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Optimal setting volume knob


erikfabler
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Hi

Using Helix floor and Headrush FRFR-112.

Is there any optimal settings for the volume knobs on Helix? On the Headrush?

Should I max the volume on the floor unit and control the level on the Headrush?

I read that the Headrush works best half way, and that you should control the level on the Helix.

 

Any thoughts? Best practies?

 

 

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There is no general advice, but If you take a look at the usual approach PA/FOH guys use, you will see that they set the poweramps to the max desired output and control the volume with the preamp (=mixing console faders). 

I would approach this the same way: Set the headrush to the max needed volume depending on the location and control the volume with the Helix.

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Volume on the Helix maxed out, that's the best SNR you can get, out from the Helix. Remember that knob it's a pure volume, not a gain.

 

Doing the opposite it's "producing" more noise from both the circuits.

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4 hours ago, bassbene said:

There is no general advice, but If you take a look at the usual approach PA/FOH guys use, you will see that they set the poweramps to the max desired output and control the volume with the preamp (=mixing console faders). 

I would approach this the same way: Set the headrush to the max needed volume depending on the location and control the volume with the Helix.

 

This hasn't been the standard for PA setups for at least two decades now, and older style power amps aren't in the same generation of design as DSP enabled powered speakers like the Headrush.

The common manufacturer's recommendation for modern powered speakers is to set the gain knob at 12 o'clock which represents unity.  In other words, the amp in the speaker will not have any gain added to or subtracted from the signal going to the speaker's amp.  You can, if necessary boost it slightly on most speakers.  But a lot of today's modern speakers incorporate a built-in limiter circuit which can cause your sound to get compressed if it's too hot.  I'm not sure if this is the case on the Headrush, but if not it will begin to clip at some point.  Given that you're using the headrush as a stage monitor you should have more than enough volume at the 12 o'clock position to fill the stage unless you're working with a bunch of neanderthal musicians that have no understanding of volume management.  The general practice for stage monitors is to set them for Line level input as that's how they're used when connected to a PA.

Typically you wouldn't max out your volume knob on the Helix unless you're sending a Mic level signal to a mixing board.  On my rig I have the volume knob disconnected from the XLR output and the XLR output set to Mic level.  This allows me to use the volume knob on the Helix to control the signal level going to the on stage monitor (in my case a Yamaha DXR12 with it's volume set at 12 o'clock) without affecting the level going to the mixing board...which is a very sound crew friendly way of doing it.  I gain stage my presets and snapshots at home through my XLR output going to a QSC TM-30 mixing board so they're all consistent volumes/signal levels.  At the gig I set the volume level on my Helix volume knob so that it's adequate for the stage volume which tends to be somewhere around 11 o'clock on most stages...higher on bigger stages, lower on smaller stages.  Because of the way I pre gain stage my XLR output, the sound man only has to gain stage one preset and can be assured it will be consistent all night.

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Yea, don't crank the amp.  They have unity gain markings now, or at least some markings that can get you into that ballpark.

 

However the idea everyone agrees on here, no matter how it's described, is to set the powered speaker (IE: power amp) level at it's best setting, and then control volume from the helix.

 

There are issues with this concept, related to playing live.  How do you keep the helix volume exactly the same as you go through the night?  So many of us will want to nudge that up gradually... and that can wreak havoc on the soundman who's basing his input level on your helix output level.  So keep watch on that, or mark it with a dot of some kind.

 

I think also the helix has an option for fixed level output.  As an engineer, that seems logical to me, but it certainly adds practical drawbacks to this whole thing.

 

Also, the helix noise mention seems pretty unlikely to be a problem.  The noise from the helix is far lower than the noise from most normal guitar amps, even if you turn it way down and crank a powered speaker way up to get your signal (Which would be extreme, impractical, and pointless.).

 

So just set your powered speaker level, 12 noon someone says, but I say look at your speaker level control and find unity gain on it (I would imagine different manufacturers set unity at different parts of the rotation, but noon is a very safe easy way to start).

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17 minutes ago, brue58ski said:

The Helix is at unity when turned all of the way up.

That's true....kinda.

As long as you don't increase the volume level too much as you add blocks it will be at more or less unity level, depending of course on the signal level you're sending and what you're sending it to (Mic level, Line level, Instrument level).  Unity is a somewhat situational characteristic as it depends on the device receiving it.

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18 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

That's true....kinda.

As long as you don't increase the volume level too much as you add blocks it will be at more or less unity level, depending of course on the signal level you're sending and what you're sending it to (Mic level, Line level, Instrument level).  Unity is a somewhat situational characteristic as it depends on the device receiving it.

 

Of course if you increase the outputs signal level it won't be unity. The unity I am referring to is if the path is totally clear with no blocks at all, the signal going in is the same going out when the output is set at 0dB. That's what unity is in this regard.

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59 minutes ago, brue58ski said:

 

Of course if you increase the outputs signal level it won't be unity. The unity I am referring to is if the path is totally clear with no blocks at all, the signal going in is the same going out when the output is set at 0dB. That's what unity is in this regard.

 

This. 

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