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jakubdabros

USB audio leaks to amp out.

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Did anyone else notice audio leaks from PC to 1/4' output, even when USB sends are set to XLR only?

I am trying to send some samples and clicktracks to my band's analog mixer, but I keep hearing those samples (quiet, but still noticeable) in my guitar cab. Any ideas how to get rid off that leaks?

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Just tried this, got no leakage at all, either way (USB 1/2 to XLR or 1/4").

Maybe there's some cross channel leakage in the mixer?

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Thank you very much for your time! I honestly don't think it's mixer fault, because it happens even without any XLR cables connected.

 

May I ask about the gain / master volume you were using while trying that out? On low gains it's not so noticeable, but still, I can imagine the frustration of an audio engineer trying to get rid of that clicks when I am going to send him or her either line output or miced cab signal.

 

Just to clarify some things, my setup looks like this.

 

Laptop with DAW (left panned clicktracks, right panned samples) -> Helix LT with USB 1/2 sends set to XLR only -> BOTH XLR outs to analog mixer -> 1/4" out  to my poweramp.

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2 hours ago, jakubdabros said:

Thank you very much for your time! I honestly don't think it's mixer fault, because it happens even without any XLR cables connected.

 

May I ask about the gain / master volume you were using while trying that out? On low gains it's not so noticeable, but still, I can imagine the frustration of an audio engineer trying to get rid of that clicks when I am going to send him or her either line output or miced cab signal.

 

Just to clarify some things, my setup looks like this.

 

Laptop with DAW (left panned clicktracks, right panned samples) -> Helix LT with USB 1/2 sends set to XLR only -> BOTH XLR outs to analog mixer -> 1/4" out  to my poweramp.

 

So if I'm understanding it correctly, you're streaming samples from your computer over USB 1/2 (USB 1/2 out from the perspective of your computer, USB 1/2 in from the perspective of the Helix). The issue is that USB 1/2 will be sent to the XLR outs and the 1/4" outs automatically. There's no way to stop that from happening. What you need to do is select another USB pair to use as outputs from your computer. If you, for instance, set the input of Path 1 to be USB 3/4 and the output to be the XLR outs, the output for USB 3/4 will only go to the XLR outs.

 

This is all described on page 53 of the manual (notice how the USB 1/2 inputs are shown being sent directly to the Helix's outputs in the diagram):

6SEGpkx.png

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If whatever software you're using won't let you choose a different set of USB outputs, your other option is to use a pair of the Helix's 1/4" Sends as the output for the path going to your power amp. You can select Send 1/2 or Send 3/4 as the output for Path 2.

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4 hours ago, jakubdabros said:

Thank you very much for your time! I honestly don't think it's mixer fault, because it happens even without any XLR cables connected.

 

May I ask about the gain / master volume you were using while trying that out? On low gains it's not so noticeable, but still, I can imagine the frustration of an audio engineer trying to get rid of that clicks when I am going to send him or her either line output or miced cab signal.

 

Just to clarify some things, my setup looks like this.

 

Laptop with DAW (left panned clicktracks, right panned samples) -> Helix LT with USB 1/2 sends set to XLR only -> BOTH XLR outs to analog mixer -> 1/4" out  to my poweramp.

 

This is what I did. I loaded a backing track (audio is audio) to a track in Reaper and set that track to Master Out (USB 1/2). The track and Master Outs in Reaper at 0.0db (unity).

Helix - Global Settings - Ins/Outs "USB 1/2 Destination" is set to XLR. Helix (Floor) Master Out (BIG KNOB) set to 1/4" (Unity Gain to XLR), 1/4" Out connected to my tube amp (Egnator - Master at 2/3) FX Return.

XLR connected to powered speaker (FRFR112 - the board in your configuration).

 

With the FRFR112 Volume OFF there's no sound from EITHER the Egnator or FRFR112. As I turn up the Volume on the FRFR112 I hear the track from Reaper on the FRFR112, nothing on the Eganator. My Helix preset's Output Block is set to !/4" Out, and when I play I hear the guitar from the Egnator ONLY - NOT the FRFR112.

 

Thus my conclusion that there's no leakage between the XLR and 1/4" Outs.

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2 hours ago, phil_m said:

The issue is that USB 1/2 will be sent to the XLR outs and the 1/4" outs automatically. There's no way to stop that from happening. What you need to do is select another USB pair to use as outputs from your computer. If you, for instance, set the input of Path 1 to be USB 3/4 and the output to be the XLR outs, the output for USB 3/4 will only go to the XLR outs.

 

I'm pretty sure there's a misunderstanding here. I checked the Docs for both Helix Floor and LT, and near as I can tell, the Global setting for "USB 1/2 Destination" works the same way on both. As described in my previous post, USB 1/2 can be sent to EITHER 1/4" OR XLR OR MULTI. This should allow directing his click track to XLR only, as I did with my backing track.

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19 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

I'm pretty sure there's a misunderstanding here. I checked the Docs for both Helix Floor and LT, and near as I can tell, the Global setting for "USB 1/2 Destination" works the same way on both. As described in my previous post, USB 1/2 can be sent to EITHER 1/4" OR XLR OR MULTI. This should allow directing his click track to XLR only, as I did with my backing track.

 

Oh, yeah, that's correct. I forgot about that setting.

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Thank you very much for all of your suggestions. I will check every single setting once again. If the problem won't resolve I'll try to make photos of my configuration

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Okay, guys. I did some tests. To be perfectly honest - nothing helped. I still get those leaks, even without any mixer connected to my Helix at all.

 

I have double checked my connections, DAW routing, cables etc. Whatever audio is sent from Reaper to Helix Output 1 ends up being played through my guitar cabinet. On the contrary, Helix Output 2 is completly flawless.

 

Maybe there is something wrong with my setup that I can't see, but for you it will be obvious. Here is how I routed everything in Helix.

 

 

71538593_2331068580476312_3975919554541912064_n.thumb.png.7bbeaad56b56201f2c7cb3d08b1187b0.png

 

 

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In Reaper, Mute your Master so that only the Hardware Sends assigned to each track are sending signal.

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I seem to be suffering from a streak of masochism this weekend, so I worked on this some more.

I have no idea your reasoning for how you've got this configured, and since I can only see a piece of the total picture (that routing matrix is meaningless to me), I can't figure out what's wrong.

What I do know is this. I've tried so many different configurations that for a bit there I couldn't get ANY sound to come out of my system. (it's late!)

I cannot, in any configuration, get sound to leak over to the 1/4" outs with the XLRs configured as USB 1/2 Destination.

 

I'm a simple solutions guy. My final solution is as follows, and accomplishes the basic goal as you described:

 

My Helix 1/4" out goes to my guitar amp.

The XLRs go to my mixer (Scarlett 18i20). From there I send the audio to my studio monitors.

I don't know how you're generating the "click track", so I just used the metronome, which by default sends it's audio to the Master.

The metronome starts on record and/or playback (configurable), and comes out both speakers.

I don't know from samples, but audio is audio, so I've got two .wav loops on two channels, panned left and right, and routed to Master.

One loop track comes out the left speaker, the other out the right.

Another track is set to record from a Helix split with an IR to USB 1/2 as input in Reaper. Routed to Master. Playback comes out both speakers.

Another track is MIDI from my keyboard and has a synth VST loaded. Routed to Master. It also comes out both speakers.

IOW - No fancy routing.

NOTHING from the DAW leaks over to my guitar amp connected to the 1/4" out. Even with my amp dimed, not a hint.

 

Maybe you should set up a simple project along the lines of what I just described and if you've still got what appears to be leakage between the XLR and 1/4", open a support ticket.

There's either something else going on in your hardware setup, or there's a serious problem with your Helix.

 

Keep me in the loop, I'm most curious.

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, rd2rk said:

I seem to be suffering from a streak of masochism this weekend, so I worked on this some more.

[...]

Keep me in the loop, I'm most curious.

 

I am much obliged. If you ever happen to be in Cracow, I do owe you a beer. :)

 

I bought a pair of studio monitors that shoud arrive anytime now so I will run some additional tests.

 

Just to clarify things (hopefuly) I made a block diagram of what I am going for. We managed to get everything working except of those leakages.

 

339865443_UntitledDiagram(1).thumb.png.68b67299fb7a4a4d9bbb49c630b0f9a2.pngIMG_20191007_170807854_HDR.thumb.jpg.60e6447b486af7f08ce6a8d64c8b6554.jpg

IMG_20191007_170740845_HDR.thumb.jpg.a46e156345294be1240f255206cf8ea8.jpgIMG_20191007_170724792_HDR.thumb.jpg.8b012044980df54a45d19739b17c8223.jpg

 

EDIT:

I just did some test with my headphones. With all of the above settings I get no leakage at all when I am listening to a 1/4 output through my headphones.
 

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I'd assign Mic level to the XLRs and use the Mixer's sliders for Volume rather than the Helix Volume knob, but none of that is relevant to your problem.

Your mixer diagram is a bit confusing, in that the double-headed arrows don't clearly indicate signal flow in the mixer but, again, doesn't appear to affect your problem.

If your only outputs to Helix from Reaper are to 1/2, and USB 1/2 Destination is set to XLR, there should be no leakage to the 1/4" outs.

The only other possibility would be that signal from the Mixer is somehow getting to the amp, and your diagram doesn't indicate that.

 

I'd open a support ticket.

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Dumb question, but are either of the XLR lines crossing the line that goes out to the amp? Our drummer runs a drum trigger for his kick and we couldn't figure out for the life of us why there was a faint bit of guitar signal in our IEM coming down the kick line. Turns out the cable he was using went bad and was picking up noise from nearby/crossed cables. The cable would make an audible noise if you flicked it or handled it roughly. Replaced the cable and no more issues.

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Bad cables can do strange things, so can't hurt to separate them.

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