ENGL Ironball vs e530 recording (ironball clips inside BTW))

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by xzyryabx, Oct 19, 2014.

  1. xzyryabx

    xzyryabx SS.org Regular

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    I currently have an Ironball and am underwhelmed by the direct recording results; you basically have 3 options:
    1) FX-loop out --> interface --> impulses --> DAW
    2) compensated line-out --> interface --> DAW
    3) headphones-out --> interface --> DAW

    I tried impulses years ago and got overwhelmed by the process; too many impulses and too many ways to combine them. Plus, needed an IR loader which increased CPU usage. Still have TONS of impulses from my previous attempt though.
    Options 2 & 3, when compared to a miced cab, sounded weak, and lacked body and fullness.
    The iron ball mice however sounded tits, but due to the volume issues is not ideal for me since I live in an apartment with a kid on the way soonish.

    My main question is: does the e530 fair any better for direct recording compared to the Ironball, since it pretty much has the same direct recording options?
    Most of the e530 demos I've seen have been recorded via the headphones out, which includes a 1.5watt (or something around there) solid state power amp. Not sure if the ironball headphone out has the same ss power amp feature or not.
    :hbang:

    PS I tried the two notes torpedo C.A.B. a while back s well, and either I couldn't set it up right with the standard built cabs, or it's just pure shit for heavy tones.

    edit: here are two songs I recorded with the iron ball incase you guys are interested since there seems to be a lack of iron ball clips out there. all guitars are quad tracked, recorded w/ an SM-57 through a Splawn 2x12 loaded with one (yup!) governor. no post-processing. no bass. drums are steven slate.
    https://soundcloud.com/xzyryabx/deceiver-of-the-gods
    https://soundcloud.com/xzyryabx/shiraz
     
  2. Der JD

    Der JD SS.org Regular

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    I've never tried an Ironball and I'm not thoroughly familiar with it. I have owned a e530 and I wasn't impressed with direct recording results with it. IMO, the best direct recordings come from using a tube preamp>tube poweramp>loadbox>quality IR. You're simply not going to get astonishing results with the internal SS power amp in the e530.

    I know the Ironball has a line out that is post power amp with a power soak feature (internal loadbox) so you could run this straight to a mixer or audio interface/DAW without having a real cab connected. That's exactly what you want. However, does it include any sort of cab simulation internally? I briefly glanced through the manual but it seems unclear. It did mention headphone use so it's very possible it does have some sort of cab sim internally. IMO, that's fine as long as you can turn it on/off. Personally, I'd rather run straight to the DAW and use quality IRs than use an amp manufacturer's built in sims. So, if I were you, whether or not it has internal cab sims and whether they can be turned on/off would be the main point that needs clarifying. If it has internal cab simulation and you then run it through IRs you're simulating the cab twice and it's going to be tough to get good results.

    IRs can be overwhelming. Been there, done that. And yes, an IR loader's going to eat some CPU. No getting around that unless you use a hardware IR loader like the Torpedo Cab/Live, etc. Personally, I've found that most of the IRs that work for me are the ones that have been floating around for years (Guitarhack, Catharsis, "Asem Recto"). I also like the "Messiah cab" and some of Ownhammer's V30 IRs for high gain. I've literally tried thousands of IRs and always go back to the same ones.

    Like I mentioned before, IMO nothing beats a real tube preamp>tube power amp>loadbox>quality IRs. Right now I'm using my amps (6505 and DSL) through a Torpedo Reload into my DAW and using IRs. The Reload is just an attenuator/loadbox/reamp box all-in-one. Beats the Axe II and Kemper for both tone and feel (I've owned both). Sounds like you may have most of what you need covered with the Ironball. But, if it has internal cab simulation that can't be turned off you may be screwed if you don't like the sound of the internal sims or if you can't buy another unit like the Torpedo Live, Reload, etc.
     
  3. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    I own an e530, and used it with all the different options, and the first, i.e. with IRs is by far the best. Yes it is overwelming, but try and think about it like you would a real cab: what cab would you actually like to use? For me it is usually an Engl 4x12, a mesa 4x12 or something along those lines, next; what microphone? Well properply an sm57, where? well properly pretty close to the middle of the speaker and 1 or 2 inches away. in fact pretty simple, and gets u some pretty good sounds, now just find an IR that does exactly that (not hard).

    About the thing with using a preamp -> power amp -> loadbox -> Impulse response thing i must remind you that the IR usually does a lot of things: It covers everything from poweramp (what tubes presense/resonance etc.) to cab to mic to mic preamp, so actually i think you would get better results with just going preamp -> impulse responses, so to not doubling the effect of a power amp.
     
  4. Der JD

    Der JD SS.org Regular

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    Not all IRs are shot with a tube power amp. Many people prefer using a SS power amp to keep the response more "flat". My understanding is that an IR is linear and can capture the frequency response of the power amp used. It, however, does not capture non-linear aspects such as the distortion, harmonic content, sag, etc. that a tube power amp introduces.
    Even if the IR is imparted with some frequency response of the tube power amp it was shot with, you're going to be missing a lot of the feel if you just go preamp>IR.

    It's WAY more common to use a power amp (whether real or simulated) with IRs (regardless of whether they're shot with a SS or tube IR) than to simply go preamp>IR. For example, with just about every modeler I've used (Pod, Axe Fx, Kemper...) the chain is preamp sim>power amp sim>IR (cab sim). Same thing with say, the Torpedo Live. If you were to plug a preamp into the Live, it's generally recommended and common to use its power amp simulation AND cab simulation.

    Anytime I've tried preamp>IR with no power amp it sounds like garbage. Most of the IRs I use (and most of the IRs that are the most popular in the high gain world) were shot through tube power amps. If there is any "doubling" effect I guess I just don't care. It's all about what sounds best. :hbang:
     
  5. Sumsar

    Sumsar SS.org Regular

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    Very interesting input DerJD, thanks for the input, will keep it in mind for future use :)
    On the same note, do you know any vst sims (preferably free) that only simulates the power amp? (I know the usual sims like lepou legion and le456, but they sim both pre and power amp i guess?)
     
  6. GoldDragon

    GoldDragon SS.org Regular

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    You need to put some more work into micing it. Need to crank poweramp to get some saturation. Put the sm57 off axis to make the sound more complex and move it around to find more bass (nearer to edge.)

    That sounds like it was recorded at low volume, with the 57 on axis near the middle of the cone. Aloso make sure it is right on the cone to get proximity effect. That almost sounds like it was recorded direct.
     
  7. Der JD

    Der JD SS.org Regular

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    It's been a few years since I've used any amp sim VSTs. The only thing I'm aware of is Two Notes Wall of Sound III. It's not an amp sim, though. It's an IR loader that also has power amp simulation. I suppose if all you needed was the power amp sim you could just turn the cab portion off. Not free, but does have a 30 day trial. Not sure what it costs after the trial.
     
  8. Stijnson

    Stijnson SS.org Regular

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    There is also a power-amp VST made by Ignite amps, called the TPA-1. Audio Plug-Ins

    Although like mentioned above, most IR's where captured with a poweramp somewhere in the chain. I have some of the Ownhammers for example which have some IR's captured with a tube power amp and some with an SS power amp. The tube ones sound far far better. Now bear in mind that im using VST amps that also have a power-amp simulation in them. If i turn off the power amp in the amp sim it sounds like garbage.

    So when it comes to IR's, be sure to still be using a power amp from your amp for example. Although I have heard mixed results about both the E530 and the Ironballs direct recording out. Im assuming that seeing as you can plug headphones into it it must have a built in cab-sim which you probably cant turn off and also is not very good to begin with. Which would explain why it doesn't sound so convincing, especially not if your also running another IR after it. Apparently it only seems to sound good with double power amp simulation, not double cabinet simulation.
     

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