You already know that using Celestion impulse responses are a great way to get the tone of your favourite guitar speaker in digital form – which is reason enough to go and download your favourite speaker/cabinet configuration.
But there are a few less obvious benefits to using speaker IRs, including saying Goodbye to a few particular problems that guitar players frequently face.
- Never Lose Your ‘Best Take’
If you’ve ever tried to record your guitar playing with a physical speaker cabinet and microphone setup, you’ll know it sometimes takes a few attempts to get your “best take” in the can. But what’s really frustrating is when you listen back to all the different takes and decide that the best tone wasn’t on the recording with the best playing.
Then you have to decide: go with the best playing and try to live with a tone you know could have been better; or go for the take with the best tone but sub-optimal playing.
Alternatively, you can go for another take, and pray that this time you get the playing and the tone happening at the same time.
If you record using speaker IRs, you never have to make this horrible choice ever again. As soon as you get a recording where you’re happy with the playing quality, you can then apply whatever IR you want to that track to get the tone you like.
- No More (or Very Little) EQ Required
Part of the art of getting the perfect tone from a physical amp/speaker/cabinet setup is about adjusting the EQ (Equalisation) – balancing the different frequencies within the signal so that they produce a well balanced effect that’s pleasing to the ear.
One feature that we’ve noticed mentioned by YouTube reviewers who have tried out our IRs is that they frequently point out that the tone they are getting involves no additional EQ – partly because they want to demonstrate the IR in its pure form, but also because the tone they get is great the way it is.
All this means that you can pretty much load up your Celestion IR, plug in your guitar and start playing, with almost no time needed for making adjustments.
Of course, you still have complete freedom to do any EQ adjustments you want to do during or after recording – you are not limited in any way on that. The point is that probably 99% of the time you won’t have to do any EQ in order to get a good quality tone “straight out of the box”. Unless you’re doing something really complex (like recording a multi-track song with vocals and other instruments) EQ is something you can almost forget about.
So how does using speaker IRs give you this benefit? Well, it’s not using IRs per se… it’s using Celestion IRs in particular. Because our impulse responses have been created by world class sound mixing experts who have done all the listening and frequency balancing for you, as part of the IR creation process. And that expertise has been applied to every cabinet configuration and every mic position, resulting in the best balance you’re likely to get.
- No More Blowing Your Speaker with Too Much Power
A physical speaker subjected to excessive power can cause the voice coil to be damaged (resulting in a scratchy or buzzy sound) or short circuited completely (resulting in no sound at all). If this happens, the only option is to have the speaker repaired or replaced, incurring expense and a period of time without a working speaker.
If you’re using speaker impulse responses, however, this risk goes away. You can safely push a 15W (e.g. the Alnico Blue) or 25W (e.g. the G12M Greenback) speaker IR to a much higher level of gain without worrying about causing any damage. In addition, you won’t start getting distortion at those higher levels of gain – just great Celestion tone.
- No More Speaker Envy
Even if you have a 1×12 cabinet, buying every guitar speaker in the Celestion range is not going to be affordable for everyone (never mind where you might store them all). And if you’re into 2×12’s or 4×12’s, well, it’s even more unlikely. So in the world of physical speakers, a touch of speaker envy is pretty much inevitable.
But with IRs, trying out a wide range of different Celestion speakers becomes easy. Our speaker impulse response range currently stands at 10 different speakers so it is now simple to try them all or pick and mix from your favourites.
- No More Deciding Between Mics or Mic Positions
If you care about getting the perfect tone it’s all too easy to waste hours swapping different microphones in and out and moving them around to slightly different positions relative to your speaker. Each time you make a change you have to test it out by playing your guitar to see how it sounds.
This isn’t just time consuming, it’s quite tricky to compare the tone you’re getting now, with the tone you got a few minutes ago, and the one you got 10 minutes ago.
Most frustrating of all, is when you get a fantastic tone, and then you change the setup to try out something different, but you decide you want to go back to the fantastic one. You put everything back where you thought it was but…it’s not quite the same…
All this goes away when you use Celestion impulse responses instead. You have 3 studio quality microphones to choose from, plus a professional room mic, all positioned perfectly by expert sound engineers, in a variety of front and rear locations. Then all you need to do is switch between all the different tone options to decide which one is best for what you’re playing right now. Depending on what type of convolution software you’re using, you can blend IRs together, or combine with additional effects of your own, until you get the perfect tone – and then save it! Once you’ve saved it, you can try out any other tones you like, safe in the knowledge that you can go back to that tone you liked, at any time.
As well as saving you a ton of frustration, it also means you get more time to actually play guitar and be creative. Which is what playing guitar is supposed to be about.
Explore our full range of speaker IRs right here…