Jump to content
Graemey

Using Helix live with a loud band.

Recommended Posts

I Use a Fryette Power Station Through A 2x12 With V30's. 50 Watts of all tube power. Plenty loud for on stage monitor as well as a practice situation or a small venue that doesn't mic up cabs. I have a small thread about it.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

60w SS is not very loud compared to 85 watts of Twin (which is valve/tube powered)..

 

I run my Bogner Shiva as my on stage monitor in 4CM and then using a parallel path on the Helix I run an IR'd Shiva Preamp signal (the real one, not the one modelled in the Helix) from the XLR's straight to FOH.

 

As a live band you are always going to be competing with an acoustic drum kit and in my opinion 60 watts of Keyboard amp is never going to cut it, its just not enough.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

sometimes just borrowing another amp/powered speaker might be helpful. running 2 side by side or close together moves a lot more air and fills out the stage better with sound

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm using an Alto TS212 (despite the misleading title, it has one 12" speaker and a tweeter). Got it because it's among the cheaper FRFR powered speakers ($300) and it's been getting great reviews. I have it mounted on a pole because it's too bassy on the floor. I think it's 500 watts and it can get pretty loud without clipping.

 

Two tricks I learned here for getting maximum volume: Be sure to set XLR or quarter inch to line level and quarter inch is louder than XLR.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure your output volume from the Helix is maxed out, and control over-all volume using your amp's volume.

I disagree. I read in a Crown PA amp manual that best practice is to have the amp either maximum volume or set a bit lower if you are sure you never want the amp's maximum power. The volume of the signal you send to the amp (from the Helix) should set the overall level. The benefit is that your power amp will have all it's power available to handle transient peaks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a single Mackie Thump12. It's plenty loud enough to hear over a loud drummer. But the speaker's vertical dispersion is too narrow.

 

I started with it upright on the floor behind me like a guitar amp, but my head was too far above the horn and all I heard was bass while the audience heard full range.

 

With a small PA and no sound guy, I put my speaker on a tripod stand behind me so the horn is level with my ears. I swivel the speaker just enough to towards the rest of the band so they can hear enough of me. With the speaker in this position the speaker's dispersion is wide enough to be heard across a large area.

 

I used this same positioning with a large PA but the sound guy was hearing way too much of me. So I put the speaker on it's side on the floor (with bass turned down) in front of me. The sound guy puts me through the mains and into each monitor as much as each band member wants.

 

The only problem with the speaker on its side on the floor is that I can only hear the horn within about a two-foot window. In this position the speaker's dispersion is very narrow. When I walk away from my main position I lose have a hard time hearing myself. I get the sound guy to put me through my PA monitor and that helps.

 

I suggest you get a powered speaker with the widest possible dispersion horizontally and vertically.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While this might be unpopular, how about lowering the overall stage volume and let the FOH carry the loud stuff? This way you can actually hear your sound on stage along with everyone else's. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While this might be unpopular, how about lowering the overall stage volume and let the FOH carry the loud stuff? This way you can actually hear your sound on stage along with everyone else's.

 

Couldn't help thinking this as well - most of the venues we play at are now quite hot on volumes etc and we as a band have had to reign in the volumes quite a bit and leave FOH carry a lot - not easy with acoustic drums, but then we are lucky in that we have a drummer who understands and just doesn't sit there hitting things as hard as he can!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's just amazing when you have a drummer that understands dynamics! I've played out for over 35 years off and on, and only played with 2 like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While this might be unpopular, how about lowering the overall stage volume and let the FOH carry the loud stuff? This way you can actually hear your sound on stage along with everyone else's. 

 

haha in most cases it's "good luck with that idea"

 

That's ok. I guess hearing aid sales people need to eat too.

 

LOL!

 

Couldn't help thinking this as well - most of the venues we play at are now quite hot on volumes etc and we as a band have had to reign in the volumes quite a bit and leave FOH carry a lot - not easy with acoustic drums, but then we are lucky in that we have a drummer who understands and just doesn't sit there hitting things as hard as he can!!!

 

Well in general, the drummer dictates the onstage volume of a band and they get a better sound out of their drums by hitting them with some velocity. There should be a happy medium between necessary and over-the-top ridiculousness, but I dislike when anyone discourages a drummer to play the way they're comfortable with. There are solutions; one is to have fiberglass walls in front and to each side of the kit. Besides reducing the onstage volume, it prevents excess bleed into all other microphones on the stage. Another solution is obviously more expensive, but practical... and that's everybody using custom molded in-ear monitors. The molds block out a lot of decibels onstage and with a monitor mixer with enough channels (and hopefully, a competent monitor sound engineer), everybody hears the mix they want to hear at the volume they want to hear it. In the band I tour with, everybody's using in-ears and there's fiberglass walls around the drums. Another great thing about in-ears is that they can make a room with horrible acoustics sound fine (at least to the band), because they're blocking all of those reflections and you're only hearing what the mics are "hearing." It'll still sound like crap to the audience, but they can blame the venue for that!

 

It's just amazing when you have a drummer that understands dynamics! I've played out for over 35 years off and on, and only played with 2 like that.

 

Of course dynamics are important, but for maximum impact, the loud parts should be able to be as loud as the soft parts are soft. In a good band, everybody should be listening to each other closely enough to hear when somebody's trying to instigate a change in dynamics. Or if the dynamics are pre-determined in a tune... well that should be obvious.

 

One drummer friend's stock joke is, "Dynamics? I can't play any louder!" It's funny until it's the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
One drummer friend's stock joke is, "Dynamics? I can't play any louder!" It's funny until it's the truth.

 

The loud parts can be handled at FOH, if you have a good sound guy running the mix. Thats the thing isn't it. With a band that understands good dynamics there really no reason to have excessive stage volumes ever, including the drummer. And good dynamics savy drummers know this. The only reason why the drummer has to play loud on stage all the time, is because of deaf guitar and bass players cranking their amps.  How do I know this for fact? Ask anyone who is an old rock&roll musician and wears hearing aids now, and they will tell you that this is the real truth.  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me it's finding a comfort level. At most of the venues we play, the drummer is on a small riser which puts his cymbals right at about my ear level.  Now depending on the space, he will sometimes put some gel packs on his cymbals to keep them in check, but it still is loud most of the time. Personally I like to feel my sound some in addition to hearing it. Call me crazy but it inspires me a little when I'm playing. So I'm balancing my volume against the drums, and making sure I've got solid coverage on my side of the stage. I rarely have a problem hearing the bass, and I ask for the other guitar player to be in my monitor slightly, as I rarely can hear him on the other side of the stage.

 

One other trick I use to help me cut through the mix, is that I run into a BBE Sonic Maximizer pedal. I've had this since I was playing through my tube amp, and I've found it to really sweeten my tone. With the Helix, I need to run it with lesser amounts of process, and low end then my amp, but I still use a little, and it gives me a little edge to cut through the mix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

<Snip>Two tricks I learned here for getting maximum volume: Be sure to set XLR or quarter inch to line level and quarter inch is louder than XLR.  

 

I too have noticed that the Helix's Main 1/4" Outs are noticably louder than the XLR Outs. This regardless when using sets of Yamaha DXR10s, Yamaha HS8s, JBL LSR305s, all in Stereo

I have not measured the Helix's Output levels.

Line 6 should publish, their I/O Level Specs!

 

Emphasis Added

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree. I read in a Crown PA amp manual that best practice is to have the amp either maximum volume or set a bit lower if you are sure you never want the amp's maximum power. The volume of the signal you send to the amp (from the Helix) should set the overall level. The benefit is that your power amp will have all it's power available to handle transient peaks.

 

 

This depends on the situation. If you're using passive speakers and a separate power amp, yes I'd expect most power amps to perform better set that way.

 

If you're using active speakers, though, most of those already have DSP and other circuitry to maximize the efficiency and transient response of the power amp, and IIRC their input gain is actually that of a separate built-in preamp. If that's the case, the advice in the Crown manual wouldn't apply here and the best practice would instead be to maximize signal-to-noise ratio by cranking the output of the Helix/other device and setting the speaker input volume to taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An old trick I learned a long time ago is you should balance the level of all instruments to volume of the kick drum.

 

All guitars should do a high pass around 90. Bass should find the bottom frequency that doesn't fight with the kick. Vocals should do a wide boost around 8k.

 

That's about it. You'll find you don't need excessive volume because everything will just sound fat and separated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I place my FRFR (Alto 12") speaker wedge right on the floor in front of me. It has two inputs. One input is my Helix and the other is the rest of the band. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason to set the Crown (or any amp thats volume controlled by another unit) to max volume, to for "Head Room", not maximum volume. Huge difference but I assume most already know this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the Helix with a Tech 21 Power Engine 60. It's a 60 watt, FRFR, powered speaker. It's light weight and loud. I keep in on 3 for most gigs and the Helix around 12 o'clock. We play plenty of classic and hard rock including Led Zeppelin, Collective Soul, Primus, Southern Rock, etc. and it cuts through the mix great with plenty of overhead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the Helix with a Tech 21 Power Engine 60. It's a 60 watt, FRFR, powered speaker. It's light weight and loud. I keep in on 3 for most gigs and the Helix around 12 o'clock. We play plenty of classic and hard rock including Led Zeppelin, Collective Soul, Primus, Southern Rock, etc. and it cuts through the mix great with plenty of overhead.

 

 

It just a single 12" Celestion 70/80 speaker with a relative neutral amp, so not so much FRFR, as the Celestion 70/80 isn't super flat, and rolls off at around 5kHz. But, if you're micing the cabinet, this is much better than trying to mic a real FRFR active speaker that uses multiple speakers to get a flat response and even dispersion across the whole audio frequency band. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a live band you are always going to be competing with an acoustic drum kit and in my opinion 60 watts of Keyboard amp is never going to cut it, its just not enough.

 

Very true, but it depends on what you're trying to accomplish. If you're using a stage amp as your source of contribution to FOH, then it needs to be able to compete with the drums. If you're only using a stage amp for your own instrument feedback, and FOH is fed directly from Helix outputs, then you only need enough power to provide your stage level. You generally want to minimize this to preserve your ears, and avoid competing with the FOA with stuff reflected off back walls, etc. Since your stage amp isn't for the audience in this case, you can put it in front of you instead of behind you. This way you won't need nearly as much power to compete with the drums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the time, I just run in-ears out of the headphone out on the Helix. That way I can hear myself just fine and everyone else is loud enough to be heard anyway. There are usually monitors at the venues we play so the others can hear me well enough (usually, though a lot of these sound guys and sound systems are pretty bad). If we are playing somewhere where the only mic vocals and kick (or less), I will bring my K10 and stick it pretty far back so that everyone can hear me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The reason to set the Crown (or any amp thats volume controlled by another unit) to max volume, to for "Head Room", not maximum volume. Huge difference but I assume most already know this.

Coming a bit late to this convo but I have a relevant question. I have a 200 watt Yorkville YX10P monitor that I use with my Firehawk FX. Is it better to set the volume on the speaker higher, and control volume (as to not clip) from the Firehawk, or the reverse where I set the output of the Firehawk high and then control the output/clipping of the speaker on the actual speaker itself?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I do guitar work with the Helix I just rent either a Yorkville Parasource P12P or a QSC K12. I find them to be plenty loud. If I'm playing a bigger venue it goes straight into the FOH, they should have enough juice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming a bit late to this convo but I have a relevant question. I have a 200 watt Yorkville YX10P monitor that I use with my Firehawk FX. Is it better to set the volume on the speaker higher, and control volume (as to not clip) from the Firehawk, or the reverse where I set the output of the Firehawk high and then control the output/clipping of the speaker on the actual speaker itself?

 

Most monitor manufacturers recommend you set the volume at 12 o'clock or what they refer to as unity to start with then increase slightly if you need to.  I never run max'd out on any of my powered speakers whether they be stage monitors or front of house.  I think the highest I set any of them is on the top units of the KLA12 line array which are set to about 2 o'clock.

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...