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Best Way to Use Helix with Church Sound System


johoffry
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I'm not sure where to start with this. I took my helix to church to play and was a bit disappointed when I got there. They traditionally use pedalboards into a couple of Jackson amps into a booth where the cabinet is mic'd. 

 

 

I tried taking the cables from the back of the Jackson amps and plugging them into my helix. We couldn't hear hardly any sound. I finally had to resort to running my helix into the front of the Jackson amps which completely fuddled my sound. I'm guessing I just and not understanding something here.

 

Any help is appreciated!

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I ran mine in church last week and it was amazing. We might need to know a little more info on the set up but I am guessing you unplugged the microphones xlr cables and went into the XLR outputs of the Helix? You would the need to know if the Sound Tech wanted a line or mic signal and set the Helix outputs accordingly. I set the Helix Vollume about 3/4 up like I do with my Studio monitors. Mine is set to line level. What is puzzling me a bit is even if you were set to mic, you should have been fine if you just plugged into the Jackson mic cables. I would have checked to see if they had a pad in on the board or perhaps had the channel gain extremely low. We still use a large analog board but the principles should be the same if you are digital. If this is not how you were hooked up let us know. I am sure we can help.

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I ran mine in church last week and it was amazing. We might need to know a little more info on the set up but I am guessing you unplugged the microphones xlr cables and went into the XLR outputs of the Helix? You would the need to know if the Sound Tech wanted a line or mic signal and set the Helix outputs accordingly. I set the Helix Vollume about 3/4 up like I do with my Studio monitors. Mine is set to line level. What is puzzling me a bit is even if you were set to mic, you should have been fine if you just plugged into the Jackson mic cables. I would have checked to see if they had a pad in on the board or perhaps had the channel gain extremely low. We still use a large analog board but the principles should be the same if you are digital. If this is not how you were hooked up let us know. I am sure we can help.

Here is the typical setup. I'll ask for ideas on how to improve it using Helix.

 

Stereo Pedal board sent to two Jackson amps then to cabs in back room with mic sent to to board. I won't be able to go straight to the house.

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 I won't be able to go straight to the house.

Explain why... Because you could just take 2 mike cables and go to your stage snake if you can't for some reason un plug the mic's for the amps... on the other hand if you were to use the fx returns on the 2 amps and turn off your cabs in the presets you use (or not)

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Explain why... Because you could just take 2 mike cables and go to your stage snake if you can't for some reason un plug the mic's for the amps... on the other hand if you were to use the fx returns on the 2 amps and turn off your cabs in the presets you use (or not)

I could be wrong but since the mic cables are in a different room and they are the ones going to the house I don't see how I could tap into that. If the Helix could power the cab then atleast I could use the Helix amp.

 

More on the set up:

-pedal board is near the two Jackson heads. There are cables that go from the heads to another room where a cab is powered and miked and then sent to the PA system.

 

I guess I would like to find out where the best place for me to patch in would be. Ideally, I would patch into the house and bypass everything but that's not going to be possible.

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I could be wrong but since the mic cables are in a different room and they are the ones going to the house I don't see how I could tap into that. If the Helix could power the cab then atleast I could use the Helix amp.

 

More on the set up:

-pedal board is near the two Jackson heads. There are cables that go from the heads to another room where a cab is powered and miked and then sent to the PA system.

 

I guess I would like to find out where the best place for me to patch in would be. Ideally, I would patch into the house and bypass everything but that's not going to be possible.

Simply unplug the Mic cables from the Mic's at the cabs and insert them into the Helix and adjust the volume on the Helix... done!  no need for the amps or cab's any more. This puts you direct into the PA and you will use the monitor in front of you (or in ear monitors, what ever you use) that's (one way) how the Helix XLR's  were intended to be used. The sound man will adjust you in the FOH as it was before. Alternately you can unplug the Mic cables that go to the cab Mic's at the stage snake and run new ones to the Helix from there. 

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I'm not sure where to start with this. I took my helix to church to play and was a bit disappointed when I got there. They traditionally use pedalboards into a couple of Jackson amps into a booth where the cabinet is mic'd. 

 

 

I tried taking the cables from the back of the Jackson amps and plugging them into my helix. We couldn't hear hardly any sound. I finally had to resort to running my helix into the front of the Jackson amps which completely fuddled my sound. I'm guessing I just and not understanding something here.

 

Any help is appreciated!

What type of mics are you using? Are they phantom powered? If so, you'll need to turn off the phantom power for the Helix.

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Ditto on most of the comments above. You need to get to the direct lines from the cabinet mics The Helix is not an amplifier. If I understand your original post your signal was low because you can't push a cab with the Helix. You could set it up for effects only and put it in your current setup but that is a pricey multi effects unit of that is all you use it for. There has to be a snake or inputs elsewhere. Also you will need to set the Helix outputs to mic level of you use the cables currently hooked to cabinet mics. We experienced the hiss others mentioned this morning(not sure why it wasn't there last week) but thanks to these forums I knew to switch the output from line to mic. I used to have a similar issue with my Nova System into amps. What you are currently doing will not work unless you have it set as an effects unit only. If the amp has an effects loop you could set the Helix up as a preamp also. If they absolutely will not go direct putting it in the effects loop of the amp would probably be you best option.

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I have been thinking on this a lot today. Iam an analog guy. I am not familiar with digital boards. We still have a 48 channel analog board. I want to try the Helix using insert jacks. The Helix sounding amazing again once I set the output to mic, but I am thinking that the channel pre amps are still coloring the tone a little. Setting the Helix to line and using inserts to bypass the pre amp might yield a truer tone. The only issue might be if they are balanced or unbalanced. I do not do sound very often these days so I do not know the board well enough. It might also alleviate any of the hiss issues some are having.

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Ditto on most of the comments above. You need to get to the direct lines from the cabinet mics The Helix is not an amplifier. If I understand your original post your signal was low because you can't push a cab with the Helix. You could set it up for effects only and put it in your current setup but that is a pricey multi effects unit of that is all you use it for. There has to be a snake or inputs elsewhere. Also you will need to set the Helix outputs to mic level of you use the cables currently hooked to cabinet mics. We experienced the hiss others mentioned this morning(not sure why it wasn't there last week) but thanks to these forums I knew to switch the output from line to mic. I used to have a similar issue with my Nova System into amps. What you are currently doing will not work unless you have it set as an effects unit only. If the amp has an effects loop you could set the Helix up as a preamp also. If they absolutely will not go direct putting it in the effects loop of the amp would probably be you best option.

I think I'm going to try to just model the preamp and send the output of the Helix into the FX return on the amp. I think this will give me the majority of the sound I practice with during the week.

 

Now, I'm wondering if what I'm doing at home is appropriate. I have the Helix sending over L/R XLR out to my power amp which powers a left and right speaker. This is pretty old equipment so I can't say for sure if it is FRFR or not. I've tried using the pre-amp only blocks and it sounds pretty good...maybe better than the amp/cab. I really need to understand when to use preamp/amp+cab/amp-cab. Any good rules out there?

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going to try to answer a few situations here - hopefully this will make sense for the different situations in this thread:

 

1: let's make things as simple as possible. remove all external gear (i.e. other amps) and try going XLR into the snake. I tend to put the big volume knob of the Helix fairly high, which can be balanced at the console so it is not clipping but will most likely eliminate some of the "hiss" some have noted.

 

note - I don't reccomend using the inserts, just go direct to the board if at all possible. you can always sett the EQ to flat (or turn it off if your console has that feature)

 

2: when you are going direct (as described above) you will most likely want to use the amp block (preamp/power amp) as well as the speaker and mic modeling. this will be the sound you are most familar with. I also reccomend this setup if you are using headphones.

 

3: if you are needing to use a traditional amp, I reccomend switching to just the "preamp" block, and remove all cab/mic modeling. you usually do not want to "double up" on modeling and traditional speakers/power amps, as this may provide too much color for your liking.

 

hope this helps point you in the right direction!

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Used my Helix at church for first time last Sunday.  1/4" mono out to DI box to FOH (haven't switch to the XLR yet but this works great).  Volume set to about 2:00 on dial.  Good signal to FOH and sounds great.  Volume setting, coincidentally, is about the same on my X3 Live.  Using JTV89F and life is good!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

so now that they finally let me plug into the snake I am seeing a different issue. It appears that the FOH mix is extremely dry. We couldn't figure out whey this would be different. In-ears seems very WET so that seems to be a different issue. Bottom line, neither mix sounds like what I get in my headphone mix from the Helix. Any ideas?

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  • 1 year later...

so now that they finally let me plug into the snake I am seeing a different issue. It appears that the FOH mix is extremely dry. We couldn't figure out whey this would be different. In-ears seems very WET so that seems to be a different issue. Bottom line, neither mix sounds like what I get in my headphone mix from the Helix. Any ideas?

Do you have the settings set to send a dry signal out of that particular output?  YouTube is your friend.   Look up Wet Dry Wet Helix and some other stuff to figure that out.

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Do you have the settings set to send a dry signal out of that particular output?  YouTube is your friend.   Look up Wet Dry Wet Helix and some other stuff to figure that out.

This was an old post from 2015. 

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Did not read every single comment... but...

 

In order to get it to sound great using the built-in amp sims, you need to tweak your patches at gig volume through a speaker as much like the PA as possible.

 

Making sounds with headphones won't cut it.

 

Making sounds at real low volume won't cut it.

 

Making sounds through a crap speaker and then going through the PA won't cut it.

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