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benifin

" Guitar Pad " .... 3 super quick questions please ....

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This is weird --- see Post #6 below added on 25 March 2017

 

Hi all

 

Re: the " Guitar Pad "  Global Setting:-

 

1 => is this a front-end analog pad  [ which is therefore pre-AD conversion ]   -or-  or is it applied digitally post-front-end in the DA conversion ?

 

2 => by my rough measurements, it  seems to be  approx a   ~ 5db  -to-  ~ 6db   pad .....  is this roughly right ?

 

3 => assuming it is   [say]  a  6db pad ....... if I turn it off  [Globally] so there is no Global Pad ...... but if I then want to Guitar Pad some patchs ... is inserting a   -6 db Gain Cut as the first block in those patchs the same thing as the Global Pad  being ON ?

 

Thanks,

Ben

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1. I'm pretty sure it's before the conversion.

2. Yes.

3. It might be better to keep the pad turned on all the time, and when you don't want to use it for some presets, put a 6dB gain block first in the chain.

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Since the pad is before conversion, no, a -6dB gain block is NOT the same. You'd still be hitting the converter just as hard.

 

Personally, just me, I leave pad control global, turn it on for my hotter guitar, and off for the quieter​ one. It's not perfect compensation, but better than not doing that. Or as duncann said, you could leave it on globally to pad the convertors, and use a gain block to boost as appropriate.

 

If you have different patches per guitar, you'd probably set it per patch instead.

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Thanks very much guys :)

 

=> if its before the  AD  conversion  ie: in the Analog front-end ... thats great because thats how it  should  be  most natural / real

 

=> good to know my rudimentary measuring was pretty close too in terms of the pad db  itself :)

 

=> as you say, given [assuming]  its  a proper front-end analog-pad, inserting a  [digital]  first block  of  -6 db  or  +6db  aint going to work / sound quite right or do the same thing :(

 

Probably stating the bleeding obvious here but kind of a bit surprising that

 

( i )  the Pad isnt  at least  preset-to-preset variable-and-saveable  -or much more ideally-  "snapshot-able" within a given preset

 

and regardless of global-or-preset-or-snapshot

 

( ii )  that it at least cant be  set  in  db gradients  ie:-   0.0db ... -0.1db ... -0.2db ........ -5.8db ... -5.9db ... -6.0db

 

Then again, maybe it will be in  FW 2.20 ............ :)

 

Ben

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I concur that the idea a more flexible Pad system would be useful! Might not be in the cards for 2.20. There was no mention of it in the pre-release announcement of fw 2.20's features. Always possible that it could be a last minute inclusion, but I would doubt that, nor do I think something as useful would be buried under the General Stability Improvements catch-all phrase. If it is to be implimented, it may not be until a later fw release.

 

I think I already saw and voted for a similar suggestion on IdeaScale. If you don't find it there, add your own and vote it up.

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Hey all

 

Been doing some basic testing via recording / playback  and from what I can tell. it seems that the "Guitar Pad"  may in-fact  not  be  pre-AD in the analog front-end ..... rather is  seems [sounds like]  it is in the  AD stage .... ?!

 

I did some quick tracking as follows:-

 

-> too a known  Plexi Patch

-> set Global Pad to  OFF

-> recorded it

-> then took the same patch and set the Global Pad to ON  and at the same time put a 5.5db Gain Block as the first in the chain  [the Pad seems to sit around a  ~5.5db cut]

-> recorded it

-> they sound identical / indistinguishable .... this should definelty not be the case as if the Pad were in the analog front end, it would gain-the-amp very differnelty and sound very differnet.

 

Can some others please test / confirm ???

 

Ben

 

 

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A quick audio demo

 

https://soundcloud.com/ben-ifin/pad-off-vs-pad-on-with-55db-gain-block

 

To illustrate my point this is a very bright Plexi dirty sound played with a Tele - just 1 x G  Chord   :)

 

The first batch of  4 x " G " chord strums are  Amp + Cab + Auto Z + Global Pad OFF - nothing else

 

The second batch of  4 x " G " chord strums are  Amp + Cab + Auto Z + Global Pad ON + 5.5 db Gain Block in the first Path - nothing else

 

All Amp and Cab settings are identical - no other processing of any kind.

 

The Problem ?

 

They sound identical  but they shouldnt  :(

 

If the Global Pad was in the  analog front-end of the Helix and therefore  pre-AD converters, the  second batch of 4 G chord clips should sound a LOT less gainy and a LOT less distorted  but they dont ?!?!?

 

Remember your real tube amps .... almost all of them have a Hi-Input and a Lo-Input .... and when you plugged in to each they sounded WAY differnet .,.... ironically ... most real-tube Hi / Lo  inputs have a roughly  ~4db <-> ~6db differnece too ..... if the Helix Pad were in the front-analog end ....whcih is where I think we all assume it would be, it too would be soudning equally differnet jsut like a real tube amp Hi / Lo differnece ... but it doesnt 

 

I know its a very basic not-too-scientific test, but the non-difference / identical nature of the gain and distoriton of the patch is identical .... which to me tells me that the Pad is not where it should be for it to work like a true front-end analaog guitar pad.

 

Can others advise / confirm .... and if Im wrong, please  correct me :)

 

Ben

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Perhaps I'm missing some concept, but it seems to me both sound samples should sound basically the same to the human ear. On the second sample, you're compensating for turning the pad on by inserting a gain block. Without that gain block and pad turned on, the amp would be driven not as hard and likely less distorted sounding. I always thought the pad was there for hotter pickups so as not to clip the input signal?

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duncann is right, you've compensated for pad on/off with a gain block, so the only way you'd hear a difference is if your input signal was [a] hot enough to clip the A/D convertor with the pad off, and not so hot that it still clips with the pad on. That seems to me a pretty narrow window to get smoking-gun level proof. I believe it's also been officially said the Helix has a lot of headroom on the front end, so clipping there isn't super likely in the first place. Maybe DI can confirm or deny that.

 

In any case, I'm pragmatic about such things. If I thought I heard input clipping, I'd try engaging the pad, see if that helped. It's definitely been officially said that Helix has very low noise input circuitry, so leaving the pad on isn't such a terrible idea.

 

Neither input noise or overload has been a real issue for me, so as I said, I use it for another purpose entirely.

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They sound identical  but they shouldnt  :(

 

 

 

Yes, they should!  :)

 

Any distortion that is happening in a properly-configured Helix should be happening inside the simulations - post digital conversion. The whole idea is to do the initial A/D conversion as cleanly and neutrally as possible, so that the only distortion that happens is in the digital emulations of pedals and amps.

 

In the case you describe above, the fact that they sound identical merely confirms that your guitar is not clipping the A/D converter at the input of the Helix (which is 100% normal). The gain block boosts the signal before it hits the virtual amp, which means the amp reacts as if the signal coming to it is hotter (which it is, due to the gain block).

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