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Everything posted by Parapentep70

  1. I agree with everything you added. Thanks for the hint about turning down sag when trying ANY guitar amp for bass use, makes perfect sense to me.
  2. (Posted by me in another forum earlier) The new Line6 Ventoux amplifier available with firmware 3.15 is GREAT for bass. Use a proper cab for bass (or IR or good EQ emulating a simple cab) and it is very easy to get different tones a beautiful crunch levels without using the expression pedal or the bass volume, just the fingers. Then the new "Mid" control, the HPF and the drive control (or your volume knob in the bass) work so well to modify how this model reacts to the dynamics in your fingers. The only bass amplifier that I liked before for this "tubey" feel and sound was the SVT. What I use most time to get this sound besides SVT is not an amplifier model but a combination of bass-friendly distortions plus cabs (or IRs or EQs). Mainly Teemah!, Obsidian and sometimes Clawthorn Drive for controllable Fuzzey sound. There are a few guitar amplifiers that work well with bass (changing settings and without their default cabs), but with the time I spent I cannot beat the SVT and the 3 overdrives mentioned. Ventoux is a solid candidate to get ALL these sounds (well, except the Clawthorn), all the sounds in the middle and many new good bass tones... with the twist of only 1 knob!. Simple as an old favorite real tube amplifier. It is NOT an emulation, Line6 describes it as a "creation" to get this tube sound without imitating anything already built. "Sag" control is magic for bass (I recommend low values or zero for "normal" situations). I need to try live!
  3. ...And mine died today. It worked 2 hours ago (the first time I tried to use it in 5 years or so). A couple of VERY satisfactory tests later.. it's gone, fried, dead. A combination of bad luck, user error, a commercial microphone that is not wrong, simply wired in an unusual way (and for a good reason) and above all, a mic preamp design that is not robust at all to this unfortunate combination.
  4. @zolko60, I noticed what you say long ago. In my preactical cases variations are probably comparable to yours (+/- 4dB or more), so I didn't see the point in measuring. I shared in this thread the simple explanation. It is simple. It is impossible to keep the balance in loudness among very different presets for different input signals. Simple example: If you have 2 simple patches, one with a drastic compressor and NOTHING in the other, if you balance loudness for WEAK signals, when you play stronger the non-compressed patch will sound proportionally louder. And the compressed patch will compress... and sound LESS louder. For the DSP experts: even an ideal linear, time-invariant system ("LTI") does not guarantee that you can keep equal loudness for different source signals. The counter-example to break this "false rule" is equally simple to find.
  5. I mentioned 2 simple ways : ) Compresion + different levels AND EQ+ different spectral content at the input. The good think about loudness meter is to measure to what extent. What I did by the way. I should be wrong then.
  6. After reading a page and a half on the subject, I think nobody is mentioning clearly one of the limitations when trying to balance volume in multiple patches: Even for the same instrument, and conditions (tone knob or pickup configuration), if you have 10 patches perfectly balanced one day, they can be completely unbalanced next day no matter how accurate you want to "measure" loudness.Why? Clean, uncompressed patches will sound much louder when you hit the strings much stronger. But heavily compressed and / or distorted patches will sound a tad louder... and dirtier. So if my patches are perfecly balanced when I play my guitar or bass at home and "measuring loudness" with whatever procedure (ears or the best weighted loudness meter plug-in), next day when I tend to play much harder in a live situation the clean patches will sound stronger than the dirty ones. (For the same reason some subtle overdriven sound usually becomes more distorted). Changing from pick to fingers (I am a bassist) or playing with volume control will make dispersion in loudness stronger. There is nothing to be done about it: Some patches "compress" levels (and therefore loudness) more than others. If levels are balanced at a given input, they won't be at a completely different input level. An easy example for some guitar players I've seen: If they balance patches with guitar volume at 1/10 (in an attempt to have margin to boost in a gig), when they go to full volume the overdriven patches will sound dirtier (and a tad louder), but clean patches will sound MUCH louder. In short, when patches have different compression levels (due to amp channel used / compressor / overdrive / fuzz / distortion / etc), if they are balanced at a given input level they won't when the input is hotter / weaker. There are more variables. An obvious example: Patches boosting lows or highs. If they are balanced in volume with the bridge pick-up, switching to the neck pickup will tend to boost the dark patch more than the other. Just in case it was not mentioned before.
  7. I would not say "better" or "worse", but some of the legacy effects work for my bass better than their modern counterpart. Some examples not covering all blocks (from my notes some time ago): I like "Heavy Distortion" (legacy) for a kind of fuzz tones with split / crossover. At low gains it does not pass bass without blending. I recommend to try Screamer, very different from Scream 808. Not better or worse, completely different. Without blending the legacy version takes bass EQ better in my opinion. Colordrive: good because of the way it blends with clean signal to keep bass. But it is just one of the many drives that works well. Facial Fuzz (legacy): Best fuzz for me for bass use. But I am not a seasoned Fuzz user, maybe most people don't agree. Please try and share opinions! Boost Comp: Simple compressor with flat response, it is effective on bass. Some bass users reported it as the best. To me it is not as good as Deluxe Comp or 3 band compressor, but I found it useful. Some reverbs: Lower on resources than new ones?, they can be effective for bass. I use Room, Octo and Cave to create ambients... but I also use Plateaux and Particle Verb.
  8. Parapentep70

    Bass Content

    Agreed! Some of the guitar cabs are far better than many bass cabs... for bass use! One important trick for me is to avoid the use of certain mics (57 Dyn cuts lows!). In my experience, a close (1'') 414 Cond or 121 Ribbon give me the best results. If some cab is too dark, then the 47 Cond helps (this is what comes with the SVT by default). Then the 4038 Ribbon boosts lows too much, it is useful sometimes, but I am not sure if there is the need to boost lows when there are so many cabs that work well. Avoiding medium distance "57 Dyn" is what makes MANY guitar cabs usable for me. My favorites bass cabs (Forgive comments in "Spanglish"): Also "No cab" works really well for me. With some EQ to tame and "voice" high frequencies, but totally transparent with lows. It avoids phasing issues. We bass players have enough with our "FRFR" cabs, they are not that "transparent" in the lows, so there is no need to make the problem twice as bad. I have certain theory why some "good" or "professional" or "thoroughly recorded" cab models are not so great with the Helix or any other modeller. Their responses are anything but "tight". 1x18 Woody Blue may sound good with headphones, but I doubt it is good with the full band and using any practical real cab in stage with the full band at high volume. To me it sounds really BAD. I can understand why some bass multi effect users are enthusiastic with their presets tuned with headphones without a band and then in the first rehearsal the band tell them "This is for guitars, your old bass amp sounded way better". ================== About the blend: Some overdrives / distortion have. And this is great because this avoids certain subtle problems that appear when using parallel paths. The problem with parallels paths (besides being very limited in number) has to do with phasing issues, they are different for each amplifier or overdrive. These issues are far worse in bass than in guitar. I know that this topic can be very controversial. Some ODs don't have a blend control, but they work at low / moderate gains "as if" they had a clean parallel path. If you play bass I recommend to try Teemah! for this reason. Teemah! and Obsidian 7000 are my favorite dirts. I have a preset that is simply Teemah! plus an EQ (instead of cab) plus effects, this is one of my favorites with the band. Because it is "rich enough" but "TIGHT". And I need my bass to sound very tight in many songs / band situations. Next in my "OD" list are 3 bass amps (SV Beast and Tuck'n'Go) and then Clawthorn Drive. There are many usable blocks to create OD / Distortion, some are bass amps, some are guitar amps. IME many of them are totally unusable for bass. But there are some surprises, for example the LEGACY heavy distortion (this one requires a parallel path). Or the Tube Screamer emulation is too "treebly", but does not CUT bass, so it admits EQ to restore bass... and does not require a parallel path! (it works better in a band context this way). I really would like to add a blend control in overdrives and distortions. Now I know it is not trivial to add if done properly. Hope it helps.
  9. There might be an important difference that depends a lot on the computer, operating system and interface you are using. Helix Hardware has very low latency (you hear what you play with minimum delay) while, depending on system, Native might give you acceptable or totally inacceptable latency. This can completley change your experience. Tweaking relatively good PCs and interfaces for live operation is not trivial (unfortunately). Helix is always very good in this area. Also I/Os in Helix are very good while PC interfaces can be (being practical) as good, acceptable or noticeably worse. But "sound", "tone", options and possibilities are basically the same with some obvious exceptions (like changing input impedance or trying to use external loops)
  10. A few years ago there was something similar to what you like. It was the "SWR Amplite", a power amplifier designed for bass. I don't know if they produce it any longer. My guess is that products like this were not too popular when a standard PA amplifier can do the same (or more) for less money. As njglover said, I tend to think power amps in pedal format cannot provide enough power for bass in certain situations. Some time ago I used my TC Electronic RH-750 as a power amp for my old Zoom B3 (using the power amp input). At the time I considered the possibility to swap it for an Ashdown Little Giant 1000 because the power stage (the only thing I was using) was comparable and the price lower. But I kept (and I still have) the RH750 just in case I decided to do a gig without any multi-effect. I checked and noticed your BH250 does not have the independent power amplifier input. But I'd try to see if the "buil-in" EQ in your BH250 is acceptable for your needs. Possibly with some tweaks it will be good enough, then you can save for a really good powered FRFR cab that is perfect for bass. In the last 7 years I've been using a standard PA power amplifier, first with the Zoom B3, then with the Helix. Something like the new Behringer NX1000 is inexpensive and probably good enough. I've been using the larger NU6000DSP to power my bi-amp "dream rig" since 2011. Now, if stolen or damaged, I'd buy a Barefaced FR800 active cab. Strictly equivalent to my rig when I leave 1 cab home, i.e. HUGE sounds, but weighting just 15 Kg! In my opinion there is not much choice for powerful active FRFR speakers good enough for bass and that don't weight a ton.
  11. Not sure if this is the same or not. But I think Helix should include some kind of harmony effect (similar to "pitch" or "dual pitch") that preserves formants. This is a basic (or perhaps THE basic) effect for vocals. I think this should be included in Helix since it can process 2 or more paths, and Helix includes a good microphone pre-amp. This effect does NOT require any special DSP resource (like, for example, a looper with a longer time or a convolutional reverb with long impulse responses). The effect is intended to generate vocal harmonies avoiding "smurf" or "monster" voices (when raising / lowering pitch, respectively). Someone asked for this in Ideascale. I think it is a must for musicians who sing and play guitar. Not my case, I cannot sing! : )
  12. Working for a living as an Electronic Engineer and after reading these potential improvements for the Helix (and other stuff from other vendors) I understand that most probably EE's designing Helix did a stupidly wrong job providing the wrong OPAMPs and decoupling / coupling capacitors or power supply filters to take the most of out of relatively good (relatively expensive) converters. Not only this. Also EEs from the other companies listed also chose really bad components around their converters and DSPs, when they could have got all the potential performance from them. This must be a generalized case of really bad engineering. Add that these claims are not supported with measurements or numbers, showing how bad existing designs are, and how badly an improper supply decoupling degrades the ADC performance of the Helix. And therefore how many dBs of performance they can recover by substituting the side components so improperly chosen. Just to quantify how well spent is the cost of the mods! In short... I think I am entitled to be at least a bit skeptical.
  13. Same for me. Last block in my patches is always a "Return" block I use to mix dry signal from a keyboard, sometimes the keyboard was muted for this reason. Thanks to the forum now I understand why.
  14. I came to the same conclusion. I don't know the internal signal path but Teemah! definitely sounds as if it had a dry path. In fact in my notes for "bass usability" I wrote "includes a dry path" but... in reality I don't know. I strongly recommend to try it for bass guitar for this reason, it works on its own really well without the need for dual paths with or without crossover (and their associated drawbacks).
  15. I was going to print it... and noticed that there is a small issue. The text is oriented in the best possible way, but then the labels for the external loop connections should show "Returns / Sends" or perhaps add some "R's" and "S's". I noticed when I did my poor and ugly version... written on a white PVC tape, I initially made the same mistake. Very good work, thanks a lot for sharing.
  16. Maybe this hint is useful to you and other bass players... Many Helix guitar cabs are useless for bass primarily due to the microphone and mic distance used by default cutting all bass. But some of them are really interesting with bass with just a change in the microphones used. Fortunately Helix guitar cabs are not destroyed due to too much bass content the way the real speakers might be! I found that the 414 Cond mic model at 1'' distance works OK, it tends to be very flat down to low frequencies. Then the ribbon 121 at 1'' boosts some bass frequencies. In case you need more bass. Coles 4038 Ribbon model can do the trick. Other microphones might be useful... but I have not worked much with them. I discarded most Dynamic mic. models because they tend too cut bass under 70...100 Hz too much to be used for bass guitar. My favourite guitar cabs for bass are: Soup Pro Ellipse (with 414 Cond, 1''). Relatively "dark". 1x12 Cali IV (with 414 Cond, 1''). "Scooped". Less bass than Soup Pro Ellipse. 1x12 Cali Ext, 2x12 Double CN, 2x12 Mail C12Q (same mic) --> Similar to Cali IV, therefore I did not used them much. 4x12 1960 T75 Marshall (with 414 Cond, 1'') --> "Good balance" in my notes. 4x12 Uber T75 (with 414 Cond, 1'') --> "Good balance" in my notes. 4x12 Slolead EM (with 414 Cond, 1'') --> "Good balance" in my notes. 4x12 Cali V30, 4x12 XXL V30 (With 121 Ribbon, 1'') --> Decent, usable. The former also sounds good with 4038 Ribbon to boost bass. I also found that 4x12 Greenback 20 or 25 and also 4x12 Mandarin don't work with bass too well, even micing with 4038 ribbon at shortest distance. The rest of guitar cabs are very usable (as much as a default 1x15 Tuck'n'Go) with the "bass" microphones at 1'' (121 ribbon or 4038 ribbon). Bass cabs: IMO 1x15 Tuck'n'Go lacks bass! But it can be improved with 121 Ribbon at 1''. Sometimes cutting bass is a good thing... but I prefer not to cut THAT much! 2x15 Brute Mesa Boogie sounds good by default, but also improved with 121 Ribbon at 1''. Same for 6x10 Cali Power. 8x10 SVT might have too much bass (the ONLY case in Helix): Increasing mic distance (or even using 57 Dyn!) could cut excess bass if needed. I do not like 1x18 Woody Blue, too "muddy", no real bass but simply complete lack of mids. It might work with distortion but... I prefer to filter somewhere else. Definitely not a versatile cab. I try to avoid too much EQ on low frequencies, I think it is bad for tight "punch". So I don't use extra High Pass Filter (miking is an adequate HPF... that I cannot remove anyway). If 414 Cond is OK, I prefer not to use 4038 ribbon. I agree with you, I'd like to have more bass cab modelled by Line6!
  17. Well, I do know there is some idea out there, I have not seen any mention to it. It is called somewhere "spectral hold". I think the idea is to synthesize an antificial sound with the spectral content of the incoming signal at the moment the player pushes certain "hold" switch. Now I cannot remember where I have seen it, but I know I have used it to extend certain sound in time. The result is similar to enable a very radical reverb to extend certain sound with insufficient sustain. I don't know if the "FreqOut" device works like this or not. EDIT: I've found it. The idea comes from Cockos, implemented in Reaper (A DAW, by the way the one used by Line6 to test Helix Native :) ), it is a JS plug-in (therefore Open Source code!) and it is called "Spectral Hold". This might be a nice idea to implement in Helix, the computational requirements should not be demanding ;) LATER EDIT: Of course usign "Spectral Hold" in a DAW is a lot more flexible. The live (Helix) version would need a switch to hold and some "decay" parameter to fade-out the sound once the player stops pushing the "hold" switch. Or a way to control the output level using an expression pedal... I am sure it is doable, not very complex adn interesting for a few users.
  18. This is possibly described somewhere else, but I honestly did not find it and it might be useful to others, so I share just in case. Using many different cabs in the same preset can be difficult and subject to limitations. I think it is not possible to use more than 4 cabs per preset or 2 per dual path (so that it is possible to enable any of them using switches or snapshots). However, using Impulse Responses, it is possible to use the impulse response file name (i.e. cab type) as a parameter... and different snapshots to select 8 cabs. It is even possible to pick 1 out of 128 cabs while in the same preset and snapshot by simply sweeping the expression pedal. This can be useful to audition impulse responses. Or to use less resources to define a preset with different cabs in each snapshot.
  19. I was in a similar situation, I Haved not looked back since I started using the Helix. I use it for bass, keyboards and mandolin in the same gigs. Your questions: 1) Mackie Thump as the optimum FRFR: Bass is a bit tricky for FRFR loudspeakers. Using tops with sub-woofers is too much to monitor a bass onstage. Using SOME tops without subs is sometimes too little to monitor bass on-stage. I would say that at certain price / weight / power, PA FRFR speakers without tops are sometimes a tad weaker than some typical bass amps. That said the Mackie Thump should be more than enough to hear yourself in reasonable conditions. A very good trade off between price, weight and sound pressure if you go the FRFR way. In my rig I decided to build my own bass-specific speaker, but I considered the thump to be a good sub-optimum. In the market you can find slightly better options... at much higher price. If interested, take a look at Barefaced 12'' active speakers (and the explanation why they are ideal as bass monitors). Slightly better performance at significantly higher price... Market is not so big! 2) You might need to use one of the 4 possible paths for this. But definitely possible. You'll quickly learn to create new patches that contain certain standard configuration, like the "personal monitoring path". 3) Definitely! I sometimes use 1/4 outs for my FRFR, sometimes I use left and right XLR one to PA, the other to my FRFR monitor (I take advantage that I never use stereo paths!).
  20. I use Helix with my Roland FA-06 keyboard. Also with bass and mandolin, no guitar :). To change FA presets the Helix is OK, but the resources inside FA06 are much better. No point at least for me. You can use the keyboard to launch synth sounds in the Helix. Again no point for me, the internal synth in the FA is much better (to begin, it is velocity sensitive). My idea about using Helix with FA was to control the FA synth engine with Helix MIDI commands: Use some footswitches to "play" FA sounds, and also send controllers to FA06. This works perfectly as predicted. I also tried to use the Helix controllers to avoid carrying my 3 synth pedals (expression, sustain and "S1" normally used to control rotary speaker simulation). Again it works... but not very practical: My 3 "hardware" pedals send commands to ALL MIDI channels where they are enabled. The helix sends MIDI commands just to ONE MIDI channel of my choice. My FA06 patches are not organized to use just only ONE MIDI channel with control pedals, sometimes I use 3...8 channels to layer sounds or just to switch sounds live inside the same preset. I don't wanna do things in a way that I MUST use the Helix for any gig where I need just keyboards. Then I found another reason not to keep trying: Reliability. I just changed the 3 synth pedals for something more practical. Another reason is that stage spaces are limited, if Helix "synth pedals" are in the ideal place, then they are not accesible when playing bass or vice-versa. And... I play keyboards stand-up! In summary, I'd use the link Helix--> Roland FA06 only to play limited synth sounds with my feet (No velocity!) in very special occassions while I play bass (a la Geedy Lee) or other instruments. FOr example playing mandolin and drones at a time in Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore". But I'll always keep some synth inside Helix to avoid dependence on complicated stuff. I already have a path in the Helix called "Evermore" that does this. :) One caveat: When "tap dancing" over "momentary" controls in the Helix with moderate activity, SOMETIMES the control becomes latching (obvious bug, I think it has to do with firmware timing). I saw this bug reported somewhere in this forum. What I do with the helix is to route and mix the keyboards to my local power amp without an additional mixer. It is safe, convenient and simple. I saved one rack mixer and moved the power amp to a small light rack without any cable inside. But it's nothing to write home about. I am considering to use this mixing and routing capability to provide 2 outputs to general PA, one for "basses" (either from FA06 or real bass) and the other for "typical keyboards". But... I am lazy.
  21. I truly appreciate that the update included a new bass amplifier. As a bassist I also think the new Line6 fuzz will be very useful. I am looking forward to install 2.30 after my next 2 gigs, now I have no time. Thanks Line6! A Happy bass player (using Helix also to route / mix keyboards and for electro acoustic Mandolin)
  22. I use an EQ very close to the input (after noise gate and sometimes after volume pedal) to compensate for the different character and gain between my 2 main basses, which are very different in overall level and character. This way I can have similar sound (and more importantly similar gain!) when switching basses. The volume to start saturation in subsequent blocks is consistent when switching bass and I keep the EQ range of the 2 basses centered in the middle. I wish I could make this "Bass-2 Guitar EQ" block global... but copying it in all my patches is still very convenient I need to remember to enable / disable the block when I am using the "non default" bass and I change presets, therefore my desire to have the option to make this block global.
  23. After a couple of years considering it (even before product launch), finally I pulled the trigger and got my Helix. I am mainly a bassist. I was hesitant to buy it before version 2.20. THANKS LINE6 FOR HEARING US BASS PLAYERS! Definitely a few steps ahead of by zoom B3. Sound from the B3 is good but routing options, possibility to split paths (this is crucial for bass use!), global EQ (It's a PITA to change EQ in my 4 or 5 presets just because the bar where I play sounds so muddy compared to the rehearsal room). And yes, number of effects: 4 would have been enough, 5 is even better, but with Helix I can put all what I really use in a SINGLE preset! and just use stomp mode / snapshots! And user interface! 3 buttons on the B3 were too few. I was considering the mod to add 2 switches for preset up / down. Everything worked as expected. I read the manual and got all information from this forum and also TheGearPage beforehand. But I have been surprised and actually delighted with the ease of use without a computer. If it is more usable, it will sound better, given my limited time to play with it. With the zoom, in practice I had to bring it home to edit presets comfortably with a computer. I also play electric violin and mandolin, so now I can get rid of my old Zoom G2.1NU. I can also get rid of the expression pedal for the Zoom B3. I can get rid of a rack-mount mixer. Now I am also starting to play keyboards live, the MDI capabilities of the Helix will be wonderful to overcome some limitations of my keyboard. To begin with I am planning to get rid of my expression pedal, hold pedal and 2nd control pedal (they move and entangle in a gig). Less cables... and less time to set up everything. I think Line6 recently changed the way to treat some customers (for example the few bassists willing to spend much money in a MFX unit, and people demanding some flexibility). Now I guess that the market will respond. To me Helix will be the clear winner: Good UI, realistic options to improve user presets in the rehearsal space or in the sound check = better tone. Finally... it is nicer in person than on the web! Thanks line6 for your support in this forum and also in TheGearPage
  24. If you run 2 paths in parallel with 2 different impulse responses, it is possible (actually very likely) that phase does not match at every frequency. At some frequencies you will have opposite phase. Just like real cabs! In general it is a bad idea to mix different cabs with significantly different frequency responses unless you are using a crossover just for this reason. If your 2 IR match really well in the time domain, it means that phasing issues will start at relatively high frequencies as you say. Perhaps changing the level in one of the 2 paths will alleviate the problem (cancellations will not be so deep if you unbalance both paths by just 1 or 2 dB), but it is also possible that the problem moves to a different frequency range. Anyway many people out there (at least a few bassists) swear that mixing cabs with significantly different responses they are getting the best from both, when in reality they get cancellations at some key middle frequencies. Parallel paths dealing with different frequency bands (low end in one, high end in the other) don't have this issue.
  25. Digital Igloo, thanks for the response. I really needed it, in fact last time I checked (reading many pages here and in TheGearPage.com) I found more people asking for the same numbers. It is good that the 1/4'' are also useful for what I want. Now I am reconsidering Helix again to substitute my current gear. It is also useful to know the headroom, this way I know how to plan my gain structure to have no risk of clipping without adding unnecessary noise. Thanks a lot, I appreciate the data.
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