work at it. I know it won't sound and feel like a real amp/cab in the room. That's not my point. I can make it work for what it is. I was saying that the CLR is changing what I hear from other sources.
Sounds like the same issue I have, which I've decided is really a near-field FRFR monitor vs far-field FRFR monitor thing.

Have you tried any other far-field FRFR monitors, i.e. an FRFR system designed for live sound?
Again, in my experience with doing this, the CLR, although never quite right, always sounds better than *any* of the alternatives.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
I totally understand that. I might be confusing people here...I'm not trying to get the same sound/feel from the CLR that I get from a real cab. I get all that. I've been saying the sound of the CLR is adding something to the tone...at least I can hear it. If I record direct to my computer/interface/monitors, I don't hear it. My whole point is I hear something different when running the CLR that isn't as pleasing to my ears. I'd compare it to the sound every line 6 product adds...digital something. It's nowhere near as bad but it doesn't sound as transparent as the CLR is said to be...to me anyway.
Try to borrow a pair of EAW or Meyer.
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
Sounds like the same issue I have, which I've decided is really a near-field FRFR monitor vs far-field FRFR monitor thing.

Have you tried any other far-filed FRFR monitors, i.e. an FRFR system designed to live sound?
Again, in my experience of doing this, the CLR, although never quite right, always sounds better than any of the alternatives.
I've tried Alto and Friedman. Thinking of giving the Friedman another shot since I know the AX8 better now but I may just make due with the CLR.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
What do you guys that have a CLR use for your global EQ settings?
I do my global eq outside of the box.

I have a personal monitor mixer with 3-band EQ. I use that for my guitar and vocal going to the CLR.

My typical settings would be a mid boost and high cut. My presets aren't bass heavy so I don't mess the the low band unless the stage is boomy.
 

muudrock

Experienced
What do you guys that have a CLR use for your global EQ settings?
I cut a little in the lows, and a little in the highs-no more than 6 db. I leave the mids alone. I also use the low and high cut in the cab block- usually around 90k low and 7000k high. To me with these settings, the CLR performs very well and is very puncy. Actually most FR units sound good to me using this method.
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
I've tried Alto and Friedman. Thinking of giving the Friedman another shot since I know the AX8 better now but I may just make due with the CLR.
All I can say is.....well, as we say in Jersey...you poor baystid! :-\

I'm really sorry you're still not happy. I mean that sincerely. There's nothing worse than having all this killer gear and not totally being where you want to be. Some of this may be irrelevant to you, so I apologize in advance for being wordy.

Well, I promised you I'd come back after that session with that client with the Matrix stuff. I dialed in 8 hours worth of sounds for this cat and have a new appreciation for the Matrix power amp and monitor. So much so I *may* get one myself....but I think I'm going to wait to see what Cliff is secretly building due to the hints he dropped. :)

Anyway, everything went well in my session. I managed to create some incredible tones for this guy rather easy. We used 3 different guitars and came up with multiple presets, scenes, special effects...it was pretty nuts. I must admit I was a little scared I might fail as I had never really messed with anything like this before. You know, that fear of the unknown thing. But we had our first sound in oh....maybe 6 minutes?

Now, all the above said.....though I loved this rig and all the sounds we came up with, I found it needs major low passing (removal of high end) on lead sounds and is VERY bad to tone match with. Like so bad, if that is flat response, I question what we are really listening to these days. For the heck of it, I tried to tone match some Van Halen. Those of you that know me, know I get a pretty close VH TM no matter what I'm doing. I failed at this like you can't believe. Like failed to the point of embarrassment. But I won't get into that as it has no relevance to what we're talking about here. For starters, the sound of Ed coming through the Matrix was exactly what you're explaining, @skyhighrocks .....missing something. Anyway....that's a topic for another day...

My belief in a nutshell is this: I sincerely believe a REAL cab is warming things up to the point of altering the sound the way analog tape decks did. People blame digital for being high endy and abrasive when in reality, it is giving you what you put in. Analog is what has always altered the tone. This right here, is the problem I think people with CLR's are having. It's literally giving you what you are feeding into it at all times. And, because it's not warming things up like an analog tape deck that had natural tape compression, saturation etc (in our case, we don't have a cab that is doing that) the sound is missing "something".

That said, I didn't hear anything stale or anything missing when I created the tones we worked with from scratch other than the lead tones had to be low passed all the way down to about 6k or lower. Of course we had the CLR right at our ears, so there was no way we were going to miss anything.

I think yek is onto something with the EQ thing, which you MAY be able to tweak using the amp eq. I use the 8 band quite a bit and find myself almost nearly removing all of the 8k until any fizz or harshness is gone. OR, if you are using a cab block, try high cutting to 4000 or something crazy and increasing it to add a little more air presence.

Shame you live so far away...I'd like a shot at tweaking that tone for you. Just don't ask me to tone match anything on that system yet until I figure out the best way to do it. LOL!!! Live tone matches are always a tweak session though. I remember doing my EVH sound and then trying to make it transfer to my real cab/power amp. It didn't take long, about 30 minutes...but it is DEFINITELY different than my studio EVH sound. You just gotta tweak this stuff until you find the sweet spot for you, man. And, if you are uncertain on where to tweak, that makes it a heck of a lot more frustrating.

In closing, though I only lived with the Matrix rig for a little over 8 hours, the compact size was as impressive as the massive tone that came out of it. For myself though, I may buy one to experiment with since I sort of create custom Axe Fx tones for people now and should always be able to relate, I still favor the sound of my 25 watt Greenback's. It's a bit more to lug around, but the sound to me on stage is where I need to be.

At the end of the day, your fate is always going to be in the sound man's hands. Even when things are perfect on YOUR end, sometimes your sound sucks because of him. However, one thing people will hopefully never say about me....is "your sound from the stage sucked." THAT, I have control over....sound men....sometimes you win, most times you lose unless you bring your own personal guy with you. I do that when I tour, but for little clubs and my VH tribute band...we take who comes with the venue. ;) Guitar players tend to stand right in front of me with their arms folded hoping to intimidate me. I love it...get closer and check out the sound of my Fractal. :p
 

skyhighrocks

Inspired
All I can say is.....well, as we say in Jersey...you poor baystid! :-\

I'm really sorry you're still not happy. I mean that sincerely. There's nothing worse than having all this killer gear and not totally being where you want to be. Some of this may be irrelevant to you, so I apologize in advance for being wordy.

Well, I promised you I'd come back after that session with that client with the Matrix stuff. I dialed in 8 hours worth of sounds for this cat and have a new appreciation for the Matrix power amp and monitor. So much so I *may* get one myself....but I think I'm going to wait to see what Cliff is secretly building due to the hints he dropped. :)

Anyway, everything went well in my session. I managed to create some incredible tones for this guy rather easy. We used 3 different guitars and came up with multiple presets, scenes, special effects...it was pretty nuts. I must admit I was a little scared I might fail as I had never really messed with anything like this before. You know, that fear of the unknown thing. But we had our first sound in oh....maybe 6 minutes?

Now, all the above said.....though I loved this rig and all the sounds we came up with, I found it needs major low passing (removal of high end) on lead sounds and is VERY bad to tone match with. Like so bad, if that is flat response, I question what we are really listening to these days. For the heck of it, I tried to tone match some Van Halen. Those of you that know me, know I get a pretty close VH TM no matter what I'm doing. I failed at this like you can't believe. Like failed to the point of embarrassment. But I won't get into that as it has no relevance to what we're talking about here. For starters, the sound of Ed coming through the Matrix was exactly what you're explaining, @skyhighrocks .....missing something. Anyway....that's a topic for another day...

My belief in a nutshell is this: I sincerely believe a REAL cab is warming things up to the point of altering the sound the way analog tape decks did. People blame digital for being high endy and abrasive when in reality, it is giving you what you put in. Analog is what has always altered the tone. This right here, is the problem I think people with CLR's are having. It's literally giving you what you are feeding into it at all times. And, because it's not warming things up like an analog tape deck that had natural tape compression, saturation etc (in our case, we don't have a cab that is doing that) the sound is missing "something".

That said, I didn't hear anything stale or anything missing when I created the tones we worked with from scratch other than the lead tones had to be low passed all the way down to about 6k or lower. Of course we had the CLR right at our ears, so there was no way we were going to miss anything.

I think yek is onto something with the EQ thing, which you MAY be able to tweak using the amp eq. I use the 8 band quite a bit and find myself almost nearly removing all of the 8k until any fizz or harshness is gone. OR, if you are using a cab block, try high cutting to 4000 or something crazy and increasing it to add a little more air presence.

Shame you live so far away...I'd like a shot at tweaking that tone for you. Just don't ask me to tone match anything on that system yet until I figure out the best way to do it. LOL!!! Live tone matches are always a tweak session though. I remember doing my EVH sound and then trying to make it transfer to my real cab/power amp. It didn't take long, about 30 minutes...but it is DEFINITELY different than my studio EVH sound. You just gotta tweak this stuff until you find the sweet spot for you, man. And, if you are uncertain on where to tweak, that makes it a heck of a lot more frustrating.

In closing, though I only lived with the Matrix rig for a little over 8 hours, the compact size was as impressive as the massive tone that came out of it. For myself though, I may buy one to experiment with since I sort of create custom Axe Fx tones for people now and should always be able to relate, I still favor the sound of my 25 watt Greenback's. It's a bit more to lug around, but the sound to me on stage is where I need to be.

At the end of the day, your fate is always going to be in the sound man's hands. Even when things are perfect on YOUR end, sometimes your sound sucks because of him. However, one thing people will hopefully never say about me....is "your sound from the stage sucked." THAT, I have control over....sound men....sometimes you win, most times you lose unless you bring your own personal guy with you. I do that when I tour, but for little clubs and my VH tribute band...we take who comes with the venue. ;) Guitar players tend to stand right in front of me with their arms folded hoping to intimidate me. I love it...get closer and check out the sound of my Fractal. :p

Thanks for that Danny. I understan completely what you're saying. The digital/analog thing is probably what it is for me. It doesn't sound warm to me. It doesn't feel warm either...feels really stiff. But it is what it is. No amount of tweaking is going to replicate what I like to hear if I use FRFR. I'm just an analog/amp/cab guy. I will make this work the best I can because some parts of my job require it.
 
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