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Live vs. Recording Presets & Cab IRs

DanGuitarMan

Inspired
Does anybody else feel the need to use separate presets/cab IRs for recording versus live?

I find a lot of the built-in and third party presets sound great in recording situations. I've recorded on a few albums with ready made presets, and they sound and feel fantastic. There is a ton of useful information on how to turn any preset in to a "live" one using EQ techniques, but I get limited mileage out of that, finding that they are still too bright and/or boomy somehow.

My current technique is using the Ownhammer IRs. I find the IR I like, trying to match the recording I'm trying to emulate, usually in the quick start or summary folder. Then, I find the "mid-boost" file of the same IR and use that for my live preset. I don't even normally use the high or low cut in the cab block, because I feel the IR does that already.

What are some of your techniques for bridging the live——studio divide? Or am I just making this up in my head?

Fractal rules!
 

2112

Fractal Fanatic
Live vs the studio are completely different beasts, so it sounds like you've found a great system to bridge the divide.

I like mic blends for recording as opposed to a straight up 57 for live, which is what I'd do with real amps in each case .
 

Atte

Inspired
I have definitely been battling with the same issue. My approach has just been to take the same amp but look for a better suited IR and settings at higher volume.

Off topic: is anyone else experiencing issues with mobile typing here? Almost every time I hit the spacebar it just types a letter instead of a space. Usually the first letter of the last word.
 

DanGuitarMan

Inspired
Thanks for the replies everyone...I'll give them a try. As far as the mobile typing, everything is working fine on my end. I'm using Safari on an iPhone.
 

Callan

Experienced
Off topic: is anyone else experiencing issues with mobile typing here? Almost every time I hit the spacebar it just types a letter instead of a space. Usually the first letter of the last word.
Yep, this is the only site where my mobile keyboard word correction doesn't work correctly- seems to make some hybrid word between what I want and what it thinks I typed. I thought it was only me. Very annoying
 

muudrock

Experienced
I typically have 2 versions of the same presets for studio and live with the studio version being somewhat brighter. It's a lot easier to tweak a guitar sound for a recorded mix. I've found the Celestion IRs work great for live and studio patches as they aren't as hyped in the highs and lows. I tend to make my own mixes, but the factory IR mixes are good too.
For live use presets, my "trick" is to use the speaker delay parameter in the cab block and set it to .0020-.0030 with a low cut set to 75hz-85hz and the high cut at 20000. For recording patches, I just turn off the speaker delay. I've had great results this way and its not a total re write of the patch to make it work. Copy and adjust a couple setting. Again this method is usually using the Celestion IRs, but others do work as well.
The results are a nice balanced sound without too much lows or highs. I'm not a fan of boosting mids after the amp or cab block because it always sounds artificial to me. If I can't get a good balanced sound without post eq, I change the Amp or Cab to something else. FWIW, I run the global eq flat with only a slight cut at 8 khz.
 
try to use low and high cuts
my personal settings are
87h and 6500hz
that way your are not hurting too much people with the highs and generally bright room and high level horn loaded box.

live is all about the low-mids
 

Geezerjohn

Fractal Fanatic
I agree with Leon. Two different things. When I dial in a preset for recording, I work with it until I am happy with the sound, and then I save it using a name that will make sense to me for live use. When I say happy with the sound, I think ahead about the mix and voice the guitar accordingly. I want some tracks to stand out and other tracks to blend in. Not the same thing eq-wise. After the recording is done, I now have the preset to use live. I want the live performance to sound like the recording so I try to keep the tweaking to a minimum. This approach worked very well for me when I was with Supernal Endgame. Our live performances sounded very much like the album (Touch The Sky Volume II). The music was complex with many preset changes. It was challenging but worth the effort.
 

DanGuitarMan

Inspired
Live vs the studio are completely different beasts, so it sounds like you've found a great system to bridge the divide.

I like mic blends for recording as opposed to a straight up 57 for live, which is what I'd do with real amps in each case .

Yes, I've been gravitating to mixes of the sm58 and R121. Sounds very natural and familiar to me.

Try a Filter block, set for a mild, broad boost centered somewhere around 800 Hz. Place it somewhere after your amp.

I tried this at last night's gig…holy crap it worked so well. I used it as a "solo boost" in conjunction with the SAT switch in the amp block set to "ideal - 4db boost." I set the filter exactly as you described, using 2db of gain. I'm sold on this for now.

I typically have 2 versions of the same presets for studio and live with the studio version being somewhat brighter. It's a lot easier to tweak a guitar sound for a recorded mix. I've found the Celestion IRs work great for live and studio patches as they aren't as hyped in the highs and lows. I tend to make my own mixes, but the factory IR mixes are good too.
For live use presets, my "trick" is to use the speaker delay parameter in the cab block and set it to .0020-.0030 with a low cut set to 75hz-85hz and the high cut at 20000. For recording patches, I just turn off the speaker delay. I've had great results this way and its not a total re write of the patch to make it work. Copy and adjust a couple setting. Again this method is usually using the Celestion IRs, but others do work as well.
The results are a nice balanced sound without too much lows or highs. I'm not a fan of boosting mids after the amp or cab block because it always sounds artificial to me. If I can't get a good balanced sound without post eq, I change the Amp or Cab to something else. FWIW, I run the global eq flat with only a slight cut at 8 khz.

I'll have to give the Celestion IRs a listen. Does the speaker delay parameter make a difference if you are running everything in mono (which I do)? I've moved my high and low cuts to 40hz and 10,000hz, which also seemed to help my particular presets.

try to use low and high cuts
my personal settings are
87h and 6500hz
that way your are not hurting too much people with the highs and generally bright room and high level horn loaded box.

live is all about the low-mids

I'll have to play with this. Right now I feel that moving the low cut that high emasculates my tone, and the high cut deadens all the cut. I guess to really comes down to your personal amp/guitar/aesthetic preference. What frequencies do you consider crucial to the "low-mid" area?

I agree with Leon. Two different things. When I dial in a preset for recording, I work with it until I am happy with the sound, and then I save it using a name that will make sense to me for live use. When I say happy with the sound, I think ahead about the mix and voice the guitar accordingly. I want some tracks to stand out and other tracks to blend in. Not the same thing eq-wise. After the recording is done, I now have the preset to use live. I want the live performance to sound like the recording so I try to keep the tweaking to a minimum. This approach worked very well for me when I was with Supernal Endgame. Our live performances sounded very much like the album (Touch The Sky Volume II). The music was complex with many preset changes. It was challenging but worth the effort.

This sounds like it would work great for an original project where you took the time to craft individual sounds, and want the same exact feel live. I'm doing some recording projects that are only in studio, and then I have my "live preset" that I try to cover just about everything with…a swiss army knife if you will.

Thanks for all the responses!
 
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Reactions: Rex
I'll have to play with this. Right now I feel that moving the low cut that high emasculates my tone, and the high cut deadens all the cut. I guess to really comes down to your personal amp/guitar/aesthetic preference. What frequencies do you consider crucial to the "low-mid" area?

the spot of the guitars in a traditional rock/metal/blues/distored mix is between 87hz and 9Khz.
most of the guitar fondamental happen between 160 and 4K anything outside of this is only harmonics that support the original notes.

in a band situation, those are the key to '' cut in a mix '' or jus been simply heard. set a side the extreme case.
if you want to make it between the bass and under the load vocal, what you output between 160hz and 2Khz is where you need to shine.
find where is the sweet spot for you but try to focus your tone there.
take an extrem example like AC/DC. the Young bother's got that right. it may not be what you shooting for but its one of the best example of where a guitar sit in a mix.
if cutting under 87hz affect your tone, you may take the spot of the bass.
anything over 9K is just harmonics that are created by the distortions and hide the fondamental frequency if they are too presents.
once set correctly they may add '' air '' to your tone but having too much will make you sound un-naturally bright.

most guitars speakers are design to reproduce mids-range form 70 to 5000. that what the instrument and amp are design to shoot for.
 

Rex

Legend!
the spot of the guitars in a traditional rock/metal/blues/distored mix is between 87hz and 9Khz.
most of the guitar fondamental happen between 160 and 4K anything outside of this is only harmonics that support the original notes.

in a band situation, those are the key to '' cut in a mix '' or jus been simply heard. set a side the extreme case.
if you want to make it between the bass and under the load vocal, what you output between 160hz and 2Khz is where you need to shine.
find where is the sweet spot for you but try to focus your tone there.
take an extrem example like AC/DC. the Young bother's got that right. it may not be what you shooting for but its one of the best example of where a guitar sit in a mix.
if cutting under 87hz affect your tone, you may take the spot of the bass.
anything over 9K is just harmonics that are created by the distortions and hide the fondamental frequency if they are too presents.
once set correctly they may add '' air '' to your tone but having too much will make you sound un-naturally bright.

most guitars speakers are design to reproduce mids-range form 70 to 5000. that what the instrument and amp are design to shoot for.
I agree with your principles, but not with some of the details.
Six-string electric guitar through a traditional cab generates signal between about 80 Hz and anywhere from 5 KHz to 12 KHz, depending on the rig. All guitar fundamentals are below 1.3 KHz. Everything above that is harmonics.
 
Last edited:

DanGuitarMan

Inspired
the spot of the guitars in a traditional rock/metal/blues/distored mix is between 87hz and 9Khz.
most of the guitar fondamental happen between 160 and 4K anything outside of this is only harmonics that support the original notes.

in a band situation, those are the key to '' cut in a mix '' or jus been simply heard. set a side the extreme case.
if you want to make it between the bass and under the load vocal, what you output between 160hz and 2Khz is where you need to shine.
find where is the sweet spot for you but try to focus your tone there.
take an extrem example like AC/DC. the Young bother's got that right. it may not be what you shooting for but its one of the best example of where a guitar sit in a mix.
if cutting under 87hz affect your tone, you may take the spot of the bass.
anything over 9K is just harmonics that are created by the distortions and hide the fondamental frequency if they are too presents.
once set correctly they may add '' air '' to your tone but having too much will make you sound un-naturally bright.

most guitars speakers are design to reproduce mids-range form 70 to 5000. that what the instrument and amp are design to shoot for.

I agree with your principles, but not with some of the details.
Six-string electric guitar through a traditional cab generates signal between about 80 Hz and anywhere from 5 KHz to 12 KHz, depending on the rig. All guitar fundamentals are below 1.3 KHz. Everything above that is harmonics.

This is all really helpful. I bumped my high and low cuts to 60 and 8000 and I'll see how that feels in a live setting. Thanks!
 

Atte

Inspired
It's weird that people feel they're losing something fundamental when hipassing at 87 hz. I myself hipass all my (guitar) presets between 110-160 hz. I feel that anything below 100 is bass territory, and in my band a bit above as well.
 

DanGuitarMan

Inspired
It's weird that people feel they're losing something fundamental when hipassing at 87 hz. I myself hipass all my (guitar) presets between 110-160 hz. I feel that anything below 100 is bass territory, and in my band a bit above as well.

I experimented again with this today. I moved the low cut up to 100hz, but lowered the slope to 6db so it's more gradual and I liked the tone I got.

Lately I've been more methodical in changing only one thing at a time so I can hear and feel the results more clearly. All of that went out the window this week, because I grabbed OwnHammer's new GNR IR. Holy crap does that nail everything Marshall. I tweaked my "swiss army" preset around it, and I haven't looked back. So much fun being able to switch around priceless cabs in the digital realm.
 
I agree with your principles, but not with some of the details.
Six-string electric guitar through a traditional cab generates signal between about 80 Hz and anywhere from 5 KHz to 12 KHz, depending on the rig. All guitar fundamentals are below 1.3 KHz. Everything above that is harmonics.

most guitar speaker are designed to work between 50 and 5000. that what I usually set my low and high cuts at.

it's been my trick so far when I mix bands anywhere form small bars to mid size Arena (l'm a touring front of house Soundman) and every night I get comments about my guitar tone and how much pleasing they are and not ears piercing complair to opening act and other bands.
everybody has his personal taste and I respect that. I just feel setting the crosover points to the design of the speakers are the best starting points and then tight them to please the mix.
 

Rex

Legend!
most guitar speaker are designed to work between 50 and 5000. that what I usually set my low and high cuts at.

it's been my trick so far when I mix bands anywhere form small bars to mid size Arena (l'm a touring front of house Soundman) and every night I get comments about my guitar tone and how much pleasing they are and not ears piercing complair to opening act and other bands.
everybody has his personal taste and I respect that. I just feel setting the crosover points to the design of the speakers are the best starting points and then tight them to please the mix.
Definitely do what works for you. That's the number one rule. :)

In my experience, fixing the ear-splatting ice pick is more about taming the 3 to 4 KHz area, and not so much about higher frequencies.
 

Rex

Legend!
True! But that's something you deal with in the IR it self I think.
If by that you mean choosing a different IR, I agree. My comment was in reference you your post, where you said that you high-pass at 5 KHz and get compliments about your tone not being ear-piercing.
 
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