Impulse responses are one of the most effective ways to create consistency in your recording sessions, and a great way to streamline your mixes. Here are five of our favorite things about using IRs in the studio:
1. Impulse Responses Are Easier to Recall
Recording a guitar amp the traditional way takes a lot of time. Think about the process of recording with a tube amp: you set everything up, dial in the sound, mess around with microphone placement AND THEN FINALLY you record the part… only to tear everything down at the end.
The problem with that approach is that when it comes time to record overdubs or re-record a part that was slightly out of tune, no matter how hard you try you won’t be able to recreate your original tone.
With IRs, you just reload the impulse and you’re right back at it!
2. Post-Processing Using Impulse Responses
Following the same thought process, IRs are a great tool for adjusting your sound after the equipment has been torn down.
Wouldn’t you love to take some of those demos you recorded and hear how they sound in your final chain? With IRs, there’s no need for capturing “that sound” right away.
As long as you’ve got a good DI signal recorded, IRs make for a great way to try out a lot of different cabinet/microphone combos quickly AFTER you’ve played your part.
3. Impulse Responses Are Way More Fun
When you look at amp options, you’re actually very limited as to what you can do live. A guitarist’s setup will usually only allow for one or two cabinets to be connected at a time. But with impulses, your only limit is what your computer can handle…
Want to run 20 impulse response loaders in a row? Do it.
Been wondering what a certain speaker in a specific cab sounds like (maybe a Creamback in a Zilla Fatboy)? Getting your hands on an impulse response is the easiest way to get there.
(Pro-Tip: always align phase when working with multiple cabinets)
4. You Can Use Impulse Responses Anywhere
From bedroom sessions at 3 AM to the back seat of a van on tour, IRs can be loaded anywhere you can bring your laptop. The next time you want to record a guitar part but don’t have access to a full guitar rig, an amp sim and IR loader can step in to save the day.
5. Using Impulse Responses Creates Consistency Between Sessions
Whether it’s due to money, time, or one of the other million roadblocks bands run into, they don’t always have the luxury of recording an album in a single session.
This creates technical problems since the circumstances surrounding your recordings are constantly changing. Even something as subtle as a microphone being shifted one centimeter to the left can give you a drastically different sound.
Using IRs eliminates this issue since you’re using a static imprint of the setup.
The amount of preamp gain, microphone placement, and speaker/cabinet selection will remain identical using an impulse response, allowing you to come back to an identical sound, whenever you want.
This gives you the power to standardize your sound for multiple takes, different guitar parts & even across an entire album.
Ready to see how Impulse Responses can speed up your workflow and improve your sound? Check out the Conquer All Version 2 Pack with over 135 unbeatable IRs from Joey Sturgis Tones.