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Hi Fellas,

A question for those in the know:

I'm currently trying a few FRFR solutions. I have been through Laney IRT-X, Yamaha DXR10, and Alto TS210. All sound useable to me but they are all way too bassy and trebly at initial use. I know that it's common practice when using these types of FRFR speakers to cut the treble and bass quite severely. I decided that the best approach may be to cut them in line with a guitar speakers frequency spec, so I went on the celestion website and after getting the info for my favourite G12H30 Anniversary speaker, I followed its frequency spec and used global EQ to cut treble to 5KHZ and bass to 75HZ. It seems that even this is not enough and futher cuts are required to get a tone that is not too ice picky or bass heavy.

My question is this: Why is this necessary?! I know FRFR speakers have a much great range than guitar speakers but if the Helix is modelling guitar amps and guitar cabs/speakers so perfectly and accurately then where are these extra frequencies coming from?! Surely the helix should just be sending guitar cab range frequencies straight to the full range speaker yet it seems to not be the case.

Thoughts?

I'd also appreciate any other advice or tips for using these FRFR monitors with Helix. EG: Is it better to make the cut adjustments with the cab/ir block or with the global EQ? (I've also heard that adjusting the mic closeness can help but haven't had a chance to try that yet.)

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Bass heavy comes from having the FRFR near the floor or a wall. If the speakers are on a pole the bass should be fairly flat.

 

Treble comes from the fact that the FRFR has much wider angular dispersion of treble. So if you're used to standing next to your guitar cab 45 degrees off axis (where the treble is significantly rolled off), then the FRFR will sound too bright. If you normally stand with your ear right in the on-axis 'beam', you'll notice that the FRFR maintains that tone relatively evenly across its whole projection zone.

 

Also, the Helix isn't outputting the same sound as a speaker, but of a speaker + mic. So what you hear from the FRFR is a point recording of a mic next to the speaker. Plus a tiny bit extra recording environment response if the IR / cab wasn't made in an anechoic chamber.

 

The FRFR can't sound 3 dimensionally like a guitar speaker because it has a very different (ie more even) dispersion pattern that is producing the tone of one or more fixed point source (mic'd) locations. Multi mic cab blocks or multiple cab outputs can improve this.

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Bass heavy comes from having the FRFR near the floor or a wall. If the speakers are on a pole the bass should be fairly flat.

 

Treble comes from the fact that the FRFR has much wider angular dispersion of treble. So if you're used to standing next to your guitar cab 45 degrees off axis (where the treble is significantly rolled off), then the FRFR will sound too bright. If you normally stand with your ear right in the on-axis 'beam', you'll notice that the FRFR maintains that tone relatively evenly across its whole projection zone.

 

Also, the Helix isn't outputting the same sound as a speaker, but of a speaker + mic. So what you hear from the FRFR is a point recording of a mic next to the speaker. Plus a tiny bit extra recording environment response if the IR / cab wasn't made in an anechoic chamber.

 

The FRFR can't sound 3 dimensionally like a guitar speaker because it has a very different (ie more even) dispersion pattern that is producing the tone of one or more fixed point source (mic'd) locations. Multi mic cab blocks or multiple cab outputs can improve this.

Very concise...someone put a sticky on this one, with big flashing neon lights around it. Excellent explanation.

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I think manufacturers 'hype' the bass and high end on PA speakers so when you compare the different speaker brands in a shop, they stand out and get bought. A true flat response speaker sounds a little dull in comparison. But they tend to sound much better for our uses.

 

I'm not familiar with the Laney, but the others are really Full Range speakers, not necessarily Flat Response.  They probably have a lot more DJs buying this stuff than guitar modelers.  

 

I've put take-out restaurant magnets on the grill to try to diffuse the tweeters...helps a little, lol.  Just try and dial the patches to match the speaker the best you can.

 

I name the different 'user' preset folders in the Helix for the speaker I've dialed them in for.

 

I just got a Matrix FR10. Soo much less ear fatigue compared to my QSC K series. Much easier to get a usable tone immediately.

 

I also have CPS SpaceStation that I love for 3D sounds.

 

I've tried a CLR, some EVs, QSC, Yamahas and the Matrix and CPS are my favs (so far....).

 

I only mess with these FR speakers to get a somewhat nice acoustic guitar tone, otherwise I'm not sure they're worth the battle.

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The wide dispersion is actually what I really like about using a PA speaker. I always dialed in my tones sitting right in front of the amp so that I could make sure that the mic would pick up the tone I had dialed in. So naturally, trying to monitor myself on stage always sucked because it was super dull and lifeless so much farther up. Now I can get a pretty consistent tone, which is awesome. I have also noticed the hyped bass and treble and there are many threads here discussing in, but I will just add that the dispersion angle is not the only issue. I do think that the Helix cabs are brighter than real cabs and as such using the high cut on the cab block is crucial. But third party IRs tend to be more accurate in that regard, so I usually leave those alone.

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Somebody should make an inverse IR of various popular "FRFR" speakers. Then you just put that IR in the chain after your cab block to flatten the hyped highs and lows.

 

That is the best thing I have heard all week!!!!

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Bass heavy comes from having the FRFR near the floor or a wall. If the speakers are on a pole the bass should be fairly flat.

 

Treble comes from the fact that the FRFR has much wider angular dispersion of treble. So if you're used to standing next to your guitar cab 45 degrees off axis (where the treble is significantly rolled off), then the FRFR will sound too bright. If you normally stand with your ear right in the on-axis 'beam', you'll notice that the FRFR maintains that tone relatively evenly across its whole projection zone.

 

Also, the Helix isn't outputting the same sound as a speaker, but of a speaker + mic. So what you hear from the FRFR is a point recording of a mic next to the speaker. Plus a tiny bit extra recording environment response if the IR / cab wasn't made in an anechoic chamber.

 

The FRFR can't sound 3 dimensionally like a guitar speaker because it has a very different (ie more even) dispersion pattern that is producing the tone of one or more fixed point source (mic'd) locations. Multi mic cab blocks or multiple cab outputs can improve this.

I agree with the bass response issue.  I put my speakers up on amp stands and it cleaned up the bottom end quite a bit.

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The JBL EON10's I use have internal DSP and EQ presets. One is for monitor to compensate for the bass boost resulting from having the monitor on its side on the floor. I found this useful and take advantage of it.

 

But the real issue is getting use to the difference between a guitar amp behind us that's mostly catering to our pant legs, and a FRFR monitor in front of us that's more or less faithfully reproducing the chosen Helix model. The Helix cab and mic models, or similar speaker IRs do a pretty good job of reproducing what a mic in front of a speaker would do. But that's not at all what we're use to hearing. Rather what's coming out of that monitor is a lot brighter and a lot closer to what the house is actually hearing.

 

This can take some getting use to, and the brighter tones can be tiring over a long gig, and can be more damaging to your ears. What I found is that I have to use ear plugs when playing. Otherwise my ears ring very badly after the 2nd or 3rd song. And then I can't hear that well for the rest of the night. And I know if my ears are ringing, I'm damaging my ears. Its real, and its permanent. Wish someone had told me when I was younger. When using a stage amp behind me, the ear plugs do take away some of the connection to the amp. But when using a FRFR monitor in front of me, I tend to hear the guitar very similar to how I heard it behind me without the ear plugs. This was a nice surprise, and something I quickly got use to. I also find ear plugs make doing harmonies and vocals easier because I can hear myself in my head better, like sticking a finger in your ear to help zero in on a harmony.

 

The ear plugs I use are professional created by an audiologist. The cost $100 year ago, probably more than that now. I can use different capsules for different noise reduction. I found 10dB to be just about right. It was a great investment and really makes getting through a 4 hour gig have no negative impact on my ears, and isn't nearly as tiring. Highly recommended, and has the side benefit of making a FRFR monitor in front of you feel more like a guitar amp behind you. Win-win.

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  • 3 years later...

Hi to all. someone of you tried the Power Engine from TECH 21? I watched a demo on youtube using a POD500 and it is seems phenomenal...It seems capable to maintain the characteristic of every amp simulated in the POD...I've helix and I've an Alto too...In general I play with headphones or studio monitors and it is very good, but with the alto....uhm...Its depends from a lot of factors...The input power level from Helix to Alto influence the sound a lot...but also if the input levels seems ok the Alto feels like all the simulation sounds the same....

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I'm a big fan of Tech 21 products, but for the money they are asking, I might also consider going for a PowerCab 112.  For $50, the PowerCab will provide you with a few options and seamlessly integrate with Helix/LT/Stomp.  If possible, and after this insane lock down ends, maybe go to your local big box store and tryout each of them and see which one sounds best to you.  

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Ihave a headrush 112 on a stand and the bass is not overwhelming whne I had it on the floor yes more bass,but i liked it.ANyway but on a pole should be fine.I rahter have a 212 cab frfr if I could but for now Im using this and waiting to get a power stage 170 again so I can use my black star cabinet.I like that the best it sounded pretty good with helix speakers and with out.

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