Tools of a new age
Impulse Responses, what some refer to as, “IR’s” or an “IR”.
Typically, I would break it down for you myself and explain but since finding OwnHammer Impulse Response Libraries and seeing the level of comprehensive information readily available I figure I’ll quote one of the architects themselves!
” Impulse response capture is a way to measure the linear elements of a system, and retains the ability to represent things like frequency and phase response, and reverberation decay. In the application realm of guitar equipment such as provided on the OwnHammer website, they are able to duplicate the “sound” of mic’d up guitar cabinets with EXTREME accuracy. The concept is simple – set up mics the way they would be for studio and live applications, and capture the sound of the cabinet, speaker, mic(s), and outboard gear in that signal chain in that exact configuration. Once the impulse responses have been compiled (which are sold on the OwnHammer site), they can be used in a convolution reverb type loading device – be it a plugin in a DAW, or “cabinet block” in an outboard hardware unit – to import the file into and add that sound to a signal chain. Want a different sound? Load a different file!…(cont. on OwnHammer.com)“
If the above quote is a bit too much, you can look at most Impulse Responses as a “cabinet simulator/plug in”, but understand that IR’s DO NOT work on their own, you will always need a type of hardware or software to load them into.
When will you use them?
So if you use hardware modelers like the Line 6 Helix, Fractal Axe FX, or other types of hardware, Impulse Responses are a very useful tool in the age of digital equipment and recording. Having a reliable IR(if not a collection)to use is a great way to utilize amp simulations, software, etc. without having to carry a heavy cabinet or wake the neighbors up when inspiration hits late at night.
Exploring and experimenting with different brands and model cabinets is a great idea when starting out, OwnHammer and 3 Sigma Audio have some awesome products to try out whether you’re getting started or already know about IR’s.
If you’re just exploring your options you can start with OwnHammer’s free demo IR here! You can also click here to check out our article about their free demo!
I hope this brief article gets you on your way to exploring all your tonal possibilities available with IR’s and blending IR’s, thanks for reading, and until next time fellow Gear Snobs!