Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
briandampsim

Input gain and signal strength

Recommended Posts

Hey guys. I followed the input gain advice and dialed the input of my interface back to where I’m hitting helix native at -18 a -24 dB. My DI waveform however now looks really weak.

 

my other question is if you were using this and recording sections where you switch pickups often how would Native react properly? Would you have to readjust the input gain on the interface? I’m struggling to wrap my head around this. Perhaps I get my highest output(bridge humbucker) in the right range and everything else falls in line as it naturally should?  I.e. the neck pickup will be quieter due to its lower output. 

 

Is the small waveforms a problem for the DI?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By "small waveform", you mean the waveform you see in your DAW? If so, that's not a problem. I'd follow this sequence for gain staging with HXN:

 

1) set you guitar to your highest output (bridge hum bucker) with guitar and tone controls set where at the highest level you will be using them at in your song.

2) adjust your audio interface to a level that is not clipping when you play your hardest chords (-6 dB to -3 dB is a good level to aim for).

3) with HXN as your first plugin, set HXN input level to peaks around -10 dB to -12 DB (also when playing your hardest chords). Yeah, some info says -18 to -24, I think to make sure you don't overdrive any of the blocks, or to allow plenty of headroom. I personally use around -10 dB, and am careful about setting all the input and output levels on the blocks within HXN so things don't get overdriven.

4) set your HXN output level to peak at about -6 dB

 

This assumes you are doing software monitoring through HXN while playing. If you already have a raw guitar track recorded, just go to step 3 and 4.

 

Small waveforms are not a big deal, and preferred over any clipping. Somewhere in between is nice, but not essential.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you change your levels for every song?

 

im trying to work out how to use it live and work with changing volume knobs and pickups and stuff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I only use it in the studio, and set all my levels per song. Its not really intended for live performance, but you may be able to make something work out. In that case, I'd set the level for peak volume knob setting, pickup (and stuff).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm I wonder what makes the helix hardware work differently from the plugin. How can the hardware adapt to different pickups and stuff but the interface can’t?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Line 6 could control the A/D input circuit and tailor it perfectly for the rest of Helix and for typical guitars. Native has to work with all sorts of external/unknown audio interfaces. Just set all of your gains so that you don't get digital peaks anywhere in your chain of audio processors and you should be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And that is the problem...... Gain staging... what ever tweaks L6 add to the conversation process is what generally makes the floor unit sound a lot better than HXN. Plugging straight in from your sound card into an instance just seems to be missing something and I do wish in some way L6 could release a gain staging and tweak bundle (if they do use one) for HXN users. 

 

Said it a few times on here... insert HXN in a channel strip and you will never know what your going to get. And yet if you insert a waves or any other amp sim package.. they do the gain staging and tweaks for you to a degree so the tone is decent to start with. HXN can sound like a ball of fuzz at times and I just give up as much as I don't want to with it. 

And i have tried all sorts of pre and post inserts before the HXN insert to try and understand and get it to work. 

 

Others might and I am sure they will roast me for saying this but it is what I have found sorry.. and I do want to like HXN but really don't have the time to mess about in a mix and kill the flow.. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While I agree that HXN is sensitive to driving it too hard at the input, it still seems stable and predictable to me, and no more vulnerable to digital distortion than other plug-ins. Yes, if you drive it too hard, it will distort .... in a bad way. But if you don't (just turn down the input or audio interface gain), it sounds just like the floor unit to me. (Although a cheap audio interface would probably sound a inferior, given the quality of the hardware Helix guitar-specific input circuitry and components.)

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bit of an update...

 

I put an instance of SGear basic DI EQ preset before an instance of helix and hey presto.. Its the difference between night and day.

 

When the Sgear EQ stage was inserted before HXN it adds articulation and thump (Andy Scheps ;) and the missing extra bits that seem to be missing from a direct input into helix... Again each to there own but if anything it proves that there needs to be some sort of Pre before HXN for it too really feel real. 

 

I think its is this Pre that floor/rack users get that HXN doesn't provide. I have often wondered when I watch youtube vids how the floor users seem to get such articulate and precise patches and tones and when imported into HXN they can turn flat. 

 

Soundog, anyone..

Do you know of a way I could model the eq stage that the Sgear adds ? 

rather than having to add a CPU sapping instance of Sgear?

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've gotten really good results using one of the Kush Omega preamps (especially the 458A) or Kazrog's True Iron preamp plugin before HXN. It gives it color and oomph. You could also try adding any stock EQ plug-in before or after the preamp to lightly shape your guitar signal before it hits Native.

 

p.s. If you ever do bass tracks, Kush's Reddi preamp plugin is a must.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Said it a few times on here... insert HXN in a channel strip and you will never know what your going to get. And yet if you insert a waves or any other amp sim package.. they do the gain staging and tweaks for you to a degree so the tone is decent to start with. HXN can 192.168.100.1 192.168.1.1 jpg to pdf sound like a ball of fuzz at times and I just give up as much as I don't want to with it. And i have tried

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...