Jump to content
fenderbenderlax

Headphones for building Helix tones

Recommended Posts

Hi Folks,

 

I was wondering what is the best option to create Helix tones without having to use FRFR speakers (silent mode). I'm using the HX stomp. I currently use a TASCAM TH230 and it sounds quite boomy. The tone sounds good with EQ using my headphones but it sounds terrible when hooked to the PA system. 

 

Any thoughts on 

 

a) Would better headphones such as the Beyer dynamic or others offer a closer representation to FRFR

b) Would using an "industry standard" interface such as the UAD Apollo Twin or the Arrow and monitoring through their headphone outs make a difference (I'm not totally sold on these expensive interfaces as I doubt I will use any of their plugins). Alternatively would something like a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 suffice to dial in tones that would not require massive adjustments when hooked to the PA. 

 

Thanks folks!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get ready for the it won't work responses. Only because it's pretty true. i got lucky and have a pair that any patches I make using them (so far), translates to the PA we have well. I have not tried this with any other PA. The headphones were fairly cheap. I'm not at home so i can't tell you what they were. Still it's better to create your patches at performance level or, as has been stated on this forum, 80dB (I think that was the number).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, brue58ski said:

Get ready for the it won't work responses. Only because it's pretty true. i got lucky and have a pair that any patches I make using them (so far), translates to the PA we have well. I have not tried this with any other PA. The headphones were fairly cheap. I'm not at home so i can't tell you what they were. Still it's better to create your patches at performance level or, as has been stated on this forum, 80dB I think was the number.

 

yeah I saw that there are a number of ppl who have said that headphones just don't work...the problem is building tones at 80db with the kids around is just difficult :-)..plus our bigger problem is (not right now as there are no gigs) but typically we play using the venue PA system which varies depending on where we play...makes it even more difficult to manage...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For myself, it just takes time and trial/error processes to adapt to how your headphones sound/translate to my PA system.  I have a powered wedge I use as well, but even that sounds different than through our full PA.  

 

Here is my process...

 

1) create presets using headphones.  This is mostly to get the layout, blocks etc...all included and sounded decent.  I know my headphones are boomy so I tend to make them a little bit boomy/bassy in the headphones as I know when i hit the next step it'll even out a bit.  

 

2) I play through my powered wedge at a 'reasonable' house volume.  Now that I'm in an apartment, I take my rig and spend about 20 min hooked up to see how my headphone attempts translate to the powered wedge, I adjust a few of my presets to get more ballpack.  Then if needed, due to being short of time, will compare on my headphones the adjusted presets vs the 1.0 version and make the adjustments to match the 2.0 wedge versions so they are consistent.  I know my wedge is pretty tight/clear/punchy, and if it sounds good there, usually sounds pretty decent out front with our PA.

 

3) during the show I soundcheck and listen to my guitar in the wedge and through the PA to compare how they respond differently.  I'll use the Global EQ as a way to quickly tame any highs/lows.  THen when I get my rig setup at home, I'll look at the global EQ settings and make adjustments to my presets to re-flatten the global curve.

 

This whole process is lengthy, and a little bit back and forth, but usuallly by the 2nd show, my presets are dialed and locked in.  I have good reference core tones that I can then create song specific presets with, where all I have to do is drop in the effects per song if needed.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, fenderbenderlax said:

Alternatively would something like a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 suffice to dial in tones that would not require massive adjustments when hooked to the PA. 

 

 

The interface you use is entirely irrelevant, and neither contributes to, nor detracts anything from your tone...the problem is changing output devices (headphones vs a PA), and volume... specifically the effects of the Fletcher- Munson curve. Perceived loudness of different frequency ranges varies drastically with volume... it's just how our brains work. At low levels, mids dominate. When you crank it up, the highs and lows become more prominent and the mids vanish like a fart in the wind... hence the guitarists' constant search for the secret sauce that will allow us to "cut through the mix". There is absolutely nothing that can be done about this....no device that can circumvent the biology.

 

The only workable solution is tailoring patches for both the intended output device and most importantly, volume. I've got a "live" set list, along with one for headphones, and yet another for studio monitors. Yes, it's more work up front... and yes, it's tedious and a royal pain in the a$$. But you only have to do it once. After a while, regardless of how you dialed in a particular patch, you'll get to know what tweaks you'll need to make to adapt that same patch for a different use... but even then it'll only get you "in the ballpark". You'll still have to test drive your handiwork in each scenario, and it's a safe bet that you'll still have to have to edit something. That's what rehearsals and sound checks are for, but there's no escaping the initial grunt work no matter what you do.

 

 

  • Like 2
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have had to setup some patches using my DT770 headphones on occasion and I firmly agree with cruisinon2.  I found it doable, but it inevitably needed some correction once I connected to a legit FOH setup.  The reason being that headphones, or even studio monitors, are engineered to work so differently from common FRFR style speakers that it's really kind of impossible to match the characteristics exactly.  That being said my experience in that regard is somewhat limited so I suppose it would be possible to learn how to make the corrections accurately with headphones if you had to do it all the time.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/25/2020 at 12:50 PM, themetallikid said:

For myself, it just takes time and trial/error processes to adapt to how your headphones sound/translate to my PA system.  I have a powered wedge I use as well, but even that sounds

different than through our full PA.  

 

Here is my process...

 

1) create presets using headphones.  This is mostly to get the layout, blocks etc...all included and sounded decent.  I know my headphones are boomy so I tend to make them a little bit boomy/bassy in the headphones as I know when i hit the next step it'll even out a bit.  

 

2) I play through my powered wedge at a 'reasonable' house volume.  Now that I'm in an apartment, I take my rig and spend about 20 min hooked up to see how my headphone attempts translate to the powered wedge, I adjust a few of my presets to get more ballpack.  Then if needed, due to being short of time, will compare on my headphones the adjusted presets vs the 1.0 version and make the adjustments to match the 2.0 wedge versions so they are consistent.  I know my wedge is pretty tight/clear/punchy, and if it sounds good there, usually sounds pretty decent out front with our PA.

 

3) during the show I soundcheck and listen to my guitar in the wedge and through the PA to compare how they respond differently.  I'll use the Global EQ as a way to quickly tame any highs/lows.  THen when I get my rig setup at home, I'll look at the global EQ settings and make adjustments to my presets to re-flatten the global curve.

 

This whole process is lengthy, and a little bit back and forth, but usuallly by the 2nd show, my presets are dialed and locked in.  I have good reference core tones that I can then create song specific presets with, where all I have to do is drop in the effects per song if needed.  

 

This most definitely sounds workable to me. I will give this a go. 

 

 

On 6/25/2020 at 1:29 PM, cruisinon2 said:

 

The interface you use is entirely irrelevant, and neither contributes to, nor detracts anything from your tone...the problem is changing output devices (headphones vs a PA), and volume... specifically the effects of the Fletcher- Munson curve. Perceived loudness of different frequency ranges varies drastically with volume... it's just how our brains work. At low levels, mids dominate. When you crank it up, the highs and lows become more prominent and the mids vanish like a fart in the wind... hence the guitarists' constant search for the secret sauce that will allow us to "cut through the mix". There is absolutely nothing that can be done about this....no device that can circumvent the biology.

 

The only workable solution is tailoring patches for both the intended output device and most importantly, volume. I've got a "live" set list, along with one for headphones, and yet another for studio monitors. Yes, it's more work up front... and yes, it's tedious and a royal pain in the a$$. But you only have to do it once. After a while, regardless of how you dialed in a particular patch, you'll get to know what tweaks you'll need to make to adapt that same patch for a different use... but even then it'll only get you "in the ballpark". You'll still have to test drive your handiwork in each scenario, and it's a safe bet that you'll still have to have to edit something. That's what rehearsals and sound checks are for, but there's no escaping the initial grunt work no matter what you do.

 

 

 

Totally agree with the Fletcher Munson effect and its implications. That is literally the problem and developing presets at gig volumes is just not feasible for the moment. But I agree maybe it is a little too much to expect no tweaking based on patches designed using headphones. 

 

On 6/26/2020 at 4:45 AM, DunedinDragon said:

I have had to setup some patches using my DT770 headphones on occasion and I firmly agree with cruisinon2.  I found it doable, but it inevitably needed some correction once I connected to a legit FOH setup.  The reason being that headphones, or even studio monitors, are engineered to work so differently from common FRFR style speakers that it's really kind of impossible to match the characteristics exactly.  That being said my experience in that regard is somewhat limited so I suppose it would be possible to learn how to make the corrections accurately with headphones if you had to do it all the time.

 

Agreed! Thanks again everyone!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great subject as I am a new Helix LT user and was wondering how I was going to handle this. Right now I use the Helix with a real 2x12 cabinet powered by an Orange Pedal Baby. There are no CAB blocks in any of my presets, so where do I go from there...obviously FOH/PA is out of the question for me right now. I dont have an FRFR and dont plan on getting one. I wouldn't conciser the headphone option because I figured the preset would not sound the same through a PA. So right now I am sticking with the traditional mic the speaker format. 

Was wondering what to expect if I added a CAB block, the same as I physically have (2x12 G12T-75) into the chain for FOH...am I crazy to think that will come close to what I am getting out of my real cabinet? 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dacop13 said:

Was wondering if I added a CAB block, the same as I physically have (2x12 G12T-75) into the chain for FOH...am I crazy to think that will come close to what I am getting out of my real cabinet? 

 

Yes and no...the whole point of using a modeler is to emulate the sound of a mic-ed amp, heard through some sort of FRFR output... whether it's headphones, studio monitors, or a full blown stage PA. So yes, you should be able to successfully replicate what your audience hears through the PA, but NOT (repeat...NOT) the direct "amp in the room" tone that you hear on stage standing a few feet from your cabinet. This in an important distinction, and tends to cause a lot of confusion for those unaccustomed to modeling.

 

And don't expect to just plop the cab block in there, run direct to the PA and instantly have the same FOH tone that you're used to with the actual mic-ed cabinet...that's not gonna happen either. But with enough judiciously applied EQ and choice of cabinet and mic models (you will have to experiment), you should be able to get pretty damn close. That's what this gear is designed to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dacop13 said:

Great subject as I am a new Helix LT user and was wondering how I was going to handle this. Right now I use the Helix with a real 2x12 cabinet powered by an Orange Pedal Baby. There are no CAB blocks in any of my presets, so where do I go from there...obviously FOH/PA is out of the question for me right now. I dont have an FRFR and dont plan on getting one. I wouldn't conciser the headphone option because I figured the preset would not sound the same through a PA. So right now I am sticking with the traditional mic the speaker format. 

Was wondering what to expect if I added a CAB block, the same as I physically have (2x12 G12T-75) into the chain for FOH...am I crazy to think that will come close to what I am getting out of my real cabinet? 

 

I did use it with a cab before and a poweramp. Adding a cab for FOH will require additional work. I also do not have an FRFR system which makes it harder as I'm reliant on headphones for creating tones. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My first show back (whenever that is) I will probably just have the backline cabinet mic'ed as I have done in the past with tube heads. Its usually a fast paced "on and off" between bands so there is no time for me to mess around with Cab settings. 


Understood about the concept of modeling, but I do like the results I am getting through a real cab and poweramp. 

I dont have a FRFR either and have no reason to get one. Most of the places my band plays has a backline and they do not allow you to bring a cabinet.

 

Quick question, if I did decide to add a CAB block for FOH only, I would assume I need to create two separate paths? One having a CAB (FOH) and the other not having a CAB (into real Cabinet)?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dacop13 said:

My first show back (whenever that is) I will probably just have the backline cabinet mic'ed as I have done in the past with tube heads. Its usually a fast paced "on and off" between bands so there is no time for me to mess around with Cab settings. 


Understood about the concept of modeling, but I do like the results I am getting through a real cab and poweramp. 

I dont have a FRFR either and have no reason to get one. Most of the places my band plays has a backline and they do not allow you to bring a cabinet.

 

Quick question, if I did decide to add a CAB block for FOH only, I would assume I need to create two separate paths? One having a CAB (FOH) and the other not having a CAB (into real Cabinet)?

 

 

You may not need a separate path in itself. You could use a split Y branch driving both the FOH and the Cab. For the through path you can route it to your 1/4 inch outs into the power amps. for the split path make sure you add an impulse response/stock cab and route that maybe through the XLR outs to  FOH. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dacop13 said:


I dont have a FRFR either and have no reason to get one. Most of the places my band plays has a backline and they do not allow you to bring a cabinet.

 

Quick question, if I did decide to add a CAB block for FOH only, I would assume I need to create two separate paths? One having a CAB (FOH) and the other not having a CAB (into real Cabinet)?

 

 

Whether you want an FRFR or not, you're going to have one once you send your signal to the FOH whether that's a mic'd real cabinet, or a Helix cab or IR as all of those speakers are FRFR.  What most people in your situation do is send a separate output path using cabs/IR via XLR to the FOH and one without cabs/IR to the real cabinet.

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...