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Helix 4CM volume level issues


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I'm a new Helix LT owner and I'm hoping someone can give me advice...I'm running it in 4CM with an Orange TH-30 and I'm finding that the TH-30 pre-amp seems to attenuate the signal so much that I have to crank the main volume on my Helix right up...which means all the modelled pre-amps are then far too loud. And if I turn them down via the channel volume, I'm struggling to get sufficient signal for a direct feed for the PA.


Anyone else find that the TH-30 pre-amp is much quieter than the modelled amps in the helix? And how did you deal with that?




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It can be a struggle getting good signals in 4cm.


Things to bear in mind:


Your Orange amp is expecting the guitar to be plugged into the front panel - so the Helix Send you are using should be set to Instrument Level.

( you can only set the Send / Return as a pair - not sparely for each socket)


The Orange FX loop will probably be at either -10dBv or +4dBu level.   This will mean that

a) the Helix Return you are using should be set to Line Level.  (don't use the same number as you did for the Send so you can set Line instead of Instrument)

b) Helix's 1/4in output level should also be set to Line Level


Starting from that point you will want to tweak the Input and Output levels of the Send / Return blocks so that the Levels match what would normally come through the amp.  


You can also if you need to add a gain block after the Send/Return to boost the 4cm level.


Hope that helps :)

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On 4cm, I keep my volume all the way up in, the volume knob is design to give the nominal gain full open. You might wanna change the output level to instrument level. I think it's line level by default.


So do you then have to reduce the channel volume of the modeled amps right down to 1 or 2 (most of them are 8 by default) in order to match them with the real amp pre-amp? That's what I'm having to do.

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From what I understand, for this to work properly you need to:

  1. Ensure your Send and Return blocks are set to Instrument level
  2. Ensure your volume dial is where you want it (i.e. probably higher than you think: see my thread - - ignore the random posts about the Optical Tremolo...)
  3. Adjust the Return block level if the physical amp is too loud or quiet


1) Line level is a lot higher than instrument level. You know an amp expects an instrument level signal, so assume that is correct for a Send into the front of an amp. And for the Return, you're obviously seeing that the signal coming back is quite low, so setting the Return to "Instrument" tells the Helix about this and lets it adjust accordingly, hopefully bringing your levels up.


2) Since the volume dial is an attenuator then strictly speaking you normally want it at 100% for 4CM mode. I don't personally think that's desirable, so I have it at about 50% but with +9dB in the output block to compensate equally.


3) You may still need to tweak the levels a bit, so I suggest setting up 2 snapshots - one with the Send/Return in place, and one with a preamp block with similar gain and other characteristics and a 'reasonable' channel volume - and switch between the two, tinkering with Send/Return block levels until they are broadly similar enough. Then you can be fairly confident that the loop to the 'real' amp is acting much like a modelled amp and providing levels that the Helix is comfortable with.

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  • 1 year later...

I have the same amp and got the Helix a few weeks ago, hopefully to downsize from my current board. 

I did get 4cm working using the preamp on the th-30. I want to use also some of the preamps in the Helix on some presets, but I am facing the same issue since the power amp does not have master volume...keeping the volume in sync between presets with helix preamps and the th30 preamp will be just a nightmare in live situations.

I am thinking of getting this pedal to control the volume on presets that use preamps on the helix, but I would have to sacrifice a loop.

I am curious about what did you finally do or if anybody knows a better solution.

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TH30 indeed has no power amp volume. This is why when TH30 channel volumes are set low they can drive instrument level stompboxes, but set high give hot line level signal. My solution would be setting TH30 channels volume quite high to line level Hx Return (and never touch them again) and then drive Hx 1/4" output high to TH30 FX return. It's up to you if you use either Hx Volume knob, Hx EXP pedal or additional volume pedal as TH30 master volume.

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