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Why do downloaded user presets sound different on my set-up?

jlynnb1

Fractal Fanatic
I mean, here's an IR test I did 2 years ago. Who knows what FW this was or even what IR, lol. It's like 13 different amps through the same IR to show how much effect it has on final sound. Sure there are differences but also basically the same....and as you can hear, no blanket over the the speaker problems at all.

 

B:ASSMASTER

Experienced
IR's are everything. For me, and YMMV, if I'm having to do crazy eq stuff to get a tone there, the IR is wrong. I try to find IR's where I barely have to adjust eq at all. Not saying it's right, but it seems to me if your having make 19 adjustments to get an acceptable tone then something isn't right.
Exactly! Make as few moves as possible to get where you want. Guitars are not great candidates for handling a lot of processing.
 

edo

Power User
Vendor
I agree. Pickups add EQ. Cables don't ADD EQ. Any cable company advertising that their cable will add EQ is snake oil.
I have to disagree with this: different capacitance / length move the resonant peak of the signal. This is mostly evident with single coils, try a strat with a 3m George L and then try it with an 8m mogami gold. With the first you'll have a resonant peak between 5-6khz (and it will lack bottom end), with the second you'll have the resonant peak between 1-2khz. This means that if 2 guys were testing the same preset with these 2 cables, the George L guy would say "this preset is too harsh and ice picky and has no bass" and the mogami guy would say "this preset is a little dark and a bit muddy in the low mids, but has a nice presence and sits well in the mix".
 

Attachments

barhrecords

Axe-Master
I have to disagree with this: different capacitance / length move the resonant peak of the signal. This is mostly evident with single coils, try a strat with a 3m George L and then try it with an 8m mogami gold. With the first you'll have a resonant peak between 5-6khz (and it will lack bottom end), with the second you'll have the resonant peak between 1-2khz. This means that if 2 guys were testing the same preset with these 2 cables, the George L guy would say "this preset is too harsh and ice picky and has no bass" and the mogami guy would say "this preset is a little dark and a bit muddy in the low mids, but has a nice presence and sits well in the mix".
+1

I have never been happy using a George L's instrument cable for this very reason (use them on my pedal boards though).
 

Will Schut

Inspired
And don't forget the way you hear the preset played by the other player. How did he or she record the audio sample, which IR's were used, how are you playing the audiofile back, through some PC speakers, through headphones? Probably not the same way as you hear the preset when you've loaded it into your unit and start playing yourself. Besides that, all the other stuff mentioned here is true afaic, guitar, pickups, stringgauge, pick, playing style, cables etc. all can have a great influence. In my experience some users presets will sound nothing alike when you try them and some are really close right from the get go.
 

Jason Scott

Fractal Fanatic
I have to disagree with this: different capacitance / length move the resonant peak of the signal. This is mostly evident with single coils, try a strat with a 3m George L and then try it with an 8m mogami gold. With the first you'll have a resonant peak between 5-6khz (and it will lack bottom end), with the second you'll have the resonant peak between 1-2khz. This means that if 2 guys were testing the same preset with these 2 cables, the George L guy would say "this preset is too harsh and ice picky and has no bass" and the mogami guy would say "this preset is a little dark and a bit muddy in the low mids, but has a nice presence and sits well in the mix".
This video demonstrates a difference:


This video demonstrates no difference:

 

Ed DeGenaro

Experienced
I have to disagree with this: different capacitance / length move the resonant peak of the signal. This is mostly evident with single coils, try a strat with a 3m George L and then try it with an 8m mogami gold. With the first you'll have a resonant peak between 5-6khz (and it will lack bottom end), with the second you'll have the resonant peak between 1-2khz. This means that if 2 guys were testing the same preset with these 2 cables, the George L guy would say "this preset is too harsh and ice picky and has no bass" and the mogami guy would say "this preset is a little dark and a bit muddy in the low mids, but has a nice presence and sits well in the mix".
I think his point was that the change occurs because if the pickup's inductance....
 

edo

Power User
Vendor
This video demonstrates a difference:


This video demonstrates no difference:

Recently I did the experiment myself recording the same part on the same guitar through the same preset with 3 different cables. I'm away from home now, when I get back I'll upload the clips to show the result.
Keep in mind that the length is just one variable, and the capacitance and the connectors are other variables. E.g. A cable that has a 70pf/m capacitance is brighter/clearer than a 130pf/m, yet if you use a 10m 70pf/m (overall cap =700pf) cable or a 5m 130pf/m (overall cap =650pf), the latter will sound slightly brighter/clearer.
 

barhrecords

Axe-Master
@Jason Scott both vids are correct.

If you have an active buffer driving the cable, yes there can be no difference in the audio when you change cable type and length.

But some passive guitars and basses will exhibit tone changes based on the length and type of cable.
 

randyvanmartini

Power User
Another big factor regarding using others patches, for me anyways, has been who created the patch. Yes, I have had the hit and miss experience from others patches gotten from here and there, but time and time again, patches from Fremen, Bergs, Rocco, Mark Day ect. always sound stellar for me with minimal tweaking. YMMV
 

simeon

Axe-Master
Cab.
Is.
Everything.

No seriously. When you get a cab that you love, everything will sound good.

totally agree.

i nearly always use two cabs in a stereo cab block (both panned centre). it's a great way to fine tune, by using two ir's that are different, but complimentary. i never use post eq. i never touch the advanced parameters. i just change one (or both) of the cabs in the block. i have a few go-to's that i know the sound of very well and i know what they sound like in combination. i never use high cut in the cab block (harmonic complexity is good, people), but i will sometimes use the low cut on a particularly resonant cab (like the basketweave 103, for example).
you can talk cable lengths all you want and i'm sure it makes a difference, but never as much as simply changing the cab ir.
 

simeon

Axe-Master
that's basically what you're doing with a drive block set to zero gain. you can get the same results with a peq or graphic set to a frowny face with a little volume boost. great for pushing amps a bit for lead work. the boss GE-7 is a staple on many boards for this reason. not as drastic as post eq, but it has it's uses (and doesn't change the fundamental quality of the amp....which is why i don't like post eq...it's so easy to overdo it and just make the amp sound nasty)
 

B:ASSMASTER

Experienced
You cab is basically the output EQ, which is huge... but not everything.
I'm surprised there hasn't also been more talk about input EQ.
To get some firsthand experience with this, put an EQ between your guitar and the amp and play with it.
Yup. Forgot about guys like Slash, Nuno, Dimebag and Queens of the Stone Age that recorded with an EQ pedal usually with a frown shape into the front of the amp.
 

Admin M@

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
A frown shape is similar to a bandpass which is similar to a wah. This should key you in on the general category of results you might achieve from this approach. But always don't jump to frown face... Spend some time learning how your preferred amp and or drive pedal react to different frequency boosts and cuts.
 

Erik Hammero

Inspired
I have a Vox AC30 Brian May Spesial Edition stored at mye place for a friend.
Out of courosity I fired it up to hear what the real amp sounds like. I didn't turn it up very much. A little over speaking volume. It was punchy and glorius as F......!
So I turned on my Axe FX, put on a AC30, turned on my Matrix and started to play through a 212 V30 cab. Its not the same speakers but that doesnt matter here.
And it was nowhere near the same punch and glory.
But then, of some reason, I turned the volume om the Axe FX way down and the master on the Matrix way up to they were equal in volume. And there it was. The same punch and glory as the real amp.
The point is that volume (db) does matter. I also tried to lower the master on the Matrix and crank the Axe FX but it wasnt the same.
Downloaded presets will also sound different through different studio monitors, if you are playing through a setup like that.
 
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