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kazoue911

Helix cab sim without microphone

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Hi,

 

I was wondering if Helix offers a way to have a cabinet emulation but without any microphone coloration added to it? I am running a frfr scenario and the sound I get is much like what I would get from a monitor as it is "micked" (microphone algorythm in helix's cab block). The problem is that I wan't to be able to put a microphone in front of my frfr speaker in order to send this signal to FOH. I wanna do so because I mainly play small venues as opening act and most often, old school soundmen don't like this "d.i." thing. The problem is if i get a microphone to pick up a sound that is already sort of micked, then the actual mic coloration will add up to the simulated one and enhance some frequencies in an unpleasant way (high mids). Basically, I want my frfr to sound more like a real amp rather than like a micked amp through a monitor. I know I can bypass the cabinet block altogether but then I only have the preamp through the frfr and it sound's like s***

 

also, would the line 6 powercab remedy this situation?

 

Thank you guys!

 

 

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Hi kazoue911.

I've personally never found the DI thing a problem - I've actually found it makes their job easy.  But your mileage may differ!

They don't even need a DI - the Helix does the job and has a ground lift - so it's very simple.

They just plug a mic lead into the left XLR and away they go.  Can't remember going back a long way there wasn't a DI on the bass, and most keyboards - so you'd think it would be a very old and primitive soundie who couldn't deal with a line in.

What I can say is that very "ordinary" sound people have to go out of their way to wreck your sound when you go direct - if your sounds are good through your FRFR, then they are probably good out front.

But - if you are micing an FRFR box it would need to have dual concentric cones otherwise the horn and speaker would need 2 mics and the chances of an average soundie with little time getting that right is about zero!

I've not used a power cab, but that's what the idea of it is - amp in a room - so I'd expect it would work fine. I don't think there are any solutions for no mic cabs at the moment - I think it's the unlikely situation. 

If you have to go that way I'd definitely investigate the power cab.

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I would also like this. Especially for venues that you're just providing your own stage sound and there is no FOH sound at all. Maybe I just like the sound of the Fender Twin and call it a day, no SM57 needed.

 

Here are several old threads about this:

 

 

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There really isn't a "no mic" configuration for the Helix, and for good reason in my opinion.

 

The Helix is designed such that it can work in a FRFR type setup, or a cabinet style setup through a power amp and traditional cabinet.  When you opt to go through a traditional cabinet you don't use the Helix cab+mic setup because you have an actual cab.  And if that actual cab needs to be sent through the PA, you simply mic that cab....when then gives you roughly the same effect as an FRFR setup as far as the audience is concerned.  What this means is if you were to mic the FRFR speaker, you would no longer have an FRFR output, because the mic will add it's own unique coloration to the sound just as it does with a cabinet and that negates the use of FRFR.

 

I occasionally play small venues in which I don't send my output to the FOH.  Instead I mount my speaker on a half height pole behind me in a backline situation and it serves both as my stage monitor as well as an augmented FOH speaker.  The reality is that your FRFR speaker is no different than the speakers used by the FOH, so you're getting the same effect as you would were you to go through the FOH in a small venue setup.

Honestly I've never had any soundman question my direct setup either on my Helix or the HD500X before that as long as I'm giving them a good signal on an XLR line.  If I did I'd probably ask the soundman if there are any soundmen around with familiarity with equipment from THIS century if I did run into it.

 

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If you look in those old threads, you will see why this is not possible. In order to capture the sound of a cab, you need something to capture the sound with, ie a microphone. You could use the world's most accurate microphone with the world's flattest preamp and AD converters, but there will always be some coloration from all of that, the room it was in, how far the mic was from the cab, where the mic was in relation to the speaker, etc.

 

One could argue that we know the frequency response of speakers, but we only know that because the companies measured it (with microphones). That also doesn't factor in what tone the cab adds.

 

So, in short, there's just no way to get the sound of a cab without first having captured that sound, so there will always be a microphone involved. Even if there wasn't, your FRFR or PA system or whatever would still be coloring the sound, so it still wouldn't sound like the cab. It's just the way things have to be with modelers. They always have been and always will be aimed at capturing the sound of a miked cab..

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Thak you all guys, very helpful!

 

I know I can run Helix through a power amp and cab but a really like being able to swap cabs digitally for different tones so, no cabs on the stage for me. As for limited soundmen skills (lol) most of the complaints I got were on gigs with very short changeovers and a shared backline where the guy had to remove his mic from the shared cab everybody else uses and route the XLR cable up front and do a different gain structure on the board etc. I can see why it would bother him especially if everything has to be reconfigured afterwards for the other band but I agree that this should"nt be an issue. Just trying to be as accommodating and pro as possible here. 

 

Thanks again guys, now I know which way to go with my setup!

 

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Thank you very much njglover very interesting.

 

What I assumed was that they could have "removed" the mic's frequency response curve from the signal via an algorythm afterwards, much like Kemper uses it's proprietary Cab Driver algorythm to discociate the cab from the head. But after all, with mic position and ambiance and all, everything makes more sense to me now and I know where I'm going with this for my rig.

 

Thank you very much for your help.

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8 hours ago, kazoue911 said:

Thak you all guys, very helpful!

 

I know I can run Helix through a power amp and cab but a really like being able to swap cabs digitally for different tones so, no cabs on the stage for me. As for limited soundmen skills (lol) most of the complaints I got were on gigs with very short changeovers and a shared backline where the guy had to remove his mic from the shared cab everybody else uses and route the XLR cable up front and do a different gain structure on the board etc. I can see why it would bother him especially if everything has to be reconfigured afterwards for the other band but I agree that this should"nt be an issue. Just trying to be as accommodating and pro as possible here. 

 

Thanks again guys, now I know which way to go with my setup!

 

 

Short changeovers isn't a big deal at all.  I've done this numerous times in a multi-band environment both on the stage performing and at the sound board.  You configure your XLR output to be at Mic level in the globals, unplug the XLR out of the mic being used on the cabinets and plug it into your XLR out.  You should be in same ballpark on that line as is the signal coming from the mic  when changing between different amps and possibly different positions.  There are no major reconfigurations.  When you're done, unplug the XLR from the Helix and plug it back into the mic.  No big deal.

 

It's wonderful that you want to be as pro as possible, but I would suggest that the soundman return the favor and be a pro as well.

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I played a gig like that recently. A bunch of bands in the line up, with everyone using the same PA. When it came to our turn, it took one of the sound guys less than 5 seconds to unplug the mic and hand me the XLR cable that had been in front of one of the previous guitar player's amp.  I then plugged that into the left XLR out on my Helix. Nothing could have been easier.

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On 9/20/2018 at 12:30 PM, DunedinDragon said:

Honestly I've never had any soundman question my direct setup either on my Helix or the HD500X before that as long as I'm giving them a good signal on an XLR line.  If I did I'd probably ask the soundman if there are any soundmen around with familiarity with equipment from THIS century if I did run into it.

 

I wouldn't do that if I were you.

Your gig will most certainly get messed up by him.

Keep the sound guy happy and friendly and you might have a chance he does a good job is my motto!

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On 9/20/2018 at 8:49 AM, kazoue911 said:

Thak you all guys, very helpful!

 

I know I can run Helix through a power amp and cab but a really like being able to swap cabs digitally for different tones so, no cabs on the stage for me. As for limited soundmen skills (lol) most of the complaints I got were on gigs with very short changeovers and a shared backline where the guy had to remove his mic from the shared cab everybody else uses and route the XLR cable up front and do a different gain structure on the board etc. I can see why it would bother him especially if everything has to be reconfigured afterwards for the other band but I agree that this should"nt be an issue. Just trying to be as accommodating and pro as possible here. 

 

Thanks again guys, now I know which way to go with my setup!

 

I've gotten to the point where if its this kind of show I just grab the XLR off the guitar cab and plug it into my Helix. If a sound guy is complaining about having to move mics, just bring your own mic cable to run back to the area he seems to think mic cables live, so its not a problem (and he's also probably a lollipop sound guy if that's an inconvenience enough for him to complain about). Unless he's kinda dumb he's gonna have to adjust the gain and EQ for someone throwing a different head on the backline cab or plugging in different pedals or whatever anyways, so again, unless the sound guy is a dolt, this shouldn't be an issue.

18 minutes ago, talwilkins said:

I wouldn't do that if I were you.

Your gig will most certainly get messed up by him.

Keep the sound guy happy and friendly and you might have a chance he does a good job is my motto!

I can't wait till these old dinosaurs retire so I don't have to pretend to be nice to people who SHOULD have an understanding of all this stuff given its freaking 2018 and going direct shouldn't be a problem for any sound guy.

We just did a show with an older guy running a huge analog system for sound, and apparently he usually just does sound for his classic rock cover band, so when I started explaining to him that we have kick triggers, backing track DI, and that our guitars and bass were all DI  he seemed a little apprehensive, but once we got all hooked up and he started dialing everything in he's grinning ear to ear, because he barely has to do anything to any of the channels we sent him besides EQ for the room and set levels. Told me after out set that he's gonna talk to his guys about going direct. 

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Unplug a mic, plug the XLR into Helix left output, tell the sound guy to make the EQ flat on that channel, done...

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