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Need Help with USB 1/2 Output Level

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I'm trying to record into my DAW (Cubase) using USB1/2 but can't get an acceptable level to record with.  The Input fader in Cubase only shows the Helix USB input level at just over half.

 

I'm currently using the AC-30 Fawn Normal with 2x12 Bluebell Cab.  The amp drive is 5.8, Ch Vol 8.6, Master 10.0 and I have even turned the Cab Level up to maximum +6.0dB which helps very slightly.  Obviously I can't use the Main Volume knob as that has no effect on the USB level.

 

Checking back in the forums history I can't find any other posts on this subject so I assume its something I'm doing wrong.  What have I missed that increases the USB output level ?

 

Glen

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Each Ouput block itself has a level control. Select the block and increase it.

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Many thanks, I knew there had to be a way to increase the USB output level, although to raise it to an acceptable record level (just prior to clipping in Cubase) I had to raise the output level +13.0dB, seems a lot.

 

Would raising the level this much effect the quality of the original sound providing I keep within the clipping range of Cubase ?

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No - as long as it doesn't clip the Cubase input raising the level is tone-neutral as far as the digital signal goes. Of course, any increase in volume level can affect the human ear's perception of tone per the Fletcher-Munson effect.

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Something does not seem right there Glen. If I try the exact same AC30 settings as you mention in your initial post (before adding the +13dB boost), my guitar in - USB 1/2 record levels peaks at -6dB or so in the Cubase recorded track with a firm strum, which is right about where I'd want it. Are you sure you are not padding the input of your guitar into Helix, or some other block reducing the levels somewhere? I've never had to add anything near an additional +13dB boost beyond just my Amp/Cab block levels.

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TexLefty65

 

Many thanks for your feedback.  I reduced the +13.0dB back to 0.0dB and removed my echo unit (Hall and Collins Signature Echo) from between my guitar and the Helix, so plugged my guitar straight into the Helix Guitar input.  If I strum very hard I did achieve -6.2dB, but my style of playing is more melodic ballad similar to Hank Marvin (ex Shadows) hence the AC-30.

 

If I plug the Helix 1/4 output into my Steinberg UR22 USB interface I can control the Cubase recording level very easily and it sounds as smooth as silk as opposed to the Helix at +13.0dB which sounds 'strained' - to my ears.

 

I'll just have to forget the Helix USB output, as to me its not suited to my style of playing.  Incidentally there is no gain control on the Hall and Collins Echo unit so I have to rely solely on the Helix (or Steinberg USB UR22) for output recording level.

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Many thanks, I knew there had to be a way to increase the USB output level, although to raise it to an acceptable record level (just prior to clipping in Cubase) I had to raise the output level +13.0dB, seems a lot.

 

Would raising the level this much effect the quality of the original sound providing I keep within the clipping range of Cubase ?

 

I needed +20dB to get decent signal(-10 peak or so) to my DAW. Seemed excessive, but perhaps I'm missing an input gain stage somewhere. 

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Can't help thinking this needs to be looked at by Line 6, but why aren't other people complaining of the same issue if its a design problem ?

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I read a good many of these sorts of Gain Staging issues confronting Helix Users, regardless of where they seem to occur in Helix's signal path(s). It certainly seems that a repositionable Helix Metering Block feature would resolve most of these quandries.

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Many thanks, I knew there had to be a way to increase the USB output level, although to raise it to an acceptable record level (just prior to clipping in Cubase) I had to raise the output level +13.0dB, seems a lot.

 

Would raising the level this much effect the quality of the original sound providing I keep within the clipping range of Cubase ?

 

In some sense, it doesn't matter where you raise the level in the Helix's signal path, really, with the exception that there are some block that are intentionally modeled with lower headroom, so they can be made to clip. With the exception of the Vintage Delay model, though, it's modeled clipping you're hearing, not actual digital clipping. It's actually best practice to keep the level running through the internal signal path pretty low, and then raise it with the output block. It's all still "in the box" at that point, so you're not introducing more noise or anything like that, and you're not compromising audio quality at all by do it that way.

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Dshow, thanks I must have missed that post - did you try a Gain Block as suggested ?

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Dshow, thanks I must have missed that post - did you try a Gain Block as suggested ?

I just raise the USB Level when recording, so I don't have to change the patches. After recording I simple put it back to 0.

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mine usually sits are -14 in Reaper. Never seem to have any issues with the noise floor or anything. Digital recording doesn't require the same type of levels as analog.

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