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Axylrock

Basic stereo signal path

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There are a few threads that talk about dual paths, 4 stereo paths, etc. This is a beginner question but can someone explain how to make a basic stereo preset i.e.: what the split is and how they're set on paths, how many amps or cabs, how the output and mixers are set? I have no idea where to begin as I just run the helix into the front of my amp.

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If you're plugging the output into a mono amp, stereo in Helix won't make any difference.

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As zooey pointed out if you only plug one output (left/mono) into your amp the Helix will automatically sum to mono. In general, if you want to run a stereo path out to for example a mixer or two amps (or one stereo amp), place stereo blocks after any mono blocks and make sure you use either USB, digital, or both outputs, left & right, if you are using XLR or 1/4. You might also want to keep in mind if you place a mono block in your preset after all of your stereo blocks you will end up outputting a mono signal. A mono block after all stereo blocks will always sum the stereo signal to mono.

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HO is right about how to create and maintain stereo sound inside Helix itself, and how to get that stereo image out and into another device (amp, DAW, etc).

 

But even if you're using two inputs on the amp, unless they're separate paths all the way through - two separate preamps, stereo amp, stereo speakers - the end result will be mono, one signal.

 

You can still make stereo patches for other situations, like headphones or recording, but unless your amp and speakers are stereo, you won't hear it there.

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Into a mixer* sorry I meant what I currently do is just a regular pedalboard set up into the front of my amp wit the helix

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As zooey pointed out if you only plug one output (left/mono) into your amp the Helix will automatically sum to mono. In general, if you want to run a stereo path out to for example a mixer or two amps (or one stereo amp), place stereo blocks after any mono blocks and make sure you use either USB, digital, or both outputs, left & right, if you are using XLR or 1/4. You might also want to keep in mind if you place a mono block in your preset after all of your stereo blocks you will end up outputting a mono signal. A mono block will also sum the stereo signal.

So by stereo block you mean like "stereo: plate reverb" after a cab on 1a? What would I select on the helix for outputs just xlr and then the stereo blocks kind of just know come out as left and right? What would I specify for outputs if I run two xlr outs to front of house say they go into Ch's 6&7? That he should hard pan 6 left and 7 right?

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So by stereo block you mean like "stereo: plate reverb" after a cab on 1a? What would I select on the helix for outputs just xlr and then the stereo blocks kind of just know come out as left and right? What would I specify for outputs if I run two xlr outs to front of house say they go into Ch's 6&7? That he should hard pan 6 left and 7 right?

 

Yes any of the stereo reverbs or delays as well as other stereo effect blocks (e.g. Chorus) at the end of your signal chain should deliver a stereo mix to your output block. You could select XLR or 1/4 to front of house although XLR is generally preferred, especially for longer runs. You would generally pan them hard right and left although you might experiment with partial panning depending on how the audience is situated in the room. You could specify either 'Multi' or 'XLR' for your outputs if you are connecting via the XLR outputs on the Helix.

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Yes any of the stereo reverbs or delays as well as other stereo blocks at the end of your signal chain should deliver a stereo mix. You could select XLR or 1/4 to front of house although XLR is generally preferred, especially for longer runs. You would generally pan them hard right and left although you might experiment with partial panning depending on how the audience is situated in the room. You could specify either 'Multi' or 'XLR' for your outputs if you are connecting via the XLR outputs on the Helix.

So if I have an amp on path 1A y split it and have the same cab after the y split on 1a and 1b and have those both go to path 2 and select multi or xlr out then I have my stereo path set?

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So if I have an amp on path 1A y split it and have the same cab after the y split on 1a and 1b and have those both go to path 2 and select multi or xlr out then I have my stereo path set?

 

Not necessarily, amp and cab blocks are mono. The two cabs in the route you just described sound like they merge back into one after the merge block. Hard for me to visualize it exactly without seeing your preset. You need to either have a separate output block (created by dragging down a merge block) for each cab in the simple preset you just described, or for true stereo, have a stereo effect block of some kind set up after the cabs. Otherwise even if you connect to both the right and left outputs you will have the same mono signal in both outputs.

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Not necessarily. The two cabs in the route you just described sound like they merge back into one after the merge block. Hard for me to visualize it exactly without seeing your preset. You need to either have a separate output block (created by dragging down a merge block) for each cab in the simple preset you just described, or for true stereo, have a stereo effect block of some kind set up after the cabs. Otherwise even if you connect to both the right and left outputs you will have the same mono signal in both outputs.

Yup sorry. There are three lines total. 1a and 1b are separate. They both go to path 2a where I have my stereo blocks otherwise I run out of dsp for the gain blocks.

 

Or do I need two amps and cabs on 1a and 1b not merged at all -> path 2 where all my stereo blocks excluding gain are?

 

Or is that pretty much the same thing?

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Yup sorry. There are three lines total. 1a and 1b are separate. They both go to path 2a where I have my stereo blocks otherwise I run out of dsp for the gain blocks.

 

Or do I need two amps and cabs on 1a and 1b not merged at all -> path 2 where all my stereo blocks excluding gain are?

 

Or is that pretty much the same thing?

 

Nope, if I am envisioning it properly you should be fine the way you have it setup now. As long as there is a stereo block on 2A after the cabs you should get a stereo signal at the outputs (unless of course you only use one (left) output in which case it is automatically summed to mono for you). One note is that the stereo separation and effect will be generated from for example the reverb or delay blocks. The cabs will not remain separated left and right unless you pan/route them accordingly.

 

One way to think of the way Helix routing works is that an output block can always deliver a stereo signal if the last effect block before the output is a stereo block. You can also create a sort of faux stereo effect yourself by creating dual output blocks, panning them left and right, and outputting a different mono signal from each.

 

Just to complicates things, perhaps needlessly, If at any point in your signal chain you have a mono block, every effect before the mono block is collapsed into mono, even if it is a stereo effect. You can however still get a stereo signal by placing a stereo block after the mono block but all the blocks (even the stereo blocks) before the mono block will still be processed as a mono signal fed into the subsequent stereo block. So for example if you have a stereo delay that feeds into a mono distortion block, and then into a stereo reverb and on out to the output block, only the reverb will truly be stereo. The stereo delay will have been summed to mono by the mono distortion block that was placed after it. At least that is the way I understand stereo on the Helix. Please feel free to correct me ye gurus if this is incorrect.

 

Here is a blurb from the Helix manual regarding mono/stereo:

Keep the following things in mind when building tones:
• All Amp+Cab, Amp, and Preamp blocks are mono, so any stereo signal sent into these will be collapsed to mono. As such, it’s a good idea to add only mono blocks before amps and preamps
• Adding a mono effects block will collapse any preceding stereo blocks on the same path to mono
• If you’re only ever connecting Helix to the front of a single guitar amp or PA/ FRFR speaker, there may be no need to use stereo models at all (except, of course,for models that are only offered as stereo!)

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Try this site....." thehelixchannel.com ". This site is excellent With tutorial videos for creating presets and other Helix specific topics. Highly recommended to improve your Helix Skills.

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