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4 Cable Method Setup Help - Unity Gain

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I am trying to setup my Firehawk FX as an effects processor for my tube amps (Egnater Tweaker and Orange Dark Terror). I understand the concept of placing the preamp in the Firehawk's effects loop, as well as the cable routing and selecting "no amp/no cab" for the amp/cabinet model. My question is in regards to how to setup the Firehawk software, switches, and knobs after it's hooked up.

 

1) Where is the best placement in the chain for the effects loop, before or after the "no amp" model?

 

2) I assume the switches should be set to "AMP" for the output and "STOMP" for the loop, correct? Neither of my tube amps have any control over the effects loop level - "it is what it is" so to speak. They are both serial. From my understanding, most effects loops are setup for line level. Which means my Firehawk effects loop should be set to "STOMP" on the send going into the input of the amp, but should be "LINE LEVEL" when the signal is returned to the Firehawk from my amp's effects loop. I assume this is what the "FX SEND" and "FX RETURN" levels are for adjusting in the FX Loop block of the Firehawk? I have the mix set to 100%. After all that, it seems the "OUTPUT" of the unit should be line level going into the return of my amp - but everything I've read says that it should be set to amp mode, which is instrument level. Is this correct?

 

3) It is my understanding that with the HD line of processors, the signal between the input of the unit and the send of the effects loop suffers from a signal loss and needs to be compensated for. Is that also true with the Firehawk FX?

 

4) Where is everyone else needing to set the levels for master, guitar, and the "no amp" model volume? I figure the "no amp" model should be 100%, and in the case of my Dark Terror without a master volume, I would need to use the master volume of the Firehawk for controlling overall volume - what about the guitar level?

 

Any tips would be appreciated. I've mucked about the settings some, but the amp does not sound the same with the Firehawk FX as it does without - tone suck. I have a feeling I'm just not setting it up right. I use a Rivera Rockcrusher attenuator to overdrive my power amp - sounds nice and thick/full without the Firehawk. With it in place, it sounds thinner and more "digital". Haven't even gotten to adding effects yet. Just trying to get the thing to sound the same with the Firehawk FX in place as it does without. However trying to avoid a huge pedal board at all costs!

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Let me know when you figure this one out. I'm having my own issues with the signal loss part. Bugs the hell outta me, so I'm no longer using the firehawk in a 4cable method as I've given up on figuring this out....

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Let me know when you figure this one out. I'm having my own issues with the signal loss part. Bugs the hell outta me, so I'm no longer using the firehawk in a 4cable method as I've given up on figuring this out....

Unfortunately I didn't. Couldn't get away from the tone loss, and honestly was more complicated than I wanted it to be having to tweak settings all the time and practically being glued to my iPad when trying to use it. I just sold it and built a pedal board. More expensive, yes, but for my uses a real board is far better, and playing with the real thing just sounds better. I like being able to just bend down and tweak a couple knobs and get instant satisfaction rather than busting out with the app or trying to fumble around with the onboard editing. Just couldn't bond with the amp modeling either, using FRFR with an EV ZLX15P or direct into the FX return of my amps, and the Firehawk just had too many limitations and quirks when used as an effects only processor. I think it's more of a practice tool for those that want to plug into a set of speaker or headphones and get up and jamming with an ok tone quickly for practice and learning. As a dedicated effects processor for an existing rig I find it to be too lacking.

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Unfortunately I didn't. Couldn't get away from the tone loss, and honestly was more complicated than I wanted it to be having to tweak settings all the time and practically being glued to my iPad when trying to use it. I just sold it and built a pedal board. More expensive, yes, but for my uses a real board is far better, and playing with the real thing just sounds better. I like being able to just bend down and tweak a couple knobs and get instant satisfaction rather than busting out with the app or trying to fumble around with the onboard editing. Just couldn't bond with the amp modeling either, using FRFR with an EV ZLX15P or direct into the FX return of my amps, and the Firehawk just had too many limitations and quirks when used as an effects only processor. I think it's more of a practice tool for those that want to plug into a set of speaker or headphones and get up and jamming with an ok tone quickly for practice and learning. As a dedicated effects processor for an existing rig I find it to be too lacking.

 

I see.. 

 

I fiddled with the loop (send/return levels) and I think it got quite ok.. I added 4.5 db for both send and return and it start to sound like it should. I found out a couple of days ago that my amp has a -10 db on the send return which exists in order to combat signal loss... maybe i'll try it out one day..

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1) Where is the best placement in the chain for the effects loop, before or after the "no amp" model?

 

 

Hey,

 

Have you managed to find out that loop issue?

I have the same question for a looooooong time. 

Between pre and post, the volume is completely different.

 

...have no idea why. Thinking about selling the damn thing...

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I haven't tried out the '-10 db' setting on my FX SEND/RETURN on the amp, it's at 0 dB.

 

But the sound isn't all to bad at the moment, kinda satisfied.

 

Here's how I've done it.....

 

I have it before the Amp/Cab, however the "Amp/Cab" is essentually disabled as I have switched off amp and cab emulation.

 

My chain is like this:

 

Variax (disabled) -> Gate -> Wah -> Stomp -> FX Loop -> Amp/Cab -> Comp -> Eq -> Vol -> Synth -> Delay -> Reverb ->Looper (switched off)

 

FX LOOP Settings:

- Send = 4.5 db

- Return = 4.5 db

- Mix = 100%

 

Amp Cab Settings:

- No amp

- No cab

- Volume 70%

 

EQ Settings:

- Lo Shelf Freq = 133 hz

- Lo Shelf Gain = 0 dB

- Lo Mid freq = 550 hz

- Lo Mid Gain = -0.5 dB

- Hi Mid Freq = 2,4 Khz

- Hi Mid Gain = 0,0 dB

- Hi Shel Freq = 8,0 kHz

- Hi Shelf Gain = -1,0 dB

 

The EQ is mainly to do a bit at the highest frequencies, the rest is tuned on the amp.

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Hey,

 

Have you managed to find out that loop issue?

I have the same question for a looooooong time.

Between pre and post, the volume is completely different.

 

...have no idea why. Thinking about selling the damn thing...

I gave up on it and got rid of it.

 

I did get it to sound ok, maybe I am just too picky, but I am much happier with my pedal board. Thought I would like the mobile app based editing, but found it bothersome and while I was able to get it to sound ok, I never felt I got it to sound great. One of the features I was excited about was being able to play a song, have it find a tone, and start jamming along. Well seeing as I stream my music (Spotify Premium) and don't buy individual songs, that feature was useless, since it only works on songs physically stores in the phone. Searching for tones manually was not very rewarding, and most people would agree starting from scratch produced better results. We received 2 updates that did more to fix pre-existing issues rather than add features, despite the marketing touting upgrade ability as a pro, etc etc. Just not happy with the whole experience, or line 6 as a whole. This was my second line 6 product (first being a Flextone 3 XL, another expensive unit that only got like 1 update and basically required a $200 add on foot controller to make it truly useable), and honestly it will probably be my last for a little while.

 

Different strokes for different folks.

  • Upvote 2

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Workaround for Line6 Firehawk FX 4-cable method, choosing the right settings

When using 4-cable method (4cm) with your Firehawk FX (FH), you should adjust the FH properly to your amp. Unfortunately the manual says nothing about it. May be I can help - here´s how I did it:

First connect your Amp and Firehawk FX like this:
Guitar to FH Guitar in
FH Loop send to amp in
FH Loop return to amp loop send
FH Output to amp loop return

If you want to run two real amps, do the same with the FH right cannels.

Finally you made it to put your real amp(s) into the FX-Loop of the Firehawk. And now - IMPORTANT:

Set FH Loop-Mode to „Stomp“ (this is because the FH „pedals“ run into your amp input (Drives etc.) or in your amps loop (delay, reverb)

Set FH Output-Mode to „Line“ (this is because the FH-amp models run directly into your real amp´s poweramp)

In the iPad-App, place the FH-Loop BEHIND the Amp, in front of „Delay“ and „Reverb“!

Set the MIX of the FH Loop to 100%, leave the send/return at „0 db“ - This is the only way you ´ll hear 100% of the sound of your real amp, because taking the mix down means taking the preamp of your real amp out of the signal, because it´s in the FH-Loop! This is the point most users are struggling with I think. Even in some youtube-videos this is taught wrong.

1. To hear your real amp, choose „No Amp“ and „No Cab“ in the FH-software, put amp volume to 100% (FH-effect-pedals will now be used in front of your real amp (Distortion/Dynamics/Modulation) or in the loop of your real amp (Delay, Reverb) - as it´s supposed to be.

2. To hear FH-modeled amps, turn off the FH-Loop, choose your FH-amp-model and turn Cab-Sim off (or on if you want to record via USB).

Now you can create „pure effect patches“ without ampsim for your real amp running 4cm, or FH-amp-modeled patches running directly into your real amp´s poweramp. Because you chose FH-loop on or off inside the patches, you can change the banks on the fly without any issues - just adjust the master-volume of the FH if necessary.

If your real amps Loop is serial, you´re ready to go with this setup. If your real amp runs a parallel loop, you´ ll have to adjust the mix on your amps loop and /or the db in the FH´s loop mix.

I use my FH in 4cm combination with the BOSS KATANA Head and it´ s pure fun! The only little issue I have noticed is, that the FH FX takes a very little of the KATANAS natural high-frequency sparkle, but really very very little - a high-end-sound-luxury-problem for sure…

You can even place additional real pedals inside the loop or in front of the FH - try what sounds better.

This workaround should work with other multieffects, too.

And now, stop struggling, start playing!

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