Isolation cabinet


With the ever increasing simplicity and power of recording software, the old problem of getting a great guitar tone on "tape" at home is well and truly alive. Digital and analog modelers like the Sansamp and the POD have helped home studios to reach new level in terms of quality fifteen years ago, and they still do, but they are not the answer for everyone. If you want to record your very own amplifier, if you cannot stand the latency that comes with digital processing however small it is, or if you simply feel that nothing is better than a real amp, then you have to live in the middle of the country side or you'll never be able to properly record at home (unless you have the seldom encountered deaf neighbours).

This has led to the appearance of isolation cabs about twelve years ago. These days, Randall makes a cost-effective unit and Rivera offers an expensive but great sounding cab. My aim was to offer the highest quality tones while maintaining a simple design that would keep the costs down. Randall's unit is great but its design doesn't take into account the appearance of standing waves inside the cabinet and this results in the infamous "boxy" tone. By employing an angled baffle inside the cabinet and with the use of damping material and diffusors, I was able to tune the enclosure and avoid this dreaded coloration of the tone. A special vent also allows to further tune the system and adapt it to various speakers.

I surprised myself with the qulity of the result. The recorded tone is clearly a step up from digital modelers and only inferior to a traditional miked-up cabinet by the lack of a room sound which always colors the guitar tone in professional studio, however close the mike is to the speaker. Adding a good quality reverb in small amounts counteracts this effect nicely. The attenuation of the guitar sound goes from 10 to 40dB depending on the frequency, which means that although one can still here the amp while the cab is closed, it is possible to hold a normal conversation in the room with while your 50 Watt valve amp is raging away. If you don't want to hear the amp at all, just put the iso-cab in the next room!