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Digital Performer: Guitar Amp Impulse Responses

MOTU Digital Performer Tips & Techniques By Craig Anderton & Mike Levine
Published June 2022

You can use ProVerb as a cabinet simulator by loading speaker‑cabinet impulse responses.You can use ProVerb as a cabinet simulator by loading speaker‑cabinet impulse responses.

Digital Perormer's ProVerb offers an easy way to experiment with guitar amp impulse responses.

Digital Performer’s amp and cab simulations are excellent, but so is the ProVerb convolution reverb — and can use it to expand the number of cabs available to the amps. ProVerb uses convolution technology, where an audio ‘snapshot’ (called an impulse response, or IR) of an acoustic space is used to impart that space’s characteristics to the audio. As an analogy, think of the impulse response as a ‘mould’ of a particular space; you can ‘pour’ your sound into the mould. If the space is a concert hall, the sound takes on the hall’s sonic characteristics. If the space is a cabinet, the sound takes on the cab’s tonal qualities.

There’s a thriving market of third‑party impulse responses, which you can load into guitar amps, convolution engines, effects and amp simulators. You don’t need to spend any money to experiment with cab IRs, because there are plenty of free ones available online. Some of the best include offerings from Wilkinson Audio (wilkinsonaudio.com/collections/free), Overdriven (Overdriven.fr), Kalthallen Cabs (cabs.kalthallen.de) and Sound Woofer (soundwoofer.com). The free IRs from those four sites will give you plenty to start with, and with minimal searching you can unearth even more sources. (You can also find additional reverb IRs that you can use in ProVerb in a traditional reverb scenario to supplement the included collection.)

You don’t need to spend any money to experiment with cab IRs, because there are plenty of free ones available online.

All Formats Great And Small

Once you’ve downloaded some IRs, getting started is easy. Open DP and insert one of DP’s amps, without a Live Room, on a guitar track. Next, follow it with an instance of ProVerb, into which you’ll load your cabinet IR.

ProVerb accepts many audio file types, including WAV, AIFF, MP3 and even MOV. That said, most of the IRs you’ll find will be AIFF or WAV. Some IR collections offer versions at several sampling rates, but it doesn’t seem to matter with ProVerb, which converts the IR so that it works at the session’s sampling rate.

There’s also the issue of mono and stereo IRs. Although more of the available free IRs are mono, some were captured in stereo and sound quite a bit fuller. It’s worth checking out both types. That said, you don’t always want a big, wide stereo image on a guitar track, particularly if you’re going to pan it significantly to one side. Often, a mono track will sit better in...

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