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Everything posted by HonestOpinion

  1. 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.
  2. 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".
  3. 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' :-)
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. I can accept that there may be other Helix users out there who may have the same problem and are unaware of it, particularly given how long it can take for the bug to surface. As you indicated, only executing something like the ping-pong test in mono before every use would confirm the absence/presence of the bug for many users who output to summed mono. If I were starting from the premise that the problem has absolutely nothing to do with my hardware, as you assert, I think the next thing I would try would be the following two tests. Targeted towards ensuring it wasn't either a corrupted preset or a preset with just the right combination of variables to cause a bug. My rationale being that since the issue/bug doesn't pop up for days/weeks, perhaps it is an unfortunate intersection of my global settings and one or more of my presets. For someone who is gigging regularly and only had one Helix this might not even be feasible, given how long it takes to produce the bug, but if you still have two devices you could dedicate one to just doing these tests while you use the other one for gigs. Btw, these tests are also based on the premise that the bug does not occur for you using the factory default global settings. If it does, you would need to potentially add two more tests to recreate the bug. One using only the default globals and Factory presets. And the other using using the default globals and the combination of presets you use to perform/practice. Test 1 Use the Helix for a few weeks with only Factory presets and your preferred global settings. Does the bug appear? If it does, start restoring the factory default globals, one at a time, and retest until hopefully the issue no longer surfaces in an effort to nail down the particular global, or perhaps combination of global settings causing the problem. Test 2 Use the Helix for a few weeks with the combination of presets you use to perform/practice, and your preferred global settings. Does the bug appear? If it does, depending on the results from your other tests, you may have to start tracking down the problematic presets. Guess you have already confirmed the bug pops up in this scenario so perhaps you don't have to run Test 2 again. Any way you look at it this is definitely a tedious test process with no guarantee of success.
  7. Are you switching between stereo and mono output setups between gigs? Does this only occur after you change from a stereo to a mono setup? Once you have proper mono behavior working, are you able to recreate this bug when using the Helix solely in mono (only L output plugged into) between restarts? Is it possible that when moving between stereo and mono output setups, that, perhaps dependent on global settings, preset, a firmware issue, or all of the above, that some users may experience a sort of frozen state where the firmware stops properly responding properly to the 'sum to mono' instruction from the hardware, and just stays stuck in stereo? Don't know enough about how summing works on the Helix to have any real insight into the source of your issue. Seems that the method you provided for correcting the issue is a fairly good workaround though for players who switch between stereo and mono setups. Whether it is from venue to venue, or when they move from the studio to the stage. Good to be aware of this possible glitch. I know you have been wrestling with this for quite a while. My first thought when I read the description of the issue was, much as @codamediasuggested, that it was suspiciously similar to the issue I have encountered on some older amps where the loop send/return jacks start to misbehave, probably from corrosion/shorting, and then proceed to partially or completely disrupt the signal flow through the amp. Essentially the amp acts like it thinks the send/return is in use, despite the fact that it isn't. For that particular problem, if cleaning doesn't work, often, plugging in a cable between the send and returns restores proper operation. A somewhat arcane issue the first time I encountered it (my amp periodically cutting out or not making any sound at all), for which I recall being quite happy to stumble across a cheap DIY fix. Albeit, although your fix works somewhat differently, your solution of using a "2 1/4" male to 1 1/4" adapter to sum to mono from the Helix is very reminiscent of the blunt force workaround I ended up resorting to. With that in mind you have probably already tried swapping out guitars, cables, and monitoring destinations (amps/FRFR/mixer) to eliminate a short as a possibility. You appear to have tried quite a few approaches to troubleshoot this. As you point out though, it is quite possible this has nothing to do with your hardware. Or maybe it is not solely the hardware causing the issue. Maybe it is something in the interaction between your power, instrument, hardware, cabling, rig, etc. and the Helix's firmware/globals. That could potentially explain why @codamediahas not been able to recreate the problem when restoring your backup. And now on to the highly unlikely problem sources. One crazy notion and probably just trying to apply a hammer to a screw. You posted having deoxed the main 1/4 input/output jacks. Grasping at straws here but wondering if you have done the same with the send/return jacks. Doubt they could impact the main outputs (the way it can on an old amp) unless you have a send/return block in the signal chain, but it can't hurt to clean them (properly/safely!) as well. Feel free to disregard this suggestion though. The odds of this being the problem when the issue has occurred for you on two separate devices is astronomically low unless you are in some kind of insanely dusty and wet environment. Another remote possibility I suppose is that there is corruption in your presets and using a certain one(s) triggers this behavior. Seems very unlikely though and probably something you have already considered. Anyway, good luck with this, sorry to see it dragging on.
  8. @SadistikPriest One note to add to @silverhead's comment above is that any block that adds gain or distortion may be sufficient to take what may be a barely noticeable degree of noise, from for example a noisy pickup, and amplify it to the point where it becomes problematic. This means that, although not necessarily intuitive, you can often lower your noise floor to negligible levels by using the Input block's gate immediately after the noise's source (in this example your guitar), rather than running a noise gate after the amp or overdrive block. You have essentially nipped the problem in the bud by sending a cleaner signal down through the entire signal path. Btw, different snapshots often require different threshold levels on the gate for optimal sound. I usually assign the 'Threshold' parameter in my noise gate to snapshots such that the gate on a more overdriven sound with an inherently higher noise floor like a distorted lead, will clamp down sooner than a clean snapshot that probably doesn't require much gating, if any. I try to find the threshold level that will clamp the noise without killing my sustain.
  9. Could the OP assign a footswitch to an FX Loop block and set the HX Effect's footswitch to momentary? Then just put the FreqOut in the loop and leave it on all the time. It looks like the Freqout's footswitch can be set to latching. Just spitballing as I don't own the HX Effects or the Freqout. Update: The more I think about, the more this doesn't appear like it would work. Don't think this solution would allow proper operation of the Freqout.
  10. Btw, you can backup multiple presets at one time into individual files by highlighting them as a group in HX Edit and then hitting the 'Export' link for presets. You can also now just run an 'Extract Files From Backup' (under the 'File' heading in HX Edit) and it will automatically extract all your presets into a nice logical file structure. Just create a new backup before you run the extract. Couldn't be easier.
  11. Changing the parameters for the 'Max Value' or even the 'Min Value' on the Wah block under 'Controller Assign' on the device or in HX Edit may get you a sweep you prefer although it does impact the upper/lower end of the range. Try lowering the 'Max Value' first.
  12. I would go for the full factory reset (9&10 on the Helix) and then a restore, given the issue you are experiencing. Make sure you have a backup first. You may even want to consider restoring the backup that was created when you first did the 3.15 firmware update, in the event that any corruption or unwanted changes have occurred in your presets since then.
  13. I'm in the US. I understand not wanting to take any risks with an amp no longer under warranty. Too bad because the TS cable might (?) be the solution. Good luck with getting this working!
  14. If you haven't already, try the following before reverting back to 3.11. Did you also do a backup before doing the factory reset and then restore the backup afterwards? The backup restore is also part of the firmware upgrade process. Make sure to restart your Helix after the restore and ensure they have completed the rebuild process.
  15. Thought I should mention, if you can't get the TRS cable to work, it might also be worth experimenting with a TS cable (single ring jack), even if it is not the same type as the footswitch the amp came with. Oh, and all suggestions should be accompanied with at "at your own risk and hopefully with an amp still under warranty", grin.
  16. Looks like you are using the right cable. Good luck with the tip/ring options. Btw, might not hurt to try the 'Type' settings there with both the latching and the momentary options, just to be thorough. I remember having a similar noise issue years ago with a Boogie amp when using an old non-Line6 modeler for switching. I eventually gave up and got an RJM switcher and that worked perfectly. More compact and less cabling, hassle, and expense, though, if you can get your amp switching correctly with the HX FX. If you have a spare TRS cable, try swapping that out too, in the event that it turns out to be a defective cable.
  17. Have you tried changing the settings for the 'Select' parameter("Tip", "Ring", etc.) in Command Center when you assign 'Command'="Ext Amp"? Also, a "2 ring" cable is TRS(tip, ring, sleeve) not TS(tip, ring). The TS cables have a single ring. What type of cable does the footswitch that came with the Blackstar use? From what I dug up on Google it looks like it uses a single-ring TS cable. Try the same type of cable that came with your amp's footswitch. Also, do you get the noise when switching your amp with the Blackstar included pedal?
  18. Have you done the factory reset after updating the firmware? How to Factory Reset a Helix Family Device | Sweetwater
  19. Are we talking about the Powercab or Powercab+ here? I assume this is in reference to the PC+, and if so, make sure you are running the 2.00.1 firmware on the PC+ as this was when L6 Link support was added. If you have the PC+ the next thing I would check would be my connection between the L6Link output on the Helix and the L6 Link input on the Powercab+. Try a different cable if necessary, a standard XLR cable, rather than an AES/EBU cable, will work in a pinch for a test. Assuming from your post you already set 'Powercab Remote' = "Per Preset", and are also saving your PC+ speaker changes between presets on the Helix. Also, although it may not be the issue you are encountering, just a reminder, although the LED ring color around the selector knob on the Powercab+ may change when you dial up a preset from the Helix with a different speaker type, the preset name on the PCPlus display will stay the same. The preset name on the PC+ is essentially just a placeholder when you use the PC+ in tandem with the Helix and the L6 Link connection. All the changes are being directed from within the preset in the Helix. Is the LED ring changing color when you select different PC+ speaker types from the Helix? Can you hear anything change?
  20. A similar request has been batted around on the forum in the past so you may want to check for it on Ideascale. I can see why you might want this. I think many users start by selecting separate amp & cab/IR blocks from jump, just to avoid this issue and retain flexibility in their preset design. The only good reason to use a combined amp/cab block is if you absolutely require the block that would be used by a separate cab/IR, or perhaps if you need an extra sliver of memory. A combined block may use less DSP than two separate blocks (not sure?). If that is the case, and you were already maxed out on DSP, or if you are already using the max number of blocks in a path, the splitting function you propose would require logic to grey it out. One thing you can do if you are stuck with one of these combo amp/cab blocks in a preset, is assign the 'Mic' parameter to snapshots. Changing the mic type results in some fairly dramatic changes in the sound of the cab. For that matter you can assign all of the cab's parameters to snapshots. This at least gains you substantial flexibility in that cab's tone between snapshots. Btw, I think a feature that allowed you to combine two separate amp and cab (or even IR) blocks of your own choosing into a single customized amp/cab block to save as a 'Favorite' might be a nifty option. Particularly for HX devices with fewer allowable blocks, such as the HX Stomp.
  21. Have not tried it myself so I can't provide a confirmation of this from personal experience. Don't know if you find a video more convincing than a white paper but here is a video in French and English showing apps that generate beats and songs from an Android tablet.
  22. I would set up HX Edit on a different computer, at least for long enough to do a restore. Make sure the drivers are up to date on the computer you have been using, particularly the graphics driver.
  23. Ah, disappointing to hear it is not working, at least on the Stomp. Good move on using a shorter MIDI cable. I use one that is less than a foot long, no problems. Still feel like the solution is in there somewhere for the Stomp with just the right combination of cabling and global and preset configuration. Maybe someone else will solve it or Line6 will offer up a configuration option in a future firmware that makes this straightforward. Good luck and let us know if you get it figured out or come across a better solution.
  24. Shouldn't be affecting this scenario but if this setting exists on the HX Stomp, set Global Settings-> 'MIDI/Tempo' -> 'Duplicate PC Send' = "OFF". It is on the second page of the MIDI global settings. Is it possible you have a bad MIDI cable? The wah block blinking on and off almost seems as if a bypass CC is being sent constantly. Guess it could be something in the tip/ring settings or cabling as well. Does it blink when you don't have the expression pedal plugged in but still have the loopback connected? Also, the Tip/Ring settings under Preferences that you describe on the Stomp, don't appear to be available on the Helix. Is there an "EXP 1" setting available for 'EXP/FS Tip'? If so I might try setting 'EXP/FS Tip' = "EXP 1" instead of "FS7" under Preferences. If that didn't work I would try flipping the EXP 1 & 2 values for the tip and ring settings. Btw, to further help avoid funkiness make sure the Stomp XL is off when you connect the loopback cable.
  25. Here is a link for MIDI commands for the Helix. Perhaps there are other more up to date resources available for the Stomp XL. The Unofficial Helix MIDI Guide.pdf ( Globals look right to me although I will have to rely on your settings for the EXP FS/Tip and Ring as I don't have the Stomp to test on. Seems like you got it right if the EXP is flipping from 1 to 2. Downloaded your preset and made a few changes. Your MIDI command was being sent via Command Center from an 'Instant' (lighting bolt) command. You also had the CC set to "68". I changed it to "59" per my original "MIDI Loopback tricks.." post, and moved it off the instant command over to FS7 (per your intended setup). I also switched the active states such that hitting the footswitch labeled "Fassel" activates the wah while leaving the volume block active and on its most recent setting. That way the switch indicates visually when the Wah is active. Everything is working as advertised on my end although I am using a Helix to test, where EXP 1 & EXP 2 are operating with a built-in expression pedal. No guarantee it will work on the Stomp XL. I have attached the preset. Give it a try. I think you are close to getting this working, but I could be wrong, if this just can't be pulled off with the Stomp or without some arcane wiring for the cable to the EXP input. Good luck! Try the attached preset file below: Vol Wah swap HO.hlx
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