Is it worth paying for IRs?

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gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
I'm thinking about getting at least the Ownhammer Orange 4x12 IR...based on nothing more than it's a cab I've always wanted to own! Plus I downloaded the free OH IRs (Mesa 4x12) and they are the ones that seem the best to me so far.

Is it worth paying for these things? Or can you get equally good ones for free?

I've paid for patches in that past and never been that impressed...
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  • The Celestion IR’s were one of the major factors that prevented me ditching the whole digital modelling thing. I was really struggling to dial in anything I was happy with in my Atomic Amplifire days with the stock cabs, until I took a punt on the 4x12 Greenback IR then everything started to make sense. I subsequently purchased the V30 4x12, the creamback 65 4x12 and 2x12.

    I now use a Helix and continue to use the same IR’s and I’m very happy. So for me it was totally worth paying for IR’s.

    I did try other companies IR’s but for me the Celestion IR’s are more natural and behave exactly as you would expect, with the amp models on the Atomic and Helix.
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  • Yes it’s worth paying. Ownhammer and Celestion are both good in terms of quality and user friendliness. By all means pick up the free IRs anyway, but if you want a specific cab or speaker it is worth paying IMO.
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  • peteripeteri Frets: 855
    Absolutely worth it. I’ve bought Ownhammer Fman and Basketweave sets,  makes an amazing difference to my Axe III
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  • FarleyUKFarleyUK Frets: 421
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1137
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    My sentiments entirely.
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 824
    I bought a secondhand Amplifire-box and it has sounded great from the get-go. I suspect this may have something to do with the Celestion IRs that were uploaded into the unit by the previous owner..
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2012
    Is it worth paying for these things? Or can you get equally good ones for free?

    My experience is that Ownhammer IRs are very good value for money. I prefer them to the others I’ve tried. I stick to the ready mixed IRs for live sound, so I don’t need to spend time on all the detailed variants.
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    What does ready mixed mean?
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    Is that the Basketweave GNR Libraries, 412 MRBW GNR M25? I guess you need to get the whole package?
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  • guitarfishbayguitarfishbay Frets: 7018
    edited October 13
    What does ready mixed mean?

    In each pack there are single micp options, and dual mic options already mixed - eg sm57 and md421.

    The packs are really well recorded and the options all sound like typical examples of what you’d expect if you had the cab and mics and somewhere nice to record them.

    When I first started using IRs nobody had shot a detailed pack of my favourite cab. I was planning to shoot my own. Then Ownhammer released his first Mesa 2x12 pack and it was better and more in-depth than I could do myself, so it was a no brainer. I’ve not tried to mic a guitar for home recording in years now, I much prefer the workflow of IRs
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2012
    What does ready mixed mean?
    As @guitarfishbay says there are mixes of different mics. There are also mics at different distances from the speaker cone, which affects the eq balance and phase cancellation. It can get very complicated. I don’t meet that level of detail, so I use a middle-of-the-road mix. 
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    I've tried a few paid ones now but my fave is still the free OH Mesa 412 with V30s...the Marshall and Orange 412 ones sound a bit thin to me. But maybe I've just not tried the right mic setups with those ones.
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 540
    simonk said:
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    My sentiments entirely.
    Ha me too. Ownhammer GNR ones are the best I've tried (out of several freebies, Celestion creambacks and these).
    The Celestions are good but just feel / sound very 'dry' to my ears.

    There are some decent freebies out there so try those first. Ownhammer Mesa, Line 6 Allure pack not too shabby. And the Singtall warm IR that comes bundled with the Atomic Amplifire superpacks is very good too. 

    To be honest I find the options bewildering. Which speaker, mic combinations, how far from the cone etc.
    I dunno - I'm not a bl**dy studio engineer. I just want the one that sounds best thanks. I'd like it all to be much simpler!
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  • I've tried a few paid ones now but my fave is still the free OH Mesa 412 with V30s...the Marshall and Orange 412 ones sound a bit thin to me. But maybe I've just not tried the right mic setups with those ones.

    You're comparing an oversize cab to smaller ones though. It’s more likely a physical thing relating to the cabinets rather than the value of paid IRs
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    Yeah, fair enough.
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    NelsonP said:
    simonk said:
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    My sentiments entirely.
    Ha me too. Ownhammer GNR ones are the best I've tried
    Out of interest, which of the 12 billion options you get with the package is your favourite? :)
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  • simonksimonk Frets: 1137
    edited October 15
    NelsonP said:
    simonk said:
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    My sentiments entirely.
    Ha me too. Ownhammer GNR ones are the best I've tried
    Out of interest, which of the 12 billion options you get with the package is your favourite?


    Pretty much the only one I use is CUT+121 from the Core Mixes Quick Start folder. In fact my gigging LT only has that one installed in the IR folder in slot 1.
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  • FarleyUKFarleyUK Frets: 421
    NelsonP said:
    simonk said:
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    My sentiments entirely.
    Ha me too. Ownhammer GNR ones are the best I've tried
    Out of interest, which of the 12 billion options you get with the package is your favourite? :)
    I tend to stick with either the GNR or MED voicings, and around SP2-5 on both. That's for live use.
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    edited October 16
    Have you tried the Mesa 412 ones? They sound much fuller and 'present' to me. No?

    [edit] although I suspect the GNR ones might work better in a live mix. The Mesa sounds great to me in isolation but I think it may lack mids for cutting through.
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  • prlgmnrprlgmnr Frets: 397
    Ownhammer well worth the money for me.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2012
    FarleyUK said:
    Out of interest, which of the 12 billion options you get with the package is your favourite? :)
    I tend to stick with either the GNR or MED voicings, and around SP2-5 on both. That's for live use.
     MED SP2 M+ and MED BOLD M+  You can tell that I like prominent mids. Boosting the mids in the CAB means that I get a consistent sound, whereas boosting mids in the AMP would mean that the mids change more when I change AMP.
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  • RolandRoland Frets: 2012
    Herein lies the problem with IRs. I’ve just spent 30 minutes playing with SP2 05 instead of M+. Very enjoyable for me. Will it make a difference in a band context? I’ll know after the next gig.
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  • onyironyir Frets: 1
    I quite like the 2 IRs you can download from the Hughes & Kettner Red Box page. I think they're from a 4x12 with V30s. I find them great for live performance
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  • NelsonPNelsonP Frets: 540
    NelsonP said:
    simonk said:
    FarleyUK said:
    I never got on with the Celestion IRs.... however, I always come back to the OwnHammer GNR greenback 4x12 IRs. Sound absolutely amazing.
    My sentiments entirely.
    Ha me too. Ownhammer GNR ones are the best I've tried
    Out of interest, which of the 12 billion options you get with the package is your favourite? :)
    Wis'd for that.

    Answer nearly always seems to be the third or fourth one i try. I lose the will to live after that.
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    onyir said:
    I quite like the 2 IRs you can download from the Hughes & Kettner Red Box page. I think they're from a 4x12 with V30s. I find them great for live performance
    Ah - darn, don't work on my system...shame. I'm a bit of an H&K fanboy :)
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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 3520
    I was really, really impressed with the two ownhammer packs I've paid for - the Class A one, with old alnico blues, silvers etc, and the oversized Bognor 2x12 with V30s and greenbacks. I've always preferred 2x12 cabs for the tighter bottom and more focused mids, so I was pleased to hear that character in the IRs.

    Sorting through the packs does take a while. I think it helps if you have enough experience to immediately discount stuff you won't be interested in. For example, in the Class A pack, I knew I didn't care for Celestion Golds after long hard experience with the real things, so I didn't try them. I knew I prefer SM57s for raw tones and condensers for more full, polite tones, so I focused on the SM57 and c414 options. I ignored the 421s, 121s etc. I knew I prefer single mics to multiple mics and don't like mixing speaker types so didn't listen to the blends.

    That narrowed it right down, So then I got systematic. Started with the SM57'd 2x12 blues cab, and loaded ir00, 03, 07 and 10 into my Helix (00= center of speaker, then each increasing number moves the mic closer to the edge). Played with those 4 for ten minutes, decided 07 was a bit too close to 10 so switched it for 06, likewise 03 for 04. Bingo, now I've got 4 options for a miked 2x12 with blues going from bright to dark. Gave them names that'd make sense for me in the Helix. Moved on to the c414 miked version of the same cab.

    The process took an hour, then I spent another hour randomly trying some of the stuff I was curious about like the 1x12 Bad Cat speaker option, but since then I've not had to revisit it. Ended up with a reasonably systematic and easy to navigate library of about 20 IRs covering Alnico Blues and Silvers, and Ceramic Badcat 1x12 which was a nice surprise. Same for the Bogner 2x12s - about 20 irs covering V30s and Greenbacks. Having done the initial work, I've got enough options without having option paralysis when it comes to covering the range of tones I want to use, and with each cab+speaker combo there are 3 or 4 different mic positions to choose from.

    So, that was how I dealt with having hundreds of files to choose from!

    It *definitely* helps if you have some idea of your likes and dislikes going into the process, otherwise I can imagine it being very hard to get a handle on the IR library when it arrives on your computer.
    Captain Horizon (my old band);
    Very (!) Occasional Blog
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  • My process was pretty similar. I like SM57s and MD421s for single mics. I just loaded up 00-10 of each into my Axe FX, plus the 57 and 121 combo files for another option. Went through those and picked some favourites. 

    On some packs I've checked out other mics/combos too but that’s where I start usually.

    I do agree that having experience of the real gear and knowing your preferences helps, same goes for dialling in a modeller really.
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    Yeah, I'm probably suffering from lack of experience of different cabs and speakers. I've always played through a Marshall 1936 with V30s. I also have a Orange 1x12 with a V30 which I like...it's smoother than the Marshall but maybe a bit boxy, being a 1x12 I guess. I'd heard nothing but good things about the Orange 4x12 cabs so I shelled out for the OH pack. I also got the GNR pack on the basis of reviews and comments - but to be honest neither of these are really my thing. I prefer the free OH Mesa 412 sample - tbh the stock cabs that come with the unit are pretty good. I'm reluctant to shell out for more - I think for me, it's not worth it.
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  • onyironyir Frets: 1
    onyir said:
    I quite like the 2 IRs you can download from the Hughes & Kettner Red Box page. I think they're from a 4x12 with V30s. I find them great for live performance
    Ah - darn, don't work on my system...shame. I'm a bit of an H&K fanboy :)
    How come? They're just wav files. I though that would work in almost any system
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  • gearaddictgearaddict Frets: 528
    Not sure - it's an older unit...I think they need to be 44kHz. Might be that. It just says the file type is incompatible.
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