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Helix Distorted Dry Signal


DanAlexander
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I'm having some trouble with distortion (clipping?) of my dry guitar signal in my Helix. I recently got my hands on an 8-string strandberg with Fishman Fluence Modern active pickups, and noticed I was having trouble getting clean tones. I tried playing into an empty patch to hear what my dry signal sounds like, and it was a bit fuzzy/distorted sounding. I monitor my sound with 250 ohm Beyerdynamics headphones, so I doubt I'm over-driving them. The problem persisted with the phones volume turned down/up etc. I've also tinkered with other input settings, like turning the guitar input pad on/off, with no luck. Any advice? 

 

It also seems that, despite the input signal seeming super hot, recording the dry signal via USB to cakewalk yields an extremely weak signal; I'm new to this type of recording, but am I missing something?

 

Thanks!

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Sounds like may be clipping the input. Are you using the Guitar In? You could try turning the pad on in the Global Settings menu, but if that bass has a really hot output, which it sounds like it does, you may be better off using the Aux In. It was designed to handle active pickups.

 

As far as the dry signal you record via USB, yes, it will be pretty low typically. Although, if it's really weak, you probably want to make sure the battery in the guitar isn't dying. Having the pick up fart out like you're describing is a symptom of a dying battery.

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33 minutes ago, phil_m said:

Sounds like may be clipping the input. Are you using the Guitar In? You could try turning the pad on in the Global Settings menu, but if that bass has a really hot output, which it sounds like it does, you may be better off using the Aux In. It was designed to handle active pickups.

 

As far as the dry signal you record via USB, yes, it will be pretty low typically. Although, if it's really weak, you probably want to make sure the battery in your bass isn't dying. Having the pick up fart out like you're describing is a symptom of a dying battery.

Thanks, I've actually tried the Aux in because I read on another thread that it might be the solution, but no dice. Still get the fuzzy distorted sound.

 

27 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

First check would be the battery. I use actives into the guitar input all the time, pad on, with no issue. Then check your pickup height. Active should be close to the strings, but not too close. If none of that helps, try the AUX input and see how that works.

 

LOL @phil_m calling it a bass.

I changed the battery first thing when I got it (secondhand) just in case, but I'll change it again as a last-ditch to try to isolate the problem. I think the pickups seemed almost suspiciously far from the strings to me, actually, but maybe that's the next thing to try. It would be strange to me that they'd be setup too near/far though; according to the previous owner he hadn't adjusted anything and it was set up as strandberg would specify.

 

Re: the bass comment... I mean... he's not totally wrong ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Edited by DanAlexander
Clarified wording
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8 minutes ago, DanAlexander said:

Re: the bass comment... I mean... he's not totally wrong ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 I play a 9 string tuned one step below the low B of a five-string bass and a 30" scale. It's basically an ERB with extra high strings. Do those Fishman's have the selectable voicings? might be something else to look at.

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It turns out it was, in fact, the battery! And my foolishness. Apparently I got the new and old batteries confused when I swapped them out upon receiving the guitar... I could tell because a new 9V from the same package that I have at home had a different expiration date than the one in my guitar; so I must have taken the old battery out, put it back in, then thrown the fresh battery in the trash. At least it was a cheap and easy solution. 

 

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

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56 minutes ago, DanAlexander said:

It turns out it was, in fact, the battery! And my foolishness. Apparently I got the new and old batteries confused when I swapped them out upon receiving the guitar... I could tell because a new 9V from the same package that I have at home had a different expiration date than the one in my guitar; so I must have taken the old battery out, put it back in, then thrown the fresh battery in the trash. At least it was a cheap and easy solution. 

 

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

I started putting a piece of blue tape on my old batteries so I don't do that. I've done it a bunch of times because I'm really paranoid about my batteries dying so I change out for a new one every few shows (guitars, wireless, IEM receiver...lots of batteries) then go through the old ones at practice as they die. Nothing like checking every spot in your chain only to find out it was the battery the whole time. How are you liking the strandberg? Is it an Endurneck version?

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