Free Sample Shootout #6: Best Free Guitar Cabinet Impulse Responses

Today’s edition of Free Sample Shootout features a list of the best free guitar cab IRs (guitar cabinet impulse responses).

Just in case some of you are unsure of what these are, here’s a short explanation.

An impulse response, or an IR, is just a simple audio file containing a recording of a signal being played through a certain piece of equipment or in a certain space. Take a listen to an impulse response file and you’ll discover that it doesn’t sound like much. BUT, load it up in an IR loader and you will get a faithful sonic recreation of the very piece of equipment or the space in which the IR was recorded. The process which makes this possible is called convolution, and it basically allows you to take a snapshot of a particular frequency response and then apply it to other sounds.

Anyway,  I’m not sure if me and my awesome Engrish skills have successfuly explained all of that well enough, so if it’s still not properly clear, take a read to this well-written thread on the Guitar Amp Modelling forum. And here’s another great article about convolution by EarLevel Engineering.

If you’re looking for free guitar amp sims, check out BPB’s free guitar amp simulator VST plugins list.

And if it’s all clear now, here’s the best-of list of free guitar cab IRs:

That’s it, and I think it’s more than enough! Free convolution software will be covered in an upcoming edition of bpb Freeware Studio, but for now I suggest you try Voxengo Boogex or LePou LeCab. Put these IRs to good use, subscribe to BPB and share this on Twitter, Facebook, Stumbleupon, or your favorite forums.

If you enjoyed this, read the previous Shootouts by clicking here. Also, don’t miss the best free guitar amp VST/AU plugins round-up.

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14 Responses to “Free Sample Shootout #6: Best Free Guitar Cabinet Impulse Responses”


  • That’s a nice and useful list.
    I’ll keep an eye on it ;)

  • Thanks a ton !!

    Would you happen to come across good acoustic guitar impulse responses?

    Thanks

  • Killer shootout. Thanks so much for the info and all of the great links.

    GREAT WORK! Please keep it up.

  • Hi, do you know where I can locate the Recabinet library on a Mac?

  • can I request some non guitar related IRs too? like the ones you can use on synths. always looking forward to your lists sir

    • bedroom producers blog

      certainly, i’m planning to do a free reverb/delay IRs round up, but i’m not sure if that’s what you had in mind though.

      hmm, if you’re looking for just some IRs you could use to warm up the sound, then check out Nebula Free and Colortone Free, those two plugins are very nice for subtle coloring.

  • Thanks for the list, that is great. But how is this a shootout if there are now results posted, or comparisons, or opinions or rankings? Should be called Impulse list rather than shootout.

  • Hi everybody,

    just wanted to let you know that i made new High Quality Impulse Responses from 2 legendary guitar amps.
    They sound ways better than the Internal cabinets. I offer them for free as donationware:
    http://www.thesessionguitarist.com/impulse-responses-guitar-amps.html

    Have fun and stay tuned,

    Lars

  • I found a free impulses to the blog http://ircab.ru/

  • Hey there! You might like our Cab Impulses!

    More information on our site:
    http://www.lowendstudios.com/p/free-downloads.html

    Cheers

  • noisevault, SignalsAudio, Catharsis Studio, Nick Beamso and probably Recabinet ones are gone, by the way.

    thanks for a nice collection here.

  • I may sound like an a**hole, but from all my experimentation, you only need few cab impulses.

    I only use Catharsis Studio, because they are very well done and few to choose from (less time loss).

    When you stack impulses, different mics and such, you are just simply loosing your time. It is a good thing to learn in the studio, but not on DI track or reamp.
    Take only few GOOD impulses already stacked for you (no phase troubles, no freq gaps, dry ambiance…) and the only thing you need after them is just EQ.
    IR are linear, so everything is just frequency mask over time with ambiance. Nebula “impulses” and real mics are a different animal, because there is dynamic interaction, not just freq “masking”.
    My conclusion : you just need Catharsis and EQ (may be some additional reverb for ambiance). Or Nebula cabs, for me ;)
    I already erased all my other impulses until i find another single pack to replace Catharsis…but not happened for years.

  • am looking for/ cannot find irs for consoles, mics,preamps and such. links anyone?

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