Impulse Responses of speaker cabs are a great way to take control of our signal chain; and now there’s a simple way to try-out the “Next-Level” realism of Dynamic Speaker Response (DSR) technology running only in Celestion’s SpeakerMix Pro plugin.
As our range of DSRs continues to expand, with some of our most iconic speakers available and even more to come, now is a great time to try them out with SpeakerMix Pro.
You can now download a free, fully-functional evaluation copy of SpeakerMix Pro with ten classic guitar and bass speaker DSRs (Vintage 30 4×12 Closed, Celestion Blue 2×12 Open, Celestion Ruby 1×12 Open, Celestion G10 Gold 2×12 Closed, G10 Vintage 4×10 Closed, G12M Creamback 1×12 Closed, G12H Creamback 2×12 Closed, G12K-100 4×12 Closed, Pulse 10 bass speaker 4×10 Closed and Pulse 15 bass speaker 1×15 Closed) to experiment with for a full two weeks.
Take the time to get to grips with the advantages of software speaker cabs that actually respond to the dynamics of your playing, and if the extra dose of realism works for you then upgrade to a perpetual license with your choice of ten of your favourite speaker DSRs for a special, reduced price!
1 What’s it all about?
A real speaker that’s being played softly sounds different to the same speaker being driven hard. Impulse Responses (IRs) do a great job of capturing the sound of a speaker at one level, but they can-not respond to the dynamics of playing where one note may be whisper quiet and the next screaming loud. DSRs running in SpeakerMix Pro do exactly this, adding an edge of detail never before heard in a speaker simulator.
2 It’s a great sounding and very powerful multi-channel speaker-mixer
- The heart of SpeakerMix Pro is a simple audio mixer that allows up to six different speaker/cab/mic combinations to be blended. Channels can be linked as stereo pairs, soloed and muted, and panned to any position in the stereo field.
- Each individual channel and the master output section have a fully parametric (8 point plus hi/lo pass filters) eq, and a dedicated send to the Room sound buss.
- For each speaker/cab/mic DSR the position of the microphone can be dragged to any position from the centre to the outer edge of the speaker to emphasize bite or warmth.
- The dedicated Room buss provides bloom and depth to the mixed sound. The amount of signal from each speaker/cab/mic is set using the channel Room control, and the overall level is set using the red Room channel fader. The actual room sound can be tweaked by selecting from a range of room mics, or by loading an Impulse Response (useful if you want to place the action in your own room!) and both stereo width (mono – 200%) and pre-delay are adjustable to tighten or relax the sound.
- The mixer has a built-in Impedance Curve control which emulates the complex relationship between a tube power amp and a speaker cabinet. A live amp captured through a reactive loadbox will have this relationship built-in to the sound, but a simple resistive load or perhaps a DI signal into an amp-sim may sound a little flat by comparison – the Impedance Curve control allows the magic to be dialled back-in.
- A built-in delay function allows the left and right sides of the mixed signal to be superimposed and delayed for a thickening effect or delayed against each other for a stereo widening effect.
- The blended output from the mixer can be collapsed to mono or spread up to 200% of the natural stereo width for perfect placement in a mix.
3 Super Easy Workflow
The SpeakerMix Pro interface is super easy to navigate. A single click on the speaker image in the plugin opens the selection panel; choose an available DSR by simply clicking a speaker, a cabinet and a microphone to load onto the selected mixer channel, or an IR from the drop-down list.
The mixer interface is pretty-much self-explanatory, pan with the pan knobs, set levels with the faders, link pairs of channels with the link buttons, send signal to the Room buss with the Room control… Just as you’d expect.
Auto level and Auto Gain controls simplify workflow by assigning level controls to the centre of their operating range and balancing input/output levels to make mixing decisions easier and quicker.
A/B presets on each channel make it quick and easy to try different options, and Copy/Paste channel options make it simple to duplicate a channel for tweaking.
A couple of controls do have drop-down menus – the Delay control gives options for what is mixed and delayed against what, and the main meters have options for input and output peak, RMS and VU, otherwise, what you see is what you get.
4 It makes your existing IRs better
Impulse Responses have been around for several years now and many of us have invested in libraries of favourite speakers. While a traditional Impulse Response can-not match the dynamic detail of the new Celestion DSRs, any IRs loaded into SpeakerMix Pro are pre-conditioned so that they can be used alone, or alongside other IRs or DSRs without sample rate or phase compatibility issues, and they can also be treated with the Variable Impedance Curve and Room Mic features.
Despite being so simple to use, SpeakerMix Pro works well wherever a DAW session requires a speaker.
- Amp recorded live through a reactive load – put SpeakerMix Pro on the audio track and leave the impedance control set to minimum for the most realistic version of that amp into a great speaker.
- Amp recorded through a simple resistive load – put SpeakerMix Pro on the audio track and adjust the impedance control to bring the sound back to life.
- DI guitar part played through an amp sim – bypass the sim’s speaker cabs and follow it with SpeakerMix Pro.
- Add depth to a real speaker recording – add SpeakerMix Pro to the audio track, set-up speaker selection, send output to the Room channel, channel faders all the way down, add Room sound to taste.
- Create stereo parts from a single recorded track – use different speaker/mic/cab selections on two or more channels, pan Left and Right, add delay and width to balance the stereo spread. Add a central panned part with a completely different speaker set-up to add interest to a simple arrangement.
- Use SpeakerMix Pro as an effect on other sources – vocals or drums or keys or anything at all to create a unique sound.
Hey Pete, what do YOU think?
Pete Thorn is a YouTube guitar legend as well as a vastly experienced live musician, producer and recording artist. He has played on stage and record with international A-list artists such as Chris Cornell, Don Henley, Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi, Melissa Etheridge, James Blunt, Pink and Alicia Keys; his YouTube channel features hundreds of original compositions, and he has produced a pair of acclaimed albums of his own music. Pete knows his way around great tone and is happy to use all of the tools available to the modern music producer; from the old-school analogue of his own Suhr 100W signature amp into a matching Celestion loaded cab through to the purely digital approach of modern modellers and amp-sim software – and all of the hybrid options between. Whatever gets the job done – if it sounds great, it is great.
Here Pete delves into Celestion’s SpeakerMix Pro plugin:
SpeakerMix Pro packs next-generation realism as the host for Celestion’s DSRs into an attractive and intuitive plugin that also adds value to your existing IR collection. Grab your free evaluation download and hear what the next generation has to say.
Or browse our range of Dynamic Speaker Responses