#52: How Impulse Responses Help You Improve Your Guitar Tones And Workflow

#52: How Impulse Responses Help You Improve Your Guitar Tones And Workflow

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"Have y’all talked in detail about using impulse responses?"

This question came up in our Facebook community (which you should absolutely join) and as we thought about it, we realized...no, we haven't.

So here we go! This is the episode you've been asking for, as we talk about: 

  • what IRs actually are
  • what they can and can't do
  • why they are becoming a standard for guitar recording
  • how they can help you improve your tone
  • why they are an amazing productivity, creativity and workflow tool
  • how we use them in real world scenarios
  • how they enable you to record your real tube amp at home
  • other applications, such as rooms, reverbs and creative FX
Please know that this is not a scientifically correct explanation or technical deep dive into what's going on under the hood of convolution reverbs and IR loaders. It's also not a tutorial on how to make IRs, although we touch on that briefly.

We're trying to give you practical advice, share our real world experience from using IRs on actual records and help you get started using IRs yourself. As always, all that matters is what's coming out of the speakers in the end. So please excuse our simplified way of explaining this and take it as hopefully helpful, actionable advice.

This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.

Related Episodes:

https://www.yourbandsucksatbusiness.com/podcast/42

https://www.yourbandsucksatbusiness.com/podcast/38

https://www.yourbandsucksatbusiness.com/podcast/5-steps-to-a-successful-music-release

Recommended IR Packs And IR Loaders:

ML Sound Lab - Mikko

STL Tones - NAD IR (IR loader, part of the free "Emissary" bundle)

Catharsis IRs (free and legendary)

Bogren Digital IRs

Jeff Dunne IRs

Lancaster Audio IRs

Ownhammer IRs

Thomas "Bommel" Weishäupl's anechoic chamber IRs:

Two Notes - Anechoic Chamber Pack (made by a member of The Self-Recording band Community)

Tools & Gear Mentioned In This Episode:

Neural DSP - Archetype: Nolly, Neural DSP - Omega Ampworks Granophyre, Marshall JCM 800, Suhr Reactive Load, Two Notes Torpedo Captor, Universal Audio OX Amp Top Box, STL Tones/Ignite Amps - NAD IR, ML Sound Lab - Mikko, Two Notes - Anechoic Chamber Pack

People Mentioned In This Episode:

Stephen Ward, George Lever, Thomas "Bommel" Weishäupl


Automatic Episode Transcript — Please excuse any errors, not reviewed for accuracy (click for full transcript)

TSRB Podcast 052 - How Impulse Responses Help You Improve Your Guitar Tones And Workflow

[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] We're going to talk about what I RS impulse responses actually are. We're going to explain what they can do and what they can't do, because there are limits to them. I'm going to explain why people are using them. And, um, that's what this episode will be about. Well, this is the self recording band podcast.

The show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are, DIY style. Let's go.

Hello and welcome to the self recording band podcast. I am your host Benedick tine. And I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm own flat. How are you, Malcolm? Hello? Oh, I'm 

Malcom: [00:00:36] great. We had like the most amazing weather over here on Vancouver Island here this weekend. It was like, You're not wearing a jacket in the sun kind of stuff.

It was awesome. All the best February day. You can imagine. Great. 

Benedikt: [00:00:49] It's been a couple of warm days here as well, but rainy and warm and now temperature is dropping rapidly, like fast, um, right. At the end of the week we were [00:01:00] supposed to have, I always don't know with Celsius and Fahrenheit, but I think minus degrees are the same.

Aren't they, I'm not sure. I don't know either, like we were supposed to have minus 15 or minus 18 or whatever, which is pretty cold. And, um, yeah, but the last couple of days have been warm, but not nice and warm, dirty. 

Malcom: [00:01:21] Yeah. There was actually like a weather warning on the forecast because it was so sunny.

They were like trying to remind people that. It's still winter and they should be ready for it. You know, don't just start like wearing flip flops around because there's going to be a snow storm. All of a sudden

Benedikt: [00:01:39] that's, that's crazy. That's amazing. Like, um, yeah, your plate, you have crazy weather. We do in general, right? Like it's all over the place. I feel like 

Malcom: [00:01:50] it definitely is. It definitely is. But I'll, I'll take it. Um, I'm stoked when it's like this. It's great. 

Benedikt: [00:01:56] Yeah. As I said, like, it's totally the opposite of what I have in my head when [00:02:00] I think of Canada.

Like it's I always, Canada is like Alaska or I dunno. It's like, for me, it's always winter, always cold and 

Malcom: [00:02:08] uh, yeah. Yeah. I mean, it's close to Alaska. We're not that far. It's yeah, it's amazing. But yeah, this is pretty unique for Canada. The most of it's brick and a hellscape right now, honestly, we're lucky here.

Um, but in music related stuff that, uh, audience might actually care about, I have finally landed on an amp SIM, let them utterly in love with, and can't wait to hear anybody that's listened to this. I've I've been just like a diehard Kemper user for. A long time now I still am. I still love it a lot, but I finally tried out, uh, neurals Nali, um, plugin it'll DSPs, Nali, plugin, and it's so awesome.

It's incredible. It sounds great. It's got like massive, low end and low mids, which is where I think a lot of plugs do not. Come through and like how the [00:03:00] low-end distorts is like real sounding and feels good as well. Maybe not real, but it sounds awesome. Like, I don't care if it's like an app or not, at that point.

It's just incredible feeling. Um, yeah, I feel so bad because we're really good friends with Steven Ward. Who's their content creator and content manager. Over there. And we, you know, we were in a mastermind group with him for years and I just never tried one out. Cause I was like, ah, I got a camper not interested.

Um, and like years later I finally tried it out and I'm like, Oh wow, this is fantastic. And gonna save me a lot of time. Yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:03:33] absolutely. I don't have the naughty one. I demoed it and I liked it, but I'm a big neural fan boy, nonetheless. And I like, I like the name less. I use it all the time and the grand fire, like the army guy.

Malcom: [00:03:45] I did use the ground of fire one in a mix recently as well. And it was definitely 

Benedikt: [00:03:48] great. Yeah. Just love that plugin. But then only one is great as well. Now this one, if I remember correctly, uh, had great cleans and crunch tones as well, and that's just the super high grain stuff. Yep. 

Malcom: [00:03:59] Like it's really [00:04:00] versatile, which is why I wasn't really interested.

Cause it's quicker for me to like, I just know my camper really well, and I know where I'm going to be looking and stuff like that. Um, where like a lot of amps them. They're like, this is a metal. Shredding thing. And I'm like, wow, that is like only going to be useful once in a blue moon for me. Um, so having like a versatile thing, I can quickly just bam, bam, bam.

We're ready to keep moving. It's awesome. 

Benedikt: [00:04:24] Yeah. I think people underestimate what the neuro plugins can do. They are, the people always think it's a metal only thing, but most of them are pretty versatile actually. Yeah. Yeah. I 

Malcom: [00:04:33] think that's definitely, they're like their marketing points to those, those folks, but.

I mean, I, I rarely do any metal, so it's, uh, it's definitely 

Benedikt: [00:04:42] a good fit. Awesome. Well, welcome to the dark side. Now you've got to queue now you've got to, um, hopefully explore. More or maybe explore more because there's so much more in the world of amp Sims. It's incredible. Can we 

Malcom: [00:04:57] quickly riff on why [00:05:00] I'm so in love with the workflow now actually, because I think it's relevant for our audience.

Yes, absolutely. Even if that's not strictly what this episode is going to be about, but, uh, the reason I got onto it is because I'm working with an artist, um, shout out to Jesse junk, uh, and he's go, go and DIY recording for some of it. And, uh, he, I used to record his band, so it was kind of a new thing for him.

And I've been making suggestions. I'm like, okay, try out this like program drum program, perhaps Mitty bass, and grab a good amp SIM. And like, we're going to be able to do this remotely and like send files back and forth really easily kind of thing. Um, and you don't have to worry about learning to engineer, guitar, amps, and drum kits and stuff like that.

And that's been going great. So anyways, he was sending me the eyes and I was like, okay, well, I'll load up an amp SIM rather than like, I'm not going to reamp while I'm just checking out the files to see if they're good. So I just throw grabbed Nali. And I was like, okay, this is. So incredible. Um, and then, uh, from there we ended up actually tracking the song together in the end.

Um, [00:06:00] and while using it in the studio, it's also quicker. Just like, I mean, like I love Mike and amps and stuff like that, but like when we're just trying to track guitars as much as we can in one day, Just being able to throw that up and choose something was so valuable. Just be like, okay, this one, this track has our clean tone.

This one has a dirty show and I'm copying around to different tracks all over the place. We don't have to like set up different apps and then be like, Oh, we need that clean tone back. Let's go find that again. Have massive workflow changer and editing the eyes is so awesome. Um, I mean, I always used Diaz to edit, but I was editing them with a live Amtrak almost always, right.

Or, or camper, but like essentially a recorded amp sound. And you can't be as abusive to an app sound as you can to a DEI, right? Like you can't like, I wouldn't ever really suggest stretching time, stretching an app sound because it generally sounds really, really bad, but a DEI it's like, [00:07:00] I like it's, there's almost no limit to how far you can push it.

Benedikt: [00:07:03] Yeah, totally. 

Malcom: [00:07:05] It's weird. It's I guess it's just like such a simpler harmonic material for it to deal with. And then you throw it through an app. It sounds great. Again, I don't know. Um, so I'm really loving that. It's a, it's a game changer. If you're recording yourselves, you're really not giving yourself an advantage.

If you're not recording to 

Benedikt: [00:07:22] Dai. Absolutely the same with tuning. If you. Um, I mean, you can't really tune chords, but like for leads, for example, sometimes someone that just bends a little too much, or like, if this single notes, if you only have the amp sound, you can almost not tune it. It will always sound weird.

But if you tune the dye and then ramp it, you won't notice basically most of the time. So, yeah. Yeah, definitely. But that's the only thing where higher, I feel that higher sample rates. Um, makes sense because I'm usually like a 48 type of guy. I just, I don't record anything above 48 usually because I don't see the [00:08:00] benefit in it.

And I've made endless tests and like, people are still debating on this, but I kind of settled on like 48, um, killer hurts and we won't get into that now, but, um, the only situation where I really found that it's beneficial to have higher sample rates is when you, when you know, you're going to stretch things a lot.

Then that's where it really helps to have those like more, more steps. More. Yeah. Yeah. That makes sense. So 

Malcom: [00:08:26] that's the only thing you need to do is create samples essentially by stretching it. Yeah. 

Benedikt: [00:08:30] Yeah. So, yeah, that's the only thing where I really found it to be beneficial, but anyway, yeah, I totally agree.

And the amps and things just yeah, a workflow. Game-changer absolutely. That's also the reason why I, what I said last time. Where, or in the, I said it in the workflow episode, which was two episodes ago, I think, um, why? I like to, even if, if, even if I record amps, why I like to track. Through the computer and then out and then into the EMP, because being able to just [00:09:00] say, Hey, I think delay would be cool.

And this part let's just use some plugin or whatever, and play through that into the amp. It's just such a creative, fun process versus like having to find the right pedal and patching it in and then getting rid of it again. If, once you don't need it anymore and like having a DIY ready and being able to just manipulate it as you go is awesome.

And that's the thing with, uh, with absence. Yeah. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:09:23] And I guess, like, there's a reason, this is becoming almost the standard way of approaching guitar recording these days. Um, and that is our segue into today's episode, I think is like modern guitar recording techniques that are really becoming. The norm, um, and trying to understand what those techniques are and why they're beneficial and how, 

Benedikt: [00:09:44] yeah, exactly.

And more specifically, it's not about  Amsterdam so much. It's about IRS impulse responses, because I think it also came up in the Facebook community once. And, uh, that's where we got the idea for this episode from. And it's really relevant because [00:10:00] especially ARS are becoming the standard more so even than MCMs, because even people using their real tube amps, um, start using IRS more often now, and many people don't make caps anymore for various reasons.

And in this episode, we're going to talk about what I RS impulse response is actually are. And we're going to try and explain it in a way that's easy to understand. So we don't get into the technical details as much. Um, We're going to explain what they can do and what they can't do, because there are limits to them.

Um, why are we going to explain why people are using them and, um, why it might be an interesting thing to try if you haven't yet. Um, we are, we're also going to talk about different use cases of IRS a little bit. So they are not just used in when it comes to guitar recording, but they can do. More than that.

And we've got to tell you how to actually do it. So that's what this episode will be about. And yeah, let's [00:11:00] maybe start with explaining what an I R actually is what this impulse response that we're talking about, what this actually is, 

Malcom: [00:11:06] I'm going to let you take it away. Cause you are a hundred percent experienced with IRS than I 

Benedikt: [00:11:11] am.

Okay. I'll do my best. Um, so. The way I understand it. And as I said, I, I could try and explain it in a more technical way, but I, I won't do it on purpose. So I will try and explain it in a way that that makes sense to as many of the listeners as possible. And the impulse response is a snapshot of a room or a cabinet or a piece of gear that can be used later in the doll, basically.

So you grab it, you record. A moment in time, a snapshot, like a signal that you run through a piece of gear or into a room, you record that, and then you can load it up in, and I are loader or convolution, reverb, plugin, and whatever you sent through that plugin we'll have the frequency response [00:12:00] off the thing, the frequency response, and the time, um, information of the thing that you captured.

So what that means is. A simple, simple example. You go into a room, you put a speaker in the room, you send out a very short blip of white noise, for example, into that room. And you capture it with microphones and that you capture the direct signal and you capture the room response, like the reverb of the room, and then you cut that way.

File. In a way that you cut away the direct part of it, like the, the first signal, like the, the original blip out of the speaker, you cut that away. So you're only left with the room information, and then you make it as long as you want it to be so that you hear all of the decay and then you'll load that way.

File. In a convolution reverb. It like you can, there's various steps to this. You can make an AR I don't know how that works with some other tool, but most convolution reverb just let you load up WAV files like [00:13:00] these snapshots that you recorded and they will convert it into whatever format it needs to be.

And you just load up the wave file. And then when you send something through that convolution reverb, it will sound as if you would have it headed recorded in that room. Obviously, that response is going to depend on the signal that you send into the room. The position of the speaker, the characteristics of the speakers.

So you can, you can play around with that. Um, but basically you try to capture how the room reacts to that impulse. That's why it's called impulse response. Like you captured the response of the room to that impulse so that you can use that later as a reverb in the dark that's one example, same thing, and more simple to do because there's less VR, like less things to consider, um, is.

Capturing and impulse response of a cap of a speaker cabinet. And that's what we're talking about mainly in this episode. So you set up an amplifier and a cabinet, and if you want to capture the [00:14:00] cabinet, the behavior of the cabinet alone, you want to have like a clean, some sort of clean amplifier that doesn't color, whatever you send through it.

And then you want to send a signal through this cap and you make it up. And you record that impulse through the cap and to do the same thing that I just described. You basically just capturing the frequency response of that cap, the decay and all that. It won't matter as much. It's just about the frequency response.

And then you can have that information as a virtual cab. Basically, there's more to it than that, but that's basically how it works. You will record a snapshot of a cap and then you can load it as a virtual cab later. And. If you don't create or want to create your IRS yourself because that's harder to do.

Then I just tried to describe it. You don't have to, there is plenty of IRS of all sorts of cabinets out there in the world. You can just buy or like get free packs or whatever you can buy all sorts of, of cabs and my combinations and whatnot. And [00:15:00] just try that out and with your  or your real amps. And the beauty of that is that.

If the person who made the, those IRS, if they, if that person knew what they were doing, then you got a really, really great. Chain and the great mic position and a great cab and like ideal conditions that you can just use with your Epsom or your amp. And you don't need to worry about choosing the right mic, finding the right position, um, getting the room right, and all that you just need to dial in your amp.

And the rest of the chain is already there. And you can just switch between different IRS. If you want to try a different mic, or if you wanna try a different cap, you have access to all these different. Um, recording chains basically that you just load up and send your M through. And that's a very flexible and also a very foolproof and high quality way to record guitars.

The only caveat here is that. Some people of course make IRS and they don't know what they're doing. So some IRS are just crap just [00:16:00] as like real recordings are crap. Like if they use a shitty mic in a shitty position with a shitty cab, like the IRA will sound shitty. So there's still that. But if you go to a couple of places that are known for making great IRS and buy from them, you'll get a variety of great recording chains, basically.

Right. 

Malcom: [00:16:21] Yeah. And you've, if you've used absence before, you've probably already been using IRS without realizing you're just using the, I R that is built into that app SIM. Um, but a lot of these amp Sims have the option of loading in your own IRS. So you can just go into the little cabinet section of that amp SIM and then select from your own folder base, the ones you want to try out using.

Um, and. Benny, you actually are the one that like really put me onto this, but changing the speaker or cabinet is like a massive part of a guitar sound. Like sometimes I'm like, this is bigger than the head. Like what, what it does. It's [00:17:00] incredible. Yeah, I, 

Benedikt: [00:17:01] I, I did a pretty big shooter shoot out when I was, um, doing a video for, for the course, um, like, uh, the, the part that's about making guitar cabinets.

And I tried out different mic positions. I tried out different ARS and I put them back to back in the video. So you can hear the differences, like the same amp, the same settings, but like different mix in different positions. And then. A couple of ARS and it's like 10 different guitars. It's like 10 different guitar sounds.

And, but the only difference is the position of the mic or the cab, or like a different impulse, but it's completely different. Like everything's different. Yeah. That's pretty cool. So yeah, the cab is such a big thing, actually like I have, I don't know if I've told this story before, but with my band, uh, when we practice the first time.

Uh, well, like the, the newer band that I'm in, um, our guitar player set up his, his JCM 800 and he started playing and I'm like, dude, you get a neat take. Your amp needs to be serviced. Like, that's, I'm pretty sure it's broken. Like, it sounded [00:18:00] so awful. And he's like, really? I don't think so. And I'm like, yeah, it does just doesn't sound right.

And then I saw the cap that he was using. And it was totally the cabin. Was it like a cheap two by 12? Like the cheapest one you can get in Germany basically. And he just bought that for practice purposes and it sounded so weird and associated. It was like a, like a small radio or something like it had no low end at all.

It had an annoying top end of the cyst was not, not usable for anything, but the amp was fine. It was just the cap. But I, I really thought the amp is broken that like that's, that's the difference of cat can make. 

Malcom: [00:18:34] Yeah. Yep. I've got a JCM 800 sitting, right beside me actually. It's like the one by 1280s combo version.

Um, and like it's, so it's got the same circuit as like the, I think it's the two, two Oh four. It's like the most sought after 800 circuit around. And when I first plugged in and I was like, this is like listening to ice picks, like, wow, are these popular? And then I plugged it into a cabinet and I was like, I get it.

These are incredible. This is a great app. Yeah. Yeah, 

[00:19:00] Benedikt: [00:19:00] exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So. Um, yeah, I mean, there's this whole concept of, of creating your, uh, or refining your MTL by changing cabs and my positions and everything. It's, it's a really important thing to understand because you can, yeah, it's, it's much more powerful sometimes than just using VQ on the emperor or using a different M sometimes even so, but when we talk about IRS, there's one thing I want to add here, because we need to tell people what IRS can and can't do.

So. They can capture the frequency response of a cap or a room or some gear or whatever they can capture the decay. So the echo and the reverb. But they can't capture distortion, characteristics, dynamics, and all that stuff. So it's like a static snapshot and it won't change. If you sent more level into it, it won't distort it.

Like it's only frequency and time basically. And, um, so that's [00:20:00] important to understand because you can make IRS of pieces of gear as well. Like, and I R as always the whole chain. So you can sense an impulse through whatever and record it. And you have an IRR. But it, it will only work with the frequency and the time domain, but not with like dynamics and distortion and stuff.

Right. So that's just important and that's the difference. And that's why I are, will never exactly sound the same as the cab, because the speaker also distorts and the more level you send into it starts to compress. And it does all sorts of things dynamically that R doesn't. If you want to have those options, you would need an IRR.

That's taken at a very high level versus one that's like at a low level, or, I dunno, I don't want to get into the technical details, but just know that you're not going to get the same behavior. That you'll get from a cab if you drive it harder, for example. Right. So that makes sense. Yep. But in most cases that's not necessary anyway.

And, um, the reason why ours are popular, why you would want to do [00:21:00] that, even if it can do less, if you want, if you will, like, uh, compared to a real cap is first of all, it's super convenient. As we said, you can just easily swap cabinets and try different cabinets, try different mix my combinations and all that.

You have access to world-class recording chains, mikes that are perfectly in phase. All that stuff in, in good rooms and all that. So super convenient, um, super flexible. It's intuitive to use, like in the sense that depending on what packs you get, they are labeled in a way that you can just grab a brighter one or a darker one, or you grab a certain cab and you just flip through them like presets and just see what you like.

It's a lower risk of making mistakes, because if they are made properly, you don't run into like phase problems with various mix and all that. Um, or room, problem problems. And then of course you can use your real amps quietly at home. For example, with IRS, that's [00:22:00] also a big reason why people are using iOS more and more because some peoples have their amps because they are in a band or whatever, and they, but they cannot record the thing with a microphone and a cap because it's just super loud when they're at home and they can't use that.

But if you use a load box, Um, so it's like a little that you plug into the speaker output of your amp and that kind of, so the amp sees a cap that's not there. It just has, it sees the load. So you can use your CA your amp without a cap without damaging it. And then you record a signal out of that load box and use it with an AR.

And so you can have your amp next to you and dial it in and like, drive it really hard. With like headphones. And, um, that's a very cool thing that I enjoyed doing a lot, actually. And, um, if you have a reactor float, then it even like you even get some of that behavior of a character because it reacts to the output signal of the amp dynamically.

So that is really great. And, uh, it's a great way to use your [00:23:00] real amp if you're not really digging amp Sims, or if you have an app that you really love. And I just made a record using a 51 50 block ladder and the JCM 800, which are great amps. But I'm not sure if I'm going to use the cap that I record it.

Maybe I'm just, I just go with an impulse. I don't know. Right. 

Malcom: [00:23:14] So in that case, you miked up the cab live, but you also ran into a load box. Right? 

Benedikt: [00:23:19] I also grabbed the, not yet. I also grabbed the DEI, but I have them next to me and I might run it through it again. But then instead use an I R and I want to just compare it to whatever, to the chain that I had, um, just to see what works better, because I'm happy with the

I'm not so sure about the. The captain. I mean, I like it, but workflow was everything and I didn't want to take too long getting guitar tones. So I like what we recorded, but I think I could do more if I took the time without the band being there. So maybe I'm going to go with an IRR, maybe not. We'll see, but just having this option is so great.

Um, and that's another reason for why people are using ours more and more because people record at home. [00:24:00] And it's just an easier, faster way to get great recordings and you can do it without being loud. 

Malcom: [00:24:07] Yeah. So I really liked the solution because it used to be that the solution for recording at home, um, was getting like an antennae waiter and just.

Making your app quiet, but that's really not the same as having an ample out. Um, it's, it's definitely a solution, but this really just solves the problem entirely. Um, so you can still have your app running as hot as it's meant to be and get a really professional result. Um, so great, great solution. If you're in an apartment or something where you really can't make much noise at all, definitely.

Now there's a lot of these on the market. All of a sudden, I know that UAD or I guess just UVA came out with the ox box. Um, there's like the two note torpedo stuff. Um, which one did you have? 

Benedikt: [00:24:51] Um, I really like the sewer reactive load. Oh yeah. S U H R um, I, [00:25:00] I haven't done this too much with the real M thing, to be honest, I, I, more often than not, I use IRS with amp Sims, but I'm debating on trying, like I'm going to try a couple of different ones and form a more informed opinion on this.

So. I, I don't, I can't really recommend one box now. I really liked the X-Box when I heard it. I like the super reactive load a lot, but I'm not sure if there is anything other that's even better. Maybe the two notes stuff is awesome. I guess I think it's the same as always. There are a couple of pieces that I see people use all the time and you can be pretty sure that all of those work.

So if, if well-known producers and people who record grid stuff use. A couple of pieces and the ox box, the sewer, and the two note stuff are examples of, for this. Uh, if those people use them a lot, you can be pretty sure that they work. So I'm, I don't know, get one of [00:26:00] these. See if you like it, maybe compare two or three, but I'm pretty sure they all do the job.

So, but I like the concept of a reactive flowed, especially so, but I guess they all are these days. So, yeah, very popular unit though, for sure. Yeah. So no real recommendation, but those three, I guess, would work and there are different versions of it because the thing is, it's more for me, it's more about the features.

There are load boxes that are just load boxes and you just record the signal without a cap into the computer. And then you use an I R loader in the computer. That's my preferred. Way to do it. So the sewer reactive load without the built-in I, our loader is all I need. It's cheap. It works great. It sounds great.

And then I do everything else in the computer, but some people swear by boxes like the ox box, for example, where you choose the da, the IRR on the device itself, or you use the two notes stuff that has, I think there is also different. Versions of it. I'm not really sure. I'm sure there's one. Uh, and for the sort of thing, it's the same where you just capture the EMP and then there's one with a [00:27:00] built in IRR loader where you can connect the thing to your computer low than I are record straight through it.

Um, I don't know why I just prefer to run into a plugin and do it in the computer, 

Malcom: [00:27:10] but it gives you the option of changing it. After right. You can just swap the IRR in the mix at that point. Right. Because if you're recording with the built-in one, you're actually printing 

Benedikt: [00:27:19] that I would say yes, exactly.

That's one part of it. Then the other part of it, I just like tweaking stuff on a screen more than I like to deal with, like small displays and knobs and fiddle around with choosing an IRL. Like I just like to do it in the door and then, and I'll get to that later. When we talk about recommendations. I discovered, uh, uh, incredible that I like to use more than anything, uh, that gives me a lot more flexibility and features than just loading up an IRA in a device like that.

So that's the reason why I just prefer to capture the line out basically, and then do it with a plugin. But. You can do whatever you want. It's the same, the same thing. Yeah. See, I would 

Malcom: [00:27:56] just, I would assume most of our audience prefers to turn [00:28:00] knobs on a device rather than in the computer. Right. Um, because like, if you're an Apple guy you're like used to dealing with a physical object, then obviously that's going to feel more familiar.

But do you keep in mind? 

Benedikt: [00:28:11] Sorry, you can record both. I just wanted to say that if you have one of those built in I, our loaders. That doesn't mean you don't have the flexibility because you see most, I think with all of them, you can record the, our signal and then you can also record the one without an IRR so that you can change it later.

So in that case, it's fun to play through the actual IRR and not having to deal with a plugin, but if you chose the wrong one, you can still change it. I just don't use, or I won't, I wouldn't buy. A box like that because I don't need the built in I R loader and the ones without are. Yeah. 

Malcom: [00:28:43] That makes sense.

Yeah. Yeah. Um, and as you've suggested to me, even if you're using like a modeler, um, like, like a camper or a ax fax or whatever, um, the there's IRS in those, I guess, but. You've as you recommended [00:29:00] to me, that's not their strong suit. So you can actually turn off the cap while you record out of those and then use an R loader to replace the cabinet, the options inside of your door as well.

Um, which is something I'm definitely going to be experimented with more. Yeah, 

Benedikt: [00:29:14] definitely. That's one of, yeah, that's again, one of the big benefits is that even old amp Sims and. I mean, the camper gets updated and gets new software, but the device itself is also like 10 years old at this point or something, or I don't know.

And some plugins are old or if you're using a pod or whatever, like old school almost if that's the word old school FSM, but, um, Some of these don't sound as bad as you would think. If you turn off the cap and use a proper IRR, it's really oftentimes the air I had this I've told it before in the pockets.

I think I had this client where they sent me guitar tones that I really liked. And I asked them what, what they were using, which amp, which chain, it turns out that we're using a part like the original one, the OJI pod from like 15 years ago or [00:30:00] so. And I have no way that that can't be a part. It sounds, it sounds incredible.

Uh, it turns out they used it with like good IRS and it was a really fantastic guitar tone that I used on the record. So even old or crappy or cheap sounding amp Sims can be improved drastically with proper IRS. 

Malcom: [00:30:19] That's really interesting. Yeah. I've, I've, I've recorded one of those lines, six pods in my early internship days and it was like not enjoyable.

Benedikt: [00:30:27] Nope, exactly, exactly. But yeah, there's a lot you can do. And even the modern plugins, that's not their strong suit, as you said. Um, and like with the camper, I always had this issue, no matter which, uh, w when, no matter what I used, which preset or profile or whatever, it always felt like there was this layer of fizz on everything.

It sounded like the real amp with the added fist. Like, I just couldn't get rid of it until I figured out that if I turn the cab off and use an IRR, then I started to like it. So, yeah. So, yeah. Um, those are the benefits [00:31:00] of, of using it. Yeah, the thing is, it really depends. Like you still got to have tastes.

That's what I think I want to say. So it's easy and it's, it gives you all the benefits that we were talking about, but you still need to listen for the exact same things that you would need to listen for when you make up a cab or when you place the virtual mic on an Epsom or whatever. So you swap through these presets or snapshots.

But it really depends on the person making them. And then it depends on you and your taste when it comes to picking the right one. So how to use an IRR properly is basically you, first of all, you need an IRR loader plugin can be a stock plug-in in your door. Like I think logic has one. Cubase has has one.

Um, but there are free ones out there as well. I think the STL, uh, an a D I R it's called. Nat IRN IDI, or I don't know. That's a really awesome, I, our loader that's free and it lets you load up two different IRS [00:32:00] simultaneously and you can blend between them. Um, you can run it mano a stereo. So it gives you all you need, basically it's free by, um, STL tones and ignite amps.

I think it's a collaboration between those. So that's an example of a great AR loader. You can use a convolution reverb plugin to do the same thing like the stock, um, Plugins in logic or Cubase. Those are convolution reverb, plugins meant to, um, yeah. Deal with room impulses, but you can load up a cabin pulse as well.

Uh, if you use one of those, you have more options to tweak it and you have an IQ in there. Sometimes you can like make it shorter or longer if you have like room information in there or whatever. So first of all, pick an I R loader and then, um, pick the right AR and then. Yeah, tweak it if necessary. And what I mean by that is sometimes the same thing as with a real, um, recording chain.

Sometimes it sounds right, but it's a little dark or it's a little bright, or sometimes there are [00:33:00] resonances that you don't like just as with a real recording chain. So you might want to tweak it if necessary sometimes, especially when you have like room. Or impulses or, um, if you, if the impulse includes some reverb or delay, because that, that works as well, you can shorten the decay in the plugin, so you can use a certain reverb, but if it's too long, you can just make it shorter.

Uh, you can tweak whatever you want to do with it. You can tweak it until it's, it fits your needs. And, um, yeah, that's it, but be careful not to use it as a preset and just leave it that way you might. Need to try a couple of different ones and then you might need to tweak it because it all still comes down to your taste and to the context of the song.

Yeah, it 

Malcom: [00:33:47] definitely one of the huge advantages is that it's so easy to swap out the cab. Right. You can just click on a bunch of different ones and compare them. And because you can do that so quickly and in real time, just do it with the song plane. [00:34:00] Right? So you're listening to in context rather than to just a guitar.

Um, so how like whoever play along to the song, or maybe you've already recorded at AI. So it's just, you can just click play and then cycle through as you're listening to how it fits into the rest, the instruments. 

Benedikt: [00:34:13] Yes. Yes, totally. So when in, in a real, like recording situation with Mike's on a cabinet where you would move the mic, if it's not right yet.

Um, you can, you would just swap out the air, try a different one and F find the best sound that way, but you still need to do that tweaking sort of. And with most packs, they give you the same cabinet and the same mic, but in different positions. So you can have like a couple of brighter ones, darker ones, and you just cycle through them until you find the one that works just like moving a mic, basically.

And then there's things like besides the classic are all loaders where you just load it up and switch to a different one. If you don't like it, there are you. Special plugins. Like the one that I absolutely love with right now, it's called Mikko or myco. M I K K O. [00:35:00] Um, and I would absolutely recommend trying this out.

It's by ML labs. I think it's the company called. Okay. 

Malcom: [00:35:07] I was just going to ask, because if you type in Mico, you get an Edmonton Oilers hockey player and know sound 

Benedikt: [00:35:13] lab. That's the one. If you Google Mikko I our Amico player or whatever it's called. Uh, ML sound lab is the company and Mico. M I K K O is the, is the thing, the plugin it's insane.

It's a capsulum plugin that. Like, it looks like a speaker and you can add up to, I don't know how many Mexico, like 10, 20, I don't know, an insane amount of mikes. You just click add new mic and you can combine as many max as you want. You can put them in the right spot on the speaker and you can place them three 60 around the speaker.

You see? So you can really find the sweet spot on the speaker, uh, because like, Yeah, speaker will sound different on one side compared to the other side. And just with a real cab, just like with a real [00:36:00] cab, you can move that mic and then can add another one and another one and you can angle them. I think you can change the distance.

You can choose different mic types, different camps. And in the background, it's loading IRS in real-time as you tweak, and you always end up with an IRR, a snapshot of whatever you just did there. I don't know how it works in the background, but it's. I are based, but you tweak it and they switch my positions just like you would with a real cap.

And then when you found a position that works and you even see the frequency response next to it, there's a graph that shows you the frequency response. It shows you the resonances and the peaks and valleys and all that. And once you found a spot that you really like, and my positioning that you really liked.

Then you can export it as an I R even and save it. So you can just load it up in a different plugin later, or give it to a friend or whatever you can save and export your own IRS using that plugin. And like the phase relationship between the mix is always ideal. It's like, it's a crazy cool plug-in, it's just sounds amazing.

You can buy all sorts of different [00:37:00] cabs and you have the, all the, all the different makes available and it's just. A convolution, I, our loader on steroids and I just love it. And there's a free version of it that can get you pretty far, already. So 

Malcom: [00:37:14] cool. When did you, uh, get into this one? I never heard of it 

Benedikt: [00:37:17] before, so  use it and I really liked his work and I thought if he uses it might be cool.

And then I just checked it out and it's pretty new, I think. So I don't think it's out there. For long, for a long time. Right. And I just tried it and I really, really liked 

Malcom: [00:37:35] it. Yeah. Shout out to George. You're a genius man. 

Benedikt: [00:37:38] Yes. Yes. So yeah, everyone tried that out. It's a really awesome capsule. That I really love.

And that's that plugin is the main reason why I don't like built in IRS anymore in like load boxes, because I just want to tweak with that thing. It's just better. It's just better for me. Yeah. I'm more flexible. Like it's, it's like the [00:38:00] workflow when you position a real MC and I just know how to do that.

And I do that in the computer now with that thing. Right, but it's not like a weird algorithm. That sounds sort of like a cap because the things like that used to exist for years now, where you place a virtual mic on a cap, but many of those are just algorithms and filter curves. That sort of sound like an amp in the CA like a cabinet mic.

But not really, but this plugin, um, is just different. This really sounds like a cab, so I don't know how they do it in the background and I don't really care, but if I find a position and export the air, it's just, it just sounds exactly like I want it to sound very 

Malcom: [00:38:38] cool. Okay. So maybe you already answered this, so, sorry, but quick question.

Are you able to like load in your usual IRS to this? Or is it using like a proprietary I R structure? I'm not 

Benedikt: [00:38:46] sure if you can load something. I'm not sure if you can load plugins, uh, like presets or if you can load IRS. But you can use their IRS and you can export them as an IRR. I need to play around with that more.

Yeah. That's all I can say for [00:39:00] now, but I, yeah, but it's, it's, it's, it's a little more than the traditional AR thing, but I just love it. 

Malcom: [00:39:07] Awesome. I'm definitely gonna try that out, man. Yeah. I love new gear suggestions. 

Benedikt: [00:39:11] Yes, yes. Yeah. And now one more important thing, um, that I want to, I want to tell people is whenever you want to use I ours, that are not just.

A very short snapshot, like a dry hour. When you want to use room max, for example, or like IRS of, of roommates or reverbs or echos or anything like that, that has a decay. The I R loader choice is very important because some are loaders, especially the ones designed to only load like guitar cap, IRS. They only allow the impulses, the wafers to be a certain length.

So some of them only allow, I don't know, half a second or whatever, but if you have, if you want to have a second long decay, it just cuts off the impulse and it doesn't work. So you gotta be careful with that because there are really cool room [00:40:00] IRS out there that you can combine the dry ones with the room mix, just as like in real life.

And there are impulses. Like the ones that I was, I told my mom before we started recording this episode, that I have a big collection of IRS, of like effects, skier, lexicon, reverbs, spring reverbs, echo boxes, all those things, and then famous rooms as well. And if I load those into a loader that has this, this length limit, then it just doesn't load properly.

Um, it just cuts off. The beautiful decay. So you gotta be careful with that. Yeah, that is good advice. Yes. Yeah. Other than that, I don't know what else to say. Um, I mean, that's a pretty 

Malcom: [00:40:43] good start. That's a, they're totally worth trying. Um, and seeing if it's like a good workflow for you, I would assume it's a good workflow for most of our listeners.

Cause it's just easier. It's easier than making up an app and uh, it's. I mean, I'm like amps are tricky because [00:41:00] recording an amp in the same room as you is not a good way to record. You can't hear anything. Um, you know, you have to like play and then stop and listen back to tell if you're actually capturing anything good.

So avoiding making up an app, unless you have a separate isolation booth or a room. Is pretty essential. Um, so this is like the perfect work around to that. 

Benedikt: [00:41:21] Totally, totally. It's and it's, it can be used. So creatively wants to dive into that also with making your own hours. And even if it's not perfect at the beginning, it's just fun.

Like the first time I did it, I did it completely wrong, but it was just fun. I just went into a room, I clapped recorded it, cut the clip off and then load it up the wave file. And it worked, it was not a linear and that the real response of the room, because I clapped and I didn't use white noise or whatever you would want to use.

But still it's just so fun to hit play and then hear the reverb of the room that you were just in Zoe it's like, uh, yeah. And same with KBRs. It's just a fun, creative thing to do and a great work around, as you said, and a great solution, even if you're recording [00:42:00] at home, I guess the most helpful thing to do would be if I put.

All like the common or like the, the good plugins that I know of. And they are loaders that I know of in the show notes, just so people can find them and try them out. And I might even add some. I, our packs that I know are for free because there are some, they have been, some of them have been around for a couple of years that are just great and like proven to work.

So I might just link to those as well. So you have a starting point, you just go to the self recording band.com/ 52. Then you will be at the show notes page for this episode, and there will be links for plugins as well as I, our packs. And then you can quickly and easily start using those before you dive into the whole world and find your own stuff.

But I guess I'll just do that as a starting point. 

Malcom: [00:42:50] Perfect. Yeah. Um, last thing I would say is people that are confused. I remember being confused about recording dyes for bass, because [00:43:00] I thought it sounded pretty lame. Now I'm kind of more into it. I think the asking side really cool. You know, like, uh, I think maybe I like mid-range more than I used to, but, uh, I there's a lot.

Yeah. People that use IRS in conjunction with the eyes will get it AI, and then they'll craft like an amp sound from that DEI in mixing and it can be really crazy. Cool. Um, so maybe, maybe this is the answer. So your base Wu's if you're struggling 

Benedikt: [00:43:23] with that. Oh yeah. That too. Absolutely. And I don't want to end this episode before mentioning one person.

And that is in our community. In the Facebook, the self recording band, Facebook community. We have a member Thomas, um, Thomas Palmer, vice whiteboard is his full name. Um, I'm sure he will like, yeah, he's in there. You will find them. He's an expert on making IRS using IRS and all the technical details behind.

Uh, it all, so he knows much more about it than I do. And he's made an I R pack for two notes. So there is a, [00:44:00] uh, his own signature pack or two of them actually, I think, uh, and cool. He's like really everything I explained wrong, probably in this episode, he knows how to explain, uh, correctly. And, uh, he knows how that, how all that stuff works technically.

So if you have any followup questions and posted in the group, I'm pretty sure he will be happy to answer and help. And I'm also just because he's a member of the community and has been helpful a lot of times an active member actually, and has answered a couple of questions already. I'm just going to link to his.

Um, PACS as well in the show notes. And the fun thing about his pecs is that it's a very specific, special, unusual thing that he did because his I ours have been recorded. And then Annick an anechoic anechoic. I don't know what the word is. Chamber. So, 

Malcom: [00:44:49] right. What is that word? I was ignored. Anecdotal 

Benedikt: [00:44:53] anechoic, anechoic chamber.

I think it's called it's a room that has no room [00:45:00] information, basically. No, no reflections at all. It's the most dead linear sounding room that can possibly exist. There are only a few of them in the world, or at least here in Europe. Uh, he, he went to some university. Uh, rented out the room, I think, and then captured the IRS in there because he didn't want to have any sort of room information in his IRS.

And the cool thing about those are they don't sound like typical IRS, but they are fun and really creative. You can use them creatively because the fun thing, if I understand correctly that he was able to capture I ours from a distance, but without the room messing up, what's coming out of the amp. So he wanted to recreate how an amp feels like if you stand in front of it, But without whatever messy room it is in.

So he could like put the microphone feet away, a couple of feet away from the amp and record it from a distance without the proximity effect and all of that, but without reflections. So it's still a very dry, direct signal. But without the proximity. So that's [00:46:00] something, I don't know if anyone's ever done that.

Um, and two notes released it. So if you want to check that out, it's a really special, uh, I R pack and really fun, and I'm sure he can explain it better, but I, to my understanding what it is, that's very cool. What a great idea. Yeah, exactly. And, uh, So I'm sure I'm sure that I get a message from him about what I, what I explained wrong in this emphasis.

Malcom: [00:46:22] It'd be gentle with us, Thomas. 

Benedikt: [00:46:24] We tried, we tried our best. Yeah. So bottom line. I'm a user of IRS and I love them because of the convenience and because of how they sound and all of that. I'm not the guy making them, but I hope this was still helpful for you. And it gives you a starting point and it, um, yeah.

Inspires you to, to start using those as well. If you haven't already. Definitely. Cool. Anything you want to add? Come? 

Malcom: [00:46:48] I think that's a, I mean, I just want to, I'm mixing a song right after this, so I'm going to. Jump into this world and chat with them. Mico plugin, do it. You're going to 

Benedikt: [00:46:56] love it. You're done to love it.

It's awesome. Yeah. [00:47:00] Awesome. Cool. Well, that's it. Okay. Thank you for listening. 

Malcom: [00:47:04] Thank you as always, we'll see you next week and 

Benedikt: [00:47:06] next week. Bye everyone. .

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