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EricKnabe

Master Volume control

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I was wondering basically two things. First of all, on a real tube amp that doesn't have a master volume, does the power amp volume stay on full or does it increase/decrease with the preamp gain? Secondly, is there a way to link two parameters on the helix so that you can roll one knob to increase/decrease them together?

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On amps that don't actually have a master volume, this control is there in the modeled amp. It is not tied to gain, so it can be changed independently.

 

The only way I can think to link two or more parameters like you want, and to have them change smoothly I assume, is to assign them to an expression controller. If the smoothness isn't needed, you could do the same with a switch, either latching or momentarily, using min and max values.

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On amps that don't actually have a master volume, this control is there in the modeled amp. It is not tied to gain, so it can be changed independently.

 

The only way I can think to link two or more parameters like you want, and to have them change smoothly I assume, is to assign them to an expression controller. If the smoothness isn't needed, you could do the same with a switch, either latching or momentarily, using min and max values.

Thanks. I'll definetly try that when I get the hardware. But for the first question, I was more wondering how it is on a real non-master volume tube amp.

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... But for the first question, I was more wondering how it is on a real non-master volume tube amp.

 

Ahh. Not certain. I suppose it might depend somewhat on the amp? There are other forum members here with more knowledge (i.e. greater than zero, lol), about actual amps, how they function, and any dynamics between different parameters, so hopefully one of them might chime in.

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On the master Vol. On the Helix, I have set in Global Setting the vol. control to XLR's. In Global Setting go to page 2. There you will see Volume Knob Settings. Set it to the XLR setting. If you don't have a Master on your amp. I have a master on my Blackstar HT-40 Club Deluxe. There you will have control over your amp and guitar. While the Helix is controlling the XLR outputs. If you don't have a master on your amp then it will be useful to set the Helix to 1/4". Then the Volume Knob on the Helix will control the master of the amp. 

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Tube amps do differ in their designs, but here's an attempt at a simplified layman's explanation (anyone else feel free to expand on / correct me  :) )

 

Many of the classic NMV designs from the 60s have a first tube stage (known as V1), then the volume control,

The next tube stage is often unity gain and deals with the EQ controls (handled by V2).  

 

This is fed to the power stage.  

On Push / Pull amps this feeds into the Phase Inverter (V3), which splits the signal into +ve and -ve halfs for pairs of power tubes. EL34 or EL84 for example.

 

The preamp is essentially clean and distortion only occurs when the volume is turned up really loud and overdrives the power tubes.

 

On a more modern amp the Master Volume is situated before the Phase Inverter / Power tubes.   There may also be extra tube gain stages after V2.

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First of all, on a real tube amp that doesn't have a master volume. Secondly, is there a way to link two parameters on the helix so that you can roll one knob to increase/decrease them together?

 

To your first question, Yes you can. The volume on the Helix you can have it as a Master Vol. Go to Global Setting and on page 2, there will be a setting for the Volume Knob. Change that to 1/4". (Make sure your volume is all the way down on the guitar and amp). And, For you 2nd question, I don't think you can, just yet. You can link two pedals together, or have one turn on while the other is off. vise, versa.

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 Secondly, is there a way to link two parameters on the helix so that you can roll one knob to increase/decrease them together?

You can do this with the expression pedal, but not the knobs on the Helix. I have some presets where I am controlling more than 5 parameters with one expression pedal simultaneously. 

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If you have a Variax Standard or Variax JTV hooked to a Helix, you can repurpose the volume and tone knobs to be controllers.

 

First, you would change your input block to be Variax, then go the second page of the input block's parameters.  Here you would set the Preset Volume and/or Preset Tone settings from don't force to whatever you want them to be (I typically peg them out at ten) and then set the the Lock Control to Volume and Tone.  Now the knobs no longer control the Variax volume and tone.

 

Now you can go into Controller Assign screens.  The Variax Volume and Tone knobs are among the controllers you can assign, just like the expression pedals.  You can assign several parameters to the knobs, along with min and max values. 

 

So for instance, you could assign the Volume Knob to control amp block's gain from 25% to 75%, and as well set the amp block's master volume from 80% to 50%.  Now the knob will add gain overdrive while not increasing the overall volume (note the specific values are made up, you will have to determine the actual min/max values depending on the amp block's characteristics and what you actually want.)

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Tube amps do differ in their designs, but here's an attempt at a simplified layman's explanation (anyone else feel free to expand on / correct me  :) )

 

Many of the classic NMV designs from the 60s have a first tube stage (known as V1), then the volume control,

The next tube stage is often unity gain and deals with the EQ controls (handled by V2).  

 

This is fed to the power stage.  

On Push / Pull amps this feeds into the Phase Inverter (V3), which splits the signal into +ve and -ve halfs for pairs of power tubes. EL34 or EL84 for example.

 

The preamp is essentially clean and distortion only occurs when the volume is turned up really loud and overdrives the power tubes.

 

On a more modern amp the Master Volume is situated before the Phase Inverter / Power tubes.   There may also be extra tube gain stages after V2.

^nailed it...

 

in more simple terms, if a tube amp is non-MV, then the circuit usually has the equivalent of the master hardwired to '10' and the volume knob, like on old fender amps (AB/push-pull) opens up the gain stage more and more.. staying fairly clean-or in the case of a lot of black face amps- VERY clean, until the power tubes start to SAG, basically getting more output in  bursts, that it can't keep it clean... a lot of that happens at the PI in  amps like a plexi or a tweed. that sag is that chewy crunch we associate with the JTM or bassman...  very dynamic.. can be clean with low output, light picking, then turn up the volume on the guitar to get really nasty

 

in these models, the Non-MV amps have the default master set to '10' to mimic that... but can be turned down... we can also dial in the sag and bias... things you don't have control over in a 'real' amp... unless you are an expert amp tech...

 

as for the helix, I'm still learning how to dial all these models in... dialing in one of those old amps can be much easier... if you don't go deaf first :D

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