DunedinDragon Posted April 17, 2019 Share Posted April 17, 2019 I apologize in advance for the long post, but hopefully there's a few tidbits of info that may be useful to some members of the forum in here. We've seen a number of discussions recently regarding where to set your Helix master volume setting, the pros and cons, and the speculations. I've mentioned several times that I normally have mine set at 11 o'clock when I'm working on and normalizing the volume of my patches, and have had it there with no problems for the last 3 1/2 years. However I have had some concerns about that that particular setting that really doesn't relate to better or worse quality of tone, but revolves more around having a better setup that's more easily managed. This stems from the fact that my rig is setup to use an on stage Yamaha DXR12 as my stage speaker which I position behind me on a half height stand in a normal backline situation, and a separate XLR output that goes direct to the mixing board using an inline phantom power blocker. I've disengaged my Helix master volume from controlling my XLR outputs and have set those XLR outputs to Mic level with my 1/4" output going to the DXR12 at line level and being controlled by the Helix master volume knob. This isolates any on stage volume changes made on the Helix volume knob from impacting the XLR signal level output to the mixer. And although this has worked perfectly in a wide range of settings with different PA's or with just using the DXR12 for instrument and vocals only through a PA, it has concerned me at a couple of levels for a while that made me start considering a change in the Helix volume knob setting. As far as background info, as you may know, when you disengage the Helix volume knob from affecting an XLR or 1/4" out, the Helix defaults to sending a signal that's equivalent to having your Helix volume knob maxed out on that output line. Even sending that XLR signal out at Mic level (which is quite a bit lower than Line level), there's still a considerable difference in the signal strength that goes into the mixing board, causing it to need the gain setting on the channel to be cut down considerably due to the volume levels within my patches which are higher due to having my Helix volume set at 11 o'clock. This isn't a huge issue as it can easily be gain staged at the board to unity, but it could present problems on certain mixing boards that might not have very capable channel preamp setups on their mixer. So by raising the Helix master volume up to 3 o'clock and adjusting my internal preset volumes lower, I can minimize this major disparity between the two signals that could potentially be a problem. Although I might lose some of the overall headroom for making volume adjustments to my on stage setup, I've never had to raise my Helix volume above 12 o'clock. So setting it at 3 o'clock gives me ample room for adjustment, and actually more headroom within my patches for adjusting master and channel volumes on the various amp models. I did this adjustment on six of my presets this morning and all went quickly and very well, although there were a few things I learned in doing it that may be something people need to consider. Although it's generally held that making volume adjustments in your preset using the channel volume of the amp won't affect the overall tone of your patch, that's true except for patches that contain effects after the amp since they're receiving a much lower input signal. Most of my post amp effects tend to be EQ's, compressors, reverbs, delays, twin harmony, and an occasional chorus or phaser, but that's pretty rare. First I didn't notice any kind of quality level difference in the sound by having higher Helix volume setting once I adjusted my amp levels. What was most noticeable were the level of dynamics in picking or plucking the strings harder. Not a huge difference, but noticeable. I suspect this may be attributed to the circuitry modeled in the amps that may act as a limiter if the channel volume is very high. What was most affected was my post amp compressor which is typically the LA Compressor. With the lower amp channel volumes I noticed I needed to raise my Peak Reduction or amount of compression from my normal settings of around 5.5 to up around 6 or 6.5 and that I needed to also raise my compressed/dry mix from around 80 to up around 90. I suspect these are artifacts from the greater dynamic range I got from the amp models when I lowered the channel volumes. Other than that I can't say I ran into any problems with the reverbs/delays or EQs. I wasn't working with any patches that used the Twin Harmony, but that will be the next thing I concentrate on. In the end I was able to accomplish what I set out to accomplish with my disengaged XLR output line signal now falling in line with the rest of the normal XLR inputs from other sources which is exactly what I was after. Hopefully some of this info will be useful to others. 2 3 3 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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