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ossianott

Possible to reduce monitoring and recording level independently?

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Hello, I'm recording with a microphone/mic amp for vocals into the return/aux in of my HX stomp and monitoring the microphone through reaper with effects, and the guitar signal with direct monitoring from the stomp (Is it possible to monitor it with the fx chain on when routing thru reaper?). Is it possible to change the monitoring level of only the direct monitor signal without having to change main L/R level, as this also alters the signal into reaper when I'm recording? Right now the monitoring level of the guitar is so loud I have to clip reaper severely for the vocal signal to be matched, and when I reduce the level on the stomp I get a very low recording level into reaper. I'm playing with headphones and the headphone amp is about 30% level so I figured that headroom could be much better used if I can turn down the direct monitoring W/O altering the guitar input signal to reaper, instead of increasing reaper with severe clipping to match the level.

 

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, chasingMango said:

How is stomp connected to your computer?

 

With USB, I'm using it as a soundcard. Ironically with the windows update yesterday somehow the HX stomp asio dissapeared inside reaper. HX edit recognizes it and windows recognizes it/I can play windows sounds from it, but reaper doesn't of some reason. 

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OK, I have exactly the same question!

 

I have Helix Line6 LT connected by USB to my W10 PC running Studio One v4.0 DAW.

 

My headphones are plugged into the Line6 LT, because there is noticeable latency if I plug them into the PC, which throws off my playing.

 

The volume of the guitar swamps the volume of the audio feed coming into the USB. If I increase the volume of the audio feed on the PC side, I get clipping in the DAW. If I cut the volume of the guitar with the volume pedal, I get too small a guitar signal in the DAW.  If I cut the volume on the Line6 using the big volume knob, the audio from the PC is too low.

There should be a way to control the mix of the audio from the PC and the audio from the Line6.

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18 hours ago, chasingMango said:

And where are you headphones plugged into?

The phones are connected to the headphone jack on the hx stomp, with the physical volume knob on the stomp at about 30% the guitar level is very loud (this is due to very sensitive headphones, not very hot guitar signal), the DAW sound very low if not into rather severe clipping at the master when monitoring through asio driver of hx stomp. This while the recording level into reaper from the guitar signal 1/2 input is good so the direct guitar monitoring level is very very hot.

 

Does it make sense? Hope I'm describing the problem in an understandable fashion.

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Hmm... I think I get it now... so the headphones knob controls both your guitar volume and the USB volume from your DAW, and you want to control them both separately.  I've never tried this before.  I quickly glanced through the manual, it doesn't seem to cover this issue.  I will tinker when I get home, unless someone else answers first.

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1 hour ago, chasingMango said:

Hmm... I think I get it now... so the headphones knob controls both your guitar volume and the USB volume from your DAW, and you want to control them both separately.  I've never tried this before.  I quickly glanced through the manual, it doesn't seem to cover this issue.  I will tinker when I get home, unless someone else answers first.

 

Yes, that's exactly it.
And, as it turns out, the amplifier for the headphone jack has very little headroom, anyway, so I'm probably going to use a mixer, instead.
Here are the configurations I'm considering.

           +-------+                                         +-------+
           |       |>>> USB >>>> PC DAW Stereo Audio out ===>|       |
guitar --->| helix |                                         | Mixer |====> Headphones
           |       |=== LXR Stereo (two LXR cables) ========>|       |
           +-------+                                         +-------+
 
                            ALTERNATIVELY

           +-------+                                         +-------+
           |       |                 PC Stereo Audio out ===>|       |>>> USB >>> PC DAW
guitar --->| helix |                                         | Mixer |
           |       |=== LXR Stereo (two LXR cables) ========>|       |====> Headphones
           +-------+                                         +-------+

 

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51 minutes ago, tcamuso said:

 

so I'm probably going to use a mixer

 

I have a feeling this is going to be the answer... honestly a compact mixer is so handy in so many situations, everyone should have one and I don't blame L6 or any other company for not including one in every single piece of gear.

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2 minutes ago, chasingMango said:

 

I have a feeling this is going to be the answer... honestly a compact mixer is so handy in so many situations, everyone should have one and I don't blame L6 or any other company for not including one in every single piece of gear.

 

Agree 100%.
A discrete mixer is the right way to go, and an integrated mixer is outside the scope of the Helix mission.

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I'm a bit surprised as the HX stomp/helix family AFAIK aims to work as a potent recording rig aswell, and separate volumes for direct monitoring and recording level into input 1/2 would make so much sense in this case. Now I have to increase reaper master volume into oblivion, turn down the recorded guitar channels very much, my guess is all this could be sorted out with separate volumes for a pleasant recording situation.

 

The small mixer is a good idea. I could route reaper out to HX stomp SEND 3/4 and direct monitoring from 1/2 on separate channels on a small mixer and blend to taste. Thanks for the idea!

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On 4/7/2020 at 4:42 PM, ossianott said:

I'm a bit surprised as the HX stomp/helix family AFAIK aims to work as a potent recording rig aswell, and separate volumes for direct monitoring and recording level into input 1/2 would make so much sense in this case. Now I have to increase reaper master volume into oblivion, turn down the recorded guitar channels very much, my guess is all this could be sorted out with separate volumes for a pleasant recording situation.

 

The small mixer is a good idea. I could route reaper out to HX stomp SEND 3/4 and direct monitoring from 1/2 on separate channels on a small mixer and blend to taste. Thanks for the idea!

It's not an issue on the Helix Floor model. It has a mic input, headphone jack, separate headphone volume control. Doing what you are explaining is just plug and play with the Floor model. 

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On 4/2/2020 at 10:19 AM, ossianott said:

Hello, I'm recording with a microphone/mic amp for vocals into the return/aux in of my HX stomp and monitoring the microphone through reaper with effects, and the guitar signal with direct monitoring from the stomp (Is it possible to monitor it with the fx chain on when routing thru reaper?). Is it possible to change the monitoring level of only the direct monitor signal without having to change main L/R level, as this also alters the signal into reaper when I'm recording? Right now the monitoring level of the guitar is so loud I have to clip reaper severely for the vocal signal to be matched, and when I reduce the level on the stomp I get a very low recording level into reaper. I'm playing with headphones and the headphone amp is about 30% level so I figured that headroom could be much better used if I can turn down the direct monitoring W/O altering the guitar input signal to reaper, instead of increasing reaper with severe clipping to match the level.

 

Thanks!

 

Why not just turn the master volume  (2 buss) up or down on the DAW?   the DAW is controlling the Vox?   HX controlling the Guitar... mix to taste.   

maybe this is too simple or I missed the point all together. 

 

 

 

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On 4/3/2020 at 3:35 PM, tcamuso said:

 

OK, I have exactly the same question!

 

I have Helix Line6 LT connected by USB to my W10 PC running Studio One v4.0 DAW.

 

My headphones are plugged into the Line6 LT, because there is noticeable latency if I plug them into the PC, which throws off my playing.

 

The volume of the guitar swamps the volume of the audio feed coming into the USB. If I increase the volume of the audio feed on the PC side, I get clipping in the DAW. If I cut the volume of the guitar with the volume pedal, I get too small a guitar signal in the DAW.  If I cut the volume on the Line6 using the big volume knob, the audio from the PC is too low.

There should be a way to control the mix of the audio from the PC and the audio from the Line6.

I’m trying to follow this thread, but I’m not quite getting the problem. When I use my Helix with a DAW, I send the USB1-2 to a track and arm it for recording, but I turn OFF monitoring on that track within the DAW. If you don’t do that, then you’ll hear the direct signal from your Helix as well as the same thing looped back through your DAW, with some latency too, which makes things sound weird.

If things are configured correctly, you adjust the volume of your guitar with the knob on the Helix, because it’s being monitored direct through Helix. You use the mixer faders or master volume in your DAW to control playback volume of individual tracks or recorded material. If you don’t have enough headroom in your DAW to get it up to a usable level with your direct-monitored guitar, then go to the output block of the Helix and dial the gain back a bit. If that’s still not enough options, there is a “USB 1/2 Trim” level adjustment in the Helix too, which will cut or boost the volume from USB 1/2 without affecting your hardware-monitored guitar volume. Lots of ways to make this work—if you need a mixer, you’ve probably got something off in your approach.

Also I’m surprised you say the headphone output of the Helix ‘doesn’t have much headroom.’ I have the floor unit, and use a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones (which take a fair bit of power to drive), and never need to go above 50% on the volume knob for ear-ringing volume. Are you using low-impedance headphones? If so, that might be the issue.

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The OP is wanting to use the DAW monitoring to get the benefit of VST FX applied in real time to the input signal. That, as you say, will necessarily introduce some amount of latency but perhaps still useable with good audio configuration. 

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1 hour ago, silverhead said:

The OP is wanting to use the DAW monitoring to get the benefit of VST FX applied in real time to the input signal. That, as you say, will necessarily introduce some amount of latency but perhaps still useable with good audio configuration. 

Thanks! In that case, OP shouldn't be using direct hardware monitoring at all, or he'll be hearing both the Helix processing alone doubled with the Helix + extra VST processing applied. So, he should set the output block of his Helix to 'USB1-2' and adjust the output gain in that block as needed. Still don't see why an external mixer would be needed...?

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On 4/20/2020 at 5:58 PM, Heavyville said:

 

Why not just turn the master volume  (2 buss) up or down on the DAW?   the DAW is controlling the Vox?   HX controlling the Guitar... mix to taste.   

maybe this is too simple or I missed the point all together. 

 

 

 

This is what I'm doing right now, the problem is that the direct monitoring of the Helix is so hot, that I have to turn up the DAW's master volume way past unpleasant distortion to match the level if I want good recording level from the Helix. I have not tried using limiters/clippers on the DAW's master to rise the average loudness and record under those circumstances however, mostly due to me thinking there will be some timing issues as these plugins often introduce quite a bit of latency. Will try that when I have time. Thanks for the suggestions!

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On 4/20/2020 at 9:18 PM, qwerty42 said:

I’m trying to follow this thread, but I’m not quite getting the problem. When I use my Helix with a DAW, I send the USB1-2 to a track and arm it for recording, but I turn OFF monitoring on that track within the DAW. If you don’t do that, then you’ll hear the direct signal from your Helix as well as the same thing looped back through your DAW, with some latency too, which makes things sound weird.

If things are configured correctly, you adjust the volume of your guitar with the knob on the Helix, because it’s being monitored direct through Helix. You use the mixer faders or master volume in your DAW to control playback volume of individual tracks or recorded material. If you don’t have enough headroom in your DAW to get it up to a usable level with your direct-monitored guitar, then go to the output block of the Helix and dial the gain back a bit. If that’s still not enough options, there is a “USB 1/2 Trim” level adjustment in the Helix too, which will cut or boost the volume from USB 1/2 without affecting your hardware-monitored guitar volume. Lots of ways to make this work—if you need a mixer, you’ve probably got something off in your approach.

Also I’m surprised you say the headphone output of the Helix ‘doesn’t have much headroom.’ I have the floor unit, and use a pair of Sennheiser HD600 headphones (which take a fair bit of power to drive), and never need to go above 50% on the volume knob for ear-ringing volume. Are you using low-impedance headphones? If so, that might be the issue.

 

The USB in 1/2 Trim does nothing on my unit unfortunately, it's neither altering the input recording level or the direct monitoring level. this is the description of USB In 1/2 Trim according to the manual

 

"Sets the level of incoming audio from USB 1/2, which bypasses all HX Stomp processing. Normally, this should be left at 0.0dB."

 

Yet nothing happens when I dial it. Do I have to activate it or something? Can't find any more info on it in the manual than whats described above.

 

If this worked it would solve all issues I've described above here. But the "which bypasses all HX stomp processing" leaves me wondering if it would actually work as independent control if I want the Stomp processing to still be present.

 

Edit: The USB in 1/2 trim actually works as a DAW post-master volume control (Reaper DAW), which gives me the control I need. Just not the way I expected the USB in trim to work. Thanks for pointing me in the USB trim direction!

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On 4/20/2020 at 11:37 PM, silverhead said:

The OP is wanting to use the DAW monitoring to get the benefit of VST FX applied in real time to the input signal. That, as you say, will necessarily introduce some amount of latency but perhaps still useable with good audio configuration. 

 

I only want to use DAW monitoring with the microphone in Return L (reverb and delay), while utilizing direct monitoring on the guitar signal(DAW monitoring bypassed) with the Stomp processing. This works good except the problem of not being able to dial direct monitoring and recording level from In 1/2 independently.

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1 hour ago, ossianott said:

 

The USB in 1/2 Trim does nothing on my unit unfortunately, it's neither altering the input recording level or the direct monitoring level. this is the description of USB In 1/2 Trim according to the manual

 

"Sets the level of incoming audio from USB 1/2, which bypasses all HX Stomp processing. Normally, this should be left at 0.0dB."

 

Yet nothing happens when I dial it. Do I have to activate it or something? Can't find any more info on it in the manual than whats described above.

 

If this worked it would solve all issues I've described above here. But the "which bypasses all HX stomp processing" leaves me wondering if it would actually work as independent control if I want the Stomp processing to still be present.


Oops, I'm sorry! My brain clearly wasn't working yesterday. I thought tcamuso was the OP, but he just piggybacked on your thread. I didn't realize you were using the Stomp. I don't own one of those, but I'll do my best to help. My advice below assumes USB1/2 is carrying your guitar and USB7/8 is your mic, based on my understanding of the Stomp's user guide. Thus in your DAW you'd have a channel set up receiving the guitar on USB1/2, and a channel for your mic on USB7/8.

 

  • First thing I would check is make sure your guitar track in Reaper isn't also being software-monitored. This will double the guitar level you hear (because you're hearing the direct hardware monitoring from Stomp, *and* the loopback from Reaper). I don't use Reaper so unfortunately I can't give you specifics there.
  • You said you can't turn down the guitar level at the Stomp output because it makes a low signal in Reaper. Are you sure that's actually a problem? (How low is it? Are you referring to the Helix-processed mix or the dry guitar?)  The SNR on these devices is quite good, so a low signal isn't as bad as it seems compared to the old analog days.
  • The "USB In 1/2 Trim" only affects the volume of things coming from your computer back to the Stomp. USB1/2 from the computer is hard-routed straight to the Stomp outputs and the headphone port, assuming it's like the Helix. In your case that could help, because your mic is being software-monitored in Reaper, which means you're hearing it come back on USB1/2. To clarify: if you are *only* monitoring your mic with software, and the guitar is direct monitored, then increasing the USB In 1/2 Trim should make your mic louder without affecting the volume of the direct-monitored guitar.
  • Worst-case scenario, you could just not hardware-monitor your guitar in the Stomp, and use software monitoring for both the guitar and mic. This would let you set the volume levels with the mixer in Reaper. Unfortunately you'll have latency on the guitar audio if you do that.


Edit: Another thought; again only guessing because Stomp is a lot more limited than the Helix. Can you split your signal path into Path A and B, and put a Return block on Path B that brings your mic signal there? If it's like Helix, you could adjust the mic level with that block. From there, it looks like  your guitar would go out on USB1/2 still, and then the mic would be on USB3/4.

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2 hours ago, qwerty42 said:
  • Worst-case scenario, you could just not hardware-monitor your guitar in the Stomp, and use software monitoring for both the guitar and mic. This would let you set the volume levels with the mixer in Reaper. Unfortunately you'll have latency on the guitar audio if you do that.

This is what I have been doing. The latency is not that bad and does not throw me off, as my fingers are responding more to the music in the headphones than to the sound of my guitar. The recordings come out just fine.

 

To practice against backing tracks, I'm using a mixer.
See

 

2 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

Edit: Another thought; again only guessing because Stomp is a lot more limited than the Helix. Can you split your signal path into Path A and B, and put a Return block on Path B that brings your mic signal there? If it's like Helix, you could adjust the mic level with that block. From there, it looks like  your guitar would go out on USB1/2 still, and then the mic would be on USB3/4.

 

I have the Helix LT, so I have this signal path split capability.

When you say USB 1/2, etc, are you implying that the USB connection to the Workstation is carrying more than one stereo channel? How would I access these from inside the DAW (Studio One V4)?

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This issue is totally fixed with the usb in 1/2 trim. What made me confused was that as it's labeled in I figured it had something to do with the guitar input into 1/2 of the DAW, but it's actually from the DAW into the stomp, making it an OUT not an IN in my head.. I didn't understand the description in the manual either. Now I can increase the DAW volume post fader up to +18 dB to match the direct monitoring signal of the stomp, without having to redline the LR bus inside the DAW.. monitoring of the guitar is turned off inside reaper. 

 

Thanks for the help all of you!

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6 hours ago, tcamuso said:

This is what I have been doing. The latency is not that bad and does not throw me off, as my fingers are responding more to the music in the headphones than to the sound of my guitar. The recordings come out just fine.

 

To practice against backing tracks, I'm using a mixer.
See

 

 

I have the Helix LT, so I have this signal path split capability.

When you say USB 1/2, etc, are you implying that the USB connection to the Workstation is carrying more than one stereo channel? How would I access these from inside the DAW (Studio One V4)?

Yes. If LT is like the Floor (pretty sure it is), you have 8 USB output channels. 7&8 are reserved for dry re-amping signals, but you can use 1+2, 3+4, and 5+6 as separate stereo sends from the Helix to your daw. I don't use your daw so you'll have to look up the info on how to use them. I also strongly suggest you go through the relevant sections in your LT user manual. It's explained well in there including a signal flow diagram, and if you don't familiarize yourself with the user manual, you're probably missing out on a lot of the capability of your LT.

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5 hours ago, ossianott said:

This issue is totally fixed with the usb in 1/2 trim. What made me confused was that as it's labeled in I figured it had something to do with the guitar input into 1/2 of the DAW, but it's actually from the DAW into the stomp, making it an OUT not an IN in my head.. I didn't understand the description in the manual either. Now I can increase the DAW volume post fader up to +18 dB to match the direct monitoring signal of the stomp, without having to redline the LR bus inside the DAW.. monitoring of the guitar is turned off inside reaper. 

 

Thanks for the help all of you!

Glad you found a solution! It might still be worth your time to experiment with that last suggestion I gave, about splitting your path into two outputs and using a Return block on that second path. I looked through the Stomp manual carefully and I'm pretty sure this will work. This should accomplish the same thing as your current routing, except it'll give you a way to boost the Mic output before it gets sent to your DAW, giving you even more flexibility.

 

One last note to help: 'in' and 'out' are relative to where you see them. For example, 'USB In' for your Stomp refers to an Output from your DAW. 'USB In' within your DAW refers to an Output from your Stomp. The In and Out labels are relative to the hardware or software that is calling them by those terms, not absolute. :)

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1 hour ago, qwerty42 said:

Glad you found a solution! It might still be worth your time to experiment with that last suggestion I gave, about splitting your path into two outputs and using a Return block on that second path. I looked through the Stomp manual carefully and I'm pretty sure this will work. This should accomplish the same thing as your current routing, except it'll give you a way to boost the Mic output before it gets sent to your DAW, giving you even more flexibility.

 

One last note to help: 'in' and 'out' are relative to where you see them. For example, 'USB In' for your Stomp refers to an Output from your DAW. 'USB In' within your DAW refers to an Output from your Stomp. The In and Out labels are relative to the hardware or software that is calling them by those terms, not absolute. :)

Is this suggestion for flexibility with mic input volume to the DAW mainly? I have a hardware preamp which I adjust the volume into reaper for the microphone, then blend guitar direct monitoring with signal from reaper to taste and play :) Or would this also yield some better flexibility for the guitar monitoring? I have a hard time grasping the routing of the signal in your example, and if it's mainly to be able to adjust mic volume I can do it with my hardware preamp instead.

 

As the HX stomp is rather limited to the number of blocks I'm trying to use all horsepower to get the guitar patches the way I want, sometimes it includes a bit of wizardry. The limitations is somewhat inspiring me thinks. Especially when it sounds this good!

 

Thanks a lot for the help!

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9 minutes ago, ossianott said:

Is this suggestion for flexibility with mic input volume to the DAW mainly? I have a hardware preamp which I adjust the volume into reaper for the microphone, then blend guitar direct monitoring with signal from reaper to taste and play :) Or would this also yield some better flexibility for the guitar monitoring? I have a hard time grasping the routing of the signal in your example, and if it's mainly to be able to adjust mic volume I can do it with my hardware preamp instead.

 

As the HX stomp is rather limited to the number of blocks I'm trying to use all horsepower to get the guitar patches the way I want, sometimes it includes a bit of wizardry. The limitations is somewhat inspiring me thinks. Especially when it sounds this good!

 

Thanks a lot for the help!

Ah, ok! If you're using a hardware preamp for the mic, then nope, this won't give you any benefit. This was assuming it was just an unpowered mic of some sort that was simply being routed through the Stomp. "Is this suggestion for flexibility with mic input volume to the DAW mainly?" Yep, that was exactly the intent, but you don't need it so disregard :)

Anyway, glad you found a working solution for your setup!

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