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Nik73

Audio Distortion On Most Presets

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Evening all,

 

First post, but I recently picked up a Helix and was running it through my home cinema setup as a stopgap. Last week I picked some half decent headphones (AudioTechnica ATX-40) and noticed that nearly every preset has some weird kind of distortion like the output level is way too high and there's some clipping. The only ones that aren't affected are the crystal clean ones, but anything with any gain sounds really fizzy and not good. Same with patches created from scratch or cuts ones I've downloaded. It was REALLY noticeable when I ran it through my 100w Marshall at volume.

So here's what I've noticed/tried, but no joy, so I come to you all and bow to your wisdom. Help!!

 

- I've tried lots of different guitars and lots of different leads to the input, but they're all the same. Even with the Line 6 connection and the Variax, which is the worst when using a modelled guitar.

- I've tried lot's of different outputs like headphones, home cinema amp and speakers, 1/4" out, XLR out, 4 cable method to an amp, direct in the front of preset 4 on a Marshall JMD, usb to a Mac, 1/4" to a Mac ,etc and all are the same.

- I haven't changed any of the levels in the global settings and tried changing impedance, etc but no change.

- Just to be sure, I full the full factory reset, but no change. Firmware, etc is all fully updated.

- It still does it when I turn the volume or headphone level on the Helix right down to minimum.

- Changing the level in each preset or globally doesn't change anything.

- There's also a weird grounding thing going on where touching or pressing the footswitches causes a different buzz. Touching the mains lead does the same thing. I've tried different power leads, different sockets and even in three other houses, but it still does it.

 

I'm wondering if there might some kind of fault or is it just something really obvious I'm missing. I've had an Amplify and FIrehawk before the Helix and never had anything similar with either.

Lastly here's a clip of what I'm hearing on the "Come A You Are" preset.

 

http://soundcloud.com/nik73-2/helix-audio-distortion

 

Really appreciate any help as I'm out of ideas.

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i encountered this a lot until I started using less guitar volume along with the volume pad on in the input settings and just using more master volume to get the overall volume I need.  I know it sounds super rudimentary but I found that the helix really works nicely when you effectively manage the volume knobs on guitar/volume pedal.  It seems like in a lot of the amps at full volume on guitar and full volume pedal it saturates the signal a little too much and makes it not sound as clear.  Hope it helps.  Good luck

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...

- There's also a weird grounding thing going on where touching or pressing the footswitches causes a different buzz. Touching the mains lead does the same thing. I've tried different power leads, different sockets and even in three other houses, but it still does it.

...

 

I would start by getting the grounding issue sorted out first.  Test the outlet with a receptacle testing plug first if you have one. I would also try a different guitar and guitar cord as well as a different amp or powered speaker if you have not already.  If the buzz continues to occur when you touch a switch I would contact Line6 support as this could be an issue with the Helix not being grounded properly (if the ground issue is not in your home). Do you get the switch buzz with no guitar or cables connected other than power and of course a speaker/amp?

 

http://www.soscleanroom.com/product/facilities/ohm-stat-sp-101-electrical-ground-checker-circuit-tester-grounding-plug/?gclid=CMO3s4mJsMwCFddahgodotUCaw

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...Lastly here's a clip of what I'm hearing on the "Come A You Are" preset.

 

http://soundcloud.com/nik73-2/helix-audio-distortion

 

 

Yeah, I hear it, it almost sounds like a high end clip before something has a chance to process it. Ouch. I don't have Helix yet, but used to hear this kind of clipping on POD HD when input 2 was set to SAME. Not sure if Helix has a similar setting.

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Sounds like clipping to me too, rather than any processing artefact.  Have you tried using the Guitar input pad?

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Thanks everyone.

 

i encountered this a lot until I started using less guitar volume along with the volume pad on in the input settings and just using more master volume to get the overall volume I need.  I know it sounds super rudimentary but I found that the helix really works nicely when you effectively manage the volume knobs on guitar/volume pedal.  It seems like in a lot of the amps at full volume on guitar and full volume pedal it saturates the signal a little too much and makes it not sound as clear.  Hope it helps.  Good luck

 

Thanks eric, I did try that, but it only succeeds in cleaning up the tone by the time it's low enough to get rid of the noise.

 

I would start by getting the grounding issue sorted out first.  Test the outlet with a receptacle testing plug first if you have one. I would also try a different guitar and guitar cord as well as a different amp or powered speaker if you have not already.  If the buzz continues to occur when you touch a switch I would contact Line6 support as this could be an issue with the Helix not being grounded properly (if the ground issue is not in your home). Do you get the switch buzz with no guitar or cables connected other than power and of course a speaker/amp?

 

http://www.soscleanroom.com/product/facilities/ohm-stat-sp-101-electrical-ground-checker-circuit-tester-grounding-plug/?gclid=CMO3s4mJsMwCFddahgodotUCaw

 

I don't have that bit of kit to try it now, but I've tried loads of different combinations of guitars and leads and sockets, including three other houses. All the same, but the switches don't buzz without a guitar connected even if the lead is left in. I have 11 guitars and the same number leads and they all do it when a guitar is connected.

 

Yeah, I hear it, it almost sounds like a high end clip before something has a chance to process it. Ouch. I don't have Helix yet, but used to hear this kind of clipping on POD HD when input 2 was set to SAME. Not sure if Helix has a similar setting.

 

Not that I can see pal. I thought it might have been there since I got it, but after trying some higher gain tones again there's no way it was there. They're all just a fizzy mess. Weirdly, on some really high gain presets any music played over usb is also distorted in the same way.

 

Sounds like clipping to me too, rather than any processing artefact.  Have you tried using the Guitar input pad?

 

I've tried every setting rick, but there's no change in it. Even if you turn the Helix volume down to pretty much minimum, it's still there. I've tried turning the level down in each preset or globally and even right down the distortion is still there.

 

Thanks again guys, I've submitted a ticket to Line 6 so see where we go, but I might contact the shop I bought from as well.

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Thanks everyone.

 

 

I've tried every setting rick, but there's no change in it. Even if you turn the Helix volume down to pretty much minimum, it's still there. I've tried turning the level down in each preset or globally and even right down the distortion is still there.

 

 

Every setting? There are only 2 settings for the pad I think.. on or off.

 

Press - Menu, Then Knob 6 - Global settings - Then use Knob 1 to turn "Guitar In Pad" to "ON"

 

It should attenuate the guitar signal a bit and might help.

 

If that's not working I don't know what to suggest sorry.. Good Luck! I hope support can sort you out.

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Every setting? There are only 2 settings for the pad I think.. on or off.

 

Press - Menu, Then Knob 6 - Global settings - Then use Knob 1 to turn "Guitar In Pad" to "ON"

 

It should attenuate the guitar signal a bit and might help.

 

If that's not working I don't know what to suggest.. Good Luck! I hope support can sort you out.

 

Sorry, I meant every relevant setting in the global settings for ins and outs. Just general fiddling to see if there was any change. Thanks though rick.

I'm not too concerned as it's only a couple of weeks old and the store I got it from have great customer service. More the inconvenience as they're hard to come by in the UK at the minute, or were last time I checked.

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I get this sound as well, seems to be more prevalent with certain amps and is more noticeable just as they move from clean to slightly saturated.

 

I just thought this was the "sound" of the helix and steer clear of the amp models that suffer from this.

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To me it sounds like a problem.

 

The Helix is very prone to internal digital distortion, and I have to reduce amp gain if I want to use an od pedal on most amps. JTM clips even on default with my Les Paul. I have to reduce gain and Master volume to stop the digital clipping.

 

Your sound is different to this though I think. I would take it back to the shop, unless you have an electricity problem you can find..

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My Helix does not sound like this - something is up with your unit. I'd return it to the shop and hopefully get another. 

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Hi,

 

had a similar issue iwithin the first days, but in my case, all outputs where concerned (instrument, line, headphone). In each overdriven/distorted sound it seemed that the cab sim was disabled.

After some restarts and a factory reset, this fizzy, noisy sound was gone, helix changed his character completly. Don't ask me for the reason, but as more than one people complain about hard and noisy distortions, i think there's still ab bug wich appears sometimes after an firmware update.

In my case, some resets and restarts did help what makes me think that we talk about a software bug and not a hardware issue.

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Thanks everyone.

 

 

Thanks eric, I did try that, but it only succeeds in cleaning up the tone by the time it's low enough to get rid of the noise.

 

 

I don't have that bit of kit to try it now, but I've tried loads of different combinations of guitars and leads and sockets, including three other houses. All the same, but the switches don't buzz without a guitar connected even if the lead is left in. I have 11 guitars and the same number leads and they all do it when a guitar is connected.

 

 

Not that I can see pal. I thought it might have been there since I got it, but after trying some higher gain tones again there's no way it was there. They're all just a fizzy mess. Weirdly, on some really high gain presets any music played over usb is also distorted in the same way.

 

 

I've tried every setting rick, but there's no change in it. Even if you turn the Helix volume down to pretty much minimum, it's still there. I've tried turning the level down in each preset or globally and even right down the distortion is still there.

 

Thanks again guys, I've submitted a ticket to Line 6 so see where we go, but I might contact the shop I bought from as well.

Here something....Try it without any blocks. The distortion is not there. Then add a block with a clean amp and it IS there, even when the overall output is lower.

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Hi,

 

had a similar issue iwithin the first days, but in my case, all outputs where concerned (instrument, line, headphone). In each overdriven/distorted sound it seemed that the cab sim was disabled.

After some restarts and a factory reset, this fizzy, noisy sound was gone, helix changed his character completly. Don't ask me for the reason, but as more than one people complain about hard and noisy distortions, i think there's still ab bug wich appears sometimes after an firmware update.

In my case, some resets and restarts did help what makes me think that we talk about a software bug and not a hardware issue.

That's really interesting miki, it's actually all outputs on mine as well. I've tried every kind of reset a few times, but no improvement. Best thing is it cleared up. Fingers crossed mine does. Though I'm not sure about the grounding thing and the footswitches. Never had a problem with that with any other bit of gear.

 

Just as an update, Line 6 have been great and someone's going to call me to see if we can sort it or establish if it is a fault.

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Just as an example of something with more gain, here's a quick clip of the Brit 2204 preset with the magnetic bridge pickup of a JTV 59 Variax. A boosted JCM800 is one of my favourite all time tones, so I know it well. You can hear that bark in there, but it's buried under a lot of fuzz.

 

http://soundcloud.com/nik73-2/test

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but as more than one people complain about hard and noisy distortions, 

To me, that distortion sounds almost as if an amp with no speaker block is running in the background, in parallel...like some of the raw amp sound is somehow bypassing the cab block.

 

Im not saying thats what is happening, im just saying thats what the "fizz" reminds me of.

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i found it sounded a bit like you described if i ran the output knob at about 10.00 o clock ot under. over that it sounds much better

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i found it sounded a bit like you described if i ran the output knob at about 10.00 o clock ot under. over that it sounds much better

can't reproduce that with my helix - at least today. The sound is independent (and now pretty good) from the output level. But as there where some strange effects on my Helix too, i think nothing is impossible ;)

In fact, the sound of this machine really should'nt depend on the output level. On a master volume ok - in a certain range.

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i found it sounded a bit like you described if i ran the output knob at about 10.00 o clock ot under. over that it sounds much better

I appreciate the feedback, but you may be mistaken. Thats not really even possible unless you have something else going on in your chain. Helix is going to sound the same whether the volume knob is on 1 or 10.

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Maybe someone can help me out, it's a simple test.

 

Create a new patch with the "Stone Age 185" amp+cab, just that nothing more and have a play.

 

 

I hear similar distortion to the original poster, here is a link: https://soundcloud.com/bobthedog/0003-3-audio-copy-2

 

This was played using a G&L Legacy (Strat Clone), bridge pickup. The pickups are low output.

 

Is this sound normal?

 

many thanks

 

Andy

 

https://soundcloud.com/bobthedog/0003-3-audio-copy-2

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I would start by getting the grounding issue sorted out first.  Test the outlet with a receptacle testing plug first if you have one. I would also try a different guitar and guitar cord as well as a different amp or powered speaker if you have not already.  If the buzz continues to occur when you touch a switch I would contact Line6 support as this could be an issue with the Helix not being grounded properly (if the ground issue is not in your home). Do you get the switch buzz with no guitar or cables connected other than power and of course a speaker/amp?

 

http://www.soscleanroom.com/product/facilities/ohm-stat-sp-101-electrical-ground-checker-circuit-tester-grounding-plug/?gclid=CMO3s4mJsMwCFddahgodotUCaw

 

 

I don't know why people are glossing over this.  THIS is the most important part of the diagnosis.  If there is a grounding issue (could be a cold connection internally) all bets are off on EVERYTHING else and no need to look any further.  Replace the unit.

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