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Helix Floor with external Audio Interface and/or Headphones


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Hi everyone,


I think the best way to record with Helix is directly through USB. It gives me the most options and it is easiest to set up. However, sometimes we cannot connect through USB, because we are a someone else's studio, for instance. In that case we need to connect through an external Audio Interface (AI). 


When I connect my 1/4" OUT on the Helix directly to my AI (Behringer UMC404HD, but also tried this with my friend's Audient) I find that the sounds are extremely compressed. Neither the AI nor the DAW (Cubase) show that the signal is clipping, but still it sounds horrible.


I'm experiencing the same thing when connecting my headphones directly to the Helix. I read that this may be cause due to the impedance of the headphones, so I bought myself a brand new set of Beyerdynamics DT770 PRO (250 Ohm) headphones, but I'm still experiencing the same thing.


I tried changing the output level from Line to Instrument and also match this on the AI, but it does not resolve the compression (just lowers the volume slightly). I also tried lowering the output level on the Output block in my signal path, but this also only lowers the volume (as does the Volume Knob on the Helix).


I also played with the Guitar In-Z setting on the Input block in my signal path. That seems to have some influence, but the sound is still very compressed and nowhere near how it sounds through the Power section of my amp. (I know there will always be a difference, but it really sounds uncontrollable and horribly distorted)


I'm sure I'm doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what it is. I hope someone in this forum can help me out find the right settings.

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I don't own a Helix, but I own an HX Stomp which should be the same thing as to what 1/4 outs, headphone outs and USB does.


I did an A/B between 1/4 to Scarlett 6i6 and USB direct recording. There is literally near zero difference, apart from very faint coloration of the sound that Scarlett converters bring. It is nowhere near something that can be describes as horrible (I'd say it's unnoticeable). There is something wrong with your setup, it SHOULD be identical and it should not sound different.


One thing that CAN be a problem (and I helped one guy on Reddit to troubleshoot something very similar) is when the interface is compressing, for example it's set to Instrument level and it expects low level signal, and compresses it when the signal is hot. Or interface sensivity is set to minimum, and then hot Helix signal goes in, or vice versa. However, this would sound fine with headphones in this case. Also I truly don't believe impedance problems can be an issue for Helix, this is a scary tale from old days when headphones amplification was a problem. It's not anymore, for years. But congratulations on your new Beyerdynamics though)


The fact that various interfaces produce the same (bad) result, and you have the same problem with headphones, it's inside Helix, not outside. I would check everything, output levels, block gain staging, what you have on your output block settings (isn't it set to max?), global eq, how you set up your is "main L/R" set to Phones Monitor or Send, what is the setting for Volume Control - is it Phones or Main+HP and what is the volume knob set on Helix?


I'd start with going through that first. Then see if something is off in these settings, then proceed further.

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