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BRISTOL86

Managing volume levels

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Hi All

 

I’m back to Helix after coming back to electric guitar following a period of absence and I have some questions about managing the volume that comes out. I’m quite new to guitar in general and don’t have much experience of real amps so don’t assume I know anything, probably safest! 

 

Im using a Helix LT connected to Yamaha HS5 speakers, and I have the Helix connected to my MacBook and and so am sending sound from the Mac through the setup also. 

 

Basically I want to get set up so that the volume coming out of the system can be varied as easily as possible without fundamentally changing the tone of my patches. I play in a home/bedroom setup so have to be mindful of different times of day and how loud I can get away with playing. 

 

I’m just kind of confused by all the different ways that volume changes, and I need a bit of clarity. There’s just so many variables I never know what to change.

 

There’s:

 

- The big master volume knob on the Helix

- Volume control on each speaker

- Volume control on the guitar

- Channel volume on the amp/cab

- Master volume on the amp/cab

 

Injever know what to dial back (or up) - I end up just using the master volume knob on the Helix but this can then play havoc with what I’m playing out of the Mac, as having the Helix connected to the Mac disables the Mac volume controls. 

 

I’d appreciate any pointers! 

 

Thanks

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1 hour ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Basically I want to get set up so that the volume coming out of the system can be varied as easily as possible without fundamentally changing the tone of my patches. 

 

Well to start, this can only be accomplished for a fairly narrow range of volumes, and this is due to the fact that the way our brains interpret loudness of different frequency ranges is not at all linear. At lower conversational volumes, mid range frequencies are prominent. As you approach typical stage volume, the lows and highs become much more dominant, and mids have a tendency to vanish...a phenomenon we all have to deal with if you want the guitar to cut through the mix. So no matter where you are, any significant volume change will change your tone to a greater or lesser degree... there's no way around that. 

 

As for the rest, you'll get various opinions:

 

Helix master volume: I set mine at noon, and adjust as needed depending on the circumstances. Some guys are obsessed with "unity gain", and leave it maxed out all the time, but then you've got nowhere to go if you need to turn up a bit.

 

Speaker's volume control: It's not terribly practical. I hate having to reach behind stuff. Noon there, too.

 

Guitar volume: This will fundamentally change your sound... depending on the pickups and the amp tone you're using, this can take you from crystal clean to heavy crunch... it's not for adjusting overall volume. 

 

Channel volume: This is really for adjusting relative volumes of one patch (or snapshot)  to another, not so much overall volume as it can't be done quickly without digging through menus.

 

Amp's master volume: This can also change your tone significantly, depending on the amp model in question. The higher you crank it, the more gain you'll get... also not really an overall volume adjustment tool.

 

 

 

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Thanks for that @cruisinon2 , pretty much confirmed my own thoughts on everything (Helix at noon, speakers at noon and guitar volume untouched unless I’m actively looking to change the tone). 

 

I think I’m making it out to be more complicated than necessary because of the annoying way that the Mac disables it’s own volume control when you have the helix plugged in, which means you’re reliant on using each application’s own volume control to adjust the volume (ie web browser/music player/etc). I think I’ll set the helix master to noon (which will be way too loud for the Mac sound) and then use the global setting in the helix to reduce the volume on the usb. 

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6 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

Some guys are obsessed with "unity gain", and leave it maxed out all the time, but then you've got nowhere to go if you need to turn up a bit.

They are not obssesed with unity gain. Unity gain is valid for instrument level in to instrument level output all DSP block bypassed (what nobody cares). Albeit it is also true for overal digital level of output block. When you make your preset volume peaking at eg -6dBFS with the Volume Control set to noon, you will loose all your headroom at 3 o'clock and have clipping fully clockwise.

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32 minutes ago, zolko60 said:

They are not obssesed with unity gain. Unity gain is valid for instrument level in to instrument level output all DSP block bypassed (what nobody cares). Albeit it is also true for overal digital level of output block. When you make your preset volume peaking at eg -6dBFS with the Volume Control set to noon, you will loose all your headroom at 3 o'clock and have clipping fully clockwise.

 

I neverget get to 3 o'clock... rarely past 1:30 or so. And frankly, I can't imagining the scenario where I'd need to max out...it would blow me into next week. I've never had a problem with clipping, or getting loud enough. As always, to each their own... there's more than one way to do almost everything.  

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3 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

I neverget get to 3 o'clock... rarely past 1:30 or so. And red-lining would blow me into next week. I've never had a problem with clipping, or getting loud enough. 

 

Yeah . . . sure wish I was at 5 o'clock though.

 

Love Mondays. 

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1 hour ago, BRISTOL86 said:

Thanks for that @cruisinon2 , pretty much confirmed my own thoughts on everything (Helix at noon, speakers at noon and guitar volume untouched unless I’m actively looking to change the tone). 

 

I think I’m making it out to be more complicated than necessary because of the annoying way that the Mac disables it’s own volume control when you have the helix plugged in, which means you’re reliant on using each application’s own volume control to adjust the volume (ie web browser/music player/etc). I think I’ll set the helix master to noon (which will be way too loud for the Mac sound) and then use the global setting in the helix to reduce the volume on the usb. 

 

This is why I use a separate interface, despite the fact that it's totally unnecessary as Helix is itself an interface. Yes, it means an extra round of D/A and A/D conversion, which some guys will condemn as tonally ruinous. But I've tried it both ways, and I honestly I don't think I could tell the difference with a gun to my head.

 

My Focusrite 2i4 has both a master volume, and a direct monitoring mix control, which in blends the incoming Helix signal and the audio from your computer.... all right in front of me at arms length. I have absolutely no latency issues and never have to fuss with the computer audio volume. Just turn the mix control to taste. It's as easy as it gets. 

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And another view - 

 

Ever notice that the Channel Volume default is different on every amp? I THINK (never seen it documented) that the reason is that the Channel Volume, while it doesn't affect the amp's tone, does affect the level sent to the effects that FOLLOW the amp, and the default levels are intended to not clip anything following the amp. Of course, as soon as you start messing with the other amp level settings (gain, master) that's out the window. Until we get some sort of level indicators we're guessing at that point. Instead of using the Channel Volume to balance presets, I use the final Output block's level.

 

The Big Knob is most useful as a monitor level control. Whether you're using it in the bedroom with 5" monitors or on stage with a real amp/FRFR stage monitor. On stage, you'd run the 1/4" outs (line level) to your monitor and set the big knob to control those outs. The XLR outs would then always send a (mic level) Unity Gain signal to the FOH board.

 

Then there's the way that I use it at home. I have two configurations. In the office I use Helix as my interface. I run the 1/4" outs to a small Behringer board ((XYNEX502) and keep the Big Knob maxed (unity gain) because the Helix is under my desk. I then run a stereo cable from my laptop's headphone out to the board. The main outs from the board go to a decent quality Sony bookshelf system (2x6+10 sub). I can then jam along to YT, Spotify etc and mix the levels from the board on the desktop.

 

In the studio I use a Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 as interface. I take the 1/4" out from my G10 wireless to the Helix Input, and take the XLR from the G10 to the 18i20. Then I take the XLR outs  (mic level) from the Helix to a pair of inputs on the 18i20. The Helix (line level) 1/4" mono out goes to my FRFR112 for zero latency performance monitoring, with the Big Knob assigned to the 1/4" outs. 

 

This setup is essentially the same as the stage setup described above with the 18i20 taking the place of the FOH board, and allows me to record the Helix signal AND a clean guitar signal in Reaper, which I can then "re-amp" with Native. The recorded output from Reaper goes to my Rokit 6 monitors which also carry drum and keyboard tracks while recording guitar. As with the office setup, I run a stereo cable from the laptop headphone out to the 18i20 for streaming purposes. The difference here is that since the streaming signal goes thru the 18i20, I can play along and record it in Reaper, which also becomes the output "mixer" portion of the equation.

 

So you see, there's lots of ways to do this, thus the varying opinions on how. 

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8 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

And another view - 

 

Ever notice that the Channel Volume default is different on every amp? I THINK (never seen it documented) that the reason is that the Channel Volume, while it doesn't affect the amp's tone, does affect the level sent to the effects that FOLLOW the amp, and the default levels are intended to not clip anything following the amp. Of course, as soon as you start messing with the other amp level settings (gain, master) that's out the window. Until we get some sort of level indicators we're guessing at that point. Instead of using the Channel Volume to balance presets, I use the final Output block's level.

 

 

Sure, that works too. As far as level meters are concerned, I know lots of guys want them, but checking every block in the signal chain to see what the meter registers is not my idea of fun. It's just something else to obsess over and tinker with, and I've got more than enough of that already.  We've all managed so far without rampant complaints of uncontrollable clipping. Hell, all the analog snobs who still run two dozen individual pedals have no visual way to determine how much signal is hitting each stomp box either, and they're not crying in their beer over it. If they hear clipping, they gotta track it down the old fashioned way...

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2 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

This is why I use a separate interface, despite the fact that it's totally unnecessary as Helix is itself an interface. Yes, it means an extra round of D/A and A/D conversion, which some guys will condemn as tonally ruinous. But I've tried it both ways, and I honestly I don't think I could tell the difference with a gun to my head.

 

My Focusrite 2i4 has both a master volume, and a direct monitoring mix control, which in blends the incoming Helix signal and the audio from your computer.... all right in front of me at arms length. I have absolutely no latency issues and never have to fuss with the computer audio volume. Just turn the mix control to taste. It's as easy as it gets. 

 

Interesting. I have a 2i2 gathering dust in the drawer here, maybe I'll try running that in between the Mac and the Helix!

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1 hour ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

Sure, that works too. As far as level meters are concerned, I know lots of guys want them, but checking every block in the signal chain to see what the meter registers is not my idea of fun. It's just something else to obsess over and tinker with, and I've got more than enough of that already.  We've all managed so far without rampant complaints of uncontrollable clipping. Hell, all the analog snobs who still run two dozen individual pedals have no visual way to determine how much signal is hitting each stomp box either, and they're not crying in their beer over it. If they hear clipping, they gotta track it down the old fashioned way...

 

If they implemented it in such a way as that any block that was clipping would flash, or change color or something, that might prevent the OC types amongst us from going insane, and might even satisfy the 300 people who've posted separate requests for it on Ideascale! 

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24 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

If they implemented it in such a way as that any block that was clipping would flash, or change color or something, that might prevent the OC types amongst us from going insane, and might even satisfy the 300 people who've posted separate requests for it on Ideascale! 

 

OMFG that is one of the simplest (at least UI wise) and yet most brilliant ideas I've ever heard. It doesn't require any complex visual processing on the part of the device and yet it quickly communicates to the user what the problem is.

 

If I was some fancy shmancy department head I'd be pushing for your idea and giving you a raise right now. 

 

Too bad I'm just an average Line 6 shmuck. 

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I've spent some time with about 6 preset "templates" that have my 6 favorite amp models and 2-3 overdrive/distortion blocks each. Each preset has been "gain staged" so then I can just drop in whatever time based stuff I need to sprinkle in at the time. I have found myself never needing to go beyond those 6 preset templates in the past year or so. I have MANY presets using those templates as a base. 

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47 minutes ago, Kilrahi said:

 

OMFG that is one of the simplest (at least UI wise) and yet most brilliant ideas I've ever heard. It doesn't require any complex visual processing on the part of the device and yet it quickly communicates to the user what the problem is.

 

If I was some fancy shmancy department head I'd be pushing for your idea and giving you a raise right now. 

 

Too bad I'm just an average Line 6 shmuck. 

 

Thank you. There must be a technical problem with doing that, as I KNOW I'm not smarter than the tech wizards at L6!

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The problem has not technical nature or there is no problem at all. Helix is 32 floating internally so there is some headroom above 0dBFS before DA converters. It is possible to to clip coverters but rather hard to archive. The Volume Knob is digital attenuator, so it protects clipping for converters for outputs it is assigned for. This is why to implement clipping indicator that gives some useful information it must have been implemented for each pair of outputs converters cause they may have individual output block volume controll. 
Line6 aproach is different - while you make your patches with the volume control clockwise and do not hear (and/or check with DAW monitoring) clipping you are safe.
After all while having your output signal peaking at -30dBFS trades S/N ratio, nobody cares about it. It it good if it sounds good.

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6 hours ago, zolko60 said:

The problem has not technical nature or there is no problem at all. Helix is 32 floating internally so there is some headroom above 0dBFS before DA converters. It is possible to to clip coverters but rather hard to archive. The Volume Knob is digital attenuator, so it protects clipping for converters for outputs it is assigned for. This is why to implement clipping indicator that gives some useful information it must have been implemented for each pair of outputs converters cause they may have individual output block volume controll. 
Line6 aproach is different - while you make your patches with the volume control clockwise and do not hear (and/or check with DAW monitoring) clipping you are safe.
After all while having your output signal peaking at -30dBFS trades S/N ratio, nobody cares about it. It it good if it sounds good.

 

That is a very good reminder, thank you for pointing that out.

 

I'd still like a blinking box though. Just sounds cool. 

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I try to attenuate as little as possible on the Helix. Master volume knob cranked, volume pedal fully engaged, volumes on amps pretty high. Tone is best that way. Of course the FRFR has to be DOWN to avoid serious injury, but since it's FLAT, it's not contributing to tone anyway.

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On 4/1/2019 at 4:24 PM, cruisinon2 said:

As for the rest, you'll get various opinions:

 

Helix master volume: I set mine at noon, and adjust as needed depending on the circumstances. Some guys are obsessed with "unity gain", and leave it maxed out all the time, but then you've got nowhere to go if you need to turn up a bit.

 

 

 

You must max your master knob......

 

If you need to turn up a bit (on a gig you must not do that in order to not degrade your soundman's mix anyway) you still have the option to put a block "comp/boost" (for solos for example)

 

Anyway it's far better to set up your presets with master volume knob fully engaged and play with your gain and volume in the amp preset

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1 hour ago, enjalt said:

 

You must max your master knob......

 

If you need to turn up a bit (on a gig you must not do that in order to not degrade your soundman's mix anyway) you still have the option to put a block "comp/boost" (for solos for example)

 

Anyway it's far better to set up your presets with master volume knob fully engaged and play with your gain and volume in the amp preset

 

Oh really??  It's amazing they included a master volume knob at all then since according to your "rules of engagement" we don't need it.  Heck, at least they need to pass a law if we MUST do it.  What do you think?  A felony or a misdemeanor?

I hate to tell you this, but when it comes to how people are actually using their Helix units, the rules you've established are clearly in minority from the responses I've seen over the last 3 1/2 years.  In case you didn't know you can disconnect the signal you're sending to your soundman from the master volume knob in global ins/outs.  I'm betting Line 6 included such a feature so it would allow users to adjust their master volume knob without it affecting their signal feed to the mixer.  You'd think someone that's making rules for all the rest of us would know something like that....

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1 hour ago, enjalt said:

 

You must max your master knob......

 

If you need to turn up a bit (on a gig you must not do that in order to not degrade your soundman's mix anyway) you still have the option to put a block "comp/boost" (for solos for example)

 

Anyway it's far better to set up your presets with master volume knob fully engaged and play with your gain and volume in the amp preset

 

No, I mustn't. 

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5 hours ago, enjalt said:

 

You must max your master knob......

 

If you need to turn up a bit (on a gig you must not do that in order to not degrade your soundman's mix anyway) you still have the option to put a block "comp/boost" (for solos for example)

 

Anyway it's far better to set up your presets with master volume knob fully engaged and play with your gain and volume in the amp preset

 

NONSENSE! (which means makes no sense)

 

First, to avoid messing with the signal to FOH (if your're sending it via XLR), you simply ASSIGN the master (BIG KNOB) to control the 1/4" (your stage monitor, if you're using one). That leaves the XLR sending Unity Gain to FOH regardless of the BIG KNOB setting

.

Second, the whole concept of GAIN STAGING is that if you change the gain at block 1, that affects block 2, which needs be adjusted to compensate and that affects block 3, etc on down the line. Therefore, you should ONLY mess with the amp's level controls (gain, master) to get the TONE you want from the amp. The CHANNEL control (and additional gain blocks) are then used to control the level sent to the blocks downstream from the amp. Leveling the final output between presets should be done at the END of the chain, using either the Output Block or a final Gain Block, compressor, or whatever.

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This has been a topic for some time and you can search for great suggestions in the forum.  In addition, everything in this thread is extremely helpful to me for reinforcing what I have read in the past posts.  In addition I am fortunate that the sound engineer I work with for the majority of our jobs takes the time to work with me.  He'll set the system up and have his laptop up while we communicate back and forth during sound checks.  It started out with two guitars I use with their various specialized setlists developed over time.  He would communicate the displayed metered db on his laptop.  It has led to a great relationship and better understanding of the best practice for db management and output matching for all my patches. 

 

On a side note I believe there is a post in ideascale for making metering native to the Helix but I could be wrong; I've gotten to a point of satisfaction with my patches and playing almost as much as working my W2 job.  That doesn't mean the next update will stop me for wood-shedding with the Helix on some downtime this Summer.  LOL

 

Dennis

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Excuse my english...

 

I meant when you're create your preset I think it's better to max the big knob and play with the CHANNEL control (thx rd2rk).

Anyway I understand people who are not doing the same, in the case the 1/4" output is used for IEM for example(as mentionned above)

 

Personally I disable it (sent to FOH). got my inst via the XLR output and my vocals via 1/4" output.

don't use the big knob att all (that's why i leave it max)

My IEM is not connected to Helix. The soundman send it back through an auxiliary so i can (as each of my bandmates who have an assigned auxiliary) have my personnal mix (via an app on my phone for example).

 

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30 minutes ago, enjalt said:

 

I meant when you're create your preset I think it's better to max the big knob and play with the CHANNEL control (thx rd2rk).

Anyway I understand people who are not doing the same, in the case the 1/4" output is used for IEM for example(as mentionned above)

 

 

There's no technical benefit to having the Helix master volume maxed out.  The only thing that really matters is that you have some way of consistently setting your output level, which can be done any number of ways.  Having the master volume knob at the 12 o'clock position with a higher channel volume producing -6 db on a signal meter is no different than having the master volume maxed out with a lower channel volume.  It's still -6 db on a signal meter....which is ultimately all that matters.  We're in the digital world where signal to noise ratios (SNR) and total harmonic distortion (THD) are negligible. 

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11 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

There's no technical benefit to having the Helix master volume maxed out.

There is. This is not Master Volume but Digital Master Attenuator. Attenuation in digital domain is bit depth truncation. Each 6dB of attenuation is 1 bit less. According to my measurring Hx DAC S/N ratio can be about 115dB, so the real bit depth is about 19bit. Having patch headroom of 12dB reduces it to 17bits. Helix Volume Knob is logarithmic. At noon it has about -15dB of gain reduction. That is 15 bit. To make nice digital sound with 15 bits attenuation algorithm must add a dithering noise.

 

12 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

We're in the digital world where signal to noise ratios (SNR) and total harmonic distortion (THD) are negligible. 

These are the main parameters by which we distinguish 50$ interface/DAC and 500$ one. Some people say they are important, claim to hear the difference and pay more.

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6 hours ago, zolko60 said:

There is. This is not Master Volume but Digital Master Attenuator. Attenuation in digital domain is bit depth truncation. Each 6dB of attenuation is 1 bit less. According to my measurring Hx DAC S/N ratio can be about 115dB, so the real bit depth is about 19bit. Having patch headroom of 12dB reduces it to 17bits. Helix Volume Knob is logarithmic. At noon it has about -15dB of gain reduction. That is 15 bit. To make nice digital sound with 15 bits attenuation algorithm must add a dithering noise.

 

 

I can't argue with this, because it may as well be in Chinese. But what I do know is this: I've tried it both ways. Master volume maxed out and levels adjusted elsewhere, and master left somewhere around noon so I have a quick and easy way to raise or lower my monitor volume on stage. At any given volume, I couldn't tell the difference if you beat me with a red hot poker. So dithering noises and their 15 bits can cram it...whatever on God's green earth they might be...;)

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24 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

I can't argue with this, because it may as well be in Chinese. But what I do know is this: I've tried it both ways. Master volume maxed out and levels adjusted elsewhere, and master left somewhere around noon so I have a quick and easy way to raise or lower my monitor volume on stage. At any given volume, I couldn't tell the difference if you beat me with a red hot poker. So dithering noises and their 15 bits can cram it...whatever on God's green earth they might be...;)

 

It's possible that what Zolko is attempting to describe in what is obviously not his native language (kudos for trying!) is a subtlety that's more important to a recording engineer than to a performing artist. FWIW, I use the BIG KNOB the same way, for final output control to my amp/monitor, and I can't hear a difference either.

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30 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

It's possible that what Zolko is attempting to describe in what is obviously not his native language (kudos for trying!) is a subtlety that's more important to a recording engineer than to a performing artist. FWIW, I use the BIG KNOB the same way, for final output control to my amp/monitor, and I can't hear a difference either.

 

My analogy was specific to the engineering jargon, which I freely admit is miles over my head...I wasn't poking fun at his attempt to get his point across, but rather the fact that I haven't the faintest idea what he's talking about, lol... hence the smiley face. Honestly, I didn't even pick up on any language barrier.. it all just sounded like he was reading from an EE textbook. 

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Posted a link below to another discussion on this point on some other website; interesting and worthwhile but exhausting. Like others here the OCD part of my brain does want to know what the ideal volume knob setting is but is the difference audible or "significant"? Gotta trust my ears 'cos there's enough science involved in this when you really start drilling down to terraform Mars. Like others here I use my volume knob only for my stage monitor where cranking it up and down as needed works great, despite any potential bit depth changes. I generally keep it at least around noon or a bit higher and adjust my monitor's volume down if necessary. I send the Helix's full output(not controlled or interrupted by the volume knob) to FOH (easy to set up in global settings for anyone who has not tried it). 

 

This ideal volume knob setting debate has been batted around for years now and yet still somehow it remains interesting (I need another hobby).  I certainly think in many(most?) scenarios at least the ones I have encountered, the quality of the sound does not vary significantly enough to my volume deafened ears to demand any one approach. It makes sense to me to go with whatever works best with your setup if it does not significantly and audibly degrade your sound.

 

Note: I do recall there was a time or two when Line6's DigitalIgloo posted that the best sound was to be had with the volume knob maxed. 

 

Link to alternate websites's discussion regarding digital(sometimes called "software") attenuation:

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/effective-number-of-bits-or-why-you-have-to-keep-software-at-full-volume-is-nonsense.671220/

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19 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

There's no technical benefit to having the Helix master volume maxed out.  The only thing that really matters is that you have some way of consistently setting your output level, which can be done any number of ways.  Having the master volume knob at the 12 o'clock position with a higher channel volume producing -6 db on a signal meter is no different than having the master volume maxed out with a lower channel volume.  It's still -6 db on a signal meter....which is ultimately all that matters.  We're in the digital world where signal to noise ratios (SNR) and total harmonic distortion (THD) are negligible. 

 

What DunedinDragon has stated is one of the things I didn't clearly state in my previous post.  I usually have my Helix Master Volume at about 11:00 o'clock.  For me it seems to give me a better sound to my ears when I am creating my patches; which makes it a qualitative statement.  YMMV

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55 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

 

My analogy was specific to the engineering jargon, which I freely admit is miles over my head...I wasn't poking fun at his attempt to get his point across, but rather the fact that I haven't the faintest idea what he's talking about, lol... hence the smiley face. Honestly, I didn't even pick up on any language barrier.. it all just sounded like he was reading from an EE textbook. 

 

I knew you meant the jargon, same here. I just forgot the smiley! :-)

 

Think that's bad? I just checked out the link provided by Honest Opinion. Buncha geeks over there, tell ya what! My takeaway is that if what Zolko said is true, that the BIG KNOB is a  "Digital Master Attenuator" (not an analog volume control like I thought), then it comes before the DA converters, and that's where all that bit loss stuff comes into play.

 

So, the BEST way to use the BIG KNOB would be to keep it maxed (raising the question of what purpose DOES it serve?), and place an analog volume control device (like a small mixing board or?) between the Helix and our monitors. But wouldn't that then possibly add another potential noise source in the signal chain?

 

And then there's this (from the Head Hi-Fi link):

"It might not be a real audible issue, but 100% digital volume can cause clipping in the digital reconstruction filters of some DAC chips, because the peaks in the analog signal can exceed 0 dBFS by 1-2 dB with "loud" music."

 

Does a cranked virtual Marshall Stack count as "loud" in the digital domain?

 

-2 +2 -2  = -2 that I can't hear anyway, so do I care? I should care. Why don't I care? I must be defective. NO I'M NOT! I'm perfect, like everybody else!

I'm  going to eat a donut and go to bed now...... 

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Guys... Common sense, not 32 floating mambo jumbo.

Do you mix? Would you pass peaking at -30dBFS mix for mastering? I don't think so.
Why not treat Hx Volume Control fully clockwise as maximal volume state you will ever use? In case of emergency playing in super noisy enviroment like in ironworks, during  hurricane or vulcano eruption you can always make your monitor louder. 
Peace bros! ;)

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5 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

I knew you meant the jargon, same here. I just forgot the smiley! :-)

 

Think that's bad? I just checked out the link provided by Honest Opinion. Buncha geeks over there, tell ya what! My takeaway is that if what Zolko said is true, that the BIG KNOB is a  "Digital Master Attenuator" (not an analog volume control like I thought), then it comes before the DA converters, and that's where all that bit loss stuff comes into play.

 

So, the BEST way to use the BIG KNOB would be to keep it maxed (raising the question of what purpose DOES it serve?), and place an analog volume control device (like a small mixing board or?) between the Helix and our monitors. But wouldn't that then possibly add another potential noise source in the signal chain?

 

 

THAT is exactly the question here.  If it's true that the big knob is a "digital master attenuator" not only would that run at odds with the design of every digital mixing board on the planet, but it would have to be an extraordinary deficiency designed into the system.  I seriously doubt Line 6 would ever reveal if that's true since they've always been extraordinarily tight lipped about anything to do with their internal design, but it certainly doesn't act that way to my (and many others users) ears.  Case in point being, I often turn down my Helix master volume knob when practicing from it's normal performance position at 11 o'clock to around 9 o'clock if it's late at night or very early in the morning out of consideration for my neighbors.  The differences I hear are more consistent with the changes I'd expect in the Fletcher Munson effect, not loss of fidelity.  In fact they're quite consistent with the changes I hear when I go through my QSC TM-30 mixing board and perform the same function.  If you do the digital math on such operations I would expect it to start sounding more like an AM radio given the bit loss.  I would also expect to note a significant loss in fidelity between my stage sound and my FOH sound given my Master Volume knob is disconnected from my XLR outs going to the mixer which would be a loss of more than HALF the bit depth since my stage sound is driven by the Master Volume knob at 11 o'clock, but that's clearly not the case.

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7 hours ago, zolko60 said:

Guys... Common sense, not 32 floating mambo jumbo.

Do you mix? Would you pass peaking at -30dBFS mix for mastering? I don't think so.
Why not treat Hx Volume Control fully clockwise as maximal volume state you will ever use? In case of emergency playing in super noisy enviroment like in ironworks, during  hurricane or vulcano eruption you can always make your monitor louder. 
Peace bros! ;)

 

I could, yes... but it's wildly inconvenient live, because it involves reaching behind/underneath the stupid monitor and fumbling for a knob that's about 1/8 the size of Helix's master volume, which I can't see without contorting into a yoga pose that would put me and my middle-aged spine in the hospital. And since I can't hear the difference between 32/15 floating bit dithers and whatever the alternative is... it ain't happening. Next....;)

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