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Hairy (not the good kind) on notes and tones. Digital Clipping?


joseroys
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Hey folks. So...

 

I finally got the Helix. big screen, scribbles, I/O - y All, very very cool things. Touch knobs, super cool. Navigation, great.

 

Tones. Sadly, as I hoped would not be the case... High Gain i suppose is fine as its covered in gobbles of gain.

But - There is something going on with anything related to low and medium gain that I can hear so clearly. It's like all the gain sounds (amps and pedals) have this thing where it's just coated with digital white noise or "hair" on all the notes. Clean sounds are pretty good - but man, there is something going on that I thought was always digital noise just like the HD500

 

And SADLY, its the EXACT same thing I hear with my HD 500 and is basically unusable. I rarely right on many forums but I just had to share this and curious if anyone hears this because to me its so obvious. All amps and pedals when entering low to medium overdrive/gain sound like they have some type of digital noise that coats and covers all the sounds.

 

Many other cool things about this but so far, I cant imagine it replacing my handwired amps and analog pedalboard.

 

Would love to know your thoughts.

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Please tell us your setup.  A very large number of us are getting great clean through to nice natural breakup with no problems.

Some of those people are very seasoned pros.

If you are running into a guitar amp, or FRFR speakers or studio monitors, you may need to look to your global EQ - but we need to know how you are hearing this thing to be able to advise you.

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Please tell us your setup.  A very large number of us are getting great clean through to nice natural breakup with no problems.

Some of those people are very seasoned pros.

If you are running into a guitar amp, or FRFR speakers or studio monitors, you may need to look to your global EQ - but we need to know how you are hearing this thing to be able to advise you.

 

 

Yes, love to help you, but need to know this info first.

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sometimes i hear something that sounds like a ratty distortion around the notes, usually when i have the vol low but it kinda disappears if i give the vol knob a bit of juice

It seems to happen at all volumes. Unless it's so loud that I'm damaging my hearing, which in fact may help the helix sound better.

 

But either way, shouldn't this cloud of noise NOT be there even At lower volumes?

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Please tell us your setup.  A very large number of us are getting great clean through to nice natural breakup with no problems.

Some of those people are very seasoned pros.

If you are running into a guitar amp, or FRFR speakers or studio monitors, you may need to look to your global EQ - but we need to know how you are hearing this thing to be able to advise you.

 

 

Until you give us these answers, ignore every piece of advice you get on how to fix this problem. We must know this stuff to continue, or you're just wasting your time, I promise you.

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It seems to happen at all volumes. Unless it's so loud that I'm damaging my hearing, which in fact may help the helix sound better.

 

But either way, shouldn't this cloud of noise NOT be there even At lower volumes?

 

Quite the opposite.

 

If you are setting your helix volume to low numbers, your signal is sitting next to the noise floor (which is present in every circuit, more or less).

Given the signal to noise ratio of the Helix, you should use an high main volume output from the Helix, and then managing on the final stage (speaker volume, mixer, whatever). This way your helix signal will sit at proper distance (dB room) from the noise. I did some measure, and I get the best from 50% and above (helix volume). But this also depends on your chain and preset, but concept it's the same.

 

PS: as other guys said, you should tell people what's your equipment, especially what is there after helix. ;)

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Please tell us your setup. A very large number of us are getting great clean through to nice natural breakup with no problems.

Some of those people are very seasoned pros.

If you are running into a guitar amp, or FRFR speakers or studio monitors, you may need to look to your global EQ - but we need to know how you are hearing this thing to be able to advise you.

I'm running it into headphones (athm30 and sony hdr50) and monitors (nht m00) and Using apogee interface and converters. But I don't think it's an eq issue. It's covering the whole range and even experimenting with radical eq sweeps and gain levels, the sound is there.

 

But yes. So far it lasnt left the studio and certainly doesn't feel worthy to take to the rehearsals at this point.

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Experiment with cab/IR high and low cuts, very powerful. I often have mine assigned to snapshots so they tighten up a bit as gain increases.

Yes. The cab eq setting seem to be a common solution. Kind of silly that you'd have to do this in the first place. Why would line 6 pusposefully eq them the way they do by default? Wouldn't they catch this if it was not intended?

 

But yeah. Cab eq did not help remedy the artifact noise

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Until you give us these answers, ignore every piece of advice you get on how to fix this problem. We must know this stuff to continue, or you're just wasting your time, I promise you.

Yes. Nice headphones and studio monitors

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Quite the opposite.

 

If you are setting your helix volume to low numbers, your signal is sitting next to the noise floor (which is present in every circuit, more or less).

Given the signal to noise ratio of the Helix, you should use an high main volume output from the Helix, and then managing on the final stage (speaker volume, mixer, whatever). This way your helix signal will sit at proper distance (dB room) from the noise. I did some measure, and I get the best from 50% and above (helix volume). But this also depends on your chain and preset, but concept it's the same.

 

 

I see. Yes, the master volume is usually wide open during programming. Have tested master output (not amp output) at different levels with the noise still present. But I do understand the concept of signal flow and have kept this in mind thru the process.

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I would LOVE to see a patch you are having problems with, as I am monitoring similarly here, and would love to dial it up on my Helix (I have loads of time today.)

Would you be willing to send it? PM me on here and I'll give you an email address to send a patch to if you'd like.

 

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I would LOVE to see a patch you are having problems with, as I am monitoring similarly here, and would love to dial it up on my Helix (I have loads of time today.)

 

Would you be willing to send it? PM me on here and I'll give you an email address to send a patch to if you'd like.

 

 

Thanks. It's every single distortion box or any amp. Start with an amp and drive the gain - noise. Get a clean amp and use a pedal to drive the gain. Any low gain or stuff entering gain territory does this. Clean sounds are great. Anything, absolutely anything with gain has this "coating" of digital noise or artifacts. Same as my pod hd.

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Thanks. It's every single distortion box or any amp. Start with an amp and drive the gain - noise. Get a clean amp and use a pedal to drive the gain. Any low gain or stuff entering gain territory does this. Clean sounds are great. Anything, absolutely anything with gain has this "coating" of digital noise or artifacts. Same as my pod hd.

 

 

Still want to hear an example of it.

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Thanks. It's every single distortion box or any amp. Start with an amp and drive the gain - noise. Get a clean amp and use a pedal to drive the gain. Any low gain or stuff entering gain territory does this. Clean sounds are great. Anything, absolutely anything with gain has this "coating" of digital noise or artifacts. Same as my pod hd.

 

Are you using an amp PLUS cab or an amp and a separate cab block?

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Thanks. It's every single distortion box or any amp. Start with an amp and drive the gain - noise. Get a clean amp and use a pedal to drive the gain. Any low gain or stuff entering gain territory does this. Clean sounds are great. Anything, absolutely anything with gain has this "coating" of digital noise or artifacts. Same as my pod hd.

 

I would still encourage you to take PeterHamm up on his offer to let him look at your patch.  He's very knowledgeable and should be able to see if there's something odd set there.  Like yourself, there are many of us that were using HD500X's before coming to the Helix and are being quite successful with it.  It's worth having someone like Peter look at your patch and give you some specific ideas.

 

One other thing I'm curious about is your pickups and if you have the Helix set appropriately for their output.

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Still want to hear an example of it.

Thanks very much. It's literally default settings. Guitar only. Auto input impedance. Clean preset. Open amp, roll up gain - noise. I dont even have a patch saved. It happens on anything with gain. Would you like me to create a patch and send it? Should I just email you directly?

 

Thanks again

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I would still encourage you to take PeterHamm up on his offer to let him look at your patch. He's very knowledgeable and should be able to see if there's something odd set there. Like yourself, there are many of us that were using HD500X's before coming to the Helix and are being quite successful with it. It's worth having someone like Peter look at your patch and give you some specific ideas.

 

One other thing I'm curious about is your pickups and if you have the Helix set appropriately for their output.

Will do. Thanks. Again, it happens when I have a cleared default empty patch. Load up an amp. Turn up the gain and the noise is apparent with any gain that comes on. Tweaked all parameters to see if I could find a culprit. Nothing removed the sound.

 

I guess i might setup a video with recording. But I'm quite busy, ya know - playing music. Lol. Not a smart arse comment, just truth:)

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Thanks very much. It's literally default settings. Guitar only. Auto input impedance. Clean preset. Open amp, roll up gain - noise. I dont even have a patch saved. It happens on anything with gain. Would you like me to create a patch and send it? Should I just email you directly?

 

Thanks again

 

What type of guitar/pickups? Do you have the input pad on?

 

I have read some comments from people about certain amp models having some fizziness or hash, but that's generally not described as noise affecting the entire signal. It would be helpful if you could put up some clips, because otherwise we're all just guessing as to what it is you're actually hearing.

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What type of guitar/pickups? Do you have the input pad on?

 

I have read some comments from people about certain amp models having some fizziness or hash, but that's generally not described as noise affecting the entire signal. It would be helpful if you could put up some clips, because otherwise we're all just guessing as to what it is you're actually hearing.

Sounds good. I'll do my best to post something. I have tried a few les Paul's with paf low output pickups and some handwould tele pickups and an SG with p90s.

 

But yeah. I've spent more time fiddling and typing posts than making music with this thing. I would say I'm an advanced musician and have years of experience in pro live sound and studio production environments.

 

I tried the powered kemper which was great but overkill for me in a live environment which is what I'd like. To replace my amp, cab and pedals or at least replace my pedalboard.

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Will do. Thanks. Again, it happens when I have a cleared default empty patch. Load up an amp. Turn up the gain and the noise is apparent with any gain that comes on. Tweaked all parameters to see if I could find a culprit. Nothing removed the sound.

 

I guess i might setup a video with recording. But I'm quite busy, ya know - playing music. Lol. Not a smart arse comment, just truth:)

 

I think this is why we seem to be drawn back to your input level setting for your guitar as that would have an effect on all your patches.  It's not as much about what type of pickups you're using as it is about whether the setting for inputs on your Helix match them.

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OK- maybe I'm beginning to understand............ did you say you were using an apogee interface? Why?  The Helix is its own interface.

And your headphones - are they plugged into the Helix or somewhere else in your setup?

Plug the headphones straight into the Helix if you aren't and tell us what you hear.

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OK- maybe I'm beginning to understand............ did you say you were using an apogee interface? Why? The Helix is its own interface.

And your headphones - are they plugged into the Helix or somewhere else in your setup?

Plug the headphones straight into the Helix if you aren't and tell us what you hear.

I've tried headphones straight into the helix and also the mono out into the apogee for additional testing. The sound is there for both.

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and post an example would be great too ðŸ‘

Will do. I'm currently on the road so might be a bit tricky to do right away.

 

Although I did make a video where the whole unit froze up and had to be reset which was pretty cool. /s. And that was after the software crashed a few times on a Mac with updated OS :)

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It's possible you've got some faulty hardware.

The sound you're describing is definitely NOT part of the Helix sound. And coming from the 500X, its not a part of that device's sound, either.

Yep. I sent my hd to line 6 and put it on the bench. They said it was fine. So apparently I'm attuned to this annoying sound which makes it unpleasant to use. It's there. The kemper does not have this at all. The fact that it's in the hd and the same noise in on the helix tells me that it's just part of the line 6 "flavor" which to me is not cool at all.

 

Thanks for your thoughts

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joseroys, as your post late last night mentions that you "finally got the Helix" and, your subsequent posts to this thread clarify your dissatisfaction thus far, you may want to consider simply returning it to your vendor and move on.

 

Should you opt to keep it, as you can already see from the numberous responses thus far, there are many here willing to help you with dialing it in. The same goes for the TGP and MLP Forums.

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joseroys, as your post late last night mentions that you "finally got the Helix" and, your subsequent posts to this thread clarify your dissatisfaction thus far, you may want to consider simply returning it to your vendor and move on.

 

Should you opt to keep it, as you can already see from the numberous responses thus far, there are many here willing to help you with dialing it in. The same goes for the TGP and MLP Forums.

Thanks for laying down the law.

 

So far yes, looks like what I've heard and seen so far it will be returned. It's been just a few days out of 45 days with it but I have extensive experience with line 6 and modelers and vsts and tube amps etc.

 

if I can eliminate this issue I would love it. I find it funny that no one else can hear this. I've tried all the suggestions thus far since I read a bunch before I got it and since I've had it.

 

Again, I'm traveling for some music dates and cannot record the issue. As soon as I can I will do so and update.

 

I'm still curious if anyone else hears this. I can't be the only one. Otherwise yes, there's gotta be a way to fix it and I'm hopeful and thankful that there's a good community of folks.

 

Thanks again

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I'm still curious if anyone else hears this.

 

 

I'm guessing but I doubt everyone else hears the same thing you are hearing, or the whole forum would be in an uproar about how bad Helix sounds and that just ain't the case.

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I'm guessing but I doubt everyone else hears the same thing you are hearing, or the whole forum would be in an uproar about how bad Helix sounds and that just ain't the case.

 

 

^^^ Yep.^^^

 

This wouldn't necessarily make you wrong, you would just be a very small minority.

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^^^ Yep.^^^

 

This wouldn't necessarily make you wrong, you would just be a very small minority.

Thanks. Yep, I was just wondering if ANYONE else happened to hear it.

 

But yes, I suppose I have a sharp and picky ear. I have experience micing amps in various environments and I've played with the Kemper. I was bummed by it due to the weak effects and a few minor quibbles. But the helix does look much much prettier :)

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Thanks. Yep, I was just wondering if ANYONE else happened to hear it.

 

But yes, I suppose I have a sharp and picky ear. I have experience micing amps in various environments and I've played with the Kemper. I was bummed by it due to the weak effects and a few minor quibbles. But the helix does look much much prettier :)

 

For what it's worth, I've never been that happy with "real" amps - tube or solid state. Even when it was all we could have as guitar players  They have their own set of bugaboos and limitations that I just can't abide by on most but the simplest of gigs. Tube amps, even the low wattage ones, have to be too loud before they start to feel right. And just because they're tube amps, that doesn't automatically mean that they'll sound good at all settings.  I have a Blackface Fender Princeton Reissue and while it sounds great for clean sounds, I don't care much at all for its overdriven sounds - and it's starting make weird little sputtering noises so recording with it is out of the question. I love my little Quilter Aviator 8 and Yamaha THR100HD.  They sound great for recording but for gigs, neither of those amps ever go with me unless it's a jazz gig or if it's a straight up rock or pop gig, I might take the Yamaha... maybe... if I don't have to do any acoustic sounds.   

What I'm saying is, they all have their flaws.  The Helix certainly does but it also has sooo many advantages that you might want to consider the possibility that you might just be trying to find fault in it - to find a way not to like it and be able to go back to the comfort zone of your amps? But what if you put your amps through the same level of intense scrutiny as you do the Helix? Would they survive that scrutiny or have you simply forgiven their faults because you're used to them?  

 

I'm very much used to the Helix and the way it sounds and the plethora of sounds that I can get out of it. Because of that, most amps do not survive my level of scrutiny.

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For what it's worth, I've never been that happy with "real" amps - tube or solid state. Even when it was all we could have as guitar players They have their own set of bugaboos and limitations that I just can't abide by on most but the simplest of gigs. Tube amps, even the low wattage ones, have to be too loud before they start to feel right. And just because they're tube amps, that doesn't automatically mean that they'll sound good at all settings. I have a Blackface Fender Princeton Reissue and while it sounds great for clean sounds, I don't care much at all for its overdriven sounds - and it's starting make weird little sputtering noises so recording with it is out of the question. I love my little Quilter Aviator 8 and Yamaha THR100HD. They sound great for recording but for gigs, neither of those amps ever go with me unless it's a jazz gig or if it's a straight up rock or pop gig, I might take the Yamaha... maybe... if I don't have to do any acoustic sounds.

What I'm saying is, they all have their flaws. The Helix certainly does but it also has sooo many advantages that you might want to consider the possibility that you might just be trying to find fault in it - to find a way not to like it and be able to go back to the comfort zone of your amps? But what if you put your amps through the same level of intense scrutiny as you do the Helix? Would they survive that scrutiny or have you simply forgiven their faults because you're used to them?

 

I'm very much used to the Helix and the way it sounds and the plethora of sounds that I can get out of it. Because of that, most amps do not survive my level of scrutiny.

Trust me. I REALLY want to like this thing. Not having to bring an amp or pedalboard? Yes please.

 

I have a ceriatone (Marshall 18 watt clone) with ppimv. Super sweet. Great sound plus low volume when necessary. A ceriatone Fender vibro champ clone/tweed 5 watts clean machine. With a 1x12 v30 and a 2x12 v30 and greenback stereo cab. I also have a modded vox ac15 with a celestion blue. Awesome. Plus a killer pedalboard. But, it's a lot to carry which is the biggest drawback.

 

I don't need a ton of amps necessarily for live since I'm not in a cover band although a combo of any combination of those amps is super killer.

 

Anyways. I really do want this thing to work. I promise

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Let's assume you are testing by simply listening to headphones plugged into the Helix and are unable to dial out the part of your tone that is bothering you no matter what amp or effect you choose, and no matter what EQ you apply. As others have suggested it sounds like something in your basic signal chain is problematic, perhaps not with other equipment but when used with the Helix. I assume you have tried multiple guitars and multiple different types of guitar cables. You appear to be an experienced user of modeling equipment but sometimes it does not hurt to cover the bases. Given that Line6 repair did not miss something we are assuming there is nothing wrong with your Helix.

 

Make sure you are plugged into the "Guitar" input if you are using passive pickups. Experiment with the pad and impedance settings to see if this improves things. Use the sweep method on a parametric EQ at the end of your signal chain and see if you can nail down a part of the frequency spectrum that is really bugging you. Try different mics in your cabs. You may not like whatever mic model has been selected and the mic selection makes a huge difference in the sound. Play with the balance between your 'Gain', 'Master', and 'Ch Vol' on your amp models as well as the main volume knob. If you are using your monitors instead of headphones try changing the 'Instrument'/'Line' setting on you outputs in the global settings. It sounds like you just need to get the gain staging and the EQ to your liking but there are so many variables you just need to start chopping away with them. I would also hunt up some demos of the Helix on the web. Granted they may not be the best way to get a sense of what the Helix sounds like in person but if you are not hearing the same annoying stuff on a good Helix video that should at least reassure you that a good high-gain tone is achievable. If you are consistently hearing the same thing on good demos of the Helix then perhaps it is not for you.

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I've tweaked everything. That nasty sound is in everything as soon as you add any gain or distortion. All the clean stuff is fine but I dont think they quite have low to mid gain distortion or overdrive down yet.

 

I guarantee if anyone was next to me and I pointed it out, you would hear it. I took it to a studio to show to some folks and it was pretty clear.

 

It sounded fine for vocal and keyboard effects but so does my xt and HD - that have lost so much value they're not worth selling.

 

Anyways. Helix is definitely going back. I hope this helps someone get a different perspective.

 

And thanks to the forum

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