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wjernigan

How do you listen to your Helix?

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I put mine through a Line6 L2t, but I'm rethinking that.

The problem is the volume is on the back of the speaker and I don't want to turn the speaker every time I need to "turn it down" because my family is complaining.

 

(my research says I should always have the Helix cranked for the best out signal and then control volume external to the Helix)

 

I mistakenly thought I had to run it through a device like the L2t but then I thought many of you run it through other speakers, active or not.

I thought of getting some passive bookshelf speakers and running the signal through an AV amp I have sitting around doing nothing.  At least then the volume would be convenient.

 

What way do you listen to the signal from your Helix?

(OK, sure, headphones, NOPE!  If I can't feel it, don't bother)  Headphones are out. (Yes there is a pair in the picture.... but headphones are not an answer for this situation)

guitarRig.jpg

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I run mine through a pair of L3t speakers. I also set the volume on the speakers to accommodate my usual Helix cranked volume level. However when I need to turn things down I lower the Helix volume,  not the speaker volume (rear panel as you note). I don’t really notice a difference in sound quality other than the predictable difference due to lower volume. I don’t think the lower Helix output volume affects sound quality much in that situation.

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7 minutes ago, silverhead said:

I run mine through a pair of L3t speakers. I also set the volume on the speakers to accommodate my usual Helix cranked volume level. However when I need to turn things down I lower the Helix volume,  not the speaker volume (rear panel as you note). I don’t really notice a difference in sound quality other than the predictable difference due to lower volume. I don’t think the lower Helix output volume affects sound quality much in that situation.

 

Same here (using a different monitor). I think you'd need to be a major cork sniffer to spot a real difference reliably - and as I ain't, I always leave some headroom in either direction. Especially on stage, the last thing I wanted is to crawl behind my monitor to do some small volume adjustments.

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The topic of using FRFR, Amplifiers and cabinets, input to tube amps etc has been discussed here exhaustively.   Search through the site here  and thegearpage.com.  Google is your friend!

 

I don't think you should have any issues practicing noodling at bedroom volumes on your l2t.  It should only matter when you are dialing in for gig volumes.    I think you can control the digital output from your helix if you are getting compliants.    I don't think you are going to be satisfied using AV and bookshelf speakers.  If you just need some lower volume solutions for when you are getting yelled at by the family, try some decent computer speakers into the headphone jack...

 

I use primarily use my powercab 112 Plus.   When I am working on/dialing in patches, I crank it to gig volumes.    I also have a pair of Headrush 112 powered FRFR speakers.  They are very good.  I get similar results as with the powercab depending on what I am doing.   I like to create Wet-Dry-Wet scenarios sometimes.  Sounds fantastic in my ears.   I also run thing through my JBL powered 8 inch monitors when practicing at my desk going through my interface.   All of these solutions make me get up and turn down the volume on the back of the speakers.....

 

I think it is key to dial things in at gig volumes with backing tracks so you know how you are going to sound in a mix.  Also pay attention to gain staging on your helix when building your patches. 

 

 

Happy researching....

 

 

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I have my Helix setup so that I have the Helix volume knob disconnected from the Helix XLR output and set to Mic level output.  This is used to send a full volume Helix signal to the mixing board and I generally set the peaks in my patch (using the channel volume in my patch) as measured by the signal strength on my channel at the mixing board with my gain on the mixing board channel set to 12 o'clock.  My 1/4" output is connected to the Helix volume knob and sends a Line level signal to my stage monitor.  I adjust that stage level via the Helix volume knob and it doesn't affect my XLR line at all.  This completely isolates the actions needed to be taken with my signal at the board by the soundman from the actions I need to make for myself for my on stage sound.

I use a Yamaha DXR12 as my stage monitor and my home monitor.  My volume on my speakers is set to the normal convention of 12 o'clock and I never touch it.  Based on this setup both at home or on stage I generally have my Helix volume knob set at around 11 to 11:30 both at home and on stage.  Of course I can turn it down to anything I want but at a certain point Fletcher-Munson effects start making the sound a bit muffled.

The net effect of this arrangement is I know my signal to the board is gain staged appropriately so that saves a lot of time in sound checks.  My on stage mix is easily adjusted with the Helix volume knob.  Full volume gain staged signal to FOH, adjustable signal on stage.  Best of both worlds.

 

 

982537988_frankensteinsoundlab(small).jpg.c29045064d26cf165ba8dd4a41db5978.jpg

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2 hours ago, wjernigan said:

(my research says I should always have the Helix cranked for the best out signal and then control volume external to the Helix)

 

 

Research is nice, but the "perceived wisdom" regarding any particular knob setting is exactly that...perceived. Ultimately it's what your ears tell you that matters. When adjusted to the same final volume level with the L2T's volume control, if you can actually tell the difference between having the Helix master volume knob red-lined, or at noon, or anywhere else for that matter...then salúd, you've got better ears than most. But I'll bet money that in a blind test you wouldn't be able to tell the difference, no matter what any theoretical "best" setting dictates.

 

I've been using an L2T as a stage monitor for years now, and once set for a given scenario, I never touch the volume knob again... Helix master volume starts at noon, making minor up/down adjustments as needed. Works just fine, and I've never had more consistent sound from night to night in nearly 30 years of gigging.

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use the volume knob right on the helix and be down with it.

 

you're also confusing,   you have to turn down correct? but you state you need to feel it. . .   no feels happen at low volume if you are talking about pushing air bro. 

 

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Didn't mean to be confusing.  My default is loud.  I'm often told to turn it down.  Turning it down is a pain because I have to fuss and reach around the speaker.

I get that I can control volume on my Helix for undetectable difference in quality.  However, fussing with the volume on the L2t would be nice to be done with.  If someone has a better way to manage the amplification of the Helix output I'm in.  If studio monitors running through an AV amp is a thing, I'd like to hear that story.

 

I don't gig.  I'm always in the same room with the same equipment.

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I use a pair of Line-6 PowerCab +'s, and also have these setup thru a mixer to use a pair of HR-824 monitors as well. The kewl thing about the Powercabs is that you can turn the volume all the way down on them, and still send the "line-out" signals into the mixer (and then into the Audio Interface/FRFR studio monitors) and get the speaker emulated tones from the Powercabs into my recording/listening!

 

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5 minutes ago, wjernigan said:

....

I get that I can control volume on my Helix for undetectable difference in quality.  However, fussing with the volume on the L2t would be nice to be done with.  ...

 

I guess I don't understand. Since you can control the output volume of your Helix using its master volume knob, why do you need to also control the volume on your speakers? Just turn the Helix volume down and leave your speakers alone - is that not sufficient?

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1 hour ago, wjernigan said:

Didn't mean to be confusing.  My default is loud.  I'm often told to turn it down.  Turning it down is a pain because I have to fuss and reach around the speaker.

I get that I can control volume on my Helix for undetectable difference in quality.  However, fussing with the volume on the L2t would be nice to be done with.

 

And you can be done with it... all you have to do is make the decision to stop reaching around the back of the amp... because it simply isn't necessary to control your volume that way. You're making this way more complicated than it needs to be.

 

Pick a position on the L2T's volume knob somewhere between 9 and 12 o'clock and leave it there. Forever. Glue it in place if you like (don't do that...I'm just trying to drive home the point ;) ). Since you're not moving the gear back and forth between different acoustic environments, you'll never need to touch it again for the rest of your days. Then adjust your volume from the Helix, as needed. That's all there is to it. No other speaker(s) will make it any simpler... no matter what you do, there will always be two volume knobs involved. One on the Helix, and the other on whatever is driving the speaker(s). Which one you choose to fiddle with is entirely up to you.

 

And I promise, you will have plenty of headroom with which to annoy your wife. What I've described above is exactly what I do at every gig, playing with a hard- hitting, mostly deaf drummer... so unless you're really intent on rattling windows in the next zip code, you will have no problems.

 

 

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Did someone mention just using the volume knob on the Helix?

 

 

 

 

;  )

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How is it that the vast majority of you are such ENGINEERS?  You're all wrapped up in solving a problem.  Dudes well done, volume nob, fixed.  I know about the !@#$% volume nob on the Helix. I'm an engineer.  I'm not artistic.  I'm not a musician really.  I'm trying to feed a hobby and do things that are outside my natural ability.  I'm looking for thinking outside of the box that I live in, and it's small.  Really?  Case and point; Helix to L2t, that's all I was able to come up with.

Back to the question.

 

I'm asking "How do you listen to your Helix?"

 

How do YOU listen to YOUR Helix?   What is the path (either digital or analog) from the back of your Helix to your ears?

I'm looking for alternatives to what I have.  

 

Thank you for your thoughts, effort, suggestions, and clarifications.  Any more on how you listen to your Helix would be super appreciated.

My bad for being unclear.

 

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5 minutes ago, wjernigan said:

What is the path (either digital or analog) from the back of your Helix to your ears?

I'm looking for alternatives to what I have.  

 

Well, its going to be analog unless you have implants. ; )

 

But seriously, check out the Powercab +, they are awesome!

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I have a good pair of phones and JBL LSR305 studio monitors. Most of the time I'm playing low with the monitors and get a pretty good sound. I migrate to the phones if the wifey starts to complain too much..seems to be working for my. My amps are currently in the closet unfortunately. 

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1 hour ago, wjernigan said:

Didn't mean to be confusing.  My default is loud.  I'm often told to turn it down.  Turning it down is a pain because I have to fuss and reach around the speaker.

I get that I can control volume on my Helix for undetectable difference in quality.  However, fussing with the volume on the L2t would be nice to be done with.  If someone has a better way to manage the amplification of the Helix output I'm in.  If studio monitors running through an AV amp is a thing, I'd like to hear that story.

 

I don't gig.  I'm always in the same room with the same equipment.

 

I think the verdict is in if you want an alternative based on everybody's feedback here.  Control it with your Helix volume knob.  That's what it's there for.  I can guarantee you it's undetectable unless you have the ears of a bat..on steroids.  There are plenty of people here that would bet a lot of money that you couldn't detect the difference in a double blind test, but I doubt you'd want to lose that much money.

 

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4 hours ago, wjernigan said:

How is it that the vast majority of you are such ENGINEERS?  You're all wrapped up in solving a problem. Dudes well done, volume nob, fix. I know about the !@#$% volume nob...

 

A problem that you brought up. Not once, but twice... in separate posts. Generally speaking, when someone goes out of their way to voice the same concern repeatedly, it suggests that they're looking for help solving that specific problem. So how else are we supposed to respond? We're not mind readers. You also indicated that you thought the answer might be found with some other gear, yet what you already have is top shelf, and the work around is brain-dead simple... so we suggested the simplest solution to the stated concern, one that is virtually effortless and wouldn't cost you a dime, yet somehow that's a problem?

 

Now since what you evidently meant was "I don't like this thing anymore, what else is there? ", here are your options:

 

1) Good studio-quality headphones...I know this doesn't interest you, so moving on.

 

2) Powered studio monitors. Choices are endless, in myriad sizes and power levels. The size of the room and how loud you really want to get will determine what you need.

 

3) A traditional guitar cabinet and power amp. An equally endless number of choices here.

 

4) Plugging Helix into the front end of a combo amp... no shortage of combos to choose from either, but personally I wouldn't recommend going this route. But it can be done.

 

5) A single FRFR powered speaker, which you already have.

 

6) The Line 6 Powercab, which can function (more or less)  as either number (3) or (5).

 

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Spend time learning Helix- that is the single most important thing.

You could also do what I did. Keep your Helix and get a Kemper Profiler.

I have arguably the best of 2 processing worlds now (and all I have time for as well).

Of course, the KPA wont sound any better either unless you spend "time" with it.

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Ok, so how do I listen to my Helix? Bunch of headphones. Still like my Sennheiser HD25 the most as they're pretty decent to find sweet or "un-sweet" spots in the critical midrange. Too bad they're not very comfortable to wear for longer periods of time, so I flip flop between them, a pair of AKG 240 MkII and a cheap Superlux HD-681, the latter being kickass value for money, very comfortable to wear, just that they sound too nice IMO (no good for critical mixing or sound programming tasks).

Outside of the headphone realm I'm mostly listening through and old pair of Tannoy Reveal studio monitors, powered by an even older Alesis RA-100 amplifier. Already had an order for a pair of IKMM iLouds going (which should be perfect for my needs, already tested them) but cancelled that for the time being as I'm basically without work for an unforeseeable amount of time thanks to that goddamn virus. Still, these are great home studio monitors if space is an issue and if you really need to go for nearfield monitoring (the Tannoys need more distance, which right now is tough for me to realize).

And finally, for the time being I took my live monitor (Alto TS310 - IMO excellent, even if some people like to blame it for whatever reasons...) home with me, so I can at least enjoy a little bit of banging here and there (until the neighbours start calling the police).

Quite happy with these things, apart from the studio monitors I wouldn't know what to change (and yes, I compared my Alto to lots of others, even way more expensive solutions).

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Thanks to all for your perspectives.     Based on your feedback and my situation, I think I'm going this way:

guitar -> Helix -> mixing board -> aux input on L2t     and for backing tracks   iPad -> mixing board -> aux input on L2t

 

The mixing board wins as the easy to access volume knob.  It's a shame that I can't use the digital input on the L2t this way.  That $800 speaker is just a powered monitor at this point.

I have my Helix on the floor and my feet are not careful enough to smack the volume knob around when I get the predictable "TURN IT DOWN!!!" from my wife and kids.

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50 minutes ago, wjernigan said:

Thanks to all for your perspectives.     Based on your feedback and my situation, I think I'm going this way:

guitar -> Helix -> mixing board -> aux input on L2t     and for backing tracks   iPad -> mixing board -> aux input on L2t

 

The mixing board wins as the easy to access volume knob.  It's a shame that I can't use the digital input on the L2t this way.  That $800 speaker is just a powered monitor at this point.

I have my Helix on the floor and my feet are not careful enough to smack the volume knob around when I get the predictable "TURN IT DOWN!!!" from my wife and kids.

 

That's essentially what I do. Helix-mixer-speakers. I use the mixer to adjust listening volume and the computer goes in there too. I think the reason people focused on the Volume knob is that you're basically a bedroom rock & roller (me too mostly) so pristine sound quality probably wouldn't be an issue. I personally have the Volume knob defeated for the XLR's, set those to mic, and adjust my patch level with the Channel level parameter. I do play out a little so this works for me. One possibility, asw I now ponder this, would be to send your signal to the speakers via the 1/4" outs. This is assuming you are using your XLR outputs for recording. You then have the Volume knob control only the 1/4" outs so the signal to the mixer stays the same and you can adjust the level using the Helix Volume knob. I think something like this might have been mentioned before. In case you're curious, my speakers are some low end Mackie powered "shelf" monitor speakers that I got on sale. Ya know, the ones that are like computer speakers on steroids. Nothing special.

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Late to the game but I have the Helix output going 3 ways;

  • AES out to Powercab+
  • XLR left/right out to Steinberg UR44 to JBL LSR305 pair and 310S Sub
  • 1/4 left right out to Fishman SA330x w/sub
  • Helix is always master guitar volume for me

It depends on what I'm doing/testing and will mix the JBLs and Powercab sometimes, but only use the Fishman solo.

 

https://imgur.com/a/B3tSoGZ

 

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This is one of the weirdest threads I've ever read...

 

TL;DR: 'How do you all listen to Helix? I have some of the best monitors you can get, but I want a way to turn them down without using the way to turn them down. What else should I buy?'

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55 minutes ago, qwerty42 said:

This is one of the weirdest threads I've ever read...

 

TL;DR: 'How do you all listen to Helix? I have some of the best monitors you can get, but I want a way to turn them down without using the way to turn them down. What else should I buy?'

 

Actually the way he's turning them down (through the mixing board) is the most common way those type of speakers are used.  All he's doing is using a mixing board the same way it would be used in a PA setup feeding stage monitors.  You don't necessarily turn the speakers down.  You leave them set on unity (12 o'clock) and control them either through the Aux fader on the mixing board if it's a monitor or the channel fader if it's going to the FOH speakers.  It makes perfect sense if you want complete mixing control over the guitar as well as other inputs such as a backing track you're jamming with so you can control the mix independently on both from a single point.  That's what mixing boards are made for.

 

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31 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:


Actually the way he's turning them down (through the mixing board) is the most common way those type of speakers are used.  All he's doing is using a mixing board the same way it would be used in a PA setup feeding stage monitors.  You don't necessarily turn the speakers down. 

 

Except that's not what he's doing... he repeatedly whined about having to reach around the back of the L2T to reach the volume knob every time he wanted to turn down, then proceeded to get all indignant when it was explained just how wildly unnecessary that is. This entire thread made zero sense from the jump.

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42 minutes ago, DunedinDragon said:

 

Actually the way he's turning them down (through the mixing board) is the most common way those type of speakers are used.  All he's doing is using a mixing board the same way it would be used in a PA setup feeding stage monitors.  You don't necessarily turn the speakers down.  You leave them set on unity (12 o'clock) and control them either through the Aux fader on the mixing board if it's a monitor or the channel fader if it's going to the FOH speakers.  It makes perfect sense if you want complete mixing control over the guitar as well as other inputs such as a backing track you're jamming with so you can control the mix independently on both from a single point.  That's what mixing boards are made for.

 

He doesn't have a mixer, yet. I was referring to his refusal to use the big volume knob on the top of the Helix, which still seems like the obvious solution for exactly this purpose, but inexplicably has been thrown out as a viable option, lol.

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Can we agree that pursuit of excellence is what keeps us going?   :)

My excellent situation is not having to swing my Lt2 (warning cruision2, more whining) around to fuss with a volume knob.

My excellent situation is not having to use my foot to try and adjust a volume knob that's on the floor.

 

I thought that asking how others were doing it and trying to avoid judgement and suggestions was the way to get new ideas.  But I screwed that up but exposing portions of my actual problem.  Then the engineers pounced.

Here's the core of the issue, "convenient control of master volume"

 

I noticed that most responses were headphones.  I totally respect that.  You don't have to turn things down that others can't hear.

I also noticed that many don't put the Helix on the floor.  Sure, then volume is really easy to get to.

 

I'm going to a mixing board to solve the issue of convenient control of master volume.   That's where I'm going based on what you've shared, not where I started.

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1 hour ago, wjernigan said:

Can we agree that pursuit of excellence is what keeps us going?   :)

My excellent situation is not having to swing my Lt2 (warning cruision2, more whining) around to fuss with a volume knob.

My excellent situation is not having to use my foot to try and adjust a volume knob that's on the floor.

 

I thought that asking how others were doing it and trying to avoid judgement and suggestions was the way to get new ideas.  But I screwed that up but exposing portions of my actual problem.  Then the engineers pounced.

Here's the core of the issue, "convenient control of master volume"

 

I noticed that most responses were headphones.  I totally respect that.  You don't have to turn things down that others can't hear.

I also noticed that many don't put the Helix on the floor.  Sure, then volume is really easy to get to.

 

I'm going to a mixing board to solve the issue of convenient control of master volume.   That's where I'm going based on what you've shared, not where I started.

I mean, is kneeling and using your fingers not an option? ;) I'm just kidding, please don't take my snarkiness too seriously ;)

 

Yep, it sounds like a small mixer you can mount at 'playing height' probably is your best solution. Don't scrap the L2t for lesser speakers, you'll likely regret it.

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On 5/14/2020 at 5:20 PM, wjernigan said:

Can we agree that pursuit of excellence is what keeps us going?   :)

My excellent situation is not having to swing my Lt2 (warning cruision2, more whining) around to fuss with a volume knob.

My excellent situation is not having to use my foot to try and adjust a volume knob that's on the floor.

 

I thought that asking how others were doing it and trying to avoid judgement and suggestions was the way to get new ideas.  But I screwed that up but exposing portions of my actual problem.  Then the engineers pounced.

Here's the core of the issue, "convenient control of master volume"

 

I noticed that most responses were headphones.  I totally respect that.  You don't have to turn things down that others can't hear.

I also noticed that many don't put the Helix on the floor.  Sure, then volume is really easy to get to.

 

I'm going to a mixing board to solve the issue of convenient control of master volume.   That's where I'm going based on what you've shared, not where I started.

 

I'm beginning to think your problem has nothing to do with the volume knob and more to do with your preset and snapshot volumes not being normalized to the same level.  I set my volume knob when I turn on my Helix to where I keep it by default and never touch it again.  The volume knob on my my Yamaha DXR12 never moves from the 12 o'clock unity position.  I can play an entire show and never touch any of my volumes.  That's because I spend a lot of time ensuring that every preset and snapshot is at the same level by adjusting the volume in the preset.  If you're not doing that a mixing board won't help you and no soundman you ever work with will ever want to work with you a second time.

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