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Fractal Audio and the future of... cabinet sims?

speedloader

Inspired
Hi, long time no see.

It's been years I didn't put my hand on an Axe-FX but I followed Cliff's evolution with great assiduity and interest. Now Cliff has reached a point where I can't hear the axe as an amp simulator anymore.. It's just the real deal with different types of circuitry and hardware. What an amazing journey, really!

Yet when it comes to the cab simulation, we are still stuck with the old 3rd party IR model. Not that IRs can't do a great job, but I expected at some point that we would get some IR generators with algorithms allowing to make an IR from nothing, just based on what we want it to sound like. And free ourselves from those painful banks of IRs which makes everyone sounds like they recorded in the same few studios with the same few cabs.

So I wonder, are you guys satisfied with the current 3rd party IR thing? What do you think is the future of cabinet simulation?
 

DLC86

Fractal Fanatic
Acustica Nebula 3 plugin is a big step forward IMHO, but I think it would be a huge task to run something similar on a DSP
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
Hi, long time no see.

It's been years I didn't put my hand on an Axe-FX but I followed Cliff's evolution with great assiduity and interest. Now Cliff has reached a point where I can't hear the axe as an amp simulator anymore.. It's just the real deal with different types of circuitry and hardware. What an amazing journey, really!

Yet when it comes to the cab simulation, we are still stuck with the old 3rd party IR model. Not that IRs can't do a great job, but I expected at some point that we would get some IR generators with algorithms allowing to make an IR from nothing, just based on what we want it to sound like. And free ourselves from those painful banks of IRs which makes everyone sounds like they recorded in the same few studios with the same few cabs.

So I wonder, are you guys satisfied with the current 3rd party IR thing? What do you think is the future of cabinet simulation?

A few answers going in and out of the lines......brevity isn't a strong point of mine...

Me personally, between my own IR's and the ones made for us, I have no issues with them, am completely happy and if I do have issues, I just mic my favorite cab up and record or play live that way. Though I can see the interest with the whole modeling thing as well as with amps.....I think the user base WAY over-thinks things and relies strictly on comparisons that shouldn't be compared.

For example, though an Acura NSX is a killer car, it's NOT and never will be a Ferrari. If I want the Ferrari, I have to buy it. I also have to drive the NSX differently than I would a Ferrari because again, it's NOT a Ferrari. Now when we talk about cabs, amps and modeling.....we have been given "the flavors" of these cabs and amps. You have to use them for what they are, not what we wish they were. If you want something specific, I think it can be dialed in with Fractal products....but if you want a real cab or amp, that's where you have to be.

Another case in point...when I create custom presets for people, they send me a list of all the gear the artist they want me to cop used. None of that to me is helpful because the amps and cabs we have will always behave differently. I had a guy send me all this info for a Satch sound. None of the stuff he shared worked when I created the preset. When he heard the sound I created, he couldn't believe I used what I used. In the modeling world, you use what works....don't even look at the names. You can't look at it with a strictly "modelling" frame of mind, and I think way too many are stressing themselves out thinking that way. Even with cabs.

Anyway....sorry, a little of track there, but still in the essence of.....

Another problem is we are presented with too many choices. Remember when you saved up your money for one amp and one cab that you loved? You, me and everyone else survived and came up with killer tones. Now because we have so many choices, we have statements like "free ourselves from those painful banks of IR's" LOL!!!! I'm not knocking you brother speed, I'm just trying to make an obvious point. :) To me in this incredible world of technology, less is sometimes more.

I don't say that from a lazy perspective, but from a teacher, artist, musician, engineer.....the more I have to read and understand while taking time to learn a bunch of new techniques or go through banks of stuff, the less I get done. It's nice to have all these options, but in a real world situation for the professional, it can be a hindrance if you allow it to be.

For the studio guy, the choices are important. But even there...how much can you charge a client as he goes through 300 IR's trying to create a tone? It's hard enough to run a studio when people can go out and buy DAW software. You have to keep things affordable. This is why you hear what sounds like the same cabs recorded at the same studio. If something works....heck, you have to stick with it. Look at EZDrummer...one of the most familiar drum sounds in the amateur industry. It just worked.....and everyone had good drum sounds out of the box. :)

Options that have options that have options, though groundbreaking, can definitely pull you out of your groove. My sanity check is I choose a few IR's of my own that I like, a few stock or bought IR's and I call it a day. My IR's actually work in my cabs live, so I've been able to kill two birds with one stone there. Choices are great....choices taking over our lives because there are so many.....eh, to me that is and always will be counter-productive. Case in point....how many have spent more time tweaking and experimenting with their Axe Fx over actual playing and getting work done? I'd be willing to bet more than will admit to it. ;) Choices can help you win, or beat the balls off of you. LOL! :p
 

speedloader

Inspired
@Danny Danzi , you suggest a less is more approach, that is also what I suggest. If you were less eager to teach someone about something on the internet, maybe you would have noticed it. Thanks for all the obviousness and your curriculum vitae, but you are not worthy of being my teacher. I don't need to be recalled that I can make an IR of my own cab and all the basics for setting and recording an axe-fx. I opened that topic to talk about the next step of cab simulation, I personally think it is synthesis. You can think it is otherwise.
 

electronpirate

Axe-Master
@Danny Danzi , you suggest a less is more approach, that is also what I suggest...

I culled out most of the statement.

This is unnecessarily harsh to someone who actively was contributing to your conversation. You may not agree with it, but threads are not all about agreement. I also think his point is valid, in that we are provided with a huge amount of tone shaping tools on the cab side, so he's essentially saying 'yes', he is satisfied.

You also have a valid point, and this may be a revenue opportunity for Fractal (however, cab-lab and other tools do *somewhat* of the things you're thinking of.) I, for one, tend to gravitate towards the same IR's. I'm not completely satisfied with the IR's, but that is more philosophical in that I believe the technology is still very much a work in process.

R
 

offrhodes

Member
>> old 3rd party IR model
Volterra's the future :)
(It's supposed to be a joke but maybe with a grain of truth in it).
 

Shredology

Experienced
@Danny Danzi , you suggest a less is more approach, that is also what I suggest.....

First of all, too harsh!!
Secondly, I get what you are saying. What we have now are banks of 100's of ir files that we have to listen through individually to learn what they sound like to be able to find the one that we like. This is an incredibly time consuming task. I am evidence of this in the fact that I own dozens of ir's that I have never even listened to. It would take much less time and effort if we had a way to create an ir from the ether with specific characteristics. That is where we need to go for sure
 

Danny Danzi

Power User
@Danny Danzi , you suggest a less is more approach, that is also what I suggest. If you were less eager to teach someone about something on the internet, maybe you would have noticed it. Thanks for all the obviousness and your curriculum vitae, but you are not worthy of being my teacher. I don't need to be recalled that I can make an IR of my own cab and all the basics for setting and recording an axe-fx. I opened that topic to talk about the next step of cab simulation, I personally think it is synthesis. You can think it is otherwise.

For you to take what I said and twist it into me attempting to be your teacher while answering with such harshness, is....well...wow, I really don't know how to respond to that other than with the same aggression you showed me. But, I will bite my tongue as to not add wood to this fire. I basically said in a long winded and courteous way, that I don't care where cab emulation goes nor do I care where amp emulation goes. I'm totally happy with what I have and explained why and also shared some of the repercussions I've experienced by having several options.

Sorry to have elaborated to the extent of you feeling the need to get defensive. Here I thought I was having a cool conversation with you in hopes of adding and building to the thread. Boy was I mistaken. I promise you I'll make it a point to never take part in any conversation you start, nor will I ever contribute to anything where I see your name for the remainder of my stay here.
 

sam

Experienced
I culled out most of the statement.

This is unnecessarily harsh to someone who actively was contributing to your conversation. You may not agree with it, but threads are not all about agreement. I also think his point is valid, in that we are provided with a huge amount of tone shaping tools on the cab side, so he's essentially saying 'yes', he is satisfied.

Not to pile on, but yes this is too harsh. Don't forget that these threads are for everyone's benefit, not just the thread's original author. Danny is not necessarily presuming to teach you, but rather offer his knowledge to all of us. I would say don't take it the wrong way.
 

Pwrmac7600

Power User
@Danny Danzi , you suggest a less is more approach, that is also what I suggest. If you were less eager to teach someone about something on the internet, maybe you would have noticed it. Thanks for all the obviousness and your curriculum vitae, but you are not worthy of being my teacher. I don't need to be recalled that I can make an IR of my own cab and all the basics for setting and recording an axe-fx. I opened that topic to talk about the next step of cab simulation, I personally think it is synthesis. You can think it is otherwise.

Completely uncalled for response man. @Danny Danzi is never anything but helpful and nice to everyone. If those are the kind of responses you give to those who contribute to threads you create, then I have no doubt you will be limiting the amount of responses you get....
 

profusion

Inspired
I had a guy send me all this info for a Satch sound. None of the stuff he shared worked when I created the preset. When he heard the sound I created, he couldn't believe I used what I used.

Don't forget that what Satch actually used in the studio versus the gear he's typically associated with might not be the same thing. Satch's book was an eye opener in terms of how much he experiments with different gear and approaches. The AFX2 and some decent IRs allow you to do that in a single piece of gear.

Also, there are plenty of great IRs already in the box without having to go third party. I was mucking around with my go-to SLO-100 patch in the AFX2 the other day after I loaded 5.03, and I was enjoying how many different great sounds I could dial in with just that single amp sim and a couple of the newer stock ultra-res cabs. Seriously, there is NO excuse anymore for getting bad sounds out of the AFX2 except for laziness or lack of basic knowledge. It's not even that difficult to dial in anymore, since *I* can do it.
 
S

Soultrash

Guest
Hi, long time no see.

It's been years I didn't put my hand on an Axe-FX but I followed Cliff's evolution with great assiduity and interest. Now Cliff has reached a point where I can't hear the axe as an amp simulator anymore.. It's just the real deal with different types of circuitry and hardware. What an amazing journey, really!

Yet when it comes to the cab simulation, we are still stuck with the old 3rd party IR model. Not that IRs can't do a great job, but I expected at some point that we would get some IR generators with algorithms allowing to make an IR from nothing, just based on what we want it to sound like. And free ourselves from those painful banks of IRs which makes everyone sounds like they recorded in the same few studios with the same few cabs.

So I wonder, are you guys satisfied with the current 3rd party IR thing? What do you think is the future of cabinet simulation?

IR's are nice to have but clearly what's "holding back" the AXE FX,
i've stated this a few times before and my opinion on this did not change over the yeas at all!

IIRC cliff wrote a few years ago that he has the knowledge/methods to emulate a
speaker 100% accurately but that it would take too much processing power.

well, if this has to be accomplished with a completely standalone unit just for the cab simulation
so be it, i would totally buy this, even if it was at the price range of an AXE FX or above.

no matter how good the IR's are i am still missing that 3D feeling of a mic's cabinet.
IR's always sound kind of isolated and "direct" which makes them OK but
a real pain in the butt when it comes to recording/mixing. for some reason, well mic'd guitar
tracks almost instantly sit perfectly in the mix while guitar tracks recorded using IR's always
"stick out" in a very strange way.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
...no matter how good the IR's are i am still missing that 3D feeling of a mic's cabinet.
IR's always sound kind of isolated and "direct" which makes them OK but a real pain in the butt when it comes to recording/mixing. for some reason, well mic'd guitar tracks almost instantly sit perfectly in the mix while guitar tracks recorded using IR's always "stick out" in a very strange way.

Interesting. To eliminate other variables from your evaluation, have you done a test to verify this discrepancy using the same pre-recorded direct guitar source for both ways, rather than comparing different takes? Additionally did you compare the mic'd cab track to an IR track of that very same cab/mic/and position without having moved the mic or cab? Did you A/B rapidly?
 
IR's are nice to have but clearly what's "holding back" the AXE FX,
i've stated this a few times before and my opinion on this did not change over the yeas at all!

IIRC cliff wrote a few years ago that he has the knowledge/methods to emulate a
speaker 100% accurately but that it would take too much processing power.

well, if this has to be accomplished with a completely standalone unit just for the cab simulation
so be it, i would totally buy this, even if it was at the price range of an AXE FX or above.

no matter how good the IR's are i am still missing that 3D feeling of a mic's cabinet.
IR's always sound kind of isolated and "direct" which makes them OK but
a real pain in the butt when it comes to recording/mixing. for some reason, well mic'd guitar
tracks almost instantly sit perfectly in the mix while guitar tracks recorded using IR's always
"stick out" in a very strange way.
This.
 

BillyZeppa

Power User
If you're looking for the 'amp in the room', there's a company on these boards, that makes FRFR Standard 4x12 guitar cabs. I don't recall the name but someone else might.

Or do you and some people find the IR capture to differ from the mic'ed cab it came from? If so how?
 
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GM Arts

Fractal Fanatic
I also recall Cliff saying that cab modelling is beyond current hardware capabilities.

However, I wonder whether cab emulation might be achievable. It sure would be preferable to dial in IR tones we want instead of the near-crap-shoot loading IR files.

I've had half-good results using a parametric block + multi delay block (for low freq notches) + flanger (no modulation, for high freq notches). But literally only half-good as in not really usable.
 
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DLC86

Fractal Fanatic
IIRC cliff wrote a few years ago that he has the knowledge/methods to emulate a
speaker 100% accurately but that it would take too much processing power.

well, if this has to be accomplished with a completely standalone unit just for the cab simulation
so be it, i would totally buy this, even if it was at the price range of an AXE FX or above.
Maybe we could expect or hope for something like this in the active version of the new load box?
 

Tahoebrian5

Fractal Fanatic
Maybe a good compromise would be more editing tools in the cab block. Being able to get close with an IR, then get the rest of the way adjusting notches, etc
 
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