Jump to content
medianocturne

Powercab 112+ and User IRs > XLR Question

Recommended Posts

Hey all, 

 

I experienced some confusion and frustration on the gig last night with my Powercab, and haven’t been able to find a clear answer since.  I’m hoping this ever-knowledgeable community can help me sort it out.  I’ll try to keep it brief:

 

In the past, I’ve used my Helix (floor) into Powercab+, all analog (XLR to amp) >> Powercab XLR > FOH.  All processing was done inside the Helix and I was using Helix cab sims/mics within the Helix, and sending that signal FRFR to Powercab (using Powercab as stage monitor and sending XLR to FOH, sans mic’ing).   Everything has been great, always sounds great coming out of FOH.

 

This time, different gig..different needs.. Decided to use 3rd party IR’s and store them in the Powercab (needed to free up processing space, plus figured.. ‘why not’)

 

Setup was Guitar > Helix > (XLR into) Powercab > XLR > FOH.  Same deal, just 3rd party IR’s and stored in the Cab.  Helix was doing amp sim and effects, but cab IR was on the Powercab.  Much to my dismay, at soundcheck.. everything sounded great on stage, but FOH was getting no IR/Cab sim from the Powercab XLR out.  This brings me to my question, which I can’t find clearly stated in the manual or anywhere else:

 

Does the Powercab 112+ send the signal of internally stored User IR-processed audio out via XLR?!

 

Empirical (and embarrassing) evidence from last nights show tells me it does not, which to me is baffling and should really be much more clearly stated (Yes I realize I should and could have fully tested this ahead of time, I just assumed whatever was coming out of the speaker would go out the XLR, which had been my experience doing all of the sim’ing internally on the Helix and sending it into the cab FRFR).  I don’t understand why you would store IRs, process incoming audio through the IRs.. but not send that processed audio out via XLR.  That was my experience, but I can’t find any definitive answer.. is it a setting?  Just the way it is? Helix amp sim > User IR in Powercab > all good out the front, no good out the back.  I feel like that just can’t be right.. but it’s definitely what I was getting.

 

The quick fix was to dial in the same IR locally on the Helix and use one of my XLR outs (from Helix) straight to FOH, the other to the cab.  However in my embarrassed frustration, I failed to appreciate that put me in 2x IR mode on stage.. not a huge deal (and of course avoidable had I been thinking clearly). 

 

What was worse, again due to soundcheck timing and frustration.. I forgot to SAVE the patch with IR dialed on the Helix.. powered down.. turned back on at set time.. Needless to say, the first song didn’t sound good.. at all.  Fortunately, the sound guy was quick to drop some EQ, but that screechy un-IR’d sound is going to live in my memory for quite awhile.  

 

If anyone can definitely help me answer this, I’d be truly grateful.  I’m about to set everything up with an XLR out to my board to see what’s what, I suppose I already know.. but I guess I’m trying to find out if there IS a way to get the IR’d audio out via XLR, or if that feature is just intended for ‘in the room’ use and an FOH IR use must come from the Helix directly.  Again, to me that sounds just super-wrong.  What’s the purpose, to allow you to get the tone you want stored inside the Powercab, but not be able to gig with it.. I just don’t get it (yet :) )

 

So much for keeping it brief I guess, sorry for the novel.  Any insights would be greatly appreciated.  Thx - Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don’t use IRs in Powercab, so I haven’t tested this. It was my understanding that in Flat mode, the XLR output was the same as the input. In Speaker model, the XLR output was a mic’d version (probably an IR) of the selected speaker. And in IR mode, the XLR out was the processed IR output, the same thing that goes to the Powercab power amp.

 

That said, I can’t find that stated anywhere in the latest Powercab manual.

 

Frankly, I don’t see a lot of advantage using an IR in Powercab other than 1) you don’t have a Helix or some other device capable of supporting the IRs, 2) you’re trying to save a block - especially with HX Stomp. But using an IR in Powercab isn’t really leveraging Powercab’s big advantage - Speaker Mode. In this mode you get speaker models (which I think are just simple EQ matching), and no microphone - so the sound is more natural, like an amp in the room. Even with HX Stomp, I’d use the Speaker mode in Powercab. I think they sound quite a bit better than a similar IR into Flat/FRFR mode. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what a valid question and concern and one I was searching for before purchasing. Well this thread made my mind up thank you, terrible support.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven’t seen this thread until now, but in User IR Mode, the IRs stored in the PC are processed out of the XLR out, yes. I mean, that’s the point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks guys for getting back to me on this (sorry it's been quite awhile, I've just been playing it safe and IR'ing through the Helix since then).  @amsdenj, your feedback on the forums is always appreciated, you've helped me solve alot of problems without knowing it.  I agree with your assessment in terms of functionality, and that was my assumption as well.. however this didn't seem to be the case (fully processed PC+ User IR sound > XLR out of PC+).  I still haven't gotten fully to the bottom of it.  I have a second PC+ coming from Sweetwater for digital daisy chaining in the next couple of days and I'll be re-toolling everything for stereo operation, hopefully I'll be able to get into to.  @phil_m - My thoughts exactly, whats the point?  Going XLR straight out of the Helix floor unit to FOH (what I did with a quickness when the room was suddenly flooded with that sweet, grainy, un-sim'd Mesa sound o_O coming out XLR from the PC+ with an IR I had loaded on), everything was as expected.. but from the PC+ (when using user IR's stored on the PC+).. came out the front, but not the back.  I find it perplexing, and on the gig a truly miserable discovery.  If there is some global parameter or setting that I may have missed, please let me know.  There is no mistaking the result I got.  3Sigma IR, on the PC+ coming out of the speaker.. raw amp coming out to FOH  @xxEnderxx I hope this didn't put you off the PC, either the post or the responses.  This isn't a dedicated L6 support forum, its users helping users, though Eric and others are on here quite a bit.

@amsdenj- I get that for some, (one of the many) draws of the PC+ is the speaker in the room approach.. as it is for me as well.  However one my uses cases has been to use a very 'processed' sound (tribute band.. trying to get the very specifically dialed sound right out to the front) and use the PC+ as a monitor on stage for that same sound.  I could (and have and did) put the IRs back on the Helix, you were correct.. I wanted to save some processing.. didn't need it per se, but it seemed like a good opportunity to distribute the load a little.  When I do figure this out definitively, I'll update here.

 

In case its murky, my experience thus far:

User IR > on Helix > XLR out to board/PC+ == as expected (same User- IR'd sound out front and back)

User iR > on PC+ > XLR out to board from PC+ XLR == unsimmed/amp only sound (as expected from PC+ speaker though)

 

This may be as intended. As @amsdenjmentioned, and I have also noticed.. its unaddressed in the manual.  Might be the onboard IR storage is intended for speaker-out use and XLR out isn't supported.  Seems weird to me, but it's workable I suppose.  I have never tried PC+ Speaker models (Lecto/Brown/Jetson etc) > XLR out.. I sure hope that mirrors the speaker output.  Of course it can be mic'd live.. but part of the appeal (to me) is being able to send exactly the sound you want to FOH...no air.  There's always another way with these awesomely flexible devices.. but it's disconcerting being unsure what you're going to get when you hit the soundguy with your feed from the back of the PC+

 

On a related note, I'm noticing that using PC+ speakers/mics (Herald/Brown > 57) at 0.0db..A/B'ing with in-built Helix speaker/mic (Recto>(L)Greenback (R)Blackback).. at 0.0db.. the PC+ speaker/mic are way louder than using the latter setup (Helix cabs) FRFR.  Like have to pull down the former by like 7-8dbs or more to get parity (and/or dialup the individual gains of the Helix speaker/mic sims).. The PC+ Brown/57 with just the head into the Helix RIPS.. but I can't help wondering why using the Helix-internal cabs presents a much quieter event.  Using the PC+ speaker/mics.. you feel very confident that you have a 250watt combo..SO loud.  Much less so with the other method.  Anyone else experienced this?  Thanks guys, again if I figure this stuff out I'll update this thread.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, medianocturne said:

This may be as intended. As @amsdenjmentioned, and I have also noticed.. its unaddressed in the manual.  Might be the onboard IR storage is intended for speaker-out use and XLR out isn't supported.  Seems weird to me, but it's workable I suppose.  I have never tried PC+ Speaker models (Lecto/Brown/Jetson etc) > XLR out.. I sure hope that mirrors the speaker output.  Of course it can be mic'd live.. but part of the appeal (to me) is being able to send exactly the sound you want to FOH...no air.  There's always another way with these awesomely flexible devices.. but it's disconcerting being unsure what you're going to get when you hit the soundguy with your feed from the back of the PC+

 

That's definitely not the intent, I can assure you. If you are in IR Mode, the IR will be applied to the the XLR output.

 

There is one thing I can think that could cause what you're talking about. Input 2 can be set to Monitor Mode in the Global Settings, and if that's the case, it would bypass the speaker modeling or IR and just pass the input through.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for getting back @phil_m - I just did what I should have done quite awhile ago and actually lined it into the board in my studio.  You are correct, the IR was processed on XLR out.  Now I'm just at a loss as to what happened that night.  I suppose it must be the Input 2 thing, I guess.  It was before I started using the AES connection...Dark, hurried etc.. its not impossible.  Doesn't matter really, as long as I'm confident in what will happen next time.  

 

It sure comes out of that XLR hot! I'm set to line level outs across the board of course, had to pad the input and still dial it back double digits into the negative to keep it from clipping.  I've had a sound guy complain about that in the past as well, and I ended up having to gain down the patch output so much that I could no longer hear it on stage.  It would be great if a future PC+ firmware update included XLR out gain control.  It's a tough balance to get the patch low enough for the XLR not to fry what ever it's sent to, but not so much that your speaker output is next to nothing.  

 

Definitely still curious about why the Helix's internal speaker/mic sims are so much quieter than the Powercabs.. but overall a victory.  Thanks again everyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Question on XLR connections. Is it possible to connect a balanced output to the XLR input on the powercab 212?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/14/2020 at 5:47 PM, Eian901 said:

I had a Question on XLR connections. Is it possible to connect a balanced output to the XLR input on the powercab 212?

Yes

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...