Jump to content
metallives

when using the 4 Cable method I have a loss of gain on my crunch channel

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone , First off this is my first forum post so if it is wrong or incomplete please be understanding .

 

My Gear - Randall RD 100 Head with Randall 2 x 12 V 30 Cabinet , Helix, I use a mini amp gizmo for Midi channel switching on my amp head from clean , crunch, and high gain channels. I am using the 4 cable method to utilize my amps High gain channel for my rhythms and lead channel. My guitars are ESP/ltd WITH EMG 81/85 Combo .

 My vision is to utilize amp modeling for some of the clean tones, plus some heavy tones for different songs but also rely on my amps distortion for all my heavy rhythms so from what I have researched the 4 cable method is best . I also could not use the amp switching on the helix because of only one input on the helix and this would only allow me 2 channels of switching so I have went to the mini amp gizmo which is switching my channels on my amp via midi . Everything is working great except when using my amps high gain channel it has a huge loss in gain and over all aggressive tone. I can apply a distortion through the helix and get a ok sound, but the whole point was to be able to use the distortion of the amp as I love the sound. What could possibly be sucking all my sound out ? I am unclear how the sends and returns should be set level wise or if the send and return box on the helix can be next to each other or do they need to be on either end of the chain? I would like to add eq and also maybe a overdrive to just get a little more bite out of the rhythm bank. 

 

I am gigging musician and play out about twice a month , writing original material in the vein of sevendust or a more doom style of metal . I record professionally and need all this stuff to work together and I am banging my head against the wall wondering where all my gain and tone has gone. any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am running my Helix with a Blackstar Series One 45 using the 4CM and I am not noticing these issues. What I did was create a rhythm channel that is just a send/return to my amp and a noise gate. A very simple patch. I would try something like that and see what you get. Maybe just create a patch with a send/return to your amp and see what it sounds like. I also believe you can set the send/returns to line or instrument level. You might want to test that as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am trying a simple patch like this. I guess I need to mess with my send and return levels. If it is up too high I am getting feedback that my gate will not control. I will try again tonight and see if I am at band level if I can get the amount of gain or at least similar to just plugging into the amp direct from the guitar.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also to note ... the Helix does allow for 2 channels of switching. This is from the manual ....

 

EXT AMP 1/2 Connect to your traditional guitar amp to switch its channels or turn its reverb on and off. Use a TRS cable for dual operation (1=tip, 2=ring).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can the Randall head do MIDI or does it have to have that footswitch thing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sorry I was not clear . Yes the Helix can switch up to 2 channels. My Head has 3 channels plus a Boost . That is why I use the mini amp gizmo . Through Midi I can switch any function on my head and assign any channel to one of the foot switches on the Helix. Pretty cool !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No the Randall RD 100 can not do Midi . The Mini Amp gizmo is required to change channels through Midi . There is a special cable needed to go from the Amp Gizmo to the head then a Midi cable runs from the amp gizmo to the Midi in the helix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several things that could cause this.

 

I checked the Randall site and it says that the FX Loop of your amp is instrument level, so my advise will take this into account.

 

Please connect

1. Your Guitar to the Guitar In

2. Helix Loop 1 Send To your Amp front input

3. Amp FX Send to Helix Loop 1 Return

4. Helix Main Left Out to your Amp FX Return

 

The critical connection for your amp's drive level is number 2. Here the level has to be same as before, so your amp drive behaves like without Helix.

 

Now go to Global Input settings and make sure that all 4, Instrument In, FX Loop.1 as well as main out on Helix are set to Instrument level. Also check the impedance of the guitar input, which is most punchy and trebly at 1 MOhm (default setting).

 

Use an empty preset. Let's set the upper Row for before the amp, so input set to guitar, output to Send 1. The lower row for post FX so let's set input to Return 1 and output to Main Left.

 

Now go to both, upper and lower chains and set the Gate to Off. For a test also set the Gate on your amp to Off. Gates can cut off the first few milliseconds of your playing attack, which can make your overdrive tones seem mellow.

 

Max the big Output dial on the Helix and do a test on all 3 channels of the amp. Do you still experience problems?

 

If this works you can start experimenting with gates and FX.

 

Inhope you'll figure it all out and your 4CM Setup will work as good as mine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No the Randall RD 100 can not do Midi . The Mini Amp gizmo is required to change channels through Midi . There is a special cable needed to go from the Amp Gizmo to the head then a Midi cable runs from the amp gizmo to the Midi in the helix.

 

Hey metal lives - in a addition to Jaeger's advice, check this first - on your Amp Gizmo, make sure that only one of the channel led/buttons is active at a time - lots of amps including my Mark V get stuck in this 1/2 way state if the switcher tries to activate two channels at a time.  If this *is* the problem, there's a really simple fix called "group mode" to make sure it never happens again -

check page 18 on the manual: https://www.rjmmusic.com/manuals/Mini%20Amp%20Gizmo%20Manual.pdf

 

Hope this helps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

oh man this is interesting. I had a hard time getting the helix to accept midi commands but finally figured it out. Maybe this has something to do with it . I will try hopefully tonight. The only question is I do like my boost function on my amp plus my high gain channel on for my rhythms, again just a killer attack and bite to it . This would require 2 buttons on the gizmo on at a one time. Would I be able to do this I wonder ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will try this tonight ! Thank you so much for the advice. I did try and work on this last night and I just can't get it to sound right. Do my send mix need to be at 100% or my output need to be maxed out on the helix as well? I get a HISS sound and the gate will not control it. HA , I  have had the Helix for 3 weeks and have not been able to really use it yet. I can't use it in band practice and no where ready to gig with the thing. I am getting disappointed .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try the Effect Loop on the amp in 100% first.

If you have buzz in 4CM you need an isolator box for your connection from the helix to the amp in. Lehle P Split for example or Palmer or other. This is to transformer isolate and seperate ground on one of the connections to break the loop. Works fine no tone loss and these boxes are cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are several things that could cause this.

 

I checked the Randall site and it says that the FX Loop of your amp is instrument level, so my advise will take this into account.

 

Please connect

1. Your Guitar to the Guitar In

2. Helix Loop 1 Send To your Amp front input

3. Amp FX Send to Helix Loop 1 Return

4. Helix Main Left Out to your Amp FX Return

 

The critical connection for your amp's drive level is number 2. Here the level has to be same as before, so your amp drive behaves like without Helix.

 

Now go to Global Input settings and make sure that all 4, Instrument In, FX Loop.1 as well as main out on Helix are set to Instrument level. Also check the impedance of the guitar input, which is most punchy and trebly at 1 MOhm (default setting).

 

Use an empty preset. Let's set the upper Row for before the amp, so input set to guitar, output to Send 1. The lower row for post FX so let's set input to Return 1 and output to Main Left.

 

Now go to both, upper and lower chains and set the Gate to Off. For a test also set the Gate on your amp to Off. Gates can cut off the first few milliseconds of your playing attack, which can make your overdrive tones seem mellow.

 

Max the big Output dial on the Helix and do a test on all 3 channels of the amp. Do you still experience problems?

 

If this works you can start experimenting with gates and FX.

 

Inhope you'll figure it all out and your 4CM Setup will work as good as mine.

 

When you say upper row and lower row, are you saying to create a drop down row off of row one, or are you talking about the bottom row that is already there when you start with a fresh patch?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing to check - many of the patches seem to place the volume pedal prior to the amp model.  What happens when you do that is lower the amount of signal going into the amp - like rolling your guitar volume off - which would take away lots of high-gain character.  Just a thought, if nothing else is working, check where yours is located - is it before the send/return of your amp's preamp section?  If so, just bypass the volume pedal entirely and see if your high gain tone returns - of course that maximizes overall output, so you'll have to turn amp overall volume down, or turn down the output of the Helix if you're not somewhere you can be loud.  If that is it, and you still want the volume pedal, move it just after your send/return that contains your amp's preamps section.  Then control overall output volume with the amp's volume or the Helix output knob.  If you use delay, putting the volume pedal after preamp but before delay sends your chosen and complete dirty signal into the delay without changing it's character, which you now control with the guitar volume knob.  Hope that all makes sense.  I lose very little preamp character using 4CM - of course there is some change for a variety of other reasons, but it doesn't destroy the character, just tweaks it slightly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say upper row and lower row, are you saying to create a drop down row off of row one, or are you talking about the bottom row that is already there when you start with a fresh patch?

 

Im thinking he meant to use the bottom row that is already there when you start the patch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...