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Stock vs Commerial Cabs (and where to start)

musicman0001

Inspired
I've changed recently from gigging to home studio recording and made my first recording with axe fx, but with factory stock cabs.

Was not planning to buy a lot cabs, but I really wonder after reading forum (and many use non factory cabs) if the are soooo much better and worth buying.

so I have 2 questions in this matter:

1. Is it worth it (are commerial cabs really better then stock cabs)?
2. I play marshall, fender & mesa amps and would like to have a cab pack that can handle them all and close to the cabs I have at home: marshall 4x12 1960 Joe Satriani, Kings Cabinet 2x12 V30 and 2 times 1x12 marshall 1912. Any suggestion???

http://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/best-ir-for-live-recording.118677/
 
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aziz

Power User
Imo, better too. Maybe it's just that you can get precisely the tone you're after, not just almost. Ownhammer ir's have this incredible clarity while not being too bright. Superb gear meets enthusiasm and skill. The newest OH Marshall pack is the best ever for rock tones.

I have some recording experience and decent gear, but frankly, my DIY IR's suck. The cab is ok, basic greenback Marshall, but I cannot get the clarity. It's fun making them though!
 

musicman0001

Inspired
Imo, better too. Maybe it's just that you can get precisely the tone you're after, not just almost. Ownhammer ir's have this incredible clarity while not being too bright. Superb gear meets enthusiasm and skill. The newest OH Marshall pack is the best ever for rock tones.

I have some recording experience and decent gear, but frankly, my DIY IR's suck. The cab is ok, basic greenback Marshall, but I cannot get the clarity. It's fun making them though!

If I had good sterile room, mics and knowledge I could make my own Cab IR, but for now I really would like good IRs for the amps without hassle. OH Marshall pack from Ownhammer will include my Marshall Cabs?
 

martijne

Inspired
I bought only one till now - i really like the cab preset bundles. Gets you set up really rapidly. Quite some bang for the buck.
 

Sustainerplayer

Experienced
Different IR's can give the last few percentages of perfection. Especially for recording I think it's a good investment - also the time used to check out amp/cab combinations.

Mikko's IR's (ML Sound Lab) are the best one to my ear. Especially the AC30 and Suhr cabs. I also use some older Redwirez Soldano IR's - both with the SLO 100 and the Smallbox.
 

born2lift

Inspired
Don't overlook the cab packs from ML Sound Labs. I just bought Cab pack 13 and it's has the best IRs I've used so far. I have one of the OwnHammer Marshall packs, and I feel that the ML Sound Lab pack blows it away. No contest. It has brought all of my high gain presets back from the dead.
 

born2lift

Inspired
Different IR's can give the last few percentages of perfection. Especially for recording I think it's a good investment - also the time used to check out amp/cab combinations.

Mikko's IR's (ML Sound Lab) are the best one to my ear. Especially the AC30 and Suhr cabs. I also use some older Redwirez Soldano IR's - both with the SLO 100 and the Smallbox.
It's obvious to me why Mikko's IRs are sold by Fractal. They are the best.
 

HarrySound

Power User
I've only bought one cab pack so far. I bought cab pack 13. I instantly started heading in the direction I wanted to go in when I loaded it up for the first time.
This might just be me and what I'm doing but very recently since buying the cab pack I've had an awful problem with ear fatigue. I need to learn to tame presence and stop turning stuff up I guess. Don't let that put you off.
I do fancy buying a couple more packs, perhaps an ownhammer pack. I think I want something like a Marshall 1960av.

Quick question to anyone that knows. Can Cab Lab do batch exports? I have the free ownhammer IRs but they require me to load and save every single one.
 

York Audio

Power User
Vendor
I've changed recently from gigging to home studio recording and made my first recording with axe fx, but with factory stock cabs.

Was not planning to buy a lot cabs, but I really wonder after reading forum (and many use non factory cabs) if the are soooo much better and worth buying.

so I have 2 questions in this matter:

1. Is it worth it (are commerial cabs really better then stock cabs)?
2. I play marshall, fender & mesa amps and would like to have a cab pack that can handle them all and close to the cabs I have at home: marshall 4x12 1960 Joe Satriani, Kings Cabinet 2x12 V30 and 2 times 1x12 marshall 1912. Any suggestion???

This is probably one of the touchiest subjects on the forum, so I'll try to be helpful and tread lightly.

To answer your question, I think commercial IR's are a great investment for anyone using a modeler. It's the main reason why I don't use tube amps anymore. The difference between my mic'd tube amps and what I can get out of the Axe with a great IR is so subtle, that it's not worth hauling around amps anymore.

Now which is the best? That's where it gets tricky, and the answer is.... whichever one is right for you. IR's are like guitars. They're very personal tools in the music making process. A person can't say that a Les Paul is better than a Telecaster. They're two completely different guitars with different strengths. IR producers are the same way. They all have their "sound," and you get to decide who's "sound" fits the best with your hands. I've heard great clips and bad clips from every IR producer out there. I know what I like and what sounds good with my hands because I've tried them all and put them all through solo and "in the mix" tests. You have to go with what inspires YOU.

My advice to you would be to invest in your tone and try out IR's from different producers. Buy a couple packs and see what feels right with your hands. You'll know it when you experience it. Good luck!
 

Guitarjon

Fractal Fanatic
This is probably one of the touchiest subjects on the forum, so I'll try to be helpful and tread lightly.

To answer your question, I think commercial IR's are a great investment for anyone using a modeler. It's the main reason why I don't use tube amps anymore. The difference between my mic'd tube amps and what I can get out of the Axe with a great IR is so subtle, that it's not worth hauling around amps anymore.

Now which is the best? That's where it gets tricky, and the answer is.... whichever one is right for you. IR's are like guitars. They're very personal tools in the music making process. A person can't say that a Les Paul is better than a Telecaster. They're two completely different guitars with different strengths. IR producers are the same way. They all have their "sound," and you get to decide who's "sound" fits the best with your hands. I've heard great clips and bad clips from every IR producer out there. I know what I like and what sounds good with my hands because I've tried them all and put them all through solo and "in the mix" tests. You have to go with what inspires YOU.

My advice to you would be to invest in your tone and try out IR's from different producers. Buy a couple packs and see what feels right with your hands. You'll know it when you experience it. Good luck!

Justin has some very good points here.
Like he said it's important to also try them in the mix.
There is no such thing as a mix-ready IR or a 'perfect' IR because every player, guitar, amp and mix is different.
Keep that in mind and search for the ones that work best for you.

Some IR companies have freebies so you can try them for free.
Maybe look into that.
 

Tommy Tempest

Power User
I'm in the same boat. I would like to try some to see how much better they really are. But don't want to buy them to find out I don't like them.
A sample or 2 would be a great thing.
 

h.c.e.

Power User
Quick question to anyone that knows. Can Cab Lab do batch exports? I have the free ownhammer IRs but they require me to load and save every single one.

Yes, under the "Tools" select "Wav2Syx... ", and just point it at the folder of OwnHammer Fractal wav's, chose UltraRes, and then pick a dest, Wav2Syx will remake the folder structure from the folder you select on down, really handy and works with Cab-Lab Lite, no need for full version just to convert wav's
 

HarrySound

Power User
Yes, under the "Tools" select "Wav2Syx... ", and just point it at the folder of OwnHammer Fractal wav's, chose UltraRes, and then pick a dest, Wav2Syx will remake the folder structure from the folder you select on down, really handy and works with Cab-Lab Lite, no need for full version just to convert wav's

Legend! Thanks

Here's the free ownhammer pack...
http://www.ownhammer.com/free/v4-demo/
Give them a go using cab lab lite available at the bottom of this page
http://www.fractalaudio.com/p-cab-lab-ir-mixer.php
 

h.c.e.

Power User
A sample or 2 would be a great thing.

Many of Fractal's CabPack IRs have an IR or 2 in the firmware already, so it's like having a little Whitman's Sampler of the various fractal cab pack offerings built right in. OwnHammer, cabir.eu and RedWires all offer a freebie cab... not sure about The Amp Factory, but there are also many OH, RW, and TAF IRs in the firmware too
 

ps43203

Experienced
MLSoundlab, all over these forums, make some killer IR's. Once you get used to going through a crap load of them,(ir's), you will narrow down which one's suit you, pretty fast. The commercial packs are definitely worth getting, but I would wait until you mess with the stock ones for awhile, until you know what works and then purchase accordingly.
 

musicman0001

Inspired
This is probably one of the touchiest subjects on the forum, so I'll try to be helpful and tread lightly.

To answer your question, I think commercial IR's are a great investment for anyone using a modeler. It's the main reason why I don't use tube amps anymore. The difference between my mic'd tube amps and what I can get out of the Axe with a great IR is so subtle, that it's not worth hauling around amps anymore.

Now which is the best? That's where it gets tricky, and the answer is.... whichever one is right for you. IR's are like guitars. They're very personal tools in the music making process. A person can't say that a Les Paul is better than a Telecaster. They're two completely different guitars with different strengths. IR producers are the same way. They all have their "sound," and you get to decide who's "sound" fits the best with your hands. I've heard great clips and bad clips from every IR producer out there. I know what I like and what sounds good with my hands because I've tried them all and put them all through solo and "in the mix" tests. You have to go with what inspires YOU.

My advice to you would be to invest in your tone and try out IR's from different producers. Buy a couple packs and see what feels right with your hands. You'll know it when you experience it. Good luck!
Hey JustinYork,

thanks!
I'm fully aware that cabs and IR's are very personal and individual choices as are real cabs and guitars. It's a sort of tonematch of the frequencies that the cab and mics have on the sound. I was seeing this on the Demo given at axefest2016 NL.

I have only used stock cabs within axe as delivered in the firmware. And mosly play the cabs without microphone set to none (to me its more guitar like cab sound and feel). But I wanna just know a little more on the commerial IRs as maybe they are more accurate or more high fidelity like. (i.e. a better frequency response fingerprint than the stock ones) as Fractal sells cab packs and many others.

But if its just a matter of taste instead of quality then lost can be done with tweaks within the axe fx. I was hoping that buying a cab pack would deliver more quality instead of taste (in terms of lowfi acc/mp3 in relation to high bitrate flac/wav. As i clearly hear the difference on my high end sound system.

So my question is then more like is it matter of taste (coulering/frequencies) or is there also something like quality in terms of proper frequecy fingerprint?
 

musicman0001

Inspired
Justin has some very good points here.
Like he said it's important to also try them in the mix.
There is no such thing as a mix-ready IR or a 'perfect' IR because every player, guitar, amp and mix is different.
Keep that in mind and search for the ones that work best for you.

Some IR companies have freebies so you can try them for free.
Maybe look into that.
Yep, im getting more and more aware of that ;) see also rely on Justin.

But f that is really the case my guess is that you actually need a FRFR microphone(s) to cover the full response of the cab and then EQ the cab after instead of choosing a mic. As the mics used in the cab ir are very much also colouring the cab.

Or better even have some high quality cabs included in axe fx so you can eq your sound and ts dynamic resonse.

anyways thats a theoratical discussion. for now i'm more interessted in quality differences. if there are n differences in quality (Stock or commercial) it just a journey of taste..... And taste is something that can not be judged in terms of one is better then the other. some like bananas, some like apples, some lke asian durians ;)
 

h.c.e.

Power User
for now i'm more interessted in quality differences. if there are n differences in quality (Stock or commercial) it just a journey of taste.....

For my ears, no, no quality difference.

Many of the stock IRs actually come from various Cab Packs and commercial IRs offered by Fractal and other response vendors. Either a direct file included in one of those offerings, or at least maybe a custom mix done by someone at Fractal or one of the IR providers and included in the firmware. So like the 4x12 Marshall Pre-Rola 55 and 75 IRs for example (factory cabs 54 and 55) come from Cab Pack 20. However, that's not to say that the IRs in 20 are somehow "better", there's just more of them (more choices of position, mic type, etc.). So, if someone likes those IRs, but wants a response that's a bit warmer or brighter or tighter or darker or grittier or chimey-er or whatever, they might want to get cab pack 20 so they can have another mic and mic position to choose from (or, more than likely, mix together in cab-lab) which will more naturally help them shape the frequency response of their sound one way or another, but it's not like they're getting more fidelity or resolution out of the cab pack IRs than what's offered in the stock IR.

I think the main selling point to purchasing a commercial IR, beyond tweaking the sounds to be more of what the player wants, is that some of them might offer a speaker not really covered much in the stock IRs...

Never better or worse or anything, just "more different"
 
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