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isaactautari

Using FRFR output to FOH for that flat response no coloration sound?

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Hi all,

 

I haven't yet received my Line 6 Helix floor and am thinking about buying the Headrush FRFR 112. I noticed people mentioned to use an FRFR speaker due to the fact that its a flat response allowing you to hear the pure dsp modeller sound as intended. 

So therefore to get the best out of your helix live stage sound should you then connect it to the FRFR speaker as you normally would "@home" and connect the FOH to its output to benefit from the flat response speaker assuming that the output does emulate this? 

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For BEST sound, instead of FRFR112, get Powercab112+, use the speaker emulation (not an IR), and send to FOH from XLR on PC112+.

 

BUT - if you can't afford PC112+, in Global Settings>INS/OUTS set "Volume Knob Controls" to 1/4", send the 1/4" to the FRFR(112) at LINE LEVEL, and send XLR (which will have UNITY GAIN) to FOH.

That gives you stage level control from Helix BIG (VOLUME) KNOB and sends a consistent level signal to FOH. 

Usually set XLR to LINE level for that unless FOH says it's TOO HOT, then set XLR to MIC level.

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Thank you rd2rk for your response.

 

Firstly I am 100% open minded to all suggestions w/reason and appreciate all in return.

 

response to FRFR use for live

In other words do you actually need to have an FRFR speaker for live if there are existing fold backs and you've got a FOH? What are the benefits of using the FRFR for live from experience?

 

I've only read a little bit about how there is an option to use inbuilt cabinet speaker emulators  and wondered is the switch just a quicker way to cycle through speaker emulators so you're not having to adjust settings in the Helix? From your experience it sounds like the onboard speaker emulators of the PC112+ are of preference and am just wondering why?

 

Would you or anyone else reading this know how the Powercab 112+ 250W Peak power pull up against the headrush 112 1000W RMS when using it live with no FOH?

 

Reasons for claiming to buy the headrush 112 over other FRFR

I had a look into the PC cabinets including friedman, mission 2x12 etc and wasn't sold on them purely for the fact that they're expensive here in Australia $1000+ and the HR 112 cheapest price i could find was $550 atm.

I also did my research on the specs and reviews for majority of choices available and the HR112 appears to be the bang for buck and hopefully not buck for bang :/ so i do have my concerns about the HR112 and as you can see not completely sold yet. 

 

 

 

 

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The following is entirely IMO.

 

The coaxial speaker in the PC112+ can be used FRFR with IRs like the FRFR112, but the nature of the speaker and guitar style cab makes it sound better than the FRFR112.

 

The speaker emulations do not use the tweeter component of the speaker, which then behaves like a guitar speaker in a guitar cab - because it IS a guitar speaker. The emulations add the "color" of the emulated speakers, and the whole thing sounds like the fabled "AITR".

 

From HX Edit (using L6 Link with a proper AES cable) you can change the speaker being emulated till you find ones you like with your assorted presets, or you can use IRs located in the Helix or, to save DSP, on the PC112+, keeping in mind that using IRs on the PC112+ always places the IR at the end of the signal chain, whereas using IRs on the Helix you can put the IR anywhere in the signal chain.

 

I have an FRFR112 also. It sounds fine. It's basically an Alto TS312 tuned slightly differently for guitar, with no mic preamp. It's not a cheap POS as some would have you believe, and I have not seen ANY complaints about dependability. That said, nobody (that I know of) uses them on world tours.

 

The FRFR112 is 1000w RMS - 650 watts LF/350 watts HF. I don't know how the PC112+ breaks out, all the specs say is 250w RMS.

It's plenty loud for a stage monitor, and if you take the XLR out to FOH, that's UNITY, not affected by the stage level, and no mic required.

A 50 or even 100 watt tube amp through a 112 is not going to be much louder, because a 112 only pushes so much air. I forget the math, but 650 watts is not actually that much louder than 250 watts, and 350 watts through a 2" tweeter at high spl is not pleasant. In the end, it's horses for courses. If you think you need a 100 watt stack, then neither the PC112+ nor the HR FRFR112 is gonna do it for you. But either one will make a satisfactory amount of noise in a small to medium club setting.

 

What sounds BEST is entirely subjective. Only you can decide. 

 

To sum it up, I prefer my PC112+, but wouldn't hesitate to go back to using the FRFR112 if I had to.

 

One last thing - if you get the the FRFR112, get a short (not full size) PA speaker stand so that you can have it at approximately chest level and vertical for best dispersion.

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

rd2k I honestly appreciate your opinion due to the lack of experience in the DSP world and have been playing guitar for 20+ years finally making a leap into the modeler world and understand from my own experience to listen to what others have to say with an open mind. 

 

The speaker emulations do not use the tweeter component of the speaker, which then behaves like a guitar speaker in a guitar cab - because it IS a guitar speaker. The emulations add the "color" of the emulated speakers, and the whole thing sounds like the fabled "AITR". This makes alot of sense, assuming the HR112 wouldn't allow for this and therefor you're forced to use the tweeter. Which can be good or bad for some, having the option to switch between is likely better for someone learning what sounds best to their ears e.g. myself. 

 

From HX Edit (using L6 Link with a proper AES cable) you can change the speaker being emulated ""So does this mean you've got the control to manually disable the tweeter within the helix so as long as you have the correct 110ohm AES cable"? till you find ones you like with your assorted presets, or you can use IRs located in the Helix or, to save DSP, on the PC112+, keeping in mind that using IRs on the PC112+ always places the IR at the end of the signal chain, whereas using IRs on the Helix you can put the IR anywhere in the signal chain. So the PC112+ IRs are forced to be last as most setups in the analogue world would be? Im unsure what IRs are completely capable of, my thoughts on IRs is that they are an emulation of speaker cabinets and mic setups and wouldnt think of putting them anywhere else but last in the chain?

 

 

 

 

 

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To get back to your original question.  There's no particular benefit in connecting to a powered speaker such as the Headrush and then out to the PA, but there are some particular disadvantages.  One limitation in particular is that you really can't easily control your volume for your stage monitor separate from your output to the PA.  What many of us do is send a 1/4" output at line level to the powered speaker and a XLR output at mic level to the mixing board with the XLR line disengaged from large Helix volume knob.  This allows you to use the large Helix volume knob to control the volume of the stage speaker and send a full signal to the board which can be gain staged at the board to the appropriate level separate from whatever you do on stage.

When it comes to Powercab versus a full range powered speaker, that's ultimately a matter of personal preference.  I can't say I've ever been that interested in a Powercab setup because I started using my Yamaha DXR12 setup long before the Powercab came out.  I think the Powercab is a nice option for those people that prefer more of an "amp in the room" kind of sound on stage.  But that comes with the trade off of not having an accurate picture of what your sound is out front which is what's important to me personally....especially when I'm dialing in my presets at home.

There are a couple of considerations to bear in mind when using a powered speaker however.  First, if placed on the floor in a monitor position you can get an effect referred to as "bass coupling" which accentuates low end frequencies.  On most higher end speakers you have DSP contouring options on the speaker that allow you to correct for this effect.  The Headrush has no such option, so you would need to isolate it from the floor in some way or place it upright on a stand.  The other consideration is that powered speakers are specifically designed to work differently from traditional cabinets in the way they project sound in order to have consistent tone across a wide area and to project better across long distances.  That being the case they can sound pretty harsh close up, so when dialing in patches at home you need to give them a bit of space.  For myself at home I have mine mounted vertically around chest height and I normally listen from about 6 feet away as well as off-axis to get a good feel for what the tone will ultimately be like for the audience.  Likewise on stage I have my DXR12 mounted on a half height pole on the backline behind me.  That allows the sound to disperse wider across the stage so it's easier for the band to blend with.

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8 hours ago, isaactautari said:

In other words do you actually need to have an FRFR speaker for live if there are existing fold backs and you've got a FOH? What are the benefits of using the FRFR for live from experience?

 

This is just personal preference.

  1. Some like the "amp in the room" sound and a PowerCab might be best for this as @rd2rk is outlining.
  2. Others may want an FRFR such as the Headrush (or many other options) so they hear their sound similar to the FOH, but still separate so they have better control of what they hear.
  3. Then there are users like myself.... give me the FOH and Monitor (fold back) any day, every day. Even when I used to use amps they were kept fairly quiet, were miced up, and fed back to me through my monitor. 

My preference (#3) does have a caveat attached though. It only works well when the gear meets a certain quality. The FOH and monitors need to meet a standard, and separate monitor mixes are a must. When requirements are not met, I have a Yorkville powered wedge/speaker to get me through those gigs.... in other words, I'm not against sliding back to option #2 when I have to.  

 

No right, no wrong... find what works for you and run with it. 

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10 hours ago, isaactautari said:

 

In other words do you actually need to have an FRFR speaker for live if there are existing fold backs and you've got a FOH? What are the benefits of using the FRFR for live from experience?

 

Would you or anyone else reading this know how the Powercab 112+ 250W Peak power pull up against the headrush 112 1000W RMS when using it live with no FOH?

 

 

 

As codamedia points out, theoretically a fold back IS an FRFR speaker....but not always.  In my experience if there's going to be a place where someone tries to save some money on their in house PA system it's likely going to be on the floor monitors and floor monitor system.  In MANY cases they use non powered speakers driven by an amp which are just barely usable for voice, much less instruments.  Even if the speakers are decent enough speakers, they sometimes don't have enough monitor channels to dedicate a monitor mix specifically for the guitar player, so you're stuck with the general mix of all voices and instruments mixed together.  Because of these realities I just find it easier to just be prepared to take care of myself.

 

Wattage isn't really a good way to measure loudness since wattage can be measured in a number of ways.  The best spec in this regard for a more objective comparison would be SPL.

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The great thing about Helix is that you have many different options.

 

I have 2 HR FRFR112, DT25, and Powercab+ (PC+112) for playing/practicing/experimenting at home.  I get great results in pretty much any combination I dream up. I'm  blown away by the wet-dry-wet setup using the FRFR112 and Powercab+.  Absolutely amazing when doing ambient stuff.

 

But on stage, I have only used in-ears.   I just don't feel like lugging around more stuff now.

 

But there are legitimate reasons for wanting a back line or floor monitors etc.  For me, the most important reason would be that the guitar interacts with the sound of amplification nearby. , especially a loud tube amp.   For some reason, that interaction inspires players beyond just playing their practiced parts.   Everyone is different of course.

 

The nice thing about the PC+ is that you can plug into the back and send it directly to FOH.  It's nice to be able to put IR's on the PC+ or use the speak emulations directly.  It offloads some load from the Helix.  You could do the same from the FRFR112 I suppose, but there is no reason to do so because you have both XLR outputs (to go directly to FOH) and 1/4 outputs to go to your FRFR112's.  And if you setup your Helix up to have the volume button control only the 1/4 outs (like i do), then you can control the FRFR112 volume from the helix using the master volume and not change the input gain on the FOB board.

 

Enjoy your gear!

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8 hours ago, isaactautari said:

"So does this mean you've got the control to manually disable the tweeter within the helix so as long as you have the correct 110ohm AES cable"

 

Yes, you can defeat the tweeter in the PC112+ either through HX Edit OR on Helix itself.

 

8 hours ago, isaactautari said:

So the PC112+ IRs are forced to be last as most setups in the analogue world would be? Im unsure what IRs are completely capable of, my thoughts on IRs is that they are an emulation of speaker cabinets and mic setups and wouldnt think of putting them anywhere else but last in the chain?

 

Keep in mind that modelers are a sort of "virtual reality" and that ITRW guitar cabs are a form of coloration added to the signal chain. Once you're no longer using a real guitar cab it becomes simply a matter of adding color to your sound. An IR is a simulation of what a specific cabinet in a specific room with a specific mic sounds like. You can put it anywhere in the signal chain that sounds best to you. It's not real.

 

9 hours ago, rd2rk said:

if you take the XLR out to FOH, that's UNITY, not affected by the stage level, and no mic required.

 

To clarify, I was talking about the PC112+. The XLR Out takes the Input signal and speaker emulation (pre volume knob), adds a virtual SM57 mic, and sends it out the XLR. Changing the stage level on the PC112+ has no effect on the XLR out. Considering that the physical speaker is out of the loop, it sounds VERY similar through the PA.

 

The FRFR112 just takes whatever signal level is going to the speaker and sends it to FOH at that level. The FOH guy will hate you if you change the level on him!

 

6 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

I think the Powercab is a nice option for those people that prefer more of an "amp in the room" kind of sound on stage.  But that comes with the trade off of not having an accurate picture of what your sound is out front which is what's important to me personally....especially when I'm dialing in my presets at home.

 

There's two schools of thought on this. One is that "Gear is for the musician, not the audience". If you like the way you sound on stage, you'll play better, and the audience experience will thus be enhanced. Let the FOH guy worry about what it sounds like out front.

 

The other school is that you're a paid performer and it's ALL about the audience. It doesn't really matter if you sound like crap through your stage monitors, as long as the audience gets the intended sound.

 

I think the answer is both. The problem is "dialing in the presets at home". Home is NEVER the same as the venue, and every venue is different. If you're going old school, you're dialing in your amp at the venue, and the FOH guy takes care of the audience. I expect that, even with great modelers, there's always going to be some dialing in at the venue. How practical that is will depend largely on how many and how different the sounds you use are, and how produced your show is. Do you have TIME to dial in the specific sounds for every song? If not, then you need to dial in the sounds at home, at gig levels, through FRFR (PA) speakers, as DD said.

 

One nice thing about having a PC112+ is that I can have a sound I like on stage, and use an FRFR (PA Speaker) with a separate signal path and XLR out direct from the Helix, dialed in to accomodate the audience using a PA speaker. Best of both worlds.

 

1 hour ago, DunedinDragon said:

Wattage isn't really a good way to measure loudness since wattage can be measured in a number of ways.  The best spec in this regard for a more objective comparison would be SPL.

 

This is what I was getting at when I talked about how much air a 1-12 can push. A 50 watt amp through a 4-12 cab is WAY louder sounding than that same amp through a 1-12.

A mic'd 1-12 cab can sound great on stage and benefit FOH house sound by not killing the fans at the edge of the stage or forcing on stage volume wars like a 4-12 can, but there's always bleed into the mic from other sounds on stage.

 

A PC112+ is, again, best of both worlds.

 

"The best of times, the worst of times". So much to think about, so many options. So few opportunities to play for a live audience. Death to the evil virus!

 

 

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This has got to be the best collaboration of experiences, suggestions, and opinions in one thread.

I cannot thank you all enough, this information is so vital for those whom seek knowledge of the FRFR world and not to forget the capabilities of the Helix in combination with the PC112+. 

 

Definitely Saved me a lot of $$headache$$ including the sound guy ;)

I also just received my new L6 Helix floor limited edition space grey today, what a beauty! 

 

 

On another note me Fiance doesn't care for now either $$$$$ get her the ring first then treat self!

 

 

 

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