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mykejb

Doe Helix have built in a level meter?

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I can't find mention of this anywhere - is there some sort of internal level meter you can use to see what the signal levels are at a particular point in the effects chain?

 

Mike

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No there's not, currently. You'd have to use some sort of external method for this.

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It sure would be a nice feature. In particular I'd love to have it for setting input levels.

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That's a shame - I'm used to the one on the VG-99 which is really useful for gain staging. Sounds like something for a future update :)

 

Mike

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I wouldn't be surprised if they add this in a firmware update. The ideascale entry has quite a few votes.

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Quite a few? Yes, I think it's the #1 ongoing ideascale issue at 1554 votes! If you also include the #4 issue which is asking for a clipping indicator at 1168 votes, then having a level indication of some sort has 3 times as many votes for these two issues as the next contender in the Helix ideascale AFAIK. Seems awfully popular.

 

I'm wondering if Line 6 has commented on this?

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8 hours ago, genesound said:

I'm wondering if Line 6 has commented on this?

 

lol...surely, you jest. 

 

The color of the bathroom tiles at their corporate headquarters is proprietary info.... don't hold your breath. ;)

  • Haha 2

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I agree this would be a very useful feature. I'll go one step further and add that having some type of indicator on the compressors to show how hard you are hitting the threshold and compressing would be most useful as well.

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This is a resurrected 2 year old post.  Line 6 staff very rarely ever posts anything on this forum. This is a Line 6 users forum for sharing information. 

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" ... on this forum" was not part of the question. I'm aware of the age of the thread, but it is an age old question now...

 

This issue has the most votes of any requested feature on the Ideascale (and more than one thread there) for years now, and I'm still wondering if anyone has ever heard of Line 6 commenting on creating a level meter feature for the Helix / Helix Rack.

 

Not necessarily a mention here, or in this thread, or even on this forum, but ever... anywhere?

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not sure how useful a meter would be.  If you think of any "real world" pedal board and amp almost no pedals have a meter on them and no amps do (ok there might be an exception) yet we happily managed to gainstage by being sensible and switching things off and on to check that the levels were all consistant.  No reason not to do i the same way in Helix!

 

...and no guitar is going to clip the input.....and Helix pretty much can't clip internally...(i dont mean you cant over drive blocks..but thats not clipping in this sense).

 

If any one can explain why a meter would help Im keen to hear.

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27 minutes ago, lawrence_Arps said:

not sure how useful a meter would be.  If you think of any "real world" pedal board and amp almost no pedals have a meter on them and no amps do (ok there might be an exception) yet we happily managed to gainstage by being sensible and switching things off and on to check that the levels were all consistant.  No reason not to do i the same way in Helix!

 

...and no guitar is going to clip the input.....and Helix pretty much can't clip internally...(i dont mean you cant over drive blocks..but thats not clipping in this sense).

 

If any one can explain why a meter would help Im keen to hear.

 

A meter is almost an essential element in normalizing the volume between different presets and snapshots.  On a single amp you don't have to worry about it quite as much as you do when switching between wide variations in amps and genres.  Many, including myself, use external meters either on a DAW or a mixing board to get an idea of whether the signal level is consistent.  Of course you still have to fine tune things by ear, but it's a quick way to get everything in the ballpark.  Without some form of normalizing you're going to be driving the sound man crazy with all your variations in signal strength.

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Hi DD
I kind of get what you say here...but have always just done this by ear

I have tried both a mixer channel meter and a SPL meter. Both gave variable results  based on the tone and amount of compression or drive.  In the end I have stopped using either and just use my ears - starting with keeping amp blocks roughly at unity as DI suggests, then comparing between patches.  I do final checks by playing to backing tracks at reasonably high volume while switching between patches and snapshots.

I do note how many people struggle with hearing compression and would like a gain reducation meter...but again, part of me asks "if you cant hear it why use it?"

One thing that an input meter would allow is for exact matching between Helix hardware and Nelix native.

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I really don't understand the resistance to metering. I'm a professional audio engineer, and while it's true that you want to mix with your ears and not your eyes, meters serve several essential purposes. 

 

One purpose is to make sure nothing's clipping, though as noted above that's really only a concern on the output. All the same, there have been times when something just sounds "off" and I'd really like to know with some certainty whether I'm clipping the input.

 

Another critical purpose is to normalize levels. When I'm building a patch, I don't want to have to constantly flip back and forth with my other presets in order to check the levels. I want to focus on building the patch. Having in/out meters would let me build the patch to a certain output level, and be reasonable assured that it's not going to be horribly mismatched with my other patches.

 

Sure, if you're comparing the Helix to analog pedals and amps, you're right that few of those devices have metering. But those devices also don't have recallable scenes, each containing dozens of different gain and level parameters. Any audio processor with detailed presets, a mic input, or interface abilities needs metering, and the Helix has all of those things.

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5 hours ago, lawrence_Arps said:

Hi DD
I kind of get what you say here...but have always just done this by ear

I have tried both a mixer channel meter and a SPL meter. Both gave variable results  based on the tone and amount of compression or drive.  In the end I have stopped using either and just use my ears - starting with keeping amp blocks roughly at unity as DI suggests, then comparing between patches.  I do final checks by playing to backing tracks at reasonably high volume while switching between patches and snapshots.

I do note how many people struggle with hearing compression and would like a gain reducation meter...but again, part of me asks "if you cant hear it why use it?"

One thing that an input meter would allow is for exact matching between Helix hardware and Nelix native.

 

I don't argue this can be done completely by ear.  And as I stated, you still have to do some of that even if you're using a meter.  For myself it's really just a matter of workflow when I'm setting up my presets.  I have my Helix plugged into a small mixing board all the time at home so I can watch the signal meter and I end up with all the presets and snapshots pretty much where they need to be.  Occasionally once I get with the band at practice or sound check I may make some fine tuning on a patch or two, but that's pretty rare.  The big value to me is that I know the sound man is going to get a very consistent signal level when he's gain staging and that's going to expedite the gain staging process.

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On ‎7‎/‎3‎/‎2018 at 5:10 PM, mitchellisdumb said:

I really don't understand the resistance to metering. I'm a professional audio engineer, and while it's true that you want to mix with your ears and not your eyes, meters serve several essential purposes. 

 

One purpose is to make sure nothing's clipping, though as noted above that's really only a concern on the output. All the same, there have been times when something just sounds "off" and I'd really like to know with some certainty whether I'm clipping the input.

 

Another critical purpose is to normalize levels. When I'm building a patch, I don't want to have to constantly flip back and forth with my other presets in order to check the levels. I want to focus on building the patch. Having in/out meters would let me build the patch to a certain output level, and be reasonable assured that it's not going to be horribly mismatched with my other patches.

 

Sure, if you're comparing the Helix to analog pedals and amps, you're right that few of those devices have metering. But those devices also don't have recallable scenes, each containing dozens of different gain and level parameters. Any audio processor with detailed presets, a mic input, or interface abilities needs metering, and the Helix has all of those things.

all true! Im not resistant to metering - just not crucifying Helix for not having it.

If it had one Im sure I would use it.

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I use a custom guitar type with 3 humbuckers and try to wring every possible analogue guitar sound out of this one guitar design.

 

One of these sounds involves running each humbucker in parallel with itself and parallel with each other, but I reverse the phase of the coil closest to the bridge on all 3 humbuckers, then use a resistor to lower that coil's output by 50% with respect to the other humbucker coil.

 

The result is an output that is about 75% the output of a single coil, and sounds awesome clean.

 

So I have to really boost this low-output thin sound and keep it clean and full. So I must use this pickup setting as my overall reference level that nothing else can be louder than.

 

Plus I must allow a 30% boost for leads, on top of this.

 

Plus I also use serial mode OBL L500B bridge humbucker in high-gain 2204 mod with 2x12 cab models, in same sets live.

 

As you can imagine balancing the levels as I change amps, clean to hyperdrive gains and pickup switched gain settings also, takes a few loud gigs to set for seamless volume changes.

 

I can do it by ear, but a HIGH RESOLUTION PEAK-HOLD METER would make a huge difference to tuning gain levels, and output matching patches, with the huge pickup-setting gain changes (my guitar has 14 DPDT pickup wiring switches, each making different input gain levels).

 

Peak-hold, along with a numerical decimal place display of the held PEAK value, is what we really need to get a useable output match before fine-tuning the level by ears with a band.


We need this sort of peak-hold tool, Line6.

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2 hours ago, Vanilla_Icecream said:

I use a custom guitar type with 3 humbuckers and try to wring every possible analogue guitar sound out of this one guitar design.

 

One of these sounds involves running each humbucker in parallel with itself and parallel with each other, but I reverse the phase of the coil closest to the bridge on all 3 humbuckers, then use a resistor to lower that coil's output by 50% with respect to the other humbucker coil.

 

The result is an output that is about 75% the output of a single coil, and sounds awesome clean.

 

So I have to really boost this low-output thin sound and keep it clean and full. So I must use this pickup setting as my overall reference level that nothing else can be louder than.

 

Plus I must allow a 30% boost for leads, on top of this.

 

Plus I also use serial mode OBL L500B bridge humbucker in high-gain 2204 mod with 2x12 cab models, in same sets live.

 

As you can imagine balancing the levels as I change amps, clean to hyperdrive gains and pickup switched gain settings also, takes a few loud gigs to set for seamless volume changes.

 

I can do it by ear, but a HIGH RESOLUTION PEAK-HOLD METER would make a huge difference to tuning gain levels, and output matching patches, with the huge pickup-setting gain changes (my guitar has 14 DPDT pickup wiring switches, each making different input gain levels).

 

Peak-hold, along with a numerical decimal place display of the held PEAK value, is what we really need to get a useable output match before fine-tuning the level by ears with a band.


We need this sort of peak-hold tool, Line6.

 

It does you no good to write it up here.  Line 6 really doesn't monitor this forum.   But you can add your comments to IdeaScale and see how much user support you get for it.  Your situation is so one-off I'm not sure how much user support it might draw which is the defining factor for the things Line 6 is going to focus on ideally.

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On 7/5/2018 at 12:38 AM, Vanilla_Icecream said:

I use a custom guitar type with 3 humbuckers and try to wring every possible analogue guitar sound out of this one guitar design.

 

One of these sounds involves running each humbucker in parallel with itself and parallel with each other, but I reverse the phase of the coil closest to the bridge on all 3 humbuckers, then use a resistor to lower that coil's output by 50% with respect to the other humbucker coil.

 

The result is an output that is about 75% the output of a single coil, and sounds awesome clean.

 

So I have to really boost this low-output thin sound and keep it clean and full. So I must use this pickup setting as my overall reference level that nothing else can be louder than.

 

Plus I must allow a 30% boost for leads, on top of this.

 

Plus I also use serial mode OBL L500B bridge humbucker in high-gain 2204 mod with 2x12 cab models, in same sets live.

 

As you can imagine balancing the levels as I change amps, clean to hyperdrive gains and pickup switched gain settings also, takes a few loud gigs to set for seamless volume changes.

 

I can do it by ear, but a HIGH RESOLUTION PEAK-HOLD METER would make a huge difference to tuning gain levels, and output matching patches, with the huge pickup-setting gain changes (my guitar has 14 DPDT pickup wiring switches, each making different input gain levels).

 

Peak-hold, along with a numerical decimal place display of the held PEAK value, is what we really need to get a useable output match before fine-tuning the level by ears with a band.


We need this sort of peak-hold tool, Line6.

 

Wow, would really like to see a picture of that guitar..

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I agree with wanting meters.  Input, output, gain reduction, all of it.  I can't really understand why there wouldn't be in today's world.  Have a setting to turn off metering for anyone that doesn't want to see it.  I find it annoying that the native plugin has basic I/O meters with faders even, but nothing on the hardware?  And I agree, it mostly matters to meter on the mixer but if we had it on the hardware then we could calibrate the output of the Helix with the input of the mixer, so that -6 coming out of the Helix is showing up as -6 on the mixer input.  I mostly want them to confirm level matching. If I know that everyone is happy with my guitar level in their ear mixes when I'm outputting -6, then I can play with presets and write new presets at home with just my ears plugged into the Helix and I don't have to bounce between presets to level match.  I could just finalize by setting everything the output to -6 and I know that my level will stay consistent when going into the mixer.  I would rather have this than a master level knob.  I'm not sure why they even put a master level knob on there.  If it's going to be there, at least make it some type of super hefty thing that I can adjust with my foot.  I would rather leave it all the way up all the time, and control the output of each patch digitally, with a meter.  

 

  

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