attenuator and cab simulation for recording

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which one would you choose

  • Mesa Cab Clone

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • Two Notes Torpedo Studio

    Votes: 4 26.7%
  • Rivera Rock Crusher Recording

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • Other, if other what is it?

    Votes: 8 53.3%

  • Total voters


Well-known member
Boogie Supporter
Feb 22, 2013
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North Carolina
I was satisfied with recording my amps using two microphones but that in itself can pose a challenge in getting a good representation to what is heard vs to what gets recorded. I did finally find a setup that works but has limitations due to many different aspects like SLP, getting good results with a 412 vs open back 2x12. Loosing definition or drop in tone, etc.

As of late, I have been seriously considering using a cab simulator and have looked into the following for recording purposes:

Mesa Cab Clone: tempting but does not seem to provide what I am looking for.

Two Notes Torpedo Studio: I did consider the live but wanted an XLR output for recording. The virtual cab and mic software looks interesting but may be too much for what I want to do. Many people have them and like the units. Not sure this is what I want or need.

Rivera Rock Crusher Studio: I would have to admit that I was overly impressed with the simplicity of this one, also you can tailor the output to match characteristics of speakers with the 11 band EQ. At first I thought this may not be all that great but after exhausting the research on the Torpedo, I actually liked the Rock Crusher better since it does not require additional fees or licenses to get other sets of features, microphone models, or cabinet speaker models. Also the setup of the Rock Crusher studio does not require a PC to dial in your tone. For me, what ever seems to be the easiest way to achieve the actual character of the amp as close to reality would be the better choice.
Im going to selflessly plug for the Torpedo live - you can record with the Torpedo Live as thats what I use it for mainly. I just run a TRS to XLR right to my interface.
As for the cab and mic software- Im no computer whizz and often times I am challenged by new whiz bang things but the Torpedo Live is very intuitive and simple to use.
The additional cab impulses for sale is simply brilliant marketing for them to get more money- the cab and mic impulses that come with it should serve you well for many years to come before you feel the need to seek out other things. Furthermore with the Torpedo Live you have the option to dial in sound via your computer but can easily do the same without having it hooked up.
I went with the Live bc I already had a re-amping solution and I wanted it to fit nicely in my rack along with the rest of my outboard gear.
Im not familiar with the Rock Crusher - I suppose Im still simply blown away with the results you can get with the Torpedo Live. If you like the rock Crusher why not give it a whirl it would certainly sound better than the cab clone- simply from the reviews that Ive seen and heard.
Thank you for your response BeltFedRiffs. :p

Perhaps I should have posted links and such for the gear in question. Also to elaborate more on the reason for a load box. In other words I have been spoiled by my RA100 with the power soak which allows me to get some good tone while pushing the amp and not blowing out my ear drums or the neighbors if I have the windows open (which is rare in the area I live in). I do not mind using a mic but that leads to some issues when not having much experience with microphones live cab recording. The load box would be ideal for use with all of my amps with the benefit of just using an XLR cable to connect to the recorder. As for the Bass amp, it already has something similar to the Cab Clone. The Roadster head, Mark V and the RA100's would work just fine. Also I should edit the poll as the Rivera Rock Crusher does not have the word studio in its definition. So the actual models I have been considering are:

From what I have learned it is possible to use the Torpedo Wall of Sound program with your DAW and any load box. Most of the youtube video's and other forms of information regarding the load box and recording, many claim they are using the Rivera Rock Crusher with the Wall of sound plug-in. Many good reviews and bad ones on all of the options above. (reference to bad review is due to digital latency and or creation of digitized artifacts that seem to be apparent with most DSP processed signals. Probably a reason why I would not get a Kemper profiling amp. I am sure it is a great piece of gear to own and use but my experice with most digital amplifiers just do not seem to provide the real deal enough for me to want to get it. A poor example is the Boss GT-100, it sound great as a DI but once the effects are removed (delay, chorus, etc) the amp model just suffers in its character and takes on a characteristic of most distortion pedals. I am not trying to flame the Boss GT-100, I do like it and have primarily used it for recording. I may still continue to use it as I can get certain characteristics with it that is very difficult to obtain with any of my amps for DI recording.

For recording I use a TASCAM DP-32SD as this seems to fit my needs and is far more portable than a tower PC. Considering the cost of a lap top, and software with all the plug-ins and such, the TASCAM was a better price point. I could benefit from a DAW and the projects could still be imported into a DAW package for editing so I may end up using such sometime down the road.
I decided to get the Rivera Rock Crusher Recording Attenuator. First off, the attenuator sounds great all the way down to its lowest setting. I have not yet tried it without a cab connected. I have tried recording with it a few times since I got it. Still in experimental stages. I have also mic'ed the cab and blended in some variations on the 11 band EQ. One way to simulate two speaker types without having to mic two cabinets. As for recording, it seems to sound dry or lacks the ambience of the room. I found that adjusting the attenuation just high enough seems to improve the performance and feel (allows for guitar amp feedback and seems to alter the recorded sound a bit. For getting the room back into the mix you may need to add some reverb post recording in another track. Note that you can use this with DAW plug-ins or perhaps the Two Notes Torpedo CAB pedal between the rockcrusher and recorder (I checked to see if it would be line level friendly and it seems to be as it has switch to select instrument or line).

The only downside, you cannot save your settings on the EQ so I usually take a picture of it with my cell phone in case I want to return to what I used before.
Nice poll question Bandit.
In a few weeks a friend of a friend will receive the new Fryette Power Station ll and he has invited me to it out. I will be getting one if the line out sounds good and is what I think it is. The PSll comes with di unlike the original. He said he sold his original last week, I'd be disappointed I didn't buy it from him but I'm really interested in the di.
I haven't considered other types of load boxes as yet purely on the fact others are resistive loads, except for the Suhr (that is that i am aware of). Both the Fryette and Suhr are reactance attenuators with the fryette being an amplifier as well.
Basically when I plug in to my amps I use a lead from my guitar to the amp and that is that. I don't use any effects so I am hoping the PS will allow for power stage break up at the lower volume and present at the di, allowing me to explore more tube sound. I'm not holding my breath but if this doesn't work out I'll probably see if I can get a suhr which is a bit cheaper too.
Reactance vs resistive attenuation. A speakers resistance changes as power and frequency change. The position of the coil will respect to the magnet and the pressure and interaction in magnetic flux means that the resistance is always changing. Resistive attenuators apply a set resistance. I'm not sure how both fryette and suhr achieve their reactance values but for me this is what I'm interested in. Being in Australia the Fryette will cost $1000au, the suhr around $550au. Several weeks for delivery.

Anybody there in the U.S. have experience with the new fryette yet?
Im doing something similar but I'm using weber mass lite attenuator..
I connect my mesa express to the weber as a dummy load (no cabinet connected), then I connect the weber's line out to my interface and load digital cabinet sims/impulses...

here are some recordings using that setup:
Your recordings sound awesome Krek13. Thanks for sharing. :p

Great vocals by the way. Metal recoding sounded killer too. I like the sound you have with the cab sims.

I had already bought the Rock Crusher. Works quite well. Also using a Tascam multitrack recorder so sims would not be helpful. I was thinking about the two notes torpedo CAB pedal. That may be an option if one does not use a computer for recording.
bandit2013 said:
Your recordings sound awesome Krek13. Thanks for sharing. :p

Great vocals by the way. Metal recoding sounded killer too. I like the sound you have with the cab sims.

I had already bought the Rock Crusher. Works quite well. Also using a Tascam multitrack recorder so sims would not be helpful. I was thinking about the two notes torpedo CAB pedal. That may be an option if one does not use a computer for recording.

yeah the metal one has a lot better sound...the "punk" one is made pretty raw deliberately plus I was in a hurry :D
I'm glad you found a solution that suits you :) keep on rockin'!
i use a weber mass lite ($150) and a palmer PDI-09 ($160) to capture a line level out of my mesa boogie mark IIb.....

i use the palmer first, capture the full output of the boogie, then route out of the palmer into the weber, and into my cabs....
i can set the cabs up as my 'monitor' while recording,
and the weber sets the volume (boogie can be wide open, and the monitors can be bedroom level)

i've recorded two albums using this setup.

cool thing about it is, i can also setup mics, and do 'normal' performance captures, and mix the direct in with that...

or, use the direct, and augment that with a 'distant' mic catching the room sound and vibe, and mix THAT in like it's an fx track.

plus, i use the palmer live, every soundman that has used it just loved it

no mics
It may not be the gearslutz popular gurus' choice, but I use the cab clone with my Mark III as a DI and it works great. When I am writing I use it 'silent' as a load box but when recording (for example ) I just use it to capture the signal and keep the EV12L connected. Chain is usually:

Mark III -> Cab Clone -> Audient ASP880 -> Saffire Pro 40 -> Ableton or Logic
Sometimes a 1073 clone (GAP PRE-73 DLX) into the audient converters.

Im really happy with the sound from NadIR / Redwirez for cab sim. you need to hunt around to find the right combo, and EQ it "at the board."

One thing about the cab clone; it sounds good in this application with a high output head like the III or a JTM45 with the correct impedence but with lower wattage stuff (my homebrew 5F1 clone for instance) it just sounds fizzy.
I have yet to try the cab clone on the JP-2C. That will happen sometime but for now it is just time for project development. I am spending more time on the drums than I am playing the guitar as this is a new thing for me (acoustic drum set vs e-drums, very different as it takes more effort on the acoustic set).
A lot has changed in 3 years!!!!

If you want an amazing setup for playing live and recording with attenuation, the Waza TAE with the JP-2C is amazing! I've had mine for a year now and I can honestly say it is the best setup for this amp. Set both resonance controls to low.
suhr reactive load
No cuz you can’t attenuate spl with it. Rivera Rockcrusher Recording is the first attenuator I’ve been able to live with. For recording it essentially allows you to create your own IRs with the 11 band EQ.
It allows you to record an attenuated signal from your can simultaneously with the line out directly into your DAW. I let a loop play and adjust the eq until it matches my cab tone and that is that

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