Jump to content

Guitar Pad - In or Out - opinions...


welshboyohelix
 Share

Recommended Posts

OK,

 

Seem to having a little issue with the Guitar Pad and its effect on things..

 

I play a few different guitars, none of them are active (except the L3 which has a switchable 20db boost on it) - R7 LP, a 76 LP Custom, EBMM L3 and an old JV Strat.

 

Switched the Pad In at the weekend as I was getting a little digital "hair" on my clean tones using the R7 - now that guitar is known animal in the volume stakes - its one of those guitars that gives sound engineers nightmares as it can really punch out when I swap to it from one of the other guitars. 

 

Pad in, all good, nice clean tones returned..

 

Strapped on the Custom and all of my good sounding gain was gone - amp seemed lifeless (running 4CM into Shiva) and struggled all night to get a good tone. 

 

Custom + Pad OFF - good tones returned....

 

What do I do? or more importantly, is there anyone else struggling in a similar way and what do you do to get over it?

 

I am currently toying with leaving the Pad ON and running a Teemah! early in the signal chain to bring back the gainy sounds a bit - but its just an extra slot and some more DSP used up...

 

Don;t want to go down the pad OFF for Custom route as it means to much faffing around at gigs and usually "due to tunings etc" its a change over of guitars between songs - can't be spending a few moments extra going into global and turning ON/OFF...

 

Thoughts please.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK - the above solution is worth a try - maybe more than 6dB - but a little experimentation will solve that.

It might be that you degrade your tone a little as you are setting sensitivity before the AtoD converter for all your other guitars - but I'd see if you can hear any difference before making too much of that.

Also worth a try is to not use the pad, and put a gain stage cutting your level first in you chain to cut level from the R7 - use a clean patch to test - your ears can tell you if you are getting any digital distortion from the input - that would be the simplest solution if it worked - I don't think gain stages use much DSP.

But tell me, doesn't the R7 sound a bit different given a different gain structure?

Wouldn't you want different versions of the patches you want to use it on?  Isn't it's tonal balance different too?  Just imagining it should be.

In which case you can try to set the you input to AUX on just those patches set up for the R7.  I have not any ability to try this, but the manual says use AUX for active pickups.  So that should work (with or without a gain stage first in line to tweak you level).

Then you aren't trying to adjust a global setting in mid gig! (which I assume is the point we are solving?)

Assume one of the above will get you by.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I toyed a lot with the pad and discovered that it could play very nicely with humbuckers, even moderate output passives, but that it had a dulling effect on my single coil cleans. I can make my humbuckers work without it, but I can't get happy with my single coils with it. Like you, I don't relish the notion of having to remember which preset had it on/off and change it every time I change presets so I eventually settled on leaving it "OFF" and I'm doing just fine. If it could be assigned per-preset I would happily employ it, but as a global setting I find the negatives outweigh the positives.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's my easy fix.  Each patch is designed for a specific guitar.  Of course, I do a patch for every song, but each song has a specific guitar that I use for it.  Since each patch is designed for a specific guitar, I never have any problems with the differences in the guitars.  Works every time...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks guys for all of your advice.

 

The gain block and Pad ON seems to be the way that works for me.

 

I've also worked out (bit of a DUH moment) that I've been running my amp channel volumes a little high and with the addition of me running the loop as Line level I think I've probably been overloading things a bit.

 

Coming from FX8 that had visual meters it's a toughy using my ears again LOL

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sort of wish the pad and the impedance would work with the VDI for the Variax, too. I have a JTV 69S and a 59, and the HB's of the 59 are hotter than the single coils of this 69S. I basically set my tones up with the 69S, then copy them and add a gain block at the start of the patch for the 59 set -6 to -8 dB. Luckily with snapshots, I use fewer presets than I did with the HD500X, so I can keep them in the same set list. If I'd set up the preset with the 59, then I'd need to do a 6 to 8 dB gain boost for my 69S... With my regular guitars in the guitar input, I like being able to do a little tone molding to take the edge off and warm those guitars up a bit with the impedance adjustment...

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to say it, metering...

 

There is something fundamentally odd about these issues.  Its been said many times in this and the TGP forum that when setting up amp and drive blocks you should simply check that the overall volume is the same as with the amp block bypassed (by the same I mean near enough - +/- 3dB.)  Once this is done its very unlikely that you would get anywhere close to clipping .   Adding  a drive that is permanently on means you might have to check that the volume remains the same with both on/off.  If the drive is adding gain to push the front of the amp then you reduce the channel volume.  If you add a drive , EQ or compressor  that is switched in for solo boost then its going to be between 6 and 10dB...still no way that will clip.  None of this needs a meter.

 

....and, if you have tube amp and half a dozen boutique pedals there are no meters!

 

If you have rhythm patches separate from solos then the rhythm patches should be quieter than the Lead (by which I mean that bypassing the amp is louder than when activated).Common sense!

 

Its possible to imagine having a drive stomp post the amp and adding +30dB of level....but why would you. :rolleyes:

 

and signal to noise is just not an issue as the helix has less noise than any tube amp in history....

 

Oh yeah...and people moaning about having no way to set levels between patches!   There is volume control on every block including the outputs...

 

Just dont understand what the problem is.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is something fundamentally odd about these issues.  Its been said many times in this and the TGP forum that when setting up amp and drive blocks you should simply check that the overall volume is the same as with the amp block bypassed (by the same I mean near enough - +/- 3dB.)  Once this is done its very unlikely that you would get anywhere close to clipping .   Adding  a drive that is permanently on means you might have to check that the volume remains the same with both on/off.  If the drive is adding gain to push the front of the amp then you reduce the channel volume.  If you add a drive , EQ or compressor  that is switched in for solo boost then its going to be between 6 and 10dB...still no way that will clip.  None of this needs a meter.

 

....and, if you have tube amp and half a dozen boutique pedals there are no meters!

 

If you have rhythm patches separate from solos then the rhythm patches should be quieter than the Lead (by which I mean that bypassing the amp is louder than when activated).Common sense!

 

Its possible to imagine having a drive stomp post the amp and adding +30dB of level....but why would you. :rolleyes:

 

and signal to noise is just not an issue as the helix has less noise than any tube amp in history....

 

Oh yeah...and people moaning about having no way to set levels between patches!   There is volume control on every block including the outputs...

 

Just dont understand what the problem is.

 

Comparing overloading an analogue signal (or tube) to overloading a digital signal is just wrong and perhaps its you that doesn't understand the problem...

 

In Analogue/Tube Amp world - an overload of signal will result in a clip or as we all know it - Overdrive/Distortion

 

In Digital world, it is purely an overload and a nasty one at that..

 

Signal to Noise -  whilst I agree is relevant in both disciplines, comparing a clean digital signal/path to an old tube amp signal/patch for noise is just wrong.

 

IMO, its important to have some of metering on a digital audio device other than your ears to just keep an eye on that signal (in and out) to make sure no overloading is happening.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Comparing overloading an analogue signal (or tube) to overloading a digital signal is just wrong and perhaps its you that doesn't understand the problem...

 

In Analogue/Tube Amp world - an overload of signal will result in a clip or as we all know it - Overdrive/Distortion

 

In Digital world, it is purely an overload and a nasty one at that..

 

Signal to Noise -  whilst I agree is relevant in both disciplines, comparing a clean digital signal/path to an old tube amp signal/patch for noise is just wrong.

 

IMO, its important to have some of metering on a digital audio device other than your ears to just keep an eye on that signal (in and out) to make sure no overloading is happening.

I do understand the difference...Digital Clipping is truly horrible.   My point is that the headroom available is more than sufficient to enable patches to end up a little louder than unity without any risk of clipping.

I don't know how Line 6 have calibrated their levels, but I do know that many inexperienced DAW users misuse their meters by running signal that average much higher than intended.  there is an argument that having a meter might create worse practice rather than better. If 0dBu is = -18dBFS and this translates in some way to the Helix then a well balanced amp block will have at lest 18dB of head room on the very loudest guitar strums  - more than enough to prevent clipping.

 

Im not claiming to know Line 6s internal gain structure but in principle this should hold true.

 

The only risk is overloading the AD convertor at the input and thats why we have the Pad.  As with any and every other product on the market there will be different results based on the output level of the particular guitar.  Helix' Pad should be set for the loudest in put you ever use and left alone.

  • Like 1
  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I sort of look at it differently, just put a simple EQ, flat EQ and just use the gain level, first up to drop the input sensitivity when needed, then off when you do not want it. Messing with the pickup levels drastically effects the gains structure on the amp. I use Les Paul's and just keep my vols rolled back some on cleans and roll up on high gains. I agree with calibrating to the loudest strum that well be used and then deal with the lower volumes. I do not like the idea of PADing dowh the guitar pickups and one of mine has 66/57 EMGs, essential to keep the impedance on auto I think. Several of my pickups are just too loud signal all the way up on anything clean amp they will digitally clip, terrible sound to be sure and I think that is really a normal thing. When I played Strat's for ages I always had them full up, only when I git into Les Paul's did I learn to use those volume and tone controls and the myriad of tones they can produce. 

Link to comment
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.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...