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neuk01642

FoH and Cab - IR/Cab or no IR

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So here's a funny thing.

 

I've been running the Helix for a couple of weeks now and only took delivery of a power amp last night.

 

I was fully intending to create duplicate paths for all my patches using path 2 which mirrored path 1 but without IRs. Path 1 would then go to the XLR outs and path 2 to the 1/4" jacks.

 

In the interests of making sure the power amp was working and connected properly I gave a couple of regular IR laden patches a run through... and they sounded amazing through the cab... 

 

I don't know what I was expecting but I wasn't expecting the paths with IRs to sound better than those without when played through my cab.

 

What's everyones experience? Do you turn off your IR/Cab blocks when using backline or have you found they sound pretty good leaving the IR\s in place?

Are there any issues with keeping the IR blocks in and still playing through a cab?

 

I don't know if it\s because of the type of speaker I'm using (Celestion G12T 100 100watt), but as it stands, I can't see any reason to take the IR's out and create a duplicate path. Which means more fun can be had using two paths in one sound... 

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I go into the return of a Tubemeister TM36 and I prefer it with cabs/IR's on too. I'm sure others will disagree but it's a case of personal preference.

 

Craig

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I go into the return of a Tubemeister TM36 and I prefer it with cabs/IR's on too. I'm sure others will disagree but it's a case of personal preference.

 

Craig

 

Good to know I'm not alone.

Has to be said, it's changing my thinking on a potential 2x12 purchase. I was originally going to go with a cab that reflects the IR's I've chosen (in my case a V30 and a Lynchback), but now I'm thinking maybe a G12H 150 Redback. Maximum headroom and then keep the IR's in place.

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Well if you weren't using high cut and low cut filters before, then by running the sound through a speaker like the one you have, you effectively are now doing that.

Although that's not all there is to it, it can very possibly sound better than it did into FRFR.  What you will find is less variation from IR to IR in this setup.

I'd be expecting a bit too much bottom end with that speaker just looking at it, so you might get a tighter bottom that cuts better in a band situation if you add some low cut, but if it sounds good, it is good!

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Well if you weren't using high cut and low cut filters before, then by running the sound through a speaker like the one you have, you effectively are now doing that.

Although that's not all there is to it, it can very possibly sound better than it did into FRFR.  What you will find is less variation from IR to IR in this setup.

I'd be expecting a bit too much bottom end with that speaker just looking at it, so you might get a tighter bottom that cuts better in a band situation if you add some low cut, but if it sounds good, it is good!

 

I've got extensive EQ as I'm playing 8 strings so keep a tight bottom end is essential.

I guess I'm not really looking for huge changes in IR sound from the cab, I just want it to sound lollipop hot so you get the inspiration.

 

Has to be said, there is a fair bit of bottom but I've never found it out of control and it's balanced with a good mid presence and plenty of top end.

 

Good to know it's not a completely alien concept keeping the IR's in place.

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That's the beauty with Helix, there are no set rules. Try it both ways, if you prefer one, then rock with it. 

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That's the beauty with Helix, there are no set rules. Try it both ways, if you prefer one, then rock with it. 

 

That was my thinking but I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything really dumb or missing some obvious reason why it was a bad idea.

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That was my thinking but I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything really dumb or missing some obvious reason why it was a bad idea.

If it sounds great, it is not dumb. You can run two gain models in series into a 1x8" cab model if you want, with overdrives after the amp if you want and it doesn't hurt a thing. If it sounds good, go with it. 

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That was my thinking but I wanted to make sure I wasn't doing anything really dumb or missing some obvious reason why it was a bad idea.

"There are no mistakes, only happy accidents." - Bob Ross.

 

It's only a "bad idea" if it sounds like $hit. Otherwise, all you're doing is manipulating 1's and 0's...short of trying to feed your power amp into the Helix or using it for target practice, you can't damage anything. If it sounds good, it is good.

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I would have said the same things, but you guys all beat me to it.  Bunch of early risers we got here, getting stuff done before noon.  Are you sure you are real musicians?

 

Just kidding of course. And, I love that so many here subscribe to the idea of "if it sounds good, it is good."

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I would have said the same things, but you guys all beat me to it. Bunch of early risers we got here, getting stuff done before noon. Are you sure you are real musicians?"

Yes but some of us are in different time zones ðŸ˜

 

Craig

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Bunch of early risers we got here, getting stuff done before noon.  Are you sure you are real musicians?

 

Real musician, yes. Professionally paid, no. Work a regular 9-5 (or 6-4) job. 

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The only complication your set up might cause is that what you're hearing and what foh is hearing, might be very different. So the patch you made at home through your cab, won't sound the same through foh. It may not be a big problem, but still something to consider.

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The only complication your set up might cause is that what you're hearing and what foh is hearing, might be very different. So the patch you made at home through your cab, won't sound the same through foh. It may not be a big problem, but still something to consider.

 

Cheers for the input.

I actually made all my patches first using my KRK monitors and headphones so I was getting the full FoH treatment (all be it at a greatly reduced volume). I've only just got my power amp and I was all set to tweak the patches to remove the IRs and create a second path.

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Cheers for the input.

I actually made all my patches first using my KRK monitors and headphones so I was getting the full FoH treatment (all be it at a greatly reduced volume).

Large volume differences are a problem whether the chosen monitoring method is FRFR or otherwise. It is a virtual certainty that you will find that patches you set up at comfy bedroom volume will sound SIGNIFICANTLY different at stage volume. The only way to avoid this is to tweak all your tones at, or at least reasonably close to the volume at which you intend to use them...otherwise you're likely to get to the gig and find that you've got booming low end, screechy highs, and mids that have flown south for the winter.

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Large volume differences are a problem whether the chosen monitoring method is FRFR or otherwise. It is a virtual certainty that you will find that patches you set up at comfy bedroom volume will sound SIGNIFICANTLY different at stage volume. The only way to avoid this is to tweak all your tones at, or at least reasonably close to the volume at which you intend to use them...otherwise you're likely to get to the gig and find that you've got booming low end, screechy highs, and mids that have flown south for the winter.

^THIS^

 

This is why I got myself a couple of JBL Eon 610s for at home so I can set up my patches at/near live stage volume. 

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Large volume differences are a problem whether the chosen monitoring method is FRFR or otherwise. It is a virtual certainty that you will find that patches you set up at comfy bedroom volume will sound SIGNIFICANTLY different at stage volume. The only way to avoid this is to tweak all your tones at, or at least reasonably close to the volume at which you intend to use them...otherwise you're likely to get to the gig and find that you've got booming low end, screechy highs, and mids that have flown south for the winter.

 

Fair enough

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Large volume differences are a problem whether the chosen monitoring method is FRFR or otherwise. It is a virtual certainty that you will find that patches you set up at comfy bedroom volume will sound SIGNIFICANTLY different at stage volume. The only way to avoid this is to tweak all your tones at, or at least reasonably close to the volume at which you intend to use them...otherwise you're likely to get to the gig and find that you've got booming low end, screechy highs, and mids that have flown south for the winter.

 

So man, being that I haven't been on a stage in the best part of 25 years and the last time I did I had nothing to do with the sound at all and my back line was a 10 watt lollipop box practice amp, a couple of questions for you. 

 

Do you have two sets of patches. Live and recording? Or do you tweak on the fly? Or do you set up for live and that's what you record with or is there another way.

This probably seems like a ridiculous question given I'm playing with a pretty expensive piece of kit but it was the most sensible solution to getting good tone offering lots of flexibility and taking up little enough space that it wasn't going to lollipop anyone off.

 

Anyway, let me know and try not to mock my noobishness too much  :D

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Do you have two sets of patches. Live and recording? Or do you tweak on the fly? Or do you set up for live and that's what you record with or is there another way.

This probably seems like a ridiculous question given I'm playing with a pretty expensive piece of kit but it was the most sensible solution to getting good tone offering lots of flexibility and taking up little enough space that it wasn't going to lollipop anyone off.

 

Anyway, let me know and try not to mock my noobishness too much :D

No mocking intended at all...transitioning from amps to modelers can be tricky at first. We all went through it to some degree.

 

Yes, I have 2 sets of patches. One for the studio monitors at home, and another for live use. When I was still using the 500X, I had a third set for use with headphones, as that unit sounded considerably different with my monitors vs. the cans. Despite using the same monitors and headphones, I find this to be much less of an issue with Helix...who knows why? Modeling is a strange world sometimes.

 

Live I run straight to FOH, and I have an L2T I use as a floor monitor. Tweaking back and forth constantly would be a nightmare, and Helix has more than enough capacity to store 2 sets of patches. At this rate, I'll be taking a dirt nap long before I run out of space...

 

As for tweaking on the fly, the global EQ is useful for that. Each room sounds a little different so it comes in handy, though I tend to use it sparingly. If you've got everything well balanced ahead of time, you generally won't need to make massive EQ changes at the gig. Just make sure that you build patches with the global EQ OFF...then it's there if/when you need it. 🤘

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No mocking intended at all...transitioning from amps to modelers can be tricky at first. We all went through it to some degree.

 

Yes, I have 2 sets of patches. One for the studio monitors at home, and another using live. I run straight to FOH, and I have an L2T I use as a floor monitor. Tweaking back and forth constantly would be a nightmare, and Helix had more than enough capacity to store 2 sets of patches. At this rate, I'll be taking a dirt nap long before I run out of space...

 

As for tweaking on the fly, the global EQ is useful for that. Each room sounds a little different so it comes in handy, though I tend to use it sparingly. If you've got everything well balanced ahead of time, you generally won't need to make massive EQ changes at the gig. Just make sure that you build patches with the global EQ OFF...then it's there if/when you need it.

 

Cheers Man. 

No man, didn't mean to imply you were mocking me. I just always feel like a bit of a fraud frequenting these forums with so many working musicians. I guess it's the only way you get to learn.

Think I'm going to be taking myself off to a rehearsal room pretty soon and cranking the bad boy up and doing some work on my tone at volume... 

Two sets of patches it is then 

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Cheers Man.

No man, didn't mean to imply you were mocking me. I just always feel like a bit of a fraud frequenting these forums with so many working musicians. I guess it's the only way you get to learn.

Think I'm going to be taking myself off to a rehearsal room pretty soon and cranking the bad boy up and doing some work on my tone at volume...

Two sets of patches it is then

That's the best way to do it...and once it's done, it's done. Then, once you get familiar with the settings for your live tones, even if you build a new patch at home, you'll have at least a rough idea of what tweaks will be necessary to get that same patch ready for a gig. Just trial and error... heavy on the "error" at the beginning, lol.

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That's the best way to do it...and once it's done, it's done. Then, once you get familiar with the settings for your live tones, even if you build a new patch at home, you'll have at least a rough idea of what tweaks will be necessary to get that same patch ready for a gig. Just trial and error... heavy on the "error" at the beginning, lol.

 

Hahah... don't I know it. I've been through 6 months fighting with a Kemper trying to get it to do what I wanted and now into my 3rd week of tweaking with the Helix. Has to be said the Helix is proving a lot easier to dial in than the Kemper for studio tones so hopefully that will translate to sorting out the live sound as well.

 

Thanks for the mockery-free advice dude, really appreciated.

Seems this forum has a smaller percentage of arrogant 'professionals' than other forums for other products. Everyone seems pretty up for the discussion and sharing advice and experience.

 

Thanks again

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Stupid question: are IR’s basically the same as a cab sim? I’ve kinda tried searching but keep getting odd non simple answers

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Stupid question: are IR’s basically the same as a cab sim? I’ve kinda tried searching but keep getting odd non simple answers

Short answer ... yes.  Longer answer, they provide the same functionality but provide the functionality differently than the cab blocks in the Helix.  The Helix cabs have the ability to be modified with different mics and mic placements whereas IRs do the same, but each different modification is contained in it's own file and loaded up separately.

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Another feature baked into many IRs is that their publishers' may have already used multiple mics in creating the single IR. If this happens to provide the right sound for your taste or needs, it is a simplified single block IR file that you can use. With Helix's Hybrid Cabs, Two (2) Cab Blocks would be required. You would then Blend them using different mics, mic positions, levels, ets. Plus, some IRs offer rear of cabinet mic placements. Helix Cabs do not offer this. The closest you can get would be to reverse the phase of one of the Helix cabinets in the Merge Block of a Parallel Signal Path. Not exactly the same result, but might yield some interesting results at times. Helix's Cab features are very flexible, if you care to explore what they can do, particularly when using multiple cabs split on Parallel Paths. Once you find the right IR for your needs, you're good to go! The task associated with of either path can be a lot of exploration, as the Helix offers a great many permutations of Cab, Mic Selection, and Placement, and the Third Party marketplace of available IRs offers tens of thousands of IR files (some free, most for a fee). Helix's cabs cost you no more than the price of your Helix or your Helix Native Plugin. 

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