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TLF2007

2-Acoustics / 2 Vocal Mics -Routing and mixing challenge

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I'm trying to make my Helix into a dual Acoustic patch as well as a dual Vocal patch with some level of mix control via footswitchs. My set up includes 2 powered PA speakers. Ultimately looking to limit wiring to make a simple in and out setup. 

 

  • First Question: I wanted to create a backup singer path via a Return input. I can get a 1/4" to XLR adapter but wonderign if anyone has tried this before I go and order it. If It works, whats the best way to set that path up. I'm going to use 4 blocks ( EQ, Mod Delay, Verb, Compressor) and I'll enough DSP to add a couple more. Will I need a tube comp etc or some other means to make that pathway sound as good as possible? Or will it sound like butt? 
  • 2nd Question:  I want to program Exp 1 & Exp 2 to switch between focus via one of the other footswitches instead of the toe switch. I tried to do this via the command center with no luck. Its so I can choose between me or my duo partner to fix guitar level (less important as we can do this onboard our E-acoustics ) or more importantly manage volume blocks for vocals but keep the pedal state where it is between focus of this switch (EXP1/2) toggle. I know I can add a EXP3 and just make have pedals for both and avoid this issue by assigning 1 to each. But again, trying to manage that with little to nothing more than the Helix. I also have a mixer that I can use but really trying to avoid more gear.  

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

 

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On 4/14/2019 at 8:22 AM, TLF2007 said:

I'm trying to make my Helix into a dual Acoustic patch as well as a dual Vocal patch with some level of mix control via footswitchs. My set up includes 2 powered PA speakers. Ultimately looking to limit wiring to make a simple in and out setup. 

 

  • First Question: I wanted to create a backup singer path via a Return input. I can get a 1/4" to XLR adapter but wonderign if anyone has tried this before I go and order it. If It works, whats the best way to set that path up. I'm going to use 4 blocks ( EQ, Mod Delay, Verb, Compressor) and I'll enough DSP to add a couple more. Will I need a tube comp etc or some other means to make that pathway sound as good as possible? Or will it sound like butt? 
  • 2nd Question:  I want to program Exp 1 & Exp 2 to switch between focus via one of the other footswitches instead of the toe switch. I tried to do this via the command center with no luck. Its so I can choose between me or my duo partner to fix guitar level (less important as we can do this onboard our E-acoustics ) or more importantly manage volume blocks for vocals but keep the pedal state where it is between focus of this switch (EXP1/2) toggle. I know I can add a EXP3 and just make have pedals for both and avoid this issue by assigning 1 to each. But again, trying to manage that with little to nothing more than the Helix. I also have a mixer that I can use but really trying to avoid more gear.  

 

Thanks in advance!!

 

 

 

First Question: I have never tried to set up the Helix with two mics. Not sure how a mic will sound coming into a Return input as it does not include a mic pre as the Helix's mic input does. If I did attempt this I might try to use some brand of mic preamp such as a  Presonus or even a small mixer for the mic that I intended to use in the Helix Return input. Frankly I don't know how impedance issues or mismatches plugging a mic into the Return might effect the sound but you could try it. Might work just fine with the right mic and mic preamp. I suppose you could also just plug the mic into the return jack and try to use the Helix's Mic Pre block and whatever other effects you want to include but I have no idea how this would sound either. Maybe someone else here has tried this. Let us know if you get this working and sounding decent.

 

2nd Question:  "Setting up volume blocks on two paths and using a footswitch instead of the toe switch to flip back and forth."

  1. These instructions are for making the changes on the Helix but you should be able to do this from the Editor if you prefer.
  2. Create a volume block on your first path. It will be assigned to the toe switch and EXP2 by default
  3. Highlight the volume block got to global settings and press controller #1 'Global Settings' --> 'Bypass Assign'
  4. Change the assignment from "Toe Switch" to whatever pedal switch you want on the 'Switch' parameter e.g. 'Switch' = "Footswitch 9"
  5. Create another volume block on your second path. It will be assigned to the toe switch and EXP2 by default
  6. Highlight the volume block got to global settings and press controller #1 'Global Settings' --> 'Bypass Assign'
  7. Change the 'Switch' parameter assignment from "Toe Switch" to the same footswitch you used for the volume block in your first path,  e.g. "Footswitch 9"
  8. With the volume block in the second path still highlighted go to global settings and press controller #2 'Global Settings' --> 'Controller Assign'
  9. Set the parameter 'Controller' = "EXP1"
  10. Save the preset
  11. Now Footswitch #9 (in this example) will control which volume block is being operated when you click it - first path or second path.  Remember, the toe switch no longer controls the two volume block bypass states. If the bypass state of the two volume blocks in the two paths is not flipping bypass states the way you want just set their bypass states to the desired combination via the Helix's 'Bypass' button  e.g path#1=on and path#2=off and Save again.
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39 minutes ago, HonestOpinion said:

 

First Question: I have never tried to set up the Helix with two mics. Not sure how a mic will sound coming into a Return input as it does not include a mic pre as the Helix's mic input does. If I did I attempt this I might try to use some brand of mic preamp such as a  Presonus or even a small mixer for the mic that I intended to use in the Helix Return input. Frankly I don't know how impedance issues or mismatches plugging a mic into the Return might effect the sound but you could try it. Might work just fine with the right mic and mic preamp. I suppose you could also just plug the mic into the return jack and try to use the Helix's Mic Pre block and whatever other effects you want to include but I have no idea how this would sound either. Maybe someone else here has tried this. Let us know if you get this working and sounding decent.

 

2nd Question:  "Setting up volume blocks on two paths and using a footswitch instead of the toe switch to flip back and forth."

  1. These instructions are for making the changes on the Helix but you should be able to do this from the Editor if you prefer.
  2. Create a volume block on your first path. It will be assigned to the toe switch and EXP2 by default
  3. Highlight the volume block got to global settings and press controller #1 'Global Settings' --> 'Bypass Assign'
  4. Change the assignment from "Toe Switch" to whatever pedal switch you want on the 'Switch' parameter e.g. 'Switch' = "Footswitch 9"
  5. Create another volume block on your second path. It will be assigned to the toe switch and EXP2 by default
  6. Highlight the volume block got to global settings and press controller #1 'Global Settings' --> 'Bypass Assign'
  7. Change the 'Switch' parameter assignment from "Toe Switch" to the same footswitch you used for the volume block in your first path,  e.g. "Footswitch 9"
  8. With the volume block in the second path still highlighted go to global settings and press controller #2 'Global Settings' --> 'Controller Assign'
  9. Set the parameter 'Controller' = "EXP1"
  10. Save the preset
  11. Now Footswitch #9 (in this example) will control which volume block is being operated when you click it - first path or second path.  Remember, the toe switch no longer controls the two volume block bypass states. If the bypass state of the two volume blocks in the two paths is not flipping bypass states the way you want just set their bypass states to the desired combination via the Helix's 'Bypass' button  e.g path#1=on and path#2=off and Save again.

Thank you for this! I definitely am going to try this. FYI, the returns work fine for a mic. Low noise, plenty of dB. I made a path with the LA Compressor and with an 10 band EQ block, a bit of harmony delay ( Very low mix on the harmony) and room reverb and it sounds great. Its for a back up mic but I thought I'd have to kick up the input volume etc but didn't. I tried with a mic pre but it was a lot of DSP that for the application was just as well with a preoperly set up compressor and EQ parameters that I was going to have to add anyway. I actually had a XLR to 1/4" mono cable in my gig backup box for fussy snakes / FOH mixers. So that part of the question I figured out. I ended up as a test just inserting a spare exp pedal and coudl get teh Helix to have a guitar and vocal mix levels at my feet by having the Helix control the end-chain compression dB level and that worked but wnat to elimiate the need for the second expression if I can. Thanks Again!!

  

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UPDATE- I gave this a shot before work and it doesn't really work. When I swtich between blocks it is also turing bypass state on or off. if I'm set at 50% once i switch to focus of other VOl block it bypasses and That chain is at full vol again. I may have missed something in your explanation. I'll look at it again later.

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Exactly. In the early days of Helix, I bought one to experiment for use as the main component for solo singer/songwriter stuff requiring 4 inputs (sax/mic, blues harp/mic, vocal/mic, and guitar ....acoustic and Variax acoustic). I wanted to use the Helix as an effects processor and mixer for the various inputs, as well as a guitar amp modeler). I was even using an phantom power supply needed for one of the non vocal mics, and using MIDI extensively for control and mixing. The experiment failed (only because I was asking too much of the Helix and it was never designed for what I was trying to use it for). Now I use a small digital mixer (XR12 with MIDI control) along with an HX Effects. The HX is used for guitar and other effects. Works great.

 

I still think, however, that you could use a Helix effectively as the only mixing/fx device (with powered speakers) for just vocal and guitar in a singer/songwriter situation. Just don't ask too much of it. At some point you (and you'll know when you reach that point!) you really need multiple pieces of equipment.

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4 hours ago, TLF2007 said:

UPDATE- I gave this a shot before work and it doesn't really work. When I swtich between blocks it is also turing bypass state on or off. if I'm set at 50% once i switch to focus of other VOl block it bypasses and That chain is at full vol again. I may have missed something in your explanation. I'll look at it again later.

 

You are right. Hope you did not spend too much time on it. I have used this approach successfully before when I wanted a footswitch other than the toe switch to move the expression pedal between for example a wah and a volume block but the problem in this scenario is that it turns the volume block off in one path. Not sure how to get this working where it will could leave both volume blocks on when you switch and maintain the position of the last one while you operate the alternating block. I will keep working on it but not sure there is a way to do it without perhaps sending a midi control message assigned to in this example footswitch#9 back to the volume blocks to make sure they both stay on.  Even that might cause an audible gap or event. Back to the drawing board.

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7 hours ago, TLF2007 said:

UPDATE- I gave this a shot before work and it doesn't really work. When I swtich between blocks it is also turing bypass state on or off. if I'm set at 50% once i switch to focus of other VOl block it bypasses and That chain is at full vol again. I may have missed something in your explanation. I'll look at it again later.

 

You may find this method to be a much better and simpler way to do this(if it works for your scenario). This approach just assigns both volume blocks to the expression pedal simultaneously. As you move the expression pedal one volume block's volume will go up as the other's goes down allowing you to set the balance between one path and the other. One of the advantages of this approach is it still leaves the EXP1 setting available if you wanted to assign it to, for example, a wah block. The disadvantage is that the expression pedal is now simultaneously setting the balance of both players volumes in relation to each other e.g. if you boost your volume, you reduce your bandmate's volume, that means you need to use an additional strategy, such as changing an amp model's 'Channel Volume', if you want to increase only your volume without impacting your bandmate's :

 

  1. Set up your two volume pedal blocks, one in each path
  2. Make sure they are both assigned to EXP2 (should assign to EXP2 by default). Doesn't matter what switch you use to bypass them, the default toe switch assignment is fine but you could always change it as detailed in the earlier post.
  3. Highlight one of the volume blocks, go to 'Global Settings' --> 'Controller Assign' and change the 'Min Value' = 100% and change the 'Max Value' to 0%. Now when you rock the expression pedal the volume block on one path will move towards 100% while the volume block on the other path moves towards 0%.
  4. Make sure both volume pedal blocks are active (not bypassed) and save the preset.
  5. Now when you rock the expression pedal at halfway both volume blocks will be at 50%. Rocking in either direction will turn the volume block up in one path simultaneously while it pulls the other one down.  No need to use a footswitch or toeswitch at all in this scenario as the expression pedal will control the balance between the two volumes.

 

Btw, I alluded to this in my original response as did a couple of other posters here. If you find the gyrations to get everything controlled from the Helix getting excessive or you are not getting exactly the result you are looking for you may find a small inexpensive mixer in combination with the Helix to be a simpler solution in the long run. It may get you a better sound for the second microphone and make balancing the two guitars easier as well.  I definitely understand the fascination with trying to get it all to work solely from within the Helix though.

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I may have missed something in the reading of this, but wouldn't snapshots work for this?  The way I have my helix setup I would think it would work great in 8 snapshot mode....

 

In this setup you'd have guitar 1/guitar 2.  Each section would include a chorus and whatever you do for your lead sounds (delay, vol boost or whatever).  Not sure how the DSP would work with this....but on paper, this is how I'd do it.  Its actually got me thinking of trying this as my other guitar player would benefit from having an actual 'preamp' for his elec/acc guitar.  Right now its just a straight out with no preamp controls and such. 

 

Here is what I'd try.  Exp pedal could then be attached to delay level, chorus level, whatever you want across Exp 1/2 settings and utilizing the toe switch to gain control of two effects. 

 

Preset - Dual Acoustic

Snapshot 1 - Dual Rhythm = raw rhythm sounds

Snapshot 2 - Chorus/Rhythm = chorus on path 1, raw on path 2

Snapshot 3 - Rhythm/Chorus = raw on path 1, chorus on path 2

Snapshot 4 - Chorus/Chorus = chorus on both paths

Snapshot 5 - Lead/Rhythm = guitar 1 solo/ rhythm on path 2

Snapshot 6 - Rhythm/Lead = rhythm on path 1/ guitar 2 solo

Snapshot 7 - Lead/Lead = solo on both guitars

Snapshot 8 - Extra - I can't think of another scenario I'd prefer. 

 

 

I'm by far a guru and doing this from work, so again, not sure how feasible this is.

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Hey All- Thanks for the replys. 

  • I do have a digital mixer and also a small format analog 8 that I'd consider to use. They both work well and would do the job well but still adding more stuff than I want to. I DO have a ridiculous facination to minimize gear. 
  • I added a second exp pedal and put a Vocal Mic on each.  This seemed like the easiest peripheral to add and allows me to dump out easy. I've set up 2 different Guitar paths set both to nominal and we'll control volume on our acoustics. A handful of patches will have different mixes so I set up these Preset 'blocks' with different initial levels and effects but I can maintain the Exp control throughout.

Again, thanks all for the tips. Ther are still some other things in here I want to try. I appreciate the time. 

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4 hours ago, TLF2007 said:

I DO have a ridiculous facination to minimize gear. 

 

This is normal behavior for some (myself included). Others go the opposite direction, but they often have roadies.

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