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Using a Cab or IR with external preamp ?


philipjoyce
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Im gonna be running my Helix in 4 cable method with a Mesa Boogie Formula Preamp in Fx loop 1 and then send the 1/4" outs to a Mesa boogie 50/50 power amp and then micing a speaker
Im wondering if i could put a cab block or IR in parallel at the end of the path and send that out via the XLRs and direct to the desk ? 
would it sound weird using a Cab block or IR with just a preamp ? 
I saw a member here making IRs of a power amp and speaker , i guess getting some of those would be best . but I'm curious as to whether the included cabs would sound ok , since they have a lot of options between speaker,  Mic, distance, early reflections etc

i guess ill need to experiment and see, but i havent had a chance to hook up the Helix with my gear yet and test the theory.

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Yeah, you can split the signal before you go out to your power amp and speaker out, pop in a Helix cab or IR, and set to XLR out. Both will function the same but sound different. You'll probably want to experiment with amps as well as preamps. To me the amps sound a little dark into a tube power amp and guitar cab, but may sound better through your split path to the board with HX cab or IR.

 

I think the Helix Cabs and most IR'S are made with clean amplifiers to try to get the purest signal from the cab for use with full amps (physical and model).

 

Ideally Line 6 would post separate tube guitar power amp models for this type of split preamp and power amp and 4CM routing.

 

Lack of power amp models is what inspired me to make tube power amp + cab IR'S. While you don't get the distortion of the tube power amps, you do get back more if the tube power amp into cab frequency response. Its a bit of a tube amp filter on a regular cab IR if you will.

 

To me, these sound better with the Helix tube preamp models than Helix cabs or cab only IRs.

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yeah I've been reading your posts about your custom IRs, 

 

i tried running an preamp block and cab earlier and it did sound pretty ok. 

my idea would be to get a complimentary Di'd sound going direct to the desk that i can blend with the real mic sound. 

its something I'm loving about Helix , the amount of routing options and outputs are just fantastic

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You might try a similar Helix amp+cab block on your XLR to board split signal chain and adjust the gain and eq on the preamp on that block to try to match your real power amp and cab sound, i.e. turn the gain down.

 i won't be using a Helix modelled amp live though... I'm wondering if i can put a cab block after a real tube preamp

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I only proposed it as an alternative if the cab only block didn't sound right to you. Honsestly, I haven't tried it myself but now curious of how my Mesa Triaxis and Marshall JMP-1 would sound into a "turned down" Helix amp + cab block. Maybe a bit of eq on it would help.

 

Personally for myself, I would set up two identical patches to A B. One with my physical gear and one with my XLR to desk signal chain to a full range speaker or headphones. Then I would adjust the XLR path to be as close as possible to my physical rig. You should be able to get close with Helix Cabs, Helix amp + cab (amp gain down and master up), cab IRs, or cab + amp IRs.

 

I see you are using a Mesa 50/50 amp. Not sure what kind of cab you have. I IR'd my real Mesa 2:90 power amp into virtual Recto cab with V30 speakers. My Triaxis sounds really similar into that IR to what it sounds like through my real 2:90 and Recto 2x12 cab.

 

But let me know if you can't get a match with Helix. I could try to whip up an IR for you.

 

It might help too if you could record a short jam just straght out of your Formula pre out and the same jam with your full mic'd rig and send or post those wav files. You can record both simultaneously with Helix and two tracks.

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I only proposed it as an alternative if the cab only block didn't sound right to you. Honsestly, I haven't tried it myself but now curious of how my Mesa Triaxis and Marshall JMP-1 would sound into a "turned down" Helix amp + cab block. Maybe a bit of eq on it would help.

 

Personally for myself, I would set up two identical patches to A B. One with my physical gear and one with my XLR to desk signal chain to a full range speaker or headphones. Then I would adjust the XLR path to be as close as possible to my physical rig. You should be able to get close with Helix Cabs, Helix amp + cab (amp gain down and master up), cab IRs, or cab + amp IRs.

 

I see you are using a Mesa 50/50 amp. Not sure what kind of cab you have. I IR'd my real Mesa 2:90 power amp into virtual Recto cab with V30 speakers. My Triaxis sounds really similar into that IR to what it sounds like through my real 2:90 and Recto 2x12 cab.

 

But let me know if you can't get a match with Helix. I could try to whip up an IR for you.

 

It might help too if you could record a short jam just straght out of your Formula pre out and the same jam with your full mic'd rig and send or post those wav files. You can record both simultaneously with Helix and two tracks.

 

Thanks man. good info... I'm gonna try a few different things. i didn't think of running an amp and cab block with the gain all the way down out to the desk. that might work .. 

lots of experimentation on the cards. 

so cool that you can actually do these things with it. 

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  • 2 years later...

Did you have any luck with this setup? This is actually what I’m wanting to do. Run one of the new Victory preamps into the HX Stomp (Helix essentially) and use the cab sims or IRs to go direct out to FOH. Let me know if you had any success and if you had to do anything special. Thanks!

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