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ML Tutorial: How to mix IR's with Cab-Lab 3

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor

@brokenvail asked me for a tutorial with tips and tricks in this thread on how to mix IR's and I thought it was a great idea. Sure it's also one of those topics that has taken me years to perfect to where it is now. This is just a quick way everyone can have some fun experimenting with IR mixing.

There's a lot to cover that's completely ignored in this video but I want to have a round of questions before I start shooting more so I get a better idea of where people need the help. :)

Feedback and questions are more than welcome! :)
 

Pwrmac7600

Power User
lol nice new intro! Totally awesome of you to do this for those of us who don't have as much experience blending IR's!
I dig that phase trick! I am going to have to try that this weekend when I try mixing some IR's.
Question I have is how often, if at all, do you high cut/low cut your IR's while mixing them?
Also do you always leave levels equal when mixing cabs? or do you ever find yourself varying levels of different cab or mic types to achieve your desired results?
And lastly, do you ever use smoothing?

When I first tried my hand at blending IR's I kept approaching it by thinking I HAD to play with levels while blending. Say for instance an sm57 with the level set at default, and then blending in a 421 at a lower volume. Just trying to bring in the tighter low end of the 421 without the low end becoming too much.
Is it really as easy as just leaving the IR's at default volume to blend them? Is that kind of what your phase trick is doing, is helping you to better choose IR's that are more balanced with each other?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
1) how often, if at all, do you high cut/low cut your IR's while mixing them?

2) do you always leave levels equal when mixing cabs?

3) do you ever find yourself varying levels of different cab or mic types to achieve your desired results?

4) And lastly, do you ever use smoothing?

5) Is it really as easy as just leaving the IR's at default volume to blend them?

6) Is that kind of what your phase trick is doing, is helping you to better choose IR's that are more balanced with each other?
Awesome questions and although I could answer them here I'm probably going to include this to the next video because I can show you how I go about things etc. :)
 

Pwrmac7600

Power User
Awesome questions and although I could answer them here I'm probably going to include this to the next video because I can show you how I go about things etc. :)
That's what I was hoping for, giving you some things to cover. I am sure other are curious of the same items.
Thanks again for doing this! Extremely kind of you to take your time to help others out in their tone quest.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
That's what I was hoping for, giving you some things to cover. I am sure other are curious of the same items.
Thanks again for doing this! Extremely kind of you to take your time to help others out in their tone quest.
No problem. This also helps me understand why I do the things I do etc. :) Also things that I think I need to cover is:

1) Difference between an "Alloy" and an "IR mix".
2) When to mix an IR and when not to.
3) Setting a goal for the IR before starting to create a mix. (What do you want the IR to do for you?)
 

h.c.e.

Power User
1) Difference between an "Alloy" and an "IR mix".
2) When to mix an IR and when not to.
3) Setting a goal for the IR before starting to create a mix. (What do you want the IR to do for you?)

A great list, these are three items I've always been curious about myself, especially number 1.

Really looking forward to more videos on the topic, as my approach to cab lab mixes has tended to always be pretty simplistic, "well, I like the low end of 121s and I like the tightness of 57s, so I guess I'll combine those things if a 121 is feeling too bassy", or, "I want a bit more low end... guess I'll stick in a room or back of the can mic maybe."

I like hearing approach opinions from someone whose spent a lot of time micing cabs on how I can improve my game when it comes to selecting and utilizing IRs. Thanks for doing these, great idea, and I already gleaned some tricks from the first one!
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
No problem. This also helps me understand why I do the things I do etc. :) Also things that I think I need to cover is:

1) Difference between an "Alloy" and an "IR mix".
2) When to mix an IR and when not to.
3) Setting a goal for the IR before starting to create a mix. (What do you want the IR to do for you?)
Um yes pls!
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
A great list, these are three items I've always been curious about myself, especially number 1.

Really looking forward to more videos on the topic, as my approach to cab lab mixes has tended to always be pretty simplistic, "well, I like the low end of 121s and I like the tightness of 57s, so I guess I'll combine those things if a 121 is feeling too bassy", or, "I want a bit more low end... guess I'll stick in a room or back of the can mic maybe."

I like hearing approach opinions from someone whose spent a lot of time micing cabs on how I can improve my game when it comes to selecting and utilizing IRs. Thanks for doing these, great idea, and I already gleaned some tricks from the first one!
The 57 + 121 is the classic approach. One mic will be dark and the other bright and then you can balance the two in post. :) I like that approach. I actually opt for that when I'm trying to achieve vintage Marshall tones.

About my approach in general... I will probably mention this in the next video as well but knowing how much work I put into getting the IR's just right (including mic position, clean capture method, sweet spot hunting etc.) will probably forever deny me of using the low and high cuts in the IR mix phase. If I EQ something it will be very minor and only to fit a guitar better in a mix in the very final phases of mixing a full song. I know I have brighter IR's, darker IR's, scooped and mid humped IR's in there. Those are the tools that give me the most natural guitar sound. I've kept things quite simple and so far it's been working really well for me. That being said I know many professionals who use a lot of drastic EQ to get their sound. I don't mean to set myself above the people who use a lot of EQ but I think you will get the best and most natural sounding results by really finding that right mic position and no EQ rather than using a quick mic position and then having to correct things with EQ. Same goes for other "manipulating" tools like smoothing and de-phase etc. that are all great tools but I spent so much time and effort getting things just right that it's like... Jamie Oliver making you food and you throwing ketchup on it because everything tastes better with ketchup. :D Did I just call myself the Jamie Oliver of IR's?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
I would call you that.

Seriously, you are an inspiration for all that I do in a similar vein, though with a slightly different approach & point of view.
Well thank you Dr. :) I think it's great that all of us have a different approach so we're not doing the same thing.
 

ToneLabRat

Experienced
Can't wait to watch this. Thank you very much. Picked up CP13 and loving it.

I just got Cab Lab lite. I get an error when I try and load an IR into it. Is that because you can't do that with the lite version or am I doing something wrong?
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Vendor
Can't wait to watch this. Thank you very much. Picked up CP13 and loving it.

I just got Cab Lab lite. I get an error when I try and load an IR into it. Is that because you can't do that with the lite version or am I doing something wrong?
Hmm... you should be able to load IR's into it. Be sure to use the .ir format files and not the .syx files. :) Let me know if you still have issues so I'll report it as a bug.
 

ToneLabRat

Experienced
When I click on mixer slot #1 and hit load and select the file - this is what I get? Import Notification/The following files could not be imported./ML Misha Mix 10 Brit TV.ir: File type not supported in Cab-Lab Lite.
 

brokenvail

Fractal Fanatic
When I click on mixer slot #1 and hit load and select the file - this is what I get? Import Notification/The following files could not be imported./ML Misha Mix 10 Brit TV.ir: File type not supported in Cab-Lab Lite.
what are you trying to do? I thought Cab lab light was just a conversion tool to convert .ir to sysex which if you have cab pack then you don't need to convert it right?
 
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