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alzoxp

Replacing Amp with FRFR for live (never using FOH)

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Hi everyone, I am fairly new to this forum

I have searched up and down this forum and many other forums and I can't seem to find the assurances or understanding I'm looking for so I am hoping you guys can help.
 

I play in a rock covers band and we gig on average between 35 to 40 times per year.  I currently play live with an Orange CR120 head and 2x12 orange cab.  Using a Boss GT10.

 

I bought the Helix and I have yet to take it out live yet.  I have been dabbling with some presets through my DAW and studio monitors trying various things and getting to grips with process.  I can kinda get good tones for what I want through the monitors and truth be told when plugged into the effects return or the 4cm method in my Orange I can certainly get some decent tones out of it (significantly better than the BOSS). I am hesitant to fully commit to setting it up with my amp or commit to a new system like FRFR.

 

I also want to downsize my gear as well has having access to cab simulations and have read and watched some stuff on the FRFR market.  My local shop have offered me the Headrush FRFR and this really appeals to me. I am also considering getting 2 and running in stereo.

 

When i do some digging about FRFR a lot of people talk about how great it sounds and then you can it send to front of house (FOH) and this is where my main worry comes in about FRFR. I will try to line up my questions as best I can.

If I bought the Headrush FRFR (any owners out there?) can I get the benefit of the awesome tone that helix provides and it being used like an on stage amp (behind me on the backline tradiitonal amp style) without the need of integrating to the front of house?  The reason I ask is i get the impression in these scenarios I have read about that the FOH guy handles the outward sound and the monitor is pointed back at you like a traditional vocal monitor for your onstage sound. We do all our gigs with a back-line and a vocal PA only and on occasion we only mic the bass drum up.

 

I know that my overall tone will change as its basically an upgrade for all my gear and the Headrush can sit on stage angled like a monitor but those of you who have shifted from traditional amps to FRFR how is your onstage setup? Do any of you have the FRFR behind you and treat it like a traditional amplifier?

Do you have it raised on a stand or can it sit on the floor at the angle?

Have you experienced any issues or surprises making the shift or any regrets perhaps?

I have another guitar player/singer with also a bass player and drummer that I am hoping to not negatively impact them with a massive dynamic change on my side of the stage that may throw them off their game. Anyone who made the shift how did it affect your band-mates?

 

I know its a long post and perhaps a bit sporadic in structure but I am very grateful for any advice you can offer 

 

Thank you so much

 

Alzo

 

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I’m a brand new helix/headrush frfr user. 

 

It sounds to me like you’re thinking about this way too hard :). 

The FRFR speaker/amp are the  best way to reproduce and deliver a modeler’s tone.   It essentially, they’re no different than what your regular amp would do.  

 

So yes, you can use it just like an amp.  All that matters is that you’re happy with the tone you’re getting.

I gigged my helix last week with a crappy little “FRFR” speaker (I only got the headrush a day later alas),  it was a small club that doesn’t mix and mix instruments in the PA, so I used it just like an amp.  It worked super well.

 

Connecting a FRFR speaker (or helix directly) to the FOH is really just a bonus.  But it’s really the same thing as mic’ing the amp to the FOH.  Except your tone is already going through an FRFR system so no need for mics or any other “conversion tool”.

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I appreciate the detailed post because it makes it much easier to respond to you.  You have no idea how rare that is around here...

 

I exclusively use a FRFR setup using a Yamaha DXR12 as my speaker.  I'm in an 8 piece band and we have a similar setup to yours in terms of a normal backline situation.  Although we commonly go direct into the mixing board with our instruments, there are several cases in which we only send the vocals, harmonica, and congas through the PA and depend on the backline stage sound for everything else in smaller venues.  My setup is the same either way in that I have my DXR12 on a half height speaker pole positioned behind me.  There's a lot of good reasons for doing it this way.  First, these monitors are designed to have a wide horizontal spread of sound and a much more limited vertical spread of sound.  If positioned in a wedge position either in front of you or behind you, your bandmates far to your left or right won't get much of the benefit due to what would normally be the limited vertical spread.  However, positioned upright on a pole it has exactly the same effect as a normal PA speaker as that what it is.  So in a smaller venue it simply augments the FOH speakers in that it has the same kind of long distance throw as a normal FOH speaker. It makes for the best of all worlds for both you, the audience, and your bandmates.

 

As far as going with a full FRFR setup, you'll likely need to make some adjustments to what you're used to with a conventional cabinet.  I've been doing this type of setup for so long (about 6 years now) that I get a bit frustrated when I use a cabinet because I'm so used to the clarity and definition of the FRFR speaker cabinets seem muffled to me.  I'm a bit concerned about your choice of speaker quite frankly though.  In the powered speaker market you pretty much get what you pay for, and the Headrush is more or less the lower end of the market.  You may be fine with it, and many people do use it, but it all depends on the style of music you play and how critical you are about exacting tones that you dial in.  We play a very wide range of genres including rock, blues, jazz, rockabilly, R&B/Funk, and I use a variety of guitars, so I'm pretty much OCD when it comes to getting the tone right for a given song.  If your band is more specific in genre it may not be that big a deal to you.

 

The best way I found to adapt to doing FRFR live is to think of it like I'm dialing in my sound for a studio session and what I'm trying to achieve is a studio sound live.  If you think of it that way you won't be thrown off by the whole "amp in the room" thing that bothers a lot of people, because there is no "amp in the room" sound in studio recordings.  This also means you'll need to be much more attentive to the things that are relevant to studio production such as compression, cabinets/IRs, mic usage, mic positioning, and EQ to get the finished, polished sound you would normally want in a studio.  You'll hear a lot about using high and low cuts due to the expanded responsiveness of a FRFR speaker, which is true to a certain degree, but not always a given depending on the amp, the cabinet, mic and mic positioning.  In effect you need to develop your ability to hear what frequencies are problematic and the different ways you can go about correcting them.

 

The biggest transition is in dialing in your tone.  It's important to be as near as you can to performance volume levels in order to not be fooled by the Fletcher-Munson effect.  And you definitely want to dial in your tones through the FRFR.  The main thing to remember is FRFR speakers are specifically designed for long projection of sound and will be much more harsh close up to the speaker.  This is the reason you don't seat people right in front of a PA speaker, because it takes a certain amount of distance to resolve the mix between the horn and speaker.  I normally stand 6 feet or more away from the speaker and often off axis to check my tone when I'm dialing it in.  My biggest issue is often getting too aggressive with high cuts.  What sometimes sounds right in isolation is far too muffled when combined with the rest of the band.

 

Hopefully that helps you or gives you some ideas about how to approach this.

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I usually go direct to FOH / Monitors but that only works when you get your own monitor mix, and the gear meets a certain standard. 

 

For those times when I need a full range setup that blasts from the stage... I've loaded up my old Peavey Bandit with an Eminence Beta 12LTA coax speaker and I plug into the "Effects Loop Input" to bypass the pre-amp of the Peavey. The nice thing about a coax speaker is that the lows/highs blend better at shorter distance than a traditional PA style so it sounds very natural on stage. The downside is that a coax does not project the highs as good as a horn loaded cabinet - so it may get muddy at longer distances. That is not an issue with the size of rooms I use that rig in... but it may be an issue for you.  

 

49 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

The best way I found to adapt to doing FRFR live is to think of it like I'm dialing in my sound for a studio session and what I'm trying to achieve is a studio sound live. 

 

Isn't that the truth! I've been thinking about my tones in this way for many, many years so it is very natural for me. But for those that are used to the traditional "amp in the room sound" it can be a very big adjustment.  

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I use 2 FRFR boxes in stereo.  But in my case It's rock guitar, so mostly either side of the stereo sounds OK.  So I can place one box so it's shooting somewhat across stage and the other straight out - which works fine for an audience and the rest of the band.  With one box, you'd need to be more careful with positioning.  All that stuff about getting some distance and setting up your sound at gig level is 100% correct.  When I have a good PA setup, I use the boxes as wedges for my personal sound facing me - that's the best - I get a foldback send into my boxes too so I can hear as much of the rest of the band as I want - standing in the stereo sound hearing really well is the best - but when I got to fill the room from the stage - no problem!

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If you’re using a closed back 2x12 on stage, I doubt you’re going to hurt your overall guitar sound in the room by going FRFR.  That guitar cab is so directional that it’ll sound different to pretty much everyone watching you play. 

 

I run helix into a Yamaha dxr10 on stage.  Everyone I play with loves it.  I can position it so that it covers the stage and directs out to FOH, or points back at me like a wedge.

 

Go for it!

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I'll only add that you shouldn't be afraid that the low price of the Headrush translates to crappy performance or dependability. Alto speakers (which is what the Headrush is)  have been in wide usage now for several years, and while the discussion of "this sounds better than that" is endless, as many people prefer the Yamaha over the JBL over the fill-in-the-blank, as say that the Headrush/Alto speakers sound fine, and I haven't read about lots of failures. For the price of ONE Yamaha you can get TWO Headrush with extended warranties, no worries! I'm not knocking the Yamaha speakers (DD). One possible advantage they might have over the Headrush/Alto is the fact that they have fans for cooling, whereas the HR/Alto are passively cooled. That MIGHT be a problem if you play outdoor gigs in hot weather/direct sun, though I haven't read of anyone having that issue and I haven't done any outdoor gigs with mine. A fan is also an additional moving part, prone to failure in it's own right. Roll them dice....

 

Lastly, don't buy the Headrush because it's "made for use with modelers". I went round and round with Headrush on that (detailed elsewhere here and on Gearpage). It DOES sound really good with my Helix, but, bottom line, it's an Alto TS312 with no mic preamp. Period.

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I have a Headrush FRFR, and love it, but I like the way it sounds more when it's not pointed directly at me, either in front like a wedge monitor, or from behind, like a traditional amp. It's probably not spikiness per se, but it always sound better to my ears if it's angled slightly away from straight-on.  That's just me, though, others probably like a direct shot.

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I use two JBL EON610s in a backline configuration. They're on the floor because I need to put the PA (X32-Core) rack unit on top. Using the EON610s as a backline like this provides a great stage amp. They're light and sound good enough. I can easily point them so that one is straight out and another tipped into towards the center stage to provide some guitar to the band members who don't use IEMs (we're 3 out of 5 so far using them). I use them in the Monitor configuration in order address the bass boost that results from coupling with the floor, and the fact that I'm almost always stuck close to the wall or corner.

 

I use IEMs in order to get better control of my own stereo mix, and protect my ears. So I'm getting my tone out of the IEMs, not the backline. But there's still some low end bleed from the 610s. What I like about the backline is the feel, not the tone. There's a thud on low notes and a physical resonance with the guitar that's missing if you only have IEMs.

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This is what I'm using:  https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/L1Compact--bose-l1-compact-system

And yes it is behind me like a traditional amp, it's FRFR, AND it has a separate input for your microphone to use it as a vocal monitor as well. Also uses technology that disperses the sound out into the crowd in an ear-pleasing manner. 
And you will be able to hear it perfectly as the mid/high section is a "tower" at ear level to you.

I play classic rock in my band. And we play everything from Billy Idol to Stevie Ray. I easily keep up with the drummer. We play in nightclubs. 
Hope that helps.

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At the value price of the Headrush FRFR seriously consider getting two! This would allow you to orient them in a variety of ways, as backline or as wedge monitors, and regardless if on the floor (vertically or horizontally), raised on kick back amp stands, or on poles, and providing far more spread and coverage as you may desire. I run two Yamaha DXR10s for the enveloping sound field, although they are also capable of thunderous SPLs. 

 

DunedinDragon's comment is spot on:  

On 7/31/2018 at 5:58 AM, DunedinDragon said:

<Snip>

The best way I found to adapt to doing FRFR live is to think of it like I'm dialing in my sound for a studio session and what I'm trying to achieve is a studio sound live.  If you think of it that way you won't be thrown off by the whole "amp in the room" thing that bothers a lot of people, because there is no "amp in the room" sound in studio recordings.  This also means you'll need to be much more attentive to the things that are relevant to studio production such as compression, cabinets/IRs, mic usage, mic positioning, and EQ to get the finished, polished sound you would normally want in a studio.  You'll hear a lot about using high and low cuts due to the expanded responsiveness of a FRFR speaker, which is true to a certain degree, but not always a given depending on the amp, the cabinet, mic and mic positioning.  In effect you need to develop your ability to hear what frequencies are problematic and the different ways you can go about correcting them.

 

The biggest transition is in dialing in your tone.  It's important to be as near as you can to performance volume levels in order to not be fooled by the Fletcher-Munson effect.  And you definitely want to dial in your tones through the FRFR.  The main thing to remember is FRFR speakers are specifically designed for long projection of sound and will be much more harsh close up to the speaker.  This is the reason you don't seat people right in front of a PA speaker, because it takes a certain amount of distance to resolve the mix between the horn and speaker.  I normally stand 6 feet or more away from the speaker and often off axis to check my tone when I'm dialing it in.  My biggest issue is often getting too aggressive with high cuts.  What sometimes sounds right in isolation is far too muffled when combined with the rest of the band.

 

<Snip>

 

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Hi everyone

 

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who responded its certainly given me the much needed confidence that switching to a full FRFR setup is going to be a viable option.  The knowledge you guys have is just great and super helpful.

I have some follow  up questions if I may...I apologise if these change the topic slightly or sound stupid but you have all been so helpful I am gonna grab you guys while I can. 

 

I also think its worth noting that my band aren't all that fussed about the sound as I am so some things to note about them are

  • They don't like drastic changes on set it throws them off their game 
  • They don't really care about the overall tone but they do care about the volume
  • The Drummer is the only one who really needs to hear me (i know, my band are weird)

I like the idea of having 2 FRFR's and running them in stereo and having some blended amp tones, these speakers will be pretty much next to one another on stage the reason being we play some pretty cramped venues on occasion and the crowds can get a little bit rowdy so we tend to become more compact on stage.  Will I lose a lot if I have them next to each other but running in stereo? Will I need the distance to get that nice blended tone? Is it even worth getting 2 to have them in stereo if this happens say 50% of the time?

 

Vocals - our singer has a vocal effects pedal and I only sing backing vocals with a couple of lead moments in songs.  Our PA does not have any vocal effects so i always end up sounding dry.  One of the benefits that sold me on the helix was the ability to process the vocals with reverb, delay etc. Do any of you guys set your patches up like this and route the vocal signal out?  Have you guys met any limitations doing this?

 

My Amp normally sits to the right of our drummer and in ost situations its normally in line with him and his seat so he can hear it, if I switch to the FRFR will he lose some of that sound due to the nature of the speakers?

 

Those with the Headrush that have it on the floor horizontally behind you angled up, what were the main differences you notice going from a normal amp to this?  Could you still hear it as well as a normal amp or (as lots of people have mentioned) does it need to be at a certain angle and direction for you or the rest of the band to hear or project certain tones?

 

What I do not want to happen is when i plug in at a gig and then have to spend a considerable amount of time tweaking for every gig and venue - I get that proper tone and live performance needs to be tailored for the venue but we aren't that professional and outside of the occasional EQ on vocal PA and me taking out some bass on my amp in order to cut through the mix, we turn up, we setup we play - I want to make sure this continues if its possible. I think I may be asking for the world though :P

 

I am sorry for the many (possibly seemingly stupid) questions, I normally just rock up to a gig and plug in my head, 2x12 and pedal and play i aint no sound engineer but i do really appreciate your responses. 

 

You guys rock

Alzo

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46 minutes ago, alzoxp said:

Will I lose a lot if I have them next to each other but running in stereo? Will I need the distance to get that nice blended tone? Is it even worth getting 2 to have them in stereo if this happens say 50% of the time?

 

Do any of you guys set your patches up like this and route the vocal signal out?  Have you guys met any limitations doing this?

 

My Amp normally sits to the right of our drummer and in ost situations its normally in line with him and his seat so he can hear it, if I switch to the FRFR will he lose some of that sound due to the nature of the speakers?

 

Those with the Headrush that have it on the floor horizontally behind you angled up, what were the main differences you notice going from a normal amp to this?  Could you still hear it as well as a normal amp or (as lots of people have mentioned) does it need to be at a certain angle and direction for you or the rest of the band to hear or project certain tones?

 

 

Chances are your audience isn't going to notice the difference whether you play in stereo or not.  But if you have the speakers on the floor behind you I'm not sure you'll even be able to hear the stereo effect as well as you would were the two speakers mounted vertically on poles behind you and turned at slight angles.  I personally don't play in stereo because very few people in a live environment benefit from it given they aren't positioned  optimally to hear the separation, and the acoustics of the venue typically jumbles up the stereo effect within just a few feet given the reflections of sound in the room.

 

I have run my vocals through the Helix, but the biggest issue for me was in sending my vocals and my guitar to the mixing board as separate lines so they could be managed individually.  If you aren't sending your guitar to the mixing board it would be easier.  But it would limit your guitar to using a single DSP on one signal chain so your other signal chain could be dedicated to the vocals.

 

Whether the drummer hears you is based the same as it is with a traditional amp.  It depends on the positioning.  This is one of the reasons I placed my DXR12 on a half height pole behind me and turned it slightly toward the drummer and the rest of the group so I could take advantage of the wider dispersion pattern.

 

The primary issue with placing any FRFR speaker on the floor is you're prone to bass coupling which accentuates bass frequencies.  On many higher end speakers you have specific DSP contouring options to correct for this.  There is a single contour button on the Headrush that simply states it "corrects for excessive bass on some stages".  I'm not sure if that refers to bass coupling as it's not really a factor of the stage as much as it is how the speaker is positioned on the stage.

 

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+1 to pole mounting, sounds much better.

 

"The primary issue with placing any FRFR speaker on the floor is you're prone to bass coupling which accentuates bass frequencies.  On many higher end speakers you have specific DSP contouring options to correct for this.  There is a single contour button on the Headrush that simply states it "corrects for excessive bass on some stages".  I'm not sure if that refers to bass coupling as it's not really a factor of the stage as much as it is how the speaker is positioned on the stage."

 

If you read my posts concerning Headrush's marketing, you know that while it's not actually dishonest, it's misleading. Concerning the contour switch, it's nothing more than the standard method of compensating for the Fletcher-Munson curve - at low volume the low and high frequencies are slightly boosted. You can "spin" this by saying that if you use it on the floor with the switch off, there will be LESS bass coupling. See what they did there?  Don't get me wrong, it's a great sounding speaker, I really like mine (on a pole, contour switch ON/OFF to taste).

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16 hours ago, alzoxp said:

Will I lose a lot if I have them next to each other but running in stereo? Will I need the distance to get that nice blended tone? Is it even worth getting 2 to have them in stereo if this happens say 50% of the time?

 

Do any of you guys set your patches up like this and route the vocal signal out?  Have you guys met any limitations doing this?

 

My Amp normally sits to the right of our drummer and in ost situations its normally in line with him and his seat so he can hear it, if I switch to the FRFR will he lose some of that sound due to the nature of the speakers?

 

Those with the Headrush that have it on the floor horizontally behind you angled up, what were the main differences you notice going from a normal amp to this?  Could you still hear it as well as a normal amp or (as lots of people have mentioned) does it need to be at a certain angle and direction for you or the rest of the band to hear or project certain tones?

 

If you use two speakers in your FRFR for stereo, and set them right next to each other, there will be minimal stereo separation for you and almost none for the audience hearing your stage amp. But that doesn't mean stereo is not worth doing. It will provide some space and separation that will make your sound be a bit fuller and less muddy, simply because each speaker isn't trying to handle everything the same way. I run stereo and really like what it does for the overall tone.

 

I do not use Helix for vocals. Get a vocal processor if you want to do that. TC Electronics makes some nice affordable vocal processors that work well with guitar. I have a Harmony-G XT, but don't use it since our PA (X32-Core) does what we need, and the band has 5 signers, so we don't need harmonizers. My goto patch also uses most of the Helix DSP, so there'd be no room for vocal processing.

 

With two FRFR speakers, you can angle one in towards the center of the stage to provide guitar for the band. An open back guitar amp works best for this. But with two speakers, you have some flexibility on how you point them. I don't bother with the speaker polls because I use IEMs for my monitors. The FRFRs are for stage fill and feel, not my monitor tone. And I wouldn't want the pointed directly at my head in any case because that would risk hearing damage. 

 

A FRFR will generally have much more dispersion than a guitar cabinet. For a backline, you may not need them pointed at you - and I'd be worried about hearing damage in that configuration anyway. You need to take that seriously. I lived in denial in my younger days only to learn the consequences for tinnitus and hearing loss later in life. Don't do it.

 

 

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On 7/31/2018 at 8:58 AM, DunedinDragon said:

I appreciate the detailed post because it makes it much easier to respond to you.  You have no idea how rare that is around here...

 

I exclusively use a FRFR setup using a Yamaha DXR12 as my speaker.  I'm in an 8 piece band and we have a similar setup to yours in terms of a normal backline situation.  Although we commonly go direct into the mixing board with our instruments, there are several cases in which we only send the vocals, harmonica, and congas through the PA and depend on the backline stage sound for everything else in smaller venues.  My setup is the same either way in that I have my DXR12 on a half height speaker pole positioned behind me.  There's a lot of good reasons for doing it this way.  First, these monitors are designed to have a wide horizontal spread of sound and a much more limited vertical spread of sound.  If positioned in a wedge position either in front of you or behind you, your bandmates far to your left or right won't get much of the benefit due to what would normally be the limited vertical spread.  However, positioned upright on a pole it has exactly the same effect as a normal PA speaker as that what it is.  So in a smaller venue it simply augments the FOH speakers in that it has the same kind of long distance throw as a normal FOH speaker. It makes for the best of all worlds for both you, the audience, and your bandmates.

 

As far as going with a full FRFR setup, you'll likely need to make some adjustments to what you're used to with a conventional cabinet.  I've been doing this type of setup for so long (about 6 years now) that I get a bit frustrated when I use a cabinet because I'm so used to the clarity and definition of the FRFR speaker cabinets seem muffled to me.  I'm a bit concerned about your choice of speaker quite frankly though.  In the powered speaker market you pretty much get what you pay for, and the Headrush is more or less the lower end of the market.  You may be fine with it, and many people do use it, but it all depends on the style of music you play and how critical you are about exacting tones that you dial in.  We play a very wide range of genres including rock, blues, jazz, rockabilly, R&B/Funk, and I use a variety of guitars, so I'm pretty much OCD when it comes to getting the tone right for a given song.  If your band is more specific in genre it may not be that big a deal to you.

 

The best way I found to adapt to doing FRFR live is to think of it like I'm dialing in my sound for a studio session and what I'm trying to achieve is a studio sound live.  If you think of it that way you won't be thrown off by the whole "amp in the room" thing that bothers a lot of people, because there is no "amp in the room" sound in studio recordings.  This also means you'll need to be much more attentive to the things that are relevant to studio production such as compression, cabinets/IRs, mic usage, mic positioning, and EQ to get the finished, polished sound you would normally want in a studio.  You'll hear a lot about using high and low cuts due to the expanded responsiveness of a FRFR speaker, which is true to a certain degree, but not always a given depending on the amp, the cabinet, mic and mic positioning.  In effect you need to develop your ability to hear what frequencies are problematic and the different ways you can go about correcting them.

 

The biggest transition is in dialing in your tone.  It's important to be as near as you can to performance volume levels in order to not be fooled by the Fletcher-Munson effect.  And you definitely want to dial in your tones through the FRFR.  The main thing to remember is FRFR speakers are specifically designed for long projection of sound and will be much more harsh close up to the speaker.  This is the reason you don't seat people right in front of a PA speaker, because it takes a certain amount of distance to resolve the mix between the horn and speaker.  I normally stand 6 feet or more away from the speaker and often off axis to check my tone when I'm dialing it in.  My biggest issue is often getting too aggressive with high cuts.  What sometimes sounds right in isolation is far too muffled when combined with the rest of the band.

 

Hopefully that helps you or gives you some ideas about how to approach this.

 

I realize I'm 8 months late to this thread...but I've learned more from this thread than any other, and especially this quote from #DundinDragon. I have a few more questions - hopefully you guys can assist.

 

First, let me say that I am definitely not an audio expert. I'm a basic, plug my guitar into a good amp, maybe with a few pedals, guy. Modeling appeals to me for many reasons, but I've never been able to get my modeler to sound consistently good. I actually sold the Helix, and I'm now considering repurchasing as I'd really like to make it work for me. 

 

I play in a classic rock band - and also a jump blues band. In the rock band I play a mix of lead and rhythm. I play a lot more rhythm in the blues band as I'm a guest. The lead guitarist is a lifelong friend - it's his trio - and he likes to add me to their last set and we do some things that sound better with two guitars. 

 

I had been amplifying my Helix, and before that an HD500, through a Carvin PM12a. No matter what parameters I changed, probably not fully understanding the impact of every change, I always felt the sound was harsh on the high end. When I bought the Carvin, probably 10 years ago, it sounded pretty good at the Carvin store, was reasonably priced, so I gave it a shot. It still sounds fine to amplify music.

 

I had an opportunity to try a Helix into two QSCs (10/12) and two DXRs (10/12) - at a shop in the area. Just the standard presets sounded very good through these speakers. They are significantly more expensive than the Carvin was - and I'm guessing it's for good reason. This comment: "In the powered speaker market you pretty much get what you pay for, and the Headrush is more or less the lower end of the market." - I think, describes the Carvin as well. 

 

I'm sure it's the totality of the engineered components in the QSC or Yamaha speakers that makes the difference...what about DSP? Is DSP a key component here...seems like the lower end speakers don't use DSP, or at least their specs don't mention it. 

 

Also, I'm likely to use my setup 80% of the time at home. We only gig occasionally, so I want something that sounds good in the house so I can dial in my presets, and just turn them up when we play. 

 

Would I be better off with a 12" if I go with one of the higher end speakers, or the 10" ? I honestly preferred the 10" when I tried them in the shop, but I didn't turn them up to band levels...

 

What about the Bose L1? I've seen some very good reviews from modeler users - will it be loud enough with the full rock band (6 Piece )? It appeals to me because I think it would work great for the smaller venues I play with the Blues trio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are quite a number of good threads going on right now that may answer a lot of your questions.  As far as 10" or 12", that's really a matter of taste. Due to the way the speakers are tuned, there's not a particularly big difference in the frequency response profile of different speakers sizes.  To me the difference really comes down to a feeling of the sound simply being "bigger"...kind of surrounds you more I guess.  In smaller, more intimate venues I get great results from a QSC CP8.  So it all comes down to preferences.

 

The thing about DSP is that most, if not all of the bi-amped speakers use DSP to allocate frequencies across the two amplifiers that serve the higher frequency response and lower frequency response.  This is what makes these speakers different from the older style of speakers that just used simple crossovers and provides a more even allocation of frequencies across the two speakers resulting in a flatter response..  What differs with the more expensive speakers such as the QSC or Yamaha is they allow you more flexibility in defining the response characteristics of the speakers.  This help you tune the speakers better for how they might be deployed (as a floor monitor or on a pole) as well as the type of performance they're being used for (live performance, recorded music, speech, etc.)

 

I've owned the Bose system in the past, but was using it as a solo performer.  It's a bit of an odd beast in that the design is quite different from the normal run of powered DSP driven speakers.  What is a bit deceiving with the Bose is that, unlike normal powered speakers, it uses a pseudo line array setup which projects the sound differently than a normal powered speaker.  This results is a more even level of sound across a large area using less volume.  So I suspect it might be a bit challenging to get a good match mixing the volume on a stage with traditional amps and speakers without being too loud further out in the audience.

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Hi all.....I've been using helix live for a while and tried different set ups on stage....an a real cool way i found amongst some of my favourite set ups is a W/D/W set up consisting of the dry path only with amp block/drive going out the 1/4 inch into a Seymour duncan power stage 170 into a laney 2x12 then the xlr L/R into a pair of laney IRT-X Extention speakers and WOW....what a massive sound...all the drive punching through unaffected really powerfull....another favourite is the same ad above but instead of the IRT-X'S IUse my powercab plus....also phenomenal sound...but i have to say the powercab alone is enough for stage use plus you get the option to D.I. out to FOH if u want.....Good times everyone...Good times......p.s....i also use a laney lrf 1x12 frfr guitar cabinet...well worth checking out....Hope this helps....rock on....

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