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Why can't 'amp in the room' feel be modelled?

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GazzaBloom

Inspired
Cliff openly states that the Axe-FX accurately models effect, amps and mic'd cabs, and most of us agree that the Fractal modelling technology, combining experienced and detailed software modelling with very high quality hardware, delivers a superlative experience for live performance and recording.

Yet, we hear that using this technology via FRFR does not recreate the amp in the room feel.

So, is that the next modelling frontier?

If fractal could solve that conundrum, then that would be a game changer. Where an Axe thru a CLR or equivalent in the room could not be differentiated between the real amp in the same room.

Or, are we there already?

Gazza
 

WW Audio

Inspired
I'd have to disagree. I've got my XL loaded into a XiTone 1x12 cabinet, effectively making a combo amp. I get the amp in the room feel to varying degrees depending on the patch I'm using. I've created a couple of Fender patches specifically on the XiTone that I'd wager most folks couldn't peg as "not a real amp." I get the immediacy, articulation and thump in my chest that I get from my old tube amp rig. It feels like an 'amp in the room' because it literally is. At least for me.
 

RDH

Fractal Fanatic
I think it's already there !! Amp in the room isn't about recreating the sound , it's all about perceptive feel of an actual physical reaction of the amp in a room and the reflections it produces! You can recreate what the mic hears, as taking a picture of someone touching you, but you won't feel it unless you are physically there !! Most FR solutions have a much wider dispersion than a guitar cab, therefore you hear what is coming out of the speaker much more! If you place your guitar cab in a wedge position so it hits you directly, you won't like it! It will go back to the floor pretty quickly so it hits you in the legs and the reflections are a big factor in what you hear an "feel" ! Placing your FR monitor less direct will help achieve it, but you still hear more of the direct sound! I've allways felt "amp in the room Is awesome, but it's all about you, no one you perform for, or sell a recording to, will hear the same as you do, and definitely won't feel what you feel from it !! my objective is to hear it the way they hear it! they're the ones paying you, or buying your music !!! As for playing for personal enjoyment, run through a power amp and cab, and it's there already, instant amp in the room!! I also believe there are available FR monitors that will achieve this!!
 

GazzaBloom

Inspired
It's because the axe models the chain of having your amp and cab miced up sound. Mic'ed up sound will never sound like amp in the room. If you want amp in the room use a guitar cabinet.
You miss my point, perhaps I have not articulated my comment effectively, I am well aware of what the axe does now, and I am perfectly happy with it. I am hypothesising as to what a next modelling frontier may be. Read my post again.

I think I agree that the Axe can cover much of the amp in the room feel, a lot of that has to do with narrowing the EQ and using plenty of volume.
 
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Gamedojo

Power User
This is because the "amp in room" phenomenon comes from the fact that guitar speakers are very directional which causes millions of slightly different off-axis points of listening from all 360 degrees of exposure. Combine this with the then millions of tiny different reflections around a room and you get your "in the room" sound.

FRFR IS doing this to a degree, but its the "stereo in the room" sound since its the mic'd guitar you are bouncing around a room.

The Axe-Fx will never be able to replicate that, and it doesn't matter. 99.99% of all music we listen to and is shared with us comes from the recorded guitar amp and THATS what the axefx does so well.
 

Gamedojo

Power User
This is incorrect. The IR capture of a guitar speaker is already translating the frequencies limited by a guitar cabinet. You can test this by bypassing the cab block... that horrible scratchy mess of a guitar tone (if using a distorted amp) is actually what a guitar amp is producing before a speaker makes it pleasant with its limited range.

Use your cab block high and low cuts to eliminate the overtones a guitar cabinet is incapable of producing.
 

Kingjimmi

Inspired
My take on it is that the AFX models the signal chain just fine, it's the physical aspect that is lagging. It's easier to twiddle bits and make them do what we want them to do. It's a lot harder to take a static physical design like a loudspeaker and make it behave other than how it was designed to behave.

Can you couple the whole signal chain into a combo amp ala Line 6 DT type products and realize gains? No idea, I'd love to see the love child of the work of FAS, Jay Mitchell(Atomic CLR), Xitone (combo cab), and FXUnits (RAC12) though. Or these people for the loudspeaker design part.

If FRFR and the mic'd sound doesn't do it for you, the only real option I see is to take the mic/cab modeling out of the equation and use a traditional guitar cab. It's the best we have available until someone makes a breakthrough in loudspeaker design.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
It's about moving air. Pumping speakers.
No it is not. That is an internet misconception that has been circulating since modelers were first introduced and continues to be perpetuated. It was born of ignorance and is perpetuated by those unwilling to learn and understand.

All speakers "move air", that's the entire point of their design. Guitar speakers are inherently directional at higher frequencies. So when you stand off to the side you hear less highs. If you have two or four speakers the directivity gets even worse. FRFR speakers have less directivity. This combined with IR technology that almost invariably uses samples of a close-mic'd speaker and you end up with a different listening experience. To confuse the issue further many combo amps have an open back which changes the frequency response at the listening position even more.

Now, if you connect your Axe-Fx to a power amp and traditional 1x12, 2x12, etc. then you will get "amp in the room" but the "moving air" statement has no basis in fact.
 
I agree with just about everything that's been said. There will always be a difference in ANALOG and DIGITAL...thats why the two exist. Having said that...can you REALLY tell a huge difference in the axe-fx? I believe the answer lies in your rig. Im running a W/D/W (MACKIE HD1221 Stereo and Orange 2X12 CAB powered by Matrix 1000 for the dry) and it sounds PHENOMENAL, but when I'm at home tinkering away i use headphones (high end phones) D/O from the axe-fx and it just doesn't sound "Real" or even sometimes I'm going D/O through the Genelics 8040A's...even there they don't sound near as good.

I will never go back. NEVER. One thing I have learned, though, is that the Axe-fx is capable of just about anything....but there in lies the problem (IMHO). It is so easy to get lost in all the parameters and adding blocks etc. etc. but with each addition there IS definitely some loss in the natural organic tones, decide what tone your after and then K.I.S.S.!!!
 

Shask

Inspired
It's because the axe models the chain of having your amp and cab miced up sound. Mic'ed up sound will never sound like amp in the room. If you want amp in the room use a guitar cabinet.
That seems to be the problem. IRs are based on miced up speakers, not just the speaker themselves.

Maybe it isn't possible? I dunno. Me personally, I still highly prefer running through a poweramp and guitar cab because the IR+monitor/FRFR/Headphone sound just dont cut it. The Axe does this better than any other unit out there, but the technology still doesn't sound "right", at least for me. It works in the context of a mix, but it isn't very fun or inspiring to play when just jamming for fun.
 

5150

Inspired
I'm done chasing "amp in the room". If I want that feeling, which is more about guitar speakers and volume than anything, then I'll hook up my Axe to a guitar cab and blast away.

What I've learned is that while that may be fun, if I record my "ideal" amp-in-the-room sound, it always sounds very different than what I imagine I'm hearing. It's always a little flatter and darker, especially the gainier sounds.
 

LuizPauloDT

Member
It's not a matter of digital modeling. If you mic your guitar cab driven by your beloved tube amp and listen to it through FRFR speakers, its gonna sound the same or worse (because of MICing technique, expensive equipment needed, acoustic treatment, etc) than plugging your axe straight to a FRFR system. That's how it should sounds.

Now if you do like Cliff said above (axe through power amp and guitar cab) it's gonna give you the "amp in the room" feel.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
Amp in the room is already there.

Fractal (Power amp modeling on / cab modeling off) -> Power amp -> Guitar cab.

Trust me, you will be done chasing the amp in the room.

If you are not using the above setup, I still believe it possible to create the "amp in the room" effect of a closed backed guitar cabinet. BUT it requires some high preset programming skills and custom (difficult to create and aquire) impulse responses (not a close miced IR) and a very good FRFR monitor like the CLR from Atomic.
 

FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Amp in the room is already there.

Fractal (Power amp modeling on / cab modeling off) -> Power amp -> Guitar cab.

Trust me, you will be done chasing the amp in the room.

If you are not using the above setup, I still believe it possible to create the "amp in the room" effect of a closed backed guitar cabinet. BUT it requires some high preset programming skills and custom (difficult to create and aquire) impulse responses (not a close miced IR) and a very good FRFR monitor like the CLR from Atomic.
Voice of reason.
 

Poparad

Experienced
I'd have to disagree. I've got my XL loaded into a XiTone 1x12 cabinet, effectively making a combo amp. I get the amp in the room feel to varying degrees depending on the patch I'm using. I've created a couple of Fender patches specifically on the XiTone that I'd wager most folks couldn't peg as "not a real amp." I get the immediacy, articulation and thump in my chest that I get from my old tube amp rig. It feels like an 'amp in the room' because it literally is. At least for me.
I also run through a Xitone 1x12 (usually two in stereo), and it sounds like an amp to me. I have a Fender DRRI that I still use occasionally (when load in/setup is quick and tricky, or I'm bouncing between gigs and need two separate rigs), and my Fender patch on my Axe sounds just like my Fender to me, although with better, less tubby bass response.

I think the biggest reason why people have a hard time capturing the "amp in the room" sound is because of the phrase "amp in the room." It becomes a "thing" people latch on to mentally and create a psychosomatic effect of believing there's some elusive quality that exists (because it has a label!) that they can't quite capture.
 
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