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brettchinery

using input impedance to control tone

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Hi - looking for some advice on high end

 

All of the stock amp settings and real world settings are completely unusable to my ears (normally use audio-tecnica headphones) and I have to drop the treble and presence to zero to get anything like a usable tone (especially with gain)

 

No amount of high cuts in eq block and cab settings seem to tame the high end

 

The only way I have found to get a workable sound is to drop the input impedance in the first input block down from auto (normally 1M) to 90k

 

Completely frustrated that all the guys on youtube seem to get amazing tones without even trying

 

Is this OK to do or am I mad???

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I am curious about this well. That is one of the few functions I have not spent much time with. But I have experimented with a few patches and got good results. I noticed Scott on the Helix Channel messes with the setting. Seems like most people just leave it on auto, in the end I guess it's what sounds good

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...and I have to drop the treble and presence to zero to get anything like a usable tone (especially with gain)...

 

 

No amount of high cuts in eq block and cab settings seem to tame the high end

 

While high cuts are basically a necessity for headphones and other FRFR applications, this seems odd. I have to use some pretty savage high cuts sometimes, depending on the cab model (between 3K-4K on occasion), but if I were to roll the treble and presence to zero, it would sound like my speakers were under a blanket in the next room...and I use some pretty gainy tones. I'm wondering if something isn't functioning properly...

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Hi - looking for some advice on high end

 

All of the stock amp settings and real world settings are completely unusable to my ears (normally use audio-tecnica headphones) and I have to drop the treble and presence to zero to get anything like a usable tone (especially with gain)

 

No amount of high cuts in eq block and cab settings seem to tame the high end

 

The only way I have found to get a workable sound is to drop the input impedance in the first input block down from auto (normally 1M) to 90k

 

Completely frustrated that all the guys on youtube seem to get amazing tones without even trying

 

Is this OK to do or am I mad???

For starters try an EQ block with hi and lo cut instead of the cut in the cab block. The Q in the hi and lo cut of a cab or IR is so wide, that it has too little effect and the cut becomes unnatural. The Q of the hi/lo cut in the EQ blocks is much steeper. This really helped in my case to tame the high frequencies.

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For starters try an EQ block with hi and lo cut instead of the cut in the cab block. The Q in the hi and lo cut of a cab or IR is so wide, that it has too little effect and the cut becomes unnatural. The Q of the hi/lo cut in the EQ blocks is much steeper. This really helped in my case to tame the high frequencies.

many thanks - out of curiosity, what sort of numbers are you using in the hi cuts???

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many thanks - out of curiosity, what sort of numbers are you using in the hi cuts???

Lo around 80Hz, high varies, somewhere between 10kHz and 15kHz

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Lo around 80Hz, high varies, somewhere between 10kHz and 15kHz

thanks - I would need to go down to 4, 5 or 6k at least to make it anywhere listenable ??

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This may be an artifact of the headsets or speakers you're using rather than the Helix.  Some headphones are geared more for consumers rather than pro use in studios so they'll take a lot of lattitude with the frequency profiles to make recorded songs sound sweeter and warmer.  My high cuts tend to be more in the 8kz up to sometimes 12khz depending on the amp, cab/IR, mic or mic mix as well as the type of guitar I'm using, so I highly suspect your headphones or output devices may not really be that flat.

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Hi - looking for some advice on high end

 

All of the stock amp settings and real world settings are completely unusable to my ears (normally use audio-tecnica headphones) and I have to drop the treble and presence to zero to get anything like a usable tone (especially with gain)

 

No amount of high cuts in eq block and cab settings seem to tame the high end

 

The only way I have found to get a workable sound is to drop the input impedance in the first input block down from auto (normally 1M) to 90k

 

Completely frustrated that all the guys on youtube seem to get amazing tones without even trying

 

Is this OK to do or am I mad???

 

 

What is the impedance on your headphones? It sounds like this could be what is throwing your tone off.

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What is the impedance on your headphones? It sounds like this could be what is throwing your tone off.

47 ohms I think - audio tecnica ATH-M20X

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First thing to do is make sure you have the correct level output to your FRFR, usually less of an issue with headphones although the headphones impedance is important as noted above. Have you tried other headphones? As has been suggested elsewhere before you start adding high cuts, whether you are using the Helix cabs or an IR, start experimenting with different microphone types. In the case of IRs you have to select a different IR but the Helix cabs as you probably already know include the mic type as a parameter. This can have a huge impact on the initial frequency curve of the cab and you may find there are certain mic types that work better for the sound you are trying to get and may not even require additional EQ. Once you get that dialed in start experimenting with low and high cuts as per the advice above and don't hesitate to get aggressive with the high cut down to 3-4k if you need to. I rarely cut below 4.7 and I prefer when I don't need to get quite that low. As you would expect though the less cut you can get away with the better so cuts that low should be for extreme settings.

 

Also, use the "sweep" method with your parametric EQ to find frequencies that are particularly nasty by cranking the Q up to a narrow width e.g. 8-9 with a 12db boost and sweep through the frequency range while you are playing to locate the nasty bits. Then dial them down a few db with a narrow Q but not too narrow or down too many dbs or your tone may start to sound unnatural. As always with the EQ the rule of thumb is wide Q when boosting, narrow Q when cutting but as always let your ears be the final arbiter.

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47 ohms I think - audio tecnica ATH-M20X

 

Well, that is a bit low for Helix headphones output which I think is 12ohm (not sure, others please correct me if I'm wrong). So it might be the problem or at least contributing to it. That said, ATH-M20x are supposed to be studio headphones. Something's definitely amiss. I actually prefer 1Mohm guitar input impedance. It is a bit more driven than Auto. So being forced down to 90kohm ain't right.

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To make certain that you are dealing with a clean slate, download and install the latest version of Helix Edit 2.51. Follow the installation steps and this will handle installing the latest Helix firmware 2.50. Then after it is complete, do another full Factory Reset (PowerOn + FS 7+ FS 8) to rebuild the Presets! If you have any custom Presets, be sure to Backup these first!

 

The type of pickups (and electronics, on your guitar or in your signal chain before Helix, if any), can have a significant affect on your Tone. 

 

Other than the above, I too would be suspect as to the type of headphones you are using with the Helix. 

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To make certain that you are dealing with a clean slate, download and install the latest version of Helix Edit 2.51. Follow the installation steps and this will handle installing the latest Helix firmware 2.50. Then after it is complete, do another full Factory Reset (PowerOn + FS 7+ FS 8) to rebuild the Presets! If you have any custom Presets, be sure to Backup these first!

 

The type of pickups (and electronics, on your guitar or in your signal chain before Helix, if any), can have a significant affect on your Tone. 

 

Other than the above, I too would be suspect as to the type of headphones you are using with the Helix. 

thanks for the advice

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Lo around 80Hz, high varies, somewhere between 10kHz and 15kHz

Those are not "serious" high cuts. When you think about the frequency response of a "real" guitar cabinet, the top end is around 6kHz. 

 

I usually run my high cuts, even on IRs, between 5.5-7.5k depending on the model.

 

I usually have the treble and/or presence cranked pretty high (above 50% sweep) on most amp models as well. 

 

I am monitoring either through QSC Q10s, JBL EON 610s, or dual driver IEMs. 

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All of the stock amp settings and real world settings are completely unusable to my ears (normally use audio-tecnica headphones) and I have to drop the treble and presence to zero to get anything like a usable tone (especially with gain)

 

No amount of high cuts in eq block and cab settings seem to tame the high end

 

The only way I have found to get a workable sound is to drop the input impedance in the first input block down from auto (normally 1M) to 90k

 

 

One way you can get a horrible trebly tone is to forget to put a cab block after the amp block. Can you just confirm that you've got [amp] and later [cab] in your path? Or that you are using the combined [amp+cab] block?

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SORTED - thanks to all for your constructive help - the issue is the headphones i have been using to monitor

 

i have not used the helix live and i just assumed plugging in headphones to the specific headphone jack would get me a perfect sound

 

i decided to use the global eq as if I was live in a bad sounding room to sculpt the sound

 

using a clean fender type sound with pretty flat settings,  i tweaked the global hi & lo cuts and with a small tweak on the mids, the horrendous treble has subsided, I can use a "normal" impedance of auto again and even some of the presets sound really usable whereas before they were just awful

 

yet again this shows that the only people who whinge and moan that they cannot get a good sound are the ones at fault,  not the equipment !!!! LOL

 

that is all - rock on - cheers for the help

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I'd suggest replacing your headphones if they were indeed the cause of so much top end.

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I'd suggest replacing your headphones if they were indeed the cause of so much top end.

I am currently using audio tecnica ATH-M20x which are fairly cheap I suppose but produce a reasonable sound when listening to ipad, stereo etc etc - might treat myself to a higher end pair !!!LOL

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SORTED - thanks to all for your constructive help - the issue is the headphones i have been using to monitor

 

i have not used the helix live and i just assumed plugging in headphones to the specific headphone jack would get me a perfect sound

 

i decided to use the global eq as if I was live in a bad sounding room to sculpt the sound

 

using a clean fender type sound with pretty flat settings, i tweaked the global hi & lo cuts and with a small tweak on the mids, the horrendous treble has subsided, I can use a "normal" impedance of auto again and even some of the presets sound really usable whereas before they were just awful

 

yet again this shows that the only people who whinge and moan that they cannot get a good sound are the ones at fault, not the equipment !!!! LOL

 

that is all - rock on - cheers for the help

It's best not to draw conclusions without verifying first with another pair of headphones or monitors. I'm using the Ath-M30s and they sound as good as my monitors.

 

If the problem goes away on the comparison setup, then there is likely a defect on your M20s. I've yet to come across a headphone or IEM over 30 bucks that completely turns an otherwise decent tone to $hit unless it's broken.

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It's best not to draw conclusions without verifying first with another pair of headphones or monitors. I'm using the Ath-M30s and they sound as good as my monitors.

 

If the problem goes away on the comparison setup, then there is likely a defect on your M20s. I've yet to come across a headphone or IEM over 30 bucks that completely turns an otherwise decent tone to $hit unless it's broken.

 

Yes, that was my thought, really. It's one of the reasons why I asked if the OP had definitely got a [cab] block with or after the amp. Because headphones don't usually break that way.

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