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Speaker sim DI

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Downunderwonder, Jan 20, 2014.

  1. Say you have a nice toneful rig but you want to DI. Speaker level DI like Countryman 85 get part of the way. Would today's modelling technology enable a viably cheap magic box to read the amp signal, knowing what cab was plugged in, process it real time for a DI?
  2. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    There was a somewhat similar thread about this a few weeks ago - only it was about making an onboard amp sim DI with different cab and mic settings rather than a modeling box. The general consensus was that, while it was a very cool idea, it probably wasn't marketable enough for an amp company to put in the R&D to implement. I'd argue that this idea would be similar in that regard.
  3. There was another thread of 53 pages lamenting inability to mic ones favourite rig. There's definitely a market for it if it can sell cheap enough.
  4. Paging Jimfist
  5. Ender_rpm


    Apr 18, 2004
    St. Louis MO
    H&K, Radial, and Behringer (amongst others) make speaker level DIs with speaker emulation built in, but their baked in EQ curve rarely goes low enough for bass. All analog. I have an old Tubeworks 4001 that is supposed to have a speaker sim/ high end roll off, but have not put it through those paces. The direct sound is quite nice.

    Would be cool to set it up like an old Sansamp, with different dip switches for different EQ curves/speaker settings.
  6. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    the problem is cost. The load box/DI is available, but good quality ones that are reactive (and represent faithfully the interactivity between the speaker and tube amp) can get costly. Then there's the speaker cabinet sim portion of the equation, which is quantifiable, and current speaker sim devices are also limited in number and costly.

    Im not sure I understand how this magic box would know how to discern what speaker cabinet up is being used, though. It cannot possibly know how to represent this automatically, without user input, choices in cabinet, placement, mic choice (or neutral flat mic). it's a great idea, but as an all in one device of good quality, with real time processing....expensive.

    ATM, the Two Notes Torpedo LIVE loaded with custom IRs of your cabinet (if you can't find a stock simulation that you like) is as close as you can get right now for for about $1000US. It'll do everything you want except automatically figure out how to model your cab sound (which is presumed to be calculated somehow by the interaction between amp & speaker...that's a difficult nut to crack).
  7. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    to get an idea of the importance of reactive loading in a load box/DI, check this out:

    http://www.aracom-amps.com/info/PRX Advantages.html

    as for cabinet simulation, it seems that you either have Impulse Response technology (a la 2 Notes, Fractal Audio, etc.) or EQ filters that emulate the limited frequency response of a cabinet (H&K, Palmer, etc.). IMHO, IR technology is superior due to its flexibility, since the devices that use EQ/filters generally have very few tonal choices. Compare the Palmer to the 2 Notes Live, for example.

    Im expecting there to be much more development of these types of products in the near future. For now....oh well.
  8. Jim C

    Jim C Spector#496:More curves than Sophia + better sound Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Thanks for that link; very informative.
  9. I was thinking along lines of a few classic cab models preprogrammed. Perhaps it wouldn't cost too much more to add a USB and uploading, but make the box "dumb".

    I understand the amp changes its signal in response to the cabinet behaviour. I don't think it's a quantum leap to ask a box to interpret, from a sample cab model, to flavour the resultant signal appropriately, even though the cab model won't be perfect.
  10. Grissle


    May 17, 2009
    Palmer 05!
  11. xk49w

    xk49w Supporting Member

    Wish list for inexpensive, rugged, modeling DI.
    • mechanically and electrically rugged.
    • powered from phantom power (or internal battery?)
    • have a balanced output capable of [+2] dBu. I would accept non-transformer though that might mess with phantom powering.
    • contain IRs on an internal SD card.
    • IR selectable by [rotary switch, push button with indicator light, ...]?
    • in addition to balanced XLR, have a 1/4" output, instrument level, pre-/post- effect selectable for driving on-stage instrument amp.
    LCDs are nice but compete against the rugged requirement.
  12. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    That would work for me. Price it at $250US or less...I'm in!
  13. Throw some eq in while you're on a roll. :eyebrow: You're thinking of a regular DI cum modeling preamp. Ramps up the price.

    This is a speaker level DI.
  14. willbassyeah


    Oct 9, 2011
  15. No, everyone wants to keep their stage rig as is. This is an alternative to mic'ing it.
  16. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Personally, I don't need an actual speaker sim, but I do want the rolloffs associated with it. Thinking of going off the board for a custom thingy by [sfx] or similar company that does custom jobs, but haven't had much time or energy to think about it right now. Life blew up on us in a big way a couple weeks ago so I'll pursue it after things blow over a bit.
  17. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Just a word on the Two Notes stuff: you can implement it fully without alteration to your existing live bass rig. The C.A.B will only accept a line level DI from a preamp or pedal, while the LIVE will accept either line or speaker level DI (IIRC), and at a cost premium. One option using the C.A.B would be to get a speaker level DI (Countryman FET 81, Radial, etc.) and then have the FOH mixer insert the C.A.B in your channel strip, and tweak it from his vantage point. If you have your own mixer, and he's in tune with the type of sound you're looking for, this is a good idea IMO. I used to have a sound guy insist on using my SansAmp BDDI at the console, and he'd adjust the tone/distortion on a song-by-song basis (usually only a couple times per show). You need a mixer you can trust, though. This way, there is no concern for accommodating anything in your stage rig, other than the spkr level DI.

    OK, so your thinking about something like a Radial JDX Reactor (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-...jdx-reactor-guitar-amp-and-cabinet-direct-box), but designed more for bass guitar, and with a few more cabinet EQ/Filter emulations selectable (the usual suspects like SVT 8x10, Ampeg B-15, etc.), and perhaps an additional Bass/LowMid/Hi Mid/Treble tone section to further tweak the output to PA system?

    Yeah, that seems like it should be do-able for under $300, and though it would have limitations, still has enough flexibility to tone-tweak. Thinking about this more, something like the Fishman Aura/Aura Spectrum, and what it does for Acoustic guitars. (if you're not familiar, here is a link: http://www.fishman.com/files/aura_spectrum_user_guide.pdf)

    Hmmm....I know a couple of guys that work at Fishman...it's a local company in my area. A bass version of the Aura Spectrum, that had selectable cabinet type, selectable mic options, a mic distance or "depth" control, tone section, a pass thru DI (to Stage Rig, selectable emulation on/off) and XLR to FOH. USB for firmware updates and loading different IR captures...

    Even if it were only a line level device, I'd be fully on board with that. Something with the ability to go line or spkr level DI would be awesome.

    I'd like to think that companies who specialize in bass tone preamps and stomps would eventually figure this out: MarkBass, Eden, Ampeg, Tech 21, Fishman (yes they make bass stuff), EBS, AMT, Aguilar, etc. Who can shake some trees with these developers? It seems that enough bassists are either tired of fighting sound guys to mic their amps, or that they just want good quality and simple solution for mic emulation in a well-thought out, relatively inexpensive direct box package. OK. Now what? LOL
  18. ryansalmond


    Nov 21, 2007
    I recommend it. I did it and love it. Though my application is different from your's.
  19. Thanks Jimfist, you're coming around to where I think the market lies. I don't think it should have extra EQ. It defintely only needs to do what that Radial box does for guitar.

    I don't see any major cab maker being interested in giving their competitors a leg up, thus fracturing the market. Tech21 are too invested in their DI preamps, although if it said Tech21 on the box it would be well accepted.

    The IR capture and download is the key to making it universal for guitar, bass, bazouki. I don't know much about that, but enthusiastic amateur with a PC and a field and a full range mic could do one?
  20. jimfist

    jimfist "Cling tenaciously to my buttocks!"

    Mar 28, 2011
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Yes. The neat thing about IR is also that you can capture the tone (not distortion or non-linear qualities) of just about anything, including EQs, preamps, and tone stomps like the SansAmp stuff, if you use it for relatively clean tone...FWIW.

    I'll run this idea behind my buddy at Fishman and see what he has to say. I'm guessing for many it is just a numbers game, and if they feel they can market this to enough consumers without undermining their other interests. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.