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What are impulse responses?


Impulse responses are small wave audio (.wav) files that contain linear measurement data consisting of the frequency response, phase response, and reverberation decay of a measured system. These files are in a format that can then be read, interpretted, and applied by software containing a convolution reverb algorithm.

In the context of how they are primarily implemented and sold on the OwnHammer website, these systems are mic'd up guitar and bass cabinets/speakers. The data they capture representats the cabinet, the speaker, the microhpone/microphone placement/multi-microphone mix, and the outboard recording equipment (mic preamp) all the way back to the recorded digital audio of the signal path. Hence the informal nickname "cabs" that can be seen used amongst the user community when referring to such files.

Additional information on how to USE the impulse responses offered on the OwnHammer site can be found in the Tutorials section of the website.


What are the most common ways to use impulse response files?


A) With Software Virtual Amps

There are two primary methods of application here:

I. Standalone
Connect your electric guitar/bass to a DI/Mic Pre then to analog to a digital conversion interface (line-in of sound card, firewire/usb interface, etc) or into the instrument-in section of an all inclusive or proprietary interface. Once you are able to get your instrument's output "in the box", you will need to launch a standalone amp sim application/program that has a convolution reverb engine capable of loading/importing external impulse response files. Simply navigate to the cab/speaker simulation portion of the host and search for a button that will allow you to open external .wav files.

II. Plugin via DAW Host:
Get your instrument "in the box" as mentioned above, but now you will need to launch the virtual amp sim plugin on the audio track that you are capturing the instrument on, or on a bus that the instrument track is being sent to. You can load the impulse response file(s) either (a) through the convolution reverb engine built into the virtual amp sim plugin (if it is capable of loading external files), or (b) by disabling the cab/speaker simulation in the virtual amp sim plugin and placing a convolution reverb plugin instance after the virtual amp sim plugin either on the same track or on a bus that the track is being sent to.

If the convolution reverb host has a "Wet/Dry" mix knob, setting it to 100% wet will force all of the sound through the cab/speaker IR, and is the desired setting in most applications.

If you are unaware if/how you can load IR's into your host of choice, please see the documentation for that product provided by the respective developer.
B) With Amp Modelers

Again, there are two primary methods of application here:

I. Within the Patch
Connect your electric guitar/bass to the input of your amp modeler. Load/insert the impulse resonse of your choice into a cabinet slot via your platform's editor/configuration interface, and select that slot within the cabinet block/section of your patch.

I. Within the DAW
Only recommended for recording applications - in this case, disable all cabinet simulation within your patch, and load the impulse response in a convolution reverb plugin assigned to the track insert that your modeler is routed to in your DAW session, or on a bus that track is being sent to.

C) With Guitar/Bass Preamps

Connect your electric guitar/bass to a preamp and into your conversion interface through the appropriate input. Once the signal is "in the box" and feeding a track in your DAW, the first insert you need to assign to it is a power amp simulation. There are very few of these on the market, and we have had the best results with Ignite Amps' TPA-1. Once the "full amp" signal is now in place, you can follow the power amp simulation with an IR loader/convolution reverb plugin instance on that audio track or on a bus that the track is being sent to, depending on your workflow. Without power amp simulation, the overall sound may be very mid heavy, with much less low and top end than one would normally expect, be accustomed to, or desire.

If the convolution reverb host has a "Wet/Dry" mix knob, setting it to 100% wet will force all of the sound through the cab/speaker impulse, and is the desired setting in most applications.

D) With Guitar/Bass Amps

Connect your electric guitar/bass to an amplifier head or combo. Connect the speaker out of the amplifier with a SPEAKER cable to a dummy load that (a) is rated at the same impedance you are sending out of the amp (b) is rated at DOUBLE the wattage of the amp you are sending from, and (c) is equipped with a line out. It is recommended that even if you are attenuating at 100%, a speaker cabinet of the same impedance rating as the amp out and dummy load is connected via a SPEAKER cable to the dummy load's speaker out/through UNLESS IT SPECIFICALLY STATES THIS IS UNNECESSARY IN THE USER MANUAL OF YOUR DUMMY LOAD. Turn the line out volume of the dummy load and the amp's master volume to zero, and connect the line out of the dummy load to either the DI/line level in of a mic pre or to the line in of your audio interface. Then begin the process of setting the amp where you like it, and where you can get away with that within the output of the line level volume on the dummy load and/or any line level preamps that may be following it. Once you have your sound "in the box", you can load the impulse/library within your DAW host either by placing a convolution reverb plugin instance on the audio track or on a bus that the track is being sent to.

If the IR loading host has a "Wet/Dry" mix knob, setting it to 100% wet will force all of the sound through the cab/speaker impulse, and is the desired setting in most applications.

As stated in section "4. Disclaimer." of the Terms of Use Agreement for OwnHammer.com, all of the above does not constitute professional advice, and OwnHammer, LLC holds no liability to any damages you may incur from use or misuse of this information. It is your responsibility to evaluate the accuracy and completeness of this information, and apply it at your own risk.


Can I use OwnHammer IR's with...


...Line 6 Helix platforms?
Yes, please see ownhammer.com/tutorials/helix and/or the associated User Manual of your platform from the Line 6 website for more information.
...Fractal Audio Systems platforms?
Yes, please see ownhammer.com/tutorials/fractal and/or the associated User Manual of your platform from the Fractal Audio website for more information.
...Kemper Profiling Amp platforms?
Yes, please see ownhammer.com/tutorials/kemper and/or the associated User Manual of your platform from the Kemper Amps website for more information.
...Atomic AmpliFIRE platforms?
Yes, please see the associated User Manual of your platform from the Atomic Amps website for more information.
...Scuffham Amps S-Gear?
Yes, please see ownhammer.com/tutorials/sgear and/or the associated User Manual of your platform from the Scuffham website for more information.
..any other outboard platform or DAW software not mentioned above?
Yes, so long as they accept .wav format convolution reverb IR's at the tail lengths, sample rates, and channel counts described on the OwnHammer product pages. The technology structure that the OwnHammer impulse responses function off of is common and not proprietary. Just make sure that you're utilizing the correct sample rate of files, and check your loading software or hardware manufacturer for instructions on importing files.
If in doubt, just try the free OwnHammer library at ownhammer.com/free


**PLEASE NOTE**

OwnHammer DOES NOT directly support 3rd party OEM's or their file loading procedures. If information on additional platforms beyond the listings of the Tutorials area (ownhammer.com/tutorials) is desired, check with said platform provider and download/try the free OwnHammer library mentioned above if you have any uncertainty prior to purchasing a commercial library from the OwnHammer website.


Which of the files that I purchased
should I use with my platform?



Please see the File Formats Tutorial for more information on this topic.


Where the option is available, should I use
Minimum Phase Transformed or Raw files?



If in doubt, the Minimum Phase Transformed files are always the safest bet. Raw files are provided for some libraries in the event they are preferred as a subtle coloration, though they can cause time/phase alignment issues if being mixed with files not from the same library, due to the nature of these elements.

As well, the File Formats Tutorial has recommendations for most popular outboard modeling platforms.


Where the option is available, should I use
Mono or TrueStereo™ files?



At the time of its inception, there are very few outboard modeling units that have the available (or dedicated) CPU overhead or requisite advanced function to take advantage of the OwnHammer TrueStereo™ format. Thus far, only the Strymon® amp+cab modeling product line has this capability for all-in-one platforms, not only to load the TrueStereo™ dual channel format directly and without alteration, but to also facillitate the use of full length, naturally decaying IR files that are not heavily truncated, decimated, or both.

For use of the OwnHammer TrueStereo™ files in standalone modeling devices, the Strymon® Iridium is the only current host platform that is equipped to take advantage of this level of provisioned impulse response detail and data, and is highly recommended for this and its many other accolades.

To this end and when in doubt, use the singular Mono files as the safe bet for compatibility with most modeling platforms and in non-critical, CPU/RAM resource friendly DAW based recording situations.

As well, the File Formats Tutorial has recommendations for most popular outboard modeling platforms, and the TrueStereo™ Info Page has additional exposition on the intentions, merits, and best uses of the TrueStereo™ content.


Can I include OwnHammer IR's in my
own shared/commercial presets?



No. Under no circumstances are OwnHammer IR's to be redistributed or included in presets/sounds, this includes Kemper profiles as a part of the captured signal chain as this constitutes derivative works. All circumstances violate the Terms of Use of the OwnHammer website, and the End User License Agreement for all OwnHammer products.

There are no affiliate programs or licensing tiers available for preset vendors. If you have built sounds around and require/recommend the use of OwnHammer products/services, simply note the product and/or URL link in your documentation for users to also purchase from the OwnHammer website.


What is the difference between the 412 MES V30 (HHC)
and the 412 RECTO V60/V70?



The 412 MES V30 in the HHC is a 70 watt Mesa V30 from a different era of manufacturing than the one offered in the 412 RECTO section, has more top end than the others, and will feel the most bright of the three.


What is the difference between the "A" and "B" speaker in libraries
that have these notations at the end of the speaker name?



The short and only necessary answer is: they sound different!

In the consistent inventory cataloguing that started with the (r)Evolution Series, these naming elements represent different specimens of speakers, many times with different notable attributes.

In older libraries, sometimes it is a different speaker, a different place sampled on the same speaker, a different day it was captured on (as equipment - especially vintage equipment like 60 year old speakers - can sound different from one day to the next, even in climate and humidity controlled environments), but the bottom line is it's not the same sound, and it was enough that in the development process, a decision couldn't be made on just ONE of them. If this information is not made specifically clear on a given product's product page or PDF User Manual, it is not available for further disclosure.


The mics comprising certain mix recipes is not contained in
the documentation; are these available for disclosure?



No. This could be from a perspective of competitive advantage, or the information simply was not kept record of. In the latter case, enough time has passed that any legacy library not befitting of the feature set found in the majority of the current catalog would have been considered to be created in an experimental phase, and in many cases was an impromptu configuration that may not have been repeated, and notes on them cleared. At the end of the day, knowing what is in a mic mix doesn't change how it sounds, so your ears will serve you better than your eyes in determining if a mix is right for your persuasions and intended purposes. In the case of the (r)Evolution Series IR's and those from around and after this time period, the common sense terminology has been implemented in the mix file naming structure, so as to better speed the workflow in auditioning and using such pre-made mic mix IR's.


In older versions of OwnHammer IR library PDF Manuals, there was
a section about an "EQ trick" that mentions tube amps. What does
this mean, and why is it not in the PDF Manuals for newer libraries?



When shooting IR's, the stimulus signal can be amplified through the cabinet with a neutral, reference style (no color/frequency deviation) amplifier, or with a guitar amp (via the "power section") - the latter potentially doing the job much differently. If using the "power section" of a guitar amp, the design of the particular model used can drastically change the coloring and frequency response of the original measurement stimulus material. This often results in a significant change in the frequency response due to the negative feedback controls (Presence / Depth) of the circuit, the tube type, among several other factors. Even having the Presence and Depth at zero, there are still usually a few tell-tale frequency deviations, one of the most noticeable being a scoop in the midrange.

Back in the early days of amp modeling, flat out - power amp simulation was just okay, to lackluster, to non-existent. At that time, it could be beneficial to have some of that coloring and frequency response alteration "baked in" to the IR, especially that mid scoop, and the boosts in the low and high resonance points of the spectrum. It didn't make the IR any better or worse or more fit for a particular purpose, it simply helped the amp modeling be more convincing in spite of its short comings, and served as an outsourced crutch to that symbiotic platform. This is of course in a generic way, as different amp designs result in varied frequency response deviations.

Since OwnHammer has been around since the beginning of when professional IR's were being offered commercially, the IR libraries often offered IR's shot both ways - with a reference amp, and with the "power section" of a guitar tube amp. As amp modeling became more competent and realistic, this turn key solution became less and less useful, and eventually was just bloat in the packages. At a certain point, OwnHammer only continued forward using reference amplifiers to drive the source. There were some who either stuck with those old platforms, or got used to dialing in their amps with that scooped sound baked into the IR that a guitar tube amp retains, so the OwnHammer PDF Manuals provided information about an "EQ Tip" that would help those still seeking that old sound of having IR's driven by the power section of a guitar amplifier. This tip has since been significantly misinterpretted and misused, and as it is no longer a relevant practice with the amp modeling world in its current, realistic state (for the majority of platforms), it has been removed.

In Summary:
  • The EQ tip was to help old/bad modeling platforms, which had poor power amp modeling.
  • The EQ tip is not a way for the IR's themselves to "sound more realistic" - in fact the opposite is true.
  • The EQ tip is not relevant with newer, competent modeling platforms like Line 6 Helix, Fractal, Kemper, TH-U, etc.
  • The EQ tip is now largely unnecessary and has been removed from the PDF Manual as today it does more harm than good among the newer user base that does not understand it (as many likely were not around for when it was relevant).


I am looking for the Justin York Collection
and cannot find it, is it available?



The JYC has been supplanted by the Core Tone Bundle, available at:

ownhammer.com/ctb

Continued interest in this defunct offering appears to stem from this online video recommendation of the following files:

OH-JY-MES-412 BL 57B2+121
OH-JY-VX30-212 L 421C2+121

Those will translate, respectively, in the CTB to be:

OH 412 RECTO V70B OH1-05
OH 212 VC30 BLU-93 OH2F-07





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Impulse Response Libraries
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  • Fractal Audio Format
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