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Volume block location


MikeDV1
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Wondering about the volume pedal/block location in presets.  Most/all of the factory presets put the volume block very early in the preset - right at the very first part.  I have always used a volume pedal directly after the preamp (whether modeling or with analog gear).  This way I control the guitar signal to the preamp with my guitar's volume pedal, and this controls the nature of the sound that ends up hitting the fx.  Placing the volume pedal before the preamp gives another change in that preamp tone - if I want the volume to go up or down, but not change the tone or amount of "dirt", if I keep the guitar maxed but decrease the volume pedal, volume goes down but tone changes as well if the volume block is before the preamp/amp block.  Because of that, I'm always annoyed by the factory presets because if I want to keep one as a template or whatever, the first thing I always have to do is move the volume block because this is my default setup.

 

As I was being annoyed again, I had the crazy thought that this:  wasn't only annoying to me, but that means that other people (especially the authors of the factory presets) actually do this wrong (sarcasm) on purpose.  Got me wondering what others think or do with the volume pedal.  Placement relative to wah/compressor/etc. that may be early in a preset have considerations, but just looking at simple guitar>amp>effects>out scenario here.  In the Helix world, I use the amp only (sometimes only the  preamp) not the amp+speaker - I really don't use IRs anyway.  If I did, not sure where I would put the volume block - pre- the "speaker" IR, or post-, before they hit the effect.

 

So - what do others do?  Are the factory presets done this way purposefully just to annoy me personally, is it just for ease of mass producing presets for the Helix, is this the norm for most folks, or...?  

 

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You might as well stop looking for objective truth here, because there isn't any. Before volume/expression pedals existed, if you wanted to incorporate volume swells into your playing, you were stuck doing it with the volume knob on the guitar... the equivalent of placing the volume block before the amp model. It's a perfectly acceptable way to do things... as is placing it after the amp and before any effects. It merely depends on one's personal preference, and what you're actually trying to accomplish. Some guys just want to use it as a boost, or as a quick-access master volume control on stage. In those cases,  you'd want the volume block dead last in the signal chain. It's all fine if produces the end result that you want/need. 

 

The notion that there's a "right" and "wrong" way to do it, is ridiculous. As for their choice of default volume block placement in the factory patches.... they have to stick it somewhere, and like most things, no matter where they put it, somebody's gonna get a wild hair.

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Not really look for, or expecting, any objective truth.  As I said pretty clearly that "wrong" use is sarcastic. I know my preference is just that - a preference.  Just wondering how others look at it.  Obviously, what I think is "right"...right?  Some people actually refuse to...do things exactly as I say!  Disgraceful.

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Why L6 does things the way they do is one of the great mysteries of (a musician's) life!

Placing it BEFORE distortions/preamps can allow you to increase gain and volume at the same time. Before snapshots, that made a certain sense.

Placing it AFTER preamps and BEFORE delays allows you to fade out volume without cutting trails or affecting gain.

Placing it dead last can provide an overall volume boost/cut.

Put it where you want it!

As cruisinon2 said, no matter what they do, they'll never make everyone happy!

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And remember, as EACH block has a level control...  you can use the expression pedal to control the "volume" in places that were essentially impossible or at the very least very difficult in the real world.    

I you are controlling volume for leads...  you might increase gain, cut amp volume, boost the mids and upper mids, and bring some echo in to the mix...   you can do that all at the same time on a switch or controller.   

 

I personally see the volume block as a wasted block.   

 

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Interesting to see the volume block as wasted.  Playing with a singer and providing rhythm - if I want to play a fill between verses, I'll rock the volume up, then back down during vocals keeping the exact tone (I'll use the guitar volume knob if I WANT to change the tone for some reason) - especially in the digital world.  With analog it'll change a tiny bit if using the power amp for some tone, but that's my preference.  A dedicated footswtich to attenuate would work too, but no control over the amount (at least on the fly) - the exact perfect spot that works with the singer or other instrument may vary.  I also like to use it for swells into the delay or verb.  I like to keep that exact tone to drive the fx.  My ability to use the guitar volume for swells is probably less than it could be, but I find it easier to use a volume pedal.

 

Haven't really explored placing that control in other places, like fx amounts, gain +-, or changes in EQ.  Going to experiment with that a bit.  Used (still use) a Triaxis and it has those capabilities in it's software, but never used it that way either. The darn expression pedals can be used in so many places (wah, whammy, volume, etc.) you've got to pick and choose, or line up more pedals.

 

Cool stuff, love to hear other folks outlook on this.  Of course, I expect Line 6 to change all this to my (the "correct") way in future firmware updates.  I mean, if someone isn't happy with how they set stuff up, it certainly shouldn't be me! 

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I guess I see the volume pedal in the old school way in that it's the same as rolling off the volume on the guitar.  I have my volume pedal at the beginning of every patch.  It's primarily because I often change guitars so I use it to kill the signal while I do that.  Rarely I might use it to attenuate the volume, but generally I can control that simply through technique.  But there are cases in which I want to roll off some of the sound and tone the same as I would by rolling back the guitar volume.

 

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Me personally I put the volume block after my compressors and overdrives, sometimes after my amp. If you put the volume block at the front of your signal chain, it is just like rolling off the volume pot on the guitar, so it's redundant. 

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Everyone has their own preference. On my analog board and now on my Helix, I always have my noise gate first (get rid of Fender hum), then my compressor, then my volume pedal . . . and then OD, fuzz, etc . This way the volume pedal increases volume as well as drive into the ODs and amp, like using the volume knob. However, I always place the compressor BEFORE the volume so my cleaner quieter sounds still sound full and smooth. Thus, it replaces the volume knob on my guitar, but after the compressor. I don't like simply pulling back the volume knob on the guitar, which pulls back level to the ODs/amp, but also to the compressor, negating its effect on my clean sound, which is where I really like it. YMMV of course.

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clumsy wording
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On 4/12/2018 at 11:43 AM, mileskb said:

I personally see the volume block as a wasted block.   

 

I just see it as another option... especially since they have given it the "taper option". You only need to utilize a Volume Pedal block if it is important to you. 

 

I believe you alluded to this already, but I'll expand. If you don't have a spare block, you can always assign an expression pedal to the output of any given effect which will pretty much accomplish the same thing... but that will always be linear! If that works for a particular user... great, but if a user needs a LOG taper, the volume pedal block is a great option. 

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As others here have noted volume block placement is strictly a matter of personal preference. I put mine after everything including my amp/cab but before any delay based effects like reverb or delay so that their tails don't get cutoff when I go heel-down on the expression pedal. I use the volume knob on my guitar in the conventional manner to control the amount of signal driving the amp and effects, like for example, the  distortion block. The guitar's volume control changes the character of the blocks it is driving and the expression pedal is strictly for volume control and swells. This approach gives the volume knob on my guitar and the expression pedal distinctly different functions. The volume block is always set to logarithmic because swells sound much better that way.

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