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distantoverture

Excessive noise using pedal in Helix loop

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Happy with most Helix effects, but there are some unique pedals that I've held onto.  I really love the Earthquaker Devices Tentacle (octave effect), and was looking forward to trying it in Helix loop, but I'm finding it too noisy to be useable using 4CM into a tube head.  I don't have that problem when I go direct into the front of the amp.  I am using 9V wall wart for power.  Any suggestions? 

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I've made the same experience with my tube amps - the sends of the Helix are very (VERY) noisy. Using a second Helix loop with a gainy pedal only makes things worse, as there's two noisy sends being amplified by two gainy amplification stages. There's really not much you can do.

 

I made the 4CM work well enough for me by not following the standard 4CM method (Helix send to amp input, receive send from amp to Helix return, Helix output to amp return). I'm using the main output (I use the output of path 1B) of the Helix to feed my amp's input, feed the amp's send into path 2A via a Helix return, and output path 2B to the amp's return via Helix send. As I'm using the path ins and outs I don't need to "waste" DSP path space with send and return blocks. The main output is a little less noisy than the sends, but using the high gain channel of my amp is only tolerable for me by paring it with a noise gate after the amp's preamp (which is totally not neccessary without the Helix). The downside is loosing the ability to switch between the tube preamp and a Helix preamp on the fly (within a preset).

 

As for dealing with the noise, there's not much to choose from: You can always ditch the Tentacle for the Helix Octave Fuzz. Of course the sound is different; not too bad, but a less pronounced octave effect - I used a Foxx Tone Machine before moveing to the Helix (which had a much more pronounced bite) and am actually considering putting it back in a loop.

 

If using the Helix Octave Fuzz is no option, you can only live with the noise or add a noise gate. I don't see any other choice.

 

Hope this helps.

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I was also surprised how much noise add Hx send/return in front of high gain amp simulations. You can test it by pluging 1/4" patch cord and adding FX Loop block and listen.
RMAA measuring still gives fair 111dBA S/N ratio.

RMS power, dB
-109.0
-109.0
RMS power (A-weighted), dB
-111.0
-111.0
Peak level, dB FS
-72.4
-72.4

 

HXfxnoise.png.8b5266d3d529c2b2cd2e61d54aa87170.png

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