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Pad and Impedance

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Perhaps another daft new user question! Is there a general rule for the setting guitar in pad and impedance? I've read the manual, and currently I'm just going with the default values and Auto setting, I'm really pleased with my patches, but wondered if I'm missing a trick or two? I use mostly low/mid output humbuckers (Bareknuckle Mules are a good benchmark) - as I say, everything sounds just great, but I'd really like to understand what others do with these settings :-)

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Your guitar will probably sound the most open and bright at 1M Ohm. However, some vintage pedals' inputs with lower impedances will load your pickups differently. For example, a fuzz face pedal's input impedance is somewhere between 5k and 8k Ohm; if Helix's impedance is left at 1M Ohm, people will say "Oh man, that sounds nothing like my real fuzz face!" For the same reason, real fuzz faces should be the first pedal in your chain.

 

When Helix's impedance is set to "Auto," it looks at the first block on Path 1A and sets its impedance circuit to match that of the real pedal or amp modeled.

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Your guitar will probably sound the most open and bright at 1M Ohm. However, some vintage pedals' inputs with lower impedances will load your pickups differently. For example, a fuzz face pedal's input impedance is somewhere between 5k and 8k Ohm; if Helix's impedance is left at 1M Ohm, people will say "Oh man, that sounds nothing like my real fuzz face!" For the same reason, real fuzz faces should be the first pedal in your chain.

 

When Helix's impedance is set to "Auto," it looks at the first block on Path 1A and sets its impedance circuit to match that of the real pedal or amp modeled.

Thanks DI great example, so when Pad is on Auto the impedance can vary depending on the first pedal in the chain is that right?

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Thanks DI great example, so when Pad is on Auto the impedance can vary depending on the first pedal in the chain is that right?

 

Apparently (at least according to a discussion in another topic) if set to "Auto" the sound can also vary depending on whether the first block is on or off. You may want to use 1 MegOhm as your default and change to auto or whatever sounds best for presets with specific pedals like vintage fuzz emulations that may not sound best with 1 MegOhm and are not bypassed in the first block.

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Apparently (at least according to a discussion in another topic) if set to "Auto" the sound can also vary depending on whether the first block is on or off. You may want to use 1 MegOhm as your default and change to auto or whatever sounds best for presets with specific pedals like vintage fuzz emulations that may not sound best with 1 MegOhm and are not bypassed in the first block.

Got it thanks so much for the help!

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This is really interesting; I will try this out later. In my humble opinion I've been thinking that - although I'm extremely pleased with the Helix - the fuzz face model does not sound very realistic (in contrast to e.g. Tube Screamer and OCD [i have those myself, can't judge the others] ).

 

Hopefully this way I will get more out of the Helix (although I'm more of a Germanium Fuzz Face fan than Silicone).

 

For other people that are into fuzz and more fuzz variations, you might consider voting on:

http://line6.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Helix-More-fuzz-box-variations!/739897-23508#idea-tab-comments

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For the PAD setting, use what you get better results with. I have DiMarzio Evolution pickups (around high-medium output) and turn PAD on, from the default of off. I used to use it turned off, but recently found, with my pickups, on provided a better, clearer, more predictable tone.

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Great, thanks for the help... I'll play around later, and see what sounds best. I'll try the 1M ohm first, and then mess around with some patches with a fuzz and see how it affects it. Most of my patches have a volume or wah first in the chain, so I need to do some thinking... I must admit, the fuzz pedals have been the least pleasing so far, sounds like I know why now!

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As an aside, I have a real 80's Rat, which to my mind I think of as something between a dirty distortion pedal and an aggressive fuzz. You guys have really nailed this one, sounds very, very authentic.

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Your guitar will probably sound the most open and bright at 1M Ohm. However, some vintage pedals' inputs with lower impedances will load your pickups differently. For example, a fuzz face pedal's input impedance is somewhere between 5k and 8k Ohm; if Helix's impedance is left at 1M Ohm, people will say "Oh man, that sounds nothing like my real fuzz face!" For the same reason, real fuzz faces should be the first pedal in your chain.

 

When Helix's impedance is set to "Auto," it looks at the first block on Path 1A and sets its impedance circuit to match that of the real pedal or amp modeled.

That does indeed do trick! It sounds much better when impedance set on auto (and Guitar In Pad off). I tested with a strat and an ES-335. The downside however, I like the sound of the guitar(s) much better with impedance set to 1M without the Arbitrator Fuzz ... Anyone has any tips and/or tricks for that?

 

Maybe this is some for Ideascape, to suggest having a preset specific option for impedance (or an impedance "block"). Not sure what would be a good solution. I'll check if someone already has suggested something similar.

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Impedance is very different from level control (including the Guitar In pad). They're independent.

 

The bypass state of the first block on Path 1A shouldn't affect the impedance circuit when set to "Auto."

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...

 

The bypass state of the first block on Path 1A shouldn't affect the impedance circuit when set to "Auto."

 

This appears to be a critical fact to know when you are determining how you want to set your impedance! To paraphrase DI, I have always taken this to mean that it is the first block that determines the impedance set by "Auto", regardless of whether the block is bypassed or not. To me that implies that if you have a preset where the first block is usually bypassed, you want to set the impedance to whatever sounds best with the first active block rather than the first block.  I guess my question to DI would be "As a general rule, since the first block always determines the impedance set by "Auto", even if it is bypassed, is it better to just set the impedance to match the first active block?" If the first active block works best with the impedance selected by auto than no harm, no foul. In many cases the first block and the first active block will both probably be fine with the same setting (as set by "Auto) but if the first active block works better with a different impedance than that set by "Auto" to match the first block, is it better to match the impedance explicitly to the first active block instead? I know this has been discussed before and perhaps it seems too trivial a concern to merit an answer but I am still a little unclear as to the best approach.

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Very interesting! What happened to the "Impedance" setting in the global settings in version 2.0 of the firmware? It does not appear to be there any more.

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With 2.0, you can even assign a footswitch or snapshots to the impedance parameter so your guitar's pickups can be loaded differently for the verse vs. the chorus. Now all parameters on the home screen can be assigned to controllers (including the Snapshots controller).

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With 2.0, you can even assign a footswitch or snapshots to the impedance parameter so your guitar's pickups can be loaded differently for the verse vs. the chorus. Now all parameters on the home screen can be assigned to controllers (including the Snapshots controller).

 

Woot!  You guys seem to have thought of everything. This update is a magnificent piece of work!  :)

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With 2.0, you can even assign a footswitch or snapshots to the impedance parameter so your guitar's pickups can be loaded differently for the verse vs. the chorus. Now all parameters on the home screen can be assigned to controllers (including the Snapshots controller).

Wow, can't wait to get to 2.0! This seems to be the solution for having best of both worlds.

 

Man, I didn't even get around to checking Ideascape ...

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With 2.0, you can even assign a footswitch or snapshots to the impedance parameter so your guitar's pickups can be loaded differently for the verse vs. the chorus. Now all parameters on the home screen can be assigned to controllers (including the Snapshots controller).

 

I'm sure the world has been waiting for this feature  :D

 

What I as a Variax user would be more interested in would be impedance and proper load for a Variax that is connected with VDI. Has that been added by any chance?

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Er.... where is the impedance setting in 2.0...?? It's gone from the settings menu!

 

EDIT - Found it - it's now part of the input block :)

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Er.... where is the impedance setting in 2.0...?? It's gone from the settings menu!

 

Check the input block of a preset. You can now assign controllers to this parameter.

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Check the input block of a preset. You can now assign controllers to this parameter.

 

Yep, just found it - thanks!

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I'm sure the world has been waiting for this feature :D

 

What I as a Variax user would be more interested in would be impedance and proper load for a Variax that is connected with VDI. Has that been added by any chance?

:lol: Yeah, we probably wouldn't have spent resources on that feature if it didn't come for free with controller/snapshot assign of Variax parameters. It was a happy bonus.

 

Impedance on the Variax signal is tricky—there'd have to be a variable impedance circuit in the guitar itself and there's not one—but that wouldn't preclude us from looking at it for a new Variax.

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:lol: Yeah, we probably wouldn't have spent resources on that feature if it didn't come for free with controller/snapshot assign of Variax parameters. It was a happy bonus.

 

Impedance on the Variax signal is tricky—there'd have to be a variable impedance circuit in the guitar itself and there's not one—but that wouldn't preclude us from looking at it for a new Variax.

 

New Variax??

 

I like the sound of that. I REALLY like the sound of that B) B) B)

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Questions on the "guitar in pad" parameter in the Global Settings menu:

  1. What level of attenuation does the signal receive when this is "on" - and would that equate to a comparable level reduction with an EQ block/model?
  2. Have there been any changes with how the "guitar in pad" behaves with the newer v2.21 firmware, as compared to earlier versions?  Toggling the setting on/off/on this week, I heard no audible change in the overall volume of the output.  I seem to recall that it did change the volume before... but it's been a few beers since I purchased my Helix Floor back in March of 2016.

The only guitar in my collection that seems to need the "guitar in pad" turned on is my 2014 Fender Eric Clapton signature model Stratocaster.  The signal is notably stronger than on my 2009 Fender American Deluxe Telecaster and even my 2017 Gibson Les Paul Traditional, and that's before I add any "mid-boost" from the 25dB pre-amp circuit.  I chose to set up my presets for the EC Stratocaster with the "guitar in pad" turned on... so that its signal is more like a passive/traditional guitar when hitting the EQ/Dynamics/Distortion blocks, and even the amplifier blocks.  I'm assuming that using or not using the pad will affect all aspects of tone, dynamics and end-of-the-day output/volume... but please correct me if I am mistaken!

 

Thanks if you can clarify and explain,

 

KWH

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Questions on the "guitar in pad" parameter in the Global Settings menu:

  1. What level of attenuation does the signal receive when this is "on" - and would that equate to a comparable level reduction with an EQ block/model?
  2. Have there been any changes with how the "guitar in pad" behaves with the newer v2.21 firmware, as compared to earlier versions?  Toggling the setting on/off/on this week, I heard no audible change in the overall volume of the output.  I seem to recall that it did change the volume before... but it's been a few beers since I purchased my Helix Floor back in March of 2016.

The only guitar in my collection that seems to need the "guitar in pad" turned on is my 2014 Fender Eric Clapton signature model Stratocaster.  The signal is notably stronger than on my 2009 Fender American Deluxe Telecaster and even my 2017 Gibson Les Paul Traditional, and that's before I add any "mid-boost" from the 25dB pre-amp circuit.  I chose to set up my presets for the EC Stratocaster with the "guitar in pad" turned on... so that its signal is more like a passive/traditional guitar when hitting the EQ/Dynamics/Distortion blocks, and even the amplifier blocks.  I'm assuming that using or not using the pad will affect all aspects of tone, dynamics and end-of-the-day output/volume... but please correct me if I am mistaken!

 

Thanks if you can clarify and explain,

 

KWH

 

1. It's around -6dB. An EQ block would be after the input, so there's that difference.

2. I haven't noticed any changes.

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