Thank you very much.
Absolutely. The reason for my post is that based on a lot of posts above I suspect that many people believe a far-field IR will introduce some of the room sound, and therefore you should blend a small amount of them with a close-miced IR. Like you would mics in the studio. But that's not at all how they work.
In my experience, it depends on the FF IR. I've used some (eg. Ownhammer) that do, in fact, sound like they were mic'd at a distance, despite the lack of any notably audible room reverberation, thus blending them with a NF IR can yield a nice balance with respect to recording based tones. On the flip side, while the FF IR's in this set were mic'd at a distance, they sound great and upfront enough on their own to my ears that I, personally, don't feel a need to blend them with any other IR's.
FYI, far-field IRs don’t really capture the room reverberation as they aren’t long enough, so there’s no reason they need to be blended with close-miced IRs. They are perfectly useable on their own (in fact many would argue they are better than close-miced IRs).
I suspect that many people believe a far-field IR will introduce some of the room sound, and therefore you should blend a small amount of them with a close-miced IR. Like you would mics in the studio. But that's not at all how they work.
Far-field IRs are not the panacea some are making them out to be. Some things need clarification:
1. A far-field IR will still not sound exactly like "amp in the room". The reason for this is that the dispersion of a guitar cabinet is very different than that of a FRFR speaker. An FRFR speaker has far wider dispersion at high frequencies, by design. With a guitar cabinet the low frequencies are less directional than the highs. This causes the cab to interact with the room differently.
So even if you capture a far-field IR it will not sound the same through a FRFR speaker.
2. Most of the time we are not in the far-field of a guitar cabinet. At 10 kHz the far-field of a 12" speaker is about 18 ft. So usually we're in the far-field at some frequencies but in the Fresnel zone at others. At a typical distance of, say, 5 ft. we are only in the far-field at frequencies below roughly 3 kHz. Above that we are in the Fresnel zone.
3. Because of #2 the sound at each ear can be quite a bit different. That six inches or so between our ears makes a big difference. When using a far-field IR the same sound will be presented to each ear. Even when in the far-field the sound changes pretty dramatically vs. angle because the dispersion is a function of frequency. One ear will hear more highs than the other.
4. A cab with more than one speaker creates significant challenges. For example, a 4x12 has a far-field at 10 kHz that's roughly 100 feet! If you capture an IR of that cab at, say, 10 feet you are nowhere near the far-field. At anything other than nadir (aka boresight, 0 degrees) the individual speakers will contribute with different times of arrival. This results in extremely phasey sound (we were able to get some 4x12 IRs by using a special trick but in general you need to be very far away).
We don't hear this phasiness when listening to the real cab though because of #2. We get very different signals at each ear and our brain processes these. When using a Fresnel-zone IR of a 4x12 the same signal goes to both ears.
5. Many guitar cabs are open back. A far-field IR of an open back cab through an FRFR monitor will sound very different because you're not reproducing the sound coming out of the back of the cab and bouncing off the walls.
6. The sound of recorded guitar is near-field. This is what most people are used to hearing. So if you're trying to get the sound of your favorite record you won't get that with far-field IRs.
The takeaway from all this is that if you truly want the sound of amp in the room the best way to get that is to use an actual guitar cab. This isn't to say that far-field IRs are useless. They will give you a roughly similar sound to a guitar cab but it's just not the same.
You're right, it's not wrong to blend them but if the intent is to add a room sound there are better ways to achieve it.
I'm gradually coming to the opinion that they are a better approach than micing a real cab for recording - with a real cab if you want the sound of the whole cab then you're also getting some of the room, and if you don't want the room then you're pretty much only hearing the speaker cone. That's fine if you have a good sounding room that you want on every guitar part on every recording... With a reflection-free far-field IR you get the whole cab and none of the room (which you can easily add later if you want it).
FYI, for me, these sound way better blended with my original IRs, than they do alone. I guess I failed to mention trying them alone, but yeah, did not dig them at all that way. YMMV
They sure sound great that way though!
If the intent is to reproduce the sound of a room mic, reverb alone doesn't always or necessarily cut it, in my opinion.
If you position a mic right on (or near) the grill, room sound is minimal, and many famous guitar recordings are traditionally near-field. The truth is, most people have absolutely no idea what many of their favorite recorded tones sounded like directly from whatever cab was used in the room they were recorded in, and ironically, many guitarists attempt to reproduce the sound of their favorite recorded tones through their real cab.
Do you recommend aligning the far field cab if used with another cab IR?
Thank you for these cabs I think they sound really good, definitely among the best I have tried. Sounds awesome mixed with my other favorite IR.
You should align impulses ideally but sometimes a little misalignment adds character.I haven’t yet, but I have the same question about whether best practices would be to align all impulses when using one farfield IR. I am assuming the blank at the beginning of the farfields is just the gap caused by mic distance from the cab.
Personally I don't like the sound of far-field IRs that have reflections and I'd rather use reverb and/or delay for that purpose, but each to his own.
What's hitting the back of your knees isn't near field unless you're standing right in front of your cab...I don’t know much about IRs, and FRFR units haven’t done it for me. (I guess that my brain needs near field responses from the back of my knees and mid field response from my head. By the way, my head doesn’t like hitting columns either.)