I spent a hour today messing with "volume" and here is my conclusion.... Guitar into helix and into JBL studio monitors and USB to computer.....it does NOT matter about where the channel or helix master volumes are... neither bother the tone of your patches..... I put channel volume on 2, helix master on noon and played.... i put channel volume on 4 and helix master all the way up and played.... i put it back to where i keep it for recording and that's channel volume around 8 and helix master around 10am and played, they all responded the same... all i do know is each 3 effected the way I recorded though.... channel volumes low and helix master high = low input in DAW, but channel volume set to around 8 or so and helix master volume set low = higher input in DAW. Levels over the USB interface are not affected by the Big Master knob on the Helix unit. So this means, leveling your patches for recording vs leveling for Live over the xlr or 1/4 outs are really two different beasts.