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kringle

Why no level meters anywhere?

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Just now, kringle said:

OK, this hits on a lot of it that I can't get figure out how to compensate for the shift from home to live.  I use the interface with a pair of Presonus E44 studio monitors for all my patch building.  This gives me great dynamics and range and the quality and consistency is always there. Then it's as you describe when shifting to Live it goes south in many ways depending on where.  

 

1/2 our live events we use a Mackie mixer and brand new EV's EKX-15P which are FRFR.  the other half can be FOH or other PA systems.

 

So where does the Powercab come into play? Are you using that live?

 

As long as the output levels from your presets are roughly similar, it really shouldn't be that big of a deal hooking up to different PA systems. You'd want to use whatever believe is your loudest sound when doing soundcheck and make sure that the channel you're plugging into is set up for that. I'm not sure what you're experiencing, but I'm not sure I'd be so quick to blame it on the Helix. I mean, if you're setting up your tones in isolation, it's always possible that a tone sounds OK on its own but not so great in the mix. I think we've all had that experience. It's happened to me with real amps... I just think that the fact that you're using so many different patches is complicating things for you. You'd probably be better off consolidating some. If your guitar tone is varying greatly from song to song, you're not doing the soundguy any favors either.

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DunedinDragon - A lot of good information in your post for me to try - I am going to mess around this week with the main volume, I currently have it at 12 o'clock. I'll try the disconnect and re-balance a few patches to the new output level. and go back through. 

 

One way I just figured out how to meter each block... Run a looped tone in, then have a send block to the Interface with meter.  I did this quickly and found a lot of variation across this older patch I had a lot of trouble with - as I move the send block I can get meter readings across the entire chain - so far it's ugly.

 

gunpointmetal - My original pedalboard was pretty much 8 or so pedals all dialed in, I just throw it on the floor and play, never had to worry about anything, sound was consistent.  although not accurate to original songs... i.e. instead of having 6 different phaser options, I set one phaser and it was on/off.  so Helix gives me way better reproduction and flexibility, now If I could just dial across patches and outputs I'd be golden.

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7 minutes ago, kringle said:

OK, this hits on a lot of it that I can't get figure out how to compensate for the shift from home to live.  I use the interface with a pair of Presonus E44 studio monitors for all my patch building.  This gives me great dynamics and range and the quality and consistency is always there. Then it's as you describe when shifting to Live it goes south in many ways depending on where.  

 

1/2 our live events we use a Mackie mixer and brand new EV's EKX-15P which are FRFR.  the other half can be FOH or other PA systems.

 

If you've gain staged your output SIGNAL level consistently it shouldn't have any problems with your output method.  I've yet to run into any problems on  probably around a hundred of different mixers and PA systems I've encountered over the last 4 years, and I can use those same presets to go direct to either a Yamaha DXR12, EV ZLX-12p, or QSC CP-8 all set at unity gain (12 o'clock) or direct to my DAW via USB using Yamaha HS-7's with no problems.

It sounds to me like you may be confusing volume with signal level in your setups.

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phil_m - PowerCab I've used at home, as monitor on stage before IEM's, and for very small venue's It was the sole amp, but it underwhelms as a stage amp so I avoid that.

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9 minutes ago, kringle said:

DunedinDragon - A lot of good information in your post for me to try - I am going to mess around this week with the main volume, I currently have it at 12 o'clock. I'll try the disconnect and re-balance a few patches to the new output level. and go back through. 

 

One way I just figured out how to meter each block... Run a looped tone in, then have a send block to the Interface with meter.  I did this quickly and found a lot of variation across this older patch I had a lot of trouble with - as I move the send block I can get meter readings across the entire chain - so far it's ugly.

 

 

One thing you'll probably discover as I did when you go to full volume output at mic level on your XLR output, the differences in volume levels between different amps is not as wide as it is when the Helix volume knob was at 1/2.  I suspect that has to do with A/D D/A conversion mechanism, but since adopting that approach the channel volumes on pretty much every amp I use in a patch tends to be within a very close range of 1 or 2 notches.

 

Also in terms of metering blocks, that doesn't tend to be necessary if you follow the generally practiced procedure of checking each block's affect on the volume by enabling and disabling it.  This helps alleviate the problem of multiple blocks building up the signal level on each other through the signal chain.

 

 

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5 hours ago, kringle said:

 

I get that - I'm just trying to swipe at volume so it's not so drastic.

 

What's more concerning is major tone characteristic changes: 

Step 1 - Running Helix through a DAW it sounds like hot overdrive - I'm totally happy with tone.

Step 2 - unplug cable from interface, plug into mixer sitting 2 feet to the left and it sounds like a fender black face at the same VOLUME

Step 3 - unplug cable from mixer and plug into PowerCab 112+ and it sounds like a flabby clipped audio at the same same volume

Step 4 - unplug from PowerCab and run to headphone amp - sounds like I'm scratching through a tin can, same volume.

Step 5 - Listen via Helix headphone - WTF, sounds nothing like any of the other outputs!!

 

If I stick with a single output - HAPPY ALL DAY!!!  works perfect, no variation.

 

I am attributing much of this characteristic tone change to the Helix, and from my hundreds of hours of tweaking to solve this variability - I've found nearly all of my issues are because within the helix signal chain from block to block there's a lot of variability in volume... so it's not a quality signal and path.  Once I spend hours rebuilding and testing a patch across many outputs I can get it to sound OK across steps 1-5, yet still more varied than I think it should.

 

Tonight, I am adding 3 songs to our setlist this week - I anticipate 2 hours or more for EACH patch to build and test so that it' plays nice across my IEM, FOH, Monitors, Mixer, etc...  

 

I accepted the fact I sucked at modeling when I first got the Helix - but now I feel it's not me - it's Helix, I'm not learning anything or getting any better at modeling.

 

Sorry, did not mean to include the quote in an already long, but very interesting post.  Can you give me an example of some of your different patches? I am certainly not trying to disrespect what you are doing.  I just can't think of 80 completely different sounds that require a specific patch.  I use the clean, crunch, drive, spacy method for my gig patches.  I will use the different banks for different amps.... Sometime s the only change in a patch is adding a term, instead of chorus because I have a LT and run out of buttons.

 

   So back to my original question.... What are your different patches?  Could you not use snapshots or stomps to change similar songs?   I can't even think of 80 different types of songs that are so completely different they require a patch.  Also, did you know with the helix you can edit on the fly with your feet?  That is kind of cool and a skill I'm trying to learn.

 

Thanks, just trying to understand and maybe help make it easier for you!

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14 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

 

If it sounds right, then it is right, unless you distrust your own ears :-)

 

The problem is more like - if it sounds wrong, it's hard to know why it's wrong.

 

e.g. I struggle with good distortion tones on the Helix, when trying the standard metal approach of distortion or overdrive pedal in front of a high gain amp. It would often sound awful. The 'obvious' suggestion is "that's lots of gain, you need to turn it down", but apparently it's quite easy to set some of these blocks to produce too low an output, which means the amp after it isn't able to drive it in the same way. The volume is compensated for later in the chain, but the damage was already done.

 

Same with compressors. I've not got the hearing acuity to spot the subtle differences that changing the parameters can have, especially if I'm playing material that might not be triggering the compression at that moment. But give me a visible meter - e.g. as seen on every single compressor plugin that isn't pretending to be 'vintage' - and I can dial it in quickly.

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8 hours ago, PaulTBaker said:

Sorry, did not mean to include the quote in an already long, but very interesting post.  Can you give me an example of some of your different patches? I am certainly not trying to disrespect what you are doing.  I just can't think of 80 completely different sounds that require a specific patch.  I use the clean, crunch, drive, spacy method for my gig patches.  I will use the different banks for different amps.... Sometime s the only change in a patch is adding a term, instead of chorus because I have a LT and run out of buttons.

 

   So back to my original question.... What are your different patches?  Could you not use snapshots or stomps to change similar songs?   I can't even think of 80 different types of songs that are so completely different they require a patch.  Also, did you know with the helix you can edit on the fly with your feet?  That is kind of cool and a skill I'm trying to learn.

 

Thanks, just trying to understand and maybe help make it easier for you!

 

I'm not sure why this would mystify anyone.  There are actually quite a few people that have individual presets for each song especially in typical cover bands.  I myself have over 2oo individual presets for different songs.  It's a very natural separation for those of us that play a wide range of genres and styles and is one of the distinct advantages of having a modeler like the Helix.  Even within a genre such as rock the signal chain for a Rolling Stones song won't be anything like one for Queen or the Doobie Brothers if you want an authentic sound.  And there's no reason to not do it that way as the pause between songs means there won't be a problem with with the dead spot in switching between presets.  Not to mention the necessity of needing a different guitar to get the Queen sound and the Rolling Stones sound.  And that's not even counting going from rock to jazz to funk to country to rockabilly...etc.  Snapshots are still very useful in managing the dynamics and sound differences within a song, but there are more disadvantages and limitations to using snapshots across songs than there are advantages in my experience.

What is curious in this case is why, if you have different presets for different songs, you would need the type of complexity required in the OPs preset that has been the issue here.  That's VERY uncommon in my experience when using a dedicated preset per song, and simplicity being one of the great advantages of that approach.

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2 hours ago, kylotan said:

I struggle with good distortion tones on the Helix, when trying the standard metal approach of distortion or overdrive pedal in front of a high gain amp. It would often sound awful. The 'obvious' suggestion is "that's lots of gain, you need to turn it down"but apparently it's quite easy to set some of these blocks to produce too low an output, which means the amp after it isn't able to drive it in the same way. 

 

Regardless of the amount of overdrive/distortion/gain used.... volumes should be kept "at or near" equal whether the effect is on or off. The amount of gain is irrelevant... it's the overall volume that matters. IME.... a lot of gain "may" sound louder than it really is. I always underestimate the level of my higher gain presets and adjust them to low to begin with - only to turn them up more in the band setting.  

 

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3 hours ago, kylotan said:

e.g. I struggle with good distortion tones on the Helix, when trying the standard metal approach of distortion or overdrive pedal in front of a high gain amp. It would often sound awful. The 'obvious' suggestion is "that's lots of gain, you need to turn it down", but apparently it's quite easy to set some of these blocks to produce too low an output, which means the amp after it isn't able to drive it in the same way. The volume is compensated for later in the chain, but the damage was already done.

 

Yes, I remember you talking about putting a Rat (IIRC) in front of a 5150 and not being happy with the results. Given what high gain amps actually do, putting a distortion pedal in front of them might not always produce optimal results, even for metal. I don't understand the next bit where you say "the amp after it isn't able to drive it in the same way" - I presume you mean the pedal drives the amp after it. If you somehow manage to end up with less than a shedload of swarming distortion all over the place, turn up the pedal output a tick at a time until it sounds terrifying enough.

 

Which reminds me: do not some metal players use a distortion pedal (or two) in front of a clean SS power amp? Perhaps to avoid the overdrive overkill problem?

 

3 hours ago, kylotan said:

Same with compressors. I've not got the hearing acuity to spot the subtle differences that changing the parameters can have, especially if I'm playing material that might not be triggering the compression at that moment. But give me a visible meter - e.g. as seen on every single compressor plugin that isn't pretending to be 'vintage' - and I can dial it in quickly.

 

If you cannot hear it, nobody else is likely to be able to either, especially at performance volume.

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3 hours ago, kylotan said:

 

e.g. I struggle with good distortion tones on the Helix, when trying the standard metal approach of distortion or overdrive pedal in front of a high gain amp. It would often sound awful. The 'obvious' suggestion is "that's lots of gain, you need to turn it down", but apparently it's quite easy to set some of these blocks to produce too low an output, which means the amp after it isn't able to drive it in the same way. The volume is compensated for later in the chain, but the damage was already done.

 

Same with compressors. I've not got the hearing acuity to spot the subtle differences that changing the parameters can have, especially if I'm playing material that might not be triggering the compression at that moment. But give me a visible meter - e.g. as seen on every single compressor plugin that isn't pretending to be 'vintage' - and I can dial it in quickly.

 

As Codamedia mentioned, it's been my experience that more often than not I come across people using WAY too much overdrive and gain, and it may sound louder but it really isn't in terms of the actual signal.  It's just ends up with more noise and less melodic content.  You can easily turn down the gain/overdrive and increase the channel volume on the amp and drive the signal without losing articulation and clarity even if it's high gain.  And in the end it's articulation and clarity that cut through the mix in terms of what the audience hears.

In a way your second point is really also related to gain in that high gain and overdriven signals are already compressed via controlled clipping of the actual signal, so compressors tend to be less necessary than they are on cleaner tones with lots of dynamic range.  I still sometimes use a final compressor at the end of some of my high gain presets, but it tends to be very light and absolutely adds no gain to the signal

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I agree, a metering feature would help with the gain staging. 

Since it's not a feature, you can work around it like this:

(Much easier using Helix edit on the PC)

1) Load your patch, bypass every single block in it. 

2) from the input to the output, enable and disable each block in sequence, adjusting the block level until there's no difference in the volume level. Move to the next block, leaving the leveled block engaged.

 

One other idea is to use a send block to a spare output to a DAW and connect it to a meter of choice. You can then slide that send block along the chain to help with the leveling above.

 

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22 hours ago, kringle said:

 

Helix helps with all this, but we're talking hundreds of hours to build these... and when I grab something off the community it doesn't fit with whatever my base level is, because the person who built that uses a while different base for how they approach patches, So I need to drastically alter their patch or build from scratch.

 

I see that with some audio management tools, starting with simple leveling throughout the chain - could greatly improve Helix.

 

what patches you make for your studio monitors, generally will not translate to IEM's, AT ALL.  unless you're an actual mixer using really expensive IEM's and you know them well.  

 

you seems to be very particular about your sound, yet your applying a one size fits all mentality.    Not sure that is ever going to work for critical listening.... 

 

I do studio mixing, i have to balance my plugins with gain staging ALL the time.   I see the Helix as the same amount of work, the final product is always worth it to me. 

 

if an essential variable changes, so do the settings, that's a cold hard fact. 

 

 

oh yeah, your audience gives no ducks about how you sound in reality. 

 

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8 minutes ago, Heavyville said:

what patches you make for your studio monitors, generally will not translate to IEM's, AT ALL.  unless you're an actual mixer using really expensive IEM's and you know them well.  

 

you seems to be very particular about your sound, yet your applying a one size fits all mentality.    Not sure that is ever going to work for critical listening.... 

 

I do studio mixing, i have to balance my plugins with gain staging ALL the time.   I see the Helix as the same amount of work, the final product is always worth it to me. 

 

if an essential variable changes, so do the settings, that's a cold hard fact. 

 

 

oh yeah, your audience gives no ducks about how you sound in reality. 

 

Exactly, and in the studio if you mixed using meters instead of listening, your mix would suck. 

The audience really does not care unless they're also guitarists, or something sounds really bad. Like ring-modulator and semi-tone pitch shifting at 50% mix bad.

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43 minutes ago, Heavyville said:

oh yeah, your audience gives no ducks about how you sound in reality. 

 

 

Yup...WE get tone-obsessed. The typical audience member does not...with the exception of any leather-clad guitar players standing in the back with their arms folded. The average person neither knows nor cares about tone, and could barely distinguish a clean electric from an acoustic without a visual cue... never mind a Strat from a Tele, or a Marshall crunch from a Fender Twin. They're listening to the song... not micro-analyzing individual elements.

 

Even other musicians are not necessarily immune to it... my dear mother, who has been playing classical guitar for 60 odd years, has owned one (albeit a very nice)  nylon string for the last 40-ish years, and she is utterly perplexed that anyone would "need" more than one electric guitar. They all sound the same to her. For most people, if it ain't in their wheelhouse, it's a complete mystery.

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Hi

Just as a post in the debate about level indicator in Helix – Conclusion is that there is none yet and we don’t know when/if it will come or how it will work. Also, that different people have different needs. And as in my case, I'm much less experienced then many of you are. What I noticed was that depending on how my ears/brain perceived different sounds, depending on my daily shape, made my patches spread a lot both in level and tone. So, to adjust my patches so they ended up at about same level I have used a LUFS meter. Just to have a starting point and to see that my levels do not climb above, peaks less then -7db and get a LUFS-reading at about -18db. This will also be the level I return to and listen to if I make tonal changes that change the overall levels. Same goes for pedals to avoid jumps in level when on/off. I do final finish at home at a much higher volume, usually end up about right, but sometimes have to fine tune the levels after tonal changes. Again, the ears are important but handy to have something as a reference , to be in the ballpark. A little faster and a little easier, get more focus on the tone.

 

Think it has been in topics before, but here are two videos from Jason Sadites that I think sums it up pretty well.

I use a LUF meter from Youlean which is free (available in a more advanced version for a small amount of money) and can be used standalone (no need but can be used in a DAW) and connects my PC via USB to Helix. Here is a link:

Another one that seems popular is the Orban loudness meter

Also, convenient to have both Youlean and Edit next to each other. So easy to keep everything in level, turning on/off objects in the signal chain and to know its under control. Slipt in a screenshot below. 

 

Take opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you for all good info you supply into this forum... and, maybe hope for at least a input clip indicator :-)

//Per

 

LUFS-meter.JPG

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1 hour ago, codamedia said:

 

Regardless of the amount of overdrive/distortion/gain used.... volumes should be kept "at or near" equal whether the effect is on or off. The amount of gain is irrelevant... it's the overall volume that matters. IME.... a lot of gain "may" sound louder than it really is. I always underestimate the level of my higher gain presets and adjust them to low to begin with - only to turn them up more in the band setting.  

 

 

The problem is. in the real world this simply isn't true - for example, before an amp your signal will be at instrument level, then after the preamp you'll be at line level or above. You expect a 20dB increase in the signal which is going to have real implications for the behaviour of whatever effects are in the chain.

 

So we have 2 options:

  1. The Helix doesn't need to actually amplify the signal by 20dB to achieve the same tonal results (as it's all digital), so you will broadly want unity gain on all blocks (as you suggest)... or...
  2. The Helix attempts to model the physical units directly, so certain blocks will push the signal significantly up or down by design, so you will need to compensate for this accordingly.

Neither is necessarily wrong. However I don't know what the Helix developers intended, or whether they have a consistent philosophy for all the blocks, or whether it's just a case of having to learn each one. Metering is part of the solution here; the other part is making it clear what levels each block ideally expects.

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12 minutes ago, kylotan said:

The Helix attempts to model the physical units directly, so certain blocks will push the signal significantly up or down by design, so you will need to compensate for this accordingly.

 

If it sounds wrong, then compensate. It's hard to see how either a meter or a block input ideal range indicator replace ears. IMO this is a mountain out of a molehill.

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4 minutes ago, kylotan said:

 

The problem is. in the real world this simply isn't true - for example, before an amp your signal will be at instrument level, then after the preamp you'll be at line level or above. You expect a 20dB increase in the signal which is going to have real implications for the behaviour of whatever effects are in the chain.

 

So we have 2 options:

  1. The Helix doesn't need to actually amplify the signal by 20dB to achieve the same tonal results (as it's all digital), so you will broadly want unity gain on all blocks (as you suggest)... or...
  2. The Helix attempts to model the physical units directly, so certain blocks will push the signal significantly up or down by design, so you will need to compensate for this accordingly.

Neither is necessarily wrong. However I don't know what the Helix developers intended, or whether they have a consistent philosophy for all the blocks, or whether it's just a case of having to learn each one. Metering is part of the solution here; the other part is making it clear what levels each block ideally expects.

 

The gain staging of overdrive and distortion blocks copies whatever the modeled pedals do in real life. If a pedal gives you a 10db boost in the real world, you'll be able to get that 10dB boost from the model. I mean, this is pretty easy to verify for yourself if you have actual copies of the real pedals. As far the amp models, the dynamic range on the output side is scaled back somewhat so the range of output levels is actually not a dramatic as the real thing.

 

I wouldn't say most of the blocks have an "ideal" input level. Obviously, stompboxes are designed for instrument level signals, and you wouldn't typically put something like a Tubescreamer in an effects loop. But pretty much all of the other blocks will work anywhere in the chain. The Headroom parameter will adjust the level of saturation that you hear from some of them.

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12 minutes ago, kylotan said:

 

The problem is. in the real world this simply isn't true - for example, before an amp your signal will be at instrument level, then after the preamp you'll be at line level or above. You expect a 20dB increase in the signal which is going to have real implications for the behaviour of whatever effects are in the chain.

 

So we have 2 options:

  1. The Helix doesn't need to actually amplify the signal by 20dB to achieve the same tonal results (as it's all digital), so you will broadly want unity gain on all blocks (as you suggest)... or...
  2. The Helix attempts to model the physical units directly, so certain blocks will push the signal significantly up or down by design, so you will need to compensate for this accordingly.

Neither is necessarily wrong. However I don't know what the Helix developers intended, or whether they have a consistent philosophy for all the blocks, or whether it's just a case of having to learn each one. Metering is part of the solution here; the other part is making it clear what levels each block ideally expects.

And there's also the various OD/boost/compressor/pre-EQ options that in the real world be raising the guitar level significantly on the way into the amp to actually push the front end where having unity gain won't give you the tonal effect you're looking for. Meters are cool to make sure you aren't clipping, but maintaining unity gain throughout a guitar signal chain isn't always ideal, or even realistic depending on your uses. Pretty much all of my drive tones have either a compressor or an OD as a boost before an amp model. If I were to set the outputs of those drives/comps to be that same as the clean guitar through, it wouldn't do the same thing when it gets to the amp model. For me I think input, output, and post-amp/cab metering COULD be useful to avoid clipping, but isn't really necessary or even desired anywhere else in the chain. I do think it would be a cool feature to add, but hardly necessary to get the most out of the unit. I mean, when was the last time you saw a guitar compressor with meters? There's like two. 

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1 hour ago, BBD_123 said:

Yes, I remember you talking about putting a Rat (IIRC) in front of a 5150 and not being happy with the results. Given what high gain amps actually do, putting a distortion pedal in front of them might not always produce optimal results, even for metal.

 

I don't want to argue this point again because the optimality of the tone is entirely subjective, but the fact is that:

  • some well-known and respected metal musicians use exactly this chain, to deliberately get a super-distorted tone that, yes, a typical guitarist might consider unusable mush;
  • it works well in the real world (for that subjective notion of 'well')
  • it works well with other highly-regarded Rat/5150 VSTs when using settings close to those seen on the physical pedalboard
  • it typically sounds like lollipop on Helix Native with those same settings copied from the pedalboard

Now, given that we both know that the Helix modelling is generally of a very high quality, the problem here is likely to be down to the interaction between 2 blocks that are rarely tested together. (Given how many low and mid-gain amps keep getting added, I'm not surprised nobody is testing Rats in front of 5150s - that's obviously not the type of tones the Line 6 people are aiming at.) And my best assessment was that the signal levels on the Helix blocks were significantly different to how they are on the pedalboards of the guitarists I was basing my patches on, because I managed to get significantly closer by moving the gain and level values quite some way off how they'd be used in the real world.

 

The metering on Native helped me a lot here, by showing that the Vermin at Gain=5.0 and Level=5.0 gives almost 20dB of gain reduction. That's the kind of thing that is hidden when you have an Amp+Cab block after it which inevitably introduces several dB of additional gain.

 

1 hour ago, BBD_123 said:

do not some metal players use a distortion pedal (or two) in front of a clean SS power amp?

 

I think that was quite common in the 90s. But then so was using the Boss HM-2 pedal with literally every dial turned up to 10, which is well beyond what most people would consider usable. And sometimes they'd add a little amp gain too for good measure. (https://youtu.be/-MdH7JWkSxA?t=439)

 

 

2 hours ago, BBD_123 said:

If you cannot hear it, nobody else is likely to be able to either, especially at performance volume.

 

And if I can't see it, it's unlikely I'll be able to get it sounding good. Visuals please!

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13 minutes ago, BBD_123 said:

 

If it sounds wrong, then compensate. It's hard to see how either a meter or a block input ideal range indicator replace ears. IMO this is a mountain out of a molehill.

 

Meters tell you what kind of 'wrong' you have. They help you avoid the 'wrong' in the first place. They show you where the 'wrong' is along a potentially complex signal chain.

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13 minutes ago, phil_m said:

The gain staging of overdrive and distortion blocks copies whatever the modeled pedals do in real life. If a pedal gives you a 10db boost in the real world, you'll be able to get that 10dB boost from the model. I mean, this is pretty easy to verify for yourself if you have actual copies of the real pedals.

 

See, here's part of the problem. I don't own the pedals in real life, and never will. So dialing in the Helix has been a bit frustrating as it (more than previous Line 6 products) seems more aimed at the crowd of people who have gone through lots of vintage gear and are just trying to slimline their rig. They know how the stuff works and set the Helix up to match. The rest of us are left trying to dial in good tones with models of hardware we never used and trying to coax something useful out of it.

 

The other part of the problem is that I'm not convinced that the Helix always does model the real-life pedals, because when I did try and copy a chain from a pedalboard, the Helix made it sound like mush and seemed to seriously attenuate the signal in an area that didn't make sense. So that complicates matters.

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Any distortion pedal with the distortion on 5 is gonna sound like assballs into a 5150 without reducing the amp gain significantly.

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15 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

I mean, when was the last time you saw a guitar compressor with meters? There's like two.

 

That's because it's inconvenient and/or expensive to add it to hardware.

 

On software - pretty much every compressor has a meter, and a visual indication of the threshold and knee, and if you're lucky it'll show the signal along that response curve in real-time too.

 

The Helix is capable of this, so hopefully it's just a matter of time before it appears.

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4 minutes ago, gunpointmetal said:

Any distortion pedal with the distortion on 5 is gonna sound like assballs into a 5150 without reducing the amp gain significantly.

 

Nobody suggested not reducing the amp gain significantly. I also wasn't suggesting using the Rat at 5 - but it's a pretty weird setup to set those levels at 50% and to see the signal level drop by a factor of 10.

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16 minutes ago, kylotan said:

And if I can't see it, it's unlikely I'll be able to get it sounding good. Visuals please!

 

If you can't hear it, you aren't going anywhere fast, meters or no meters.

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1 minute ago, kylotan said:

 

Nobody suggested not reducing the amp gain significantly. I also wasn't suggesting using the Rat at 5 - but it's a pretty weird setup to set those levels at 50% and to see the signal level drop by a factor of 10.

Not really, IME most disto pedals don't really increase the output level till 3/4 of the way up or higher. I only had a real ratt for little bit because those pedals sound like garbage anyways, but the output level ranged from silent to whisper to loud, so it depends on the taper of the pot of the Ratt they modeled.

 

5 minutes ago, kylotan said:

 

That's because it's inconvenient and/or expensive to add it to hardware.

 

On software - pretty much every compressor has a meter, and a visual indication of the threshold and knee, and if you're lucky it'll show the signal along that response curve in real-time too.

And the Helix is modeling guitar hardware, so no meters on most of the stuff. There probably should be one on the Studio Comp just because its studio comp, but the rest of them are designed to work like their analog counterparts.

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Just now, BBD_123 said:

 

If you can't hear it, you aren't going anywhere fast, meters or no meters.

 

Demonstrably false. There's plenty of room for subtle compression to be useful even when you can't hear it. In fact thousands of records are compressed with exactly this intent in mind - to change the overall signal level with almost imperceptible changes to tonality, attack, etc.

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1 minute ago, kylotan said:

 

 

Demonstrably false. There's plenty of room for subtle compression to be useful even when you can't hear it. In fact thousands of records are compressed with exactly this intent in mind - to change the overall signal level with almost imperceptible changes to tonality, attack, etc.

And you can bet the people setting those fine point compressors can hear it, otherwise they wouldn't use it, lol. 

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2 minutes ago, kylotan said:

Demonstrably false.

 

We're talking about guitar tone singular here. Not an album final mix. If the effect is imperceptible, then it is imperceptible, and therefore irrelevant. So no, not demonstrably false. This conversation is becoming increasingly silly, kylotan.

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1 minute ago, gunpointmetal said:

IME most disto pedals don't really increase the output level till 3/4 of the way up

 

Maybe so, but there's a difference between "no increase until 75%" and "10x decrease at 50%".

 

Is it a realistic model of a Rat? I have no idea. It definitely isn't a realistic model of the specific Rat someone else was gigging with and which I was trying to emulate. The R47 VST plugin was much closer in that regard. Metering would at least have avoided me wasting a lot of time trying to work out why the Helix one sounded so bad. (In the end the Helix Native metering helped a lot. Hence why it should be in Floor as well.)

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57 minutes ago, PerS said:

Hi

Just as a post in the debate about level indicator in Helix....

 

That's great, gonna check it out, thanks for sharing.

 

I am continuing to try some more this week on getting my patches balanced and consistent across outputs.. it may be quiet a few days for my results/learnings but I'll post them soon.  I need to grab some PA gear in storage to test at volume and closer to live setting first.

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Just now, BBD_123 said:

 

We're talking about guitar tone singular here. Not an album final mix. If the effect is imperceptible, then it is imperceptible, and therefore irrelevant. So no, not demonstrably false. This conversation is becoming increasingly silly, kylotan.

 

A VERY common compression workflow is to dial it in so that it's essentially imperceptible but taming some of the peaks (and maybe increasing sustain a little), and then you have increased headroom and a reduced dynamic range. This will help you sit in the mix (stage or recorded), avoid clipping, etc. This is very easy to do when you have metering that shows when your signal is being subtly attenuated. This is much harder to do if you're trying to listen for a change which is deliberately hard to hear.

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5 minutes ago, kylotan said:

This will help you sit in the mix (stage or recorded), avoid clipping, etc. This is very easy to do when you have metering that shows when your signal is being subtly attenuated. This is much harder to do if you're trying to listen for a change which is deliberately hard to hear.

 

I can hear clipping and I can hear when something is sat in the mix. I know what a bit of LA comp at the end of the chain is for. You are arguing for the sake of it and it's getting tedious.

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Your claim is that dialling in transparent-sounding compression just by ear is simple enough that you don't see the need for metering, despite the vast majority of hardware and software units having metering for this very purpose.

 

You're right, it is getting quite tedious to keep hearing your variations on "you don't need this" or "you shouldn't do that". Literally thousands of people have asked for metering on Ideascale and yet you still talk like everyone who asks for it is wrong and should just use their ears.

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10 minutes ago, kringle said:

I am continuing to try some more this week on getting my patches balanced and consistent across outputs.. it may be quiet a few days for my results/learnings but I'll post them soon.  I need to grab some PA gear in storage to test at volume and closer to live setting first.

 

If you can get the patch levels consistent with each other across your library that's one job. Then get them sounding right at gig level and you will be all set. Easier said than done with 80-odd patches to go through, but there it is...

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1 hour ago, kylotan said:

Your claim is that dialling in transparent-sounding compression just by ear is simple enough that you don't see the need for metering, despite the vast majority of hardware and software units having metering for this very purpose.

 

You're right, it is getting quite tedious to keep hearing your variations on "you don't need this" or "you shouldn't do that". Literally thousands of people have asked for metering on Ideascale and yet you still talk like everyone who asks for it is wrong and should just use their ears.

 

At this point, shoulds and shouldn'ts, or needs/don't needs are wholly irrelevant. As are the "thousands" of requests. It could be millions, and it still wouldn't matter. We don't have meters. End of story. Can't use what ain't there... we could spend all day chanting supplications to the gods,  or dancing over piles of chicken bones and goat's blood, and there still won't be any meters. So either we all make do, or move on to something else with colorful (and apparently reassuring) dancing lights. What's tedious is the repeated side-stepping of this objective reality, and the oft regurgitated assertion that the unit is somehow impossible to use effectively, absent a feature that it's never had.

 

I don't have wings, so I can't fly. Whining about it won't make me able to flap my arms to Vegas.

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11 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

the unit is somehow impossible to use effectively, absent a feature that it's never had.

Yep, we've all been playing with incredibly awful guitar tones since the Helix came out because we don't have meters. It's not a usable device right now, and it's also not reliable enough for gigging because one patch had a bug that had several easy workarounds.

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