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HonestOpinion

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Everything posted by HonestOpinion

  1. And because MMEB did that song so incredibly well they get the mention, but ultimately Bruce Springsteen, writer of those lyrics, gets the credit.
  2. Perhaps an interim solution for staying abreast of updates and other details for "The Big Book of Helix Tips & Tricks", until Sweetwater has an automatic update, would be to click the 'Follow' button at the top left of this forum topic. That way you get emailed every time there is a post here. Alternately @craigandertoncould start a topic just for update information and those who purchased the book could follow there.
  3. How do you know you're an enthusiastic Helix owner? When you are updating before the Line6 website even stabilizes from the new firmware rollout.
  4. I tend to prefer simplicity and minimal cabling, but this is just next level. Bravo!
  5. Although +20db is a fairly radical boost, @coachzalso reported getting distortion at +5db on the output. That generally should not be happening. Many users have a several db boost on the output block because they either want a completely "clean" boost, or maybe because they need to save a block and so don't want to use a gain block. I mention it because perhaps @coachz has surfaced an issue where a "hot" preset causes a raised output block setting to have a more adverse impact than one might anticipate. In which case, good to know. Again, at +20db, all bets are off, but at +5db they shouldn't be unless the signal level in the preset is already too high before hitting the output block per @PierM's headroom calculations. Your signal clipping already further up in the signal chain as @PierMalluded to and the output block just making it more obvious, does seem like a viable theory. Does this still occur when you run a preset that has an intentionally low signal level before the output block? Btw, how were you determining that your signal was clipping after output? Your ears (clearly audible), some other method such as visible in a DAW? Does it clip via headphones directly from the Helix?
  6. Not sure if this helps. It is all the way back from the 2.60 firmware release notes: Quickly double-press the 1 Switch Looper switch. Playback/recording stops and the LED lights white, indicating a loop is in memory. While Looper playback/recording is stopped, press and hold the switch. The recording is deleted and the LED lights dim white.
  7. Make sure your levels aren't too high in your signal chain on the LT. The fact that you say "Even if I slightly knock the guitar..." it is creating noise, barring a pickup/cable issue, might mean the preset is too hot, or that the monitor is receiving too high an input level. What are you using to monitor with? Reducing the output level to your monitor might help, but that's not a real solution if the finger noise is due to an issue in the preset. Try engaging the input pad as @theElevators alluded to. Certain amp/cab/effect/guitar combinations and/or parameter settings in a preset do seem to be more prone to generating finger noise. If adjusting parameters doesn't do it, the easiest fix can sometimes be selecting a different amp/cab/mic or effect, if you can't easily diminish the noise. The other thing I usually reach for is EQ. Use a parametric to home in on the noise, possibly in combination with one of the other EQ blocks. Try the PEQ in a couple of different spots. For example, you might have an overdrive or amp that is emphasizing frequencies that include finger noise. Placing a PEQ or GEQ block in front of it might be more helpful than after. Also, a LPF (high cut) after the cab might be helpful. Start it at 5k and move it up/down to see if it helps. Essentially the same suggestion you might get for fizz. If nothing else, moving the LPF around can assist you in determining what general frequency range the majority of the finger noise is in.
  8. There is also the low-tech solution of hanging some tapestries, packing blankets, acoustic insulation, or whatever on your brick walls to make them less reflective. Same applies to ceilings and floors.
  9. Have you exported one of the Native presets you like back to the Helix? How did it sound? Check/swap your cabling and monitor connections as well. Seems obvious, and you are probably already aware, but if you are running in mono, make sure you connect to the 'Left' mono summing output. Connecting to the right output by accident is going to sound like crap if you have a stereo preset selected. Try cranking your master (big knob) volume up to 3/4 or all the way. If this is too low, it may make things sound weak and anemic. Do you have a volume block engaged and set too close to heel down? Is your output set to mic or line? Experiment with both. How do things sound through headphones directly out of the Helix? Try another method of monitoring. What are you using as a monitor now? Are any of the factory presets sounding good to you? If so, then the problem may be in your custom preset design. Start by getting just the amp and cab blocks sounding good and then continue to add blocks. Experiment with the 'Master' and 'Gain' parameters on the amps. You should not be having to crank the 'Ch Vol' on the amp block in all your presets. That can introduce some nastiness. Have patience, the learning curve, as you know, even if you have experience, can be a little steep at first until you get your head wrapped around things. Good luck!
  10. Reverb is on most of my live presets in differing amounts. For a typical preset, I try to get some space but not overdo it. Maybe get it to where I like it, and then back off just a bit. I generally prefer more up-front lead tones that cut through the mix, where I am not awash in reverb; my rhythm tone might get a bit more. I also dig some of those fusion guitar tones though that may have more delay/reverb than I would ordinarily use. To me, some of the alchemy in a preset is in how the delay and reverb interact. I always work the settings for my delay and reverb as a sort of matched pair, I tweak them one at a time, and then in tandem. Some covers require particular or minimal/excessive reverb settings. For the ones I really want to get the original sound on, I try to get the reverb/delay vibe matched up. I have run into some very talented soundpersons who took my sound and really worked some magic with delay/reverb. To the point where I wonder if I should have just left it off and let them have at it. That doesn't happen every gig though, so I like having a good base delay/reverb sound dialed in to my presets. Also, as has been commented here, reverb (and delay) needs to be minimized in reflective spaces with lots of hard surfaces. Definitely in the PA. And less is more on the presets as well. The same minimal, or even no use, if the room is reverberant enough, applies to the reverb on the vocals, drums, etc...
  11. I am sure this will be incredibly helpful to someone(s) down the line. How the heck did you figure this out? Btw, I get a dead link when I try to follow the one in your post above.
  12. This is mystifying. You seem to have checked the most likely sustain-killers, e.g., too aggressive a gate setting, cables, guitars. Have you missed something in your signal chain? Did you try comparing exactly the same guitar and cables with just swapping out the Boss for the Helix? Do you have your expression/volume pedal too close to heel down, or the volume control on your guitar too low? A compressor or overdrive in front of just about any amp model with the gain turned up should give you sustain for days. The fact that you say that you had an issue with sustain on both your Pod Go and your Helix makes me think that swapping out for a different Helix is unlikely to resolve your issue. Have you tried using wired headphones to monitor with? My first guess would still be a gate not bypassed, compressor set incorrectly, or a bad cable. Also, when all else fails, take a backup, do a factory reset, restore backup. Reinstall HX Edit and update firmware again if necessary.
  13. Contacting support does sound like the way to go at this point. Not that I would think that it would cause this, but is there any chance you have a cable plugged into the 'EXP Pedal 2' jack on the back panel? Also, does this happen on all presets? Factory presets? Is the diagnostic mode only showing 85-100% operation?
  14. I'm with you on this. I play in a couple of bands. Both bands do covers and originals. I do have a few presets that are general one-size-fits-all go-to selections, always at the ready if I need them. I also have plenty of presets that have the amp and effects that best suit the tune, whether it is a cover or an original, and they can make a HUGE difference in the impact a tune has on the audience. Particularly in the case of iconic covers with unique tones or guitar parts, recreating them has an especially gratifying effect on the audience (and my band, who also get inspired by a great tone, and find it helps them get in the zone for that song). Getting the right tone for a tune, combined with snapshots to help nail the different parts in the arrangement, helps to not only play the tune better with the right feel, but is definitely noticed and appreciated by the audience. I do have big respect for players who can not only deliver on the soul and intent of a challenging solo or rhythm but also make it their own, so it is not necessarily about doing a carbon copy, just like the recording. Putting your own spin on things is not limited to just the execution of the parts; you can modify the tone as well and can capture the spirit of the cover or original, but with your own unique take. My levels/EQ between tunes with very different presets have generally not been a problem at FOH. If you are a player who prefers just one great sound, by all means go for it, nothing wrong with that approach, especially for certain music genres (Blues leaps to mind, even though there can be great tonal variance between Blues tunes). However, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from employing a larger tapestry of sounds live, using different amps/cabs/effects, if that is your preference. It can absolutely work, and I have been doing it for years. I do agree that it is common sense that the wider your palette of tones is, the more you increase your odds of impacting FOH in terms of volume and EQ differences from preset to preset. Has not been a problem for me though.
  15. The reason HX Edit is not prompting you for an update is that the firmware on the Helix is now probably already at 3.15, as is the HX Edit version. Make sure you take a backup first! Then I would try a global factory reset using the FS 9&10 option and afterwards restore your backup. That might just take care of things. If that doesn't work, you can try redoing the firmware update using the Updater and then doing a global reset and restore. https://helixhelp.com/tips-and-guides/universal/reset-options
  16. Not trying to be evasive but I rarely to never upload my presets because they depend so much on my specific rig. That and frankly I think there are people who are way more sophisticated in their preset design and provide better choices for "universal" presets. On those extremely rare occasions where I upload a preset (I think there have been two), it is more in the spirit of a template, designed for a specific piece of functionality rather than a tone. From your subsequent posts on the issue, including mentioning that your other device "felt so much more responsive", my first inclination would be to say that something in your signal chain, other than the 'Scream 808' is not quite dialed in to your liking or perhaps just not playing well with that block. Ears can be deceptive too, sometimes just switching to something else can sound good for a day or a week and then your ear goes back to preferring the former device. Or, as I mentioned, you just need to use your original pedal with the Helix. The Helix has so much more to offer than that one block. I can't see that being a deal breaker. Good luck with your tone quest!
  17. Unfortunately, that is not how working with an advanced modeler like a Helix tends to work. I know what you are trying to get at but if you set up a precondition such as you have with A/B comparisons needing to be "within scope" right off the bat you are setting yourself up for failure. Before you get everything configured properly for ANY block it can sound like they are worlds away from the device they were modeled on. Especially when it comes to a favorite pedal that has nostalgic value. It takes some time to get things dialed in the way you like them and get predictable results. You have your entire signal path to consider - beginning with how the guitar is hitting your Helix, through the design of your preset and critically important EQ, and ultimately the output from whatever you have chosen as a monitor. If it were me, I would use it in the loop if I simply couldn't get past the perceived difference between the original and the model. and would continue trying to get the Scream 808 block to a point where I was satisfied enough to roll without the original. Btw, is your Helix a relatively new purchase? I don't want to make any assumptions, but your post sounds like it has an element of frustration that usually is accompanied by a touch of buyer's remorse. Not that uncommon when dealing with a steep learning curve on a new(er) device. If this is the case, I hope you hang in there long enough to get it dialed in well, reassured somewhat by all of the users who have achieved stellar results with the Helix and the 'Scream 808'. If not, there are plenty of alternatives out there, including resigning yourself to the fact that there may be a couple of devices you want to keep permanently in your FX loop.
  18. I would recommend starting by pairing it up with an amp/cab/mic combination you like. The TS808 often sounds best when the amp is set just to the edge of breakup. Try a compressor in front of it. Set an EQ before or after it to bring out its best. It can be a great sounding block.
  19. I think the Helix is such an amazing piece of kit already that I am perfectly content to sit back and wait patiently for the next update. That is not to say that I don't always look forward to new features and seeing any existing bugs squashed. However, this thing has served me so well for so many years and so many gigs that I have a profound appreciation for it in its current state. What a phenomenal job the folks at Line6 have done and continue to do! They have shown some true vision and creativity over the years. The UI represents a standard of excellence and exemplifies ease of use. Picking up the Helix still remains one of the smartest equipment purchases I ever had the good fortune to make.
  20. Off the top of my head, I don't know of any way to just bump up the volume globally into the Powercab. Which global setting are you using? Maybe you could use the Global EQ but I don't think this works via L6 Link. I know it didn't used to. I think you would have to be connected via XLR which is a big hit to the functionality on the PowerCab+, versus being connected from a Helix via L6 Link. Anyway, back to boosting all presets via one easy global adjustment. I like it! Maybe some presets that require further volume adjustment; raising them all the same amount doesn't guarantee they will stay leveled with each other. The ease of this approach is very appealing though.as an alternative to painstakingly editing a custom set of presets, tailored individually to the PC, which is what I have done.
  21. This ^^^^^! Definitely has been my experience as well, 100%. Seems obvious but it would be difficult to overemphasize how helpful this is for live performance. If you are not running your Helix this way for live sound, here are the benefits: You are running a balanced XLR connection to FOH for better noise rejection over longer runs. Obvious but worth mentioning. Mic level output generally provides a much less hot, more manageable signal level to the mixer. This prevents the soundperson from having to set the gain/trim down all the way or add a pad (if the mixer offers one) just to keep you out of the red. It also tends to translate to fewer extreme spikes on your mixer channel. Disengaging the XLR output from the main volume knob means the XLR output is digitally at "unity" = all the way up. This provides a much more consistent level to the soundman with excellent S/N ratio. Critically, this also allows you to use your main volume knob to tweak the volume of your stage monitor from the Helix to your heart's content without impacting the FOH. Another benefit of feeding this consistent signal at mic level rather than line (certainly if you are connected as most typically are, via a mic preamp input on the mixer) is that the PA tends to be much more forgiving of level differences between presets. Not that you shouldn't level them with each other as best as possible prior to a performance. Mic or line level though, the main point is, although you want your output level healthy, if it is too hot, the differences between levels in presets can get very exaggerated. Generally, and unsurprisingly, the more predictable and suitable for mixing I make the signal I am providing to FOH, the better the sound is that the soundperson delivers. I also want to take a moment to recognize the occasions where I have gotten a particularly talented soundperson who seems to be able to take my guitar tone to another level. Those folks are gems to be acknowledged and hired again for future performances.
  22. I would also add to this, keep in mind the fact that the Helix does not like phantom power. No really, don't forget that $hit! Even though I had read about this issue many times on the forum, it still took a gig where my guitar sounded terrible for several songs until I remembered this issue, informed the soundman, and, sure enough, they had phantom on in my guitar channel. Turned it off and immediately the noise and crap sound went away. This can really ruin your performance and cause no small amount of angst for your soundperson (and maybe you too) who is probably tearing their hair out trying to figure out what is wrong. Best solution is probably to always use phantom power blocker(s) like the ones recommended by @Musiclaw in the topic below. You can still run into mixers where they can't run/remove phantom power on a per channel basis. 'Course if you are like me and don't always get the "ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" thing right the first or even the second time around... The instant the soundperson informs you that everyone else in the band's rig is working perfectly, and you, oh bringer of curses and vexation, have the only channel(s) that is noisy and terrible, the first thing to get them to check is if phantom is on in your channel(s). Btw, barring all the usual suspects, for example bad cables, connection, or a failing mixer channel; if you are using a monitor on stage via 1/4inch, and that sounds fine, but FOH is crud, suspect phantom power. Also, beware the strawman, remember the phantom, when you hear your soundperson present all manner of well-intentioned but wildly incorrect guesses, e.g. "your output level must be the problem".
  23. True; the gating will only help with preventing constant low level background noise and such in IEMs, and I did not mention noise in my original post (although it is another issue to control for). I agree; for the stuff that has potential to wreck your hearing, it is hard limiting that can kick in quickly that seems absolutely critical, via the pack, board, or essentially anywhere in the signal chain. As long as it is before ear damaging levels have the opportunity to reach your ears. This made me laugh 'cos it is exactly what I was getting at. Every one of those sudden ear puncturing types of events I listed has occurred in the monitors while I have been on stage at one time or another. Scary when it is directly in your ear. Using them for long periods of time at too high a volume during "normal" usage can cause damage as well (like any headphones/earphones). I guess as you summarized so well, although IEMs are often touted as being ear preserving, used incorrectly they also have a serious capacity for ear damage. More tips welcome from those who have the same concern when hooked up directly to the 'Matrix' :-)
  24. In reference to ear preservation, what are the IEM users here doing to prevent potential ear damage from dropped mics, live cables being plugged in or removed, errant dramatic volume increases from the sound engineer or another player, and the like? Gating/limiting?
  25. I assign the 'Threshold' parameter to my snapshots. Noisier more overdriven snapshots get a threshold setting that kicks in just early enough to kill most/all of the noise but not so early that it kills my sustain. Clean snapshots tend to generate little noise and get a threshold setting that either rarely or never kicks in.
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