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Everything posted by zappazapper

  1. You probably want to use an external microphone preamp for connecting a mic to the Return 1 jack. Yes, you can connect it with just an XLR to 1/4" TS cable, but that doesn't mean the signal level or impedance will be ideal for what that jack expects. Adding a gain block will increase the signal level, but also the noise that comes along with it. Microphone preamps are designed to add gain to microphone signals in a way that results in a cleaner output signal, partly because the input impedance of a microphone preamp will be different than a jack that expects line-level signals. The Aux jack also probably has a different impedance spec than the Guitar Input (apart from the fact that it doesn't come with the ability to control the input impedance) and will likely also behave differently than the Guitar Input, although I suspect this will cause less of an issue than plugging a mic into a line-level jack.
  2. I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad idea. What I'm saying is that once you've been around this forum long enough, you start to see that development resources aren't unlimited and most of these types of ideas never even get considered, much less implemented. In the whole scheme of things, using an external MIDI controller is a much more realistic solution than expecting L6 to address your issue in a firmware update in any kind of timely manner. You might wait a long time for that to happen, if ever, but you can buy an external MIDI controller TODAY and your problem will be solved.
  3. It's not that the Stomp has the effect of darkening the tone of your pedals, it's that your pedals have their own input impedance, which when plugged directly into your guitar, load the pickups in a particular way that affects certain properties, mainly frequency response. Now that your guitar is no longer directly connected to your pedals, your pickups are being loaded differently, which makes your signal sound different. Also, there could be an impedance issue with how the FX Loop interacts with your pedals, which can be adjusted in Global Settings > Ins/Outs. Since your pedals are designed to be plugged into a guitar directly, you might want to use the "Instrument" setting here instead of "Line". The point is that there is no inherent incompatibility issue between your Stomp and your pedals, it's just a matter of finding the right settings. Many have gone through the same headaches trying to get 4CM working, which is essentially the same thing as putting a distortion pedal in an FX Loop. I've been trying to get it working properly for 15 years and I'm still not sure I got it. Just keep experimenting and asking questions. You'll get it working properly sooner or later.
  4. Because there's 10 physical footswitches. Have you considered the possibility that if your preset needs 15 footswitches, it's possible that your need to rethink your approach to building presets? At any rate, you can always add an external MIDI controller. I don't think you'll find the appetite within the user community, much less in the development team, for multiple pages of footswitches. Adding a MIDI controller is a much more realistic possibility than multiple pages of footswitches ever happening.
  5. Haha. I mean, your block order isn't wrong, but you keep saying things that are incredibly confusing to me. What does "sucked up" mean? When you say "sent left" do you mean it's being sent to the FX Loop Left? Please use very specific language because we're discussing a rather technical issue and it seems that every post comes with a potential misinterpretation that is making it hard for me to help you.
  6. OK so you're talking about full Amp models. You do understand that because we're talking about 4CM, which involves separating the preamp and the power amp sections of an actual real-world guitar amp, just saying "power amp" leaves a lot of room for misinterpretation. I thought you were talking about the power amp in your Mesa. Well, where do you think it goes? Sorry, I know you're looking for easy answers here but I'm trying to get you to understand what's going on so that you can figure it out for yourself, because ultimately nobody is going to be able to really help you build presets unless they're in the room with you. You already have a pretty good general idea of how a typical signal flow for guitar works - guitar > compression (maybe) > distortion > preamp > modulation > delay > reverb > power amp. You just need to figure out how to extend that general idea to the Stomp's specific workflow. You know your distortions are in the FX Loop Left and your Mesa preamp is in the FX Loop Right. So you tell me what the Stomp block order is then...
  7. I still don't know what you mean by "in the power section". The power section of what? Your amp? That's kind of the point of 4CM, is the choice to use your amp's preamp or not. So no, you don't HAVE to run your signal through your Mesa preamp. Your signal will always make it to your power amp via the Stomp outputs and the chorus and delay pedals. You only use your Mesa preamp if that's the sound you're looking for, otherwise you can use an amp model. Again, I don't know what you mean by "into the power section".
  8. No, you can't do that. Your Revival Drive and your TC Spark are in a loop together. You can't put anything in between them and you can't change their order. You can only turn the loop on or off, or turn the individual pedals on or off with their own switches. I'm not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean a full Amp model, which includes power amp modeling, as opposed to a Preamp model? You didn't mention that you wanted to use your Mesa preamp in your desired signal chain, so you don't need to route signal to it via the FX Loop Right block.
  9. Right. It's essentially the same thing. Your pedals are in FX Loop Left and your Mesa preamp is now in FX Loop Right. It doesn't have to be in that order, that's just how I would do it because it makes it easier to remember which is which, since signal goes left to right in the Helix. To get your signal go to your pedals and then to your preamp, you just create two FX Loop blocks, first Loop Left then Loop Right. The output of the Stomp is always going through your chorus and delay now so you would control them manually, like with their own footswitches, since they're not in a loop anymore. Absolutely. The only difference is that the FX loops on the LT are on their own discrete jacks, so no splitter cable needed, and they are called FX Loop 1 and FX Loop 2. So guitar > LT guitar input > LT FX Loop 1 send > Mesa front panel input > Mesa FX send > LT FX Loop 1 return > LT output > Mesa FX Return. And then you create FX Loop 1 block to route your signal to your preamp.
  10. Well, it's really just a matter of what you want to do. You bought an XL to integrate into your existing pedalboard, which is an inherently linear paradigm, but you're trying to do 4CM, which is really about the freedom to route signal from wherever to wherever you want. So now because you're doing 4CM, you're trying to make your pedals work the same way, but you can't because you don't have enough FX loops. So you have a few options: 1. Stick with the XL and use it in a more linear fashion, without 4CM... guitar > distortions > XL in > XL out > chorus > delay > amp... this is the option that should sound closest to what you're used to... the XL is just another pedal that does a whole bunch of things. 2. If you want to do 4CM with the XL and all your pedals, this might be the best way to do it... guitar > XL in > XL loop left send > distortions > XL loop left return > XL loop right send > Mesa front panel input > Mesa FX send > XL loop right return > XL output > chorus > delay > Mesa FX Return... it puts your distortions in a loop so that you can plug your guitar into the input of the XL and take advantage of the variable impedance control, which should help to make both your distortion pedals and your Mesa preamp sound better... the compromise is that your chorus and delay are the very last thing in the signal chain, which in a lot of cases is the right place to put them, and if it isn't you can just turn them off and use models on the XL in the order you want, assuming you have the processing headroom to do it... 3. You stick with the XL, using 4CM, but you ditch your pedals... I mean, if you're going to do this then you may as well do #2 because a little extra processing headroom gained by using a pedal when you can goes a long way... 4. You buy an LT. The LT isn't going to it make it any easier to run 4CM and your pedals at the same time, because it's still only got two FX loops. But with twice the processing headroom, your pedals become far less useful, especially given the lack of control that the models enjoy. I have an LT and that's it. The only other piece of gear I have on the floor is a 2-button footswitch for my amp that both sends and receives MIDI because my amp doesn't properly respond to EXT AMP commands. Occasionally I use an external expression pedal. The LT is the best option for me because I want LESS devices, not more. I don't have any pedals to integrate so I don't need more FX loops. 5. You buy a Helix Floor. It has four FX loops. Best option if you're dead set on doing 4CM and your pedals at the same time. Everything goes in an FX loop. You can even split one of the pairs of pedals into two separate loops. Probably best to split the chorus and the delay. But again, now that you have all the processing power, do you really need all the pedals? Especially since they're stuck on one setting? Do they sound that good on that one setting that you need to spend that much more money to have four loops? You can't find something inside the Helix that sounds just as good and is infinitely more versatile because you can control it? So ya, you might be right about the LT. It should do everything you need. Some Mesa Boogie amps, like mine, don't respond properly to EXT AMP commands. This is what I bought: https://amtelectronics.com/new/amt-fs-2midi/
  11. Let's start here. There is only anecdotal, subjective testimony on the existence of an audible difference between analog and digital sound. There is absolutely no objective reason why analog devices and digital devices can't function properly together, and in fact, analog and digital devices are used together every day, all over the world. The only people who can't make them work are people who think good gear is boiled up in a cauldron by wizards, and refuse to accept that good gear is actually DESIGNED by ENGINEERS who actually KNOW WHAT THEY'RE DOING and use well-document SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENA to achieve their intended goals, and that the solution to "why doesn't it sound good?" is ALWAYS going to be rooted in fact and reason. So just forget about that one. By "tone suck" I'm guessing that you're referring to a loss of high-frequency content. This is typically related to impedance. Every device has its own impedance, and often times an impedance that "sucks tone" is an integral part of how that device produces the sound that it does. Right now you're comparing the way your pedals sound when you have an empty preset vs when you have the Stomp bypassed, right? Are you aware that there are two types of "All Bypass" for the Stomp? From the Helix Stomp manual @ https://line6.com/data/6/0a020a418962611d636e7c51b/application/pdf/HX Stomp 3.0 Owner's Manual - Rev D - English .pdf , page 14, "Bypassing HX Stomp Completely": "NOTE: There are two types of All Bypass in HX Stomp: Analog bypass (sometimes called 'true bypass'), where mechanically switching relays route your signal directly from the inputs to the outputs with no processing or A/D/A conversion, and DSP bypass, where any delay echoes and reverb tails decay naturally. By default, HX Stomp is set for Analog bypass, but this behavior can be set from 'Global Settings > Preferences'." What the manual doesn't mention is that "True Bypass" will also bypass the Stomp's impedance, and your signal will now take on the impedance of the device that is connected to the output of your Stomp, which is the FX Return of your amp if you're connected in 4CM. I bet that if you connected your pedals directly to the FX Return of your amp, your pedals would sound the same as if you bypassed the Stomp. But of course, you would never connect distortion pedals directly to the FX Return of your amp anyway, right? So what you're actually hearing when you bypass the Stomp is a sound that you would never intentionally do anyway. A better comparison is how your pedals sound through the Stomp with a basic 4CM preset, like just the FX Loop Left block that has your Mesa preamp in it, and then how it sounds when you unplug the cable between your pedals and the Stomp and plug the output of your pedals directly to the front panel input of your Mesa (leave the FX Loop Left block active because even though it's no longer sending signal OUT to your Mesa preamp, it's still receiving the signal from the output of the Mesa preamp). Your Mesa preamp has its own impedance that was probably "sucking tone" all along but because you've never heard them connected directly to your Mesa's FX Return, with it's likely less "tone sucking" impedance, you wouldn't have noticed. And you know what? There probably still is a difference between when the Stomp is connected and when it's not, although probably much less, and this difference can probably be corrected by using the Variable Impedance control on the Input block. I have no idea what the input impedance of your Mesa is but to get my own Mesa Boogie amp to sound properly in 4CM, I have to use the 230k setting. 1M doesn't "suck tone" enough and my amp sounds like a screamy mess. They are routed to wherever you have told it to be routed to in the Output block, which is most likely the 1/4" outputs as a stereo pair, which will be summed to a mono signal if you only have a cable connected to the Left jack. That would theoretically make them behave in a way that you're more familiar with, as now they will be taking on the impedance of your Mesa preamp's input. Of course, now your guitar signal will be taking on the impedance of the Stomp and NOT your pedals, so that might make things sound different (although, again, you can probably correct that with the variable impedance setting on the input block). Not to mention that now you can only use your pedals when you're using your Mesa preamp, since now they're in the loop. I'll be honest. I think you should just ditch your pedals. I know you spent money on them, I know you've made them part of your sound. It's a hard move to make. But the Helix has, what, FORTY distortion models to choose from, and none of them come with these impedance issues. The power and flexibility of the Helix doesn't come without a price - it's a bit of a pain to try and integrate it with other gear and have that gear behave in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, and it even has a pretty well thought out way of dealing with the problem (variable impedance control). I've spent a lot of time and money trying to get my vintage Mesa Boogie to sound right in 4CM, because that's not negotiable. But a distortion pedal? I'd throw the thing across the room at my cat before spending any amount of time trying to get a distortion pedal to sound right when I can just use one of the 40+ models in the Helix. Or I would just accept that this is the way they sound now. Whatever. It's a distortion pedal. They're negotiable.
  12. Sounds like you're getting it. Good job.
  13. No, not at all. Sounds like this is all pretty new stuff to you, but you're getting it pretty quick. This is correct. Everything is sequential. Think of the horizontal white lines between blocks the same way you think of 1/4" cables between pedals, and think of your Mesa preamp in the loop as just another pedal. If you want your signal to go through a compressor and a boost before it goes into your preamp, then obviously they need to be before the loop in your signal chain, which runs left to right. So we have: 1 - compressor 2 - boost 3 - preamp model 4 - FX Loop Left, which sends the signal to the Mesa preamp via the front panel input and then receives the output of the preamp coming from the amp's FX send, via the Stomp FX Return Left. This is confusing me a bit. I want to make sure that I understand what you're saying here. Can you tell me what the FX Loop Right block does?
  14. K, you're getting a lot wrong here. Let's just start at the beginning. Think about this for a second. You said you want a compressor and a boost feeding your Mesa preamp. So why would the first block be FX Loop Left? What do you think the correct order is?
  15. No. In 4CM if you have an empty preset your guitar signal will be running straight into the power amp, because your 1/4" output should be connected to the FX Return of your amp, which is a direct patch into your power amp. The only way you can patch it into the preamp and back to the Stomp is by adding a Loop block, in your case Loop Left, assuming the loop left send is connected to the front panel input of your amp and the FX send of your amp is connected to the loop return left of the Helix. The easiest way to test this is to load up an empty preset, and see if the gain and tone controls on your preamp do anything - unless you have the Loop block in place, they shouldn't do anything, and if they do, then you don't have things connected properly.
  16. You have a chorus and a delay pedal in FX Loop Right, don't you?
  17. Yes. The only thing unusual about this is the chorus and the delay pedal being BEFORE the amp model. It's not wrong, just not "conventional". Most players put modulation and delay AFTER their amp block, but putting them before the amp might create an interesting sound, so feel free to experiment. Well, you said you wanted the Fender amp into your Mesa preamp, so you would do the Preamp block first THEN the FX Loop Left. But other than that, I think you're getting it. Ya, don't do that. 4CM is a little weird, and you shouldn't be discouraged just because it doesn't work perfectly after one day. You can search on this forum for my username and see that after almost 15 years of using 4CM, I'm still not sure I'm doing it right. But it sounds as though you have the basic idea figured out, and I'm sure you can tweak it to your own unique situation the more you experiment with it. Glad I could help.
  18. You're right, what you want is a Loop block, not a Send block. Loop blocks are created from the same Send/Return block category as Send blocks, in the Mono subcategory. And you should be able to change your existing Send block to a Loop block by highlighting it and selecting a different model from the same category/subcategory.
  19. It's not my favorite thing about the Helix, but it's hardly the first thing I would change/improve. I do find them to be unnecessarily long, and I find the knobs themselves to have such a fine ratio as to be frustrating to use. But again, I can think of 19 other things I would change before this.
  20. No problem at all. If you've never done it before, 4CM can be a little confusing at first. This is basically where the confusion comes from. It's true that effects loops on amps were first intended to give the user a way to put effects "between the preamp and the power amp", but with 4CM it's best to think of the effects loop on the amp as patch points to separate the preamp section from the power amp section - the effects send outputs a line level signal from your preamp, and the effects return is a direct line level input into the power amp. Let's pretend for a second that you have no plans to use your amp's preamp; you're only interested in using the amp models. Because amp models come with their own distortion and tone stack, it doesn't make sense to run the output of an amp model into the front panel of an amplifier with its own tonal characteristics. If you want a more accurate representation of an amp you're modeling, it's best to bypass the preamp of your amp entirely and connect the output of the multi-fx directly to the power amp, via the FX Return on the amp. And when amp modeling first came out, before multi-fx units had FX loops of their own, this is often how people used modeling processors with traditional guitar amps. Guitar > multi-fx input, multi-fx output > Amp FX Return. When multi-fx units started coming with their own FX loops, it then became possible to insert the preamp of a traditional guitar amp into the multi-fx unit's FX Loop - and that is really the best way to think about 4CM - you're putting the preamp of the amp into the FX Loop of the multi-fx. You're not putting anything "into the loop" of the amp, you're just using the amp's loop for its patch points. So then 4CM becomes: Guitar > multi-fx input Multi-fx FX send > Guitar amp front panel input Guitar amp FX send (preamp output) > multi-fx FX Return Multi-fx Output > Guitar amp FX Return (power amp direct input) And so what this does is allow you to still run amp models directly into the power amp of your guitar amp, or instead of using an amp model, you can use the preamp in the FX Loop of the multi-fx in its place. And when you're using the preamp in the loop, it also allows you to place certain effects like distortions, wah pedals, and certain compressors BEFORE the preamp in the signal chain, and other effects like modulations, delays, reverbs and other types of compressors AFTER the preamp, because the preamp of your amp becomes just another block that you can place anywhere you want in the chain. Of course, there are no rules about where effects should go in a signal chain, nor are there rules about running an amp model into a real amp's preamp, or vice versa, but at least with 4CM you have separated all these elements out on their own so that you can use the things you want, where you want in the signal chain, and leave out the things you don't. A note about Mesa Boogie amps - many of them have parallel FX loops. I don't have first hand experience with these types of loops (my .50 Caliber Plus has a serial loop), but the issue with these loops seems to be that a 100% wet setting (which is what you want if you're using 4CM) doesn't completely mute out the dry signal coming from the preamp. I imagine that this can manifest itself in a variety of undesirable ways, but as I said, I have no experience with this issue myself. Maybe somebody that has more experience with parallel loops can chime in and give you advice on the matter, if you are indeed dealing with a parallel effects loop.
  21. Ya, I'm still not sure you got it right. First of all, a Send and a Loop are not the same thing. Both send the signal out, but only a Loop brings it back in. There are very few applications for a Send block in 4CM, and I can't even think of one off the top of my head. Maybe some weird parallel routing schemes? Second, the purpose of 4CM is to allow you to use the preamp of your amp IN PLACE of an amp model, while as far as I can tell, you're trying to use both. There are no rules that say you can't do this and get a good tone, but the way most players use 4CM is to use either the amp's preamp in the loop OR an amp or preamp model. Also, you're right about probably not needing any of your pedals. Unless it's something the Helix just doesn't do at all, like a specific synth pedal or something, you'll probably be able to find something that works just as good or better than your pedals, not to mention that if you use the stuff internal to the Helix, you can now control everything about those effects, instead of being stuck with one setting or having to bend over and twist knobs while you're playing. Not to mention that if you're not plugging your guitar into the Guitar Input of the Helix, you can't make use of the variable input impedance feature of the Helix, which can be critical to accurate modeling of amps and effects.
  22. You still haven't answered Phil's question. The physical connections are one thing, which you seem to have right for your desired setup, but you also have to have the right loop blocks in the right place in your preset for it to work. To me that sounds like you don't have the loop block in your preset that would send the signal to the front panel of your amp and then back to the Stomp from the FX send of your amp.
  23. Just something you might want to check. Years ago I had a Fender '65 Reissue Twin Reverb that had a Normal and a Vibrato channel, but they weren't switchable, they had separate inputs. I had found out somewhere that Fender preamps generally have a built-in mid scoop that can be cancelled out by setting the Treble and Bass controls at 0 and the Mid control at 10, so in the absence of an FX Loop, I figured this would be the best way to use the amp modeling of my X3 Live, but I still wanted to be able to use the natural sound of the amp sometimes, so I connected the Left 1/4" output of the X3L to the Normal channel with the Treble and Bass controls at 0 and the Mid at 10, and the Right 1/4" output of the X3L to the Vibrato channel. The plan was that if I wanted to use amp models, I would pan the signal to the left in the Output settings, and if I wanted to use the Vibrato channel of the Twin, I would pan the signal to the right. But what I found out was that there was crosstalk between the 1/4" outputs - if I had a signal panned to the left, there would still be a tiny bit of signal coming out of the right output, and vice versa, and depending on what I was trying to do, it would often be enough to make it impossible to get the tone I was after, because there'd be a bunch of high frequency fizz coming from the other channel. So it might be a good idea to check and see if there's any crosstalk between the 1/4" outputs of the Helix before trying your suggested setup. I no longer have that Twin, I have an amp with an FX Loop which I run in 4CM so I'm no longer trying to run things in that way anymore so even if there is crosstalk between the outputs, it's not an issue for me anymore, but it might be an issue for you.
  24. Fair enough. @FAchterberg it seems that S1 has issues with MIDI. Unless you're dead set on using it, I would also recommend Reaper.
  25. Like @phil_m said, you have to be in Stomp Mode. You set your Bypass and Controller Assign switches the way you always do, but if you want a Snapshot or a Preset assigned to a switch, you use Command Center.
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