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RPascarella

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Everything posted by RPascarella

  1. RPascarella

    Amethyst Limited Edition now available

    I was able to snag one through Guitar Center. I actually ordered it back at the beginning of the year and didn't think it would actually appear. It was scheduled to ship to me in mid-March, but then got delayed until now. Just arrived today! She's a beaut! #204.
  2. RPascarella

    Limited Edition Versions

    I just received #204 today! Gotta be one of the last new ones available. I had to wait months to get this through Guitar Center. I almost didn't think it would actually materialize since there are so few left.
  3. RPascarella

    Helix Bug Reports

    Hi, not sure if this is the best place to post this, but I just updated to v2.30 firmware and ran into a few issues to report: 1) When I first went to the Global settings to change the USB In 1/2 trim level, the value was stuck at 0dB and wouldn't change when rotating the knob. After paging left and back right again, the value was non-zero and was able to change with the knob. No issues since. 2) I was not hearing audio playback via USB through Helix, so I went to Globals and I could swear the USB In 1/2 Destination value was 5. When I rotated the knob, I could hear audio. Now the values allowed are Multi, 1/4", and XLR. I could swear it said 5 before my change! 3) After selecting one of my old presets, I tried changing the amp model from Litigator to Cartographer and the unit froze. The screen is still showing the list of amps with Cartographer selected. After rebooting, it is going through the preset rebuilding process. Maybe all of this was due to presets not being rebuilt? Loving this update!
  4. RPascarella

    Advice on converting HD500 tones to Helix

    FWIW, I made the jump from HD500 to Helix well over a year ago. That was my first approach, trying to translate from HD500 to Helix. I ended up learning fast that they are different animals completely. I had a Jumped Plexi patch that I wanted to reproduce on Helix and I couldn't come close to exactly matching it. Spent lots of time trying. Lots of other patches I had set up for playing at church. I ended up treating Helix as a clean slate instead and I'm glad I did. Yep, took lots of time to recreate the patches for the same songs, but I sure learned lots in the process. I downloaded several from Customtone to see how others did it. Bought a package from Glenn DeLaune to see how he did it. Now I'm at the point where I can hear something and pretty quickly dial in something very close. So I don't know if this is helpful to you, but some food for thought. I totally get where you're coming from, sorry I'm not more help!
  5. RPascarella

    Helix Bug Reports

    Awesome! Thanks Phil, you're knowledge and wisdom never ceases to amaze me! And of course you get extra points for being a Homestar Runner fan!
  6. RPascarella

    Helix Bug Reports

    I think I've run into a firmware bug with v2.00 (I haven't updated to v2.01 yet and I don't see this issue listed as being fixed). At the end of my signal chain in super serial mode, I put a Pan block to sum from stereo to mono. The default setting when added is "Center". Save the patch. Go somewhere else and come back to the patch. Pan block now reads "Right 100%". Adjust back to "Center", save patch, repeat. Always returns to "Right 100%". Anyone else see this behavior? (BTW, I'm trying to sum to mono because I use 1 XLR output to my Alto TS212 and the other XLR to FOH. Anyone know if Helix will sum to mono if I run FOH from an XLR (ie, right) and my Alto from a 1/4" output (ie, also right)???)
  7. RPascarella

    Any sightings of the official bag yet?

    Sweetwater has them now. http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HelixBP That's where I got mine about 3-4 weeks ago. I love it, but have 2 very minor gripes: a) you have to slide the Helix in from one of the ends and it can be a tight fit getting the cover zipped up over the end of it. I think this will relax over time and use though, we'll see; b) the main front pouch where I put cables, capos, etc has a zipper around 3 of the 4 sides of the covering flap, so when you unzip it enough to get things out of it and forget to zip it back up, then you grab the handle on the end of the backpack to move it somewhere, everything in the pouch falls out. I was used to my old HD500 Gator bag that had the pouch zipper only on the top edge of the flap so it never did this. I've had to remember to zip it back up before picking up the backpack. See what I mean? Very minor!!! What I like about it - super sturdy and rugged, well padded, looks cool, shoulder straps for backpacking (comes in handy!), 2 handles for carrying either in vertical or horizontal orientation, plenty of room for extra stuff.
  8. RPascarella

    New Name That Riff video!

    Hey Scott, Here's my take on Sag, Bias, and Bias X. Power tubes use a large voltage supply (+450ish), called the B+ voltage, to do their work of amplifying the incoming audio signal. Sag is what happens to that voltage when a large, fast change to the input occurs, causing lots of current to be drawn from the power supply in order to amplify the surge in sound. So the main voltage to feeding the tube actually drops for a short period of time under the heavy load as the tube consumes the power to amplify the sound. The end result is that the resulting amplified sound is compressed because the tube is somewhat starving for the voltage it needs to keep up with the big change. An analogy could be the difference between someone jumping as high as they can from a concrete floor (no sag) to someone trying to jump as high as they can from an air mattress (high sag). Their height is "compressed" because as they try to jump, the mattress gives way and absorbs some of the energy. Now Bias. Power tubes, like cars, need to run at least at idle. A tube needs a small bias voltage applied to it in order to get it into a mode where it can reliably amplify the incoming signal (called the "linear region"). This voltage is small, on the order of 10s of volts, compared to the 450V above. The higher the bias setting, the "hotter" the tube is run and to me, the more crispy the distortion sounds. The lower the bias setting, the "colder" it is run and to me, the distortion starts to weaken but there may be more punchiness to the tone. Now, Bias X. Bias X stands for Bias Excursion, and excursion just means how far the bias voltage changes from the base setting. It occurs under heavy power tube loading. A setting of 0 means the bias will not vary, whereas a setting of 10 would allow maximum swing under heavy power tube loading. Here's a blog posting from Sean Halley on these settings and some examples of how they sound: http://blog.line6.com/2013/pod-hd-amplifier-extras%E2%80%94using-the-sag-bias-and-bias-excursion-settings/ Hope this helps! Take care, Randy
  9. RPascarella

    Odd naming bug

    Yes, I've seen this also. I haven't had a chance to try to isolate why/when it occurs. It definitely doesn't get stored with the preset; instead, it seems to be a scratchpad buffer of memory that previously contained the name of a preset whose name had more characters. I think one way I see it is if I import a preset from the editor and change the name to something shorter. Then if I make a change and save it from the unit, I see the extra characters. I just ignore them and they don't "stick" with the preset. I'm still on 1.06.0.
  10. RPascarella

    Online Helix Reference Guide for Models

    Great! The only thing that could make it better would be to add links to reference clips of the originals like in this thread: http://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/resource-videos-for-all-helix-guitar-amps.1673455/#post-21438036 What do you think?
  11. RPascarella

    THIS is the sound I love.

    This may be way off, but my first thought was a RAT. Here's a clip of a RAT with a Les Paul, see if you think it sounds somewhat similar:
  12. RPascarella

    Helix for P&W: Best Practices

    Hi DI, I didn't properly quote in the previous post, can you take a listen and let me know what you think?
  13. RPascarella

    Helix for P&W: Best Practices

    Hey, I'll be using my Helix each week at church for Praise & Worship and would love to hear how others are doing the same. Seems we likely all have the same constraints: silent stage, IEMs, and either going direct, going through FRFR, or going through a mic'ed amp located somewhere offstage. I'll be using mine through my DT50 offstage with an SM75 mic. I find that my sound is fuller that way, but I haven't experimented much with going direct yet. As for the connection, I'm using the L6 Link, no MIDI cables. My amp has already been configured to the following using the DT Edit app (and also through the Command Center's Instant commands for when I do connect MIDI): - Pentode mode (CC #75=127) - No amp (CC #11=0) - 4x12 Greenback 25 (CC #71=11) - Class A/B (CC #73=127) - No mic (CC #82=0) - Topology 2 (CC #77=1) On the Helix I'm using Amp only since I have the cab model enabled in the amp. I don't understand why, but this sounds more full to me than using the cab models on Helix and turning off the DT's cab modeling. It actually sounds pretty good with no cab modeling too, since, after all, the amp has its own cabinet! I'd like to connect the MIDI cable up to nicely switch topologies between patches, but I don't have a MIDI cable long enough. So for now, I just run my Essex and other Class A amp models in Class A/B mode. I sure hope there is a future firmware version that fully integrates Helix DT support over L6. I would love to ditch the amp and save my back, so how are you guys using your Helices in church? If you're using FRFR, do you mic that, or is that just for stage monitoring?
  14. RPascarella

    Helix for P&W: Best Practices

    Thanks @Digital_Igloo. So I've been running the DT50 with no cab modeling and I like it better. However, can you clear something up for me? I'm still puzzled by the huge difference between applying a cab model on the Helix side vs. applying on the DT side. When I enable/disable the DT's Greenback 25's cab, I notice slight EQ difference, nothing major. However, when I enable/disable the Helix Greenback 25's cab, there is a huge degradation in sound quality, akin to running the amp through an AM radio. This is what I think you mean by a cab running into another cab. But why such a difference? To illustrate, I've recorded a comparison. I have guitar->Helix in->Plexi Brt (Amp only)->Greenback 25s->L6 Link->DT50 with no amp, no cab in the first clip below where I toggle the cab on and off via the Bypass button. Helix cab off, on, off, on: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/jtzsFhmtuRxVzobXTQr92wECHqPnJWIiYZ8lMYBLbA1VXFMeetRlEs6rIjkrsOVw/file In this clip, I have guitar->Helix in->Plexi Brt (Amp only, no cab)->L6 Link->DT50 with no amp, but Greenback 25s cab. The cab is enabled/disabled via a footswitch sending MIDI CCs to the DT. DT50 cab off, on, off, on: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/content_link/7sS8sXjjx0aiyV0BAk2xTnDux4ruChiJfv0r8QbzPLUwjHkQNjpJXCmqIkIJ9mtN/file The differences aren't as evident in the recordings as much as in person, but you can hear what I mean. Why the difference?
  15. RPascarella

    Helix for P&W: Best Practices

    Oh, and I had to share this. We did the song Closer by Bethel, which opens with a violin-like pad followed by a piano-driven lead line. We had no keys, so I created a patch that put a washy, ambient pad setting on the lower path to emulate the violin pad and the main lead tone on the upper path. The patch loads up with the input directed only to the pad path with a 100% feedback on my last delay so that whatever I play repeats forever. I have the volume at the beginning of the chain so I swell in a pad tone and let it ring. I then used a footswitch to switch over to the lead path to start playing the piano lead line over the pad. The pad amp's volume switches to 0 in this mode so the lead line doesn't feed into the pad path. I was worried about how to taper off the pad at the end of the song, so I created a footswitch operating in momentary mode that defeats the delay feedback by setting it to 0%. When I hold this down, the pad gradually and peacefully fades out to 0 in about 3-4 seconds. This worked beautifully for me! So cool, thanks Line 6!
  16. RPascarella

    Helix for P&W: Best Practices

    Well I tried going direct last night in our High School ministry room which has a far inferior sound system and I have to say it sounded really great in my IEMs. I got some great tones using my fav Plexi Brt, Essex 30, and the new Matchstick Ch1. I used the XLRs out and had them set to Mic level and didn't hear any hissy noise issues. I think my next step will be to experiment with some IRs. This is exciting - we're doing little 15 minute worship sets at 7pm the next few Wednesdays up there for the high schoolers. Our rehearsals for big church start at 7:30pm downstairs. So I wanted a light load up their so I wouldn't have to lug my amp around. Going direct was perfect for that. I mentioned this to the worship leader and we had the idea of using Helix for both our guitars next week. I'll run my guitar through the top path out the right XLR channel and his guitar through the bottom path out the left XLR channel. We can each have completely different amps, effects, etc. How cool is that? (And I'll make sure I'm louder than him!!!)
  17. RPascarella

    Helix for P&W: Best Practices

    OK, you've convinced me to give it a shot going direct. So now I'll have to choose between XLRs and 1/4" outs. I'll try the XLRs first and see how it goes. Do any of you run a stereo feed to FOH, or just mono?
  18. RPascarella

    Helix Ideascale Community Submissions

    Hi guys, I just submitted a new idea, would love to get some votes for it. Basically allows a Performance View (akin to the HD500) to show the patch name and a few user-configurable text fields below for things like song key, tempo, etc. Here's the link: http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Performance-View-display-option-on-Helix/802305-23508?submitted=1 And here's the write-up: The HD500 allowed 3 different display views. This idea is to support a 2nd view in Helix that takes advantage of the larger display to provide additional information for the user during performances. First, the user would be able to 3 or more new generic text fields where song-specific could be stored. Let's say they would be called User1, User2, and User3. Each field would then support up to 16 characters of text (or more if possible) assigned to them. Once the fields are populated, when Performance View is chosen, these fields would appear in order under the name of the currently selected patch. For example, here's the template layout: Patch Name User1 User2 User3 And here's an example with the fields populated, where I've assigned the string "Key: C" to field User1, "Tempo: 120" to User2, and "Tuning: Drop D" to User3. Chalice of M'eh Key: C Tempo: 120 Tuning: Drop D The idea is to allow the user to populate the fields with any content they wish, such as capo positions, guitar choice, song notes, etc.
  19. RPascarella

    Anyone using DT amp with Helix?

    Some corrections: 1) I meant to say that my "Amp" setting sounds best. I don't like the "Preamp" as much, but the "Amp+Cab" sounds horrible, as does "Amp" with a separate "Cab". 2) that smiley was supposed to be sub-bullet b :-).
  20. RPascarella

    Anyone using DT amp with Helix?

    Hi guys, Just got my Helix so I'm a complete noob. I have 2 DT50s that I'm trying to run it through, so I have a few questions: 1) How can I configure the Helix to send stereo signals to the 2 DT50s? In my HD500, there was a menu for this. I don't see anything in Helix. As far as I can tell, the two amps are running in Mono. Also, to take advantage of the MIDI controls, I imagine I must also route a MIDI cable from Helix to DT50 #1 to DT50 #2 also, correct? 2) When I first got the Helix, I connected it to one of my DT50s via L6. It sounded awful. I was so discouraged I was ready to return the Helix! Or sell my DTs and get a FRFR amp. But I saw this posting which saved the day. I downloaded radatat's setlist and wow, it sounds so much better. So after a bit of experimenting, here's what I've found: a) my setup sounds best with everything off in the DT50 except the cab. For example, on my Plexi patch I like the greenback 25s. On my Essex 30 patch I like the Silverbells. Some patches sound best with cab off too. b) If I turn off everything on the DT and use a full amp or amp+cab, or even amp with separate cab, for some reason it sounds like the sound is going through an AM radio. I'm perplexed that some of you are getting good sounds with full amp models. What am I doing wrong? What is your setup? Thanks a bunch! Randy
  21. RPascarella

    CELESTION G12H90 vs. VINTAGE 30

    Hi Mike, Not much to offer here - I have the 112 and 212 DT50s, and to be honest, I can't tell the difference in tone between them. The main reason I bought the 212 was because I thought it would sound fuller and deeper than the 112 - I mean, c'mon, two speakers must be better than one, right? So when I got it, I was surprised that it sounded pretty much the same to me. Now to be clear, the only time I've heard them side by side is in my bedroom with carpeting at room levels (< 90dB for sure). I suppose if I got them out into a live venue and did an A-B I could probably hear a difference. So this is just my experience, for what it's worth. Good luck! Randy
  22. RPascarella

    Dead DT50 repair fun

    So last week at rehearsal my DT50 112 insisted on pleading the 5th - I couldn't get a sound out of it. Fortunately I have my HD500, so I was able to run direct as a workaround (that sure is nice!). Neither the L6 link nor the front input jacks worked. So I brought it back home for some debug. Symptoms: no output, faint hum, no hiss. All front panel switches/controls were functional. No fuses blown. I am lucky enough to have a DT50 212 at home, so I figured I could do some A/B comparisons to see where the problem lie (btw, I'm a hardware design engineer and have been working on electronics and amps most of my life). I wanted to avoid a) the long drive to the nearest authorized service center, b) the cost of a repair, and c) the dreaded 3 month wait time, so I decided to roll up the sleeves and dig in. Both amps are out of warranty, so what do I have to lose? First thing I did was eliminate the problem down to a board assembly. The DT50 has 2 main boards, one is digital and one analog. Since I could hear a faint hum and some pops when changing topologies, I figured the power amp stage was working. So the first thing I did was swap digital boards. Sure enough, the problem did not follow the digital board. OK, either the analog board or a transformer is the problem. Next step, swap analog boards. Sure enough, problem followed the analog board, so that eliminated the transformers. On the analog board, I noticed that V3, the 12AX7 buffer, was not glowing. V4, the 12AX7 phase inverted was glowing nicely. I swapped the two tubes and the problem remained on V3, so the tube wasn't the problem. After some probing around (all I had was a DMM), I found that V4 has an 13V AC heater voltage, while V3 has a diode rectifier that converts the 13V down to 5-6V DC. So I think the tube wasn't glowing as brightly as V4 due to the lower voltage rather than there being a problem with it. So this turned into a rabbit trail. So while looking at this, I noticed a relay near V3 whose switching coil pins measured differently from the working amp. There is a 14 pin connector from the digital board that controls this relay and several others. It appears that these relays are used to switch in and out the different analog components for the different topologies. I was able to find that something like 9 pins of the connector control 11 or so relays throughout the board. Comparing each of the relay controls, I found that there were 3 differences from the working amp. So after hours of poking and pondering and at the point of giving up, I stumbled across one of the relays having a short across the control coil. Turns out there is a diode that sits across the 2 input pins and the diode was shorted out, preventing the relay from switching. Fortunately for me, the diode was a 1N4148, a pretty common diode, and I actually had a few sitting in my Nerd Box from college EE labs. So I swapped out the bad for the good, put everything back together, and sure enough it worked like a champ! I could not believe it. I wanted to share the experience in case it is helpful to others. Thanks, Randy
  23. RPascarella

    Dead DT50 repair fun

    Hi Ronnie, I had the amp on for almost 3 hours. That brings me up to > 20 hours now, no glitches. Rock solid! Woohoo!
  24. RPascarella

    Dead DT50 repair fun

    Happy to say that hurray, the amp performed flawlessly during rehearsal tonight. So nice to have my amp troubles behind me, knock on wood. And I really love the Fender Bassman with the 212 Silver Bell combination as a substitute for the noisier Vox AC30TB. I put a Blue Comp Treb compressor in front and it sounds great.
  25. RPascarella

    Dead DT50 repair fun

    Hi Mike, Just found this (you probably already knew this though): http://www.sweetwater.com/insync/pentodetriode-switch So it looks like 2 of the 3 grids are disabled in triode mode. Sounds like it would be akin to shutting off 4 cylinders of a V8. After messing with the Fawn Brt amp, I've decided a) I didn't like the tone, and b) topo 3 is still too noisy for me, so I replaced it with the Tweed Bassman and used the 212 Silver Bell speaker model. Sounds great to me for what I'm trying to do and has much less hiss/hum. I'll be trying it out at tonight's rehearsal. I'm a bit embarrassed to say that I almost always use LVM because I love the modeled power-stage distortion since I play at bedroom volumes most of the time (even at church). Until I have the opportunity to crank full mode up past 12 o'clock (which may be in the summer when we have an outdoor gig), I'll continue to use LVM. I'll have to give triode mode a try for kicks. Thanks! Randy
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