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Everything is muffled!


boonsnic85
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Hi All,

 

Not sure what to do, but everything sounds muffled to me on the Helix LT. Factory Presets, purchased presets (fremen), from scratch presets, etc.

 

I am playing a Paul Reed Smith DGT and a Fender Standard Strat primarily, but have tested 5 or so other guitars of different sorts (hollowbody, mini humbuckers, noiseless vintage single coils, etc.) Speaker wise, I am using primarily a PowerCab, but have also played through an Alto 310, JBL LSR305 Studio Monitors, 4CM with a Boss Katana, and BeyerDynamic DT770 PRO headphones. All sound muffled.

 

Should a stock amp+cab be at least somewhat usable right out of the box? I am not expecting a gig / recording usable tone, but even a brand new patch with an A+C block sounds like someone threw all the pillows in my house on my amp / speakers...

 

Hopefully I can remember everything I have tried:

 

Global EQ is deactivated

Guitar Tone knob is turned up

Amp Block has adequate master an channel volumes

Guitar Pad is off in Global Settings

Helix > PC is set to use Line Level

Followed advise in Chad Boston's setup video

 

Thanks!!!

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Interesting. I’ve always found the Helix presets and default settings to be overly bright. Any other details you can provide? Is your guitar cable really long? Cable capacitance can be an issue when they’re really long. 

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Have you tried doing a factory reset? To do that you hold down footswitches 9 & 10 while powering up. Note, this will erase any presets you've added, so you'll want to make sure you have any you want to keep backed up. But it might be worth trying.

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11 minutes ago, hideout said:

Interesting. I’ve always found the Helix presets and default settings to be overly bright. Any other details you can provide? Is your guitar cable really long? Cable capacitance can be an issue when they’re really long. 

10 foot cable and have tried a variety of others.

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2 minutes ago, phil_m said:

Have you tried doing a factory reset? To do that you hold down footswitches 9 & 10 while powering up. Note, this will erase any presets you've added, so you'll want to make sure you have any you want to keep backed up. But it might be worth trying.

Plan on doing so tonight. Is the fs numbering top to bottom / left to right? Not sure which are 9 and 10.

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3 minutes ago, bodvur said:

Plan on doing so tonight. Is the fs numbering top to bottom / left to right? Not sure which are 9 and 10.

 

Yes, numbering is from left to right, starting at the top. So FS9&10 are the middle two on the bottom row.

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I would recheck all my connections and swap out cables and guitar to make sure they are not the problem. Pull everything out and re-plug it. Start with the simplest connection setup you can, no 4CM or the like.  Make sure the large black volume knob is cranked up at least halfway. There is definitely nothing muffled sounding in a properly functioning Helix or LT.

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Why dont you play a short simple rythm using one of the factory presets and maybe a couple of other members can do likewise, with the same preset, and then post here for comparison. even better if you could do two (use a reamp)...one before the reset and one after the reset.

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Just a stupid thing that's caught me a couple of times.  Have you checked that your guitar is plugged into the guitar input on the Helix and not inadvertantly into the Aux In on the Helix?  I can't say it sounds muffled when you do that as much as just kind of dead.

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Slightly off topic a little... and as a native user as well... I have found at times in my studio, that the tones created or bought can be a little muffled and need a bit of sparkle added to them... Often watch the vids of Freman or others and think how do they get it so clean and bright and when I add the same presets to my mixes I need a bit of clarity... Might be my cloth ears at times I know but.. still does seem a little strange.. imho... don't flame me please... :) 

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As someone who spent a lot of time manually porting effects from the Pod XT to the Helix, it's true that the Helix sounds very muffled compared to earlier modelling. I suspect this is partly a deliberate effort to stop the constant complaints of 'fizz'. However when I've played the Helix into a real cab (with the cab block disabled, obviously) neither myself nor anyone else in the band felt that there was any compromise in the tone compared to when I played a tube amp through that cab. Admittedly I only play with high gain which tends to have intrinsically more top-end. Still, I guess my question would be, "what are you comparing it to?"

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Think you might be right about the need to get rid of the "fizz" an that in its self might play a part a part.. And certainly playing live and using the Helix via a cab or PA system would help make it feel more real and lifelike.. just think that sometimes I can spend hours , erm yeah sad I know, getting a tone then try to drop that into a mix and it just vanishes or sounds way off.. and I think wtf! Then I look at the vids online or other people's mixes (that have used Helix) and think wow how did they do that.. My studio is no slouch and I think I have got most of the basics right as well... anyway its worth it for when you do nail it and it shines in a mix.. Just takes some work..

One thing that is interesting is when you see the videos of large bands in the studio and just how much time and effort that actually goes into producing an album and I think I kid myself on that I will be able to do the same with  just with a few presets in Helix and the hey presto I will sound like it too.. (might help if I had half the talent as well ;) 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Doug6String said:

It depends on what you mean by muffled and what sound you want, but I add EQ to every preset I make to "unmuffle" them, and I mostly use my own presets.  I do like some of Fremen's and yup, I add EQ to them.  

It's like it's being played in the next room or through a wall or pillows, etc... Just having trouble bringing out crispness and the high end of any amps. I can with ALOT of EQ and Compression on certain amps, but for the most part, everything is dull, lifeless, and muffled.

 

I wasn't thinking anything was wrong and it was just part of the learning curve. Then i looked up a lot of new amp demos or building from scratch videos. Every thing i watched / listened to, the moment anyone adds the Amp Block or Amp + Cab Block (new Lonestar for example), while it's not a great tone, it definitely sounds like an amp, and is very usable. When I load Amps or Amp+Cab, it sounds distant (regardless of mic / distance), and hollow.

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I know this is a simple suggestion, but have you tried a different cable? I just remembered this post from TGP from a few months ago where the guy was describing a somewhat similar thing to what you're describing, and in his case it turned out to be a bad cable: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/i-figured-out-exactly-why-i-dont-like-my-helix-lt-and-its-not-the-modeling-solved-bad-cable.1900248/

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5 minutes ago, phil_m said:

I know this is a simple suggestion, but have you tried a different cable? I just remembered this post from TGP from a few months ago where the guy was describing a somewhat similar thing to what you're describing, and in his case it turned out to be a bad cable: https://www.thegearpage.net/board/index.php?threads/i-figured-out-exactly-why-i-dont-like-my-helix-lt-and-its-not-the-modeling-solved-bad-cable.1900248/

Sounds very similar - will try all cables i own when i get home and record / compare to be certain. *fingers crossed*

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I'm sure this is probably not it, but I haven't seen it mentioned and I can't recall the specific parameters in the blocks....

 

 

but if it sounds distant, is it possible there is a wet/dry setting that is more on the wet and not allowing the direct signal through?  LIke if a Reverb was seting to 80% wet, you'd only hear the reverbed sound and not so much the actual signal?

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10 hours ago, kylotan said:

As someone who spent a lot of time manually porting effects from the Pod XT to the Helix, it's true that the Helix sounds very muffled compared to earlier modelling. I suspect this is partly a deliberate effort to stop the constant complaints of 'fizz'.

 

So now Hx is both muffled *and* fizzy... right.

 

:-)

 

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Just in the way of throwing out other possibilities also be aware that anything past 50% mix on any of the reverbs/delays is actually going to be mixing in more of the delay or reverb signal and less of the direct signal. At 100% you are getting only delay/reverb and no direct signal. This can definitely make for a muffled sound. Also phase inversion can cause this although it sounds like you are getting this in multiple monitoring scenarios so it is an unlikely cause.

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13 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

 

So now Hx is both muffled *and* fizzy... right.

 

:-)

 

 

i.e. The constant complaints of fizz regarding Line 6 products that existed prior to the Helix coming out.

 

I have a handful of complaints about the Helix but fizziness is not among them.

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Major discovery... I discovered that the output to PC / Headphones / Monitors sounds like I have described (muffled, lifeless, "behind a wall" sound). However, using the Helix as my audio Interface, the resulting recording sounds like I have been expecting the audio out to sound all along. That leads me to believe there may be something up with my XLR / Audio out. It was a Sweetwater Demo unit, and it may have been one for a reason? :P I am definitely leaning toward requesting a warranty swap.

 

Would the request go through Sweetwater or Line 6? Sweetwater's website page for reporting warranty issues doesn't work and I can't find anything on getting the process started via L6's website.

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6 hours ago, boonsnic85 said:

Major discovery... I discovered that the output to PC / Headphones / Monitors sounds like I have described (muffled, lifeless, "behind a wall" sound). However, using the Helix as my audio Interface, the resulting recording sounds like I have been expecting the audio out to sound all along. That leads me to believe there may be something up with my XLR / Audio out. It was a Sweetwater Demo unit, and it may have been one for a reason? :P I am definitely leaning toward requesting a warranty swap.

 

Would the request go through Sweetwater or Line 6? Sweetwater's website page for reporting warranty issues doesn't work and I can't find anything on getting the process started via L6's website.

 

You could probably go through either. Sweetwater generally has a two year warranty (same as Line6 currently in the US). They will often replace your unit with a new or repackaged one in short order rather then making you wait for a repair so you could start with them or go through the warranty process with Line6. Most people find the repair turnaround with Line6 to be pretty stellar as well. I would lean towards whichever one offered to pay for return shipping. I have found both Sweetwater and Line6 to be excellent regarding service. Btw, thought it worth mentioning that if you are running out to a monitor or FOH in mono make sure you use the left XLR output as it automatically sums the Helix's stereo path to mono. Also worth getting on a support call with Line6 before sending it back to either to make sure it is not a configuration issue.

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It would be quite odd if all 3 of your XLR, Audio Out, and Headphone Out were somehow broken, but the Digital Out was in perfect shape. I'm not saying it's impossible, but I agree with HonestOpinion, double-check to see if it's a configuration issue, and maybe try another one in a shop to see if it sounds different.

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On 7/14/2018 at 8:35 AM, boonsnic85 said:

Major discovery... I discovered that the output to PC / Headphones / Monitors sounds like I have described (muffled, lifeless, "behind a wall" sound). However, using the Helix as my audio Interface, the resulting recording sounds like I have been expecting the audio out to sound all along. That leads me to believe there may be something up with my XLR / Audio out. It was a Sweetwater Demo unit, and it may have been one for a reason? :P I am definitely leaning toward requesting a warranty swap.

 

Would the request go through Sweetwater or Line 6? Sweetwater's website page for reporting warranty issues doesn't work and I can't find anything on getting the process started via L6's website.

 

I'd call your Sweetwater sales rep... they are nothing if not responsive. As long as it's still under warranty, they will respond quickly. I've dealt with them before, and they're very good that way... not that L6 isn't, I've gone directly to them for service too, and was treated very well...but I'll bet money that you'll get a quicker answer from Sweetwater. They're obsessed with customer service... weird in today's world. Good, but weird, lol

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 9:49 PM, Jagman13 said:

Think you might be right about the need to get rid of the "fizz" an that in its self might play a part a part.. And certainly playing live and using the Helix via a cab or PA system would help make it feel more real and lifelike.. just think that sometimes I can spend hours , erm yeah sad I know, getting a tone then try to drop that into a mix and it just vanishes or sounds way off.. and I think wtf! Then I look at the vids online or other people's mixes (that have used Helix) and think wow how did they do that.. My studio is no slouch and I think I have got most of the basics right as well... anyway its worth it for when you do nail it and it shines in a mix.. Just takes some work..

One thing that is interesting is when you see the videos of large bands in the studio and just how much time and effort that actually goes into producing an album and I think I kid myself on that I will be able to do the same with  just with a few presets in Helix and the hey presto I will sound like it too.. (might help if I had half the talent as well ;) 

 

 

I hope you are solving the issue.
I wanted to comment on the statement above.  One of the least successful studio technicques is to create a tone in isolation.  Its the dreaded Solo button syndrome.  It took me years to stop EQing in solo and to start listening to tones in the context of the mix.  Thats the real beauty of a product like Helix...its easy to do this. Of course, once you have a tone that works really well in the mix, dont expect it to sound good on its own.

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  • 1 year later...
On 7/14/2018 at 1:35 PM, boonsnic85 said:

Major discovery... I discovered that the output to PC / Headphones / Monitors sounds like I have described (muffled, lifeless, "behind a wall" sound). However, using the Helix as my audio Interface, the resulting recording sounds like I have been expecting the audio out to sound all along. That leads me to believe there may be something up with my XLR / Audio out. It was a Sweetwater Demo unit, and it may have been one for a reason? :P I am definitely leaning toward requesting a warranty swap.

 

Would the request go through Sweetwater or Line 6? Sweetwater's website page for reporting warranty issues doesn't work and I can't find anything on getting the process started via L6's website.

 

Hi there. 

 

Did you have any luck with this issue.  I have the exact same problem and have been tearing my hair out for months over it.  Recorded sounds great, monitors/Headrush/PA sound like they're under water.  I too have come to the conclusion threre is a problem with the unit.

 

Thanks.

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15 minutes ago, morty75 said:

 

Hi there. 

 

Did you have any luck with this issue.  I have the exact same problem and have been tearing my hair out for months over it.  Recorded sounds great, monitors/Headrush/PA sound like they're under water.  I too have come to the conclusion threre is a problem with the unit.

 

Thanks.

 

Is your Global EQ on?

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  • 6 months later...

I have a similar problem as the original poster. Just got my Pod Go, and all amps lack a lot of the frequencies or something. It sounds like an old telephone, and nothing like the examples I've seen on youtube.

 

edit: I can't complain. I found that some youtube videos show a similar sound as I get from my own unit.

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On 10/23/2020 at 9:45 AM, podgo500 said:

I have a similar problem as the original poster. Just got my Pod Go, and all amps lack a lot of the frequencies or something. It sounds like an old telephone, and nothing like the examples I've seen on youtube.

 

edit: I can't complain. I found that some youtube videos show a similar sound as I get from my own unit.

 

Other video examples notwithstanding, muffled sound is neither normal, nor desirable. You are experiencing the same growing pains that plague essentially everyone when they're new to modeling, regardless of the device in question. A modeler is not a guitar amp, and can't be treated as such... you're creating recorded tones, not live "amp in the room" sound that you're likely used to. There are numerous youtube tutorials that can guide you through getting started...Jason Sadites' channel in particular has a bunch of Helix and Pod Go specific videos. Start there, and be prepared to spend a significant amount of time experimenting before you're comfortable with your new toy... there's not much in the way of instant gratification with this stuff.

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  • 2 months later...

Hi, 

I recently purchased  a HX Stomp and I'm experiencing the same issue mentioned in above messages. 

What it's strange is that I purchased a patch from a professional guitar player who posted his demo with that patch.

At the same time he's playing in the video I play in the and the two sounds are different.

They should sound the same...

Anyone solved the problem?

 

Thanks, 

Alessandro

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15 hours ago, Alessandror1 said:

They should sound the same...

 

 

That's a very common assumption... trouble is, it's never true. There are numerous variables beyond the patch you bought. It was dialed in with guitars and pickups you don't have, on a different output device(s), in a different listening environment, and at an unknown volume... the volume is particularly significant. And if you're comparing it to some demo video you've seen, all bets are off as you've no idea how much post processing may have been done after the fact. And if all that isn't enough, there's the fact that any given tone can sound very different in a mix compared to playing solo. There will never be perfect 1:1 tonal continuity from one player to the next when the only common denominator is the patch... and as you've already seen, sometimes the difference is night and day. There are simply too many variables.

 

Save your money and learn to create your own tones... it's the only way. You can buy all the patches you want, from every "professional" under the sun, and the same thing is gonna happen every time.

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Hi, thanks so much for your prompt answer.

I just add some comment here.

I come from an experience with Guitar Rig and I compare with that tool. The problem is that the difference is too big, not in terms of single type of sound, but about the overall experience of the sound. I know the sounds are very different, but I hear a difference even on the total bypassed sound (without blocks activated).

Guitar Rig is playing inside my ear, HX Stomp sounds so far away.

That's why I believe there's something wrong in my chain.

 

I know the product is great because I had too many positive feedbacks, but I don't feel it. So I'm wondering if there is any basic setup I'm missing. Input gate, output, EQ etc.

Just any tip is appreciated.

 

Thanks again!

Alessandro

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How are your ears? If you’ve been playing rock in a band for year, you probably have hearing loss, like many of us. For me, if the volume is down, I don’t hear the high end. If I just turn the level in the speaker or headphones up, then there’s the highs! Its just my ears don’t hear the highs at even moderately low volumes. 

 

Be sure to protect your ears by keeping levels under 90dB for long periods of time, and use IEMs as much as possible. I wish I had.

 

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Hi, I would dream to have played years in a rock band. Unfortunately not. 

I'm playing only through earphones akg612 pro and my feeling is based on the difference with guitar rig 6 and with demo from YouTube.

Is there any setting I'm missing, like gate, out, EQ ( which I didn't touch at all)?

 

Thanks again.

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  • 6 months later...
On 1/14/2021 at 4:29 PM, Alessandror1 said:

Hi, I would dream to have played years in a rock band. Unfortunately not. 

I'm playing only through earphones akg612 pro and my feeling is based on the difference with guitar rig 6 and with demo from YouTube.

Is there any setting I'm missing, like gate, out, EQ ( which I didn't touch at all)?

 

Thanks again.

Hey mate, same issue for me: was coming from Guitar Rig 6, amazing sound and now on Helix Floor everything sounds muffled/flat or like you describe (and this was also the first thing I thought when I used the Helix for the first time): "distant". I am starting to realize from reading forums that some people may simply not be sensitive to this (or that we got too used to an "in your face" type of sound). Although after tweaking my guitar knobs and making homemade Helix presets, I figured out a few ways to get close to that "in your face" sound but it certainly is not easy and I am still not 100% happy... I am personally thinking about giving it another ~7-10 days of testing and return it if I still cannot get a series of sounds/tones I 100% like :(

 

EDIT/SOLUTION: for whoever else who initially faced the same "issue" coming from a "I used to play in front of my amp" background, the "distance" felt in the Helix factory presets comes for the most part from the amp+cab block (instead of simply using an amp block or because the cab options are garbage) and sometimes a lack of reverb (for the volume). For me, I never realized (I was a kid back then) that my father's "amp" was really an amp-cab combo... but obviously it was not mic-ed since I was simply listening to it direct. I understood this misconception today after creating a preset from scratch and testing one by one the amps without a mic-ed cabinet, and now I am finally enjoying the sound I know and like! I will do some more testing but I am likely to keep my Helix now.

 

On a not so unrelated subject, I feel strongly that Line 6 should do a MUCH better job at "taking on board" their customers. People like me who had no previous experience using mic-ed cabinets are most likely the same ones commenting about flat/distant sound, also and this should be a priority: the initial Helix setup and firmware update should REALLY be streamlined: it was a pain in the butt to figure out where and what to download in terms of softwares/drivers because the bloody manual as never been updated (which mention ASIO drivers, now included in the HX Edit...). Hello Line 6, we are in 2021, and honestly even back in 2016, this should have already been a plug-and-play device. You most likely lost quite a few customers who returned their product because of stuff like this (I almost did myself).

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