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Simon268

strange 'background distortion' / sizzeling

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Hi,

 

i am irritated by some 'background distortion', sizzeling, .... .

In the attached files (preset  + wav) it's very prominent but i hear it not only in clean(ish) sounds but also - in varying degrees - in some overdriven/crunchy ones.

Is this

- some problem with the (active) pickups of my ESP LTD EC1000?

- something i'm doing wrong with the preset?

- just 'normal behaviour'?

- some defect?

- ....

 

Thanks

 

Simon

 

HelixDist01.wav.zip

HelixDist.hlx

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Are you using the Guitar In Pad to accommodate your active pickups? (see Global Settings - Ins/Outs)

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Which amp model is that in that clip? The sounds I heard in your clip are different than what I was expecting based on your explanation. Those sound more like ghost notes to me than anything else.

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Is it the sound the quickly fades in after the note is played? It's subtle, but I can hear that. 

 

I just loaded your patch into Helix Native to give it a try. I can hear those sounds when the CALI IV (Boogie) amp is loaded (default on your patch) but if I disable that and load the US DBL (Twin) the sound does not appear. 

 

It sounded consistent to a cold bias to me... so I raised the bias on the CALI IV to 7 or 7.5 and that sound disappeared and the overall tone warmed up. Maybe try that on your patch.

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2 hours ago, silverhead said:

Are you using the Guitar In Pad to accommodate your active pickups? (see Global Settings - Ins/Outs)

 

Yes.

 

43 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Is it the sound the quickly fades in after the note is played? It's subtle, but I can hear that.

Correct. Mostly the decaying part of the sound is distorted

Once you've heard it, it's hard to 'unhear' it. ;-)

Not all amp models seem to affected in the same way .... some more than others.

 

43 minutes ago, codamedia said:

It sounded consistent to a cold bias to me... so I raised the bias on the CALI IV to 7 or 7.5 and that sound disappeared and the overall tone warmed up. Maybe try that on your patch.

Thank you very much for your worl and advice. I'll try that.

So you assume it's normal behaviour of the helix (and just wrong handling by me)?!

 

Bye

 

Simon

 

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51 minutes ago, codamedia said:

It sounded consistent to a cold bias to me... so I raised the bias on the CALI IV to 7 or 7.5 and that sound disappeared and the overall tone warmed up. Maybe try that on your patch.

 

Kudos to the original poster for being open to a number of possibilities.

 

I haven't listened to the samples provided, but it sounds like codamedia's nailed it.  I admit I'm about to go off on a rant here, AND I'm not necessarily saying that this is what is happening in your case, but I have noticed an interesting trend that occurs with new owners of HX gear. It goes something like this:

 

1. Real amps have a lot of interesting sounds and idiosyncrasies about them - but when a user uses a real amp though there is no worry that it's not going to sound "real" because it clearly IS real so these idiosyncrasies are accepted as just the way it is and they learn how to control them.

 

2. The Line 6 Helix does a fantastic job of mimicking these idiosyncrasies. They WILL show up in the models depending on settings.

 

3. From the moment a traditional gear user makes the decision to purchase a Helix they are worried that they'll find out it sounds "fake."

 

4. When they hear these idiosyncrasies, unlike with real gear where they assume it is just how it's supposed to be, they instead worry they are hearing the tell tale signs of digital modeling, and they begin to doubt their purchase.

 

It's a vicious kind of confirmation bias.

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37 minutes ago, Simon268 said:

So you assume it's normal behaviour of the helix (and just wrong handling by me)?!

 

I wouldn't call it wrong handling unless you played with those advanced BIAS settings not knowing what they would do and ended up creating that sound for yourself. If you just inserted that amp and those are the default settings... how would you know to look at that setting?

 

I'll admit, I got a little bit lucky. I have 35 - 40 years experience with real amps (and still use them on occasion) so I had a "hunch" that was what I was hearing. Sure enough, warming up the bias (turning it higher) solved it on my end. If I were working with a real Mark IV they don't have adjustable bias... therefore I would have swapped tubes until that sound went away :)  

 

32 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

It's a vicious kind of confirmation bias.

 

Yes it can be... I find that my experiences with real amps over the years made my transition to modelling very easy.

 

The Helix is remarkably accurate, but I could see how it would be very frustrating to those that don't know much about various amps to begin with.

EG: Insert the "Who Watt" without knowledge and it will peel off your ear drums. Insert the "Who Watt" and know how a HiWatt works and how to set it... it's deadly accurate! 

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6 hours ago, Kilrahi said:

 

Kudos to the original poster for being open to a number of possibilities....

That's a nice thing for you to say. Thank you :-D :-D

I think that's because i have

a) very little experience with real (and different) amps - because i had my (preamp+power amp+cab)-combination for 30 years (only changed multi effects from time to time)

and

b) a lot of experience with not getting things (esp. complex ones) right on the first few tries - because i am 50 years old. ;-)

 

5 hours ago, codamedia said:

I wouldn't call it wrong handling unless you played with those advanced BIAS settings not knowing what they would do and ended up creating that sound for yourself. If you just inserted that amp and those are the default settings... how would you know to look at that setting?

....

 

Thank you for sharing that experience (that i lack completely).

 

I've noticed that i have to develop 'an ear for this' first.

A lot of these amps and cabs and parameters sound

a) either strange ('who would use a sound like THAT? And for what?')

b) or very similar (esp. sag/hum/ripple/bias(X)).

... but then i see you guys discussing in elaborate detail the differences between IRs, where i only hear 'more boomy' and 'more harsh' - and know: It's me. ;-)

 

Also as a 'bring your gear and plug it in'-type of guy i had no experience with setting up microphones on amps. The last 8 years i played with a fixed cab sim directly into FOH and my sound guy knew what to do :-D :-D...

 

What really helped me: Someone on this forum explained the difference of 'hearing what the audience hears' (through a mic'ed cab) and 'standing next to my amp' ... highly plausible.

 

I am really excited to learn more about all this and very grateful for all the advice on this forum.

 

Thanks .... now i have to vanish into my basement. ;-)

 

THX

 

Simon

 

P.S.: Yes, i am a fan of structuring texts by lists. ;-)

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... addition: Tried it and succeeded! :-D

 

Bias does the trick.

 

... and i had a lot of fun playing around with just a few amps and their settings.

 

THANKS A LOT!

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Yeah, I hardly ever load up an amp model, and leave the sag/bias sections at default... and I like to create a new patch for each song/instrument.

I don't think I have come across any amp models in the helix that I don't like in some form, for some reason.  

 

I have found some that for no reason seem to use a lot of DSP (Mail-Order Twin is the name if I remember correctly) but boy I could get it to sound quite nice for the application.

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9 hours ago, Simon268 said:

... addition: Tried it and succeeded! :-D

 

Bias does the trick.

 

Thanks for the update... glad it worked for you. 

 

12 hours ago, Simon268 said:

Thank you for sharing that experience (that i lack completely).

 

Here is a general rule about BIAS. Lowering the value will produce a thinner, often cleaner tone yet it may tend to sound clinical or sterile. Raising the value often adds warmth/thickness but it does so at the expense of clean headroom. Incorrect settings in either direction can cause artifacts that are not so desirable, as you have learned. 

 

The nice thing about the Helix is that you cannot harm anything with this adjustment... just turn it until you like what it does to the sound. In the real world amps & tubes have limits and if you exceed those limits (turn the bias too high) the amp goes "poof" :)  In case you are wondering, the benefit of running the bias a little cooler (on a real amp) is extended tube life. 

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Huh, I had also been noticing that sound on my clean patches and never even thought to mess with bias. I'll have to give that a go!

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And then there's X Bias. I notice on some models that the combination of high/low vs. low/high Bias / X Bias produces results that aren't always predictable.

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1 hour ago, Ka5par said:

And then there's X Bias. I notice on some models that the combination of high/low vs. low/high Bias / X Bias produces results that aren't always predictable.

 

As I understand it, Bias X is essentially your bias multiplier, so it controls how much the Bias parameter affects your signal. I'm not sure if there's a specific formula for it, but I imagine that a low bias with a high bias x would be similar to a high bias with a low bias x. Or something like that.

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Thank you codamedia for the explaination!

:-D :-D

 

... and then there ar sag, hum, ripple, .... *hmmmmm* ;-)

Until now i never touched those parameters - and played much more with compression, reverb/delay and mod effects.

But now i am trying the 'first get amp+cab right'-approach (involving the power-amp-parameters).

Specifically i don't need 100 different amp+cab-sounds - just some bluesy clean to crunch maybe based on one or two models.

 

Should be possible with adequate effort.

 

Bye

 

Simon

 

 

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