Getting good tone from cabinet sims

I have the captor x and i think that although the tones are good (especially overdriven ), I don’t think they are great. Am i doing something wong? What are your suggestions / tips and tricks for a good cab sim tone?

p.s… i use a mesa ta-30 combo

are you adding in extra EQ anywhere? If so, where are you adding it and what frequencies are you tweaking?

hello… i am quite new to cab sims world . No, i did not add any post eq. Just the tone controls on the amp. Also i only have the stock cabinets… The tones sounded a bit “thin” to me…

Have you ever used cabinet sims/IRs before? Have you typically played with real-world cabinets in the past?

One thing to remember is that IRs are quite different to playing through a real cab - not worse, just different. With an IR, you are capturing not only the sound of the cabinet, but microphone(s) used to record the sound, and the mic preamps used. This creates quite a different sound to a typical ‘amp in the room’ sound using a real cabinet - more like what you would hear on a recorded song.

Are you are listening to the sound through speakers that have a fairly flat response? IRs are ideally meant to be played through flat response speakers (e.g. studio monitors or frfr cabinets).

I use IRs and amp modelling and I really enjoy the tones I can achieve, and if I can get them to sound good, anyone can :rofl:

The other thing to note is that changing IR can have a dramatic impact on your tone - sometimes even more than using a different amp! You may find that you really hate some IRs, but love others. Keep trying lots of different ones, and you’ll probably eventually find something you like! The beauty of IRs that you can mix and match cabinets, and use cabinets you wouldn’t typically use with your amp. Try some really whacky combinations - you might really enjoy some of them! Don’t pick an IR based on what cabinet and microphone was used to capture it, pick IRs based on which ones sound the best. After all, you don’t have to invest in all the expensive gear, so why limit yourself to a few specific options :slight_smile:

If you’re still struggling, you could try recording some short clips so we can hear what you are hearing, to hopefully better diagnose any issues. If you do, try and record a direct sound straight out of the captor X into an interface/computer, as this will give us a better idea of what it sounds like :slight_smile:

I hope this is helpful!


Try this IR.. It’s by ML Sound Lab and it’s called “The Best IR In The World”. I know the link looks dodgy, so here’s the post by ML Sound Lab on the Fractal Forum.

I have a Quad Cortex and anytime there is no IR with a preset, I always use this one.

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I have used this one too - its very good, especially considering its free!

Bogren digital also have a free IR pack which is worth checking out:

Celestion also make IRs, they have a free IR avaliable (this is probably one of my favourite free IRs):

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Quoting for emphasis, and t stress that this is really a whole different way of LISTENING to a guitar than you’re used to, if you’re starting to use cab IRs and don’t already have a lot of recording experience.

If you’ve primarily played through cabs and not recorded them much, then 99%+ of your listening is “in the room,” aka 5-6’ off the floor and probably 10-15’ away from the speaker. An IR, on the other hand, tries to replicate what a mic captures - level with the dust cap or cone, and probably 1-2" off the amp.

Stick your ear up against the grill (AT LOW VOLUMES!) and compare that to what you hear in standing position, and that’s only the start of the difference - a mic is much more directional than your ear, which even at close distances will give you a little broader of a spread and some of the reflected room sound that a mic generally rejects.


thank you very much for your advice… yes i am new to the ir world…and i am not an experinced person when it comes to recording. i will try to record some tracks and post them here…

Also my external soundcard has one xlr and one line input (one of those entry level “solo” interfaces). so i am sending stereo signal from captor x to soundcard using a single xlr cable. Does that make a difference? I am considering upgrading the soundcard in the following months.

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I think that should work, although I have not used a captor x before.

This article:

Shows you how to record using the captor x. You will probably need to look at the ‘recording your amp silently to an audio interface’ section.

The article mentions recording a dry signal and a signal with the IR, you can record both if you like, although for the purposes of recording using IRs to post here, you probably don’t need to record a dry signal.

If anyone has experience with a captor x, please feel free to chime in and correct me :slight_smile: