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Alesis Alpha 112 Fizz

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OK so I got my Helix and a pair of Alesis Alpha 112's which are similar to the Alto TS112's.  I was pretty excited to get it all set up as the Helix sounds amazing but I am so disappointed with this rig... No matter what I do the tone is harsh and buzzy through the Alesis speakers.  No thick warmth, no rich, creamy tone to be had.  I have tried multiple amp and cab combinations and loaded various IR's, just not cutting it.

 

Anyone else using the Helix through these cabs or the Alto's?  Are you getting good tones?  Unless someone has experience with these cabs and can point me in the right direction they are going back ASAP...

 

After laying out this cash for Helix I sure can't spring for L series cabs so what's recommended for a $5-600 budget?  I need a pair of powered cabs for live work in small venues.

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I'm using the Alesis Alpha 112A's  successfully with Boss GP-10, VG-99, Peavey Vypyr Pro , Fractal Axe-FX II Ultra+

 

I do not own a Helix, but I do hear high end fizz on the Alpha 112A's  when i use my Firehawk FX with FW 1.20 - rolling down the high EQ on Firehawk helps.

 

I imagine similar procedure can be performed with Helix.

 

FWIW - when I demoed the Helix at LA amp show, I thought it was a bit too bright and could benefit with some EQ with lowering the high Frequencies above 8Khz  

 

But wanted to inform any fizz you hear would also occur on other powered cabs  - Alto TS112A ( which the Alesis Alpha 112A is based upon),  QSC K12, Yamaha  DXR10, EV ELX112P , etc.  sounds like a gain mis-match, or ground loop  / switching power supply issue in your configuration.

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FWIW - when I demoed the Helix at LA amp show, I thought it was a bit too bright and could benefit with some EQ with lowering the high Frequencies above 8Khz  

 

appreciate the response.  It's not so much annoying high end fizz like on the HD500 as it's a harsh buzz that just shouldn't be there.. and its on all amp models and cabs so I am really pissed... might see if I can take my Helix to a store and try through other speakers to see what's what...

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s it's a harsh buzz that just shouldn't be there.. 

 

If you have a steady buzz, even without playing guitar - check if it goes away when the USB Cable is removed from the Helix.

 

its common for DC Switching power brick supplies used for laptops/ Computer to inject noise via a USB connection into the audio stream 

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Not using USB but good suggestion.  I guess the best description is can of bees. Even with a VOX or Fender, if you dig in it just sounds like bees not smooth distortion...

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Check that the Cab modeling is engaged ?

 

Or try a different Cab setting or load an IR cab 

http://line6.com/support/topic/16050-helix-cab-vs-third-party-ir-cabs/

 

If you are getting bad buzzing with the Alpha 112A - no doubt you would also have bad buzzing on a typical house PA system too.

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I haven't tried it with the DT yet so I'll have to do that this week and see if that is better... if not I have a lot of work to do...

 

I've done the 3rd party IR's, didn't help and no better than Helix cabs to me...

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I haven't tried it with the DT yet so I'll have to do that this week and see if that is better... if not I have a lot of work to do...

 

I've done the 3rd party IR's, didn't help and no better than Helix cabs to me...

As I don't have a Helix, perhaps this won't apply, but I'm assuming that there are multiple output modes, similar to the 500X, and that you would want "studio/direct" (or the Helix equivalent). Might it be something as simple as that?

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As I don't have a Helix, perhaps this won't apply, but I'm assuming that there are multiple output modes, similar to the 500X, and that you would want "studio/direct" (or the Helix equivalent). Might it be something as simple as that?

 

Helix doesn't use output modes, you can send to multiple different outputs at the same time, unlike HD500...

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Suggest watch this video and the 16:30 minute mark they talk about High freq cut EQ required for some helix amp models 

 

 

Or there is the "final solution"

 

this works well with my Firehawk FX  - 

 

Palmer PDI-09

 

http://www.palmergear.com/pdi09.shtml

 

The PDI-09 is a passive filtered direct box specially designed for guitarists. It can be used with line level preamps or connected between the amp speaker out and the speaker for direct input to a console via the XLR balanced output. This eliminates the need for a microphone in recording and live situations. The three position attenuator and tone switchs give you all the control you need in a small, sturdy DI box.

pdi09-big.jpg

 

 

TMM_PDI-09_RIGHT.jpg

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Unlike HD500X, which were always mic level, Helix's XLR outputs are set to line level by default. If your Alesis monitors are expecting mic level signals, you'll hear what amounts to harsh clipping.

 

Go to Global Settings > Ins/Outs > Page 2 and set "XLR Outputs" to mic to see if that helps.

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DI beat me to it. I was going to say it sounded like a line/mic level issue. I am running krokkit 5's with mine and it sounds great. In fact I added a little high end on a few things.

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I'm running in to an Engl tube power amp 2x50 and I have static sound. I might give that a try (boss gt100 didn't do this)

I do have a set of KRK vtx4 I can try the helix on.

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Op was pretty much dead on the sound he said he got, it's a constant high hz stactic sound. One could say it sound like a white noise.

I would guess the noise to be in the 3k-5k range

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Helix's XLR outputs are set to line level by default. If your Powered Cab or  PA Mixer / monitors are expecting mic level signals, you'll hear what amounts to harsh clipping., hiss and noise.

 

Go to Global Settings > Ins/Outs > Page 2 and set "XLR Outputs" to "Mic Level"  to see if that helps.

 
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I am using 1/4 outs to the Alesis for now.  Will try to pick up some XLR tomorrow.  The DT sounds fine...

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That one didn't help as I'm not running xlr, but I found some other setting in global that cut this hiss way back.

And I played with eq cuts a little. Still some hiss but that might be fan on amp lol.

Way better now.

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That one didn't help as I'm not running xlr, but I found some other setting in global that cut this hiss way back.

And I played with eq cuts a little. Still some hiss but that might be fan on amp lol.

Way better now.

What are the 1/4 inch outputs set to? I believe they can still be set to line or mic. I take it you are going direct to a mixer? You could try setting the output to line and use an insert which bypasses the preamp on the channel. It is very possible you are not playing well with the preamp on the channel. I have not tried the insert yet (didn't think of it until after the fact) but what we did to get rid of the hiss today was set the Helix out to mic level then dropped the channel gain to about 11 o'clock (analog mixer). That seemed to take care of the hiss and we still head enough headroom on the channel for more than enough sound. In fact we only ran the slider about half up. We cup,d have backed the channel gain down more but then in our setup you need to get a screw driver out to boost the Aviom monitors so we avoid it when possible.

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That's the one, it can be set to line or instrument.

I set it to instrument with the engl tube power amp to take away a lot of hiss.

 

Just hooked up my KRK vtx4 self powered monitors and no hiss or anything.

Sounds pretty good this way.

 

I'm kinda torn because the Engl tube power amp 2x50 sounds really good to and with way more power.

 

"""My Engl power amp has no pre amp"""" it's a rackmount amp

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That's the one, it can be set to line or instrument.

I set it to instrument with the engl tube power amp to take away a lot of hiss.

Just hooked up my KRK vtx4 self powered monitors and no hiss or anything.

Sounds pretty good this way.

I'm kinda torn because the Engl tube power amp 2x50 sounds really good to and with way more power.

"""My Engl power amp has no pre amp"""" it's a rackmount amp

Ok. I thought you were going to a board, not an amp. That completely changes things. You could just run into the effects loop if the amp has one.

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Ralph this amp has no pre amp, no pre amp stage so there is no fx loop as there is no pre amp stage to put fx behind or in front.

 

My Mesa dual rec does have a pre amp stage and a amp stage, so I could use the 4cm with helix. But I'm pretty much happy with Mesa dual rec how it is.

 

My powered monitors are doing well with helix

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Oh ok. Sorry about that. I understand now. Basically a straight power amp. So theoretically it should sound better. I never actually thought about running it straight to a power amp and speakers. I just automatically think guitar amp. That would drive me nuts until I figured it out. Without knowing specs on the amp,inputs I wouldn't have a clue. I had a friend in high school that somehow managed to play his guitar through his Marantz home stereo amp. He passed away about a year ago and I never asked him how he did it. I didn't think anything of it back,then. Another friend played his through his car stereo. I am thinking you might need to run a mixer in front of it and pad the signal don a bit but who knows. Ha ha. Again, apologies for my misunderstanding.

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Basically all you need is a pre amp. Most any fx board will work. Engl did make a pre amp for this but they are not common.

This engl tube power amp is not real common here. Mesa boogie made a fifty fifty tube power amp and I see more of them on Craigslist.

 

Never seen one of mine on Craigslist around here.

 

So don't worrie it's no biggie. I just need to tweak the helix till I find the right settings with the engl.

The boss gt100 did sound better on the Engl, when played with the gt100 I didn't have static. Other that that the helix outperforms the gt100. And the helix sounds real nice on my studio monitors, way better than the gt100 did.

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You could most likely play your helix straight into one of your pa amps, the helix would be the pre amp.

Just think of my engl as a crown amp with tubes. ( easiest way to explain it)

 

When I was I kid I couldn't afford an amp so I played my guitar through a realistic radio my dad had, after I found a radio shack reverb at a yard sale for a buck. Think I ran in through aux input with rca cables.

I didn't use the reverb much back then but I got some killer distortion by using the mic gain.

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so after a couple of weeks playing with it and dealing with a pinched nerve I think I have it sorted out.  I think there may actually be a vibration in the cab itself but it's not part of the signal path.  It might be something else in the room buzzing that I haven't isolated yet.  I am getting really nice tones and maybe the cabs are "breaking in" but its nowhere near what I was hearing in the beginning.  I still have to get some new XLR cables to try that option but changing the 1/4 outs to instrument put the volumes a little more manageable for use at home.  Lots more to work on and some more tests on my arm but so far so good and really happy with my setup now...

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Shouldn't made a difference but had had the 8 ohm jbl's pluged into the 16 ohm output. So I changed that also.

 

Getting ready to try out my 1960a Marshall cab on this set up.

I'll give my pa a try out too.

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I hooked my Marshall cab to the Engl and wow!

 

I did try my pa helix-mackie-crown-jbl's. I need to work with my pa setup more as sound was something that left me wanting.

Going to say I'm still a newbie with PA system and pro audio, and my crown amp is a class d power amp.

 

Going to defend the crown real fast in saying I have played music through my PA system and it sounded great.

The early days of class d amps were used mostly for bass as the class d THD is kinda high but playing at low frequency with a distortion level that the human ear could not pick up. And in car audio the class d would put out more energy than class A,B. That is a big thing when you are getting your power from batteries and alt's on a 12-15 volt system.

 

But nowadays class D amps can play midrange and highs really well. The added bonus with class D amp is light weight and less heat.

 

So I'm going to study my mixer a little more before hooking the Helix to it again. And I think my Yamaha amp is class A power so I may give it a try.

Class A or class A/B power amps have the best clarity with low THD ( total harmonic distortion) but they build heat faster and weigh more and are not as power efficient as class D amps, though when your plugged into the wall socket for power this doesn't mean much.

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I hooked up a new set of XLR's this weekend and set them to mic level out to the Alesis speakers.  I set the Alesis volume about 1/2 on the mic side and it sounded really good.  I can't explain why running the mic level to the speakers is apparently better than line level since the Alesis is designed to accept either level.  Lots more to work out but they are keepers.

 

I also set up a wet/dry/wet patch using the DT as the dry by sending a preamp signal to the FX return and a full amp signal with effects to the PA.  Sadly the volume from the DT was too low since everything is controlled by the Helix output levels and it had to be up so high the PA was too much.  Hopefully they will work out the L6 link in the near future as this could be amazing for live use.

 

I am good with the Helix cabs but hearing a lot of guys getting great tones with Ownhammer IR's.  I have a full set of Red Wires to try out but there are so damn many its going to be tough to work out.  Between all the different cabs, the various mics and then the range of mic positions there are 20,000 files just in the 16bit 48K set...

 

I know, first world problems... lol

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I hooked up a new set of XLR's this weekend and set them to mic level out to the Alesis speakers.  I set the Alesis volume about 1/2 on the mic side and it sounded really good.  I can't explain why running the mic level to the speakers is apparently better than line level since the Alesis is designed to accept either level.  Lots more to work out but they are keepers.

 

I also set up a wet/dry/wet patch using the DT as the dry by sending a preamp signal to the FX return and a full amp signal with effects to the PA.  Sadly the volume from the DT was too low since everything is controlled by the Helix output levels and it had to be up so high the PA was too much.  Hopefully they will work out the L6 link in the near future as this could be amazing for live use.

 

I am good with the Helix cabs but hearing a lot of guys getting great tones with Ownhammer IR's.  I have a full set of Red Wires to try out but there are so damn many its going to be tough to work out.  Between all the different cabs, the various mics and then the range of mic positions there are 20,000 files just in the 16bit 48K set...

 

I know, first world problems... lol

 

It's pretty easy to try them in your DAW. You don't even have to pick your guitar up if you have a dry track recorded already. Use Helix's reamping feature. In Reaper I use the Reaverb plugin, where you can select one file in a folder, and after that, just use the arrow key on the keyboard to quickly scroll through the rest of the IRs in that folder, immediately hearing the difference. It's a good way to try and narrow down what you want to put on Helix when you have so so many files.

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after reading a few posts on unity gain I turned the Alesis down to 25% and the Helix up to full.  I had been running them at 75% with the Helix between 25-50%.  The effect was MUCH improved.  Clarity and definition improved across the spectrum.  I was really surprised.  I have to rebuild my patches now but I am looking forward to it. 

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Did the mic level vs line level on the XLR make a difference?

 

This really helped me with my clipping problem to my Yamaha HS8 studio monitors.

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New Helix user here. Lots of clipping even at MIC level. Tried everything. DO you think swapping the unit out might help? I am going crazy and am ready to just ditch this thing!

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New Helix user here. Lots of clipping even at MIC level. Tried everything. DO you think swapping the unit out might help? I am going crazy and am ready to just ditch this thing!

Not much info here. What are you monitoring Helix through? This was a really old thread so not sure what you are referring to. 

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