“The Axe-Fx generates the tones to create an impulse response of the speaker and mic,” says Matt Picone of Fractal Audio.
“It’s very simple really, like any other IR capture done for a reverb, EQ or what have you. But then we simultaneously capture the output of the power amp so we can factor its color OUT of the IR. Even when we use great solid-state reference amps, there’s always a slight nonlinearity. You want it gone. This ensures that the capture you’ve done is a very accurate representation of the mic, pre, and speaker—and nothing else.”
“The RNDI is our ‘speaker level DI box’ of choice. To put it simply, it sounds better than anything else. We need the best quality at every step of the signal chain. Why put $4,000 worth of mic and preamp in front of a $10,000 guitar amp and then use a rinky DI? We needed the real thing, and Rupert Neve is the name that guarantees quality.”
On how amp/cab modeling technology has progressed, Picone says, “The technology is so good that it is nearly impossible to tell the difference anymore between the mic/cab and the IR capture. At the same time, you’ve still got to have someone who knows how to get it right in the traditional way so you can ‘print’ that to the IR. That highlights again why the RNDI has been great. You can’t go to a production rehearsals for literally the world’s largest tours and have potential critics there think you’re not paying the highest respect to their craft. If anything, talking about Rupert Neve Designs products is a chance to bond.”