Jump to content
devilsinkpot69

Gain issue? Helix > L6-L > Powercab 212

Recommended Posts

Hi there!

 

I got myself a Powercab 212 recently and I'm trying to build some patches from scratch.

My setup is either ES335 or LP, both equipped with PAF ––> Helix ––L6-L––> PC212.

Helix Volume is at 11, all output levels are set to 0dB and Line-Level where possible.

Powercab speakers are also set to 0dB.

 

When I do some heavy strumming with no blocks active, it is impossible to get the PC input yellow.

When I raise the Helix output block to +20dB I can clip the PC to yellow. When I add the max. +6dB raise to the PC-input, I can clip it to red with very hard strumming only.

 

My guitars have a very low output (335 is a tad below 7K), but nonetheless this seems not right to me.

 

How is it with your Helix-PC-combos?

Any advice how I should set my gains here?

 

Dev

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you say the Helix Volume is at 11, do you mean the big volume knob on the Helix is at 11 o’clock? I usually crank that up all the way, or keep it somewhere around 3 o’clock.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@phil_m  by 11 I meant "all the way up", so at 5 o'clock.

 

Normally I would set it to 3 o'clock so I have a little room upwards. But even at 100% my base-level seems to be super low.

With everything as mentioned above, the output block's gain meter spikes around 50% with heavy strumming.

Adding any amp block with factory default settings gives me double the volume (felt) and I have plenty possibilities to add gain in the chain, but it doesn't feel to me as the behaviour I get is intended.

 

I have no comparison to other Powercabs. But on Flat Response it sounds very thin and weak with stock patches (Like US Double i.e.). On speaker mode, it sounds fuller and rounder, but still not like the magic amp in the room everyone is talking about.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, devilsinkpot69 said:

@phil_m  by 11 I meant "all the way up", so at 5 o'clock.

 

Normally I would set it to 3 o'clock so I have a little room upwards. But even at 100% my base-level seems to be super low.

With everything as mentioned above, the output block's gain meter spikes around 50% with heavy strumming.

Adding any amp block with factory default settings gives me double the volume (felt) and I have plenty possibilities to add gain in the chain, but it doesn't feel to me as the behaviour I get is intended.

 

I have no comparison to other Powercabs. But on Flat Response it sounds very thin and weak with stock patches (Like US Double i.e.). On speaker mode, it sounds fuller and rounder, but still not like the magic amp in the room everyone is talking about.

 


Well, in the Flat or User IR modes, it won’t really sound like n amp in the room. It’s acting as an FRFR playback system in those modes, so it’s more comparable to what you’d hear from a floor wedge or other monitor when connected to a PA system. The amp in the room thing really only comes into play when you use Speaker Mode and the on-board speaker modeling. For that, you’d want to disable the cab or IR block I your Helix preset and use the Powercab as your cab.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, phil_m said:

Well, in the Flat or User IR modes, it won’t really sound like n amp in the room. It’s acting as an FRFR playback system in those modes, so it’s more comparable to what you’d hear from a floor wedge or other monitor when connected to a PA system. The amp in the room thing really only comes into play when you use Speaker Mode and the on-board speaker modeling. For that, you’d want to disable the cab or IR block I your Helix preset and use the Powercab as your cab.

 

Thanks, @phil_m for clarifying again. I'm aware of the different modes and I know how IRs work. And while I like the sound of them or the Helix cab-blocks when playing with headphones, I'm looking for a way more traditional sound and feel when the "amp" is sitting right next to me. And I really hope that I can get there when I get the whole gain staging worked out.

 

I did some more reading and testing and I also rewatched two videos (Sadites and Sterlacci dialling in PC+). The videos show completely different levels there, but both don't seem to use L6-Link, Sterlacci even levels only the PC+ with a full Helix preset (he adds +6dB to the 1/4" input from PC+). When I level everything up to the max, the Powercab sounds definitely better. But I still doubt that it was designed to need the maximum boost of +20dB in Helix to even begin feeling alive.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2020 at 8:47 AM, devilsinkpot69 said:

by 11 I meant "all the way up"

 

LMAO!  Gotta go watch 'Spinal Tap' again!

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2020 at 5:51 PM, devilsinkpot69 said:

 

Thanks, @phil_m for clarifying again. I'm aware of the different modes and I know how IRs work. And while I like the sound of them or the Helix cab-blocks when playing with headphones, I'm looking for a way more traditional sound and feel when the "amp" is sitting right next to me. And I really hope that I can get there when I get the whole gain staging worked out.

 

I did some more reading and testing and I also rewatched two videos (Sadites and Sterlacci dialling in PC+). The videos show completely different levels there, but both don't seem to use L6-Link, Sterlacci even levels only the PC+ with a full Helix preset (he adds +6dB to the 1/4" input from PC+). When I level everything up to the max, the Powercab sounds definitely better. But I still doubt that it was designed to need the maximum boost of +20dB in Helix to even begin feeling alive.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I’m having the same issue and have watched the same videos. Did you ever fine a resolution to the gain problem using the AES connection?

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I found I also had to add between and 12 and 18 db to the output when using L6 link to connect my LT to PC 112 plus and get the input light to light up yellow, that’s with PC 112 plus input 1 gain on +6 and Digital output gain on LT on +6 DB , that just does not seem right ...

 

I will try just connecting via 1/4 inch guitar cable 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The OP states that when he has the issue when no blocks are active... Does this include no amp block? Would this be like bypassing the preamp in an amplifier? Wouldn't you want/need to have at least an amp or something in the chain before sending the signal to the Powercab? Am I missing something?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

It seems that with L6 link the trick is to leave the Helix LT output level at 0db on the preset Output block, crank the LT big knob to max and then use the Speaker Level slider in the Powercab section in the HX Edit Output block which you can simply raise until you get the yellow light flickering.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/11/2020 at 7:38 AM, cheekybeermonk said:

Hi

 

It seems that with L6 link the trick is to leave the Helix LT output level at 0db on the preset Output block, crank the LT big knob to max and then use the Speaker Level slider in the Powercab section in the HX Edit Output block which you can simply raise until you get the yellow light flickering.

 

Basically what I also tried just with the use of HX Edit instead of doing it on the device itself. My output blocks are at 0dB, I level my presets at certain other points in the chain, if needed I add a volume block at the end so I have visual control that I indeed levelled the whole preset. I can't push my Power Cab into "yellow LED" territory, only with the output raised to max and hitting the Floor hard from the front. Confirmed with a second Floor and also with a second PC. I have no such issues using a Stomp connected via TRS.

 

I think the issue is somewhere with the L6 Link. I always thought my DT50s sounded a bit choked when connected via L6 Link, too. The connection is digital, so there can't be a loss of level/volume along the cable. But it might be that the level of the ADDA for the L6 Link is significantly lower than what the balanced outs of HX deliver.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

With the risk that I jump into something I don’t have the full knowledge about, so I leave a bit to Jason Satides to explain…

 

I made a post in another thread yesterday linking to videos Jason S made a few days ago. I made it because what he says made sense to me. When I started with my Helix a few years ago I read some posts explaining to use unit gain in the whole signal path. I never could get that to work well. Ended up with noise and low levels to DAW and to PA. Hade to add gain blocks and lost control of tone. I change approach after reading another post on TGP explaining gain staging, the importance of input and output levels and that it was nearly impossible to run the digital part to clipping. Somewhere I read the recommendation to adjust the output signal to peak -7 db and the LUFS (short term mean) to about -18 db (LUFS is not really relevant in this application but give you a number to relate to). So I downloaded Youlean witch is a LUFS/peak application and made it easy to get a visualization of where I hade the levels. So I turned all blocks off except the amp/cab, dialed in a basic tone I liked with the levels as above. Added some dly/rev/eq/comp etc. after the amp/cab, all set to unity (not adding any gain). Everything before the amp can add gain to drive the amp or in unity add a flavor to your liking. At all times check the levels on the meter so the Peaks do not exceed 0 db. The patches need leveling depending how clean/distorted they are, but that’s done by ear and still checking the meter not to exceed 0 db. In context with this its also important to have control of other parts in the signal chain eg that the output blocks or L6 are set to 0 db and if the levels are off make the final adjustments to these blocks last.

 

A few days ago, Jason S made 4 videos about this and he explains and show how this works. I will make some adjustments in my methods but it almost the same way as I done it and that works, he just explains and show it better than me :-). I think if you focus on the first and the third video you get some good advice from there. The other two is a bit more explanations in depth on some subjects. The last one can be interesting as it addresses the unity gain discussion…

 

I made a post in another thread with the links to the videos -

 

 

My disclaimer her is that I don’t own the PC+ the yet but based on the Jason S videos I feel confident I will get one soon (and don’t think level problems will be an issue as I works great with DAW, mixer/PA). Have some other questions I will have to close before I open my wallet :-). But that’s another story.

 

Hope it will trigger some ideas to solve the problem you have  

 

Take care… /Per

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...