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Old 2 weeks ago
Cab IR's are disappointing because of the limits of convolution which cannot deliver harmonic bloom i.e. resonance, nor background noise. In a normal cab and room if you played a pure sine wave you wouldn't actually get to hear a pure sine wave, instead the materials and designs involved mean you get something approximating the pure sine wave, it's close but not perfect, there's always a little distortion added by each component, to make matters worse that slightly imperfect sound is then bouncing around a space full of objects that themselves resonate at all sorts of different frequencies giving you pure harmonic content, of course comb filtering that changes as you move. There's a lot going on that means what you actually end up with is something with harmonic over and undertones. Convolution meanwhile would just give you that sine wave, at phase, attenuated over time based on the magnitude of the frequency in the impulse response file. It's why it always sounds so overly smooth and digital.

If you use something like Nebula it'll do a better job but it uses a hell of a lot more processing power, and to be honest I've never been super impressed by its results either, they also have that samey fizz quality to them.

For me I prefer digital cabs that have a combo of convolution and a little modeling going on. They're not perfect but they're a step up from straight convolution cabs.