Bogren Digital Jens Bogren Signature IR Pack - Rhythm by NicoMcJ
JENS BOGREN SIGNATURE IR PACK: RHYTHM
27 killer impulse responses (IRs) matched from real sessions,
Profiled from cabs used on some of the biggest acts in metal,
Mic'd and EQ'd to fit a dense mix fast,
Engineered specifically for heavy rhythm guitars,
Smooth, analog top-end with no harshness,
Compatible with software and hardware IR loaders.
The magnificently bearded Jens Bogren is a true legend in the modern metal world. Even if you’ve not heard his name before it’s highly likely you’ve heard the fruits of his labours with bands such as Sepultura, Devin Townsed, Arch Enemy, Lamb of God and, erm, Babymetal. He’s taken the step to lend his fabulous and experienced ears to the guitar tones of the masses and produced this package of 27 IRs for you to use in your recordings, and live in your IR based rigs.
Ease of Use: 5/5
I’ve had experience with Wall of Sound, Bias, Helix, Celestion and 3 Sigma Audio IRs prior to this review and I’d like to say that the IRs from Bogren Digital even defeat the mighty 3 Sigma Audio for ease of use. Choose the appropriate resolution for the project you are workin on, and there are 5 resolution options in the download, select the flavour you are looking for, set the high and low pass filters to suit your mix and voila, you have a perfectly recorded guitar cabinet sound. Even in the most dense mix it is unlikely you will need to add compression or EQ to get the guitar tone to “pop”.
At first glance I thought the names of the IRs were a bit of fun but, on reflection, they are a genuinely inspired move. You have no way of telling which cabinet was used, which mics were used or how many mics. You have to choose using your ears, and not from any kind of confirmation bias; such as thinking “I have to have an oversized Recto cab with a 57”. Some cabs are easier to work out than others, Sound of God for example, but who knows what the inspiration behind CockJuice51 or GreasyBeard was!
Sound Quality: 5/5
If you’re the kind of player who just wants to load some cabs into his Helix and play alone, stop reading here; these IRs are probably not for you. As is almost always the case with fully produced guitar sounds, they are not hugely flattering in isolation and out of context.
However, if you are a serious hobbyist, semi-pro or pro guitar player who does a lot of studio work, or plays live with a IR based rig you will almost certainly find a sound or two that suits within this pack. One common theme throughout the pack is the level of detail and clarity each IR has. I deliberately tried to create a challenge for them; a PAF humbucker, a fuzz pedal and a dimed Bassman model and yet I was still able to hear articulation within a 6 string chord.
Due to the limitations of Covid restrictions in the UK, I was unable to test out the IRs in a live band situations, and I was stuck with using software and hardware solutions at home but I was very impressed. As mentioned in “ease of use” above; there is no messing with mic placement, room settings or any of that nonsense. Just select the tone you want and rock out.
Bogren Digital are marketing these IRs as suitable for heavy rhythm, and they tick that box magnificently. Whether you’re using British voiced amps, or US voiced amps, there is an IR that will work with it within this pack. Out of curiosity I also set up some clean and classic rock sounds and I was very impressed with how well some of the IRs worked in that context too. There is a real depth and warmth to some of the IRs that mean they work extremely well in other settings. I was even able to conjure up a perfectly workable 60s jangle sound using an AC30 amp model and the YellowProg IRs.
Latency will be more dependent on the hardware or software solution you are using, and how well you match the resolution of the IRs, but even when I deliberately mismatched a 44.1k sample rate with a 96k IR there was no loss of sound quality and no latency that I could detect by ear.
Finally, some of the IRs are clearly set up for a single guitar mix and some are set up for multiple guitar mixes. It’s worth reiterating that if you use your ears, rather than your eyes, when selecting an IR you can conjure up some excellent results very quickly.
I have made a demo video (not a review video) in which I have demonstrated the 27 IRs in 3 different contexts. Check it out on the Gearslutz YouTube channel.
27 different IRs, professionally EQ’d and tweaked to use straight away. 5 different sample rates. Everything you need and nothing you don’t. I’ve spent a few weeks with this pack, and not once have I thought “I wish it had X” or “If only I could do Y”.
Bang for Buck: 5/5
€34.90 for a professional engineer to record and mix your guitar cabinets, or €1.29 for IR. Most other manufacturers will charge you $10 for a single cabinet with a few different mic options, most of which sound the same, or you won’t like. You then have to spend ages getting the EQ and compression right for your mix. That is where the Bogren Digital pack wins massively; if you value your own time and effort, this pack is a no-brainer.
The natural cynic in me really wanted to find something to slate about this pack, and while proof-reading this review I realise I’ve been somewhat gushing at times. But, sadly, I have to leave the ****-sandwich in the kitchen; this pack is an almost essential “must-have” tool for the producing or gigging guitarist who uses IRs in their music. Don’t let the metal pedigree pigeon hole it ither; for metal, rock, blues or almost any other genre, you’ll find tones that you can use in your live or recorded mixes in this pack.
I personally hope this is the beginning of a range of packs for Mr Bogren, I’d love to see a similar pack of bass IRs. With the pack in this review and some matching bass IRs you could have all the studio you would ever need, right at your fingertips!
I've made an accompanying video for this review, and it is purely meant as a demonstration of the 27 IRs. Here’s the details:
01:47 - a short clip featuring each of the 27 IRs mixed with a bass and drum track. Suhr Custom Shop Standard with Aldrich pickups -> Friedman Pink Taco -> Two Notes Torpedo Captor -> Bogren IRs.
09:43 - each of the 27 IRs with a clean-ish isolated guitar. Knaggs Severn X with S.D. JB Trembucker and S.D. ATK single coils -> Tweed Bassman model on Bias Amp -> Bogren IRs.
13:17 - each of the 27 IRs with a hi-gain isolated guitar. Ibanez Mick Thomson Signature with S.D. EMTY Blackout pickups -> Ibanez Mini Tube Screamer -> Mesa Dual Rectifier -> Two Notes Torpedo Captor -> Bogren IRs.
I have used no post-EQ or compression on the guitar tracks, and just a very gentle squeeze on the master track to help gel everything together.