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Jackgoat

Help using 4cm and getting the patch correct.

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Hello guys.

 

I'm a complete newbie when it comes to all this having just used amp heads, cabinets and pedals for years.

 

I'm sure this has been answered a million times but I'm struggling with the tone and I'm not sure if I've set my patch up correctly.

 

Using the 4 CM do I need to put in a preamp block or not? At the moment I don't and everything sounds quite off to me. I'm going I to an orange cr120 head and having to go I to the clean channel which only has a treble/ bass control and if I try to go into the dirty channel, who h has bass treble and mids I lose volume unless the gain is cranked all the way up which then affects the sound of any distortion or overdrive pedals I e put in my patch.

 

Sorry if I haven't explained this very well.

 

I'll post a picture of my patch below

 

 

IMG_20180928_162945.jpg

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Well the first thing you need to do is to turn your screen around 180 degrees so it's right side up. (Sorry I could not resist)

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Here's a Youtube about the 4 cable method.

 

 

And here's a graphic showing how your cables should be

 

helix.thumb.png.bfa71038b9dcd9f80dc7f089c029e4a6.png

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That's was all just to make sure you're wired properly.

 

I don't use the 4 cable method myself but I believe you're using the amps power amp and, of course, it's speaker, so you do want to start with  just a preamp. BUT, I always stick to the if it sounds good it is good philosophy so if you can't get it with a preamp, go ahead and use the amps and even the amp/speakers if it gets the sound you want.

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After looking at the cabling I think what is happening is this. I do know this is a method for being able to use your amps preamp as well as the Helix's. Sooooo....If you want to use the amp's preamp, turn your FX send return on and do not program any Helix amp block of any kind. You essentially do not want any effects other than what you would normally put before your amp (compression, distortion etc.) before your FX send return block if you want to use the amp's pre amp so the only signal it is getting is the guitar signal, it's essentially the same as directly plugging your guitar into the amp. This makes your signal path...

 

Guitar -> Helix Guitar In -> Helix FX Send -> Amp's Guitar Input -> Amp's Preamp-> Amps FX Send-> Helix FX Return-> Whatever your patch is -> Helix 1/4' output -> Amp's FX return -> Amp's Power Amp and Speaker.

 

Now if you want to use the Helix's preamps/amps/amp cabs, you turn your FX Send return off. This then skips the amps preamp and patches you directly into the amps power amp. So your signal path is now this...

 

Guitar -> Helix Guitar In -> Whatever your patch is ->  Helix 1/4" output -> Amp's FX Return -> Amps' Poweramp and Speaker.

 

That's where you want to use your preamp. Again I don't use this so you'll want to check my math but I think this is the general idea. Hope this helps.

 

 

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I see that the Orange cr120 amp has an effects loop, which you'll of course want to be using with the 4cm.  I have an old Crate vintage club 30 which has an effects loop, and referred to the video above when setting it up, and it works awesome.  In my Helix presets I set up one of the foot switches to switch between Helix preamps and the Crate preamp, and switch between the two a lot, depending on the song.  The Helix effects I have before the two preamp choices can be used by either of the two, and the post preamp effects (delays, etc...) can also be used by either one.  I also have one foot switch dedicated to switching the channels on the Crate, and use that a lot also. I enjoy having so many options available, and to be able to switch  between old school tube amp and modern Helix technology with the press of a switch.  I've encountered no noise problems with my setup.

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40 minutes ago, Dano2019 said:

 

Would it be possible for you to take a picture of your patch and layout just to see if I'm on the right path please. 

I'm having a massive amount of volume difference when the preamp is switch off too.

 

Thanks

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1 hour ago, Jackgoat said:

Would it be possible for you to take a picture of your patch and layout just to see if I'm on the right path please. 

I'm having a massive amount of volume difference when the preamp is switch off too.

 

Thanks

I'll try to remind myself to get a screenshot tonight when I get home. The one thing I DO have to do with my setup is some manual level-matching before the gig.  That usually comes down to getting my Helix-only level where I want it, first, and then setting the clean and crunch channel levels on the Crate to match, as a final step.  My Helix presets use A/B loops for switching between the Helix/Crate amps.  I should point out that I've ditched FRFR for a couple of gigs.  The Helix preamps in my presets are routed to the Crate effects return, not through the front of the Crate.  I mic'ed the Crate speaker for everything (no Helix XLR to FOH).  Recordings made from the audience reassured me that my sound did not suffer by doing it this way. I had been worried about that. 

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Jackgoat, here's a screenshot of the preset I described. Nothing fancy, I'm still learning how to create Helix presets. But this works for me.

crate-helix.jpg

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