How to use impulses

Speaker Cabinet Impulses
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Alu
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How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:40 am

Ok, since a lot of new users here ask about it, I've decided to write a simple tutorial about impulse responses...

What is an impulse response?

For the guys that don't give a fuck about explanations: what is an impulse response? A .wav file. This is all you need to know.

For the others: what is an impulse response?
An impulse response is the output of a system when the input is a Dirac impulse (for digital stuff). The Dirac impulse doesn't really exist, cause is teorically a signal with amplitude 1 and length 0 (that's why it doesn't exist).
So if you run a Dirac impulse in the input of your system, you'll get the impulse response on the output.
The impulse response contains the linear characteristics of your system (i.e. frequency response) and does not capture non-linear things (i.e. distortion/saturation).
This is just a rough/stupid/useless-for-musicians description, for more informations you can search on the net...
Basically impulse responses can be used to capture frequency response and reverb.
The cab impulses you'll find here are just impulse responses of cab + mic systems (remember also the they contains also the frequency response of the power amp and the mic preamp).
Impulse responses are REALLY accurate. An analog cab sim (like ADA, Palmer, etc.) will NEVER match the accuracy of an impulse response. In this case the digital world fucks the analog world right in the ass. Believe it or not.

POD, V-AMP, Amplitube 2 and Guitar Rig 2/3 cab sims are ALL impulse based. The problem is that the impulse responses used are a bit crappy, that's why I (and a lot of guys here) never use them...

Ok, how to use them?

If your amp-sim does not support an external impulses loader, you'll need a DAW (Cubase, Reaper, Sonar, etc...).
Load your ampsim and BYPASS THE CAB (this is IMPORTANT).

How to bypass the cab?
Guitar Rig: just CLOSE the cab (or matched cab) module. I mean CLOSE, not switch off! This is IMPORTANT. GR cab-sims even if switched off, do change the eq! So, you HAVE TO CLOSE IT WITH THE "X" BUTTON.
Amplitube 2: go into the cab section and activate the BYPASS switch you see in the upper right corner.
Wagner Sharp: you don't need to do anything. Wagner doesn't have a cab emulation.
Dirthead 0.6/0.8: switch off the "CABINET" button on the right of the interface.
BTE Juicy77: select "cabinet disengage" or something like that in the lower bar of the interface.
Simulanalog JCM900: you CAN'T bypass the cab... I know, that's bad...

Now, if you have bypassed the cab correctly, when you play a distorted preset you'll hear a total shitty sound, fizzy as hell, no bass, harsh... it's ok, you're hearing how an amp sounds like without a cab.

Now, after the amp-sim, you have to load a VST that allows you to import impulse responses for convolution.
I'll describe only 2 programs: Voxengo Boogex and KeFIR, cause they're FREE and with NO LATENCY.

Voxengo Boogex
Get it here: http://www.voxengo.com/product/boogex/
Boogex is an amp-sim, if you want to use it ONLY for cab simulation, you have to set all the parameters FLAT, or it will change your eq/sound.
So, open it and set, from the left: Lows Mids and Highs to 0db, Tone to 0%, Drive to 0db, Dynamics to 0%, Phase to 0%, Out as you want (it's the volume control), Dry Pre Cab and Dry Post Cab to "-inf" (knob all the way down).
The "Speaker Cabinet Impulse Response" button MUST be ON, obviously.
Then click on "file" and select your impulse (a .wav file).
An important thing about Boogex: this software features a built in LPF and HPF. They can't be totally bypassed. The best thing to do is to open them to the max. How? Click on the green point in the right area of the graphic section of the interface and move it all the way to the right, then click on the white point in the left area and move it all the way to the left. This will "open" the filters.

KeFIR
Get it here: http://habib.webhost.pl/vst_keFIR.php
KeFIR is a simple VST that allows your to load impulse responses.
Just click on "Load", select you impulse response (a .wav file) then set the "Mix" parameter to 100% (this is important) and set the length as you want (more length = more cpu consumption). Don't set it too short or you'll end up bypassing the impulse. Most impulse responses (like the GuitarHack's ones) have the tail cutted, so set the length to the max is useless. Just leave it as is when you load the impulse.
Set the "Gain" knob as you want.

Play... if you hear a normal tone, with no harshness/fizzyness, you're done.
I have issues with Boogex sometimes... I load it and I have no sound out of it... I don't know why... to solve the problem remove the track where you've loaded Boogex, create another track and reload it. Works for me.

Remember that you can use impulses with real preamps/pedals too.
Just connect the preamp/pedal output into your soundcard, load one of the programs above, load an impulse and play.
WARNING: DO NOT CONNECT THE POWER AMP OUTPUT OF YOUR HEAD TO YOUR SOUNDCARD! USE THE PREAMP OUTPUT ONLY, OR THE FX-SEND. IF YOU HAVE A TUBE POWER AMP, YOU HAVE TO CONNECT IT TO THE CABINET ANYWAY, OR YOU'LL DAMAGE THE TUBES AND THE TRANSFORMER ($$$).

For any problem, let me know.

@Brohymn: can you please sticky this thread too? (and explain me why I can't :roll: )
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby fremen » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:26 pm

Nice introduction to impulses, Alu :)

I'll add some tips about boogex : I love its HPF and LPF, it helps to smooth out overbright or too bassy impulses... I also use use the three band EQ to fine tune the sound.

I also add no sound with Boogex on some occasions, that's because I renamed or moved the folder where the impulses are located, check this

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby ARIBAI » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:51 pm

sometimes I use Revolverb to load impulses, it works just fine

http://revolverb.hostrocket.com/

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby ARIBAI » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:53 pm

ARIBAI wrote:sometimes I use Revolverb to load impulses, it works just fine

http://revolverb.hostrocket.com/



nice INTRO ALU, thanks for this

should come handy to new users

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby patchwork » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:19 pm

great tutorial! thank you very much! i would like to know how you create your guitar sounds when using GR (or AT or RV)+Impulse. Do you create a sound in GR (or...), afterwards turn the cabs off and choose an impulse? or do you first chose an impulse of which you know it sounds good and then tweak the GR (or...) sound?

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby zolaive » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:28 pm

Thanks Alu for the informations !! :D
I use KeFIR but there are two ways to launch the soft : a mono one and a stereo one. What is it ?
Thanks for the answer and again great job man !

And can we get the same results as the one we get with cab impulses by only using an EQ ? I guess no... but I don't understand why.

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Nikko » Wed Jan 30, 2008 6:26 pm

Excellent article you've written, Alu! 8)

One other thing to mention about Revalver..... It is also the only amp sim on the market that has a VST module, so you can run external VST's within its interface. For example, you can run Wagner Sharp, or Dirthead, or Amplitube, or Guitar Rig, or whatever you want, within Revalver and utilize the impulses to get your sound live, without a DAW. :D
Nikko

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:38 pm

@patchwork: impulses make a HUGE different, so it's way better to tweak the tone using them and not creating a base tone with original cabs. This doesn't mean that you can't get great result, but once you switch to impulses, you'll find that you need some more tweaking according to the new cab sound, so it could be just a waste of time.
I always create my tones using impulses.

@zolaive: if you have a mono track you should use the 1ch version I think. Nothing wrong to use the 2ch, but I think is useless if you have a mono track.
About the second question, I'm not sure about what you mean. If the question is: can I "create" a cab just using an EQ, the answer is YES, cause cab+mic impulse responses are 99% eq and 1% reverb (more or less, depending on the impulse). But don't expect great result... the EQ of a cab+mic impulse response is REALLY COMPLEX and ARTICULATE, with A LOT of narrow spikes. You won't be able to create all those details with an EQ... even with Voxengo Curve EQ that supports 60bands... You could get a result similar (or a bit better) to a good analog cab sim, but forget to get even near to an impulse response...

@Nikko: yeah, other than the RIR module (best ampsim idea ever), the feature you mentioned is another really cool and usefull thing, and has helped Revalver to get such great success!
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby zolaive » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:54 pm

High Alu. You did understand the question and answered it very clearly :!: Thanks again

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby ruisealman » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:01 pm

Glad to see Alu converted to KeFIR.... my brainwashing worked :twisted: And tx for the tutorial so that we can send noobs to it. eheh :mrgreen:
zolaive wrote:I use KeFIR but there are two ways to launch the soft : a mono one and a stereo one. What is it ?

I believe it's some kind of plugin internal cabinet stack
1 Cabinet ( Half Stack) = Mono
2 Cabinets ( Full Stack ) = Stereo
To my ears thats what's happening there. Check for yourself. Thats what I guess the author of the plugin tried to achieve.
But of course I might be wrong.

And can we get the same results as the one we get with cab impulses by only using an EQ ? I guess no... but I don't understand why.

KISS = Keep It Simple Sir :p
The MEM and CPU processing power required to achieve the same results of an Impulse with EQ, REV and COMP are just too much to be even considered feasible.

Hugz,

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:38 am

ruisealman wrote:I believe it's some kind of plugin internal cabinet stack
1 Cabinet ( Half Stack) = Mono
2 Cabinets ( Full Stack ) = Stereo
To my ears thats what's happening there. Check for yourself. Thats what I guess the author of the plugin tried to achieve.
But of course I might be wrong.

Not sure about it, but impulses can be stereo iirc... so I guess the 2 channel version is made for stereo impulses...
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:41 am

ARIBAI wrote:sometimes I use Revolverb to load impulses, it works just fine

http://revolverb.hostrocket.com/


Thanks ARIBAI, nice one! Didn't know about it!
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby CAMILOGOD » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:16 pm

good tutorial alu, can u explain a bit how impulses are made? and if you have made any yourself?
thx

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby patchwork » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:15 pm

CAMILOGOD wrote:good tutorial alu, can u explain a bit how impulses are made? and if you have made any yourself?
thx


how-to-create-an-impulse-t1745.html

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:33 am

Thanks patchwork!

Sorry guys but I'm still unable to sticky threads...
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Ant » Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:36 pm

hI. i'M new to using impulses, i download many of them for reverbs, pream eq, microphones, mixing desk, guitar processors..but now i wish to know how to properly use it

I'm recording now directly in my audiointerface's preamps without d.i. box (i have a Motu 828mkII), so when i use an impulse of mixing desk, or of famous preamp, or compressors, i don't know if i have to load they (i load it in voxengo analogflux or pristine space put in insert) using also an amp sim like amplitube (with speaker bypassed?) or if (amplitube like software) isn't necessary to insert?

In few words, if i record directly in the interface preamp and want to use an impulse of PREAMP (like api,calrec...or an ssl or oxford, neve consoles) what i have to do other than load the impulse? i need the amp sim howewer?

And if i want to load an impulse of a different mic (to the one i use to record) like neumann,akg on my voice (recorded with mic directly in the motu preamp) or an impulse of mixing consoles i simply load the impulse in insert?

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby strangedogs » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:25 pm

what can I use with a Mac? I have Logic Studio 8 and it has SPACE DESIGNER which loads impulses (SDIR) but everything seems to be rooms, halls, etc... What's available for Mac to load impulses - or will SD be OK (providing the impulses are .sdir?)

EDIT: Space Designer DOES load Wav files - schaweeeeet!
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Ant » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:24 pm

No one can answer to my questions?

If i recorded an acoustic with his onboard eq, directly in the onboard preamp of my motu i still need the amp simulator with cabinet bypased to then insert an impulse response (of famous preamp or mixing desk..)


Answer me please, i MUST know IT!! :mrgreen:

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Fri Apr 04, 2008 5:57 pm

It's not that hard...
If you have to simulate a cab for an amp sim, you need an amp sim...
If you have to apply reverb, or impulses of compressors, preamps, etc. why do you think that you must use an amp-sim?

Impulse = Eq (or Reverb), nothing more
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Ant » Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:44 pm

Ciao, vedo ora ch sei Italiano..pure io :lol:

Benone quindi praticamente ogni volta che devo usare un impulso prima apro un vst tipo guitar rig o amplitube2(qual è il migliore come amp sim secondo te?) e bypasso il simulatore di cassa, giusto? indifferentemente se uso un impulso di cabinet, di pream e eq, di riverbero mi pare di aer capito...oppure devo bypassare il cabinet solo se uso un impulso di cabinet? questo non mi è tanto chiaro...cioè il cabinet va bypassato per qualsiasi tipo di impulso o no?

Altra cosa: io registro a 48khz e 32bit fp...gli impulsi che trovo non corrispondono mai a questi miei settaggi..èmeglio usare cmq impulsi almeno uguali dal punto di vista dei khz? il segale degrada se carico un impulso di 44khz 16bit o 48khz 16bit? come dovrei comportarmi per non fare convertire e riconvertire il file di traccia?

Ultima: Se collego direttamente alla mia scheda audio un preamp per chitarra valvolare (Ada Mp1) esterno e ci registro in diretta ,dato che non ha un simulatore di cassa, per caricare in insert un simulatore di cassa eseguo il solito procedimento di aprire amplitube e disattivare il simulatore di cassa? o non c'è bisogno di amplitube, come penso?

Grazie e scusami per le tante richieste...ma sono sicuro che serviranno a molti, perchè conosco molta gente che queste cose non le sa e vorrebbe saperle..grazie e ciao!! :mrgreen:

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby CAMILOGOD » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:14 am

Just a quick question, I was browsing the net and i came across microphone preamp and compressor impulses..
i was wondering.. is it possible to create guitar amplifier impulses? not just the cabinets? if so.. has anyone done this?
thx

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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:27 am

Ant wrote:Ciao, vedo ora ch sei Italiano..pure io :lol:

Benone quindi praticamente ogni volta che devo usare un impulso prima apro un vst tipo guitar rig o amplitube2(qual è il migliore come amp sim secondo te?) e bypasso il simulatore di cassa, giusto? indifferentemente se uso un impulso di cabinet, di pream e eq, di riverbero mi pare di aer capito...oppure devo bypassare il cabinet solo se uso un impulso di cabinet? questo non mi è tanto chiaro...cioè il cabinet va bypassato per qualsiasi tipo di impulso o no?

E' ovvio che devi bypassare il cabinet se usi un impulso di un cabinet... se non usi un impulso di un cabinet, bypassarlo è senza senso... non ti pare? Ci sono impulsi di cassa che vanno usati al posto della cassa, ed impulsi di altro tipo che vanno usati al posto di cose di altro tipo (eq, riverbero,ecc) non al posto della cassa...

Ant wrote:Altra cosa: io registro a 48khz e 32bit fp...gli impulsi che trovo non corrispondono mai a questi miei settaggi..èmeglio usare cmq impulsi almeno uguali dal punto di vista dei khz? il segale degrada se carico un impulso di 44khz 16bit o 48khz 16bit? come dovrei comportarmi per non fare convertire e riconvertire il file di traccia?

Registrare a 44.100 24 bit...

Ant wrote:Ultima: Se collego direttamente alla mia scheda audio un preamp per chitarra valvolare (Ada Mp1) esterno e ci registro in diretta ,dato che non ha un simulatore di cassa, per caricare in insert un simulatore di cassa eseguo il solito procedimento di aprire amplitube e disattivare il simulatore di cassa? o non c'è bisogno di amplitube, come penso?

Se hai un amp esterno, che te ne fai di amplitube visto che è un simulatore di amp? Devi mettere solo la simulazione di cassa...
Ant wrote:Grazie e scusami per le tante richieste...ma sono sicuro che serviranno a molti, perchè conosco molta gente che queste cose non le sa e vorrebbe saperle..grazie e ciao!! :mrgreen:

Se le scrivi in italiano dubito che servano a molta gente...
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Alu » Sat Apr 05, 2008 10:28 am

CAMILOGOD wrote:Just a quick question, I was browsing the net and i came across microphone preamp and compressor impulses..
i was wondering.. is it possible to create guitar amplifier impulses? not just the cabinets? if so.. has anyone done this?
thx

Yes it is possible, but you'll get only the frequency response of the amp, not the distortion...
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Rufio87 » Sat Apr 05, 2008 12:40 pm

hey!
i have a problem loading the impulses
i work with cubase LE and amplitube. i bypass the cab and put the amplitube on a vst insert effect, on teh other instert effect i put the boogex! is that the right way? when i do this, it sounds like i have no cap, i think i make something wrong with boogex but i don't know what

Ant
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Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:20 pm
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Re: How to use impulses

Postby Ant » Sat Apr 05, 2008 2:00 pm

Excuse me, i write in english so, i am not able to understand well "what to bypass" an when! :roll: :bom:

i understood that for cabinet impulses i have to bypass the cabinet from amplitube; but ('cause i don't know how are "made" the impulses i've found) i don't know if i always need the amplitube amp sim for the other kind of impulses..

for preamp impulses ( api, avalon, calrec, ssl g console, neve console) i have to open amplitube? have to bypass the cabinet?
(i think these impulses haven't cabinet so i have to load another impulse with cabinet?)

for guitar processing impulses (like "mesa with sm57"..) i have to open amplitube and bypass cabinet, true?

for MICrophones impulses, instead, what i have to do? they are made for guitars or to process voice? if use it for voice, i have to open again amplitube or not?

In few words i don't when it is the case to open an amp sim (only for guitar directly recorded in the audio device preamps, true?), when to bypass..i'm very confused.

Recording directly my guitar i need an amp sim, ok then i load impulses...but i don't know if the impulses i use is only cab, or also amp..so i don't know when to aplly amplitube and when not.

Excuse me again, could you tell me for all kind of impulses, when i must open amplitube (with cab/bypass cab) and when it isn't needed?
:P


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