hey guys, i'm dan. i'm pretty new to this forum. infact, this is my first post. so, i thought i'd do something awesome, and post a (seemingly) much needed FAQ, on impulses! yesterday, i'd never even heard the term impulse, and now i'm writing an FAQ. forgive me if i'm a tad incorrect i'll be using the mighty wagner sharp plugin as my pre-amp for today. first off, what are impulses? a non in depth explination, is that using impulses lets you simulate cabinets (thats pretty much all you need to know). its actually an emulation of everything past the pre-amp (so, power amp, cab, mic, and i suppose the mic pre-amp). how they are made is of little importance to us. what is important, is how we can use them to get a pretty savage sound straight from DI'ing your guitar (for free!) you will need: Wagner Sharp http://www.the29a.org/nickcrow/Wagner_Sharp_v0.6.zip GuitarHacks Impulses: http://www.yousendit.com/transfer.php?action=batch_download&batch_id=TTdGcHBFdVVsMHpIRGc9PQ SIR Reverb plugin http://www.knufinke.de/sir/sir1.html you will notice all this stuff is free! There are many other VST pre-amps out there, and of course, you can record a dry signal from your amp/effects processor, etc.. I use cubase 4 studio to do all my work, so things may be a little diffrent if you use another VST host, but its the same principle! just download all the above files, put vst plugins in your plugins folder, and extract the impulse files to somewhere you can remember Step 1, recording guitar. there is already a very good guide here for recording your guitar initially. basicly: plug your guitar straight into a DI box (or an instrument input, if you're soundcard has one) you don't need to record at the highest settings that your interface supports. recommended is 44.1khz, at 24bit. keep the guitar from clipping at the moment. this also sets you up for maybe re-amping your guitars with real amps and cabs at another date! Step 2, add inserts in the following order: Noise gate [Optional] Wagner Sharp SIR you should have a set up like this (yours may vary depending on which VSTs you have used): other plugins worth trying: Tubescreamer's Secret (TSS) in front of the Wagner Sharp (a post has been written on what this does, and a lot more info) using a diffrent impulse loader. SIR runs with a fixed latency of 8760 samples. cubase can compensate for this latency (i assume other VST hosts can too), however there are others worth trying, like keFIR or boogex. these run with less latency, and probably are probably more stable than SIR. Step 3, Pick some settings! ok, so everything is set up as it should. [Wagner Sharp] now, it'll sound nasty, but adjust the gain to get what you're after, there is no point in messing with the EQ right now, impulses are going to drasticly alter the sound. the quality knob only affects live quality - in export mode, it is set to maximum (like most other plugins). [SIR] do as the instructions say, and pick an impulse file. it doesn't really matter what you choose, as it will list all the impulses in the folder on the right hand panel. remember there are 4 folders though! now, this is really important, **turn "Dry" signal off!!** (or lower it to taste), your original signal will still come through with no gain reduction otherwise, and the wet signal comes through with -6db gain. at first i was very unimpressed with the sounds from SIR, until i realised that! hahaha. and that, ladies and gentlemen, is pretty much it! try loads of impulses, settings, EQs after SIR, before wagners, in between the 2! EXPERIMENT! i've only had this set up for a few hours, so i've got loads of stuff to try. over all, i'm pretty impressed with the sound out of these 2 free plugins. so much so, i've stopped using gearbox (guitar amp/cab modler for line6 stuff). here's a sample of the project i done this on. theres loads of work that needs to be done, i know. i don't think i'll ever be happy with the drum sound (its currently frozen superior 2.0 - only installed it in OS X at the moment..) Sample Gear: Macbook Pro (2.16ghz, 2gb RAM) Line6 UX8 Cubase Studio 4 Superior 2.0 Wagner Sharp SIR GuitarHack's impulses <-- not possible without these, don't forget to give thanks where they're due. thanks loads GuitarHack thanks for everyone else's recommendations!