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Recommend for me a clear way to hear the value of a guitar IR

Over the years, I've heard many folks offer testimonials for the huge value of an IR. I'm not saying I doubt it, but I haven't gotten into it enough to yet feel the same way.

Please recommend a clear and easy way to hear it on my own setup.

On iOS, I have the following:

  • Lots of Nembrini amps
  • Several TH-U rigs
  • Thafknar IR loader
  • A Celestion V30 IR

I also have real guitar, bass, and pedals. And Quilter combo.

Mostly playing these days into a PA setup of two JBL EON 610s.

Don't own the Nembrini IR Loader.

Maybe the compelling case would be made by taking a great TH-U rig or Nembrini amp in Rack mode, and swapping it out for the nominally same cab, and compare with what IR you recommend -- maybe from Ownhammer Evolution bundle? (would need to buy for $30)

Anyway, your thoughts?

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Comments

  • Since everyone has different preferences about what sounds good, I can’t recommend a particular IR that will convince you. I can say that it is likely that something in the rEvolution bundle will sound good to you PROBABLY. No guarantee. Some people prefer direct sounds without a cabinet. [ A friend of mine who has had a very successful recording career records direct and spent years working with someone to create custom handwound pickups because his guitar direct with those pickups is “it” for him.]

    rEvolution comes with a zillion variations of each of the cabinets but you will find a thread elsewhere on the forum (I think you can find it by searching in the wiki) that explains where to find a basic set to explore.

    I generally prefer the two Vox cabinets in the rEvolution but others have other preferred ones. Flo, if I recall, generally likes one of the Marshall 4*12s.

    If you have THAFKNAR, there’s no need for the Nembrini loader imo if you just want to load IRs you have. THU can load IRS, so you can easily use your own IR with a rig without needing another app.

  • Thanks for the reply.

    FYI, I probably would use the IR cab with THU Choptones fender twin. But open to suggestions for the most clear demonstration for myself.

  • @espiegel123 said:
    ... Some people prefer direct sounds without a cabinet. [ A friend of mine who has had a very successful recording career records direct and spent years working with someone to create custom handwound pickups because his guitar direct with those pickups is “it” for him.]

    thanks... at least I‘m not the only one. No custom PUs here, but good preamps. o:)

  • wimwim
    edited September 2023

    That's like asking someone to tell you what kind of wine you'll like the best. You just have to try them. And different wines are going to taste better with different dishes. So also are different IRs going to work best with different amps - and an IR that works well through a PA is not necessarily going to be best for headphone use or for recording.

    Since you have the nembrini apps, one easy thing to do is just spend some time flipping through the various cabinets they provide. That will give you a quick feel for just how much the tone of an amp can be affected by the cabinet IR. It may also help you to internalize the type of impact you're looking for so that listening to other IRs you can judge better which qualities you're looking to bring out.

    I too recommend the rEvolution bundle. If you can't find something in there that grabs you then you're not that likely to find something elsewhere either. Oh, and I have to say I prefer the Nembrini IR loader of any other for cabinet emulation. The added shaping controls are just the ticket in lots of cases where you feel like some adjustment is needed.

    Seriously, there is simply no way to give a meaningful recommendation. There are too many variables.

    Last, and most important bit of advice IMO ... don't overthink it and don't obsess about it. Find a few IRs that grab you on first impression. I have less than six, and these I have categorized in my mind by the qualities they bring such as adds thump, tight low-end, tames fizz. Once you have that, toss the rest into a folder somewhere and forget about them.

  • Thanks folks. FWIW, I’m not looking necessarily for the best IR for me. Just looking for a good way to demonstrate for myself that it makes a difference.

  • I like the idea, wim, of flipping through the cabs in the revolution pack to find what quality grabs me most.

    Then maybe I can compare that IR cab to an amp sim I already have with that kind of cab.

  • @joegrant413 said:
    Thanks folks. FWIW, I’m not looking necessarily for the best IR for me. Just looking for a good way to demonstrate for myself that it makes a difference.

    What do you mean by “make a difference “? If you want an any of the Nembrini sims , they all come with many IRs. I don’t like any of them BUT that the sound is different from one to the other will be obvious.

    You might not be convinced that IRs can make a worthwhile difference without hearing a very good IR, though.

  • I have posted this before, this is a link to the LT TV mix 2 IR

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/some-free-mix-irs-wav-format.2084301/
    https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/in-praise-of-lt-tv-mix-2.195337/

    I have some York Audio IR's and also Ownhammer, but I don't bother that much about it anymore, I just use this one, for everything, for convenience.

    And something else, I have a Mooer Radar as a IR loader on my pedalboard. Someone suggested to add a Parametric EQ after it with this values

    Freq: 110Hz, DB: +13, Q: 2.50
    Freq: 12kHz, DB: +13, Q: 0.50

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/mooer-radar-tips-tricks-pcb-images.2113552/

    It does work, it sounds more alive with the PEQ with this settings. I have not tried it yet on my Ipad, I will do that soon to see if there is improvement.

  • wimwim
    edited September 2023

    @joegrant413 said:
    I like the idea, wim, of flipping through the cabs in the revolution pack to find what quality grabs me most.

    Then maybe I can compare that IR cab to an amp sim I already have with that kind of cab.

    mmmm ... careful with the rEvolution pack. There are thousands of IRs there. Stick with just the "summary" folder ones or you'll be too old to hear the difference by the time you get through them. 😂

    Actually, what I was suggesting was to flip through the Nembrini supplied cabinets first in order to get a feel for general types of qualities that IRs can contribute. tbh - with one of my main Nembrini amps I found an included IR that works better than my usual rEvolution bundle ones.

  • Sounds like this group says the question is not a plausible one to pursue. That is, sure IRs are praised here. But it sounds as if there is no clear and simple way to demonstrate that value.

  • AnyAmpIR is really good for trying out a bunch of different IRs quickly, you can batch load them and scroll through.

  • wimwim
    edited September 2023

    @joegrant413 said:
    Sounds like this group says the question is not a plausible one to pursue. That is, sure IRs are praised here. But it sounds as if there is no clear and simple way to demonstrate that value.

    Yes there is. Trying some. Your ears have everything that is needed.

    Sorry if it sounded like I was saying it's hard. It isn't. The only challenge is to keep by being overwhelmed by 1,000's of choices. For instance, If you stick to a small set, such as the IRs supplied by Nembrini, plus the "Summary" folders of the rEvolution bundle, a few hours of auditioning IRs should do the job. The Summary folders each have one main IR plus several variations. If you just stick to the main IR in the summary folder for each cabinet, it doesn't take long to get an idea of each cabinet. If one sounds useful then you may want to try some of the variations.

    As far as "demonstrating the value?" It's not an objective thing, it's subjective. But all it requires is those two big flappy things on the side or yer head and a few hours of your time. 😉

  • Well, it took me years to figure out that brandy and cognac is my favorite alcoholic drink. And I suppose it was worth the journey.

  • BTW, this all stems from me finally getting a KOT pedal, then figuring out iOS amp sims make sense with it, then figuring out a great Fender amp will likely work best, and then realizing that a strong IR with the Fender amp sim would be optimal.

    So that should help focus the current ToneQuest.

  • @joegrant413 said:
    Sounds like this group says the question is not a plausible one to pursue. That is, sure IRs are praised here. But it sounds as if there is no clear and simple way to demonstrate that value.

    That isn’t what anyone said. People said which IR will sound best to you is a matter of preference. You will find lots of demonstrations on YouTube, some from AB Forum members of the difference a good IR can make.

  • Not phrased diplomatically, sorry about that.

    Still haven't seen advice on how to make it happen for myself easily. YouTube demos are cool. But not the same as your own test drive.

    So far, it's seems as though there is no simple answer on how to go about with a test drive on my gear. Trying not to be difficult.

  • edited September 2023

    Anyway, my plan is to:

    • Get the THU ChopTones Fender Twin
    • Get to know it, try with pedals and more
    • Buy an Ownhammer Fender Twin cab or other suitable cab for the Twin
    • Try it and see how much it floats my boat and compares with what is the THU rig

    Thanks again, folks

  • edited September 2023

    I recently bought myself a used Sonicake IR pedal to use with my bass/acoustic pedalboard. You can load up to 12 IRs on it.
    Very cheap and easy way to see what difference various IRs make with a hardware rig.
    There are tonnes of decent free IRs out there if you can be bothered to search for them, eg:
    https://tonejunkiestore.com/tone-junkie-free-sampler

    https://worshiptutorials.com/product/ir-cabs-sample-pack/

    https://www.celestionplus.com/free-download/

    Load them into a Nembrini/THU rig or something like THAFKNAR and see what difference they make.

  • wimwim
    edited September 2023

    @joegrant413 said:
    Anyway, my plan is to:

    • Get the THU ChopTones Fender Twin
    • Get to know it, try with pedals and more
    • Buy an Ownhammer Fender Twin cab or other suitable cab for the Twin
    • Try it and see how much it floats my boat and compares with what is the THU rig

    Thanks again, folks

    That is what I did, though with the Nembrini Faceman and other heads rather than THU. I love the Faceman and thoroughly dislike THU - not because of tone, but for other reasons.

    I listened to the Ownhammer demos until I decided on one amp that sounded the closest to what I'm looking for, then bought a single cab (the twin, I think). Later, when Ownhammer had a particularly good sale, I picked up the rEvolution bundle. I've strictly limited myself to six or less favorite IRs from the bundle and do my best never to open up that box now.

    after 30 years of endless searching for "tone" I'm happy to be just ... er ... practicing once in awhile. 😂

  • edited September 2023

    @joegrant413 said:
    Anyway, my plan is to:

    • Get the THU ChopTones Fender Twin
    • Get to know it, try with pedals and more
    • Buy an Ownhammer Fender Twin cab or other suitable cab for the Twin
    • Try it and see how much it floats my boat and compares with what is the THU rig

    Thanks again, folk

    You do understand that every Nembrini amp as 2 dozen iR build into the amp ? Click on Rack and browse thru them. Easy as that. You will hear a difference between the cabs

    Follow @wim advice it is solid.

  • @joegrant413 said:
    Not phrased diplomatically, sorry about that.

    Still haven't seen advice on how to make it happen for myself easily. YouTube demos are cool. But not the same as your own test drive.

    So far, it's seems as though there is no simple answer on how to go about with a test drive on my gear. Trying not to be difficult.

    I am not quite understanding what it is you want to know or what would make it happen for you easily.

    Can you explain?

  • wimwim
    edited September 2023

    @ecou said:

    @joegrant413 said:
    Anyway, my plan is to:

    • Get the THU ChopTones Fender Twin
    • Get to know it, try with pedals and more
    • Buy an Ownhammer Fender Twin cab or other suitable cab for the Twin
    • Try it and see how much it floats my boat and compares with what is the THU rig

    Thanks again, folk

    You do understand that every Nembrini amp as 2 dozen iR build into the amp ? Click on Rack and browse thru them. Easy as that. You will hear a difference between the cabs

    If he's starting with the THU Twin then that won't really work. I don't know if you can flip through included IR's in THU. If not, then using the Nembrini loader and its included IRs would work - except that they'd be post any after-amp FX such as reverb or chorus, which wouldn't be good.

  • @wim said:

    @ecou said:

    @joegrant413 said:
    Anyway, my plan is to:

    • Get the THU ChopTones Fender Twin
    • Get to know it, try with pedals and more
    • Buy an Ownhammer Fender Twin cab or other suitable cab for the Twin
    • Try it and see how much it floats my boat and compares with what is the THU rig

    Thanks again, folk

    You do understand that every Nembrini amp as 2 dozen iR build into the amp ? Click on Rack and browse thru them. Easy as that. You will hear a difference between the cabs

    If he's starting with the THU Twin then that won't really work. I don't know if you can flip through included IR's in THU. If not, then using the Nembrini loader and its included IRs would work - except that they'd be post any after-amp FX such as reverb or chorus, which wouldn't be good.

    You can load your own IRs in thu. Also, the different rig cabinets are actually IRs as well, I believe.

  • edited September 2023

    @wim said:

    @ecou said:

    @joegrant413 said:
    Anyway, my plan is to:

    • Get the THU ChopTones Fender Twin
    • Get to know it, try with pedals and more
    • Buy an Ownhammer Fender Twin cab or other suitable cab for the Twin
    • Try it and see how much it floats my boat and compares with what is the THU rig

    Thanks again, folk

    You do understand that every Nembrini amp as 2 dozen iR build into the amp ? Click on Rack and browse thru them. Easy as that. You will hear a difference between the cabs

    If he's starting with the THU Twin then that won't really work. I don't know if you can flip through included IR's in THU. If not, then using the Nembrini loader and its included IRs would work - except that they'd be post any after-amp FX such as reverb or chorus, which wouldn't be good.

    He wants a simple answer

    1- Load a Nembrini amp app
    2- Click Rack, look at Cabinet + Mic section
    3-Play guitar and listen
    4-Click Next in the cab section
    5- Go back to no 3

  • Maybe what you need to do is turn off the IR completely and compare that with some recorded music that you know well. You will definitely hear that the virtual amp sounds wrong in some way without any post power amp processing.

    Introduce various IRs and you will start to realize the value of good speakers in a cab.

    To provide a reference point, what hardware amps do you (currently or in the past) play guitar through?

  • Part of what I’m trying to figure out is why bother with the Ownhammer IRs or other IR‘s when you got choices and good sounds with the Nembrini apps or THU rigs.

  • edited September 2023

    With my sports car, I know to switch to all season performance tires in the winter time because I need more traction. And I can get a good recommendation on better tires. I can recommend to you to get Michelin pilot sport 4 all season if you happen to own a Veloster N.

  • It doesn’t feel like there’s an analogous straightforward answer in the world of why bother checking IRs other than the ones supplied with good apps.

  • @joegrant413 said:
    With my sports car, I know to switch to all season performance tires in the winter time because I need more traction. And I can get a good recommendation on better tires. I can recommend to you to get Michelin pilot sport for all seasons, if you happen to own a Veloster N.

    You know they give you more tracktion because you experienced winter tire. I know people that have never had winter tire and they say it’s a waste of money. Don’t know till you try it.

    The only way to know if your going to like Ownhammer better is by trying them If YouTube is not good enough.

  • @joegrant413 If you're looking for a slightly more technical way to evaluate impulse responses, I would just cycle through some options in the context of a mix. The way I understand it, an impulse response has the combined traits of an EQ curve, and a sample of a reverb tail. And there are certain conventions that people often follow when EQing guitars. The details are still subjective, but good EQ vs. no EQ is night and day.

    Ownhammer's summary IRs in the rEvolution bundle really sound like they're engineered to sit in a mix, whereas some IRs are better for making a studio monitor sound like a guitar amp...and some IRs are just muddy. So it's like EQ. It's not fully subjective, there is a technical component...it's just not easy to quantify.

    York Audio's IRs have a bit more low end content, so they tend to sound more natural than Ownhammer before you add in the other instruments. But if you're already at the mixing stage, then you're probably just going to EQ those frequencies out anyway. York Audio has a Mesa 212 V30 pack for $1.

    So, if you put a York Audio summary IR next to an Ownhammer, you should be able to hear that extra low end, and you can ask yourself if that's something you want. Are York IRs the best? Arguably. But if you just compare any one of their IRs to any one Ownhammer IR, neither one is better or worse. It's like...is there such a good thing as a good or bad EQ curve? Yes, but it's also dependent on context of the surrounding mix. Nonetheless, I would bet on a random EQ curve, from a random guitar track, from a top level mixing engineer, over an EQ curve designed by somebody with no experience.

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