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FRFR "Amp In the Room" Experiment

kruzty

Inspired
I finally got around to trying something last night with my 2 CLR wedges. With my tube amps I used open back cabs, so I'm used to the sound that comes out of the back and the reflections that mix with front. That's what I think of when I hear people say they want "amp in the room" sound. So, I put put one wedge on the floor (in back line position) facing toward me and put the other on top of it facing backwards. Output 1 went to the forward facing cab an Output 2 to the other one. Then, in the AxeFx I inverted the phase for Output 2 (this is the key piece).

I was not disappointed. It was that very familiar open back, in the room feeling. You can do some interesting things with this, too. For example, you can use a 4x12 IR and have open back an open back 4x12. Or, you can also adjust the level of the backward facing cab to taste and/or room size. Anyway, I don't know if I will actually use that technique all the time, but it is nice to know that it is available and very effective.
 

Sixstring

Axe-Master
Very cool, have you considered making an IR of your cab from the front and back and use that to see how it sounds?
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
Oh, I missed that thread. From a quick read, it didn't look like anyone actually tried it?

Actually, the fact that you've done this yourself is what motivated me to send the link to the previous thread. As I wrote in the thread, this hardly seems like a unique idea, and certainly many others (like yourself) have "connected the dots" with respect to what might make modeling amp speaker systems appear more "real" for the "in the room" experience. I think you are one of the few (if not the only???) who've actually followed through with the idea!

I just think that 360 degree emulation of guitar speaker cabinets (reproduced by a speaker system capable of firing in 360 degrees) might be beneficial to those who have a deep appreciation for "in the room" guitar rig, especially since there are so many iconic open back guitar combo amps. At the very least, it's an interesting topic to me, and I enjoy reading what others who are probably much more knowledgeable have to say on the topic.
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
As someone who has always preferred the sound of open back cabs and who is planning on taking the plunge into FRFR in the near future (as soon as my name comes up on the CLR active wedge wait list), I am also quite interested in these types of techniques.

Not being an audio engineer, what I'm about to say probably comes under the heading of pure fantasy but it would be interesting if someone came up with some sort of an FRFR cab that also had a backfiring capability, just for guitar players.
I guess the front and back of this speaker system would have to be more or less identical, using the same drivers, etc.
But there should be separate level and phase controls for front and back and maybe even some basic EQ.

But one of the main reasons I'm planning on going FRFR in the first place is form factor, and a speaker system like the one I'm describing would have to be heavier and bulkier than one that only has to fire in one direction, let alone more expensive.

And of course many of us here have speculated on the idea of making our real open back cabs more amenable to using cab IRs from the Axe's Cab Block somehow.
I use EVM-12Ls myself.
They have enough top end that I don't think I'd really need to add a tweeter.
Most guitar cabs don't get as high as the 12L anyway.
And they're reasonably flat, but not perfectly so, up to around 5k.
So it would be nice to find some sort of a corrective EQ setting (or a corrective IR) that would basically flatten-out the 12L's response across its potential freq spectrum and then maybe using an IR of say a Fender cab might sound more authentic through the EVs.
And since my cabs are already open back I won't have to try to mimic that aspect as well.
It'd never sound anywhere near exactly the same as the Fender cab but might be useful for getting the ballpark and for getting a bit more variety out of the EVs.

So if anybody has already stumbled upon such an EQ curve please let me know so I can try it too.
 

kruzty

Inspired
@Thomas-Hawk: I have the active CLRs.

@jimfist: When I first heard it, I thought "that's just like an open back cab!" Then I thought, "you know what else sounds like an open back cab - an open back cab!" So, if I really only wanted that sound, I would think I might as well use a power amp into a real guitar cab. But, if the situation varies from gig to gig (is the band is only getting vocals in the monitor, or can we get a custom mix?), this could be put to good use.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
@Thomas-Hawk: I have the active CLRs.

@jimfist: When I first heard it, I thought "that's just like an open back cab!" Then I thought, "you know what else sounds like an open back cab - an open back cab!" So, if I really only wanted that sound, I would think I might as well use a power amp into a real guitar cab. But, if the situation varies from gig to gig (is the band is only getting vocals in the monitor, or can we get a custom mix?), this could be put to good use.

What I'm curious about is a "hybrid cabinet emulator" that can cover all the bases and sound good emulating closed back and open back, and retains the best aspects of both for maximum flexibility, for players who mainly use combo-sized amps, and perhaps in smaller venues where the "amp in the room" is more of a factor than one that is blasting through 20kwatts of FOH speakers...for jazz, blues, R&B, or just for the enjoyment of listening at home or in the studio. I don't dismiss the use of amp modelers for guitarists who simply like to have a fun, positive experience as a diversion, much in the same manner people view their (expensive/sophisticated) home entertainment systems.

Just as with the AxeFx, why be stuck with just ONE great flavor of guitar cabinet when you can have MANY in the same package? Obviously, there are many technical/physical aspects to this, but again, I'm more curious at this point of whether the idea works, and has significant value. If it doesn't have value, or does have value but only diminishing returns, then it's all a moot point, I guess.
 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
Why not just a semi/openback FRFR speaker? It's only reflections

I don't think it's possible to design an open back cabinet that will actually be FRFR.
I.e. It might be full-range, but it won't be a flat response.
 

666was999

Power User
You'd need something like the OP did with two monitors. A monitor with speakers at the front and speakers at the back, and a phase correction that also calculates the one milisecond that the signal would need to go from a speaker at the front of the cab to the rear, so the full FRFR signal is blown in both directions as if it came from one source. I guess such a complicated monitor will never get developed, except a DIY guy makes one for himself.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
You'd need something like the OP did with two monitors. A monitor with speakers at the front and speakers at the back, and a phase correction that also calculates the one milisecond that the signal would need to go from a speaker at the front of the cab to the rear, so the full FRFR signal is blown in both directions as if it came from one source. I guess such a complicated monitor will never get developed, except a DIY guy makes one for himself.

Well, I know what you're saying, but never say never. Smaller neodymium speakers and Class D power can make for very light-weight products, and 25 years ago, speaker systems of the weight, power and cost that we use every day would have been thought of as nearly impossible for the average consumer. The broader questions is whether the theory of the idea is actually useful and desirable enough to pursue. I think it's a neat idea to have a guitar speaker system that accurately (in and of itself) emulates the sound coming from all types of combo amp cabinets, whether they be open or closed back, whether it be Vox, Fender, Marshall, Mesa Boogie, etc., all with slightly different flavors of tone and the way they project sound.
 

666was999

Power User
You're right. They got able now to build things (like the AxeFx) that have been impossible 20 years before. And for sure there is growing a new market now for special FRFR solutions for guitar/bass/whatever players of digital modelers.

From my personel point of view the advantage of a small digital rack is bigger compared to a head and 4x12 because this is loud heavyweight stuff and to load these things in your car is a pain in the a..se. When I switched to the Ultra in 2008, it wasn't about sound, I mainly wanted to get rid of big heavyweight parts.
A combo amp isn't that big and heavy and some even don't need to be cranked up much to sound good, so someone who likes combo sounds and has a few gigs in pubs from time to time could just go and buy a combo for these gigs and use the AxeFx for effects only there. So a specialised combolike FRFR solution should be cheap and lightweight, otherwise people just might use combos instead.
 
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