I started collecting speakers for this IR library six months ago. Visiting junk stores & recycling centres I would buy any interesting small speakers I could find, including raw speakers, TV, radios, home stereo, an old landline phone, a scanner, iPod docks, a loud hailer and an old school PA horn.
On the first pass I captured sweeps replayed through each speaker, as well as a range of modern tech – 3 generations of iPhones, an iPad & iPod, two generations of Mac laptops etc. I have processed all of these to provide a new range of M>M and M>S small speaker IRs.
For the second pass I experimented destroying some of the naked speakers, slicing & tearing their cones and damaging the foam support prior to capturing sweeps. And quite frankly, it is amazing how well they still perform while under duress. I also explored driving the speakers with excess level which led to some interesting artefacts.
In total there are 53 small speaker IRs x 4 perspectives = 212 IRs
C = Sanken CUX100k
C = Sennheiser MKH8050
LR = Sennheiser MKH8040 x2
LR = Sennheiser MKH8020 x2 spaced omni
This IR collection of speakers was inspired from using small speaker IRs in the past, and wanting more variety. A second inspiration was more visceral. Years ago I somehow managed to blow the 15″ driver in my Trace Elliot bass guitar rig. I only noticed the speaker was damaged by playing bass & a weird distortion slowly became apparent. When I cranked more volume the distortion got more interesting, and I enjoyed playing it like that for a day or two, until eventually the speaker started creating sparks & I began to worry about damage to the amp. I got the speaker re-coned, but I’ve never forgotten the feeling of playing through such responsive distortion. So part of this IR library is an attempt to recreate that “ripped speaker” distortion, by pushing gain and physically damaging the speaker.
While these IRs are nowhere near as dramatic as that memory, some interesting artefacts occur with the IRs labelled as ‘Driven’ ‘Damaged’ and ‘Sliced’ but as always with IRs the effects are totally dependent on the spectrum of the source material.