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Helix Live - XLR for onstage and FoH?

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I use an active PA speaker as my amp, connected with one XLR cable.

 

Can I use the other XLR output direct to mixing desk to FoH? If so, how do I set the Helix so that both XLRs are set as mono outputs (I don't want the Helix thinking that they are stereo outputs).

 

I hope this makes sense.

 

Thanks

 

Simon

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If you have a mono block as the last thing in your chain, the XLR outs would essentially become a pair of identical mono outputs.

 

Is there are reason you just don't want to use a 1/4" output to a DI for your FOH connection?

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If you have a mono block as the last thing in your chain, the XLR outs would essentially become a pair of identical mono outputs.

 

Is there are reason you just don't want to use a 1/4" output to a DI for your FOH connection?

 

Would you recommend using a 1/4" to a DI, then? 

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Would you recommend using a 1/4" to a DI, then? 

 

It would seem to be simpler to me. First it means you don't need to modify your presets at all. Secondly, it means you can have separate volume control for each output.

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It would seem to be simpler to me. First it means you don't need to modify your presets at all. Secondly, it means you can have separate volume control for each output.

PLUS... that DI will feed the sound guy a signal that won’t be affected by impedance/level/phantom power issues. And it will sound great.

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I just did this last week: Mono XLR to the house PA, 1/4 mono out to my "personal" monitor. The trick is to go into the Global Setup and disconnect the volume knob from the XLR outputs. Makes setup a breeze.

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I just did this last week: Mono XLR to the house PA, 1/4 mono out to my "personal" monitor. The trick is to go into the Global Setup and disconnect the volume knob from the XLR outputs. Makes setup a breeze.

Isn't this opposite to what Uber Guru was suggesting? I think he is saying 1/4" to DI then to PA, XLR to on stage personal monitor?

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Isn't this opposite to what Uber Guru was suggesting? I think he is saying 1/4" to DI then to PA, XLR to on stage personal monitor?

Either way it allows you to control the volume of either the 1/4" or XLR so that whichever signal you send to FOH is not effected by the Helix volume knob. You control your stage speaker only with the volume knob. 

 

The XLR>DI>FOH is optimal though as PeterHamm mentions above. 

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It really doesn't matter which way you go if it works in your environment.

I make my 1/4" to DI to XLR to Board because of the reasons I mention, but if I were in the studio, I'd either use a digital connection to the recorder via USB or SBDIF/AES or I'd use XLR to the mixer if the engineer made me, because you have time to control things in the studio.

 

Live, often, you don't.

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What is a recommended DI?

 

Whirlwind IMP2 is a GREAT choice. Very affordable, transparent, and insanely rugged. I have 3 that are literally 40 years old.

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OK, I'm being a numpty. I can't work out how to control my onstage monitor independently from the FoH signal. Setup:

 

1. XLR mono to stage monitor.

2. 1/4" mono out to DI > XLR to mixer.

 

Help!

 

S

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OK, I'm being a numpty. I can't work out how to control my onstage monitor independently from the FoH signal. Setup:

 

1. XLR mono to stage monitor.

2. 1/4" mono out to DI > XLR to mixer.

 

Help!

 

S

 

I would recommend using your XLR output to the FOH if possible but if you have to run 1/4 out to your DI for FOH see the last sentence in this post. The way I do it is to set 'Global Settings' --> 'Ins/Outs' --> 'Volume Knob Controls'  = "1/4". This sends full output levels at all times to the XLR output(FOH) but allows you to control your onstage monitor(1/4) with the large volume control. That way the mixing board gets a consistent level and you can vary your onstage volume without impacting the FOH. Removing the XLR output control from the volume knob makes the XLR output's signal level default to the same as if the large volume control was turned all the way up, all the time. This give you optimal output levels to FOH assuming you have your presets leveled appropriately. I know it would be preferable if there were separate volume knobs for the 1/4 and XLR outputs but I find this setup works pretty well.

 

In your case you could reverse this and set 'Global Settings' --> 'Ins/Outs' --> 'Volume Knob Controls'  = "XLR". This would achieve the same result with your setup.

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I would recommend using your XLR output to the FOH. The way I do is to set 'Global Settings' --> 'Ins/Outs' --> 'Volume Controls'  = "1/4". This sends full output levels at all times to the XLR output(FOH) but allows you to control your onstage monitor with the large volume control. That way the mixing board gets a consistent level and you can vary your onstage volume without impacting the FOH. Removing the XLR output from the volume control makes the signal level default to the same as if the large volume control was turned all the way up, all the time. This give you optimal output levels to FOH assuming you have your presets leveled appropriately.

 

In your case you could reverse this and set 'Global Settings' --> 'Ins/Outs' --> 'Volume Controls'  = "XLR". This would achieve the same result with your setup.

Can this be done the other way around? I have XLR to my stage monitor not FoH.

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Can this be done the other way around? I have XLR to my stage monitor not FoH.

 

LOL, was not expecting you to see my post so quickly and was still editing. Yes, just set it according to the last sentence in my post. 'Global Settings' --> 'Ins/Outs' --> 'Volume Knob Controls'  = "XLR"

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For the moment i'm happy to feed my new monitors digitally. If you use a setup with two main speakers and one subwoofer, there are a lot cables around. With the AES/EBU Link, i only need one cable from Helix to one speaker, one cable from the first to the second speaker and one cable more from the second speaker to the sub.

Don't know how i should manage this with any analog output - i would need 3 cables from Helix to the speakers, one left, one right and one sum. Or an additional mixer.

Another advantage in my setup is a lower nose from the DSP/poweramp  a missing DA-AD conversion cannot produce additional noise.

Til now, i could'nt find any disadvantage of the digital link - perhaps in Stage use it's different.

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Hi - I think this is related enough for this thread:

 

I have noticed that my helix seems to sound much better to PA if I use the 1/4" output.  I go directly to the line input of the mixing board channel (we have a simple PA and I haven't seen any need for a DI when using the 1/4". 

 

I have found that it can be very tricky to set the xlr input levels on the mixer so that the sound is optimal.(I also usually have to keep the 'trim' basically at 0 to keep the helix from giving the mixer too hot of a signal, even with the main helix volume knob set around 11 or 12 oclock....maybe I need to re-set my patch output levels lower?).. With 1/4" to board, it seems much more consistent and the sound doesn't change character as much with different level settings on the mixer.

 

It also seems that the xlr signal is brighter (not always in a good way) than using the 1/4" (which sort of makes sense, but I thought both outputs were supposed to be basically sound identical?)

 

Would the xlr issues be due to the fact that I'm using a fairly inexpensive mackie portable mixer?

 

when I use the helix xlr out directly to a powered speaker for my stage monitor, that seems to work nicely.

 

I will try using the xlr output to the mixer tonite with the large volume knob out of the loop and see if that helps.  (does anyone know if the xlr signal in that set up would be similar to the volume knob up full?  1/2 way? is there a way to set that xlr level globally while keeping it separate from the main volume knob?

 

Thanks in advance for any help!

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...Would the xlr issues be due to the fact that I'm using a fairly inexpensive mackie portable mixer?...

 

 

In my experience, with a good mixer, at the same level, 1/4" to a Whirlwind DI and XLR direct sound identical.

 

I would guess that you are hearing the circuitry in the mic pre built into the mackie mixer. If you went XLR - TRS into one of the balanced TRS line inputs on that mixer, it might sound identical to the 1/4" at the same level.

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I find the helix XLR outs are quite hot for most consoles and trim mine back -5dB.

 

As far as mono out from both XLR, just add the stereo width block at the end of the chain and it will allow you to for sure collapse everything to mono before the output.

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It also seems that the xlr signal is brighter (not always in a good way) than using the 1/4" (which sort of makes sense, but I thought both outputs were supposed to be basically sound identical?)

 

 

There will almost always be the case unless you are building your presets on the system that you are playing live with at live volume levels. If you are creating presets listening on a different system (different speakers, headphones, IEMs, etc...), then playing on a different live PA, your preset will not sound the same. This is where the Global EQ comes to play. You can turn that on then tweak it to the room/PA you are on at the time live. Then when you are done with that gig, you turn the global EQ back off. 

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OK, I'm being a numpty. I can't work out how to control my onstage monitor independently from the FoH signal. Setup:

 

1. XLR mono to stage monitor.

2. 1/4" mono out to DI > XLR to mixer.

 

Help!

 

S

 

This is the set up I'm using, currently. Mainly because, I want the DI to protect Helix from phantom power, I'd prefer an XLR cable to FOH for better signal quality over a long run, and my DI only has 1/4" input. So I set "Volume Controls" in global settings to XLR. It seems to be working except I'm finding that I have to turn the Helix volume knob up higher for the XLR out than I did for 1/4" out that I was using.

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I run XLR out to a phantom power blocker >FOH. 1/4" out to an active volume pedal and then into my powered monitor. It allows me to control my stage volume independent of  FOH, while keeping the HX expression pedal free for effects. Bigger bonus for me is that this way I don't have to kneel to change my stage volume. I use a powered wedge behind the Helix so that the stage volume going toward the audience is mostly unaffected by my changes.

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I run XLR out to a phantom power blocker >FOH. 1/4" out to an active volume pedal and then into my powered monitor. It allows me to control my stage volume independent of  FOH, while keeping the HX expression pedal free for effects. Bigger bonus for me is that this way I don't have to kneel to change my stage volume. I use a powered wedge behind the Helix so that the stage volume going toward the audience is mostly unaffected by my changes.

 

This is a FANTASTIC solution.

 

btw, if you find that it's hard to get the volume pedal that controls your stage volume "just right"... this1smyne makes a volume pedal that is a rotary dial. Easier to dial in. I used to have one for a similar purpose. It worked amazing.

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This is a FANTASTIC solution.

 

btw, if you find that it's hard to get the volume pedal that controls your stage volume "just right"... this1smyne makes a volume pedal that is a rotary dial. Easier to dial in. I used to have one for a similar purpose. It worked amazing.

Thanks, Peter! Works a treat for me. I've thought about trying one of those rotary dealies, I'm familiar. I picked up an older Visual Volume for ~$40 and it's been working well. A bit more sensitive than I'd prefer but I can roll it off at the end of a tune if I want and then visually get it right back in the ballpark (with the LED indicators) without playing.

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