The modern guitar player has both the advantage and burden of also being, to some extent, an engineer. The days of simply plugging into a physical amp and some pedals and paying someone else to worry about the recorded sound are long gone. These are the days of a different challenge: nearly infinite choice. The amount of amp sims and cabinets/cab sims available is staggering. Plugging into your computer and getting badass tone is getting easier and easier – but you have to have a little bit of tech savvy to make it happen.
Where a lot of players stumble is even just getting a ticket to the game. Gaining entry to the world of amp modeling isn’t that tough, and it’s increasingly cheap, but sheer ignorance kept me out of the stadium altogether for a long time. Even when I got my hands on an AxeFx II, I wasn’t prepared for the endless variations I could get out of just one of the models by swapping out the cab IR.
For those unaware, a guitar cab IR (impulse response) is just a digital model of a speaker cabinet. You can make an impulse response of just about any object or acoustic space (not going to go into that process today) and a guitar cab is just one of the most useful things you can do with the concept. There are many companies that make cab IRs, and they have a MASSIVE effect on your tone (see video for demonstration) – but how do you get them into your signal chain? You need a ticket to play, in the form of an IR loader – why not make it a FREE one while you’re at it? Enter PULSE.
Rosen Digital Audio’s PULSE is a free cab IR loader that will not just load your cab IRs, it has a host of powerful features that make it easy to decide which IR is the one you need and then dial your tone in with precision. The process of A/B’ing cabs is the most important part of having a loader, one that once upon a time was a matter of first having many physical cabs at your disposal, then spending hours mic’ing them up and recording them. Now with PULSE you can simply call up two cabs, hit play, then use the center button to instantly switch between the two. If you find two that you like, you can use the Balance knob to blend them in whatever amount you like. Like the top end of one and the low end of another? High and low pass filters for each side allow you to isolate the bands you want before you blend.
Sometimes two cabs don’t play well together. This happens because they are out of phase, but with the flick of the phase inverse button, you can make just about any two cabs work together instead of against each other. Call up your cab libraries in an instant and tweak all day, or just hit the button marked PULSE to access the built-in Pulse cab, which means if you don’t have any cabs in your library, you can have one right now, for free.
It’s a simple, easy-to-use, powerful loader with a free cab (one of their best) built right in. It’s 100% free, not a trial or demo or ad-supported – free. What’s not to like?
In the video above, I demonstrate the full features of PULSE, as well as several of Rosen Digital’s IRs, which I use on almost every Gear Gods gear demo on our channel. The folks at Rosen have kindly compiled my favorites into the Trey Xavier Producer Pack, which allows you to purchase all of my favorite cabs in one pack for a discounted price. If you like the sounds I get on our channel, then you should check out these IRs, everything I play goes through them.
Update: Rosen Digital Audio is now Lancaster Audio.