Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:01 am Post subject: Using the Suhr RL with a DI
Has anybody here had good luck trying this? I have for the longest time plugged from my Suhr RL direct into my UA apollo twin interface Hi Z input. This was recommended by John Suhr.
I saw a post on TGP someone saying they liked the DI approach, which basically goes straight into the back of the apollo twin. Wondering if anyone has ever tried this and had more success. I know Scott is not the biggest fan of IR's, but it's the best I can do in my apartment situation.
Would love to hear from others and their workflow with the Suhr RL or other reactive loads.
The best sound I've gotten from IR's so far is to plug the load box directly into the audio interface. I tried putting it through my 1073 mic pre, but I lost some bass. I also tried running it through a buffer, which is pretty close if not exactly like running through a DI, and the strings lost their voice and sounded woofy. I guess it makes sense that the most direct path is the best one.
Most modern audio interfaces have a volume control, but my Apogee Rosetta 800 doesn't, so Kevin Suhr (John's son) modded my load box to put out an extra 3db because my computer wasn't getting enough signal from it.
Interesting. Thanks Scott! Do you try to get your RL as loud as it can before hitting the interface? It seems like this is better to do, than to have a lower level hit the interface and then try to bring it up on the interface itself. Maybe others can chime in on this.
Has that made an improvement to where you like IR's with the Suhr RL more than before?
The reactive load seems to have more bass when it's volume is all the way up, and since my audio interface has no volume knob, I have to turn the reactive load all the way up anyway to get a good signal to my DAW. When recording digitally, it's best to get as close to the red as possible without audible overs. I've hit the red many times in my DAW without causing audible distortion. (for short moments, not staying in the red)
About IR's, I'm still not able to make any IR I've heard so far sound as good as my mic'd cabinet. As I've mentioned before, there are many factors involved in mic'ing a cabinet. I've got a minute so I'll list them, and hopefully I won't sound like a complete snob.
No current 4x12 sounds as good as a Kerry Wright cabinet, or a vintage Marshall cabinet from the 60's. The reason is, the wood is much lighter so the cabinet resonates better, the joints are dovetailed, and they're simply made better. I've done A/B tests with Kerry cabs vs. other cabs and the difference is not subtile. On one of the many times I've asked Kerry to build me a cab, he asked me if I'd mind waiting because the Eagles just ordered 10 cabinets. So, factor #1 is, I doubt if IR makers are using Kerry cabs.
Factor #2 is mic placement. Everyone has their own personal taste as to where the mic should go, depending on the tone they're looking for. My favorite IR's are the Celestions by far, but I wish they put the mic in more places, because for me they're a bit too bright or a bit too dull. Also, the proximity of the mic from the grill cloth makes a huge difference too, so who knows how they're addressing that.
Factor #3 is speaker wire. Many people run expensive 10 gauge wire to the cabinet and then wire the cab with bullshit wire meant for TV sets. Marshall would be in that category. I use 10 gauge Marshall Sound Runner cable, not only as speaker cable, but I pull it in half and wire the cabinet with it. (Sound Runner cable is made by Mogami, not Marshall amps) Are the people making IR's aware that speaker wire has a huge affect on the tone?
Factor #4 is the room. This is where I'm lacking, because my amp room is only 13x13. However, my room is tuned with Primacoustic panels. When I started using them, I noticed a HUGE improvement in tone over Auralex foam. What kind of rooms are the people making IR's using, and have those rooms been properly tuned?
Bottom line - IR's have come a long way but obviously I feel they could be improved. I have no way of knowing if they don't sound as good to me as my mic'ed cabinet because of the factors listed above, or because the technology just isn't accurate enough yet. The only way I know how to describe the difference is that when I hear IR's, they sound flat in some way, like comparing 2D to 3D. I'm not condemning them at all, because I think they sound pretty good, especially the Celestions. I haven't been able to get my personal tone from them yet, but I'd use a Celestion IR any day over a bad speaker cabinet, just like I'd prefer a good amp modeler over a crappy amp. I use my Pandora PX5D all the time for clinics, and I prefer it to the amps at most schools, which are usually made by Korg or Crate.
I've never had any luck mixing anything, IR's or microphones. I've been hearing it for years - "mix the 57 with the ribbon", "mix the 2x12 IR with the 4x12 IR, etc.
My favorite tones by my favorite rock guitarists were made with one mic. Examples are Blackmore (one 57 live and one condenser in the studio), Hendrix "Band of Gypsys" and most of his live recordings (one 57, with Eddie Kramer far far away), Beck and Landau (usually one 57). When I mix mics or IR's it seems like something is broken. If I EQ one, it messes up the EQ for the other one. Just my opinion - I'm sure others have made it work for them. Pete Thorn is an expert on mixing IR's so I'm sure he has some advice.
Don't know if this is really true, but it seems that IRs don't have phasing issues like combining two different mics. So it should be just an average of the mixed IRs and therefore sound just as good as either one but with more similar nature.
That's true, they don't have phasing issues like microphones, and what you're saying sounds correct in theory, so I don't know why I've never been happy with the sound of two IR's at the same time. I don't know if this is a good description, but what I hear is a spike in certain frequencies, something that doesn't sound natural to me.
Two different speakers can sound interesting in stereo, but I haven't found the secret of stacking them on top of each other in mono. Pete is really the guy to ask - he's done extensive testing of IR's, but I'm pretty sure that on his records he's still mic'ing a cabinet. He's on the road so when he gets back I'll talk to him about it.
Don't know if this is true, but there should be a difference between playing two IRs together or mixing them together prior playing with a special software. The latter option with just one final IR should sound better.
Sorry, English problem here - I don't understand what you mean. In MixIR, the software that I use (I think Pete does too), there are only two parameters you can adjust when mixing IR's. The IR's go into the same bank and you can adjust their volume and panning separately. Mono is the normal way if you're just trying to get the sound of one speaker, and the only other parameter to adjust is the volume between two or more IR's. When I try to layer a speaker onto another one, even at a low mix like 20%, it just sounds worse to me. I've yet to find any combination of IR's that sound as good as just one by itself. Again, that's my personal experience based on the tone I'm looking for. Other people might get better results.
Sorry to have expressed myself not too well. What I meant that that it could sound different if the IR files are converged into a single file. Playing them together in a daw is like mixing them on the fly (depending of course how IR loader processes IRs)
Don't know if it makes any difference, but it could.
I'm aware of this software and sorry, I'm not a Two Notes fan. I don't like their IR's or their software, which truncates IR's at 18ms when most of the decent IR's are 500ms. MixIR is way better - maybe that's why it's not free. It does the exact same thing as the Two Notes Blend IR, but at much better quality, and it can play 500ms IR's.
This post got me thinking since I haven't experimented with this for awhile, so I bought the Celestion G12M package - that's my favorite speaker and the one I use the most.
My opinion - I hated every mix I heard. 57 & 121, 421 & 121, 57 & 421, etc. I thought it all sounded beyond terrible. The only IR's I liked were the Balanced and Fat 4x12 and closed back 2x12, both with a 57 only. Those sound the most like my mic'd cabinet. The Fat 4x12 was just a little darker than my cab, so I tried mixing it with a Balanced which is brighter - no luck at all. Weird frequencies, even with the Balanced at only 10%. It sounded much better to just add a little brightness to the Fat one with a good EQ.
On a positive note, the IR's I liked sound really good - I'm absolutely sure that no one could tell them from real mic'd speakers in a mix, and the EQ'd Fat 4x12 sounds the closest to my cab I've heard so far. There were many IR's I heard that would be totally useful for layering and making other tones. Some of the 421 IR's sounded cool, but I still haven't changed my opinion that one IR with one mic sounds the best.
One reason that IR mixing doesn't work as well could be that IRs themselves are not 100% accurate representations of a miced cab and never will be. So there is some "unnaturalness" in the IR format by nature which will grow each time when more IRs are mixed together.
Someone with proper knowledge about the mathematical side of IR construction would be very welcome shine to some light on these matters as this is purely speculation. All I know that IRs are not as perfect models of real world things as they usually are represented.
Is this free software? I see a pay with PayPal option, but the price is 0.00, so why use PayPal and not just a download? He mentions the full version being able to change impedances and export, so how much is that version?
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