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I have a gig next weekend and plan on using my Helix directly into a PA. I was wondering, how should I adjust my presets (equalize) so that I can cut through the mix well, while still having a killer tone?

 

 A preset made in a room will NOT sound the same when played in a live setting (with drummer, bass, etc). I have heard that I should boost my mids to cut through the mix well, so maybe I should do that. What do you all think?

 

Do any of you have good live presets you would like to share with me? Or explain your methodology behind creating your preset? 

 

 

The songs I'm playing live with a band include the following:

 

 

- Bubble Dream by Chon

- Book by Chon

- Elliptical Illuminations by Chon

 

 

Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated :)

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Build your presets how you like them. Use global eq to boost/cut frequencies for each venue or band. Then all your stuff has the same relative tones to each other while getting the boost areas equally.

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Why bother? Set your sounds as you love them and it's the technician's job to fit it into the band's overall sound with the mixer's EQ. IF he knows, what he's doing, you'll be fine. You have no real chance to adapt your sound blindly to a band, you cannot hear and to a room full of people, whose acoustic you don't know. All you can do, if you have lots of time for sound check, is, to adapt your sound with the help of the general EQ in the Helix.

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I have a gig next weekend and plan on using my Helix directly into a PA. I was wondering, how should I adjust my presets (equalize) so that I can cut through the mix well, while still having a killer tone?

 

A preset made in a room will NOT sound the same when played in a live setting (with drummer, bass, etc). I have heard that I should boost my mids to cut through the mix well, so maybe I should do that. What do you all think?

 

Do any of you have good live presets you would like to share with me? Or explain your methodology behind creating your preset?

 

 

The songs I'm playing live with a band include the following:

 

 

- Bubble Dream by Chon

- Book by Chon

- Elliptical Illuminations by Chon

 

 

Any guidance on this would be greatly appreciated :)

First of all, EQ is more about cutting what there's too much of, as opposed to boosting what seems lacking...otherwise the result is a muddy tone with too much of everything.

 

That aside...there's exactly one way to set up your patches to cut through a live mix: at gig volume, with the band. That's what rehearsals are for...trying to guess at what adjustments will be needed for a bunch of patches dialed in solo and at bedroom volume, is a colossal waste of time. There are no magic settings that will work for any and all situations...there's no substitute for dialing in patches under the same conditions in which you intend to use them.

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A lot really depends on what you're using to listen to your patches.  This is one of the many reasons so many of us opt to use FRFR speakers.  By and large the sound you get at home using a FRFR powered speaker setup (given you're playing at something close to gig volume) will pretty much sound the same as most PAs.  That's because powered FRFR speakers like Altos, Yamaha, QSC, Line 6 ARE in fact PA speakers and are very often used that way in small venues.

 

To be fair there are venues that are still using older non-powered speakers which will lose a lot of the mids and quite a bit of definition.  But if the place you're playing is using any type of more modern system with powered speakers you'll be very close if you dialed in your tone with a powered FRFR speaker setup.

 

And I don't know where you're getting the idea that something dialed in at home won't sound the same with the band.  I dial in all my presets at home and rarely have to make any adjustments once I get with the band.  If I do make adjustments it's typically related to the overall volume of the patch.

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And I don't know where you're getting the idea that something dialed in at home won't sound the same with the band.  I dial in all my presets at home and rarely have to make any adjustments once I get with the band.  If I do make adjustments it's typically related to the overall volume of the patch.

 

Same here. When you've played live with enough bands over the years, you get a pretty good idea of how your tones will sit in a mix. As long as you're tweaking at gig volume, you should have two feet firmly in the ballpark.

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You got it a little twisted. It's more like different listening levels produce different listening results. Like you wouldn't want to take a preset that you made at 2 a.m. with your speakers on minimum volume while your parents are sleeping and try to blast that through a cranked PA and expect it to sound the same.

 

The same thing applies for the kind of speakers you're listening to. If your running Helix through a combo or some headphones, you need to run those presets through a combo or some headphones.

 

Load yourself up a blank preset, throw on both of the matchless amps, throw in a compressor, an Overdrive and go to town. Try to run that preset through a PA system somehow to fine-tune it

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I forgot to mention, I set mine at gig volume at the house...

 

+1 to that.

I always do that.

That is first step to better sound and cut through in live situation (and at rehearsal). 

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I have a gig next weekend and plan on using my Helix directly into a PA. I was wondering, how should I adjust my presets (equalize) so that I can cut through the mix well, while still having a killer tone?

 

 

 

I assume you are new to Helix. My recommendation would be to replicate your guitar rig before Helix. Adjust from there. If you have another tone in your head, research what the player was using for the rig and reproduce it in Helix. Try not to get caught up in "nailing a tone" with 100% accuracy, you will just be spinning your wheels. 

 

There is no magic formula for producing a killer tone in the mix of your band. Factors that will effect how you approach it are:

1. What you are playing through (FOH, guitar amp, etc...)

2. What you are monitoring your sound through (wedges, IEM...)

3. What is going on in the rest of the band. 

4. Where you are playing.

 

If you are are having to turn up because the rest of the band is getting louder, and the increase in volume is not a planned dynamic musically, then it's time to talk to the band. If this is planned, then put a gain block at the end of your chain and control the gain parameter appropriately. If they are just getting louder for no reason, they need to knock it off. 

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If they are just getting louder for no reason, they need to knock it off. 

 

+1000.  This is the best way I know of ticking of management, sound personnel, and other people working in the bar.  It's also a REALLY good way of causing channels to clip if they were gain staged at one level that suddenly the signal level goes up in volume later on.  If the volume needs to come up because of crowd noise, that's what a master fader on mixing board is for...

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