Guitar Cabinet Impulse Responses – The Best Stores & Freebies

Guitar Cabinet Impulse Responses - The Best Stores & Freebies

After we talked about virtual amp simulators in the past, the next logical step is to have a look at guitar cabinet impulse responses (in short: IR). Those so-called impulse responses are sound measurements that contain information about the guitar cabinet speaker, the room where everything is recorded as well as about the used microphone and microphone preamp in the particular situation. That set of information is stored in one single .wav file with that you can recreate the recording situation by loading it into a convolution plug-in – or in an easier term – IR loader. Once you have an IR created, it always recreates the same sound you initially captured, and you do not need to set up a bunch of equipment anymore every time you want to get this unique sound. Important to keep in mind is that an impulse response can recreate the signal chain elements coming AFTER the guitar amp head, but does not include sound characteristics of a guitar amp. Therefore, the combination with a virtual amp simulator or a real guitar amp head and a load box is required to get the guitar sound you want (explained more in detail by Pete Thorn here in one of his great Youtube videos). Impulse responses can also be used to recreate room sounds to be used later as reverb in your mix. However, we will focus on the guitar cabinet IRs in the following and where to get those if you do not want to create your own.

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“Come Back” Bass Recording

"Come Back" Bass Recording

In the near past, I started documenting the progress of AP’s new modern rock project “Come Back” began with explaining how the idea for the song arose and how we started the songwriting and recording process by tracking the drums, guitars and keys. After the editing of the guitar recording was done, a demo mix was sent to Torsten Kolb, who I got to know as the bassist of the alternative rock band Blizzard back in 2014/2015. It only took a couple of days after I received a bass concept for the song that just needed a few small adjustments later during the final recording in late January to be exactly what I was initially looking for.

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“Come Back” Guitar Recording

"Come Back" Guitar Recording

One day in November 2018, I spent some hours of my weekend in my project studio and wrote and recorded drums for an entire song of which its rhythm existed in my mind after taking a shower – ready to be recorded. Just Pro Tools’s metronome and the idea in my head provided the basis for my new song. Later, I sent the finished drum recording to Philipp Lykostratis, a brilliant guitar player, motion designer and former colleague at the media agency. Soon after, I received already recorded demo guitar tracks that made me decide to schedule a recording session to finalise the parts and to do the recording at my place in mid of January. The following article will explain to you how we did it and what equipment we used.

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My Virtual Amp Simulator Collection

Virtual Amp Simulators

You probably may have heard someone saying that “the times of analogue guitar or bass amps are over”. I mean, it is the same situation as discussed in one of my previous blog article about my favourite audio plugins and brands. Digital amp simulators, in the form of hardware or software, have their benefits and disadvantages like analogue amps and stomp boxes also have. But both gear categories are aiming at different types of users, working environments, needs, budgets, and last but not least, personal preferences. To be fair, I need to admit that those amp simulators were getting better and better every year and are useful tools in the live and studio environment.

In the following article, we will have a look at my current virtual amp simulator collection for electric guitar and bass guitar. This time, only software-based amp simulators are presented that are in a quite affordable price range of between approximately 60€ to 200€ for a single, originally branded, licenced and therefore approved emulation or even a collection of non-branded “replica” versions.

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