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Everything posted by Hillman1312

  1. Ok, so I got help from some forum members, did the Google thing, watched a number of youtube vids on the topic and then did some further experimentation at home. By blending a ribbon mic and a 57 or 421 I was able to create some tones that did not (or far less) suffer from the harshness. I'm now refreshing (most of) my patches using that idea. I further experimented a bit with high cuts, but still optimising that to get good results. This Wednesday another rehearsal which allows me to crank the Behringer amp again and see if the results are better now (should be, but at home I couldn't get too loud so let's see). Seems creating patches (for live use) is not at all easy and actually it would benefit newbies (like myself) or guitar players without any sound engineering experience (also like myself) if Line 6 would give some guidance on how to set up patches that don't suffer from the harshness. After my research and support I'm slowly starting to understand how tone creation (for live use) can be accomplished on the Helix. The problem, as I see it, is that Line 6 made it extremely easy to create a signal chain and to set all the numerous parameters etc. At the same time, the vast amount of variables available to us is so overwhelming that it is probably easier to mess up a tone (as I realised did) than to create a good one. For me the key takeaway of this exercise was that cab and mic selection play a crucial role (not the only one of course). Creating dual cab configurations with different mics and settings is a great tool to create a good tone and it saves you from diving into an EQ straightaway. Now, this whole threat started out basically as me asking for an opinion on the Behringer keyboard amp I bought couple of weeks ago, but over time boiled down to me rethinking how to create patches. And in a way it all starts to make some sense now........ If you can play music through the Behringer with more than acceptable quality (as said, I A/B-ed it with an EV ZLX 12P and the EV sounds way better, but on its own this thing sounds very nice) then why would it not be possible to also get a more than decent guitar tone out of the amp. Initially I blamed the Behringer for the harshness but actually it was my initial approach in creating presets in the Helix. Lesson learnt and I'll probably keep te Behringer for the time being. It is mainly to get some stage volume and a good monitor sound while I'll also send out a signal directly to the PA. I'm now considering a statement that if it sounds good on the amp during rehearsal (i.e. at +/- gig volumes) then the FOH is probably even better. But that's no promise, just a wild thought :-) I'll further tweak my presets and may post some of them on custom tone should anyone be interested... this will take a couple of weeks, so be patient. To those who helped me out, thanks!
  2. We mainly play the typical (older) rock covers (like a lot of bands out there :-)); think of Joan Jett, Cheap Trick, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Guns n Roses and the like. No super high gain stuff (although that would be fun...). I tend to use the 2204 or Plexi models in my presets. For cleans (we have some "pop songs" as well) I built a preset around the Archetype amp in the Helix. That one actually doesn't sound all that bad through the amp by the way. Not great, but not bad either. Would much appreciate if you could share one of your presets that I can try. Happy to report the results here. Also raises the question on whether global EQ may need to be set. I have my high cut quite high at the moment (11 khz). Other than that global EQ is flat. Guitar would be LP or fat-strat (have and use both)
  3. Thanks. Yes, I have used such setup before when running in the fx return of the amp we have in our rehearsal room. It works ok indeed for guitar amps, but I don't think it will work for the keyboard amp to be honest. As you say (and mentioned before) the keyboard amp is not a PA speaker (although it is marketed like that in a way), but it is (more or less) a flat response speaker. That's why I don't really understand what's going on and actually start to doubt whether there's something wrong with my presets. Is there a factory preset in the Helix that you find sounds (relatively) good through FOH? I may start with that and then revisit my settings. Having said that, I don't do crazy stuff in my presets and much of the amp and cab settings when selected in the software will be the default ones. I'm still in the "30 day money back" period so I may also decide to send the thing back and go to the EV again. That one seems to be "proven" as a decent speaker/monitor for the Helix. It's just that I like the additional features of the keyboard amp (extra inputs, portability, etc.) and don't want to give up immediately. Also, there's several posts on the internet where people claim to get very good results with this amp. At least I know what I'll be doing over the weekend ..:-)
  4. So had a rehearsal tonight and honestly it was a disaster soundwise.... The sound out of the amp was waaaay to harsh and except for some clean tones the bottom end was missing. Now need to decide to either send the amp back or modify my presets. I'm afraid that if I modify the presets to better fit the amp I may screw up the FOH sound. Kind of lost to be honest ...... would anyone be willing to test one of my presets using his/ her FRFR speaker?? If it is only the preset then I'll consider keeping the amp.... Any other suggestion/advice more than welcome.
  5. Sorry for asking (trying to learn here...), but what do you mean with "But it doesn't accomplish the same thing as what's referred to as a FRFR speaker as far as projection and consistency of tone across a wide sound radius. This is one of the reasons why even keyboard players are opting away from cabinets and toward these type of speakers in order to get a more consistent feel for what the FOH sound will be." In particular what do you mean with "projection and consistency of tone across a wide sound radius"? Thanks again, your replies are very helpful reply and giving me some (more) food for thought ....
  6. Sorry, I don't agree. You can change parameters with snapshots as well. For example you can instantly change the drive setting of an amp using snaphsots ... very valuable feature as you can go from a " clean" setting to a " distortion" setting within the same preset and only by cranking up the drive (instantly). Works great !
  7. Valid point, thanks.... So in that case wouldn't it make sense that the Helix would have an option to turn off mic modelling (like you could do with the POD HD if I recall correct)? In that case we could send a modelled speaker emulation to an FRFR speaker? Just a thought, may be total nonsense ....
  8. Thanks, Yes, I did think about that and actually I think this will always be an issue with modelling devices like the Helix. But as a starter I need to say that, indeed, there was a slight difference, but it was really small. The bigger difference I noted was when the EV and KXD were playing a full band (I was playing a selection of pop/rock/metal/blues/dance songs). When I narrowed it to guitar tones the difference was really small. And actually despite the difference even when playing the songs the KXD was still very acceptable. But back to topic, I think that the issue with patch creation will always be there. We don't have EV's as our PA. In fact, we don't always play over the same PA system and every PA system will have its own sound characteristics; not much to do about that. So, even if I would use an EV or even higher end speaker that still does not guarantee the sound out of the PA will be the same, or an "accurate representation" as you called it. This whole FRFR hype actually doesn't make sense to me at all. You can buy many speakers with the stamp "FRFR" on it, yet all will sound different. If indeed true FRFR would exist shouldn't all these speakers actually sound the same ??? For now, I think I found a solution that hopefully works for some time (will try the KXD during rehearsal next Thursday). In the future I may decide to go for something else.... Investment wise the risk is very low and heck, my children may even use the amp for their keyboards or just a garden party :-)
  9. Dear Forum members, the below is actually more to share my quest to come up with a rig that works for me. Hopefully it is of use to others who are in a similar situation. But please note that by no means this should be seen as a perfect solution; it just happens to work for me and other may disagree with the below or find that another approach would have been better. Anyway, here goes ... Starting with some background: I joined a band in 2018 and since I did not have gigging gear (was using the POD HD desktop) and actually also wanted to upgrade anyhow (:-)) I decided to buy a Helix LT. Initially I used the LT only for the effects and the unit was connected to an amp that I could borrow and use for rehearsal and gigs. Later on I started to develop my own full patches including amp and cab models and I started to use the XLR out going direct to the mixing desk in the rehearsal room. This obviously worked, yet I noted that it was quite challenging to hear what I was playing without turning up my volume. And as I turned up the volume so would the keyboard player and the singer..... so not ideal. Earlier this year I had a bad experience with too loud rehearsal on a Thursday before and an even higher volume on an actual gig on the Saturday following that. I suffered some hearing loss and have (mild) tinnitus since then. The floor wedges we used at the gig were a) way too loud b) too harsh on my patches. FOH sound was good, so it was clearly the wedges that were unsuitable for this purpose. So..... since then I'm looking for a solution that allows me to hear my playing while using earplugs and at the same allowing the rest of the band to hear me on a decent level. I have considered in-ears, but as the rest of the band is not into that (yet...) this seemed not the way to go just yet. I do protect my ears since that gig however and I strongly advise anyone to do the same. I've learnt my lesson ..... Oh by the way, I'm a complete amateur, playing for fun and trying to be as good as I can knowing I still have lots and lots to learn. So, what I have tried so far is first to use the FX send return on the amp to get some monitor signal for me while the XLR out still goes to the mixing desk. It technically works, but the sound is not great and I still depend on an amp which is not mine. As I did not want to spend too much money I decided to try a Behringer b207mp3. A very small amp, but loud enough to get some monitoring signal. I need to say that actually the quality was not too bad, in particular at lower volumes. For home practice this unit works quite nicely. Having tried it a couple of times in rehearsal I was not convinced however and I decided to return it and look for something that gave me a more "full" sound. Having done some research I decided to try a keyboard amp, in particular the Behringer KXD12, as a next option. Since a friend of mine wanted to sell his EV ZLX12 I was able to do an A/B comparison between the two. So, I recorded some (mono) guitar riffs/ licks in my DAW with different Helix patches and then connected my computer to both speakers that were standing side by side. I started with playing some music through both units to get an idea of what they can do. It will be no surprise that the EV sounded way better; after all, this is a PA speaker. More definition, clarity and low end. But, the Behringer was not bad at all taking into account that this unit was not built for playing back music; i.e. it is not designed to be a PA speaker contrary to the EV. Up next was playing the guitar samples through both units and to my surprise the difference between the two was a lot smaller and I liked the sound through the Behringer more than through the EV. I started messing with the settings on the EV (you can change the frequency response curve a bit using the DSP) and that changed the sound, but I could not believe I still kept preferring the Behringer over the EV. Volume wise, the EV won from the KXD12 by the way.... but I knew this on forehand. Combined with the many options that the KXD12 has (multiple inputs, graphic EQ, Mic. In, XLR out, etc.) I decided to go for the Behringer and so my setup for gigs will be (for the time being): Guitar into Helix (duh....) Helix XLR to FOH Helix TS to the Behringer positioned either in front of me as a monitor (angled) or in the back to give some stage volume. All of this while wearing ear-protection and having a good time. Now, I can totally understand others may prefer the more expensive solutions like the Friedman or the Powercab, but for 250 Euro I now have a very nice solution that looks like an amp, sounds pretty good (to me at least) and offers quite some other options (I also play a little bit of keyboard from time to time). I'm just wondering if others have tried the KXD12 (or the KXD15) and what your experience are/were. Thanks !
  10. Thank you dnostrand, yes this is very helpful. I'm aware that creating presets using headphones has its challenges; in fact, thinking of it it may actually be part of the issue I had with the wedge monitors. Still keeps me puzzled as to why the FOH sound was good (to the extent I really know, just hearsay; I probably need to talk again to the soundguy). I guess a very important factor here are the speakers used for FOH. My understanding is that these are essentially also supposed to be "FRFR", but given that no FRFR speaker sounds like the other this term is actually pretty meaningless to me. Anyway ...... With regards to your setup, I like the idea of having enough stage volume for gigs that don't need FOH signal and that you "simply" go from the PC+ to the mixer via XLR if so needed. For whatever reason I overlooked that option. And this brings me to my next misunderstanding which is about the mic modelling. If I understand correctly then the PC+ models are models of the actual cabinets without mic...... So theoretically you could still mic a PC+ using (for example) a real SM57 should you not want to use the modeled SM57. I was under the false assumption that a mic model was part of the sound coming from the PC+. This only seems true when it is in FRFR mode (and the cab + mic model come from the Helix). Now, the downside of your setup for me would be that I need two devices connected when practising/ developing patches at home and I would need to use this setup with " normal volume", which I'm sure my wife and kids won't appreciate all the time :-) Altogether enough food for thought on how to achieve what I want (sufficient on-stage volume of decent quality). Based on my learnings so far I'm probably better of with a FRFR speaker (again, whatever that means) and leave the PC for what it is for the time being. Thanks again for your reply, this forum is really a great source of information and positive input/support from experienced people is highly appreciated !!!
  11. Hello, As many others I bought a Helix (couple of months ago) with mainly two purposes: - to use as an all-in-one-unit for practising at home. Unfortunately I need to use headphones as there's no space to practice/possibility with my studio monitors (which are basically collecting dust at the moment) - to use at gigs using the presets I made (with headphones ;-)) and going direct into the mixer via XLR Fyi, this is purely a hobby with the occasional gig, just for fun. I had my first " Helix-direct-gig" couple of weeks ago and the sound guy sent a mix to the floor monitors (the mix also having the other instruments and vocals). It sounded bad (extremely harsh) and more importantly I was having a lot of difficulty hearing what I was playing. The FOH was quite good soundwise, so it was not really a preset issue but rather a monitor issue. Also, I assumed I would have a dedicated monitor with only guitar, but will never make that assumption again ... why the sound was so harsh is still a mystery to me. Anyway, now I'm looking at an FRFR or other solution that still gives me sufficient stage volume and reasonable sound. Plenty of options ...... " FX-only" presets I have tried; It works, but requires me to bring a seperate amp that in turn needs to be mic-ed. Or, I would nee to create patches with seperate outs on XLR and line. All possible, but complexity is what I want to avoid. In a hunt for a cheap solution I bought myself a Behringer 207MP3 monitor unit, but I will probably return that very soon; It works, gives me sufficient volume and my own "monitor mix" , but quality wise just not what I hoped for. And so I'm now saving up for more dedicated tools like the Line 6 Powercab. Here's where I get lost a bit, because the Powercab seems to be much more than an FRFR cabinet. Actually I see lots of people saying that this product really starts to shine once you use the built in cabinet/ speaker models. This is where I get confused, because to me that means that the purpose of the Helix gets lost as I would have a setup with an amplifier in one device (the Helix) and the cab model in another (the powercab). Essentially it would link the Powercab and the Helix which for my purpose would again create more complexity than needed. Also I wonder why there would be a difference in sound between a cabinet modeled in the Helix and a cabinet modeled in the Powercab. Doesn't make too much sense to me yet ... aren't these the exact same models? I haven't made up my mind yet and I do find the Powercab appealing (visually, technically), but for my purpose a cheaper FRFR solution may work better (e.g. Headrush, Alto). No worries, I won't ask for advice here, plenty of threads about that :-) But I do wonder if anyone figured out this alleged difference in cab model issue. Any other comments welcome of course, I may be overlooking something. Again I'm looking for simple flexibility (which was the main reason for buying the Helix). Thanks so much !!
  12. Thanks again! Indeed I know it is not a DI box and this is actually what caused the confusion. The way I understood this product is that it can do (at least) 3 things: - shield my Helix from phantom power (which you confirmed) while using only XLR connections and (hence) balanced cables - eliminate hum (which is not the case right now, but who knows when I might need it for that purpose) - to go from any one of 1/4", RCA or XLR to another (or the same) output (whether line or mic level; not sure how much I'd need that, but it's a nice option) What I'm still not fully sure about is whether an unbalanced input (1/4"or RCA) will be "transformed" (not sure it is the right word) to a balanced (XLR) output. A DI box would (as I understand) transform an unbalanced line level to a balanced mic level. But I already set my XLR to "mic" level, so there's no need for such transformation; moreover I want (for now) to use the 1/4" out for other purposes. Will move on now to making music (which is a much bigger challenge and not dependent on too much technology :-))
  13. Thanks !!! On the box of the ART it says "1:1 unity gain", so not sure if indeed it is step down. What I do is Helix (XLR out) to ART (XLR in) and then ART (XLR out) to Mixer (XLR in). No unbalanced signals as far as I understand.
  14. Hello Forum members, I've recently bought a Helix LT and very happy with it so far. The way I use it (for now) is that in live situations (rehearsal, we don't gig yet) I have patches set up with two signal paths. The effects only go to the 1/4" out which feed into the the front of the tube-amp we have in our rehearsal room. At home I don't have an external amp, so the effects + amp + cab simulation go to the XLR and I play using headphones. Maybe not ideal, but it does the job and allows me to set up patches quickly. But what I want to do next is to feed the XLR to the mixing desk in the rehearsal room so as to have both the amp as well as a signal for mixing. This mixing desk may have phantom power turned on (although usually off) and as multiple bands use the same rehearsal room I don't want to risk feeding phantom power to my Helix. I have browsed through the forums and found a lot of valuable information; an often used method is to go from the 1/4" to a DI box. But what I want to do is to use the XLR out (at mic level) and feed that to the mixing desk. I have purchased an "ART DTI" transformer/ isolator as I found some people recommending that device. My understanding is that compared to a DI box it leaves the signal level intact (i.e. MIC in = MIC out). Other than that it works pretty much the same as a DI box (but I do not know that for sure..... I don't know too much about electronics) All this said, I am confused about the following and hope someone could give me a clear answer on this: 1) Does this ART DTI indeed prevent the phantom power from going to the XLR outputs of the Helix? 2) I noted that when turning phantom power on there is a " plop" in the signal (I did some experimenting at home using my Focusrite soundcard; my headphones were connected to the soundcard). If I disconnect the Helix but leave the ART DTI still connected this "plop" is hardly noticeable. Does this still mean that even when the DTI is connected some signal is being sent to the Helix? 3) What actually happens when the Helix is exposed to phantom power? Will the electronics be damaged? I know that Line 6 clearly states not to use phantom power, but it is unclear at least what might actually happen, i.e. what the risk is. 4) What is actually the difference between dedicated " phantom power blockers" and the ART DTI isolator/transformer. Please don't suggest me to do things differently. I'm quite aware of what the Helix can do in terms of routing and indeed there may better ways to do what I want to achieve. I'm just trying to understand how this phantom power issue works and whether the additional product I bought actually protects me or not. Thanks a lot !!!
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