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Why not put the Cab block at the end?

ktweedy1

New Member
Hi, seems in real life pedals either feed the amp or are in the effects looks, the power stage, and then cab. Why are people wanting to put the cab right after the amp? Seems it would be more realistic to put it last?
 

chris

Legend!
Hi, seems in real life pedals either feed the amp or are in the effects looks, the power stage, and then cab. Why are people wanting to put the cab right after the amp? Seems it would be more realistic to put it last?
it's emulating a STUDIO setup where you put effects after the mic on the cab.

either way works if it works for you. but that's the reason it's designed like that in most presets.

also be aware that if the cab block is last and it's only a mono cab, you'll lose any stereo effects before it. you need to put 2 IRs and pan them for stereo output of the cab block.
 

Greg Ferguson

Fractal Fanatic
Hi, seems in real life pedals either feed the amp or are in the effects looks, the power stage, and then cab. Why are people wanting to put the cab right after the amp? Seems it would be more realistic to put it last?
I'd recommend becoming familiar with the Wiki and manual, as they cover these sort of questions and will save you a lot of time.

For instance, in "Position of the Cab block on the grid":
In the "real" analog world, it makes a difference where you put effects: before or after the speaker cabinet. It's different with digital processors.

(Javajunkie, Axe-Fx Standard/Ultra) "You can place the effects loop anywhere in the chain (just add the fx loop block). Unless you are running a stereo cab or 2 mono cabs panned hard L/R, you may want to place stereo effects after the cab. The cab is a linear time invariant effect (unless you add drive) so effects like delay and reverb will sound the same before or after it. As Cliff and others have stated on numerous occasions LTI effects can be placed before and after each other and they will sound the same. Only when placed before or after non-LTI effects (drive, amps, et. al) it really matters. The one caveat there is that some effects are mono, placing effects before and after that makes a difference." [9]
"The difference in having the cabinet before or after the effects is usually subtle. It depends on how non-linear or time-variant the effect is. For effects like EQ, which are linear and time-invariant, it doesn't matter at all. For slightly time-variant effects like chorus and flanger the difference isn't very pronounced. For highly time-variant effects, like pitch shifting, the difference can be marked."
[…]
 

touch33

Inspired
Hi, seems in real life pedals either feed the amp or are in the effects looks, the power stage, and then cab. Why are people wanting to put the cab right after the amp? Seems it would be more realistic to put it last?

Sure, placing the CAB block last would be more “realistic” — but where’s the fun in that?!? One of the coolest things about AFX is being able to experiment with presets/settings that would surely blow up your “realistic” amplifier/rig… without damaging any equipment in the process.
 

Neelfy

Inspired
As with music there are no rules. Some of the best sound and music has undoubtably been done by breaking the rules.
As a wise man once said "If it sounds good then it is good"
 

HereToday

Inspired
Actually, placing time-based and modulation effects after the cab is more "realistic", as you are usually emaulating the impact of a room. Just tougher to do in a live conventional setup and where a modeler gives us the freedom to explore more easily.
 

Stratoblaster

Fractal Fanatic
A couple of years ago I took my main production preset (CAB block right after the AMP block), duplicated it, and moved the CAB block to the very end of the FX chain (after the flanger, delay, chorus, reverb, etc. blocks) and did an A/B test between the two. I enabled various FX to highlite any differences between the two presets and played around for a while.

I found that the preset with the CAB block at the very end of the chain sounded slightly better and had a touch more clarity when used with FX. The difference was pretty subtle, and nothing you'd outright notice if you weren't toggling back and forth between the two presets, but was indeed there.

Given that having the CAB block at the end of the chain gives the FX the full frequency response from the AMP block to work with and EQ, I've been using the CAB block at the very end of the chain ever since. I'd also suspect that certain FX blocks may sound somewhat better without the filtering from the CAB block first.
 

strabes

Inspired
If you put a cab in a room/hall/cave/etc, you'd hear the dry sound from the cab first, then the sound of the reflections/reverb. It's actually a tube amp's fx loop which is a compromise on "realism," because the reverb and any other effects placed in the fx loop run through the amp's power amp which is definitely not linear and will change the character of the effects. There is no better or worse here, but on these units we can't just run wet effects through the amp's power amp and cab, so to me it makes more sense to add wet effects to my dry amp+cab tone, like I do for other instruments in my DAW. With that said, there is definitely a unique difference to running everything into the front of a cleanish amp. Not my preference but it's worth being aware of.
 
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FractalAudio

Administrator
Fractal Audio Systems
Moderator
Given that most post effects are linear or "wide sense stationary" the order of effects after the amp doesn't matter. Reverb -> Cab is theoretically equivalent to Cab -> Reverb because linear systems are commutative (i.e. a * b = b * a).

However... if the cab block is mono then you'll collapse any stereo effects to mono. Or if the cabs aren't panned fully L/R you'll lose your stereo imaging.

Pitch effects are not linear so putting them before the cab block will sound different than after. Anything that causes distortion is not linear so the order matters. If the distortion is subtle then the order is less important.
 

GreatGreen

Power User
Hi, seems in real life pedals either feed the amp or are in the effects looks, the power stage, and then cab. Why are people wanting to put the cab right after the amp? Seems it would be more realistic to put it last?

Putting the cab after the amp mimics real setups and that's what people are used to, but you're right to ask the question.

I always run the cab block at the end of the chain because I split my signal between my real cabs and Front of House. Best of both worlds.
 

DougB415

Experienced
Hi, seems in real life pedals either feed the amp or are in the effects looks, the power stage, and then cab. Why are people wanting to put the cab right after the amp? Seems it would be more realistic to put it last?
Think of the whole chain like this: guitar -> amp -> cab -> microphone -> console w/ final fx processing.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Think of the whole chain like this: guitar -> amp -> cab -> microphone -> console w/ final fx processing.
Yes... Typical for a recording rig, but not for a live rig where effects are either before the Amp or in the effects loop (which we don't have the option to do in the Axe Fx).
 

marsonic

Inspired
It all depends on the effect and what you want to get out of it, though it's quite a bit simpler for me.

I want an EQ as the last thing. So, it goes after the cab.

I want a leslie sim in parallel with the amp/cab, so that's where it is, with the drive turned up enough that the volumes are similar-ish with harder/softer playing. The signal that goes through the rotary doesn't touch the amp or cab block.

I don't really care where my delays are, but I put them after the cab out of simplicity. I don't think it matters which you do.

The rest of the decisions were made basically like that. But, my rig is pretty simple.
 

lqdsnddist

Axe-Master
Yes... Typical for a recording rig, but not for a live rig where effects are either before the Amp or in the effects loop (which we don't have the option to do in the Axe Fx).

Depends on the live rig though doesn’t it ? Lots of digital boards have some decent effects then days, not to mention lots of people still run some outboard stuff in aux sends or on its own effects bus....


If your “live” it just an amp on stage, then yeah, before or in the loop if it has one, but your mic’ing a cab live, running direct to the board etc, lots of options for post cab effects.

That is pretty much the exact basis off all the classic wet/dry/wet rigs people have always in their live rig
 

DougB415

Experienced
Yes... Typical for a recording rig, but not for a live rig where effects are either before the Amp or in the effects loop (which we don't have the option to do in the Axe Fx).
Delay and reverb are also handled by FOH mixer a lot of the times.
 

unix-guy

Legend!
Delay and reverb are also handled by FOH mixer a lot of the times.
As a guitarist using delay, you want to have delay in your mix... That's not going to be handled by FOH.

Not saying that doesn't happen, but in a typical live rig that's not the way it's done.
 
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