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rayneman

Helix Output Volume Question

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Newbie here, I have a Helix en route.  I have a question on output volume that I wasn't quite able to have answered via the manual.

 

I currently use an AX8, and for live use, I send one XLR out to the board and a 1/4" to my FRFR stage monitor.  The AX8 has two output level controls, Out 1 and Out 2.  I leave Out 1 at 50% and that feeds the board, while Out 2 feeds my monitor.  This is very useful as I can then alter my onstage monitor volume without affecting the signal that goes to the main system.  

 

From what I can tell, Helix has one main Volume knob.  Would this then control output from both the XLR and the 1/4 outputs?  If so, then does this mean I cannot alter output levels separately from the XLR and 1/4"?  It would seem that way, but I may have missed something,  Its not the end of the world, as I can simply increase or decrease the volume of my monitor, but often that is a little difficult to get to depending on the stage setup.

 

Thanks!

 

EDIT:  I see on page 50 of the manual there is more info on the IN/OUTPUT and it mentions assigning the volume to a certian out so maybe my answer is there...

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Go to Global Settings and I think it's page 2 of that screen; you can change the volume knob to control only the XLR or the 1/4. Default is both. There may be one other setting.

 

It appears when you flip the volume know to only control the 1/4 output only the actual level of the XLR output is still pretty hot. I didn't know this 2 weeks ago when I took my Helix to rehearsal for the first time. 

 

I'm interested in what others have done. My first attempt with the Helix at church I ran into challenges at rehearsal. I was running direct via XLR. The sound person said my signal was too hot so I had to back the master volume down to 3. I was running a 1/4 out to a powered monitor (JBL 610) however, the JBL was getting buried by the wedge with everyone else (keys, bass, acoustic and vocals). I ended bringing my amp on Sunday and could here just fine. I'm wondering if the sound person could change from mic to line level. Would that make a difference and give him some room to use my direct signal. 

 

An option I may explore is to use the Headphone out and have control of both signals. Or sending the XLR to JBL and the 1/4 to DI box and control the output on stage via the JBL. 

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I have see similar comments previously.  I dont understand why the Sound Engineers are not adjusting the gain to suit....there is nothing unusually high about the helix out put levels.  I run line level out to my mixer and from memory the gain is set to -25dB.  No problems.

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The global setting for Volume Knob Controls determines which output (1/4 or XLR) is being controlled by the master volume.  If you set the volume knob to control the 1/4 out you would definitely want to check that XLR is set to mic level.  Since I've not done this I can only assume that if you set the control to 1/4 out then the max signal is sent to the XLR and would depend on the sound person to manage the input signal level via the gain knob for that channel.

 

I've personally never had a problem using the master volume knob for both.  I typically have my master volume at around 12 o'clock.  Once I've dialed in my volume to match the rest of the band on stage during sound checks, the sound person gain stages it to the level he wants to match it up with the rest of the band for FOH.  He's going to have to do that either way you have it set.  The only difference would be if you intend to adjust your Master volume during the performance.  But if you've had a good sound check I can't see any reason for doing that unless your working with a bunch of musicians that can't control their volume levels.  I've played in tons of various venues and it's never been a problem as long as the sound man knows what he's doing.

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An FX Send Block placed at the end of your Signal Path (prior to the Output Block) would provide a means to route an 1/4" FX Send Signal (at Line or Mic Level as set in Global Settings), and use the FX Send Block's Level parameter to control the signal level sent to your JBL Monitor via the FX Send's 1/4" jack. This FX Send feed would not be affected by the Main Volume Knob.

 

Have not tried the following. The thought is to insert a Split Block late in the Signal Path to allow the FX Send Block to be in a parallel path without merging this back to the original path. Doing so may also allow you to insert a Gain Block before the FX Send Block to more easily set and control the level sent via the FX Send Block.

 

Others with more experience are encouraged to comment about the above.

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Just Startin' hope I didn't hijack your thread. Did you find the answer you were looking for?

 

MusicLaw - I was hoping to avoid some of the more complex routing but at least I know that is an option. I am only using 1 patch; a modified version of Chad Huskey's Matchless - so it does have some advance routing that I'm not sure I completely understand yet.

 

Dunedin Dragon - you hit on what I suspect is the root cause. While the sound person is experienced - we have rarely ran a direct guitar signal successfully. I suspect he is not backing down the Trim/Gain, thinking he minimizing the changing variables. 

 

Keys, Bass and Acoustic all go direct. The wedge with that mix was very loud the night of rehearsal. It seemed to have been adjusted by the Sunday service when I brought my amp.

 

The other guitar player in the rotation is playing thru a mic'd up Roland Cube. 2 other guys have run Tech 21 Liverpool and Axe FX in the past. However, they are no longer playing on team. I have tried using HD500x, T21 Liverpool, FlyRIg and even my T21 TM10 direct. As default I choose to just have my TM60 mic'd up

 

I may try to reverse things - send the FOH the XLR with Master Volume controlling the volume and then send the 1/4 to my JBL and control via JBL volume controls

 

I'm guessing the headphone out is not as optimal as the 1/4 output but I can't really tell a difference comparing the JBL to my audio interface

 

What is the difference in signal volume with Mic Level vs Line Level on the Helix?

 

What about sound board with a similar control - should these be in sync?

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I may try to reverse things - send the FOH the XLR with Master Volume controlling the volume and then send the 1/4 to my JBL and control via JBL volume controls

 

I'm guessing the headphone out is not as optimal as the 1/4 output but I can't really tell a difference comparing the JBL to my audio interface

 

What is the difference in signal volume with Mic Level vs Line Level on the Helix?

 

What about sound board with a similar control - should these be in sync?

 

The bottom line is here, what you're trying to compensate for is your sound man not doing his job responsibly which is creating chaos for you.  It will continue to create chaos until he responsibly does his job gain staging signals into the board.  If he doesn't understand gain staging there are plenty of youtube tutorial videos.  But the bottom line is, gain staging is the very first and most important step anyone running a sound board should do.  It's the foundation upon which everything else depends, and he needs to do it correctly and do it every single time you sound check.  Otherwise you and everyone one else will be chasing their tails trying to compensate for something he's in charge of.

 

To answer your question, mic level is SIGNIFICANTLY lower than line level.  But the XLR output from the Helix isn't exactly like a microphone in that it's been run through a preamp.  There is no reason he can't compensate for the difference by simply turning on the PFL (pre-fader listen) on your channel and adjust the gain/trim until the level lights on the console even out at 0db or unity while you're playing a sample of what you'll be playing at the volume you'll be playing at .  Technically he should be doing this on each and every channel being used to ensure has an adequate signal coming in that won't end up clipping.

 

At most this takes about 5 or 10 minutes to do at the beginning of the sound check running through each instrument and vocal channel, but it's an essential part of his job in order to get a clean signal to work with.

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I run XLR to FOH at mic level with the pad on. If my memory serves me the mic level is roughly an 18 db cut from line. The other guitar player is using a kemper the same way. Our levels at the board are virtually identical. He uses aux in for out from aviom, the kemp has the ability to control output of aux in. I have to use effects loop on separate path for aviom feed to avoid sending band mix back to house. [i put a suggestion for effects loop routing on idea scale a few months ago, might have died, have not checked...]

 

We both use headphones out to monitor our rigs individually. My large knob is 12-1:00. I have a matrix FR10 I have used on 1/4 out line level with this same set up, XLR to FOH at mic, just makes for a loud stage.

 

A little different than your set up but might be help for some.

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Thanks for the replies so far.  I guess it looks like I can shift the volume output of the Helix to control the feed to my monitor, which is what I'd prefer.  Except for one certain venue, we always have the same sound guy and system, so he knows what he's doing...my intention, if everything works out, is to use Helix in place of AX8 for a simpler, smaller rig in certain places if not permanently.

 

While it would seem logical that once stage volume and monitors are set, that it should stay there for the entire night, that is never the case with our guys.  Both the drummer and keyboard player, whether they know it or not, play like dainty grandmothers during sound check, and then gradually ramp it up throughout the night.  Of course there are other things at play as well like a growing audience size, noisier bar, etc...

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Just an FYI. I am using my XLR outputs direct to the board at mic level. I am able to accurately set that level at home. I would set my levels with the Volume knob at noon. I then did what you want to do, with the XLR'S not being controlled by the volume knob. The XLR'S output was then much higher and I confirmed with Line 6 that when you disengage the XLR'S from being controlled by the Volume knob, it treats the XLR'S outputs as if the Volume knob is turned all the way up. Since I had already created a bunch of patches, I decided to lower the Global EQ's volume and had to lower it by 13.5 dB. You can make so the Global EQ doesn't control the 1/4" ouputs so that level isn't significantly lower. Here's my post on this subject if you're interested.

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/25298-mic-level-xlr-output-is-high-q-for-di/?do=findComment&comment=194827

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Just an FYI. I am using my XLR outputs direct to the board at mic level. I am abel to accurately set that level at home. I would set my levels with the Volume knob at noon. I then did what you want to do, with the XLR'S not being controlled by the volume knob. The XLR'S output was then much higher and I confirmed with Line 6 that when you disengage the XLR'S from being controlled by the Volume knob, it treats the XLR'S outputs as if the Volume knob is turned all the way up. Since I had already created a bunch of patches, I decided to lower the Global EQ's volume and had to lower it by 13.5 dB. You can make so the Global EQ doesn't control the 1/4" ouputs so that level isn't significantly lower. Here's my post on this subject if you're interested.

 

http://line6.com/support/topic/25298-mic-level-xlr-output-is-high-q-for-di/?do=findComment&comment=194827

 

Wow - having the XLR default to wide open if its not controlled by the volume is definitely an interesting "feature."  Thanks for this post re: the Global EQ...I am certain this would have been a BIG suprise for the first time I'd use the Helix live, ugh.  That seems way to hot of a signal.

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Yes, thank you as well for all the feedback and info on this.

 

Dunedin Dragon: I do suspect that sound person is not gain staging things properly. Sound check time is really sound "validation" - you have sound coming out. I found a good Youtube on proper gain staging (although using an Axe Fx) that I plan on sharing. 

 

It's a delicate balance since the sound person is also an associate pastor who has been running sound for at least 5 years. And normally the sounds is pretty good - a bit muted and keyboard heavy but solid with no major issues. But everything has been pretty much the same during that time (except for a few direct to pa guitar attempts) - until now. They have started to remodel the sanctuary and that has involved removing a short wall that surrounded the stage. This removes a "buffer" for guitar amps and the wedge monitors. Our PA is also starting to age, with multiple channels not working and we only have 4 in ear monitors available - not sure what the constraint is there. All that to say - getting a direct to pa guitar sound working should and a "silent stage" or will become a priority as will having the ability to give everyone in ear monitors.

 

If I can't get any traction testing the Helix and adjusting the Trim/Gain knob, next week, I may just take my amp. 

 

I'm sure once the carpet is pulled up in a month or 2 and we have concrete floors and the sound is bouncing around everywhere we'll be revisiting the stage volume levels and the running the Helix direct and getting a good monitor mix will look like a great idea.

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