Create Impulse Responses with a DAW and EQ Plug-in

In this post, I’ll show you how to create impulse responses with a DAW and EQ plug-in. We’ll make an EQ profile of a guitar tone and then apply that profile to a clean impulse response in the DAW, resulting in a custom IR that can saved and be used whenever you like.

14 January 2021 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #impulseresponse #ir #eq #TDRNovaGE #TokyoDawnRecords #equalizer #guitar #audioprofile #smartops #plugin #vst3 #au #daw #waveform11 #tone #sweep

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

In order to create impulse responses with a DAW and EQ plug-in, take a look at the following items you’ll need.

  • A clean white noise audio sample
  • A DAW that supports 3rd party plug-ins. In this post, I am using Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro.
  • Any EQ plug-in. I’m using a registered copy of version 2.1.3 of TDR’s Nova GE equalizer.
  • A dry guitar track
  • An audio sample of your target guitar tone to profile
  • A virtual amp simulator and an IR loader like STL Tones’ NAD IR

First things first

I am entirely a beginner at creating custom impulse response files and capturing equalizer profiles. This post is the result of research, trial and error and probably more luck than anything else during my first attempt. If I have misstated or written things that are not correct, please let me know and I’ll happily edit my erroneous information. My goal is to help others learn techniques to aid their music production needs.

Credit where credit is due

In order for me to get this far, I want to acknowledge the sources that have given me the motivation and information to complete my first EQ guitar tone profile. Without these folks, I would still be at step 0. Thank you for your work and information.

  • Andrew Wade’s YouTube Channel – This 35-second video is one of the best resources I have ever seen. This video was the break-through that showed me how to take my EQ capture and convert it into a custom IR file. Thank you, sir!
  • TokyoDawnRecords YouTube Channel – Have a look at the video “Introduction to Smart Operations in Nova GE and SlickEQ” at about the 6 minute mark to see how the presenter uses matching to try to get one microphone to sound like another that was used previously.
  • Resington’s YouTube Channel – Resington made his own impulse response and he listed a source where the author demonstrates how to make an EQ profile in Reaper. See below.
  • BGelais’ YouTube Channel – BGelais discusses the steps to make an EQ profile in Reaper with a Reaper plug-in. The concepts are transferable to other DAWs and tools for folks like me who do not use Reaper.

Create the EQ tone profile

  1. Create a new project in your DAW
  2. Add your audio reference sample to a new track. For guitars, it works best if you have as much of an isolated sample as possible, without other instruments.
  3. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to the audio sample track.Add-Nova-to-source-track.
  4. Record a new track of your dry guitar or load an existing DI file of your guitar that you want to transform. You’ll need to add an amplifier plug-in and IRs that get you close to your audio sample that you want to re-create.
  5. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to your DI guitar trackAdd-Nova-to-target-track
  6. Now that the source and target tracks are created, let’s work within Nova GE to extract the EQ profile of the sample.
  7. On your audio sample guitar track, open Nova GE and click the Smart Ops button.Click-Smart-Ops-button
  8. You’ll see the following screen. Click the Learn button and press “Play” in your DAW so that Nova can analyze your guitar tone sample file.Smart-Ops-Learn-Button
  9. When Nova as finished analyzing the source sample, the window above the learn button will display “LEARNED” and you will be able to see the outline of the EQ curve that it captured. At this time, let’s save it as an input reference by clicking REFERENCE, Use Learned Input as Reference. Close this instance of Nova to return back to your DAW.Smart-Ops-Learned
  10. On your target track, open Nova and click the Smart Ops button. When the Smart Operations window opens, click the LEARN button and profile your target track’s audio. When it’s complete, click REFERENCE, From Plugin Instance and choose the item listed, which is the Nova on your source track. Finally, in OPERATION, choose Static Match and click Apply.Target-Nova-Input
  11. Listen to your target track and you should be able to hear the EQ profile applied to it. Enable and disable Nova to be sure your curve is audible.
  12. Finally, the save the EQ profile in Nova GE to be re-used in the future,

Summary

In this post, we covered how to profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in to re-create a sample guitar tone with a different guitar track. As long as you realize it won’t be exact and perfect, this process has the ability to help you sculpt a sound that resembles another.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Click-Smart-Ops-button

Profile Guitar Tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ TDR Nova GE Equalizer

In this post, I’ll show you how I was able profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in. By making a profile of your favorite guitar tones, you can shape your own tone in your DAW to either resemble your favorite sounds or to use as a basis for a new, modified sound.

14 January 2021 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #TDRNovaGE #TokyoDawnRecords #equalizer #guitar #audioprofile #smartops #plugin #vst3 #au

Skill Level: Advanced

What You’ll Need to Get Started

Before we can get started to profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in, take a look at the following items you’ll need.

  • A DAW that supports 3rd party plug-ins. In this post, I am using Tracktion Waveform 11 Pro.
  • A registered copy of TDR’s Nova GE equalizer. I am using version 2.1.3 for this post. The free version will not provide functionality required for this tutorial.
  • A guitar or a dry guitar track
  • An audio sample of your target guitar tone
  • A virtual amp simulator and impulse responses

First things first

I am entirely a beginner at capturing guitar tones as equalizer profiles. This post is the result of research, trial and error and probably more luck than anything else during my first attempt. If I have misstated or written things that are not correct, please let me know and I’ll happily edit my erroneous information. My goal is to help others learn techniques to aid their music production needs.

Credit where credit is due

In order for me to get this far, I want to acknowledge the sources that have given me the motivation and information to complete my first EQ guitar tone profile. Without these folks, I would still be at step 0. Thank you for your work and information.

  • Resington’s YouTube Channel – Resington made his own impulse response and he listed a source where the author demonstrates how to make an EQ profile in Reaper. See below.
  • BGelais’ YouTube Channel – BGelais discusses the steps to make an EQ profile in Reaper with a Reaper plug-in. The concepts are transferable to other DAWs and tools for folks like me who do not use Reaper.
  • TokyoDawnRecords YouTube Channel – Have a look at the video “Introduction to Smart Operations in Nova GE and SlickEQ” at about the 6 minute mark to see how the presenter uses matching to try to get one microphone to sound like another that was used previously.

Create your own EQ tone profile

Summary

  1. Create a new project in your DAW
  2. Add your audio reference sample to a new track. For guitars, it works best if you have as much of an isolated sample as possible, without other instruments.
  3. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to the audio sample track.Add-Nova-to-source-track.
  4. Record a new track of your dry guitar or load an existing DI file of your guitar that you want to transform. You’ll need to add an amplifier plug-in and IRs that get you close to your audio sample that you want to re-create.
  5. Add an instance of the TDR Nova GE plug-in to your DI guitar trackAdd-Nova-to-target-track
  6. Now that the source and target tracks are created, let’s work within Nova GE to extract the EQ profile of the sample.
  7. On your audio sample guitar track, open Nova GE and click the Smart Ops button.Click-Smart-Ops-button
  8. You’ll see the following screen. Click the Learn button and press “Play” in your DAW so that Nova can analyze your guitar tone sample file.Smart-Ops-Learn-Button
  9. When Nova as finished analyzing the source sample, the window above the learn button will display “LEARNED” and you will be able to see the outline of the EQ curve that it captured. At this time, let’s save it as an input reference by clicking REFERENCE, Use Learned Input as Reference. Close this instance of Nova to return back to your DAW.Smart-Ops-Learned
  10. On your target track, open Nova and click the Smart Ops button. When the Smart Operations window opens, click the LEARN button and profile your target track’s audio. When it’s complete, click REFERENCE, From Plugin Instance and choose the item listed, which is the Nova on your source track. Finally, in OPERATION, choose Static Match and click Apply.Target-Nova-Input
  11. Listen to your target track and you should be able to hear the EQ profile applied to it. Enable and disable Nova to be sure your curve is audible.
  12. Finally, the save the EQ profile in Nova GE to be re-used in the future,

Summary

In this post, we covered how to profile guitar tones with Tokyo Dawn Records’ Nova GE equalizer plug-in to re-create a sample guitar tone with a different guitar track. As long as you realize it won’t be exact and perfect, this process has the ability to help you sculpt a sound that resembles another.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Valeton_Coral_Cab_Pedal

Valeton Coral Cab Effect Pedal

In this post, I’ll show you how I am using a Valeton Coral Cab effect pedal in my analog guitar effects chain to simulate some well-known guitar and bass speaker cabinets with impulse responses. The pedal has both guitar speaker and bass speaker simulations built-in with impulse responses, so you are not limited to cabs for only one instrument or the other. This pedal helped me solve an issue I had when I wanted to record a quick demo, but I didn’t have physical guitar cabinets to provide the output from my amps. In addition, I now have 14 guitar and 14 bass cabinets available to me to cover both clean and high gain situations. Let’s take a look at how I implemented a Valeton Coral Cab effect pedal in my studio.

02 November 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Tags: #valetoncoralcab #valeton #cabsim #guitarcab #guitar #hotone #heart attack #review #signalchain #ir #impulseresponse

Skill Level: Intermediate

What You’ll Need to Get Started

  • A guitar or bass amplifier head (NOT a combo or practice amp)
  • A Valeton Coral Cab effect pedal
  • A power source for the Coral Cab pedal (it does not use batteries)
  • A digital audio interface, studio monitors or powered speakers
  • A few TS cables to connect the components

Coral Cab Features

Taken directly from the user manual, here are the features that the Coral Cab pedal offers and an overview of the controls available.Features_from_Manual Controls_from_Manual.

Signal Chain Overview

I use a Hotone Heart Attack mini-amp head. This amp is only 5 watts, but it can really put out a decently strong signal. As an added bonus, it has a built-in effects loop send and return. You can also plug in headphones for silent practice, or a line out to your computer or audio interface. A point to understand here is that with headphones or a line out cable, all you’re going to hear is the amp’s raw output, which is pretty harsh. Hotone_Heart_Attack_Front

Since this is a true amp head, it expects to be hooked directly into a speaker cabinet with its Speaker Output connection. But with some amplifier know-how, we can send the amp’s output through the Effects Loop Send jack with a mono TS cable directly to the Coral Cab’s input jack to simulate a real speaker cabinet’s output sound.Hotone_Heart_Attack_Rear

Now that the Coral Cab has received the raw amp output, we can select the cab we want to emulate and set its EQ knobs to our own personal taste. The large switch controls the mode for guitar cabinets, bass cabinets or bypass. The guitar cabs are green, the bass cabs are red. You can bypass the unit entirely by holding the silver switch down for a few seconds. Valeton_Coral_Cab_Pedal

Use the Cab Type button to move through the amps on the A Channel. Press the A/B switch to change to the B Channel. The A channel will light the A/B switch a solid color. The B channel will make the A/B switch to a constant flashing light while on that channel.

Here is the list of amps that are available on the pedal. As you may see, there are some popular cabinets on the unit for you to take advantage of. And before you ask, the answer is “no” to you being able to load your own impulses on the pedal.Valeton_Coral_Cab_List

Finally, hook the Coral Cab’s output jack to powered speakers, a powered studio monitor or your digital audio interface and listen to the magic. I am very impressed with the impulse responses on the pedal. Would I use it to gig? I don’t know as I have never left my home to play, so you’ll have to be the judge on whether the Coral Cab would stand up to live performances. For my ears and my home studio space, this pedal is perfect for recording demos and getting a specific sound with the provided cabinets.

FYI – You can hear how the pedal’s cabs sound on some videos on YouTube. Most of the reviews are not in English, but that doesn’t really matter much since you’re probably looking to hear the output of the pedal anyway.

If you’re looking for other guitar cabinet simulators, read my next post where I showed the Tomsline Engineering Aroma ASR-3 Shaper pedal.

Summary

We’ve covered how to use a Valeton Coral Cab effect pedal in your analog signal chain for your guitar or bass amp. For people who may not want to use digital amplifier and speaker cabinet simulators, this pedal can provide similar capabilities with analog gear. By providing guitar and bass cabinets on one unit, you can get a lot of different sounds for one purchase price. If you can pick one of these units up used, I would highly recommend you do so.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.

Config-Filter

Create Custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impulse Rack

If you’ve ever wanted to create your own impulse response for a unique guitar tone, Audio Assault has released a plug-in that allows you to sculpt your own IRs from the ground up. You can use other IRs as a starting point, or for the adventurous, start fresh at step one and fiddle with knobs until your heart’s content. In this post, we’re going to make a brand new IR for a metal guitar sound. Follow the steps later in this tutorial to create custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impluse Rack.

28 July 2020 – Written by Michael R. Myers #mykmyrs

Skill Level: Intermediate

What Are We Doing With aIR Impulse Loader?

We’re going to generate and export a custom impulse response (IR) file with air Impulse Rack. To keep this tutorial brief, I will assume that you have an understanding of what an IR is and how you apply them within your DAW. If you don’t understand IRs just yet, go do some research and come back to continue.

There is not much documentation on the aIR Impulse Rack, so until that becomes available, the steps here are going to be similar to other information and videos I have seen for this product. There’s also the risk that the information presented will be incomplete or incorrect, so make sure you save your preset in a safe place in the event we find out updated information from the Audio Assault team.

What You’ll Need to Create Custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impluse Rack

  • A Digital Audio Workstation. I’m using an evaluation of Reaper v5.
  • An amplifier simulation plug-in that allows for its cabinet section to be turned off so that IRs can be used for speaker cabinets.
  • Paid version of Audio Assault’s aIR Impulse Rack plug-in
  • An alternate IR loader, such as STL Tones’ NAD IR. It’s free and part of the Emissary Plug-In Bundle.

Some Remarks Before We Continue

  • One of the Audio Assault developers posted a video tutorial about aIR Impluse Rack on 25 June 2020 on the Audio Assault User Group on Facebook. In the video, he demonstrated how to blend several different IRs to create a new IR. In addition, he added several components, one at a time, to show how to make your own amp and cabinet simulation. Based upon the latter topic, I wanted to show how he did his steps while tweaking the settings to make my own IR.
  • Audio Assault runs regular promotions on their products, and they are insanely affordable during these promotions. You can pick up aIR Impulse Rack for around $10 USD while it’s on promotional pricing. The best way to be notified of sales is to join their email list and also the Facebook group. Joining other VST/Plug-in groups on Facebook may also allow you to see what others post for sale pricing as well.
  • This link is where you can find this tutorial’s finished IR file if you just want a sample IR without doing the configuration steps in this tutorial.

Steps to Create Custom Impulse Responses with Audio Assault aIR Impluse Rack

  1. Record a dry guitar track 4 bars in length to be used for playback during the IR development process.
  2. Add the aIR Impulse Rack plugin to the dry guitar’s track effects. Set up looping in your DAW for the dry guitar track so that you’ll be able to hear the changes to the IR as we build it.
  3. Add your desired amp simulation to the guitar track. Ensure that you disable its cabinet so that we can use our own impulse response that we are builidng as the cabinet. Here I am using Audio Assault’s Sigma virtual amplifier.Disable Amp Cabinet
  4. Add the aIR Impulse Rack plug-in to the guitar track, after the amp simulation.Load AIR rack
  5. Click the Modules tab in the pane on the right-hand side. The available tools are presented, starting with “IR Module”. Scroll the list until you find “Phase Delay”. Drag in three (3) instances of this module.Config Delays
  6. The delays are going to act as the speaker cabinet. By adjusting their delay knobs, we’re simulating the sound bouncing around inside the cabinet. Set them with the following values, starting from the top instance and working down. Instance 1 – HP 89.1 LP 9996.4 Mix 50 Delay 1.1 Feedback 55.7 Parallel ON Phase ON Power ON. Instance 2 – HP 101.3 LP 8827.1 Mix 60 Delay 2.7 Feedback 24.7 Parallel ON Phase ON Power ON. Instance 3 – HP 410.4 LP 8704.4 Mix 37 Delay 8.6 Feedback 60.6 Parallel ON Phase ON Power ON.
  7. Now let’s add our speaker simulator by dragging a FILTER module from the list and placing it under the last DELAY module. Set its values as follows. LOW CUT – 91.4 HIGH CUT – 9434.4Config-Filter
  8. Add a HIGHSHELF module next, directly under the FILTER module. Set its values to the following: FREQ – 5092.2 Q – 0.3 GAIN – 2.0Config-HIGHSHELF
  9. Add a FOCUS module with a setting of 69.7Config-Focus-1
  10. Add a FOCUS module with a setting of 33.3Config-Focus-2
  11. Add a NORMALISER module with a setting of -4.0Config-normaliser
  12. Finally, add a VISUALISER as the last module. I added two instances here only to show both the Impulse and the Frequency representations of the impulse response. You only should add one instance of the VISUALISER to your chain of modules.Config-Visualiser
  13. Now that we have finished the initial impulse response, let’s save it as a preset with aIR Impulse Rack. Click the “Presets” tab on the right-hand side of the screen. At the bottom of the pane, click “Save Preset” and select a folder of your choice.Save-Preset
  14. Now let’s export the impulse response into a *.wav file so that it can be used within an impulse loader application as an amplifier cabinet. Click the Export button at the top right-hand side of the screen, set your options and click the Export To button to choose a folder to store the *.wav impulse response file. I used standard export values of 44100, Mono and 24 Bit as parameters for my impulse file.Export-IR
  15. Alternatively, instead of using aIR Impulse Rack to handle providing your impulse response to your signal chain, you can use a different impulse loader, like STL Tones’ NAD IR, to act as your amplifier’s speaker cabinet. If you want to use NADIR, uncheck aIR from your FX chain, add STL NADIR and within NADIR, choose the *.wav file you exported. I also changed my routing in NADIR from MONO to DUAL MONO.Config-NADIR

Summary

Now that you have made a custom IR from scratch in aIR Impulse Rack, you can tweak the preset you’ve stored to your own liking. There’s no right or wrong and the key is experimentation and finding tones that work great for your equipment and ears.

You can also load existing impulse response files, one or more, to blend and tweak and design your own new impulse. The results are really endless. I hope you found this tutorial useful and if you make any IRs, please send them to me so I can try them out.

If you would like to add to this content to help other folks, please contact me and let me know what you have in mind.