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Speaker 'load" / soak boxes for guitar amp heads? Ever better than a mic?-
Old 2nd March 2003
  #1
Speaker 'load" / soak boxes for guitar amp heads? Ever better than a mic?-

So?

Palmer

Marxhall SE100

Groove Tubes

THC Hot Plate

Ever better than mic'ing up a speaker?

If so - WHEN?

Old 2nd March 2003
  #2
Gear Nut
 
Pricey's Avatar
 

Simulators - BWA HA HA!

I've tried every comination of direct/DI/multiamping/etcetera, and I've never found a use for the direct sound, no matter how I flitered or processed it.

Even for clean guitar, I always use a cab, miked on edge to get a sparkly sound. The cab adds resonance. The direct sound is pathetically weak in comparison. This also applies to bass guitar.

On occasion, I use a THD powersoak to reduce the level, but I still use a mic and speaker. The THD is very good and only hurts the sound a little. For someone who lives in apartment and can't make noise, a power-braked cab, even at the lowest setting where it starts getting tinny, is still better than any speaker simulator. They all suck badly.

However, convolution reverbs (Altiverb, SIR) have potential. If you feed them a good impulse of a cabinet, they can replicate the RESONANCE as well as the EQ curve. I'm impressed - I didn't think a digital processor could do this. You can even adjust the length of the resonance, to make it tighter or looser.

Once, this Marilyn Manson kinda band requested an "industrial" direct guitar sound and played me an example from a CD. I thought it sounded like puke. Tinny and wimpy. So instead of recording direct, I recorded a GOOD sound with a Marshall and cab, then ran it through the worst distortion plug-in I could find, to add some crackle on the high end.

The Beatles' "Revolution" (single version) has a direct guitar sound, distorted through a tube console. It sounds like they used heavy tape saturation to roll off the treble. It actually sounds cool, but it wouldn't work for any other musical style.

On a related topic, digital amp simulators are COMPLETE garbage. All of them. They can be okay on leads, but not rhythm. I do not believe the reports that "such and such album was recorded with Amp Farm." It just means they used it for a few "ear candy" tracks. It's like the hype when Roland V-Drums first came out - "They can sound like any drum set!" Wrong - they can't even sound like a BAD acoustic set.

An equimpent designer - the guy who designed FATSO, I think - once said that amp simulators would have to use ultra-high sampling rates to sound real. I agree with him. It's also true of software synths - the programmers have finally realized that they need to use upsampling in order for the oscillators to behave correctly.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 
kosi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by Pricey

However, convolution reverbs (Altiverb, SIR) have potential. If you feed them a good impulse of a cabinet, they can replicate the RESONANCE as well as the EQ curve. I'm impressed - I didn't think a digital processor could do this. You can even adjust the length of the resonance, to make it tighter or looser.
Hi Pricey,
Could you explain this in more detail ? Do you record an Altiverb IRE Processor spike or a sweep, record it throuh the speaker to use it in Altiverb ?

Cheers, kosi
Old 3rd March 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
studjo's Avatar
As ever: it depends.
I record the cab almost allways.
When I'm the player I try the direct thing for clean guitars only.
But (I know I get flamed for this) I can make a POD sound ok with clean and even distorted guitars. Last year I had a very fast session going on and I had to record and play and produce. So I took the POD and recorded everything with it. It's not my favorite git. sound but ...

Nothing beats a nice Fender really earth-shattering (sp) loud . I love it. Jo
Old 3rd March 2003
  #5
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Re: Speaker 'load" / soak boxes for guitar amp heads? Ever better than a mic?-

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
So?

Palmer, Marxhall SE100, Groove Tubes. THC Hot Plate

Ever better than mic'ing up a speaker?
Those aren't DI boxes, all they do is reduce the volume of the amp, usually not much more then a bunch of resistors and some other junk. You still need to plug into a cab to present a load to the output tranny of the amp. Without that all you'll do is cook the amp and eventually kill it. Not cool and very expensive.

The last time I tried to get any serious distorted DI tones was about two years ago. The player brought in a Rocktron valve something. The producer and I spent about 45 minutes trying to get a good sound out of it because the player was set on using it. Finally we gave up and got a sound together with a real amp, cab and two mics in about 10 minutes.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 

Re: Re: Speaker 'load" / soak boxes for guitar amp heads? Ever better than a mic?-

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
...You still need to plug into a cab to present a load to the output tranny of the amp. Without that all you'll do is cook the amp and eventually kill it. Not cool and very expensive.
Don't now about the others but the THD has a "Load" setting. It allows you to run the amp safely without a 'speaker load'... the THD is the load. The Hotplate has a line out w/ adjustable level so you can set it up to feed different things... console line in, effects, additional amp, whatever... I dig mine.
Old 3rd March 2003
  #7
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: Re: Speaker 'load" / soak boxes for guitar amp heads? Ever better than a mic?-

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs

The last time I tried to get any serious distorted DI tones was about two years ago. The player brought in a Rocktron valve something. The producer
One of the guys who works over here regularly uses a Boogie Traxis and an Intellifex (along with a few stomp boxes). The resulting sound is far better than any of the amp simulators and in many cases, is exactly the sound we need. 10 year old technology that works...
Old 3rd March 2003
  #8
Gear Nut
 
Pricey's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by kosi
Could you explain this in more detail ? Do you record an Altiverb IRE Processor spike or a sweep, record it throuh the speaker to use it in Altiverb ?
I don't have a Mac, so use SIR (freeware). The best method might be a spike, fed directly into a tube power amp (a speaker behaves differently with a tube amp - less damping and therfore more resonance). But I haven't gotten around to making my own impulses yet. There is a convoultion forum and some cab IR's at http://noisevault.com/
Old 3rd March 2003
  #9
Gear Addict
 
muddy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by slipperman
If were talking about CLEAN sounds. I do it ALL the time and get away with murder. Love it. Used it all over a lot of records over the years. One bizarre and cheap(amp) example... Roland Cube40/Avalon DI/Pendulum 6386. Glass beyond glass. YUM.

i wit ya on this one, slippie! tc elect's chorus/flange w/clean2 settiing on rockman, gads of compression, glass & cubes for days!!!


ml
Old 4th March 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
Re: Re: Re: Speaker 'load" / soak boxes for guitar amp heads? Ever better than a mic?

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
One of the guys who works over here regularly uses a Boogie Traxis and an Intellifex (along with a few stomp boxes). The resulting sound is far better than any of the amp simulators and in many cases, is exactly the sound we need. 10 year old technology that works...
The Triaxis has been my studio's "POD" for ten years now. I don't use the speaker simulator recording outputs much, but for flipping through sounds with a new guitarist, it's tough to beat. I like being able to quickly track a bit of one sound, store the settings, and then dial in a complimentary tone for it to dove tail with, while they're both still up in the monitors. We'll be working on the tone of the doubling track before the kit is even set-up for basics. It's a lot easier than trying to explain to the guitarist why we don't necessarily want his penultimate sound for basics that nothing else will layer with. They wrap their heads around guitar production much earlier in the game this way and can see the "forest through the trees" from the get-go. That little pre has been a big factor in a lot of repeat business from guitarists...
Old 2nd April 2003
  #11
I think almost ALL of you missed my point (or I made it in a confusing way)

Here's what I found after some research for a perfect punk pop sex pistols sound
---------------------------------
Signal ONE

Les Paul Standard
Hot cake pedal with LOUD output (Max)
Engle Savage 120 SE turned up to be distorting but not too saturated..
Vintage cab - sm 57 / neve 1073 pre & EQ / 1176 / Fatso / Cranesong Hedd
---------------------------------
Signal TWO

Engle amp head speaker out into ...

Marhshall SE100 speaker emulator / load box (set to no gain reduction, passing signal onto 4 x 12 cab) Setting "30 degrees" mic angle cab simulation

Gives AWESOME / usefull 'mid sound' signal minus all nasty 'paper tearing' buzz
----------------------------------
Signal 3

SansAmp
----------------------------------
Alternate vesion
instead of the Hot Cake pedal, we used a Digitech Valve FX get pre fed into the insert return section of the Engle (thus using the power amp section + cab only)


OK the marshall SE 100 sound is a little "Pod like" but it is damn usefull.

We used Time adjuster plug in within PT to line up the phase of all 3 signals with one sample increments and then combine them to one track. The SansAmp and MArshall speaker emulator both needed to be delayed to phase match the mic signal.

I feel a PodXT on the horizon, (I really want them to come out with an XT Pro rack mount version) And a Wah Pedal for that Slipperman EQ trick!!

So I answered my own question! Cab emulated signals from a screaming 100w head CAN rock! (when blended (phase adjusted) with mic'ed speaker cab signal)

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