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question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic'd

The_Kid

Experienced
Ok, first let me clarify I know the difference between the FRFR and mic'd cabs as in full range vs 'mid range' of real cabs/mic'd (in general).

I have been running direct for the past 7 months with my Ultra and have loved/hated it. Loved the ease of use, hated the somewhat additional tweaking to remove extra frequencies I dont 'need'.

The past few weeks I have been enjoying my buddies Crown amp and running through my old cabs. An Avatar 2x12 with Celestion 12T-75's and a Genz Benz G-flex with Eminence Wizards. Stacked or spread apart they sound nice together and very easy for me to dial in amps for a one off reunion show the past weekend. Much easier I thought than going through a small mixer/headphone setup to get close only to be blown away and dial things back/up because of the sound guys PA setup.

Anyway, I was thinking on my way home from work, about retooling my presets for my main band as I have been running direct and try them with cabs. We play with IEM's so really cabs are not necessary. The douche bag sound guy we have makes me think they are necessary because I get a shit mix and can never hear my guitar over the backing tracks we have hence me not able to hear myself at all. My thought was well I'll run some cabs on stage and just pull one of my IEM's out to balance the sound.

Got me thinking about the cab sims in the axe. Now, as i noted before my thoughts are that FRFR is full response, guitar cabs are more 'mid range' oriented for guitars. GENERALLY SPEAKING....right?

Assuming that thought is correct, do the cab sims in the Ultra, match that as well? If I take a Marsha HBE and run it through my Avatar 2x12, and compare it to headphones using a somewhat comparable cab sim, should they sound similar? Now, I do understand some minor tweaking will have to be done on the cab side, because my cab is not directly available in the Ultra. my question is more do the cab sims appropriately match the frequency cutoff of the cabs the represent? Or are they mearly EQ boost/cuts to help represent the cabs they are named for.

Secondly, I basically understand IR's. Impulse Responses....a high tech imaging of a cab/mic/speaker setup much more fine tuned than your basic cab sim. If I went with an IR vs Ultra cab sim...would that give me a better 'realistic' response to my 2x12's with less tweaking involved?


I hope i'm making sense here...I'm trying to logically follow questions that havent been answered yet on my own logical thought path that could have gone off on unintelligent tangents not meant to be.

Anyone make sense of this ramble? :eek:
 
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

The axefx uses IRs for cab sims. Did you really think a state-of-the-art 2000$ unit was using just a couple of filters?

IRs exactly match the frequency response of the mic/cab at the position and orientation they were set during the capture process. Nearly all of the cabs in the axefx are close-miced, so you must expect a close-miced sound
 

The_Kid

Experienced
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

Ok, I guess part of that answer was just my lack of knowledge of the cab sims vs IR's. But all i read on here is people using IR's vs. supplied cab sims. So, part IR newbness there on my part. I guess from where I came from, the cab sims were really basically just eq starting points and all, not as greatly captured as with the Ultra.

So, my next question then back to my original thinking....Why is it harder to tweak in a tone, say Amp/Cab sims only going through pair of headphones and direct to house than it is with amp sim going into power amp/real cab.


I understand that mixer/headphones is not 100% accurate to PA system at shows...but it should get me 'x' percentage close....it seems that with real cabs theres just a much simpler time factor needed to dial in tones that I dont have to touch again...

I'm not unhappy with doing it the direct way, just trying to better understand why one is easier than the other.
 

randocaster

Inspired
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

The_Kid said:
So, my next question then back to my original thinking....Why is it harder to tweak in a tone, say Amp/Cab sims only going through pair of headphones and direct to house than it is with amp sim going into power amp/real cab.

That's easy. Volume. Headphones are useless IMO for creating FOH patches for live performance.

You gotta crank through FRFR cabs at gig volume just like your traditional rig to get your sounds together.
 
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

It is not easier, it's just that you are (I assume) not doing all of the work. Let me explain, when you dial in a tone with a cab, you just care about what you hear from the playing position, which is usually very off-axis. Most of the nasty high-freqs can't get there, so that's one thing you don't worry about, but what about the people standing in front of your cabs? They get their ears pierced and you don't even realise it, they're screwed. Then the tech mics your cab, which also gets lots of highs and lows that you are not really hearing from your playing posiiton. If the tech's decent, he'll do your job for you and cut them, otherwise, ALL of the audience is screwed.

Try this, dial in your tone and then walk around the cab and hear how crappy your tone can get just changing position. Try crouching a little to get your ears at cone height level.
 
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

Something I forgot to mention, you can't use the exact same tone for IEM and FOH. It will sound horrible in at least one of the cases. You need to at least eq one of them.
 

The_Kid

Experienced
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

i'm very familiar with the piercing highs directly in front of a cab and general sit or position myself in front of the cab where the mic would be getting placed (well not that close), but do position myself in front of it.

Everything you guys have said makes sense and pretty much things I've known (maybe subconsciously), but just gets me thinking whether i wanna stay with the FRFR or go with cabs...

i know its not an either or thing...
 
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

Well, as I said, going just with cabs is the easy way (to tweak, not to carry!) because you just get your tone from your playing position and don't care about what the audience, the IEM or the tech/PA gets. But you gotta accept the fact that what you are hearing might be VERY different from what the audience is getting.

Also have in mind that you might have trouble hearing yourself if you are playing too close or far from the cab. And on top of it, techs like to tell you to turn it down...
 
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

how about if a sample of the sound from where the sound guy and where ppl are standing?
so you can stop and listen and compare it to what you heard from on stage?
 

TroyL

Member
I'd just get a new soundguy who isn't a douche so you can get a better IEM mix.. If he can't provide you with what you need then he's not doing his job.

We have a soundCHICK who not only pulls a killer FOH mix but also provides a good IEM mix. She also loves not having amps blaring onstage and the fact that we use IEM.
 

steadystate

Fractal Fanatic
Re: question about cab sims vs real cabs....FRFR vs cabs/mic

The_Kid said:
But all i read on here is people using IR's vs. supplied cab sims.
The supplied cab sims are IRs. Many users also load third party IRs (and self-created IRs) into the user IR slots in the Axe.

The_Kid said:
So, my next question then back to my original thinking....Why is it harder to tweak in a tone, say Amp/Cab sims only going through pair of headphones and direct to house than it is with amp sim going into power amp/real cab.
This topic has been addressed many times, and is covered under stickied threads in other sections of the forum. Some of these posts are technical, some are more basic, but all are useful and worth a read. To put it simply (and less eloquently than other previous posts)...

Understand that most of the IRs in the Axe were made using a close-miced speaker. The output of a mic placed close to the speaker in a cab usually sounds very different than the sound of the actual cab at a distance.

Think of placing your cab on stage, then placing a mic close to one of the cab's speakers and then running the mic directly into the PA. Would the sound from the PA be the same as the sound from the cab in front of you? Nope. If you want the close-miced signal to sound more like your cab, you may (repeat, may) need to perform some extra steps.

While many people state they get great results using only the IRs, I generally add some PEQ to shape the tone, especially in the high end. For me, the PEQ is the difference between a good tone and an awesome one. Even then, the tone isn't exactly the same as the cab in the room. It sounds like a high quality recording of a miced guitar cab. And as someone once stated on this forum, what most listeners know as a great guitar tone is not the sound of a cab in front of them, it is the sound of a great miced cab.

Far field IRs do recreate the sound of a cab in the room with you. If you created a quality far field IR of your cabinet, you would get results very similar to your real cab when using good FRFR. You will find some excellent posts by Jay Mitchell on this subject if you do a search.

P.S. Do yourself a favor and never try to create a tone using headphones.
 
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