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Graemey

Using Helix live with a loud band.

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Just wondered what you guys are using onstage to monitor your guitar?

 

I've just played my first gig with my Helix repacing an actual amplifier.

 

I used a 60 watt keyboard amplifier as a monitor. Sound quaility fine, but not LOUD enough.

 

I know it was great sounding out-front, but the band complained I lacked volume on stage.

 

I'd be interested to hear what other gigging players are using onstage with Helix?

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I have one L2T that I use as a floor monitor for smaller gigs, when we're all tucked into a corner on top of each other. For bigger stages when we're spread out a little more, I put it on a stand in the backline. Either way, it's plenty loud.

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Still using my amps, Fender super-sonic, and vibro-king. Haven't had the cash to get anything else to play though that would sound better. But hope to try out some kind of ff/fr powered speakers soon.

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Thinking out loud here- a full 60 watts thru a good amp/speakers should be loud enough the sterilize herds of elephants at 30 yards. Was the stage amp pointed at your head or your knees? Were there any monitor sends from your amp to the other band members on stage? Maybe the stage volume overall was just too loud? 

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...but the band complained I lacked volume on stage...

Although I'm using POD HD and not Helix, they both have the same issue to deal with on stage. There were some interesting responses to my post about this subject, and I learned a lot! Hopefully, you'll get some ideas as well.

http://line6.com/support/topic/15365-bandmates-dont-feel-pod-hd-sound-on-stage/

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Thinking out loud here- a full 60 watts thru a good amp/speakers should be loud enough the sterilize herds of elephants at 30 yards. Was the stage amp pointed at your head or your knees? Were there any monitor sends from your amp to the other band members on stage? Maybe the stage volume overall was just too loud? 

 

Hi! The amp was behind me a the correct hight. No monitor sends around the stage as we were playing in a regular size pub and would never normally need to do that. My regular set up is a Fender Twin with effects and an MXR Micro Amp to boost the solos. The Helix sounded amazing (tone and effects wise) but on stage the 60 watt amp lacked head room and just wasn't filling-out the sound of the band. We are not a super loud metal band or anything like that, but we do have a bit of ooommmph! I need a slightly louder solution, I think??

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Although I'm using POD HD and not Helix, they both have the same issue to deal with on stage. There were some interesting responses to my post about this subject, and I learned a lot! Hopefully, you'll get some ideas as well.

http://line6.com/support/topic/15365-bandmates-dont-feel-pod-hd-sound-on-stage/

 

Hi, thanks for the link. Very interesting comments there. In summary: I'm not concerned about making the leap from amp/speaker to FRFR, I just need a louder FRFR option than the 60 watt Peavey KB3 combo I currently have. Nice clear tone, but no power or headroom.

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I just bought the Alto TS210 but haven't gigged with it yet. I was using Alesis sumo keyboard amp and sounded ok, but at last 2 gigs I tried going into floor monitors only with no amp on stage and audience commented that our sound was much better and clear. I've been using the Alto to tune my patches and may bring it to our next gig and point it across the stage toward the band members (as I was doing with the Alesis), but not sure if I need to. 

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Hi! The amp was behind me a the correct hight. No monitor sends around the stage as we were playing in a regular size pub and would never normally need to do that. My regular set up is a Fender Twin with effects and an MXR Micro Amp to boost the solos. The Helix sounded amazing (tone and effects wise) but on stage the 60 watt amp lacked head room and just wasn't filling-out the sound of the band. We are not a super loud metal band or anything like that, but we do have a bit of ooommmph! I need a slightly louder solution, I think??

A fender Twin? That amp is awesome and loud. Arn't those amps 85 watts? Uncle Ted used to use those on stage ( 4 or 6 of um IIRC) but that was a while back.

 

We also used to play in a regular sized bars and always used individual sends to each persons monitor (there were 6 of us), and the reason for that  (we all had amps on stage too) was we mixed other amps/ drums as needed (toward us individually) from way crossed the stage. The out side people didn't need to turn up to hear each other. In this way, our amp stage volumes did not need to be so loud because of dispersion. It made us play at a nice stage volume level while also allowing us to hear one another without killing the guy next to you. We also had a sound guy and he was a part of the group. Just wanted you too understand the reasons why this might be a solution for you.  :)

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I read that Graemey used a 60 watt keyboard amplifier as a monitor - not a Fender Twin, right?

Anyway, check out the L2t or the Alto TS210 or [..] something with more power!

Several threads here (which speaker etc.) already, for example:

http://line6.com/support/topic/17792-your-helix-speaker-hardware/

 

I'm looking at the L2m.

800 watts (should be loud enough!) and basically the same as the L2t but without the mixer on the side. I wouldn't need a mixer as I only require monitoring of the Helix sound on stage.

 

That Speakon input at the back, does it accept 1/4 inch jack plug?

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Yea yer right, he did mention a 60 Watt keyboard amp at first.  :P  But that fender twin is loud lol. Maybe there is just something wrong with the Keyboard amp perhaps? I also used a Peavey (TnT I think)  keyboard amp- had a 15" in it. Had tilt back and was loud as well. The only other way to spread the noise on stage besides volume and separate monitor feeds, is in ear monitoring. Thats usually too expensive, or was when I was doing this stuff.

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I'm looking at the L2m.

800 watts (should be loud enough!) and basically the same as the L2t but without the mixer on the side. I wouldn't need a mixer as I only require monitoring of the Helix sound on stage.

 

That Speakon input at the back, does it accept 1/4 inch jack plug?

 

It does accept 1/4"; though with Helix to an L2m, you could also use the Line6Link connection.

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I've been using a Mission Engineering Gemini 1 FRFR cab. Gets super loud. If you need louder and stereo, the Gemini 2 is ridiculous.

 

Both have super transparent sound. I love mine.

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With a loud band, you need at least a 12" driver on an FRFR, regardless of wattage, cause you want to move a lot of air.

But, with a loud band (like loud enough where I get to wear ear plugs) nothing beats a nice big "real" amp or two. If I were doing that today, I'd get a tube power amp and 2 x 12 speaker cab.

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Matrix 1000 into real cabs. Matching IRs to FoH. No problem being heard, plenty of thump, moving air.

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I use my Helix with my DT-50 head and a 4x12 Bogner cab loaded with greenbacks. :)

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I did a gig last night in a large theater using the L2M for the first time. I had my Helix master at 12:00 and the speaker not even half way up. It was plenty loud with a ton more volume left if needed. Use the L6 connection. Sounded great.

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Simple problem here is the lack of headroom goven by a solid state 60watt ketboard amp. OP said it himself.

 

60 watts class A tube amp would be MUCH louder than 60 watts Solid State amp. Google it if you're really that interested in the scientifics behind it. Most FR/FR solutions have hundreds of watts available to give you that headroom.

 

There are lots of options - depends on your budget. If you can't afford it right now, use the kbd amp, and ask for a little help from the sound tech, by putting a little of your signal in the monitor mix. Wise words above from Spikey regarding making sure you can all hear each other, wothout having to be real loud.

 

Edit PS...

 

I don't have Helix, but I guess it's the same as the HD500. Make sure your output volume from the Helix is maxed out, and control over-all volume using your amp's volume.

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[...]

60 watts class A tube amp would be MUCH louder than 60 watts Solid State amp.

There are lots of options - depends on your budget.[...]  making sure you can all hear each other, wothout having to be real loud.

[...]

I don't have Helix, but I guess it's the same as the HD500. Make sure your output volume from the Helix is maxed out, and control over-all volume using your amp's volume.

 

Yep to all. With Helix, too ;)

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60 watt solid state amp is not that loud at all (in a lively environment) especially not for something as dynamic as the guitar

I'm having a bit of a problem adjusting I have to say

I've never gone 'full modelling' into a PA before as my main sound and I'm not getting enough punch or mid range I've got an EQ block for live with tons of low and high end chopped off , the global EQ has a bit too

And the desk EQ is like Mount Kilimanjaro and still there is far too much bass and treble and not enough mid range

I think my issue is I've chosen cab/mic IR models which are good at low volumes and tried to compensate for them at higher volumes with EQ

I forget IRs are a static thing. They don't react to volume like a traditional cab would

They are just exactly the same but louder

I'm going to try changing to a munch middier cab for live use

If I don't get anywhere though I'm going to ditch the amp modelling and use the fx straight into a couple of amps

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I've been using a Mission Engineering Gemini 1 FRFR cab. Gets super loud. If you need louder and stereo, the Gemini 2 is ridiculous.

 

Both have super transparent sound. I love mine.

Dittos on the ME units...have the Gemini 2 and this thing will break windows if you crank it....take a Big room to absorb all the juice these things have on tap...pricey but the best FRFR cabs available, imho...the blue tooth is killer too...

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Dittos on the ME units...have the Gemini 2 and this thing will break windows if you crank it....take a Big room to absorb all the juice these things have on tap...pricey but the best FRFR cabs available, imho...the blue tooth is killer too...

 

The Gemini 2 looks amazing! May be out of my price range though. I think the L2 could be the way forward. Surely 800 watts will suffice? Surely two 10 inch speakers will push the sound outwards and move some air?

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60w Solid State isn't very loud.

 

Real question of how good your PA is.  If your PA is solid then you shouldn't need a lot.  I use L2's on their sides pointed back like monitors and they're plenty loud for monitoring (they only have a 10 inch driver but they're great).  I've used the QSC K12 and it's an awesome speaker too.  Both of those options are pretty pricey though.

 

If you need more stage volume to reinforce your PA then I'd go with a more traditional cabinet or amplifier.  That IS NOT a FRFR most likely.

 

If you're using a true FRFR, it will have a horn tweeter.  Lately I've found placement of the horn relative to your ear at high volumes is VERY sensitive.  So, I DO NOT place either the K12 or the L2's vertically when using them as guitar speakers.  The tweeters disperse sound in a vertically biased pattern, and the driver is more directional.  Therefor you end up with the low end driver sound passing under your belt without being heard and your ear getting nothing but tweeter...and it sounds like crap.

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I use a pair of Mackie Thump 12s laid on their sides like floor monitors at the back of the stage on either side of the drummer and I've been good in places with or without PA support. I think if I was playing a large room without a PA (but really, who's going to set a show in a large room and not have a decent PA?) I'd probably put them on speaker stands with the woofers at shoulder level just for better coverage. They're super light (less than 40lbs each) and plenty loud. If we're playing a place with a really nice PA, I just bring one for a little pants flapping behind me.

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I was also going to recommend a QSC12 or a Tech 21 Power Engine 60 (maybe not enough though).  My band is probably small beans compared to yours but our first consideration with that scenario is to turn everybody else down a little.  Of course, we are close to going to in ears.

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Using it with a Yamaha DBR10 angled on its side (monitor style). That way I have my vocal monitor on one side of my mic stand and the DBR10 on the other. The DBR sounds amazing with the Helix, and with 700 watts of real juice, it's really just idling on stage with my 5 piece band.

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I have a QSC K12 and I can confirm that it just doesn't push enough air to compete with the animal drummer in one of my bands.  It's perfectly fine for my Wilco-esque band, but just can't get it going for the loud rock band.  I'm going to purchase a second K12 eventually, but in the meantime I've been running the Helix in front of my Orange TH30 with a 2x12 cab.  I used to work with an amp tech who would say "it ain't about wattage, it's about cone-age".  The physics is complicated, but total surface area of the speakers has a big impact on the overall decibel level.

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I have a QSC K12 and I can confirm that it just doesn't push enough air to compete with the animal drummer in one of my bands.  It's perfectly fine for my Wilco-esque band, but just can't get it going for the loud rock band.  I'm going to purchase a second K12 eventually, but in the meantime I've been running the Helix in front of my Orange TH30 with a 2x12 cab.  I used to work with an amp tech who would say "it ain't about wattage, it's about cone-age".  The physics is complicated, but total surface area of the speakers has a big impact on the overall decibel level.

 

If you're maxing out a K12 as your foldback, I hope you're using significant hearing protection. That thing is deafening at maximum volume, which means your drummer is also dangerously loud. If you're competing with a live hard hitting drummer, then you need to get closer to your speaker so you don't have to turn it up more. If you're standing behind your speaker with the drummer in your ear, then you need to move.

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Try putting your amp on the side of the stage, facing inward, as opposed to facing forward toward the crowd. It will give them more volume and also keep your amp from blasting the faces of people in the front.

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If you're maxing out a K12 as your foldback, I hope you're using significant hearing protection. That thing is deafening at maximum volume, which means your drummer is also dangerously loud. If you're competing with a live hard hitting drummer, then you need to get closer to your speaker so you don't have to turn it up more. If you're standing behind your speaker with the drummer in your ear, then you need to move.

I experimented this weekend and I discovered that I just wasn't outputting enough level to the speaker to get the volume I needed.  I took a brand new patch and inserted a Deluxe Normal (I think that's what it's called - I'm not at home right now) into the patch and, without touching anything, played it with my Les Paul with the output knob on the Helix set all the way clockwise.  I also double-checked the global settings on the Helix and made sure the XLR output was set to "Line".  I set the volume on the K12 to 0 dB and watched the clip light on the back.  No clipping - not even close.  I then upped the output at the far right of the patch to +20db and played - definitely clipping!  I backed off to +10 dB and found that even with distortion boxes and whatnot, I was not clipping.  At +10db, the speaker was way too loud, which is what I would expect of a 1000 W PA speaker of this quality.  Problem solved.  This brings me to the point where I wish there was a global output level.  Stock output level is too quiet for a rock band, if you're only using one FRFR speaker.  I'd rather have the output knob at 12 o'clock for normal use, just knowing I could get stupid loud if necessary.  I am very cognizant of my hearing and I'm constantly begging the drummer to stop using his crazy metal shell kit for the sake of all of the band members' ears and the audience.  If he can't tone it down, it may be time for a new drummer.

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I use a JBL EON610 as my monitor for vocals and Helix through a monitor output on the PA. This way I can control what I hear in my monitor for what I'm missing on the stage and what helps me perform.

 

Other small PA cabinets as monitors for Helix will be similar, some better or worse, but likely not that different. The EON610s are reasonably priced and light to carry.

 

There's a number of choices on how to position the monitor. The best configuration depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If the monitor is just for you, try placing it on the floor in front of you on its side and tilted back so you're looking directly at the horn. In this configuration the horn is positioned vertically, not horizontally. This ensures you hear it even though you might be backing up to solo, or getting up close to the mic for vocals. It also ensures the typical horn dispersion in the other direction is limited and helps isolate your monitor from others. Make sure the horn is on the side (left or right) away from your nearest neighbor so that you can further isolate your monitor from the guy next to you. This might take a little getting use to if you've always used a guitar amp behind you. But it does work very well and gives a more realistic expression of the tone you're actually delivering.

 

If on the other hand if the monitor is for you as well as the rest of the band to hear your guitar, then setting the speaker upright and behind you might be a better choice since the horn dispersion is now wide horizontally instead of vertically. This way you and others can hear your guitar.

 

A combination of the two can be useful if you use a stage amp and direct to the PA with Helix. But you have to control the overall volume in this situation to ensure the audience is getting a good balance and not too much guitar close to the stage while it disappears in the back of the room.

 

Individual monitors are really a must for performing. Such monitors are now high quality, relatively inexpensive, and self powered. If you have the monitors in front of the musicians, not only do they hear them better, but they are not providing uncontrolled contribution to the FOH mix. Beware the wall behind you though. If it's close and highly reflective, the monitors can still put a lot of sound to the audience reflected off the back wall. This often will be out of phase and delayed from the FOH speakers and should be avoided when possible. Slightly angling the monitors could help disperse and control these reflections.

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JBL EON, any size, I bought the small 10" one, 1000 Watts, light, easy to transport, small footprint, FRFR,

does glassy chicken pickin spangle to drop D metal both w/ awesome crunch and clairity. Under 300.00

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JBL EON, any size, I bought the small 10" one, 1000 Watts, light, easy to transport, small footprint, FRFR,

does glassy chicken pickin spangle to drop D metal both w/ awesome crunch and clairity. Under 300.00

Yup.

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Try putting your amp on the side of the stage, facing inward, as opposed to facing forward toward the crowd. It will give them more volume and also keep your amp from blasting the faces of people in the front.

This is what I do with my Yamaha DXR12, which is up on a stand, so the top of the speaker is chest high. Prior to this setup, I had problems. The main thing is getting the speaker off the floor and pointing where you want it to be heard. Then make sure you have enough power and speaker size. We're a loud band, but with this setup I never have the speaker amp over 50%, the Helix is usually under 50%, my guitar is at 7, so I have a little room to adjust as I want to.

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I run a JBL EON 615 on stage set behind me on the floor as a wedge, and it gives me plenty of volume to keep up with our loud stage sound.

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