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rychester63

Helix direct live

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When using a XLR cable to go to either mixing board or snake, your volume ( output ) wheel on the Helix should be set where for best S/N ratio?

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Assuming that the XLR goes to the FOH board, and the 1/4" goes to your stage monitor, in GLOBAL set the big knob for 1/4" only. Let the sound guy handle your FOH level while you use the big knob for your stage level. S/N ratio on your stage monitor should be good with your amp up to it's max safe/no noise level, and big knob set to wherever you need it for your monitoring needs.

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In the digital age S/N ratios have kind of become inconsequential and meaningless.  Except, of course, for my mother when I was a teenager and who could hear me grumbling up in my room behind a closed door when she was downstairs in the kitchen....

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i'll explain how i run mine and see what you guys think.

XLR out of Helix to snake or mixer then turn output knob on the Helix all the way up.

I use to come out 1/4 to DI then XL to snake.

We run our own sound, so when I PFL .... attenuate my signal the gain on my channel is only at about 7-8 o'clock on the mixer.

So what  ( if you think I should ) turn  down on the Helix to lower my signal to the board since there are many options, I have the output knob on the Helix turned all the way up so my volume stays consistant and would prefer to keep it that way if possible. I just want to know whats the best way to go.

I do not use any other outputs on the Helix as I have a stage monitor fed from the mixer to hear myself.

 

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You can Check our this hand video by Line 6. 

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2 hours ago, rychester63 said:

i'll explain how i run mine and see what you guys think.

XLR out of Helix to snake or mixer then turn output knob on the Helix all the way up.

I use to come out 1/4 to DI then XL to snake.

We run our own sound, so when I PFL .... attenuate my signal the gain on my channel is only at about 7-8 o'clock on the mixer.

So what  ( if you think I should ) turn  down on the Helix to lower my signal to the board since there are many options, I have the output knob on the Helix turned all the way up so my volume stays consistant and would prefer to keep it that way if possible. I just want to know whats the best way to go.

I do not use any other outputs on the Helix as I have a stage monitor fed from the mixer to hear myself.

 

 

If you're good with your stage monitor level being controlled from the FOH board's monitor mix - everybody gets the same mix, too bad if you can't hear yourself, because if you ask the sound guy (you if you're doing your own sound) to turn you up in the monitor somebody else says you're too loud - you're good.

 

I use a two channel active monitor. The board's monitor mix goes in one channel, the 1/4" out from the Helix goes in the other. That way, If I'm too loud in either the FOH or MONITOR mix, the sound guy can do whatever he wants with my signal, I control MY level in MY monitor with the big knob, and it doesn't affect the level that goes to the board. EVERYBODY is happy. The only thing I'll add to the way I described setting up the Helix in my previous post is that the XLR/LINE OUT (when not controlled from the big knob) is a pretty hot signal. Depending on your board, you MAY have to set the XLR OUT to MIC if it's too hot on LINE.

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5 hours ago, rychester63 said:

i'll explain how i run mine and see what you guys think.

XLR out of Helix to snake or mixer then turn output knob on the Helix all the way up.

I use to come out 1/4 to DI then XL to snake.

We run our own sound, so when I PFL .... attenuate my signal the gain on my channel is only at about 7-8 o'clock on the mixer.

So what  ( if you think I should ) turn  down on the Helix to lower my signal to the board since there are many options, I have the output knob on the Helix turned all the way up so my volume stays consistant and would prefer to keep it that way if possible. I just want to know whats the best way to go.

I do not use any other outputs on the Helix as I have a stage monitor fed from the mixer to hear myself.

 

 

The "best" way to go varies with your circumstances.  I go direct XLR out from the Helix to the board but use an inline phantom power blocker just to be safe.  In the global ins/outs I specified that the master volume doesn't affect my XLR out and that the XLR out is set to Mic level, which would be the normal level that goes into a mixing board.  This accomplishes the same thing as you're doing but also has a couple of other advantages.  By disconnecting the master volume from the XLR out, the XLR out sends a full signal (as if the master volume was turned all the way up) to the board, but it still allows me to use the master volume to control the on stage level to my monitor which is connected via the 1/4" out on the Helix.

 

As far as PFL'ing your signal that depends on your gain staging strategy at the board.  In my case I prefer to adjust gains/trims so that all channel inputs are just below unity on the signal meter and make mixing adjustments at the faders.  The amount you have to adjust the gain on the trim knob is irrelevant as long as you have a consistent signal level on the meters at the board and it stays consistent across all of your presets or snapshots.  I do this when I dial in my patches using the signal meter on my mixing board to ensure it's consistent across all patches and snapshots.

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On 6/14/2018 at 12:50 AM, rychester63 said:

XLR out of Helix to snake or mixer then turn output knob on the Helix all the way up.

This sounds non-ideal to me. I can't find a datasheet right now, but I'm sure the Helix can output more than 0 dBu on it's XLR outputs as I've driven a Behringer DCX 2496 with it, which runs at +22 dBu = 0 dbFS. So turning your Helix all the way up could easily drive the XLRs (and 1/4" 's) towards levels that may increase distortion on the output amplifiers.

 

On 6/14/2018 at 5:58 AM, DunedinDragon said:

In the global ins/outs I specified that the master volume doesn't affect my XLR out and that the XLR out is set to Mic level, which would be the normal level that goes into a mixing board.

 

I agree with the first part and partly disagree with the second. I also reserve the physical volume knob for the 1/4" outs so I can adjust my stage monitor while feeding feeding a constant signal to the FOH. I would not set it to Mic level unless required though as that makes the Helix attentuate the signal, send it over a possibly very long XLR cable, then have the mixer's preamp amplify it again. If possible, it's much better to output line level and either use the mixer's input Pad (usually -20 dB) or, if the mixer only has a 1/4" line input, use a passive DI box in reverse where you "convert" from XLR to 1/4". Of course that last option may not be convienent when you have time pressure, so it's easier to set the Helix to Mic out as Dunedin said and just go with it.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, dragonfet said:

 

 

This sounds non-ideal to me. I can't find a datasheet right now, but I'm sure the Helix can output more than 0 dBu on it's XLR outputs as I've driven a Behringer DCX 2496 with it, which runs at +22 dBu = 0 dbFS. So turning your Helix all the way up could easily drive the XLRs (and 1/4" 's) towards levels that may increase distortion on the output amplifiers.

 

 

I agree with the first part and partly disagree with the second. I also reserve the physical volume knob for the 1/4" outs so I can adjust my stage monitor while feeding feeding a constant signal to the FOH. I would not set it to Mic level unless required though as that makes the Helix attentuate the signal, send it over a possibly very long XLR cable, then have the mixer's preamp amplify it again. If possible, it's much better to output line level and either use the mixer's input Pad (usually -20 dB) or, if the mixer only has a 1/4" line input, use a passive DI box in reverse where you "convert" from XLR to 1/4". Of course that last option may not be convienent when you have time pressure, so it's easier to set the Helix to Mic out as Dunedin said and just go with it.

 

 

 

As far as sending a full signal from the Helix output, that's actually exactly what Line 6 recommends in the manual i.e. turning the Helix master volume level full on.  I personally don't do that, but I haven't seen any problems with the full XLR output at mic level being gain staged appropriately at the mixing board whether it be an analog mixer of digital mixer over the last 2 years.  I guess I could imagine a scenario might exist on some more obscure mixer situation, but no real world situations I've run  across .  I could imagine sending a full line level signal might be more problematic if some older mixing board wasn't capable of applying a pad to the signal, but that situation would be pretty rare I would think.

 

As far as using a mic level signal for a signal input into a mixing board that's been the norm in live situations due to less line attenuation over long distances for decades.  In today's world of mixers it probably wouldn't matter as the preamps on mixers have improved considerably, so whatever one is comfortable with.  In terms of noise or loss of signal, the thinking is that mic level will be less noisy and with less attenuation, but in practice I'm not sure anyone could really tell the difference in a double blind test of properly gain staged signals in today's environment.  I see no real reason to use mic level signals to a on stage powered speaker as it's not going to be a long distance, and line level is what is normally sent as output from non powered mixing boards to fronts and monitors anyway.

 

Bottom line, use whatever you're most comfortable with as long as the sound guy understands what he's receiving.  He should be able to gain stage it appropriately without losing signal integrity.  If not, it's a simple change in global settings to correct it.

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Ok, so if I go into Global settings and switch from line to mic xlr output my signal won't be as hot, correct.

The option before that, 1/4 " output what's the difference between the options of Line or Instrument cause I might go back to using a DI for safety purposes and that's where I run out of.

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This is what I do. In the Global -> Ins/Outs, there is an option called "Volume Knob Controls". You can then set what outputs the volume knob controls. I set it to only control the 1/4" outputs. When you set it that way the XLR's output level will the same as if the Volume Knob was turned all the way up. You can then use the 1/4" outputs for monitoring and control the output of those with the Volume Knob. The knob won't change the XLR ouput level.

Regarding Line/Mic out of XLR, yes the Mic setting will be lower...a lot lower. 

Regarding Line or Instrument level for the 1/4" outputs, the simple explanation is to use Instrument level if you're plugging into anything you would plug your guitar into. Line for anything else and only use the left/mono output if what you're going into has a single input, leaving the right output unplugged. Don't have a cable in it that's just hanging.That is a major oversimplification but should do for now.

Regarding all three levels, mic is the lowest, line the highest with instrument level at the lower mid level between the two. Hope this helps.

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2 hours ago, rychester63 said:

Ok, so if I go into Global settings and switch from line to mic xlr output my signal won't be as hot, correct.

The option before that, 1/4 " output what's the difference between the options of Line or Instrument cause I might go back to using a DI for safety purposes and that's where I run out of.

Correct. I run mine at mic level to FOH. 

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7 hours ago, rychester63 said:

Ok, so if I go into Global settings and switch from line to mic xlr output my signal won't be as hot, correct.

The option before that, 1/4 " output what's the difference between the options of Line or Instrument cause I might go back to using a DI for safety purposes and that's where I run out of.

 

You don't really have to go back to using a DI box.  You can also just get a phantom power blocker and put it inline with your XLR out.  Provides the same level of protection from phantom power.

 

Just for reference, line and instrument levels apply to 1/4" outs because they are the standards used for line inputs into powered speakers or instrument inputs into guitar amps and such.  The XLR is not as hot because it's at the same level as a standard microphone input which is normally an XLR that goes into a mixing board.  The actual level used is controlled at the mixing board by the gain/trim knob on the preamp for that channel and is set to an appropriate level by the soundman as the first step in gain staging during sound checks.

 

You'll understand the importance of having the 1/4" and XLR outputs controlled separately if you're using DI box for both 1/4" and XLR the first time you reach down and turn up your master volume control during a set to get more stage volume and the soundman comes after you with an axe handle for messing up his front of house mix....

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rd2rk summed it up quick and perfect. XLR set to mic and sent to board. 1/4 to monitor. Global controls 1/4 inch. 

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11 minutes ago, jmwhite38 said:

rd2rk summed it up quick and perfect. XLR set to mic and sent to board. 1/4 to monitor. Global controls 1/4 inch. 

 

Add DD's point about using a phantom power blocker.

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