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Can someone help me understand how to properly do the 4CM w/ Helix LT? The 4CM template is confusing me...


mmarino426
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I have a Helix LT and an amp with an effects loop. I've been trying to understand the template of the 4CM on HX Edit but it's confusing me. Here's what I'm trying to achieve:

 

Wah, Comp, Drive in the front end of my amp. Delay, Chorus, Reverb, through the effects loop of my amp. I want to use my amp for clean/dirty, I just want to just my Helix LT as an effects processor.

 

The 4CM template only has 1 Effects Loop block set up, which in my head doesn't seem to make sense visually or functionally. Should there be a "send block" after the Drive if that's the last thing that I want (the Drive) before the amp's input, and then after the "send block" I have my delay, chorus, and reverb, and then a "return" block for the signal to come back from the amp? I'm just not getting how to set this up, and I've watched all the videos and read a lot of posts but none of it seems to make much sense.

 

I know how to physically hook up the cabling from the Helix LT to my amp with all 4 cables. I just don't know how to set this up properly in HX Edit, or on the Helix LT itself.

 

Can someone show me a screenshot of HX Edit, or of the screen on the Helix of the proper set up for this method?

 

Again, I'm just getting confused by the difference between the Block labeled "FX Loop" and the Blocks labeled "Send 1" and "Return 1".

 

 

What I'm asking to do here is the most common version of the 4CM, effects in front of the amp, delay/mod/rev effects in the effects loop of my amplifier. I don't want the Helix's preamp, or amp modeling, or anything else. I just want to have it running through both the input and the effects loop, and be able to turn individual effects on and off in each signal chain, not on or off all together.

 

 

 

 

Thanks in advance!

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You don't need to use separate Send and Return blocks. You just want to use a single FX Loop block. Anything you put before the FX Loop will be before your amp's input. So that would typically be things like a wah, compressor, overdrive, etc. Anything you put after the FX Loop block will be in your amp's FX loop. So that would normally be your time-based effects like modulations, delays and reverbs. That's really all there is to it.

 

I know some people use the separate Send and Return blocks, but there's really no reason to do that.

 

This is a good tutorial video:

 

 

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So I've done that with two different amps. In 1 instance, I had a really bad (presumably a ) ground hum, and the other, while it worked, the effects levels of those in the effects loops were incredibly low coming through the amp, while those in front seemed to be ok, but in both instances, it sounded like a dry signal was still coming through when playing through the distorted channel on my amp.

 

Not sure how to solve the ground hum, or what seem to be a dry signal coming through when playing on the distortion channel. Amp has a serial effects loop, as recommended.

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23 minutes ago, mmarino426 said:

So I've done that with two different amps. In 1 instance, I had a really bad (presumably a ) ground hum, and the other, while it worked, the effects levels of those in the effects loops were incredibly low coming through the amp, while those in front seemed to be ok, but in both instances, it sounded like a dry signal was still coming through when playing through the distorted channel on my amp.

 

Not sure how to solve the ground hum, or what seem to be a dry signal coming through when playing on the distortion channel. Amp has a serial effects loop, as recommended.

 

A few takeaways to check first:

 

1. Make sure that the ins/outs for the Helix are set to the appropriate levels (instrument vs. line level). From one of your examples above it sounds like you may have had the Helix set to instrument when it should have been line.

 

2. The default for the FX send/returns is to have some of the dry come through.  If you look at the block it has a mix setting.  At 50% it's a mix of dry and wet. Slide it all the way to 100% and it's all wet.  Slide it all the way to 0% and it's all dry.  Tweak that setting until you get the right mixture you're looking for.

 

3. Ground hum problems are typically a simple animal. Did you try using the ground lift switch on the back of the Helix? Were the amp and the Helix sharing the same outlet?  If you ground lift one of the devices and it is still occurring then it's not likely a grounding problem.

 

Edit:  Did you see in this video the extreme hum he encountered at the end?  Is that like the sound you were hearing?  Maybe you need to buy a hum eliminator too! (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Ebtech/2-Channel-Hum-Eliminator.gc).

 

 

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When I first set up for 4CM I was also confused.  What I finally figured out that helped me to visualize what was going on is that your amp's preamp section is in the FX Loop block of your preset.  As mentioned above, anything in front of the FX Loop Block is between your guitar and your amp's preamp.  Anything after the FX Loop Block is in your amp's fx loop, therefore between your amp's preamp and power amp.

 

A couple of things to keep in mind.  It is possible to "replace" your amp's preamp with a Helix amp or preamp.  I like to set up a single foot switch that bypasses the FX Loop Block while activating the Helix amp block.  I can then easily switch between them.  Normally you would not want to have the FX Loop Block and a Helix amp block active at the same time, although you can do anything you want if it gives you a tone you like.  Since you are using your amp's power amp and cab, you will not need a cab/IR block.

 

If you want to send a tone to the front of house, you need to create a separate path for it and add a cab or an IR to that path.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm a bass player trying to use my Warwick bass tube preamp in an effect loop using a HX Stump as explained above.  My only problem is that I can't find a way of setting the HX effect loop correctly, it can either be set to be instrument level or line level only, not both (global settings). Is there a way of setting the HX stump with effect loop instrument level out (into amp), line level in (back from amp effect loop send)?  

 

I manage to make it work somehow, but I have to set the input level very low to match e.g. when using an internal amp level instead. There are also not very much headroom before the HX make distortion to my bass signal. 

 

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4 hours ago, KStale said:

I'm a bass player trying to use my Warwick bass tube preamp in an effect loop using a HX Stump as explained above.  My only problem is that I can't find a way of setting the HX effect loop correctly, it can either be set to be instrument level or line level only, not both (global settings). Is there a way of setting the HX stump with effect loop instrument level out (into amp), line level in (back from amp effect loop send)?  

 

I manage to make it work somehow, but I have to set the input level very low to match e.g. when using an internal amp level instead. There are also not very much headroom before the HX make distortion to my bass signal. 

 

 

You can set the Send/Return Right and the Send/Return Left independently of each other. 

 

As a solution, have you tried setting the Send/Return Left to "instrument" and have the send plug into your amp's guitar input, and then set the Send/Return Right to "Line Level" and plug the amp's effects loop send into the right Stomp return that is set at line level?

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Thanks, that does work, however need two blocks doing that, one mono left out and one right mono in, have only 6 max. Would be great to do it in a single block.

Have another question though, not 100% related to this, but...

 

The stereo effect loop send, any problem using a mono jack cable in it, does it short the unused output?

 

The main outputs can be instrument or line, but many places they also talk about there are balanced outputs, expect that being done through two stereo jack to XLR, cables, correct?

If I manage to find a amp simulation that is close to the Warwick amp sound that I use today, I would like to connect the HX Stomp straight to X32 mixer. We allI use IEM anyway, do not need the bass amp for monitoring.

 

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10 hours ago, KStale said:

Thanks, that does work, however need two blocks doing that, one mono left out and one right mono in, have only 6 max. Would be great to do it in a single block.

Have another question though, not 100% related to this, but...

 

Yeah that's the challenge of the Stomp. I do hope that they allow more than 6 blocks in the future. At least if we're talking FX send and return blocks. Still, I wonder if what I described was too confusing. I do not have a device that is line only on a effects return, but what happens if you set the left send/return to instrument and the right send/return to line in global, and then use a single FX send/return block? Plug the bass preamp into the Stomp's FX send and then on the line level return plug it into the right FX return jack of the Stomp.

 

Based on the global settings, it should work.  I just tested it on a regular Stompbox and it passed the signal through just fine.  I just can't test it on your deal. 

 

Quote

The stereo effect loop send, any problem using a mono jack cable in it, does it short the unused output?

 

Nope, no problem at all. 

 

Quote

The main outputs can be instrument or line, but many places they also talk about there are balanced outputs, expect that being done through two stereo jack to XLR, cables, correct?

 

Well, there is a lot of public confusion on this one. Stereo cables, when not used as stereo cables, can function as balanced cables - BUT you are correct that the most common approach would be to do stereo cables to XLR cables. 

 

Quote

If I manage to find a amp simulation that is close to the Warwick amp sound that I use today, I would like to connect the HX Stomp straight to X32 mixer. We allI use IEM anyway, do not need the bass amp for monitoring.

 

 

That would be cool. Good luck. My preferred way these days is to ditch standard amps. Anyway, if my above simpler description doesn't work, another option to try (but is more complicated) is below:

 

A. Set global settings in/outs send/return L to "instrument level."

B. Set global settings in/outs send/return R to "line level."

C. Plug Warwick tube pre amp into Stomp's FX send. 

D. Plug Output of Warwick tube pre amp into Stomp's return R. 

 

Path Creation:

1. Split to A/B path. 

2. Place whatever blocks you want before the power amp on path B.

3. Start of path A place FX return R block with mix set to 100% (preventing original guitar signal from passing into path A BEFORE going into path B).

4. Place whatever blocks you'd like in the remainder of path A. 

5. Connect main out of Stomp to final amp.

 

First Example is shown below, followed by the more complex second one:

Power Loop Example #1.JPG

Power Amp Loop.JPG

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Thanks, interesting solution, that saves me one block.

However, I think I found an amp that sounds very similar to the one I got, the "Woody Blue", less noise and tighter low bass (use 5 strings) :)

I like also to route some of the bass direct signal all the way through as a parallel line to mix in, in the end. Effects tend to loose/kill the sub bass. The HX Stump can only have one parallel line.

Nice box though, so many ways to interface and it sounds amazing. 

 

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