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Gemini II with Helix

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 I've been reluctant to add my comment about my Helix into my Gemini 2 FRFR, because I seem to be the only one that has had much difficulty getting a good tone out of the Gemini. (The Helix on it's own direct is killer).  And I don't want to offend anyone.

But here it is anyway:

 I believe I know what good tone is, or at least what I'm always pursuing as an EVH to harder rock tones. I'm old, and have owned more than my share of killer amps. My live "real" amp tones are being driven into (2) old Carvin 1980 4-12's with original Rola Celestion G12-30's in them. I love playing fast heavy driven leads, love it. As many of you, I also love how easy practical no tube digital tones have caught up, or even surpassed them, with the Helix. I've created killer lead and rhythm tones out of the Helix, but only direct into my digital recorder interface and Sennheiser  headphones. I thought it would be great to be able to achieve those tones live through the  live Gemini 2 FRFR stereo amp. I was disappointed. All my killer tones sounded brittle treblely and had a mid "honk" I just couldn't dial out or EQ out. The sound also reminded me of running the HD500 (or Helix) straight into the front of an amp head, where you could hear the competing preamps fighting against each other, limiting clarity (perceived clarity, not treble clarity). Believe me, I love treble as much as the next guy (I need the gain and treble to cut through).  With pre and post Helix EQ's, (and turning the Gemini adj all the way from the FRFR setting the just the cab setting), I could tame the brittle treble, but could never get rid of the mid "honk".  I sent an E-mail to Line 6 for suggestions, and all I got back was "Send us a shot of your Helix chain". Really? Chain- AMP/CAB. There's your "Screenshot". Then one day out of frustration, I turned off the Helix cab. Low and behold a very noticeable honk less usable tone! Since then, I've experimented with other configurations from the Helix into the Gemini, with just pre-amps, just amps, Own Hammer IR's, Helix IR's, etc, and have found a couple of usable tones, but never with the simulated cab turned on (any cab, any IR).  (And still have to run 2-3 EQ's in the Helix chain).

 So, I have 2 basic questions for any of you super users that have graduated to the Helix into a live FRFR amp:

First, what is the point of buying an FRFR setup, if you have to dial all the FRFR out of it to make it sound like a natural cab?

Second, what is with my mid honk issue, and not being able to use an IR cab into it?

Thank you in advance for your help and patience with the old guy on the block.

 

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(no time to even try to answer your actual question, but there's a bunch of us antiques here, no worries...)

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First, what is the point of buying an FRFR setup, if you have to dial all the FRFR out of it to make it sound like a natural cab?

Second, what is with my mid honk issue, and not being able to use an IR cab into it?

Thank you in advance for your help and patience with the old guy on the block.

 

 

I also run a Gemini 2 and totally DO understand the mid "honk" you're getting and also the brittleness (too much presence) of the highs (around 1k to 2.5k). I was able to fix it - and when I fixed one, it fixed the other (edginess and mid honk both gone).

 

BTW... My stage setup is to run L&R XLR outs to the FOH console and then run a separate stereo TRS cable out of the Helix headphone-out of the Helix into the stereo TRS Input of the G2. So the G2 is getting the fully baked tones (I have my phones output set to mirror the XLRs). The result is independent stage volume control over the G2 while the Helix output to the PA can stay put. I don't send anything to the FOH out of the G2 - only direct out of the Helix.

 

When I was experiencing what you are describing I was literally pulling my hair out, trying this and that, and just before I was about to unload the G2, I discovered that the difference was at the FOH console (a digital mixer that saves all settings allowing me to look at the EQ's later on my iPad) and that our engineer had tweaked my EQ. I noticed that he was pulling the EQ's back 7-9db in the 1-3k range to soften my output. He said that he had made the EQ change after I deployed the Helix. The settings had been saved months before I got the G2 when I was just running direct with no stage amp - he never said anything to me at the time.

 

So... not sure this help, but (bottom line) I found that the G2 was giving me back exactly what I was sending it. I started changing the EQs in everything to dial out that edginess and the mid-honk (almost like the speaker emulation was a horn vs. a 12" driver) and have been happy with the tone ever since. I don't use any third party IR's BTW. Everything is factory. If you have edginess and honk that won't go away with EQ, I'd sure recommend that you get in touch with the guys at Mission Engineering. They're great to work with and will stay on a problem until it's solved.

 

One other suggestion:

Record Helix-direct into your DAW into one (or stereo) channels and also mic your G2 cab with twin mics, listen to whether you can hear the difference in the recording. It may be less than you think. But, again, if it is really different - reach out to Mission and let them solve it.

 

 

Best,

Brad

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Thank you Brad for taking the time to respond.

It's good to know I'm not the only one that has experienced this, and there is a resolution. I appreciate your suggestions, and will try to work them into my own solution. Best Regards

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You have to adjust your tones for your playback source, for sure. If something is truly (or close to) FRFR, it will give you exactly what you give it, just louder. 

My tones I build in my studio monitors or headphones at home sound pretty not great through a loud system. But the patches I designed for loud use, sound like I would expect them to.

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Thank you Brad for taking the time to respond.

It's good to know I'm not the only one that has experienced this, and there is a resolution. I appreciate your suggestions, and will try to work them into my own solution. Best Regards

 

My pleasure. The most time-consuming thing for me was everything sounded great that was coming back into my stage mix for months of using the Helix. But then, when I deployed the G2, I was hearing the really annoying issues you described, edginess in the upper-mids and horn-sounding in the lower-to-mid mids. To further complicate things, I'd get board recordings of our shows and the tone was fine...

 

If I would have just known that our engineer just "fixed" it at our first sound check when I rolled-out the Helix the first time, sure would have avoided a lot of chin scratching. After all the G2 was supposed to be the holy grail of FRFR solutions.... BTW, I didn't change the global EQ prior to all of this and now practically always fine-tune it at sound check using the G2.

 

Good luck and hope you get to the bottom of it and get it working like you want. You've got a great combo there with the Helix and the Gemini 2.

 

Brad

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That is strange. I am running my Helix into my G2 with 1/4" stereo outs and have the Empower knob set all the way to flat and I have none of those issues. 

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Well, I think I found my general issue:

I went back and reviewed a video on the Gemini I by Cooper Carter.

I had missed the part where he said dial the Empower knob to full FRFR when using an external IR, and dial it clear off to run the Gemini with no IR, with the Gemini's own simulated cab. Would have been nice if the Gemini manual said this. Still have to EQ the heck out of it, but this tamed the honk quite a bit! The cabs were competing with each other, causing my issue (it did sound like something like that was happening). It still doesn't like my OwnHammer IR's, but it does seem to work well with some of the built in Helix ones, and some I've purchased from Glenn Delaune.   

I use the cab high and low cuts, and then also add the Helix para EQ at the end of the chain to further tweek.

Thank you all for the help. My Gemini with Helix is now a great live platform.

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Struggling with my new Helix and Mission Engineering Gemini 1. Not sure if I should use the Gemini in full FRFR mode and then use IRs or cabs? No IRs no cabs?  I just don't get it. Helix sounds great through my QSC K10.2 speakers. Plug into the Gemini 1 set as FRFR and it's awful. Like the post above, I am ready to toss this thing out the window.

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That's interesting... I'm like another poster above... Gemini 2 sounds awesome with my Helix. Then again, I've been using it with some sort of FRFR from day one. Probably just had all my patches eq'd pretty good before the Gemini 2.

 

Good luck with it!

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That's interesting... I'm like another poster above... Gemini 2 sounds awesome with my Helix. Then again, I've been using it with some sort of FRFR from day one. Probably just had all my patches eq'd pretty good before the Gemini 2.

 

Good luck with it!

 

 

Good to know. Do you use the Gemini in full FRFR mode and then adjust your high and low cuts from the Helix patches?

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I got the Gemini 1 a few days ago... Having a tough time with it..It sounds boxy at low vol,  harsh when I turn it up...Messing with the FRFR-Cab control on the back helps with the sizzle on the high end... But it's just weird.. It is better "feeling" than any other powered cabs I've tried(Alto, EV,) , but it has this mid-rangey thing.... I don't have this issue with my studio monitors (then again, I'm not crtanking them), and get some GREAT sounds recording, but not vibing thru the Gemini...  I think that for live and loud with the band (Hard and heavy), my MKIV and recto cab are great! I'll just use the Helix for direct recording and for all of my closeted guitar personalities  : )

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Good to know. Do you use the Gemini in full FRFR mode and then adjust your high and low cuts from the Helix patches?

 

Usually full FRFR mode and adjust it in Helix.  Keeps it closer to front of house.  Never touched the Gemini 1.  I know it's a single 12" coax with a smaller box, but

I don't know for sure if they are dead on identical in tone.  I just have no trouble with volume and tone and am not 180 degrees different from what's in the Mains.

What I use sounds good in both.  However, I feel like I have a guitar amp behind/beside me.  Really love the super loud jams when at the house, too.  I'm able

to get what I want tone wise and at loud volumes if necessary.  Sure, there's Fletcher-Munson effect, but you get that with your tube amp, too.  :P

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I purchased a Gem 1 and had the exact same experience.... Midrangey, harsh on the high and and literally NO bass response. I had a few friend/guitarists come by and play through it (to make sure I wasn't going crazy)..They noticed it right away... Laboring over a few hours of tweaking eq, etc, we got no where...I even took it in to have  a tech make sure it was working properly...Alto 112 (can't remember the exact model) SMOKED it!  Still a bit "sterile and unatural feeling, but waaaaay better than the Gem..  I did try the StageSource L2...I have to admit that this was the best so far, still takes a bit to get used to the "feel" and "bounce" form this cab, but cutting @ 71Hz for the low and 9Khz for the highs helps tremendously. Still not a s sweet as my crappy M Audio ref mon.  I'm thinking I'm going to just buy a beefy set of Yamaha studio monitors..

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