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Why do Cab IR's seem lacking?
Old 24th May 2020
  #121
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Oy vey!

You distortion "spec" is meaningless. It's nothing more tha a figure published by their advertising department to impress people like you.

What was the full spec, or did they even tell you? The "full" spec, such as it is, should be something like "0.1% THD @ 1kHz, 10 mW input" And your phones may very well do that. However, most people do not listen to phones with only a 1k pure sine wave, they don't listen at only one optimum level (chosen for lowest distortion), and that "spec" tell you NOTHING WHATSOEVER what those phones do when presented with a complex waveform containing may frequencies mixed together of at dynamically changing levels.

The 1kHz "standard" was chosen by manufacturers because it is a very easy frequency for most audio devices to reproduce and it's more or less in the middle of the perceived range of hearing.

In other words, a 1kHz sine wave test tone will make most audio equipment look good while actuality telling you much about how it behaves where it counts.

And that spec tells you nothing about the spectrum of the harmonic distortion being produced. I would be willing to be that you probably could not recognize distortion in a music signal with 10% THD if that distortion was all 2nd harmonic. you might very well notice a tonal difference, but you probably would not recognize it as distortion because 2nd harmonic is fully consonant with the fundamental, being the 1st octave harmonic. You might recognize it as a "warming up" or perhaps "fattening" of the sound, if you noticed it at all.

I also notice that Sennheiser doesn't say a thing about IM distortion, which might be a far more interesting figure.
10% THD you will easily recognise. Here's a video I've just created. This shows 3% THD, a second harmonic at -30 db below the first harmonic:


You can easily hear the second harmonic (I'm switching back and forth between the pure sine and the sine being overdriven). With a sine wave your ears should very quickly tell you if a signal is distorted. I can hear this happening even when the THD is below 1%. Not with music, only when a pure sine wave is played.

I am planning to do some testing with my guitar speaker cabinet. Unfortunately my Marshall is not in my studio at the moment, but I have a lovely H&K with a Greenback Celestion I can test. Upcoming...
Old 24th May 2020
  #122
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
I would be willing to be that you probably could not recognize distortion in a music signal with 10% THD if that distortion was all 2nd harmonic. you might very well notice a tonal difference, but you probably would not recognize it as distortion because 2nd harmonic is fully consonant with the fundamental, being the 1st octave harmonic. You might recognize it as a "warming up" or perhaps "fattening" of the sound, if you noticed it at all.
The second harmonic is not really fatening, it's an octave above the root. If the second harmonic is loud it will sound like an octaver. Far from fat.
Old 24th May 2020
  #123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
The overtones are super, super low, because I can't detect any when using a pure sine wave on playback. So my ears can't detect it on my Equator powered monitors and Sennheiser HD600 headphones.

If there's distortion (sure, in a analog signal there's always a small amount of THD) it is so low it is ignorable.
Interesting. As it happens, I have Equator monitors too - two different models. One with the concentric mounted dome tweeter, one with the compression driver.

There is no way that I would ever claim that either one is "distortion free" - I'd have to laugh myself out of town. However, as with any monitor, I've
had to learn their quirks and I can work with them just fine.

Quote:
The only thing that might be interesting is some voodoo happening in 12" guitar speakers... But I think the one thing adds to the overtones: the power amp. It also adds compression (which is caused by overdriven circuit). And these things can easily be simulated digitally.
Well there is definitely some "voodoo" as you call it in guitar speaker design (it's only magic if you don't understand it), but that has nothing to do with amp distortion.

We are discussing speaker distortion here. That has nothing whatsoever to do with amp distortion. You want to talk about amp distortion, start a different thread.

Speaker and amp do both affect the final tone but they are not the same thing. It's like saying that flour and milk are the same thing because they both make up part of the recipe for a custard pie.
Old 24th May 2020
  #124
Quote:
Originally Posted by chris661 View Post
Your unwillingness to learn bewilders me.
Welcome to Gearslutz!
Old 24th May 2020
  #125
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
10% THD you will easily recognise. Here's a video I've just created. This shows 3% THD, a second harmonic at -30 db below the first harmonic:


You can easily hear the second harmonic (I'm switching back and forth between the pure sine and the sine being overdriven). With a sine wave your ears should very quickly tell you if a signal is distorted. I can hear this happening even when the THD is below 1%. Not with music, only when a pure sine wave is played.

I am planning to do some testing with my guitar speaker cabinet. Unfortunately my Marshall is not in my studio at the moment, but I have a lovely H&K with a Greenback Celestion I can test. Upcoming...
Jeeziz K-reist!

We are talking about speakers.

Speakers reproduce complex waveforms. YOU CANNOT TEST FOR BEHAVIOR WITH COMPLEX WAVEFORMS WITH SINE WAVES.

I said that I'd bet that you can not recognize 10% 2nd harmonic distortion in a MUSIC SIGNAL, which is a very complex waveform indeed in most cases.

Sure, you can hear it with a sine wave and nothing else. But that's not how speakers are operated in the real world.

And note that I didn't say that you couldn't hear a difference. What I said was that you would probably not identify it as distortion. I also didn't say that nobody could - but it would require a significant amount of specialized ear training. And if you had that you wouldn't be here doing this.

I seriously doubt that you have the necessary equipment to do the required tests and I'm damn sure that you lack the knowledge and expertise.

Here, you can start by reading this:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intermodulation

It's not entirely aimed at audio, but it has the basics.
Old 25th May 2020
  #126
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Jeeziz K-reist!

We are talking about speakers.

Speakers reproduce complex waveforms. YOU CANNOT TEST FOR BEHAVIOR WITH COMPLEX WAVEFORMS WITH SINE WAVES.
What would you suggest for measuring and analysing distortion?
Old 25th May 2020
  #127
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
What would you suggest for measuring and analysing distortion?
At what frequency and level?
Old 25th May 2020
  #128
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
What would you suggest for measuring and analysing distortion?

This is the real issue. There is no good, standard test for analyzing distortion.

We have harmonic distortion methods that are pretty reasonable for modern hi-fi gear (THD+noise, and plots of individual overtones across frequencies). There is a standard IMD test, but it only tests with 2, fixed tones.

At this point, it's more of an art making guitar speakers distort consistently in a way that people like.



-tINY

Old 25th May 2020
  #129
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
At what frequency and level?
Full range, for all frequencies at all levels.
Old 25th May 2020
  #130
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY View Post

This is the real issue. There is no good, standard test for analyzing distortion.

We have harmonic distortion methods that are pretty reasonable for modern hi-fi gear (THD+noise, and plots of individual overtones across frequencies). There is a standard IMD test, but it only tests with 2, fixed tones.

At this point, it's more of an art making guitar speakers distort consistently in a way that people like.



-tINY

So we can't measure it? That's ok with me. Means that we can only have subjective discussions about it.

I am fine with that. Use whatever you'd like I would say!
Old 25th May 2020
  #131
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
Full range, for all frequencies at all levels.
Hmmm. Why do you think nothing like that is done by the manufacturers? Why are they only presenting a minuscule sample? How much variation in materials (cone, frame, magnets, coils, assembly precision) is there to guarantee even decent repeatability? And would those components behave even 50% as nicely as the computer model? I have some VERY expensive monitors here and the distortion is there even in the linear region. Guitars speakers, which are designed with low headroom distort at every level. Record DI and through a speaker and its obvious. And what about when the cone is flexing fast and the coil pumping to the full range? Do you think it will be even remotely linear, or repeatable. Why do you think people speak about "compressed" speaker sound?
Digital world is mainly additive, so as long you don't cross the -3db you are "clean" (which is an oxymoron in digital due to conversion quantisation error in the first place, plus all the other nasty's in the AD?DA processes). But puch an analogue mixer and it will still "squash " everything in - with a "compressed" sound. Ditto for speakers - analogue behaves differently from the digital stuff.
That's without going into the measurements, math... Hope this makes some sense. Use the best "meters" god gave you - listen.
Old 25th May 2020
  #132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Hmmm. Why do you think nothing like that is done by the manufacturers? Why are they only presenting a minuscule sample? How much variation in materials (cone, frame, magnets, coils, assembly precision) is there to guarantee even decent repeatability? And would those components behave even 50% as nicely as the computer model? I have some VERY expensive monitors here and the distortion is there even in the linear region. Guitars speakers, which are designed with low headroom distort at every level. Record DI and through a speaker and its obvious. And what about when the cone is flexing fast and the coil pumping to the full range? Do you think it will be even remotely linear, or repeatable. Why do you think people speak about "compressed" speaker sound?
Digital world is mainly additive, so as long you don't cross the -3db you are "clean" (which is an oxymoron in digital due to conversion quantisation error in the first place, plus all the other nasty's in the AD?DA processes). But puch an analogue mixer and it will still "squash " everything in - with a "compressed" sound. Ditto for speakers - analogue behaves differently from the digital stuff.
That's without going into the measurements, math... Hope this makes some sense. Use the best "meters" god gave you - listen.
I can't comment on what manufacturers do. But I think we can fully agree that it doesn't matter. Just listen, make your own choices.
Old 25th May 2020
  #133
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
So we can't measure it? That's ok with me. Means that we can only have subjective discussions about it.

I am fine with that. Use whatever you'd like I would say!

You can measure it. But, for anything meaningful, you'd need a lot of pages of graphs...

It's easy enough to do a two-tone IMD test. But, what do you do about the whole spectrum. You'd need to do a series of sweeps with one tone as you stepped the other tone through the spectrum - and you'd have to track sum and difference frequencies as well as sum and difference frequencies of the harmonics of each tone.

Or, you could make a series of spectral plots with various combinations of tones.

Either way, it's a lot of work to look at all that information and distill anything meaningful out of it for guitar speakers where the distortions are desired and you want to characterize them. For hi-fi, any distortion is considered a detriment and you can group them when you analyze the performance. Though, there are some audiophiles who like certain kinds of distortion too...




-tINY

Old 26th May 2020
  #134
Gear Nut
A speaker > cab > room > mic(s) > pre > mix is not a Linear Time Invariant System. A single IR will never capture it accurately. But hardware manufacturers will happily charge hundred$$$ to people who believe an IR can reproduce that system. And a lot of them have relatively low IR lengths. It's a bit like saying "An 8-bit digital delay is right for you!" And in some edge cases that is true.

Cab IRs are a tech embraced by some guitarists. But to some engineers, they are severely lacking -- merely presets which are sorta true-to-life. They aren't totally useless but a good engineer can get better results with the rihgt mic/pre/cab combo in many cases.
Old 26th May 2020
  #135
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
A good engineer can get great sounds out of IR recordings also. Just to play the other side of the coin. A good engineer can get great sounds out of just about anything these days.

I just did a track that didn't even have a speaker emulation. I did a mid-dip EQ to "roughly" approximate what a guitar speaker does. I'm not going to win any grammies or anything, but I feel good about the sounds I got on that track.

There are many roads to Rome.
Old 26th May 2020
  #136
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
A good engineer can get great sounds out of IR recordings also. Just to play the other side of the coin. A good engineer can get great sounds out of just about anything these days.

I just did a track that didn't even have a speaker emulation. I did a mid-dip EQ to "roughly" approximate what a guitar speaker does. I'm not going to win any grammies or anything, but I feel good about the sounds I got on that track.

There are many roads to Rome.
For getting great sounds "out of anything" he/she would have to be a magician .
I would say he may be able to get the best out of the IR unit. Ditto for the cab/mic setup. Which one is better - thats another story in a suitable context
Magician - hmmm. Magic engineer - nice title
Old 26th May 2020
  #137
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
For getting great sounds "out of anything" he/she would have to be a magician .
I would say he may be able to get the best out of the IR unit. Ditto for the cab/mic setup. Which one is better - thats another story in a suitable context
Magician - hmmm. Magic engineer - nice title
I'm not going to launch into a diatribe or anything, but you don't need fancy gear to make great music. You need a great musician and someone that knows how to record/produce/mix/whatever.

Yeah, I use really nice stuff. Most of us do. But it's not strictly required. But darn it sure is nice to wallow in sweet, sweet gear.

We can argue the subtle shades and the finer points of this all day long, but I don't think there's any need to.
Old 26th May 2020
  #138
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
I'm not going to launch into a diatribe or anything, but you don't need fancy gear to make great music. You need a great musician and someone that knows how to record/produce/mix/whatever.

Yeah, I use really nice stuff. Most of us do. But it's not strictly required. But darn it sure is nice to wallow in sweet, sweet gear.

We can argue the subtle shades and the finer points of this all day long, but I don't think there's any need to.
Agree with you mostly on this. You don't need anything "fancy" (whatever that means). You need suitable gear (and you need to define "suitable")
A cabinet is not fancy. Most are quite cheap, and the speaker is the cheaper part of the amp. Ditto for mics - you wouldn't call a 57/md241/ m201/m906... fancy, wold you? Pre-amps are a bit different but not critical. So yes if your player can use the gear to its most, you should be right.
"Wallowing" in gear is less fun then you think - it costs money, the maintenance is money and there is always something else that the client wants. But, as in my case, it allows to have barely interrupt sessions because we can get most of client's desired tones. As long as the engineer knows HIS stuff, the session will be smooth and inspirational.
Old 26th May 2020
  #139
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
Agree with you mostly on this. You don't need anything "fancy" (whatever that means). You need suitable gear (and you need to define "suitable")
A cabinet is not fancy. Most are quite cheap, and the speaker is the cheaper part of the amp. Ditto for mics - you wouldn't call a 57/md241/ m201/m906... fancy, wold you? Pre-amps are a bit different but not critical. So yes if your player can use the gear to its most, you should be right.
"Wallowing" in gear is less fun then you think - it costs money, the maintenance is money and there is always something else that the client wants. But, as in my case, it allows to have barely interrupt sessions because we can get most of client's desired tones. As long as the engineer knows HIS stuff, the session will be smooth and inspirational.
Lets say a DSL amp with a Marshall cabinet, and an SM microphone. That's one of my rigs. We are talking, I don't know, over two thousand dollars.

There are decent marshall amp sims, free IR loaders, and free IRs that you could use for zero dollars.

That's a substantial difference in cost. As well as, like you said in your other commentary, physical space, maintenance, etc.

I don't think it matters which one you use.

You can have a preference. Having a preference is fine. You are in charge.

Personally speaking, I will use a handwired vintage amp. I will use a free amp sim with an IR. I will use a two hundred dollar digital modeling amp. I will use a 50 dollar solid state combo practice amp.

I don't care. Personally. I am the guitar player, I am the engineer, I get my sounds. I know how to make things work.

We can't argue preferences, there's just no way. But I guess that's where these discussions tend to jump off from.
Old 27th May 2020
  #140
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyxx View Post
Lets say a DSL amp with a Marshall cabinet, and an SM microphone. That's one of my rigs. We are talking, I don't know, over two thousand dollars.

There are decent marshall amp sims, free IR loaders, and free IRs that you could use for zero dollars.

That's a substantial difference in cost. As well as, like you said in your other commentary, physical space, maintenance, etc.

I don't think it matters which one you use.

You can have a preference. Having a preference is fine. You are in charge.

Personally speaking, I will use a handwired vintage amp. I will use a free amp sim with an IR. I will use a two hundred dollar digital modeling amp. I will use a 50 dollar solid state combo practice amp.

I don't care. Personally. I am the guitar player, I am the engineer, I get my sounds. I know how to make things work.

We can't argue preferences, there's just no way. But I guess that's where these discussions tend to jump off from.
Have a DSL. The only time it was used in the last 10 years was for a B3 emulator. People seem to gravitate to the vintage JTM/JMP/JCM800 lot. Personally I prefer more recent boutique versions (like Germino, Metropolous, Reinhardt ...). But everyone to their own. Marshalls vary alot. Of the 5 JMPs I have all sound a little different. Ditto for the 3 JCM800s (all early 81-84). The single JCM900 hasn't seen the light of day for >20 years. Its not even on the list. Having said all that I made it clear many times that I haven't tried a sim which sounds close to any of them. Not better/worst - its different.
If you look after them the costs are not that high, but yet it is still a factor. I tinker with tubes so that makes it even more expensive . But it is not necessary. Cabs is a different story, you can completely change the tone with a different speaker, so I have a "few".
Being your own engineer, means you don't need a big collection. Just a couple of amps and 3-4 speakers, which suit your sound is plenty. In my case I have 3-4 of "you" () through a week, each with their own "wish-list". So we aim to please. I hope once its over (the C-word) it will be the same again.
I only care about preferences the clients have for their music. My needs are simple (I use modular type setup at home, which includes a speaker AND an IR unit ) and I VERY rarely do live stuff (only when my mates make me). Otherwise its to mock-up for the session and occasional songwriting.
Old 29th May 2020
  #141
The Palmer Speaker PDI-3 speaker simulator is like a steep (24 dB) low pass filter. I still love that box. Still own it and use it and created IRs out of it. I am a big lover of using steep filters as cab simulators. Keith Richards got great tones using the PDI-03 on his Main Offender album.
Old 2nd June 2020
  #142
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

I have no idea to be honest in regards to "how" or "why". What I do know is this. I have tried all kinds of various IR's but they are always lacking in something. In comparison, I set up a pair of 57's in my ISO cab in a Fredman setup, blend to taste and push play. I would love to have the simplicity and mobility of a load box and IR. A lot of guys make it work. It just has not for me so far.
Old 3rd June 2020
  #143
I've been thinking about something and would like you guys to try these two IR files and compare them. They are both based on the same IR file on Freesounds by Tosha73, but one has had some additional things done to it, that I think might make it more natural.
Attached Files

Tosha73_Brown.wav (10.3 KB, 176 views)

Tosha73_Brown_AT.wav (10.3 KB, 173 views)

Old 8th June 2020
  #144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mordae View Post
I've been thinking about something and would like you guys to try these two IR files and compare them. They are both based on the same IR file on Freesounds by Tosha73, but one has had some additional things done to it, that I think might make it more natural.
These are very bright imo. I would use them with a low pass filter at 5 kHz maybe.
Old 9th June 2020
  #145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
These are very bright imo. I would use them with a low pass filter at 5 kHz maybe.
They are indeed bright, and were even brighter to begin with. I'll try to get some more neutral ones for you.
Old 13th June 2020
  #146
Gear Maniac
 
RonCarlston's Avatar
 

I wanted to like the digital modeling stuff. Did the POD thing, had an axe FX with PA speakers for a while. I spent a lot of money only to find out that playing guitar through a real amp was irreplaceable.

With CAB IR's you lose that "instant" feeling of the amp moving under your fingers, and pedals don't sound the same through them. The latency you get, to me, ruins it for me completely. I have no desire to play guitar with latency. A lot of guys say it's so small it doesnt bother them, but for me, it ruins the fun and the tone completely.

Going the digital route was supposed to save me all this money but ended up costing me way more in time screwing with little features than it was worth. should have never stopped plugging in to a real amp.
Old 13th June 2020
  #147
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonCarlston View Post
I wanted to like the digital modeling stuff. Did the POD thing, had an axe FX with PA speakers for a while. I spent a lot of money only to find out that playing guitar through a real amp was irreplaceable.

With CAB IR's you lose that "instant" feeling of the amp moving under your fingers, and pedals don't sound the same through them. The latency you get, to me, ruins it for me completely. I have no desire to play guitar with latency. A lot of guys say it's so small it doesnt bother them, but for me, it ruins the fun and the tone completely.

Going the digital route was supposed to save me all this money but ended up costing me way more in time screwing with little features than it was worth. should have never stopped plugging in to a real amp.
Many modern pedals have AD/DA convertors in them as well, don't think latency is an issue with top notch digital stuff.
Old 14th June 2020
  #148
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
Many modern pedals have AD/DA convertors in them as well, don't think latency is an issue with top notch digital stuff.
With delay/reverb/modulation pedals its not much of an issue. That's why all the sim demos swim in reverb. With the overdrives (ala Strymon stuff) I heard complaints and that's why plenty of them are on ebay...
Old 14th June 2020
  #149
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri Kogan View Post
With delay/reverb/modulation pedals its not much of an issue. That's why all the sim demos swim in reverb. With the overdrives (ala Strymon stuff) I heard complaints and that's why plenty of them are on ebay...
The problem with the Strymon overdrives is latency? Never heard that.

BTW most venues are using digital mixers, and in studios: same thing. Latency should not be an issue. Only when using something like a very old computer and interface. Use something like RME Babyface and you should not be able to detect, feel, latency when playing guitar.
Old 14th June 2020
  #150
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raaphorst View Post
The problem with the Strymon overdrives is latency? Never heard that.

BTW most venues are using digital mixers, and in studios: same thing. Latency should not be an issue. Only when using something like a very old computer and interface. Use something like RME Babyface and you should not be able to detect, feel, latency when playing guitar.
Well, I dont like the sound either (overdrives) . However the latency is there.
WRT converters, we use Lynx Aurora16s here and Radar converters. The latency is definitely there. Into ProTools.
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