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mileskb

Adjust your Global EQ..... you may be surprised.

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I know Line 6 is insistent that global EQ should be used only to address differences in the room you're playing in.  But that really is only important, in my opinion, if you're NOT routing your sound through the PA.  If you're using a PA and you're managing your own stage sound and volume, there's no real problem with using global eq as a quick way to address minor adjustments (like very high and low frequency cutoffs [...]

 

In other words:

As long as you can (or have to) manage your sound 'alone', Global EQing is an easy way to take account of the room characteristics.

If you're working with a 'soundguy', he should have in mind that Helix delivers a sound that is 'cab'd and mic'd'...

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In other words:

As long as you can (or have to) manage your sound 'alone', Global EQing is an easy way to take account of the room characteristics.

If you're working with a 'soundguy', he should have in mind that Helix delivers a sound that is 'cab'd and mic'd'...

 

Well...kinda...but not really.  The soundman SHOULD assume he's dealing with a cab'd and mic'd sound because that's what he's always traditionally dealt with.  But that is dependent upon you sending him a sound that's truly representative of that.  When I'm talking about managing your own sound, I'm talking specifically about your stage sound...i.e. what you're hearing on stage.  This is the same whether you're using modeling or not.  Room characteristics tend to have less to do with your stage sound than it does with the FOH sound.

 

Global EQing is an easy way to account for the frequency response differences between a FRFR speaker and a traditional guitar cabinet which is much more limited than an FRFR system.  Sometimes IR's and cabinets included with Helix may do a fine job of compensating for those differences depending on the FRFR speaker you're using.  But ultimately it's MY responsibility to send the FOH a direct signal I believe is representative of a mic'd cabinet signal as I would want to hear it.  This is why I choose to use the FRFR speaker I do which is a Yamaha DXR12, because it generally has the same frequency response characteristics of most decent FOH speaker systems.  Therefore, if it sounds right to me on stage through that speaker, it should sound right through the FOH.  How I get to that sound is up to me.  It may be Global EQ, or it may be patch by patch.

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Dealing with both sides of the coin: I'm working as a musician and as a 'soundguy' in many different situations (studio, live audience etc.).

 

Tried to simplify; maybe this was too sassy ;)

 

Some fellows (still) prefer to take a mic before an amp sending this signal to a mixing console (& PA) even you have told them that you have a whatsoever-hightech-modeler-with-multiple-direct-out-possibilities-and-if-they-want-it-brews-coffee-for-the-whole-crew-and-makes-phone-calls-autonomously.

And some will tell you quite unperturbed: "Awright, where's your amp  - I'll place a mic before it"...

Those guys aren't all ignorant or silly:

Maybe they are experienced and have found a way to handle things that works for them AND the audience (and you with your guitar gear).

Sometimes you will meet them and might think: 'Hey, again a sound dinosaur'.

But what if it works and sounds fxxxxxx good?!

Guess it should be teamwork out there, and if you have an 'experienced dinosaur' onboard, let him do his job - even if it hurts ;)

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Sorry I wasn't clearer. IMO the global EQ should be for adjusting YOUR STAGE RIG to the room, not the PA feed, which you can't hear, and which will be managed in a full band context by the FOH engineer anyway. That says you want to apply it to the 1/4" outs, and send those to your FRFR rig, while sending the un-EQ'd signal to the PA.

 

In an ideal world, you'd EQ your FRFR rig so its response is roughly like what the PA will have, and build your presets while listening to that, but as we've said, the PA response isn't really knowable. My plan personally is use the global EQ and an RTA to iron out any local peaks and valleys in my speakers, then adjust the EQ more broadly so commercial recordings sound good to me, taking that as a proxy for a decent-sounding PA. The most real RTA I have, IK's ARC System2 (bought almost 2 years ago but never used), has some suggested curves if you find flat to be too bright, which is likely, so I'll probably try those as a starting point.

 

Once I have that baseline, I'd then adjust my presets so they sound good to me through that.

 

Haven't had a chance to do any of that yet, hopefully soon.

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I've worked both sides of things as well, performing and sound tech.  Sometimes in multi-band scenarios I think this happens because it's easier for the tech to deal with one mic that is assigned to a given instrument like "lead guitar" and move it around when the bands change than to have different inputs for different bands to deal with.  

 

My attitude on this is you're likely to deal with different inputs anyway if one band uses an electronic keyboard and another uses an acoustic piano.  The advantage to not moving a mic around and having a special input direct from a specific guitar rig is I only have to gain stage it once.  If I move the mic I need to gain stage it everytime, so I don't think you save yourself much.

 

And to be honest, most of the old-school sound techs I've worked with ARE dinosaurs.  They don't like handing any control of the sound over to the musicians.  They want centralized control over everything like they had in the old days.  It has less to do with sound and more to do with ego.

 

Unfortunately for them the industry has been in constant motion over the last decade or so of moving from centralized sound reinforcement to distributed sound reinforcement.  Sound reinforcement has become less about EQ tweaking and more about simple mixing (gain, volume, compression, effects)...and the old guys don't like that idea.

 

By the way...I AM an old guy....I just adapted.

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Sorry I wasn't clearer. IMO the global EQ should be for adjusting YOUR STAGE RIG to the room, not the PA feed, which you can't hear, and which will be managed in a full band context by the FOH engineer anyway. That says you want to apply it to the 1/4" outs, and send those to your FRFR rig, while sending the un-EQ'd signal to the PA.

 

 

Why would you do this?  If your doing your stage rig correctly it's only heard on stage, not affected by the room.  If your stage sound is bleeding over and competing with the FOH you've got bigger problems than just  EQ.

 

Only you and your band know what your band is supposed to sound like.  The sound tech doesn't know, unless he's your exclusive sound tech.  I agree he can compensate for the room acoustics, but if your band has been at this long enough you know what your sound is supposed to sound like.  If he has any questions he can come up on stage and listen....that's his reference model.

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Looking forward to hearing those sounds clips.

 

LOL yeah me too.   I tried with a regular dynamic mic, and while the sound with and without the Global EQ is significant in the room, the mic's I used weren't responsive enough to capture the difference.   I need to break out the tube mic...  just haven't had time.

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Why would you do this?  If your doing your stage rig correctly it's only heard on stage, not affected by the room.  If your stage sound is bleeding over and competing with the FOH you've got bigger problems than just  EQ.

You'd do it so when you build presets, you're hearing roughly the same EQ as the PA.

 

For instance, I think my FRFRs have a peak around 3k or so, like others have also mentioned, probably built into many speakers for vocal clarity. Since I haven't EQ'd that out of my speakers, many of my presets have individual EQ in them to deal with that. If I send that signal to a PA that's been adjusted so it doesn't have that peak, there's a good chance they'll be dull in that range. OTOH, if I EQ that out of my speakers globally, I wouldn't be pulling it out of each preset, so sending that to a "properly" EQ'd PA should work better.

 

That's the theory anyway, who knows how it'll play out. But I can't think of any more reasonable way to approach it, other than just making yourself happy on stage without trying to normalize your FRFRs, and letting the FOH person have at it.

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You'd do it so when you build presets, you're hearing roughly the same EQ as the PA.

 

For instance, I think my FRFRs have a peak around 3k or so, like others have also mentioned, probably built into many speakers for vocal clarity. Since I haven't EQ'd that out of my speakers, many of my presets have individual EQ in them to deal with that. If I send that signal to a PA that's been adjusted so it doesn't have that peak, there's a good chance they'll be dull in that range. OTOH, if I EQ that out of my speakers globally, I wouldn't be pulling it out of each preset, so sending that to a "properly" EQ'd PA should work better.

 

That's the theory anyway, who knows how it'll play out. But I can't think of any more reasonable way to approach it, other than just making yourself happy on stage without trying to normalize your FRFRs, and letting the FOH person have at it.

 

I think you're overthinking it. I doubt a sound tech would adjust out a 3k peak across the board, or a PA not have some sort of peak in that range, because it's needed for vocal clarity.  And the only thing that range will do for an electric guitar signal is add attack which is typically not a problem.  Of course there's always the case you may end up running through a crap FOH system that's circa 1979...but there's no way you can compensate for that.  Most modern PA system will likely have pretty close to the same profile of a decent FRFR powered speaker.

 

To each their own, but in my experience, even with a very experienced sound tech, if I'm sending him a good sounding signal he's not very likely to do much if anything with it other than gain stage it and set it appropriately in the mix.  If it sounds good to my ear through my monitor it will sound good, or in most cases, exactly the same, through the FOH if I'm using a reasonably modern and accurate powered speaker as my monitor.  The tech may apply some EQ across the board to compensate for room acoustics, but that's a good thing.  And I can't say I've encountered any situation in the last 5 or 6 years in which my sound was messed with by the FOH guy and ended up sounded worse than what it did on stage.  I can say there have been cases where it wasn't mixed correctly, but EQ hasn't really been an issue.

 

What I would say is, if that 3k peak bothers you, dial it out.  As you said, your hearing roughly the same as what's coming out of the PA.  I doubt you'll run into problems.

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I think you're overthinking it.

Of course, it's what I do ;)

 

OTOH, there's been lots of talk about how misleading headphones are for programming Helix, and it's well known that crappy studio monitoring begets crappy mixes, so the idea that your listening environment affects your patches isn't entirely unreasonable.

 

I also have another motivation for looking into making both commercial recordings and my guitar sound reasonable through my FRFRs: I want to play along with other music playing back through them sometimes. Out of the box, commercial recordings have too much high end, and it's annoying to keep EQ-ing the same peaks out of every preset. Stands to reason it's the speakers, and that my life would be better if their natural tendencies were counteracted a bit.

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I gave this a shot and the lack of high end reduced the definition of all my patches and they all lacked "punch" as well.

Sounds MUCH better left alone on my system.

 

I use 2 Behringer B112D speakers with the EQ flat on each one.

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I gave this a shot and the lack of high end reduced the definition of all my patches and they all lacked "punch" as well.

Sounds MUCH better left alone on my system.

That's not really the question.

 

If you don't EQ your speakers, based on what you've said about them, you're naturally going to build presets with less high end than if you EQ'd them to be flat. If you did that, you could get the same result on stage that you do now by adding top end to each preset.

 

Assuming you applied the "speaker-corrective" EQ only to your stage rig (1/4" outs), and not the PA feed (XLR outs), what would be different then is how much top end you send to the PA.

 

How close the net result in the PA is to your stage rig depends on how well the response of your stage rig matches the response of the PA.

 

That's what I've been going on about, one theory of how to manage that. Idea is, if the PA is EQ-ed so well-mixed music (i.e. commercial recordings) sounds good, then your rig should be EQ-ed like that too. If your presets don't sound good through a rig like that, then they won't through the PA either.

 

It's not clear how that actually plays out in real life, so caveat EQ-er, or something...

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That's not really the question.

 

The original post said he did this and all his presets sounded better, so I tried it. Mine did not sound better, sounded much worse. I'm sure there are sciencey reasons for doing all this but at the end of the day I want to sound good. I do sound good on stage and at our last show I took my guitar for a walk and sounded great out front as well.

 

That is all I need, if doing all this makes you sound better... super dooper, do it. My initial tests with my rig say nope, leave it be.

 

I hope I don't come off as being argumentative, I'm just sharing my experience with it. I am certain most of you are much more sound educated than I, but as John Cleese playing the Pope once said... "I may not know art... but I know what I like!"

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Understood Gawwuf, I don't mean to be argumentative either, or to disrespect your or anyone else's ways ways of working.

 

In an earlier post, not sure if it was this thread or not, I said I'd been paralyzed by inability to decide how to approach all this, and had finally decided to just make myself happy by building presets that sound good with the speakers sitting in front of me, and let the FOH person do their thing. I still think that's a valid approach, and certainly preferable to not building patches out of fear you're Doing It Wrong, or getting involved in a level of research that's neither fun nor productive. I've been having lots of fun just playing and making patches I like.

 

But over time, all my different versions of EQ to tame that mid-high peak I hear started to bug me, and so did the sound of my iPod through my speakers. Those feelings made me think I was staring right at an actual problem with an actual solution, and choosing to look away.

 

Anyway, like you, I'm just trying to make some good sounds, and talking out loud about my thoughts, for better or worse. So carry on!

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I gave this a shot and the lack of high end reduced the definition of all my patches and they all lacked "punch" as well.

Sounds MUCH better left alone on my system.

 

I use 2 Behringer B112D speakers with the EQ flat on each one.

 

Cool.  First it's probably a good statement on the b112D's... and also, obviously you created the patches to sound good.

 

I just noticed I didn't mention that I was doing the comaprison with just amp/cab's.  Basically just like going into a store and plugging in to an amp.  Those should sound pretty good, all by their lonesome with a typical flat response amp speaker setup.   They did.. so I thought, as it turns out my system wasn't really flat.  So I made it flat and they all sound better.

 

I was typing a stream of conciousness, and neglected to mention....  although I eluded...  the models will sound best through an FRFR system.  I only "thought" I had an FRFR system...  some systems are more flat than others...   and of course....     if you make a preset based on whatever system you have... just randomly added eq is probably not going to help... probably hurt.

 

The ONLY way this works is to see if your system is flat FIRST.  If it is.....  move along... nothing to see. (or hear..)  mine wasn't. 

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mileskb, Thank you for this write up and analysis. Are you still using this EQ, has it changed any? If not, what EQ are you using now and would you post pictures of the EQ if that applies?

 

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I wish I had the pink noise analyzer capability, adjusting things by ear is at best a flawed premise. Yes when you pink noise something to a room the resulting sound is so much more pleasing to the ear and less tiring. Every studio is supposed to be Pink Noised EQ'd out for proper monitoring.

EQ is relative to volume and room issues not merely the initial response of the unit in question. The Helix should be globally set to be as flat as possible and control the preset EQ via the configs. That is the same principle has having a proper studio monitoring setup which allows one to adjust the recorded music from a flat reference, if your studio is not flat reference then your end result is going to sound different than you assume. 

 

If the Helix global is right then adding a (ex) Cali EQ further allows one to make that amp have killer low end punch and presence while cutting the 750 lower mid which is what made Mesa famous. You would not want your preset EQ block and adjustments to have to compensate for what the Helix normally does or does not put out. 

Something to consider in regard to high cuts, most presence controls on amps are focused at 9K. despite the frequency range of the guitar is below that considerably it is hard to argue argue one cannot hear it when turned up. Focusing on the mid range quality of the guitar often has the illusion of sounding better because it is more prevalent but balance is a different thing. Cutting off the high end makes a more smooth subdued jazz tone thing which might sound "better" in some regards but not good for others. 

I always present the issue that using full range monitors is somewhat flawed in concept as the guitar does not render in the extreme ranges of hi and low, then one uses a speaker IR to EQ and curve down the full range to a "guitar speaker" so in the grand scope of logic it is hard to understand the argument of full range when we cut and EQ things out of the fullrange and use IRs from cabs.

Personally I prefer high end more efficient guitar speakers than full range and the sound is different when you split if between crossovers in a fullrange rig and if you are cutting the lows and highs from the cross over manifesting the sound primary put of one speaker then how is a quality high wattage guitar speaker a bad thing?? My Eminence stereo wired 4x12 just has much better guitar sound than my full range, Despite even the best guitar speakers start rolling off at 5k tell me when you turn the presence on any amp centered at 9k you do not hear it?

Just thinking through the confusing frequency thing and the full-range ideology. 

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mileskb, Thank you for this write up and analysis. Are you still using this EQ, has it changed any? If not, what EQ are you using now and would you post pictures of the EQ if that applies?

 

I'm still using the same one...   Now as I have gotten into using some 3rd party Cab IR's...  I sometimes turn off the global EQ just because I like the huge bottom of some of the presets I have which is fine for playing by myself.  But I usually end up turning it back on because flat they articulate so much better.   I have also changed my AMP to a Crate PowerBlock so I should probably check the EQ again but honestly... it was sortofa proof of concept.    

 

What I should really do, is just put an external EQ in line.  I just haven't had time.   I'm guessing it would sound even better as the Helix's global EQ isn't as precise as your standard 32 band eq.  

 

The Helix is designed to be used with an FRFR system and while I have some great speakers, they aren't flat response.   Sooooo  I thought I would flatten them with EQ to see if anything sounded better.... and it sure did.    I would guess if you have an actual FRFR system, that really is FLAT....  Global EQ is not really needed.

If you're going into a house PA that is setup correctly.. again.. likely no need.   

 

I'm guessing, if you have a studio monitor setup, it would behoove one to configure the speakers for the room.  That will make everything sound better. 

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Good work Miles!! This is the kind of discussion and information sharing that makes a forum worthwhile.

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Also don't forget that any time you measure the response of speakers, you're also measuring the response of the space they're in. Most rooms that are found in houses (i.e. much smaller than most performance spaces) have crazy acoustics, with some frequencies that ring out, and many different frequencies that cancel in some physical places and reinforce in others.

 

It's not uncommon in a small room to find differences in room response of 20dB or more between just a few Hz, especially in the bass and low mids. And - since it can't just be simple can it - the frequency responses changes completely if you move the mic (or your ears) just a couple inches one direction or another, so any EQ is at best a compromise.

 

For example, here's a spectral decay plot (EQ response + resonance in time) of a domestic room I once recorded in as measured by a sine sweep and a measurement mic in one specific position. This is even after extensive acoustic treatment:

 

attachicon.giflf_with_182.gif

 

Note the 17ish dB difference between about 80 Hz and 115 Hz, and the way that some frequencies ring out longer than others.

 

That's with quite a bit of broadband absorption; with no treatment the room was like this:

 

attachicon.giflf_without_492.gif

 

Note the much longer decay times of much narrower frequency ranges. This caused really bad "one-note bass" where certain notes would all sound the same because they would all excite the room acoustics near the same frequency.

 

In an untreated small room like that, EQ is limited in the amount it can help because it can't control ringing/resonance - only relative volume of frequencies.

 

This has rambled quite a bit, but my point is, take care when making global EQ settings based on measurements, because you're compensating for the speaker PLUS the room.

This chap is on the right page.

I must have said this sort of thing a million times. EQ is relevant to environment and volume, that is a fact of physics. The problem these days is that many have no idea what the science means or consists. Seems adjusting an EQ via the use of pink noise and spectrum analyzer has been forgotten over using your ears and the infinite range of degrade and flawed biologic issues each person has. One of the primary standards in all scientific testing and experiments is the establishment of reference and control. If you have a home studio or any studio and you have not analyzed the space at various volume levels to determine its spikes and resonant frequency issues then you have no idea what it means to study sound engineering or the proper use of a global or system main EQ. You are in no way an actual "engineer" that is capable of producing music to any sense of industry and science standard that would be viable on any listening scenario. You would be in effect making something compensated and adjusted to sound good on your personal system in your personal environment. 

 

Parametrics and internal block or pedal EQ things are there to adjust the infinitely variable needs of a particular preset, before, it goes out to the reference system EQ. Running sound is a science not a hap hazard ear adjust methodology. No guitar can be heard in any sense in the extreme range of 20Hz to 20KHz human hearing which is basically what full range speakers systems were designed to reproduce. All one is doing is taking a fullrange device and EQ curving it down to the guitars freq ranges. So question remains if one is putting in a signal IR and EQ'd across the range of the guitar in the first place then what is the additional ability of the FRFR speakers to reproduce in a range they are not given??? This is why I advocate using higher end more advanced high wattage guitar speakers on amp modelers over FRFR rigs. I have both and believe me if one sounded much better than the other I would use it, that is why a prefer my custom wired and loaded 4x12 for the shear real amp tone, punch, and low end, without mud and range of highs across the entire ability of the guitar. Seems coming from an age of cheap low wattage severe coloring guitar speakers muddles the understanding that higher end guitar speakers are a different animal. If you want the sound and coloring of the low tech speakers that is exactly what an IR is for. Use them on presets into the higher guitar speakers to color the sound just as you would an FRFR rig it works. 

My sound engineer brother wanted to know out of curiosity what sort of frequency spectrum one of my prior guitar cabs was doing to the sound, he was a bit shocked to discover it was nearly a flat response across the entire range of the guitar spectrum, what lies outside the range of the guitar is just not there so why worry a rig and system that can reproduce what it is not given??? 

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This is why I advocate using higher end more advanced high wattage guitar speakers on amp modelers over FRFR rigs. I have both and believe me if one sounded much better than the other I would use it, that is why a prefer my custom wired and loaded 4x12 for the shear real amp tone, punch, and low end, without mud and range of highs across the entire ability of the guitar.

Because the modeler already models the cabinets, and sending the modeled signal through real cabinets would be like sending your signal through a filter (guitar cabinet) twice? Unless you turn off cabinet modeling in your modeler and let your real cabinet shape (filter) the raw amp output into something pleasing. All you need to do on your modeler is use the hi/lo cuts for FRFR if you use guitar-only. Give or take.

 

And if you don't use the modeled cabinets and feed to real cabinets for your tone, you are limited by the cabinets you happen to have. With modeled cabinets and FRFR, you have many more options from the built-in cabinets and all the combinations of mics/positions/etc, to the many superb 3rd party IRs out there too.

 

Also, consider many folks are multi-instrument players. Synth/keys, bass, etc that produce frequencies outside the normal guitar range. FRFR handles all that without having to have additional output hardware. Just feed those through your L3t's for example, and you've got the frequency range you need uncolored by a guitar-specific cabinet.

 

Want a backing track to play along to - just feed it into your L3t and it still sounds like it should vs through a real guitar cabinet.

 

Those are just a couple of reasons I can think of.

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I wish I had the pink noise analyzer capability, adjusting things by ear is at best a flawed premise

 

Yep cause (duh) we all hear different. There was a pink noise generating rack mounted box I believe made by Peavey years ago that "eq'd" a room using a special mic. I had one and it worked well. You ran it for a few minutes with mic on a stand in FOH some distance back... Sorry Im rambling...  :P

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I am a new user.  Thank you for sharing your settings and commentary.  It helped me quite a bit.

The frequency range of guitar is about 80hz to 1200hz so you can see in the pre-EQ shot of the RTA that this cabinet is definitely "enhanced" for guitar and I initially thought that was enough.  But harmonics play a big role so Flat Response is really what the Helix is looking for as in the post-EQ shot of the RTA.   The Global EQ curve on the Helix looks more dramatic than it is as it's really just pulling back those frequencies that the cab is enhancing, making it overall, more balanced.  

 

P.S. Ignor the EQ that I didn't crop out of the RTA photo.  It's not plugged in.

 

 

My Global EQ setting.

attachicon.gifmy global eq.PNG

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Yep cause (duh) we all hear different. There was a pink noise generating rack mounted box I believe made by Peavey years ago that "eq'd" a room using a special mic. I had one and it worked well. You ran it for a few minutes with mic on a stand in FOH some distance back... Sorry Im rambling...  :P

 

I remember a guy who had one of those and yes it did work great but utterly pissed every one off when he did it.

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I'd love the opportunity to listen to the mutlitracks of some favorite tracks to explore this. Not usually possible though. There's a smattering of that sort of material out there, no idea where it comes from, but I'd love to pick and choose.

 

I usually search youtube for the song adding on 'isolated guitar' and there is a lot out there.

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This is so true! What cuts through when drums, bass, keys, horns, etc.. are cranking is very often not that pleasing when you are practicing alone and building presets. You have to be able to anticipate that extra edge you will require for your mix in the band or at least build your presets with enough latitude to dial it in when needed.

 

THIS!!  It think this is one reason so many people chase the boutique amp/pedal rig "unicorns"...  you find a set up that sounds wonderful in the store, or in your living room... and get to gig A and it sounds dull and lifeless.... so you tweak it to sound good in that room...  then you get it home and it sounds "horrible"... to bright, or too much mid-range, etc...  Get it to gig B and still different tweaks are required.  It pushes a lot of us (raising my hand) to spend a buttload of money on things that just don't work out in real life.    That's one of the MAIN reasons I went the solid-state/modeling route to begin with.  I was hoping for more consistency - so far, I'm liking it and thinking of a big sell-off of my pedals and an amp or two.  

 

I appreciate reading about these topics as it sheds light on my own personal findings.   One thing that I'm having problems with is that we NEVER have a "sound guy"... in fact, I AM the "sound guy". We bring our own PA / Subs / Mains / Monitors, etc... to every gig.  The PA is set and almost never gets any adjustment at all once we are done with our soundcheck. I'm the closest to the PA and aside from a couple of vocal bumps for some members prior to starting different songs, it's set/forget.    so a lot of the advice I see on here and other forums references things like "if you have a good (or bad) sound guy"...  or "the FOH guy will take care of that for you".... etc.   For some of us, that doesn't apply, so figuring out things like Global EQ yes or no? and other related items are important.  

 

Thanks for continuing to investigate things that make life better for us gig-every-weekend-but-still-"old school"-guys.  

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Yep cause (duh) we all hear different. There was a pink noise generating rack mounted box I believe made by Peavey years ago that "eq'd" a room using a special mic. I had one and it worked well. You ran it for a few minutes with mic on a stand in FOH some distance back... Sorry Im rambling...  :P

 

 

I remember a guy who had one of those and yes it did work great but utterly pissed every one off when he did it.

 

Ain't this the truth! They still make the dbx DriveRack and it is one of these comprehensive PA sound "conditioners" with pink noise generation for automated dialing in of the perfect EQ for a venue. Seemed like a great idea and I bought one several years ago. It ended up going back. Not only did I find I could handle most of the tasks the DriveRack performed without it but the main problem is just as jondufour described. They are fine if you have an empty room or pre-festival for a sound check but otherwise pink noise generation is supremely annoying to everyone within hearing range. Another issue is that a room full of bodies is not gong to have the same sound characteristics as an empty one. This presents you with somewhat of a dilemma if you don't want to bother an audience with pink noise. A fine tool for the proper scenario but it has its practical use limitations and don't expect to be using it to set up in a crowded venue unless you enjoy stale beer and rotten tomatoes flying in your general direction.

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Something to consider: I only use my Helix setup for recording. After using Sonarworks plugins to adjust my listening setup, I was amazed at how much better my guitar sounds are. It was alarming how much the room was coloring the sound and screwing up my ability to discern what I was hearing. I was really struggling to get good sounds and so much of it had to do with the room.

 

If I were to set up my rig for live stuff, this setup would allow the sounds to be created with confidence (knowing that the room's impact had been diminished significantly). Then at the gig I could use Helix's global EQ to compensate for the live room if/when needed.

 

I prefer spending my time playing music rather than messing with gear so the extra few bucks for the Sonarworks system has been well worth it. Curious to see if this would help you guys as well. Good luck!

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Wow, surprised this thread is still around.  It's taken on a life of its own.

 

The original issue I had was that I thought I was playing though flat response speakers and it turns out they weren't really flat.  But I like the speakers, so I used the Global EQ to compensate for the lack of flatness of the speakers.   

 

If you already use flat response speakers... then no need to do this.  You might use global eq to control the highs and lows a bit, but you are already flat which is the point.  

As far as pink noise and balancing a system... I always try to do it.   I do it as fast as I can and just bring it up, and I have my RTA in max-hold mode so when I stop the signal, it maintains the pattern on the display.   If there are some people in the venue, I warn them.   

If I can't run pink noise I have a mix CD of a few specific tunes that have elements that I look for that are mixed high.   Tunes like Jet City Woman has panning, as the jet passes, has high-end cymbals, nice upper mid but not screaming guitar, deep bass, nice snare snap and crisp vocals.  I know what it "should" sound like, so I know how to tweak the system if it doesn't sound like is should.  Garbage's Stupid Girl has a lot of stuff going on in the mix.  Again, I know what it "should" sound like, so I get the system to go there.   This is not nearly as accurate as an RTA, but it keeps people from getting a blast of pink noise in their face and it generally gets me close enough to make the actual talent sound good. 

 

Anyway... enjoying the read that resulted from my little experiment...  

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Wow, surprised this thread is still around.  It's taken on a life of its own.

 

The original issue I had was that I thought I was playing though flat response speakers and it turns out they weren't really flat.  But I like the speakers, so I used the Global EQ to compensate for the lack of flatness of the speakers.   

 

If you already use flat response speakers... then no need to do this.  You might use global eq to control the highs and lows a bit, but you are already flat which is the point.  

 

As far as pink noise and balancing a system... I always try to do it.   I do it as fast as I can and just bring it up, and I have my RTA in max-hold mode so when I stop the signal, it maintains the pattern on the display.   If there are some people in the venue, I warn them.   

 

If I can't run pink noise I have a mix CD of a few specific tunes that have elements that I look for that are mixed high.   Tunes like Jet City Woman has panning, as the jet passes, has high-end cymbals, nice upper mid but not screaming guitar, deep bass, nice snare snap and crisp vocals.  I know what it "should" sound like, so I know how to tweak the system if it doesn't sound like is should.  Garbage's Stupid Girl has a lot of stuff going on in the mix.  Again, I know what it "should" sound like, so I get the system to go there.   This is not nearly as accurate as an RTA, but it keeps people from getting a blast of pink noise in their face and it generally gets me close enough to make the actual talent sound good. 

 

Anyway... enjoying the read that resulted from my little experiment...  

 

My compliments on your ability to pull off "pinking" a room that is already populated. You must have a flair for diplomacy or a good stand-up routine as I never got comfortable with the audience irritation factor. Maybe I will have to re-approach this again some time. Using a cut you know to get things sounding optimal, like the one you mentioned by Garbage, is a great start. You are still left however with cranking up the PA and using the RTA, GEQ, and mic positioning to fix any feedback issues as they won't show up by playing recorded music.

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My compliments on your ability to pull off "pinking" a room that is already populated. You must have a flair for diplomacy or a good stand-up routine.

 

LOL... yeah... something like that.   I try to address potential feedback issues during setup and soundcheck and such.  With IEM's it becomes less of a risk on one hand, and real potential for a disaster if it does happen as you can get away with some really hot mics on stage now.   I only really get nervous with Drummers who move their mic maybe behind them, or above them when they aren't singing, and singers that head out into the audience.    

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All of this gave me an idea that I

 

1) have no idea if it can be done

2) don't know how many people would even use it or care

 

My scenario starts by sending pink noise out of the Helix (with the internal pink/white noise generator block?). I would then attach a reference mic to the mic input. That would then be routed to feed the frequency analyzer block that's in my Helix. I could then EQ for the room/cab/whatever directly from my Helix using the internal frequency analyzer displayed on the Helix display.

 

Does anyone know if this is even feasible or would it probably require to much, resource wise, to put it in the Helix?

AND

Does anyone even care? Would anyone other than me, want or use such a thing.

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All of this gave me an idea that I

 

1) have no idea if it can be done

2) don't know how many people would even use it or care

 

My scenario starts by sending pink noise out of the Helix (with the internal pink/white noise generator block?). I would then attach a reference mic to the mic input. That would then be routed to feed the frequency analyzer block that's in my Helix. I could then EQ for the room/cab/whatever directly from my Helix using the internal frequency analyzer displayed on the Helix display.

 

Does anyone know if this is even feasible or would it probably require to much, resource wise, to put it in the Helix?

AND

Does anyone even care? Would anyone other than me, want or use such a thing.

 

I think this is a great idea and I also have considered being able to do this exact thing, but not just with pink noise. Although "pinking" might be particularly useful for singer/songwriters and guitarists to some extent, especially those who are using the Helix as their PA or mic processor, it could also be useful and a huge boon for general use for automated adjustment of the EQ of the guitar in a preset. I can think of a lot of cool ways you could leverage a capability like this due to the fact that the Helix has a mic input. You could add a feature that allowed the user to select a target EQ curve or even a target  "speaker model" (e.g. Celestion Greenback) and have the Helix automatically adjust itself to that target using the sound from your specific monitor and the room you are in to fine tune your tone.

This would be the ultimate in new "intelligent" customized tones that are "aware" of the monitoring equipment and even the room unique to each user. Moving the mic around in the room could even deliver very specific tones for example, the sound of a Greenback being optimally setup for an audience member 20 feet in front center of the stage.

I think some of these ideas have been batted around on the forum before. There may be too few people who actively want this such that it might fall towards the bottom of Line6's list of priorities but that doesn't mean it wouldn't be great to have and provide a leap forward in ease of use and accuracy of modeling. How soon this happens probably depends to some extent on how much processing power is required for automated tweaking of a preset and if there is enough return on investment to dedicate the required hardware and/or development resources to doing this. I hope something like this comes around at some point in the future. I suspect it will.

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Another issue is that a room full of bodies is not gong to have the same sound characteristics as an empty one. 

 

 

That is very true.

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All of this gave me an idea that I

 

1) have no idea if it can be done

2) don't know how many people would even use it or care

 

My scenario starts by sending pink noise out of the Helix (with the internal pink/white noise generator block?). I would then attach a reference mic to the mic input. That would then be routed to feed the frequency analyzer block that's in my Helix. I could then EQ for the room/cab/whatever directly from my Helix using the internal frequency analyzer displayed on the Helix display.

 

Does anyone know if this is even feasible or would it probably require to much, resource wise, to put it in the Helix?

AND

Does anyone even care? Would anyone other than me, want or use such a thing.

 

 

imho, you're doing the sound guy's job. Don't bother. Let him do it. Make your signal sound great with the band, leave the finessing to someone else so you can play... if possible...

 

If there is no sound guy, it's probably a noisy dirty club... and in that case, I think you're just over-thinking' it.

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imho, you're doing the sound guy's job. Don't bother. Let him do it. Make your signal sound great with the band, leave the finessing to someone else so you can play... if possible...

 

If there is no sound guy, it's probably a noisy dirty club... and in that case, I think you're just over-thinking' it.

 

I would not be using it just to EQ a sound system to my Helix for a gig. And if the sound guy isn't doing their job, I would like to have a way to at least partially compensate for that. I get why you wouldn't use it. But I would. In several ways. I'm more interested in how many people would use it than how many people wouldn't. I wouldn't want Line 6 to put any effort into it if I'm the only one interested in it. I also wouldn't want Line 6 to waste very much time on this if it isn't relatively easy to implement.

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I would not be using it just to EQ a sound system to my Helix for a gig. And if the sound guy isn't doing their job, I would like to have a way to at least partially compensate for that. I get why you wouldn't use it. But I would. In several ways. I'm more interested in how many people would use it than how many people wouldn't. I wouldn't want Line 6 to put any effort into it if I'm the only one interested in it. I also wouldn't want Line 6 to waste very much time on this if it isn't relatively easy to implement.

 

If you are shaping your sound though, do that in the patch. Then your global EQ is on standby for the the bad sound guy or bad room.

 

Honestly, I know people use it to shape their sound, but that's just wrong thinking imho. You put EQ in the patch for that.

 

If you use Global EQ to shape your sound, what happens if patch 1A needs to use a different setting than 2C?  Do it in the patch and you fix that. Logically it makes zero sense to use global for any sound shaping whatsoever.

 

It is seriously designed to fix whatever room you walk into. I'm interested in other ways people use it, too, but using it to shape your tone is ultimately not the best plan. It just never is.

 

The technique you mention is not bad. And if you're in the same room all the time... by all means, do this technique, but write down the settings and do them in the patch. Don't ring out your room in Helix. Do that at the sound board...

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