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Unscientific study on stopping hiss xlr output


capdoogie
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With other posters here having problems with hiss or static of some sort out of xlr main outs I decided to see what gives. When I hook up left mono xlr out direct to monitor and it doesn't matter which one I tried there was a very slight hiss white noise and I mean slight. I did this to take the mixer FOH boards out of the equation. Now when I added the FOH mixer in, the hiss was the same depending on gain levels and eq's added. Now if you turn phantom on or your board has permanent phantom power hiss gets louder/bad. Some on this site have used phantom blockers to eliminate this problem. Mines on order to see if this even helps the slight hiss when no phantom power is on. Ok, so then I hooked up a 1/4 inch cable to the left mono 1/4 inch out on helix, then connected other end to radial eng. pro di box then xlr out to monitor or FOH mixer and NO HISS, SILENT! And no tone degregation. What gives? Why is the xlr outputs putting out a very very slight hiss. Maybe someone else has more to offer on this helix anomaly. I will be running my 1/4 direct box from now on for live or even in house playing... Untill line 6 fixes this.

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I have the hiss coming out of a specific channel...which unfortunately happens to be my channel. Now that you mention the eq I wonder if that is making the difference. At any rate the ground lift completely eliminates this for me. The only problem I have is that I'd like to switch the board off between services, but the hiss comes back until I unplug the xlr. I'm gonna have to try your work around this weekend. Thanks for the info.

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No, ground lift does not help slight hiss. I think we all have it, to some degree. Mine is very slight you have to get close to monitor to here it from xlr outs. I know others to have it pretty bad. But, the 1/4 outs thru di box dead silent! L6 link might be great as well but I haven't tried that yet.

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...Ok, so then I hooked up a 1/4 inch cable to the left mono 1/4 inch out on helix, then connected other end to radial eng. pro di box then xlr out to monitor or FOH mixer and NO HISS, SILENT! And no tone degregation. What gives? 

 

I'll tell you what gives, imho. There is nothing wrong with the 1/4" outputs on modeling devices... DI boxes cure a multitude of audio sins... and as a result, I have never used the XLR output from any of my modelers. Fact is, on HD 500, the 1/4" output sounded better to me, and on Helix it sounds the same.

 

Just get a good D.I. and move on imho.

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Why would anyone want to add a DI box to a device that's supposed to be its own DI box? If there is actually noise in the XLR outputs and not the 1/4" outputs, something is wrong. 

 

the more crap you have to add externally to a device like this the further you get from the reason a lot of us purchase a device like this... 

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Why would anyone want to add a DI box to a device that's supposed to be its own DI box? If there is actually noise in the XLR outputs and not the 1/4" outputs, something is wrong. 

 

the more crap you have to add externally to a device like this the further you get from the reason a lot of us purchase a device like this... 

 Because, like other devices (Kemper for instance I believe), the whole phantom power issue is too often looming it's head. It's not just this unit.

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I haven't noticed any hiss from the the XLR outs either by going into my mixer or directly into my L2t speakers (I do have hiss with phantom power on and the ground lift switch off). It doesn't necessarily surprise me, though, that going into a DI might be quieter in some setups than using the XLR outs. A DI box is an electrically isolated connection to the PA. There is an actually transformer in a DI box so there's no physical link between the high and low impedance signals. It's a good way to ensure that you're not passing noise through the system.

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So here is more live setup info. There is a slight white noise I believe in all these helix using xlr out. I have two friends that also here it from there helix. Now like said before very very slight and goes away or is hidden when you start playing . Now in a live bar or something that is noisy no biggy, but in a worship church setting this is not good. I've tried line and mic level out of xlr and no change in noise. Like peterhamm said above the only way around this that I can see is helix to di to monitor thru to FOH or run a splitter after the di box like a radial js2 then one line to your monitor and one to FOH. The other thing that is a pain and maybe I don't have the full grasp is when you turn off the volume knob to xlr the volume put out is way to high for the boards I've been thru. So, then you have to go back and turn down all outputs sometimes -20db. But then your volume to your 1/4 out is messed so your now turning it up via your volume knob. A big fat circle of doom. Lol. I also have found that running a di box from the 1/4 inch cables sounds better. IMO. more unscientific study to come

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So go figure Mars and Jupiter must be in alignment. After days of fiddling the white noise is gone. Who knows why, bad ions? But one thing I have noticed make sure FOH board is set to line level and phantom power is off. Or your in for a rough gig.

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So go figure Mars and Jupiter must be in alignment. After days of fiddling the white noise is gone. Who knows why, bad ions? But one thing I have noticed make sure FOH board is set to line level and phantom power is off. Or your in for a rough gig.

 

I do wonder how much of the hiss problem for SOME folks is a simple impedance mis-match. running a hot level into a channel with a lot of gain turned up is a recipe for hiss...

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All this stuff is sort of outside of my skill set.  When I first experienced the hiss I asked the sound tech to lower my gain, but then I seemed to be much too quiet.  Is there a certain level my gain should be at in relation to my overall volume or is it just something that a good tech should know?  We run into problems at church when you have someone like me that is unfamiliar with running sound talking to a sound tech that is relatively new or inexperienced.

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Next test will be different live setups. 1) Helix>1/4 out>DI>monitor thru to FOH. 2) helix>1/4 out>monitor, xlr>FOH. On #2 I will try xlr not coupled to volume knob and coupled. Hopefully by this weekend I will have results, I will also put in xlr output a phantom blocker to see how that works. Will report my findings.

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 Because, like other devices (Kemper for instance I believe), the whole phantom power issue is too often looming it's head. It's not just this unit.

 

If Kemper and Line 6 designed their DI outputs properly, they would function the same as an external DI box, otherwise, it would seem that both units have XLR outputs for limited use and mostly for show. 

 

I don't really understand how there is a "No, really, its OK it doesn't work right, because you can just buy some other stuff to get the functionality that's supposed to be baked into the device" attitude towards this. Having exceptionally routing and modeling doesn't mean you get a pass on dumb mistakes/issues that should have been sorted in hardware development. 

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I used the two XLR outputs into our PA and immediately had a "Hiss" of noise. At first, I was Incredibly disappointed, even tried cycling the ground lift... to no avail.

Until... I figured out that Phantom Power was on for one of the channels I plugged into.

Once I disabled the phantom power, I'm happy to report that it's as silent as if it was turned off!... and volume increased a bit too!

I love this unit!!!!

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HD500 XLR outs are nice and quiet. They just have a very low output.Have to work around that.After using a DI box for a while I just started cranking the HD500 master volume 3/4 of the way up and sent the XLR to the FOH mixer.I then use the 1/4 out to my Alto 10 on the stage for my own guitar monitor. Works very well and no noise at all. If the Helix has inherent XLR out noise tha is indeed a problem in quiet environments and I fully understand the frustration.An all in one should be an all in one device.Especially at a $1500 price point.

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So here is my findings. This was conducted by going into a digital mixing board with individual phantom per channel capability, all eq's set flat (centered). Using xlr out with phantom power off at board quite as a mouse. Turn on phantom power and holy crap. Hiss white noise, not good! Leave phantom on and use phantom blocker, all is well again! Maybe very very little white noise. Then went from 1/4 out to radial Jdi direct box and also really good. I turned off volume knob control to xlr and 1/4 outs to have a controlled output setting so as not to have the volume control in the mix. I stood out in the middle of the room while we switched back and forth from 1/4 and xlr out and all three of us that where there all picked the tones/sound coming from the xlr! It was just more alive and articulate than the 1/4 out. The di box seem to round off the notes per say like having a compressor on the lightest setting. But, either way was good, and I wouldn't hesitate to use 1/4 out via di box if xlr out was not cooperating. Oh, also mic level out on xlr worked way better than line out. Line out was way to hot! So, I run the phantom blocker to xlr cable to FOH. Why run phantom blocker? Just safeguard in case phantom power accidently gets turned on. The great news for me is I set up all my tones with my mackie monitor on a pole. When I go to a venue my presets are spot on. Cheers..

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LMAO at the notion of putting a DI between Helix and my M20d. OMG....laughable!

This is all on Line 6 and possibly Yamaha for cheaping out on a circuit design to cut costs.

 

Newsflash: Someone who is willing to pay $1500 for a modeling pedal would probably pay $1510..........

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...Someone who is willing to pay $1500 for a modeling pedal would probably pay $1510..........

 

or, even MORE likely, someone paying 1500 for a piece of gear either has a DI lying around (I have 3) or is in an environment where they are plentiful.

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