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Sell me on Cab Packs

Intheband

Inspired
Ok. this is for users only. No manufacturer responses please, or friends.
Sorry if this has been asked a 1000 times.
Sell me on the Cab Packs. I find the cabs in the Axe 3 to be spectacular already. Am I going to find these cab packs a big improvement over what I have already?
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Given the III already has 2000+ cabs, unlike earlier modelers which has only a few hundred, I don’t think there is a real strong need for extra cab packs for most users

Those 2000 factory cabs already are a collection of most of the existing IR’s for various producers.

Frankly I doubt most will wade through 2000 as is, much less need to start adding hundreds more

If there is something specific it can still be a good purchase, but the III really isn’t lacking in options

I have like 100,000 IR’s on my computer and honestly never touch them, just using stock cabs since I got my III
 

Intheband

Inspired
Yeah, was just wondering if someone has a better “take” on a certain speaker or cab. Maybe a cone that has 10,000 hours playing time over a brand new cone, if that would even matter. (It does in the real world)
 
I have a few cab packs and I always find something useful in them. Of course, I still use the factory stuff alot but I have found cab packs to be very useful for specific sounds I'm after.
 

GuitarGuyLP

New here
I just got my first modern cab packs. I have some redwirez from a number of years ago that are okay, but there are so many to go through to find the good ones. I got the ML Misha cab pack, and so far all of my favourites are from the Zilla pack. There are so many good IRs in there, and the way it is organized it is easy to load just the best cabs from the pack. I like them more than the stock IRs, and they cover a lot of ground. I haven't found much that really sticks out to me other than a few of the ENGL IRs, but I have only had the pack for a weekend.
 
I just got my first modern cab packs. I have some redwirez from a number of years ago that are okay, but there are so many to go through to find the good ones. I got the ML Misha cab pack, and so far all of my favourites are from the Zilla pack. There are so many good IRs in there, and the way it is organized it is easy to load just the best cabs from the pack. I like them more than the stock IRs, and they cover a lot of ground. I haven't found much that really sticks out to me other than a few of the ENGL IRs, but I have only had the pack for a weekend.
I have the Misha pack as well. I dont use many off the shelf presets, but I like the citrus butter after a little eq. The zilla cabs are cool. Pretty versatile IMO. Not as much of a Dj0Ont 1 trick pony as they for whatever reason seemed to me at first.
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Well, in violation of your "no manufacturer responses" ... here's one for you: almost all of the IRs in the Axe-Fx III were previously offered in Cab-Packs. As new Cab-Packs come out, we hope that they too will be what you described as "spectacular." (Thanks by the way!)

I can enthusiastically recommend the newer cab packs by several 3rd parties associated with Fractal Audio: Austin Buddy, Celestion, ML Sound Lab, OwnHammer, York Audio, ValhallIR, Doc Bonkers, (am I missing anyone?)

At the same time, be sure that you're not buying IRs you already have!
 
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ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
I will also break the rules and chime in. Not to sell you on the packs but just to help everyone understand the difference between the stock IR's vs the IR's in the Cab Packs. The new stock IR's give you only one option per mic per pack so that's not a lot. I include four single mics per speaker so that's 16 distinctly different sounding variations for every mic when shooting a 4x12 cab for the packs. Other IR producers have even more options for every speaker type. Also the stock IR's don't have any Alloy Mix IR's which is what people most love about my work. These are the real life IR mixes done with multiple mics and playing around with real life phase. So yes there are now stock IR's from the same packs that were used by bands such as Periphery on their album.........


.... but that actual IR on the album is a real life mix of four microphones going at the same time in perfectly fine tuned intentional smooth phase. That's the Misha Mix 08 from Cab Pack 13 and it's a part of the Misha Mansoor bundle. You will not get this sound with the stock IR's. Even if you're not into that specific guitar sound I'm only using it as an example of one one of these mixes. 75% of the content in my Cab Packs are these complicated mixes that take most of my time when making these packs. For that reason it stings quite a bit when people say that "they have all of the packs now" when they really only have four single mic IR's from a pack that's main focus was creating hundreds of advanced mix IR's.

So to conclude. I'm sure you will be very happy with the stock IR's. They are really good, but I highly recommend trying them out and finding your favorite IR producer (doesn't have to be me) and maybe the IR's that you like the best and getting the pack where it's from. The packs still give you the best tones possible and they're all ridiculously cheap for what you get.
 

dr bonkers

Fractal Fanatic
75% of the content in my Cab Packs are these complicated mixes that take most of my time when making these packs. For that reason it stings quite a bit when people say that "they have all of the packs now" when they really only have four single mic IR's from a pack that's main focus was creating hundreds of advanced mix IR's.

So to conclude. I'm sure you will be very happy with the stock IR's. They are really good, but I highly recommend trying them out and finding your favorite IR producer (doesn't have to be me) and maybe the IR's that you like the best and getting the pack where it's from. The packs still give you the best tones possible and they're all ridiculously cheap for what you get.
Yep, I feel your pain with that too.

As someone who also spends a lot of time evaluating which mics in which positions go together to make interesting, usable tones, I am always scratching my head when people bypass my mixes and fixate on one mic on one speaker in one position as the make or break audition for a cab pack. It's like sitting down to a gourmet four course meal and just deciding if it's a good meal by exclusively sampling the parsley garnish.
 

ML SOUND LAB

Cab Pack Wizard
Totally agreed that the mixes included in the packs are very sweet.
The sad truth is that people generally "misunderstand" how blending microphones work. 99% of the time when I see people mixing IR's they start with getting the main mic (usually a 57) and place it somewhere they like it. Then they take the next mic and find a position where it sounds good on it's own as well and then they blend them together.This is how the stock IR's are designed to work as well.

I'm pretty sure you already guessed that I'm going to tell you that it's not the way to get an awesome multi-mic sound. The above mentioned method usually leads to having a main mic that's usually the 57 and then you blend some flavor to it with a "blend mic". There's a reason why I spend half a day fine tuning single mics positions and a full week fine tuning multi-mics for each pack. :) Here's an example for you. This is the IR that I called "the best IR in the world" and it's free: http://bit.ly/MLSoundLab It's best for my personal use case as I'm sort of an alternative rock/metal-ish guitarist.

The mic positions that make this mix are way too bright or too dark to be in the pack as single mic IR's. They don't have any other purpose to be in a pack besides to be a part of this IR mix. They don't sound too good on their own which is the way people judge IR's.

I can tell you that this is the original V30 speaker spec from the 90s. Try to get that kind of sound using the stock V30 IR's and you will fail. That's all I'm saying. :)

Sometimes less options is better though. Imho.
I'm all for "less is more". That's my mantra in life.

That being said, the best tip for better tone I can give is that tweaking the amp block is a much bigger rabbit hole than IR's. If you spend a few hours (and the price of one nice dinner) on finding the IR's that you love you will notice that most amp blocks sound amazing with their default settings. That's just the reality coming from someone who's gone through hundreds of thousands of IR's. Once again I'm sure everyone else making this for a living will agree with me.

My main preset right now is this "best IR in the world" that I shared and the new Friedman HBE 2018 with default settings. That's one of the best tones I've ever gotten out of a Fractal unit and it took me under a minute to tweak because I had done my homework and used the best of the best IR's for my use case.
 

Wigam2

Inspired
I find the IR rabbit hole to be mostly overwhelming, but I listened to a demo of the OH GNR impulses and took the plunge for $20ish bucks. I stick mostly to one or two folders within that pack b/c I just don't have the patience, but I found a couple that I really like. Based on that purchase, I'd consider others if there was a particular tone that caught my attention.
 

Intheband

Inspired
Thanks for all the great responses. You have certainly peaked my interest enough that I should give them a try.
I guess the first rule of order would be to be sure I’m not buying ones I already have. Any suggestions how to start that task? Or do I just have to read the small print?
 
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