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Input impedance underrated/overlooked


willyjacksonjs22
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On the hx stomp, when using high gain amps with a tube screamer I couldn’t get the same results as Native. What I did to match Native was switching the input impedance from auto to 1m. now there’s more dynamics and clarity on the notes when playing.

why was this never mentioned? It looks like this feature is underrated. Now I’m more happy with the unit! 

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2 hours ago, jorgealberto25 said:

why was this never mentioned? It looks like this feature is underrated.

 

See page 18 of the manual:

 

Input Settings Page 2 Knob 1

In-Z
HX Stomp has an impedance circuit on its Main L/R
inputs that affects tone and feel by loading your
guitar's pickups as they would by an effect pedal or
amplifier. A lower value will typically result in some
high frequency attenuation, lower gain, and an overall
"softer" feel. A higher value provides full frequency
response, higher gain, and an overall "tighter" feel.

 

 

To learn more, take yourself over to The Gear Page>Digital and Modeling Forum.

Search for Input Impedance.

There's about 10,000 posts.

There's a spreadsheet of Input Impedances for most of the effects. It's called "Helix Effect Impedance Chart.xlsx" and it's been posted here and there many times.

Not underrated, but often misunderstood.

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And just to emphasize, they are modeled that way to match the input impedance of the real-life pedals, which matters a lot for the characteristic sound and feel of certain ones, like fuzzes. It's an analog circuit that re-creates (somewhat) the interaction between your guitar pickups and the pedal.

Most computer interface sound cards have high-impedance instrument inputs (usually 1Mohm), so if you're using them with Native, this is a piece of the hardware modeling that won't match.

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1 hour ago, qwerty42 said:

Most computer interface sound cards have high-impedance instrument inputs (usually 1Mohm), so if you're using them with Native, this is a piece of the hardware modeling that won't match.

That’s why now I prefer the helix hardware or other guitar hardware. don’t know If other vsts suffer with  fuzz pedals? 

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19 minutes ago, jorgealberto25 said:

That’s why now I prefer the helix hardware or other guitar hardware. don’t know If other vsts suffer with  fuzz pedals? 

 

When you're using VSTs, that's not a concern. They sound like what they sound like. You like them or you don't. Your pickups are loaded by the Interface.

If that's an issue, you put a real world pedal in front of your interface. MAYBE it sounds good.

 

BTW - apart from Helix and Fractal, maybe BOSS and Headrush, I don't think other MultiFX have Input Impedance modeling.

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Yup. In a VST, if it gets close to the sound and feel of the real pedals, it's all via software modeling and assuming a certain input impedance. With things like the Helix and AxeFX, it's actually a switched analog circuit inside the hardware that changes the input impedance--it's not really modeled, it's actually put into the circuit with your guitar. Depending on VST, some might feeling closer, others might feel less so... but I can say personally that I almost never use VSTs anymore (despite owning almost every one) because I much prefer the feel and response through my Helix. It's a combo of the low latency and increased dynamic range which many interfaces don't match, along with things like the impedance circuit.

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31 minutes ago, robbieb61 said:

So doesn't "auto" automatically choose the correct impedance on the input? It's what I've always used.

 

Auto selects the impedance proper to the first effect in the chain. The problem is that it does so whether or not the effect is active. If the first effect is 1M and the next is less (like a fuzz of certain type), your pickups are loaded at 1M, causing the other effect to sound different than it should. You can change the impedance to accommodate using Snapshots, but it's an extra step and requires knowing what each effect expects.

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51 minutes ago, robbieb61 said:

So doesn't "auto" automatically choose the correct impedance on the input? It's what I've always used.

Whewww... here comes the can of worms, lol. Brace yourself...

Yes, auto sets the impedance correctly based on the first block in your signal path. That's the simple answer. For most people, that's probably what they should be using.

 

The longer answer is that, even if you have that first block bypassed, 'Auto' still uses that first block's input impedance, regardless of what the next effect is. For some pedals, this is how it would work in real-life, but for true bypass pedals, that's not how it would work. Thus a lot of people don't like how it behaves and have asked Line 6 to change it so that 'Auto' uses the first *active* block in the chain to set the impedance, rather than just the first block.
 

If you don't like how auto behaves, you can: (1) override it for the entire preset by changing it away from Auto; (2) control the impedance via snapshots, which doesn't help much for stomp mode usage; (3) link the bypass switch for your first block to a pair of impedance values that it toggles between, depending on whether that first block is active or inactive.

 

None of those 3 totally solve the issue if you want all of the pedals to behave as if they're true-bypass and you'll be turning them on and off with stomp mode within snapshots.

Edit... darnit, @rd2rk beat me again... must type faster

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5 hours ago, spikey said:

 

Naw, just set it to 1 meg and be done with it... ; )

Certain pedals like vintage fuzzes won't sound right or respond as intended if you do. The whole reason this circuit is included is because some pedals get part of their characteristic tone from their low impedance.

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1 hour ago, qwerty42 said:

Certain pedals like vintage fuzzes won't sound right or respond as intended if you do. The whole reason this circuit is included is because some pedals get part of their characteristic tone from their low impedance.

Then why not model that in the pedal block instead of the input? Probably because it also depends on the guitar - single and double coil pickups are pretty different.

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42 minutes ago, amsdenj said:

Then why not model that in the pedal block instead of the input? Probably because it also depends on the guitar - single and double coil pickups are pretty different.

 

You could probably use some software cleverness to get close, but the thing to keep in mind is that the input impedance interacts with your guitar's circuitry -- the pickups, the pots, all of it. So it changes not just the tone (like an EQ) but also the way it responds to different knob settings, types of pickups, etc. Trying to model the myriad of possibilities there would be a challenge and probably never really get close to working with your guitar controls the same way you'd expect with the real pedal.

Also I think you're already aware, but just to emphasize for others -- the input impedance isn't 'modeled' in the Helix, or the AxeFX--at least not in the sense we'd normally think. It's not a software trick. It has an analog circuit on the guitar input which actually changes the real input impedance to a range of different values, so the tonal differences you hear from varying the input impedance are due to real circuit interactions, not software EQ'ing.

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21 minutes ago, robbieb61 said:

Oh okay. Well, I use the input noise gate and them my first block is an amp model always (I don't use distortion pedals, I like amp distortion).  
So is that why "Auto" sounds just fine to me?

 

Auto sounds just fine IF none of the effects before the amp require a lower impedance AND you're hardwired (not wireless).

If you ARE using effects that require a lower impedance ITRW, they could sound fine because you don't have the real world effects to compare.

OR because the difference just doesn't matter to you.

All we're saying is that with some effects in some configurations, somebody who knows what the REAL effects sound like can tell the difference.

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Output impedance doesn't matter. If you're using a wireless your pickups are loaded at 1meg to match what they'd see plugged straight into an amp..

If you're hard wired (using a physical cable) THEN If the Drop has an INPUT impedance of 1meg, your pickups are loaded at 1meg, UNLESS the drop is TRUE True bypass.

If it's TRUE true bypass, when it's bypassed then your pickups are loaded per the Helix settings as described above. If the Input Impedance of the Drop is <>1meg, then it's not going to work as designed with wireless.

 

See why so many people just leave Helix at AUTO and either don't use effects with other requirements or just accept them as they are like it or not?

Unless you're a true connoisseur of fuzz (not me), in which case you don't use wireless or only use fuzz boxes that have 1meg Input impedance (that's me). 

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1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

See why so many people just leave Helix at AUTO and either don't use effects with other requirements or just accept them as they are like it or not?

Unless you're a true connoisseur of fuzz (not me), in which case you don't use wireless or only use fuzz boxes that have 1meg Input impedance (that's me). 

Auto was driving me nuts. There’s was no presence in the tone. ( metal tones, overdrive + amp). Leaving the auto+ amp sounds really nice but when adding a pedal before the amp and bypassing it or engage it, some brightness/presence, dynamics are gone ( depending the amp and pedal). So Adding snap shots will aid the stomp instead of switching the impedance back and forward? 

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49 minutes ago, jorgealberto25 said:

Auto was driving me nuts. There’s was no presence in the tone. ( metal tones, overdrive + amp). Leaving the auto+ amp sounds really nice but when adding a pedal before the amp and bypassing it or engage it, some brightness/presence, dynamics are gone ( depending the amp and pedal). So Adding snap shots will aid the stomp instead of switching the impedance back and forward? 

 

The simplest answer I can give here is, if you want your tone as bright as possible, set the input impedance ('Guitar In-Z')  to '1M Ohm' and leave it there for your patch. This will prevent any of the blocks in your chain from changing it, regardless of their bypass state.

 

If you do this, and you use certain pedals like the Arbitrator Fuzz, Industrial Fuzz, or Triangle Fuzz, their tone won't match their real-life counterparts because in real life those pedals have low input impedances. If you're not familiar with how those real pedals sound and behave, you might not care.

 

The full, detailed explanation is well-stated several times earlier in this thread. I don't think I can really summarize it any better than it's already been done, so if you want more info than that, you'll have to carefully read the previous replies. It's all there.

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1 hour ago, jorgealberto25 said:

Auto was driving me nuts. There’s was no presence in the tone. ( metal tones, overdrive + amp). Leaving the auto+ amp sounds really nice but when adding a pedal before the amp and bypassing it or engage it, some brightness/presence, dynamics are gone ( depending the amp and pedal). So Adding snap shots will aid the stomp instead of switching the impedance back and forward? 

 

Did you DL the Impedance chart I referenced? If, with AUTO ON, you ONLY use effects in front of the amp that have 1meg Input Impedance, then your pickups are loaded exactly as if you were plugged direct into the amp.

 

If you only use ONE effect before the amp and it has OTHER than 1meg Input impedance, set the Preset Input impedance to that.

For instance - Guitar>CABLE> Tube Screamer>Amp = Input Impedance 230k (or whatever the TS is).

If you use a mix of devices in front of the amp that have DIFFERING Input Impedances, use Snapshots to set the Preset Input Impedance to whatever the first ACTIVE effect requires.

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Quote

Certain pedals like vintage fuzzes won't sound right or respond as intended if you do. The whole reason this circuit is included is because some pedals get part of their characteristic tone from their low impedance.

That makes some sense too. I say (since we have that option with Helix) do what sounds good to you cause thats what its all about. And since none of us are using the same hearing devices (attached or unattached) things objectively will sound different for different people. So how do you know what's right then? The answer is, does it sound good to you. If it does (by comparisons or otherwise) then it's good. In my case, I've mostly played thru Marshalls and Fender amps my whole life, and everyone of those tube amps IIRC has 1 meg of input impedance. And I know for a fact that the makers of those particular amps know more than me, and probably know more than the whole collective group here about the needed input impedances for guitar amplifiers (OTOH I've also read where some very well made boutique amps don't have a 1m resitor at all). I'm using this setup with Helix @ 1 Meg with a Riverside, a Dual Fusion, and a Lagrange pedal with strats, LP's, and Yamaha guitars, and all of um sound unique, different, and good to me. ; ) As always, YMMV and thats ok too!

 
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9 hours ago, qwerty42 said:

The full, detailed explanation is well-stated several times earlier in this thread. I don't think I can really summarize it any better than it's already been done, so if you want more info than that, you'll have to carefully read the previous replies. It's all there.

Yes I understand now. Just looked at the chart that was provided showing the impedance level of each effect. Didn’t know the screamer was 230k. I’m gonna mess around with that today. 

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3 hours ago, robbieb61 said:

I wonder why they put an "Auto" setting in at all? What's the purpose?

You'll have to read the thread above. It's all explained. The reason is to match the modeled pedals as closely as possible, and for the most part it works very well. Because of the way it's been implemented, in rare-ish cases, it causes problems for some people when bypassing certain pedals.

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15 hours ago, robbieb61 said:

I wonder why they put an "Auto" setting in at all? What's the purpose?


The post I made earlier contains a link to a thread, from almost four years ago - the comments from Digital Igloo may be of interest. Or, maybe not!

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  • 2 years later...
On 4/12/2020 at 12:37 AM, rd2rk said:

 

Auto selects the impedance proper to the first effect in the chain. The problem is that it does so whether or not the effect is active. If the first effect is 1M and the next is less (like a fuzz of certain type), your pickups are loaded at 1M, causing the other effect to sound different than it should. You can change the impedance to accommodate using Snapshots, but it's an extra step and requires knowing what each effect expects.

 

Old post, but you post here a lot so I'm hoping maybe I can catch you.

 

I didn't realize at first the bypassed pedal would still be the same input impedance.

 

So let's say you have a lower imp pedal first.

 

Then you have that 2nd, with a 1M first, but bypassed.

 

You say it will sound different - and that makes sense.

 

I would love to HEAR the difference in that sound - is this something you're able to do? I don't have any of the devices that'll do it (I have an HX Effects which only has the fixed 1M input impedance)

 

Or at least maybe quantify verbally - like how does it sound different? More bass, more treble, more mids, less of something, more drive, less drive - can the one seeing the 1M be dialed back in to sound like the one that wants less?

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Don't remember which update fixed it, but the way it works now is that if you set it to FIRST ACTIVE it sets the Input Impedance to the impedance of the FIRST ACTIVE effect, not the first effect.

 

An effect like the Tube Screamer loads the pickups at <1M (varies with the specific TS or clone) and that attenuates the high frequencies from the pickups. This is why many fuzz pedals (such as the Fuzz Face) sound great with single coils but muddy with humbuckers.

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s

Ahh, I didn't know about that update.

 

Ok, so if I'm correct, let's say you have a real-world TB (true bypass) pedal first, then a fuzz after it.

 

If you bypass the TB pedal, then the fuzz will still behave as it would if it were first after your pickups.

 

So this is like the newer update "first active" yes?

 

The older one before the update would have been like if the first pedal were not TB and the fuzz would react the same whether the first pedal was engaged or bypassed (since it's buffered bypass), yes?
 

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Hello everyone, i am Rafael from Chile.
I hope this topic can be usefull for me, because i just bought an Helix Floor....
I have a ibanez premium RG with Dimarzio pickups..

The clean tone with clean amps sounds very cool, but when i try to sound with high gain amps with an tubescreamer in front of it, my sound is super super super bad....
i have seen a lot of videos on youtube and i can't explain how they can sound so cool, but in my case it's horrible...
I was thinking maybe could be the input/output (i mean.....line or instrument)....i think i did it correctly, but this continue with "problem"....my problem is the same as the "Willyjackson22" who started this topic when he said about the difference between (in my case helix floor and helix native).... i think my helix sound like very bad tone, i don't know how to say in english but it´s like the sound cannot breath correctly... i am getting a very bad sound, but when i compared with helix native is veery different, much more cool!
And i saw this subject about impedance, i hope i can resolved this situation because i am very frustrated with the helix, trying different things, parameters, videos on youtube....even i have thoght my hardware is damaged, i am going to my house right know to try this "impedance trick"...or maybe i will shot my head with a bullet =( snif....

if someone could help me i appreaciate :)

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First, check and see if you are not missing an amp cab block in your chain!  An amp by itself without the cab can sound horrible.  I use an amp+cab block always personally. 

 

then...

 

Start with dialing down your gain in general.  Modellers make you feel like you don't have enough gain, because you are playing and the sound is coming out of an FRFR, mixing monitors, or headphones.  When you don't move enough air, you feel like your sound is too weak subconsciously.  When you play through a physical amp cabinet, you may find that there is plenty of gain, and maybe even too much of it. 

 

I tried to dial in a good chug metal tone.  It was just not working for me.  Until I took the gain and lowered it significantly.  All of a sudden, the chug came back, and it started feeling more familiar, not like I was playing a sound, and the sound was processed and played out of a speaker.  It was more immediate, more familiar....

 

Input impedance is pretty important as well, but I personally use the auto impedance setting.  In my signal chain, the first pedal is either the volume pedal or wah, and they both have the same virtual impedance.  I tried changing that to 1M ohm, and did not like the result -- some notes had weird resonance and were sticking out.  Here's my little experiment video, if you're interested.  https://youtu.be/xSrgfEhLmSQ

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Thanks for answer TheElevators....
Thanks to share the video as well, let me tell you that i found you on YouTube before you sent this message hehehehe :)


I tested this aspect  last night, i'm still continuing with problems...
I am pretty sure i took all the aspects....

I really think my hardware is not working well, so i went to the store to generate a ticket for support....i will need to get patience and see what will happen.....

My great doubt is, how i can make great sounds in Helix Native, but in Helix Floor i cannot do it....
This is not my first time with a guitar and amps, or virtual amps, plugins, etc...

Practicaly, The Helix "ecosystem" is the same in Floor, LT, Native.... but wow, i am very sad :(
It was a lot of money that i spent....

Any other comment for me can be good :)
 

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On 10/19/2022 at 3:47 PM, Bofillrafael said:

Thanks for answer TheElevators....
Thanks to share the video as well, let me tell you that i found you on YouTube before you sent this message hehehehe :)


I tested this aspect  last night, i'm still continuing with problems...
I am pretty sure i took all the aspects....

I really think my hardware is not working well, so i went to the store to generate a ticket for support....i will need to get patience and see what will happen.....

My great doubt is, how i can make great sounds in Helix Native, but in Helix Floor i cannot do it....
This is not my first time with a guitar and amps, or virtual amps, plugins, etc...

Practicaly, The Helix "ecosystem" is the same in Floor, LT, Native.... but wow, i am very sad :(
It was a lot of money that i spent....

Any other comment for me can be good :)
 

 

Have you exported one of the Native presets you like back to the Helix? How did it sound?

 

Check/swap your cabling and monitor connections as well. Seems obvious, and you are probably already aware, but if you are running in mono, make sure you connect to the 'Left' mono summing output. Connecting to the right output by accident is going to sound like crap if you have a stereo preset selected. Try cranking your master (big knob) volume up to 3/4 or all the way. If this is too low, it may make things sound weak and anemic. Do you have a volume block engaged and set too close to heel down? Is your output set to mic or line? Experiment with both. How do things sound through headphones directly out of the Helix? Try another method of monitoring. What are you using as a monitor now?

 

Are any of the factory presets sounding good to you? If so, then the problem may be in your custom preset design. Start by getting just the amp and cab blocks sounding good and then continue to add blocks. Experiment with the 'Master' and 'Gain' parameters on the amps. You should not be having to crank the 'Ch Vol' on the amp block in all your presets. That can introduce some nastiness. Have patience, the learning curve, as you know, even if you have experience, can be a little steep at first until you get your head wrapped around things. Good luck!

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On 10/19/2022 at 5:24 PM, HonestOpinion said:

 

Have you exported one of the Native presets you like back to the Helix? How did it sound?

 

Check/swap your cabling and monitor connections as well. Seems obvious, and you are probably already aware, but if you are running in mono, make sure you connect to the 'Left' mono summing output. Connecting to the right output by accident is going to sound like crap if you have a stereo preset selected. Try cranking your master (big knob) volume up to 3/4 or all the way. If this is too low, it may make things sound weak and anemic. Do you have a volume block engaged and set too close to heel down? Is your output set to mic or line? Experiment with both. How do things sound through headphones directly out of the Helix? Try another method of monitoring. What are you using as a monitor now?

 

Are any of the factory presets sounding good to you? If so, then the problem may be in your custom preset design. Start by getting just the amp and cab blocks sounding good and then continue to add blocks. Experiment with the 'Master' and 'Gain' parameters on the amps. You should not be having to crank the 'Ch Vol' on the amp block in all your presets. That can introduce some nastiness. Have patience, the learning curve, as you know, even if you have experience, can be a little steep at first until you get your head wrapped around things. Good luck!

Thank you for your complete answer and for take your time to write me....

i have tested in KRK ROKIT 5 and in my Passive PA + AMP, i also went to the store and i tested it on a FRFR.....sure sounds loud and could be better, but it's not the good quality of a helix floor, it's sounds like with no resolution, very anemic, no crunchy sound....yes sounds with distorion, the Helix makes its part when you push the distortion, but is not a good quality...but in Helix Native it's super cool.

Believe me, i have tried everthing that you said :(

Different cables, with headphone also sounds very ugly.
Volumen master in different positions...
I Also tested in Line/instrumer/Mic .....

Other factory presets, yes, could be sounding good, like clean presets, sounds amazing, even i believe could sound better....and yes, some factory presets (gigh gain) could sounds good,. but when i try in the Helix Native sounds much better, in fact in the helix native sounds as must to be right, but in the helix floor sounds very anemic....

I also tried to use just an amp + cab, nothing more....
And in the Helix Native sounds good, and in the helix Floor sounds very ugly.
I also experimented with 'master' and 'gain'....'bias' , 'presence'....

I know the learning curve could be slow, but this is not my first time using "virtual amps", because i have used "mercurial spark, neural DSP, bias fx, amplitube, mercuriall reaxis"....i can control it very well, but in the hardware helix floor....it's a complete disaster...


I am not saying that the Helix Floor is a bad hardware, but i think that MY hardware could be damaged...         :(        

(now the helix floor is at the store)

I appreaciate your attention, any other comment here are very welcome for me...... thx!

 

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Neural DSP took a different approach to Fuzz, it's impedance and how it interacts with the guitar.  It's recent fuzz model allows you to choose your pickup type (single or double coil) and use an expression pedal to control the guitar volume in the plugin instead of with the guitar volume. This is a compromise, but seems to work pretty well. They use machine learning to model what the fuzz is doing at different fuzz levels and with the different pickups. It's another interesting approach. 

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