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Thread: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

  1. #1
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Well, I've been avoiding using IRs for years but I am now being dragged into the 21st century by current noise limitations.

    The last time I used IRs was several years ago, using the Two Notes Wall of Sound app. I thought it was ... okay. Recent demos/videos have sparked my interest again, especially since I cannot currently mic my guitar cabs for reamping, nor can I go to a studio and do it due to lockdown. So, I bit the bullet and got the C.A.B. M (I already own a load box from Hot Plate) from Prymaxe.

    I typically write music using amp sims, focusing on the performance, and worry about the sonics when the song is getting close to mixing (I usually do editing and reamping when the drums and vocals are being recorded to make the most out of the wait time). My SOP when reamping is to use a Radial PRO RMP to my pedals/amps/cabs, select a microphone, and feed back into my interface via an SSL channel strip.

    THE HARDWARE. The C.A.B. M is small (double pedal size), lightweight, and has a very bright OLED display that's quite easy to read. You can access every paramater from the pedal itself using the left and right encoders, which also act as push buttons. There is plenty of room for all of the necessary connectors, though the pedal does slide around a bit from the weight of the cables and connectors. This is not a major problem however.

    For today's reamping, I am using four different amplifiers and a host of pedal options.

    THE SOFTWARE. The app to control the C.A.B. M is called Torpedo Remote and it is a mobile app that I have on my iPad Mini4 and it connects via Bluetooth. I have had zero problems connecting, though I would not want to try this at a distance or during a gig where there is a lot of RF interference from lights, etc. The software is very intuitive to use and it's very easy to dial in a single or dual mic setup that stays in phase regardless of mic position. I prefer mic'ing a little further back that what is normal, so I selected a classic 57/121 combo and was able to get them balanced in no time. It helps if you already have an idea of what kind of sound you are going for or know something about the cabs and speakers being used, otherwise you could spend a VERY long time noodling around not getting things done.

    THE SOUND. I am genuinely surprised by how far IR technology has advanced. The IRs sound eerily close to the real thing and the best part is that the response from using my actual amps FEELS correct; it has the same chewiness/sponginess as if it were an actual cabinet. Very cool!

    Am I now an IR convert? Yes ... and no. If presented with the opportunity to mic a cab again, I would do it in a heartbeat over using the C.A.B. M. However, it does allow me to achieve something that would otherwise be impossible.

    A note about using the power amp simulations: these have also come a LONG way in recent years. However, to my ears, it still doesn't sound like the real thing -- yet; I'm sure it will get there eventually! In a mix, the difference is negligible, so it comes down to what you are used to, I guess. I do miss the way an actual cabinet resonates throughout the whole house, though!

    I will upload audio once I have the tracks edited and a rough mix ready.

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  2. #2
    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    Well, I've been avoiding using IRs for years but I am now being dragged into the 21st century by current noise limitations.

    The last time I used IRs was several years ago, using the Two Notes Wall of Sound app. I thought it was ... okay. Recent demos/videos have sparked my interest again, especially since I cannot currently mic my guitar cabs for reamping, nor can I go to a studio and do it due to lockdown. So, I bit the bullet and got the C.A.B. M (I already own a load box from Hot Plate) from Prymaxe.

    I typically write music using amp sims, focusing on the performance, and worry about the sonics when the song is getting close to mixing (I usually do editing and reamping when the drums and vocals are being recorded to make the most out of the wait time). My SOP when reamping is to use a Radial PRO RMP to my pedals/amps/cabs, select a microphone, and feed back into my interface via an SSL channel strip.

    THE HARDWARE. The C.A.B. M is small (double pedal size), lightweight, and has a very bright OLED display that's quite easy to read. You can access every paramater from the pedal itself using the left and right encoders, which also act as push buttons. There is plenty of room for all of the necessary connectors, though the pedal does slide around a bit from the weight of the cables and connectors. This is not a major problem however.

    For today's reamping, I am using four different amplifiers and a host of pedal options.

    THE SOFTWARE. The app to control the C.A.B. M is called Torpedo Remote and it is a mobile app that I have on my iPad Mini4 and it connects via Bluetooth. I have had zero problems connecting, though I would not want to try this at a distance or during a gig where there is a lot of RF interference from lights, etc. The software is very intuitive to use and it's very easy to dial in a single or dual mic setup that stays in phase regardless of mic position. I prefer mic'ing a little further back that what is normal, so I selected a classic 57/121 combo and was able to get them balanced in no time. It helps if you already have an idea of what kind of sound you are going for or know something about the cabs and speakers being used, otherwise you could spend a VERY long time noodling around not getting things done.

    THE SOUND. I am genuinely surprised by how far IR technology has advanced. The IRs sound eerily close to the real thing and the best part is that the response from using my actual amps FEELS correct; it has the same chewiness/sponginess as if it were an actual cabinet. Very cool!

    Am I now an IR convert? Yes ... and no. If presented with the opportunity to mic a cab again, I would do it in a heartbeat over using the C.A.B. M. However, it does allow me to achieve something that would otherwise be impossible.

    A note about using the power amp simulations: these have also come a LONG way in recent years. However, to my ears, it still doesn't sound like the real thing -- yet; I'm sure it will get there eventually! In a mix, the difference is negligible, so it comes down to what you are used to, I guess. I do miss the way an actual cabinet resonates throughout the whole house, though!

    I will upload audio once I have the tracks edited and a rough mix ready.]
    Welcome to the club! Well, gang actually.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker DavidRavenMoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    I haven’t used an amp to record in decades!

    I actually like the amp sims both in Logic Pro X and AmpliTube. If you spend a little time tweaking they sound quite good. I’ve left them on all my guitar tracks.

    Before that I was using a Johnson J-Station, which is still much better than a Pod.

    Because all my guitar tracks were plugins, and I vary the tones for the songs, I got a Marshall Code 100 combo for my bands live shows. That’s worked out great.


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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    Welcome to the club! Well, gang actually.
    Hehe, thanks!
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    I haven’t used an amp to record in decades!
    Interesting.

    I actually like the amp sims both in Logic Pro X and AmpliTube.
    I love LPX, DON'T love the amp sims. Never used AmpliTube, but never needed to.

    If you spend a little time tweaking they sound quite good.
    I'll take your word for it, but if you have anything mixed down I would love to hear it. To my ears, piles of amp sims just get lost in the mix and have this very ... unrealistic ... breakup.

    Before that I was using a Johnson J-Station, which is still much better than a Pod.
    J-Station was a classic, way ahead of its time!

    Because all my guitar tracks were plugins, and I vary the tones for the songs, I got a Marshall Code 100 combo for my bands live shows. That’s worked out great.
    What's a Code 100? Judging by the name, a digital guitar amp of some kind?
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Here's a zero-fader rough of the reamped guitars, no vocals or physical drums yet.

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    Mojo's Minions LLL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    I recently grabbed these extra packs from the Two Notes store:

    BritStraight
    G12M Greenback Closed 4x12 Celestion
    Hairband
    Rand NB412
    Suhr 4x12 G12M Greenback

    You'll notice that with the exception of the "Hairband" (Celestion G12-65), there is a serious Celestion Greenback theme going on there.

    If you haven't tried Greenbacks (real or iR) for distorted guitar, you owe yourself to give them a shot... it's that midrange, man.

    My fave Greenback from that pile so far is the BritStraight.
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    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Congrats! That sounds as good as the Iso box recordings you usually do to my ears (without splitting hairs)..
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by Phantasmagoria View Post
    Congrats! That sounds as good as the Iso box recordings you usually do to my ears (without splitting hairs)..
    Thanks, the mix is coming along nicely and I'm really happy about where the sound is now, especially with the live drum tracks!
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    I recently grabbed these extra packs from the Two Notes store:

    BritStraight
    G12M Greenback Closed 4x12 Celestion
    Hairband
    Rand NB412
    Suhr 4x12 G12M Greenback

    You'll notice that with the exception of the "Hairband" (Celestion G12-65), there is a serious Celestion Greenback theme going on there.

    If you haven't tried Greenbacks (real or iR) for distorted guitar, you owe yourself to give them a shot... it's that midrange, man.

    My fave Greenback from that pile so far is the BritStraight.
    The Nuno Bettencourt cab uses greenbacks, I believe, and that's a really nice sounding cab.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidRavenMoon View Post
    Before that I was using a Johnson J-Station, which is still much better than a Pod.
    Quote Originally Posted by TwilightOdyssey View Post
    J-Station was a classic, way ahead of its time!
    I still have two. I'll always keep at least one.

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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    I still mic my amp, but I use cab IRs later. I feel it actually helps the transfer from analog to digital after recording. It's like it makes it match up better in the mix later down the line, if that makes any sense at all?

    It also helps with available RAM. I seem to have a bad problem with VST amp sims.
    I think I took a wrong turn in Albuquerque...

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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    I am interested in going this route, at least live, as usually the soundpeople who mic up my amp put the mic in the worst place and get the worst sound through the PA. If I could find a good IR loader, I can send them a direct out...at least I would have some control over the sound thru the PA.
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    I recently be came a convert too. I've been recording with modelers for about a year, with $1000s of dollars in amps just collecting dust in my apartment. It's nice to be able to use them again.

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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I am interested in going this route, at least live, as usually the soundpeople who mic up my amp put the mic in the worst place and get the worst sound through the PA. If I could find a good IR loader, I can send them a direct out...at least I would have some control over the sound thru the PA.
    The CAB M (not the earlier C.A.B. model with MIDI) has an XLR out for that exact purpose.
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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Metalman_666's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Interesting to see the take of a guy we've heard some great miked sounds from. Thanks for the review!

    At the end of the day it is true that for the person doing the playing, nothing quite compares to a real mic on a real cab. To the listener after the fact, they probably won't be able to tell the difference at all.

    But the technology is at the point now where you can get pretty damn close in both sound and feel, and that's frightening and enlightening all at once. I'm still struggling to accept that the AX8 I recently bought sounds and feels as good as it does, and almost went for the new Captor X instead.

    @TwilightOdyssey did you check out the Captor X at all before pulling the trigger?

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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL View Post
    The CAB M (not the earlier C.A.B. model with MIDI) has an XLR out for that exact purpose.
    Yup, one of the raison d’etre for the CAB M is for FoH use.
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    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalman_666 View Post
    Interesting to see the take of a guy we've heard some great miked sounds from. Thanks for the review!
    Thanks for the kind words!

    At the end of the day it is true that for the person doing the playing, nothing quite compares to a real mic on a real cab. To the listener after the fact, they probably won't be able to tell the difference at all.
    True! When I told a friend of mine what I was doing, he didn’t even know guitar amps used tubes!!

    But the technology is at the point now where you can get pretty damn close in both sound and feel, and that's frightening and enlightening all at once. I'm still struggling to accept that the AX8 I recently bought sounds and feels as good as it does, and almost went for the new Captor X instead.

    @TwilightOdyssey did you check out the Captor X at all before pulling the trigger?
    I did, but the two main differences - auto doubling and load - were things I don’t require.

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  19. #19
    Darkness on the edge of Tone TwilightOdyssey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Joining the impulse response gang (Two Notes C.A.B. M review)

    Quote Originally Posted by Metalman_666 View Post
    Interesting to see the take of a guy we've heard some great miked sounds from. Thanks for the review!
    Thanks for the kind words!

    At the end of the day it is true that for the person doing the playing, nothing quite compares to a real mic on a real cab. To the listener after the fact, they probably won't be able to tell the difference at all.
    True! When I told a friend of mine what I was doing, he didn’t even know guitar amps used tubes!!

    But the technology is at the point now where you can get pretty damn close in both sound and feel, and that's frightening and enlightening all at once. I'm still struggling to accept that the AX8 I recently bought sounds and feels as good as it does, and almost went for the new Captor X instead.

    @TwilightOdyssey did you check out the Captor X at all before pulling the trigger?
    I did, but the two main differences - auto doubling and load - were things I don’t require.
    Why don't you take your little Cobra Kais and get outta here?!
    My collaborative PROGRESSIVE ROCK PROJECT, As Follows.

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