Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
channelk

Talk box using Helix Mic

Recommended Posts

I am a little lost as how to hook up a Danelectro Free speech talk box using the helix. At the moment I have the boxes ins and outs run through an FX loop - this may not be right - And most important - I want to use the mic input on the Helix to run to our mixer.....

 

Any help with this would be most appreciated.

 

I have searched this forum for answers before but none made sense to me. 

 

Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't used the Danelectro Free Speech but I run a Rocktron Banshee talkbox with my Helix setup.  But it's external to the whole thing.  I plug into that from my wireless, and then input the input of the Helix.  The sound when using the talkbox goes from the tube into the microphone.  The bypassed sound (normal guitar sound) goes into the helix. 

 

I suppose you could plug the mic into the microphone input of the Helix and send to the PA that way.  But you would have to have a separate input path /  output path.  I find it easier to just keep the talkbox out front in its own channel on the board, Helix on another channel.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I have a Danelectro Free Speech pedal and there are some questions you need to answer before you can be answered as it can be used several ways. You can use it with the included mics going back into the Free Speech unit's mic input, the output of the unit then going into your amp (or FX return in your case) not the mic input. Or you can just use a regular mic in which case you would normally just have that mic go straight to the board or into your Helix in your case.

Have you used a talk box before? The original talk box had the guitar going into the amp. (See pic below) The amps output then went to the box (that's right, the actual amps output straight into the box). The amps signal was then split and sent to two places. One was just sent right back out again into your cab.  The other was sent to a small size driver (speaker) in the unit. The drivers sound was then sent to a long plastic tube (you put one end of the tube over the thing sticking up in the middle. That's where the driver's sound came out of).The other end of the plastic tube was then put into your mouth where the sound came out and you shaped it using your mouth. The sound that came out of your mouth is what the mic picked up and that signal was just sent from there directly to the sound board or to another amp. I think both methods were used.

 

HEIL_01.jpg.bf3c1ce18829a4d0b3c888dc5fc8c88b.jpg

 

The Free Speech unit doesn't work that way. It eliminates the guitar going into the amp. The guitar just goes directly into the unit. I'm not sure how well I described how the talk box was first used but before going any further some questions must be asked.

 

Have you used a talk box before?

Did you buy the unit used?

If you did, did it come a long plastic tube with two small microphones that go to a 1/8" stereo plug that goes into the mic input of the unit?

If you've used a talk box before, what was your signal path?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the replies. I have never used a talk box before....I bought the unit used and there were no mics with it. I do have the tube.  

 

My Helix is set up as follows: I use the 1/4" outputs into a DI then send this directly to the mixer - we use IEMs and I use no amp. This leaves me the XLR outputs for the mic. I have a channel on the mixer reserved for talk box. So, according to the information provided, I need to send a guitar signal into the TB (talk box) then simply hook up my mic to the Helix with the tube and it should work.....

 

My band is planning on doing 2 songs using talk box - Sweet Emotion, and of course Peter Frampton Do you feel.....

 

I have to figure out how to have the guitar output mute while the talk box is on. Hmmm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Google'd and found the manual.  It seems that if you were using the mics that came with it, it sends the output from the mics to the output of the pedal, so that may always be "on".  The banshee changes the output to the tube only.  If that is the case and when the tube is on, the output is on as well, you may have to throw the talkbox in a loop on the helix with a gain block set to 0 when the talk box is "on".  That way only the sound from the tube would go to the PA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm planning on getting another talkbox soon, I picture running it this way in my rig.

 

I run a preset  per song, and utilize snapshots to change between sounds in the songs.  Usually not needing more than 4 snaps.  So I run in preset/snapshot mode (4/4). 

 

I would run the talkbox in the Helix FX Loop and get the input/outputs of the talkbox/FX Block set right.  Then in the preset I'd assign a Talkbox Snapshot to turn on the FX Block (as well as turn off any direct to FOH guitar sound as the main sound would come through my vocal mic then from the talkbox). 

 

Unless I wanted to get complicated and run a mix of talkbox and regular guitar...then I'd make adjustments to my regular guitar output. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's one way I would try using the Free Speech based on what it sounds like you want to do. Put an FX send right after your input (guitar). Make sure it is at instrument level. That goes to your FX input. Put the tube on a mic stand with whatever mic you plan on using (Frampton used duck tape essentially taping it to the mic). Here's a quote from the Free Speech manual

 

Don’t be shy! Insert the tube at least 2 inches into your mouth. The closer you get your mouth to the
microphones—the sweeter the sound!

 

So you need to make sure there is enough of the tube length past the mic that allows you to put that much of the tube in your mouth but allows you to get your mouth as close to the mic as you can. Remember, ultimately the sound of the talk box is coming out of your mouth and that, of course, goes into the mic. Look at about 5:45 into the video I attached.

Now plug the mic into your mic input of the Helix. Here comes the tricky part. You can do this two ways. The easy way is to just make the input to path 2 your mic. Then route it to whatever output you want. The tricky way is you could actually create a parallel path on path 1. Here's one way how. You need to create an FX block with an effect that uses the lowest amount of DSP (I think that wold be a send or return). It doesn't matter what it is. You will have it off anyway but it's the only way to create a parallel path. Click and hold on that FX block and pull it down below path 1. Another parallel path will be created. Let go. There will be one point where the bottom path splits off of the top path and another point where it returns to the top path. Click and hold the first point where it splits off and pull it down below the top path like you did with the effect. Presto, you now have another inputs on path 1. 1A (top path) and 1B (bottom path).  Just turn the FX send off. It's only needed to create the parallel path. Assign the bottom paths input to your mic. Now you have two choices as far as the point where path 1B returns to path A. You can click and drag it anywhere on path 1A and it would probably be best to put it right before the output. Or you could again, click and drag it down and presto, you have another output. You would want to do this if you want to top path to go to your amp through the 1/4" outputs and the bottom path to go to the sound board through your XLR outputs, for example. I have inluded a picture of how each path would look. The rest is up to you regarding levels and all that. There's a strong possibility of feedback so just be aware of that. Ever since I've gotten into Line 6 I really haven't used any of my stomps and I have NO 9volt batteries. Unfortuantely I am at home, alone, with a broken kneecap so I can't just run to the store and get some. I say this to let you know I haven't actually tested this. That's why the rest is up to you and why I have so much time on my hands to answer your question. Good Luck!!! And as soon as I can get some 9 volts I'm going to try this out myself. Your post inspired me to do that. It's the one effect the Helix just can't do. Can't recreate tube in a mouth. The Line 6 HD500 had an effect called the Vocoder that used the mic. You actually had to sing/speak into the mic and it would do something to the signal using your voice to manipulate the filter. Never actually tried it. Helix doesn't have it. I think it would be cool to put it in even though I never used it before but there are Youtubes. Search HD500 Vocoder if ya wanna check it out. Hope this helps.

 

 

 

Talk Boc path.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thought. Separate the amp and it's cab and put the send between those. That's essentially how the original was used. Regarding the " I have to figure out how to have the guitar output mute while the talk box is on ". I'm assuming you mean the talk box mic output (the FX send on path A). I assume you still want the guitar to go through your virtual amp. To do this, take the FX send on path 1A, right click on it and assign it to a footswitch. Pressing that footswitch will turn it off and on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, brue58ski said:

Unfortuantely I am at home, alone, with a broken kneecap

 

Ouch! Hope u get better soon!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I got a 9 volt and tried this. If you have the mics that came with it, they only work OK at best (I know you said you don't have them but or anyone else) . A separate mic works/sounds much better. I just put the mic (SM58) in path 2 and it worked pretty darn good. I did have to boost the mic level in global settings. I put the FX send between the separate amp and cab and set the growl on the Free Speech as low as it would go. Didn't use the Free Speech output. To switch between the two I just linked each path's XLR output level to snapshots and turned path 1 (amp path) all the way down and path 2 (talk box path) all the way up for one snapshot and visa versa for the other snapshot. I was really impressed with the way it sounded. I only had it turned up to "bedroom" volume so I can't comment on any feedback issues with that. I did have a little bit of feedback issues with the Free Speech's included mics but with the SM58, no feed back issue at all. Again, this was at a loud bedroom level. Hope this all helps. I would say you're on your own now.

 

Thank you for your thoughts Spikey. Now it's just a major inconvenience. No pain. Thanks again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×