Jump to content
CloreenBaconskin

Specific questions about Helix into Firehawk 1500 as frfr

Recommended Posts

SECTION ONE: Problem

 

Firstly, I really enjoy the Helix, but I have been running it through one of those portable, battery powered speakers that came with my cellphone. I know...

 

SECTION TWO: Solution

 

I've been all over the web reading about FRFR solutions: Atomic CLR, Matrix, Yamaha, and the Firehawk 1500. All of these are priced about the same, and all of them are highly rated as FRFR solutions for modeling devices. The Firehawk 1500 has some features that put it at the front of the pack: mono,stereo,and WDW options; Firehawk FX modeling tones as a back up; and I found one on this tiny island nation where I reside. The only one here unless someone had one sent over from Amazon, but that would be a lot more expensive than going through the distributor. It will be available for pickup on Monday... As you may have guessed, I bought it.

 

SECTION THREE: Questions

 

1) Now, I figure I will also need to buy two XLR cables and an additional guitar cable. Is there anything else I would need?

 

2) Regarding connections (these are my assumptions),...

 

Mono: guitar input with a neutral preset, or left XLR cable into monitor input. Only central speaker is used.

 

Stereo: both L/R XLR cables into monitor input. The central speaker cannot be used in stereo. Only side speakers are used.

 

WDW: Guitar input and XLR L/R monitor inputs. A WDW patch would need to be set up for this to work without phasing issues.

 

Am I correct regarding these connections?

 

3) Which speaker does the BT signal go through?

 

4) Which connection type (mono, stereo, WDW) is best with a BT backing track?

 

5) When is the top 1" speaker for high tones used?

 

6) Is there a way to use all the speakers in mono? What about in stereo?

 

Thank you for reading!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, I just asked basically the same thing on another thread just now...your wording and organization is much better.

 

I'm not up on the idea of using 3 cables and custiom helix patching to access the FH1500 horn.

 

I also asked if the FH1500 1/4" guitar input happened to be stereo since it can pass signal to all speakers. I think you can use it as a single mono in (your question 6).

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your input. I believe guitar in alone, with a neutral preset (or empty preset), just goes to the center speaker. I'm guessing that when running the Firehawk 1500 without the Helix, the computer will automatically decide which speakers to use based on what's in the patch. Howeve, since we are bypassing the computer by using an empty preset, it will just go to the default speaker, and we engage stereo manually through XLR. We then need to make sure we send the right signals to the right places; that is having a WDW patch.

 

I am curious in general, but perhaps in practice it doesn't matter. Just do guitar-in or left XLR for mono. XLR L and R for stereo and both for WDW with a WDW patch. Behind this is the assumption that each method will sound good. Reviews seem to unanimously support this assumption. The only issue I've seen is when people don't set up a true WDW patch, with stereo wet, and dry to the center, but that's user error, and wouldn't work in any WDW rig. I am still particularly curious what happens if you send the same signal through both XLR and guitar in; that is, having the center speaker and side speakers sending out the same tones.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am still particularly curious what happens if you send the same signal through both XLR and guitar in; that is, having the center speaker and side speakers sending out the same tones.

 

I had a FH1500 for a while, but sold it to fund car repairs.. That being said, while I had it with my Helix, I tried a bunch of different variations on how to connect it, but never 100% explored how to do true wet/dry/wet via programming on the Helix, three cables, etc.

 

When you do what you mentioned above, you get phase cancellation. You have to set up Helix to not send any wet effects to the FH1500 guitar in. The amount of phase cancellation depends on how much stereo effect is in the patch at any given time, but you definitely have a weird experience! I also tried the 1/4" send after the amp model; starts to work better.

 

Apparently what you really need to do is set up a special patch in Helix with your wet effects only going to the FH1500 monitor in, in stereo - with the wet FX mix all set to 100% or something along those lines. As I understand it, when your wet fx are not set to 100% mix, that means some of the 'dry' amp model is also coming through; which is where you get the weirdness, in how it interacts with the same signal being sent to the stereo speaker system. The 1/4" mono send to a blank FH1500 patch gets placed just after the amp model before any wet FX.

 

Another note; the center 12" speaker is primarily bass frequencies; the only speaker not used when connecting Helix to only the monitor inputs (stereo only) is the center horn.

 

The 1/4" mono to a blank FH1500 patch gets sent just after the amp model before any wet FX.

 

A good place to start with it with your Helix, is just in stereo. Set up the FH1500 app on your phone, and get it connected to the FH1500. This allows you control over the master volume, plus gives you easy access to the global EQ, and the bass cut speaker modes - free form, floor, and wall. These modes are useful for balancing the overall bass response depending on the volume level, and if you are streaming any other audio, etc. Louder as just Helix amp, cut some bass. Lower volume, or for jamming with backing tracks, cut less bass. I usually set it to floor, the middle amount of bass cut and go from there.

 

It really does sound stellar with Helix! You will love it. Be aware of the weight when lifting it with one hand - I have some pre-existing back issues, and that thing was hard for me to move around! I dig the tilt back stand on it though, and on days when I was ambitious about lifting it, it also sounds really nice in 'free form' mode (no bass cut) up on an amp stand. But at 63lbs, I wasn't lifting it that often, hence the usefulness of the built in kickstand!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the solution to phasing issues.

 

That was an excellent demonstration of those phenomenons...thank you!  FH1500 isn't totally off my FRFR wish list as 3 cables is not unreasonable (Line 6 just spoiled us with the 1 L6 link in the old dream rig).  But I am still experimenting and learning about FRFR with my el cheapo Crate rig.

 

Related to the video and unrelated to FH1500...maybe I should try a Helix Dual (stereo) Cab block and two IR's mixed and panned L/R in my vertical stereo stack of the two Crate PE 12H speakers and Powerblock rig.  I haven't noticed any audio physics issues running mono through both, but a slightly different cab/IR in each while stacked behind me and me 8ft in front of them could be an improvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I got the Firehawk 1500. It's good. No phasing issues yet. I'm going to experiment with different cabs and different amps going to different speakers. I'll update results in a few days.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Today, I sent one tone (dry AC30) through the center speaker and another tone (twin deluxe) through the side speakers. The two tones are on separate volume controls (AC30 controlled by 1500's volume and twin deluxe by Helix), so it's easy to mix the two together. Sounds good. No phasing issues as far as I can tell.

 

WDW also sounds good.

 

What I'm trying to figure out is how to send one tone to the right speaker and a different tone to the left. I haven't been able to get the two sides to operate individually yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool. Appreciate the updates!

 

I know it may or may not be desireable, but does just running Helix 1/4" left output mono into the guitar input come through both the horn and the 12"?

 

I realize that it may not come through the 6" coax speakers, but I could be okay with that. It would simplify live hookup, and I may not even miss the coax stereo in a live situation. This would just make FH about the same 12" + 1" horn format as the other FRFR solutions (Friedman ASM12, Matrix FR12, etc.), but of course give you a whole other HD modeller for backup, and 6" coax stereo if you really wanted to use them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had everything hooked correctly and my patch was right but was underwhelmed at the sound of the wet. Read the post today about making sure the effects were at 100% mix and was blown away. Can't wait to get off work now to play.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Cool. Appreciate the updates!

 

I know it may or may not be desireable, but does just running Helix 1/4" left output mono into the guitar input come through both the horn and the 12"?

 

I realize that it may not come through the 6" coax speakers, but I could be okay with that. It would simplify live hookup, and I may not even miss the coax stereo in a live situation. This would just make FH about the same 12" + 1" horn format as the other FRFR solutions (Friedman ASM12, Matrix FR12, etc.), but of course give you a whole other HD modeller for backup, and 6" coax stereo if you really wanted to use them.

 

 

I'll listen for the horn and see if I can hear it.

 

Got stereo separation working. I can run three amps and IRs through different speakers now. Going to experiment with that later, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't hear the horn. I may call Line 6 and ask them when it should function when using the 1500 as a monitor.

 

 

Update. I just read this;

 

Helix 1/4" Mono Out -> Firehawk 1500 1/4" Guitar In (with an UN-EFFECTED, Neutral Patch) PLUS Helix Stereo XLR Outs -> Firehawk 1500 XLR Monitor Ins (again, controlled by the Monitor Gain Level Control). This engages use of the Firehawk 1500's mono horn, which apparently is not engaged in Scenario's 1 & 2.

 

This will be tomorrow's experiment with different amps and IRs going to mid and side speakers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I couldn't hear the horn. I may call Line 6 and ask them when it should function when using the 1500 as a monitor.

 

 

Update. I just read this;

 

Helix 1/4" Mono Out -> Firehawk 1500 1/4" Guitar In (with an UN-EFFECTED, Neutral Patch) PLUS Helix Stereo XLR Outs -> Firehawk 1500 XLR Monitor Ins (again, controlled by the Monitor Gain Level Control). This engages use of the Firehawk 1500's mono horn, which apparently is not engaged in Scenario's 1 & 2.

 

This will be tomorrow's experiment with different amps and IRs going to mid and side speakers.

 

Thanks for checking this.  Not a FH1500 deal breaker for me, but good to know for establishing expectations.

 

I still would like Line 6 support to but together a video of Helix and Firehawk 1500 and make some Helix patch templates.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My delays sound really good but other effects not so much. What effects shouldn't be part of the wet signal. And I agree with you. Line 6 should make a video on the firehawk 1500 with the helix and give tips on patch creation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Horn works when XLR and guitar-in are connected. I'm not having phasing issues because I change up my signal for the center speaker. It's pretty cool; there's a different texture.

 

The Firehawk 1500 is big and heavy. It's loud, too. If possible, I'd try to test it out along with other FRFR speakers. Because of where I'm located, I only had the Firehawk 1500 available to me. However, I do think having a choice between different speakers for different tones is cool.

 

I haven't done much with WDW yet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...