Impulse Response Tutorials

Line 6
S-Gear Wall of

This section of the tutorials will provide information on the basic nature of impulse responses, and how to use the options provided in the OwnHammer libraries.

Impulse Response Overview

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 convolutin 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! Which files should be chosen for a certain sound? This will be explained in the usage sections below.

Not all cabinets and speakers are created equal, speakers especially can vary WILDLY between specimens that should - as their make and model title would infer by being "identical" - sound the same but don't from both manufacturing tolerance deviation and time/wear/environmental factors. The OwnHammer brand has spared no expense and collected some of the most amazing and sought after pieces in electric guitar history dating from modern times back to its origins, and poured over hundreds of speakers and dozens of cabinets to find the very best sounding specimens to present to you at an infinitesimal fraction of the cost of acquiring these pieces 'in the real world'. Add the incredible amount of experience in mic'ing guitar cabinets, co-pioneering the commercial IR market, advancing the techniques involved in the stimulus and capture processes beyond any other provider, and high profile engineer, artist, and parallel industry developer involvement and endorsement, and you have the unquestionable highest echelon of professional guitar and bass loudspeaker impulse response products to choose from with OwnHammer.

Where to Begin?

First and foremost - which cabs and speakers are for you? Most likely, you're playing through a guitar amp or a model of a guitar amp, and pairing the cabinet and speaker to that make and model of amp is usually a great starting point from which you can branch out and experiment with later if desired. Google, YouTube, TheGearPage, etc, are great resources for looking up what cabs and speakers go best with your guitar, amp, and playing style. Start there, and once you have an idea of what you're looking for you can select the library or libraries that are going to fit with your sonic objective and use application.

Once a library or libraries have been chosen, now it's time to investigate the IR options! The majority of the time, the multi-mic mixes are the desired choice. Not only is this the way many if not most studio recordings are conducted, but the OH mixes use intentional slight phase misalignment to add organic qualities to the sound that are highly desirable both in the way they "feel" to play and how they sit in a mix.

Getting Started

If the utmost in simplicity is desired, the newest libraries representing the most up to date sampling methods and feature set provisions have a "Summary" folder, where there is a single file provided for all given cabinet/speaker combinations within that library. This file represents the middle ground in the brightness and darkness scale of the OwnHammer pre-made mix types, and for some, is as far as is needed. One file to represent a cab; it doesn't get more simple than that! Even if this isn't the final destination in the tone hunt, it is a good way to get a general feel for the various cabinet and speaker choices in a given library.

The next and primary point of interest for most is accessing the Quick-Start folder (in applicable libraries), and the notable contents therein. The Quick-Start represents the extent of what 95% or more of users will ever need to explore, and is the backbone of every library.

Quick Start Mix Files Recommended Usage

Your mileage may vary!

Sound: Low/Mid Gain Low/Mid Gain Low/Mid Gain Mid/High Gain Mid/High Gain Live Sound
Pickups: Single Coils Single Coils Humbuckers Humbuckers Humbuckers Any
Cab Type: Open Back Open Back Any Closed Back Closed Back Any
Tone: Fat/Full Clear/Forward All Purpose Fat/Full Clear/Forward All Purpose
IR Mixes: OH1F

Making Things REALLY Simple ALL The Time

The vast majority of the time for most people and with most libraries, OH1, OH1F, and/or SP2 are all that may be needed. These not only use the industry standard SM57 and R121 combination, but in the OH1 mix the EXACT way these mics have been placed and mixed together is a slight, application specific deviation from a setup that has been used on countless gold and platinum selling albums by a very accomplished and decorated engineer/producer. This technique was generously passed onto OwnHammer, and is literally being played on the radio on a regular basis with many music styles and tone textures. There are exceptions, but trying these first is always a safe bet.

Quick Start Single Mic Files

The Quick Start folder also contains the OwnHammer picks for "best" placement of each of the individual files. In this case, the criteria for obtaining this spot is the most clarity and frequency response balance within the sweet spot range. These picks will make excellent candidates for single mic usage or blending in external file mixing applications in a general purpose sense.

Mics and Mixes Folder Contents

If you want to go deeper, the OwnHammer libraries do not restrict verbose options and throw in the kitchen sink, affording you the opportunity to be treated like an adult and choose your own tone! Many easy to follow placement options are provided in the Mics and Mixes directories that will allow extensive customization, should you choose to pursue it. The individual mics not only provide a very bright (FRED) and very dark (EDGE) option, but also sweep the sweet spot (00-10) for you to pick and choose what sits best with your source, playback medium, and surrounding mix, or unique tone objective.

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Impulse Responses

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Fractal Audio Format
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