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WICKED WIKI 9: Modeled Microphones

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Speakers are not the only devices which are modeled using IRs (Impulse Responses) in the Axe-Fx. Microphone modeling also makes use of IRs.

  • Mic modeling can be added when an IR is used in the Cab block that has no microphone coloring itself. Meaning that the IR was created by using a neutral microphone such as an Earthworks microphone. This applies to the stock Fractal and Red Wirez cabs.
  • Judging from their tone, the stock OwnHammer IRs inside the Axe-Fx II have microphone coloring "built-in" already. This gives the impression that they are brighter than the others ( because of the mics), and that additional microphone coloring is not needed (set Mic tot "None").
  • Of course, you can use neutral IRs (Fractal and Red Wirez) without microphone modeling too. In that case the tone is still that of a mic'd cabinet, but without the "color" of a specific microphone type. By using the Proximity control, you can adjust the virtual mic distance and choose between farfield and nearfield placement (higher values = closer to the speaker).
  • Mic modeling is limited to the stock microphones. There are no "user mic" slots.
  • Don't underestimate the impact of adding mic modeling to the tone. It can alter the tone drastically.
The Axe-Fx lets you choose between 10 microphone types (IRs) or "None". The DYN 57, U87 COND and R121 COND seem to be the favorite types among Axe-Fx users.

57 DYN (based on the Shure SM57)
Multipurpose dynamic microphone. Probably the most commonly used microphone for electric guitars. Aggressive upper mids, cuts through the mix.

58 DYN (based on the Shure SM58 )
Very similar to the SM57, with a different grill. Often used for vocals.

421 DYN (based on the Sennheiser MD 421 II)
Also a classic dynamic microphone. Has a wider frequency range than the SM57 and is sometimes used to complement one (Petrucci).

87A COND (based on the Shure Beta 87A)
Condenser microphone, often used for vocals.

U87 COND (based on the Neumann U87)
Expensive solid-state condenser microphone with a large diaphragm. Warm tone, popular in studios. Used for vocals, guitar and anything else.

E609 DYN (based on the Sennheiser e609 Silver)
Dynamic microphone, developed for close-miking a guitar amp.

RE16 DYN (based on the Electro-Voice RE16)
Dynamic microphone.

R121 COND (based on the Royer Labs R-121)
Ribbon microphone with a very broad range and natural in-the-room tone. Can be used to complement a SM57.

D112 DYN (based on the AKG D112)
This dynamic microphone is often used for bass instruments.

67 COND (based on the Neumann U67)
Expensive tube-based condenser microphone from the 60's with a large diaphragm. Very versatile, popular in studios.

Wiki: mic models

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Spaceboy

Inspired
Huh, so the OH stock IRs include mics? That might explain why they always seemed fizzy in comparison to the other stock cabs, because I haven't tried using them without a mic selected. Thanks!
 

Scary

Experienced
It's amazing how using different mic's can throw a blanket over the tone or add air and life. Thanks for these posts yek!
 

Stillbruch

Experienced
Huge thanks to yek for the very useful clarifications. :)

yek said:
Judging from their tone, the stock OwnHammer IRs inside the Axe-Fx II have microphone coloring "built-in" already.
That's funny. I bought an Ownhammer IR (Mesa Boogie 4x12 V32), and it features some IR-captures using an Earthworks TC30-microphone, which is supposed to be neutral. I'll try to find out if any of those captures are identical to the "4x12 Recto (OH)"-IR in the Axe-Fx II.
 

jimfist

Fractal Fanatic
Has anyone created a flat-response or "null" IR using synth block noise and the Tone Match block? Saved to a User IR and placed in the Cab Block, you then have access to all of the tone shaping and ROOM features of the Cab Block while the "null" IR applies no tone to the incoming signal. I like the way direct Bass sounded with some of the different mics applied with just a hint of ROOM, but none of the heavy filtering EQ of a typical Cabinet speaker IR. This might be an interesting flavor for ultra-clean guitar (maybe use the AMP Tube Pre in front of it)....FWIW.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
That's funny. I bought an Ownhammer IR (Mesa Boogie 4x12 V32), and it features some IR-captures using an Earthworks TC30-microphone, which is supposed to be neutral. I'll try to find out if any of those captures are identical to the "4x12 Recto (OH)"-IR in the Axe-Fx II.
The commercial OwnHammer packages come with various mics, the TC30 among them. But I'm sure you will find that the sound of the TC30 differs from the stock OwnHammer Recto IR.
 

yek

Moderator
Moderator
Has anyone created a flat-response or "null" IR using synth block noise and the Tone Match block? Saved to a User IR and placed in the Cab Block, you then have access to all of the tone shaping and ROOM features of the Cab Block while the "null" IR applies no tone to the incoming signal. I like the way direct Bass sounded with some of the different mics applied with just a hint of ROOM, but none of the heavy filtering EQ of a typical Cabinet speaker IR. This might be an interesting flavor for ultra-clean guitar (maybe use the AMP Tube Pre in front of it)....FWIW.
At one time there was an "empty" IR floating around on the forum (Standard/Ultra). Don't know the source...
 

CyberFerret

Power User
Does adding a Mic IR after the Cab IR increase the processing required by the Axe-FX much? I mean, in relation to 'baking' a cab IR (e.g. using the RedWirez utility) that already has the mic impulses in the cab IR?


EDIT: Oh, and I'd like to add my thanks to Alexander for these posts - they have added to my Axe-FX understanding and knowledge immensely.
 
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yek

Moderator
Moderator
I don't see any change in DSP load when comparing: (1) stock cab without mic modeling (2) stock cab with mic modelling (3) user cab.

BTW, I have compared the stock cabs by OwnHammer and Red Wirez with Axe-Fx mic modeling (for example RW Recto with DYN 57) with the equivalent version in their commercial packages. The sound is close IMO. The commercial version does sound a bit more natural and transparent.
 

Tone Seeker

Power User
BTW, I have compared the stock cabs by OwnHammer and Red Wirez with Axe-Fx mic modeling (for example RW Recto with DYN 57) with the equivalent version in their commercial packages. The sound is close IMO. The commercial version does sound a bit more natural and transparent.
Yek, I though the Red Wirez and Ownhammer cabs in the AxeFX II included the sound of the mic. Am I wrong and if so, was this somehow removed sonically from the IR when it was added to the AxeFX II?

Terry.
 

elektroneg

Member
Yek mentioned above that Red Wirez cabs were recorded with TC30, which has a very flat response, so these IR's are not colored by the mic. And Ownhammer IR's were recorded with some mic that colors the sound (SM57, MD 421 II, etc.).
 
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