Impulse Response vs Real Cab (Blind Test Comparison)

Guitarjon

Well-known member
Hey everyone, I'm back with another blind test! :)

IRs are amazing, I personally love them and I use them every single day. There is still some doubt out there on whether or not an IR can truly replicate the sound of a real mic'ed cab. So I thought a blind test would be a great way to see if people can actually hear the difference. An IR really can't emulate the sound of "pushed air", an IR can't capture the actual dynamics of a speaker cab so they won't sound the same... I see claims like that from time to time, but are they based on reality?

Thanks to York Audio for helping me out with this one! So, let the guessing begin! Let me know what you guys think! Also, as stated in the video, if you have a question for me or Justin, let us know in the comments and we might answer it in the reveal video.

 
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Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
I think it switches at the 9 second mark from real cab to impulse... BUT does it even matter lol. That's essentially spot on. Now I don't feel bad about using my own IR's I made or the impulses I have purchased because I don't have the perfect environment to mic my cabs. So many issues like water pipes or ductwork overhead.

My questions would be, what load was used and how did he hookup to it. Right off the load or off a through like an ISO line out or Cab M and then into the load. ( because there is a difference)

Overall, thank god for cab impulses. Basement studios everywhere rejoice!
 

Guitarjon

Well-known member
I think it switches at the 9 second mark from real cab to impulse... BUT does it even matter lol. That's essentially spot on. Now I don't feel bad about using my own IR's I made or the impulses I have purchased because I don't have the perfect environment to mic my cabs. So many issues like water pipes or ductwork overhead.

My questions would be, what load was used and how did he hookup to it. Right off the load or off a through like an ISO line out or Cab M and then into the load. ( because there is a difference)

Overall, thank god for cab impulses. Basement studios everywhere rejoice!

The details will be revealed in the follow up. We didn't want to say anything that might influence people's guesses basically. :)
 

shredi knight

Well-known member
Clip B is obviously the real cab. Clip A didn't sound good at all to me.








:D



I agree with Kapo_Polenton, as to the switch happening at around 9 seconds. I don't know which was the real cab (or even if that's where the switch occurred), but I thought that first 9 seconds sounded a little better than the rest.

 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
Clip B is obviously the real cab. Clip A didn't sound good at all to me.








:D



I agree with Kapo_Polenton, as to the switch happening at around 9 seconds. I don't know which was the real cab (or even if that's where the switch occurred), but I thought that first 9 seconds sounded a little better than the rest.


We've got golden ears for sure, burn your impulses everyone. Analog RuLeZ! :rolleyes:
 

7 Stringer

Well-known member
For recording, impossible to know. They both sound great. But the point of ir's are for recording, in a room, of course the real thing will be way better. Whatever the system you have going. A real cab pushing air cant be replicated in any other way.

They are cool for recording for sure, but for playing in the room, no way.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
For recording, impossible to know. They both sound great. But the point of ir's are for recording, in a room, of course the real thing will be way better. Whatever the system you have going. A real cab pushing air cant be replicated in any other way.

They are cool for recording for sure, but for playing in the room, no way.

I'm going to take a wild guess and say that most live bands are probably using IR's now rather than a cab tucked away under the stage with some mics on it. Even the mics they do have on stage are probably props. But looking at this latest stadium tour for example, I don't see many cabs up there. I don't think a cab moving air makes much difference in a room considering most of the time we are just hearing stuff through a PA. Maybe a small club though. But in a room, yeah I guess you could make that point. But the room can suck too and not be treated or be bass heavy where that IR is going to be perfect every time.
 

7 Stringer

Well-known member
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that most live bands are probably using IR's now rather than a cab tucked away under the stage with some mics on it. Even the mics they do have on stage are probably props. But looking at this latest stadium tour for example, I don't see many cabs up there. I don't think a cab moving air makes much difference in a room considering most of the time we are just hearing stuff through a PA. Maybe a small club though. But in a room, yeah I guess you could make that point. But the room can suck too and not be treated or be bass heavy where that IR is going to be perfect every time.
Yeah, live you can't hear the difference, in the audience, but on stage, different story. You don't have that thump in your ass!!!!🤣

In the room, i tried them and while they sound good, I don't have that push. This is why i use my AXE3 with a power amp and real cabs, sounds damn good.
 

saxxamafone

Well-known member
For recording, impossible to know. They both sound great. But the point of ir's are for recording, in a room, of course the real thing will be way better. Whatever the system you have going. A real cab pushing air cant be replicated in any other way.

They are cool for recording for sure, but for playing in the room, no way.

That's just comparing FRFR to a real cab.

I don't know anyone who's using IRs in a room like this.

Real cabs will always sound better in this situation however once that cab has a mic on it.. the result to FOH or to the studio monitors will pretty much be the same as shown here.
 

jabps

Well-known member
I'm going to take a wild guess and say that most live bands are probably using IR's now rather than a cab tucked away under the stage with some mics on it. Even the mics they do have on stage are probably props. But looking at this latest stadium tour for example, I don't see many cabs up there. I don't think a cab moving air makes much difference in a room considering most of the time we are just hearing stuff through a PA. Maybe a small club though. But in a room, yeah I guess you could make that point. But the room can suck too and not be treated or be bass heavy where that IR is going to be perfect every time.
You are correct which is sad because IMO it doesn't sound as good and much of that is the soundmen's fault because they don't have the ability or talent to mix live any other way. These days soundmen are trying to control every little nuance to the point that I've seen concerts lately that just sound "muted" for lack of a better term. There are no dynamics. I am truly lucky that my concert experience goes back to the late 70's, where guys were cranking on stage, PA's were cranked and it sounded incredible. It wasn't perfect and that's what made it perfect because there were dynamics. How many saw the might Van Halen in their heyday? Or Kiss pummeling out a wave of sonic onslaught. Frankly there's no comparison between then and now...and no it's not that "get off my lawn" old man mentality. I've seen several shows the last few years in a venue tuned for live music and sonically it was terrible whereas I've seen shows in that same venue years ago with live amps etc... and it was amazing. To me live music is not supposed to sound like putting your ear buds on. I'm also lucky enough that the majority of my live playing career I worked with great soundmen...those dudes that said do your thing I'll handle it or those guys that at least worked with you so you could play live loud, they understood. Now like you said, all in ear and all IR's an zero dynamics IMO.

That said I don't think IR's are inferior, to me it's just another tool which has it's uses and is part of production(s) these days. But for me, I am always going to prefer the sound of a cab pushing air.
 
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