As some of you already know, forward audio and MOD Devices partnered up for the first time during the MOD Dwarf Kickstarter campaign earlier this year. We’re now stoked to share that four of these plugins will be released for all the MOD devices and they will soon be available in your Plugin Store.
The faIR Modern Rock, Marsh 1960A LE, Eng 212, and MEGA California Recto are loaded with amazing-sounding impulse responses derived from the most iconic cabinets of all time.
If you are an impulse response junkie, often looking for new great tones and capturing techniques, this will most certainly spark your interest. forward audio takes capturing IR’s to another level with their forward-thinking approach and we’ll describe that in further detail in this post.
The process of capturing IR’s in forward audio
forward audio understands that guitarists are interested in achieving great sounds, not necessarily on spending huge amounts of time to get there. Therefore, all their IR’s mixes are immediately ready to use in their prime. One can still explore these plugins deeply, as they do offer plenty of room for customization. But hey, would you like to plug and play? They are here, juiced, and waiting for you.
Without any doubt, this is a process that requires a lot of time and attention spent on testing recordings. forward audio stresses that microphone placement, as well as the type of speaker used, is crucial in this case. Their usual routine of capturing IR’s starts with four fundamental microphones placed on each speaker while at the same time trying different placements combinations. All types of microphones can be used (even the ribbon ones!). They end up with 400 to 600 impulse responses of which only 20% is actually used on the final product. After selecting the best-quality sounds, they are blended together. There is no post-processing involved - the IR’s are meant to sound as natural as possible.
What kind of sounds can I expect from the forward audio plugins that come to MOD?
forward audio has two different strategies for putting their IR packs together. The faIR Modern Rock belongs to a genre-specific type of pack. It includes a marvel that forward audio calls “Super-Blends“. Every IR is a mix of at least four mics. In some, that stretches to dozens of different mics on different speakers, different cabs, and so on. These free impulse responses allow for a great-sounding rock tone within seconds.
The Marsh, Eng 212, and Mess are cabinet packs with sounds taken from the most famous cabinets. Each IR blend in the pack is available in 3 different variations: Tube, Solid (State) & S.P.A.R.C.
The S.P.A.R.C method
The S.P.A.R.C. capturing method is a recent technique developed by forward audio. It produces IR’s, which bear an uncanny resemblance to a real recording setup, sounding much more pleasant with the overall balanced frequency response. In most mixing situations this will be your go-to variation, which would outperform the others. It‘s especially nice with high gain tones and its effects are more noticeable in the context of a mix rather than on solo. In some cases, guitarists’ solo parts might sound good but they don’t blend well in the mix. This technique addresses the problem of musicians choosing different IR’s without hearing how it sounds in a context.
Let’s take a deeper look at the characteristics of each plugin:
Marsh 1960 A LE pack
The MarshallTM 1960A cabinet is the most iconic and best-selling guitar cabinet in history. AC/DC, Nirvana, Green Day, RHCP, Pearl Jam, Eric Clapton, and a lot more artists have used this cabinet in their recordings for decades. The chance that one of your favorite records is made with a MarshallTM 1960 is close to 100%. The cabinet which this IR pack is based upon is more than just a standard MarshallTM 1960A. This is the 1995 Limited Edition in red, usually shipped with a MarshallTM JCM 800 head. Only 200 units of this particular relic were produced. It offers sounds of the early '80s and '90s metal.
ENG 212 pack
It’s based on the EnglTM E 212VH Vintage (Closed Back) 2x12 box. It is a perfect fit for modern rock and metal guitarists. Its tube variation was captured with a modded Peavey Windsor tube amp, these variations provide a warm low-end response and subtle tube distortions. Perfect for the use with amp simulations to add organic tube warmth. The solid (State) was captured with a custom linear solid-state amp to provide an uncolored representation of the cabinet. Perfect for the use with a tube amp recorded through a load box.
MEGA California Recto pack
A really tight and bright sounding cab used a lot in 2000's metal and modern metal. The MesaTM Boogie 4×12 Rectifier cabinet is probably the most wanted guitar cabinet of all time. Metallica, Foo Fighters, Soundgarden, Wes Borland...the list of successful bands and guitarists using this big boy is beyond comparison. Its tight attack paired with a powerful top-end sound has shaped modern guitar for the last 30 years. 4 UK made CelestionTM Vintage 30 speakers are loaded in this MesaTM Boogie 4×12 Rectifier cab, all of which are carefully captured to spark in your mix. This pack comes with nine IRs captured with the Fredman Technique through an analog mixer. It contains the already mixed Fredman Impulse ready for mixing, as well as the single microphones.
What advantages come from using forward audio plugins on your MOD devices?
Nowadays, many guitarists tend to put a lot of attention to amps, while cabinets are often underestimated. Don't get us wrong. We love amps, same for forward audio, that's why they decided to dedicate their entire day to work with them. But everything has its place and the process of shaping unique sounds can be, without any doubt, less time-consuming when using IR technology. You don’t need to worry about waiting for your amp to warm up in the room or about heavy equipment that requires a lot of connections (not to mention the cable spaghetti!). During recording, you'll avoid microphone bleeding from other instruments as you’re no longer forced to deal with those.
Our collaboration with forward audio gives you the possibility of testing IR’s on our devices, which is one of the beauties of having smart standalone music gear.
Keep an eye on forward audio as they are planning on releasing more of their IR packs on the MOD platform. They are also working on a dynamic-response feature that will enable users to get even more natural-sounding IR’s. Their plugins are without any doubt high-quality modern solutions for musicians and they aim to save your time and keep your creativity flowing.
The faIR Modern Rock is already available in your MOD plugin shop.
Get yours now and tell us what you think!