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bryaneaves

Helix Stereo -- OMG!

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I have been researching what speakers to get for weeks now.  So much so I became sick of thinking about it.  This is for home use only, but a fairly large room at home.  I have been struggling between a really high quality single speaker or two lesser speakers to allow stereo.  I was prepared to get a single expensive unit for now.  I had dinner this weekend with the lead guitarist of a very famous band and discussed this with him.  He has just stared using a Fractal for overseas performances to help with equipment travel internationally.  He was resistant at first, but has become a fan of modelling.  He was very complimentary of the Helix and strongly recommended that I go ahead with two 12 inch speakers instead of the single.  He said since I've never experienced a stereo set up it will change my world.

So I got two of the latest Alto TS312's and connected them last night.  A lot of my patches were downloaded and some of them are in stereo even though I didn't know it because I've only been using mono.  Dialing through all the presets it becomes instantly obvious which ones stereo.  I have to say, when I hit the first stereo patch and played the first note I was without words.  This is the absolute best sounding thing I have ever experienced.  I'm sure I'll get used to it and it will be no big deal, but right now I'm completely overwhelmed and all I want to do is play.  I want to make ALL of my patches stereo.  It is the ultimate ear candy.  I have never been happier with a purchase.  Both the Helix and these speakers.  For my situation at home, this is perfection!

Is there an easy quick way of make existing mono patches stereo, or do I need to start over with each one and build it to be stereo from the ground up? I'm running these two Alto's via separate XLR's.

Also, backing tracks...how do you guys incorporate backing tracks into this setup?  The guy at Guitar Center said I need to get a stereo mixer and come out of the helix with two xlr's into two xlr inputs on the mixer, then out of the mixer with two more xlr's into the speaker.  Then I would be able to integrate the backing tracks at the mixer.  Is this the best way?

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As far as Presets, the important things to remember is, amps and cabs are mono. Any stereo effects placed before those will get collapsed to mono, so any effects before those only need to be mono. Effects after those can be stereo. Using a Stereo effect after the amp and cab will output stereo with the way you have your rig setup.

 

Using a mixer for playing backing tracks is one way to do it. I have a mixer and that's the way I do it. But, you can play your backing tracks through the Helix without a mixer. Here is a couple of links to get you going with that.

 

 

 

 

 

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The HX dual cabs put one cab in each side.  This makes for a nice stereo field, even without wet effects (reverb, selay, chorus, etc).

 

If you have a Variax, running model to one side and Mags to the other is almost a double track guitar effect.

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23 hours ago, bryaneaves said:

He said since I've never experienced a stereo set up it will change my world.

 

And he's right :-)

 

Not always so much use live, but enormous fun for practice and recording.

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23 hours ago, bryaneaves said:

Is there an easy quick way of make existing mono patches stereo, or do I need to start over with each one and build it to be stereo from the ground up? I'm running these two Alto's via separate XLR's.

 

Not that I know about - you just have to go through them and make sure that all blocks after the speakers are stereo, not mono (pick from the block menu and check for the interlinked circles 'half-Audi' stereo symbol next to the block device name).

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Regarding backing tracks (which for me reside on my iPhone), I bought a cheap ($35, Amazon) Bluetooth audio transmitter and connected its L and R outputs (via RCA), one each to each to my two Yamaha DXR-10 frfr speakers. This has been a great solution for me, as the tracks are easily accessible on my phone and I can simply mix the volume level using the iPhone itself. The only downside is a loud Bluetooth handshake when it powers on. 

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Because your Altos have two separate inputs, connect your Helix left and right into input one on each speaker and the left and right from your mp3 source to input two on each speaker. I’m using a Helix LT and an iPad with my music collection loaded on it running into two Alto Troupers in this way and it sounds superb and you have control over the levels of each device via the speakers input level controls. 

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On 5/6/2018 at 4:43 PM, roscoe5 said:

If you have a Variax, running model to one side and Mags to the other is almost a double track guitar effect.

 

Why oh why have I not tried this yet!?!

 

BRB

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Awesome information in here guys.  Thank you so much.  I was in my local Guitar Center and got talked into a little Yamaha stereo mixer so I'm able to introduce stereo backing tracks through it.  Working great.  About 2 weeks into my stereo setup at home and I'm quite spoiled.  I"m afraid I may never want to use my amps again; which is a little sad considering the cash I have in them but nevertheless not a bad problem to have.  

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12 minutes ago, bryaneaves said:

Awesome information in here guys.  Thank you so much.  I was in my local Guitar Center and got talked into a little Yamaha stereo mixer so I'm able to introduce stereo backing tracks through it.  Working great.  About 2 weeks into my stereo setup at home and I'm quite spoiled.  I"m afraid I may never want to use my amps again; which is a little sad considering the cash I have in them but nevertheless not a bad problem to have.  

 

You can use the mixer, but you don't "need" it. Helix is fully functional as an interface. Connect your monitors straight to Helix, and you can easily play along to stereo backing tracks... no external mixer required.

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On 5/7/2018 at 10:50 AM, BBD_123 said:

 

And he's right :-)

 

Not always so much use live, but enormous fun for practice and recording.

I always run stereo on stage - up to the FOH guy if he wants stereo or mono for the house.  Easy enough, just use the one XLR out if he wants mono, Helix sums it.

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29 minutes ago, ricstudioc said:

I always run stereo on stage - up to the FOH guy if he wants stereo or mono for the house.  Easy enough, just use the one XLR out if he wants mono, Helix sums it.

 

Yes, of course, it was a throwaway remark. Sometimes you want it live, sometimes you don't. Sometimes you get it from the sound guy, sometimes you don't. No idea why Willjrock downvoted me on that. Downvoting is for when people say something really objectionable or seriously contentious. Weird.

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34 minutes ago, BigJayBrian said:

Does it really add anything for recordings since guitars are (mostly) double tracked?

 

Huh? Double tracked guitars are almost always panned hard left and right... you never leave them up the middle. Hard to do that without stereo.

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Maybe that's what BigJayBrian is alluding to - take 2 lush stereo performances, pan them hard left and hard right, and you may as well have had 2 mono performances (which would have had less chance of frequencies being cancelled out during the stereo->mono summing).

 

My hard-panned patches are all mono. But patches that I expect to have down the centre usually have stereo output showcasing the delay and reverb (albeit usually the legacy reverb since I don't trust the stereo image on the newer ones).

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There's no disputing Stereo signals through Helix are spectacular!

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13 hours ago, kylotan said:

Maybe that's what BigJayBrian is alluding to - take 2 lush stereo performances, pan them hard left and hard right, and you may as well have had 2 mono performances (which would have had less chance of frequencies being cancelled out during the stereo->mono summing).

yep, this is what i meant, sorry if it wasn't clear.

 

And when playing live, you kinda get the same problem. (From what i've been told) venues mostly play mono-tracks since they don't want each side of the scene to sound different.

 

It means that the audience only gets to hear the guitar as a mono-track. I'm not sure it is a good idea to build stereo tracks... 

I do it only for the presets that I use at home only

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Sometimes, even if the venue we are playing at can only do mono to FOH, I will run stereo to my in ears because it sounds so good. Very inspiring to my playing. Sounds huge. 

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16 hours ago, mjorden said:

Sometimes, even if the venue we are playing at can only do mono to FOH, I will run stereo to my in ears because it sounds so good. Very inspiring to my playing. Sounds huge. 

This is what I meant - ALWAYS stereo on stage for me - sounds damn glorious and maybe I even play a little better/harder.  FOH - not my problem (tho I'll certainly work with the sound guy to optimize the front).

 

But I always wallow in the thick gooey goodness just for me....

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