Free Guitar Impulse Responses – Get New Tones From Plugins

Free Guitar Impulse Responses

So you have bought your favorite plugin, had some great guitar tones out of it, but now you want some fresher sound? Of course, without going for a new 2000$ Les Paul! Learn here how Guitar Impulse Responses can help!



What’s a Guitar IR and are they worth it?


An IR – impulse response is basically an emulation of a guitar cabinet that you can upload in your virtual rig in almost every modern plugin.

Usually, plugins are not (yet) editable and open-source BUT if you notice carefully you will find an option in most of them to “upload IR”.

Impulse responses are taken from real guitar amps with different mics and translated into readable code by guitar plugins. The term is overly used and very popular nowadays with all home recording musicians


There are many advantages that come with guitar IR’s

  1. There are tons of free IR available here
  2. The difference in Guitar Tone is huge
  3. You can upload them in most guitar plugins
  4. They are fairly good and some are amazing
  5. You can create your own IR

My advice as a tone nerd – The first you try the better you make up your mind on them


How much does a Guitar Impulse Response affect the tone?


Could answer? A LOT!

Basically, it’s the same difference as to how the quality of your car speakers affects the music you hear while driving.

All guitar signal chains normally end on the cabinet- microphone and perhaps concert speakers if you are playing an open-air show or you’re lucky enough to play regularly in big venues.  The same concept applies to any virtual rig. The only difference is in how well the emulations are.

As an example, I demonstrate in my video the difference in tone between the build in impulse responses and external ones I got from Soundwooofer Free Impulse Response Library


As you will see and hear the difference is tremendous! The Impulse Response has a huge effect on the overall EQ of the guitar tone. In the demonstration above you will see how a clean tone becomes totally bluesy and then to a thin funky one – all by online changing the IR on the line 6 helix.


I highly encourage you to try them out yourself – Get a free one HERE and upload it in your favorite guitar plugin.



Impulse Responses are a great home studio recording solution


With limited budgets getting tighter and tighter companies are offering smart solutions for all bedroom guitar players, but also remote session guitarists, like me!

It’s not every day that I get to play a Mesa Traditional Dual Rectifier 100-watt Tube Head – Diamond Faceplate. So when I can download it for free from the Sound Woofer Open Source IR sound library – I will definitely go for it!



Are guitar Impulse responses good for serious recording?


My theory as an online session guitarist is – the thing that gets the job done the quickest is good to go!

And I don’t mean in the sense that it’s good because it’s cheap and there’s no alternative.

The quality of your recording is mostly dictated by the importance of the track! If you are recording your home demo of course you won’t be using an isolated room with 20 different guitar cabinets and a recording engineer to place the mics.

On the other hand, if those demos make it big – You’ll have other alternatives available that won’t make it necessary for you to reach to plugins at all. Not because they are bad, but because the industry still has some other standards and the effectiveness depends a lot on the genre.



Where to download FREE Guitar and Bass Impulse response


The guys from are doing a really great job with their free Impulse response open source library.  You can download thousands of IR’s and also upload your own. Creating your IR’s is almost as easy as downloading one.

Have a look at their top 20 most downloaded IR’s. Also, you’ll find much more info and tutorials on their homepage

Check out my other postings where I share my tips and opinions on home recording and remote sessions. Also, I can offer up some nice guitar tracks that serve your song as part of my online session guitarist carrier.