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ingen63

USB Output to high for DAW

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I have to set the input gain at my DAW to ~-.30DB to not overdrive the channel with line 6 USB.

 

Here is my setup

I set my gain to utilize the full range by adjusting the output level up to +15db depending on the preset as  I want to get the full power of my FRFR speakers. The output meter shows always green and also by ear there is no digital overdrive/clipping. Checked by monitor speakers and headphone.

 

But if I am using the same settings to record  directly into my DAW (Cakewalk by Bandlab, Global output settings toLine), I have to set the input gain down to  -30 db, to not overdrive the input ( stay below 0db)

 

Is this normal? 

 

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2 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

How can you set the input level of your DAW when running into it via USB?

 

Some DAW's have input gain adjustment. I don't know about Cakewalk/Bandlab which the OP is using, but I use Studio One and it has that feature. 

Most DAW's also have the ability to add "insert effects" on each input.... that would also be an easy way to control input gain.

 

3 hours ago, ingen63 said:

But if I am using the same settings to record  directly into my DAW (Cakewalk by Bandlab, Global output settings toLine), I have to set the input gain down to  -30 db, to not overdrive the input ( stay below 0db)

 

Is this normal? 

 

I would say no, this is not normal. I could see having to lower it by the amount you felt the need to increased it..... but not double that amount. It seems to me that something is not right with the gain structure. Are you sure the DAW doesn't have added inserts or effects that are increasing the gain artificially? 

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I gave up on Cakewalk (which was my first real DAW) being anything but a flakey PITA a long while ago (been using Reaper).

To check out your problem I opened it up, and let it update as per usual.

It won't even see my Stomp.

Still a flakey PITA!

 

So I loaded Reaper (which got no problems like Cakewalk can't handle).

Set up a simple preset with a Brit Plexi Jump.

With Amp+Cab (cab level default 0.0) USB Input level is -15db.

With Allure or Ownhammer Greenback IRs (default Level -18), it's still -15db.

If I crank the Output Block Level to +15 it almost hits 0.0db.

All of this is as expected, I just wanted to verify before commenting.

 

What I don't understand about your problem is WHY do you need to crank the Output Block Level to +15?

 

You didn't bother saying which Helix you're using or what speakers you've got, so not much more I can check, but the full power of your speakers is attained when their Volume knobs are cranked. You can feed them all the signal you can get, but thy're just going to distort if you overload the Inputs.

 

Why not use your system the way it was designed to be used?

 

Maybe I'm just not understanding your goal?

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4 hours ago, codamedia said:

Some DAW's have input gain adjustment. I don't know about Cakewalk/Bandlab which the OP is using, but I use Studio One and it has that feature. 

Most DAW's also have the ability to add "insert effects" on each input.... that would also be an easy way to control input gain.

 

But that isn't relevant at all. You can't magically avoid digital clipping that way, it's gotta be done on the way in. But then, in this case, it actually doesn't even matter.

 

In case the signal sent to the DAW from the Helix via USB is too hot, it's too hot inside the Helix already. The reason likely being a questionable boost somewhere in the signal chain - which is preceisely, what we're dealing with here...

 

1 hour ago, rd2rk said:

What I don't understand about your problem is WHY do you need to crank the Output Block Level to +15?

 

This is the crucial question!

 

All members of the Helix family should provide plenty of analog output level with the internal level structure kept somewhat "neutral". Sure, when you boost an amp models input, using plenty dBs is as fine as in the analog domain, but others than that, it's likely a pretty wise decision to keep the overal level of your signal path at least somewhat close to a neutral pass through (no blocks inserted, unitiy gain on all output blocks). The combination of amp and cab blocks will likely raise that level to some extent, which is still fine, even leaving plenty of headroom, but I wouldn't go much higher than that and always crosscheck my patches against one with just an amp/cab chain set to the defaults.

 

In case you go for that approach, the Helix' USB out levels usually even tend to be more on the weaker side of things (I'd guess the rather low-ish levels of the default settings are intentionally chosen by Line 6 to avoid any kind of digital clipping anywhere in the signal chain, especially at the output converter stage), which is why I usually split my path into separate monitoring and record outs, so I can adjust my USB recording levels on a then separated USB output block (I may elaborate on the additional advances of that approach in a decidated thread...).

Fwiw, at first, I tried to adjust my overall patch levels to achieve a decent USB recording level, but with a little bit of afterthought, I stepped back from that approach. When recording, I want a USB level as close to 0dB as possible - not exactly required for sonic quality reasons, as the signal stays in the digital domain, but I want a) clearly visible waveforms without any further actions inside my DAW and b) levels I'm used to work with, so potentially following dynamic processors will be fed with a "common sense" level.

But: Achieving this solid recording level by raising my overall patch level might become counterproductive because IMO it's a wise decision to keep the levels a tad more on the low-ish side before hitting the output converters. I might run into a situation requiring a volume boost of a patch (for musical reasons), which would then cause clipping on patches with not enough headroom before things hit the converters in case I started with a pretty hot leveled patch already. As a result of that, I started splitting my signal on my dedicated recording patches.

Fwiw, IMO it'd be a nice thing to have separate internal levels for the USB outputs without splitting the signal. Should be pretty trivial to adress from a programming POV and would defenitely make life easier here and there. Especially the DI guitar level (on USB 7/8) is pretty weak in case you don't use high output PUs and I always find myself having to boost it inside my DAW to deliver a proper input level for any other amp sims but Helix Native (which, at its default settings, likes a somewhat weaker signal)

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Hello There,

 

If you plan to use the same preset for both USB recording and FRFR live use, you can check the following options:

 

- You split the output signal to 2 paths: 1 for frfr monitoring with out block set to +15db, 1 for usb having out block set to 0 or lower depending on your needs

- Or, you can use the global EQ. In this case, you set the out level to your USB needs, and use the global EQ for the XLR out (or whatever you use for your FRFR) only, and adjust the level and eq from there.

 

I would personally go for the global EQ route, because most likely you'll have to adjust the eq to match your live rig according to the environment anyways...

 

Cheers,

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14 hours ago, ingen63 said:

I have to set the input gain at my DAW to ~-.30DB to not overdrive the channel with line 6 USB.

 

Here is my setup

I set my gain to utilize the full range by adjusting the output level up to +15db depending on the preset as  I want to get the full power of my FRFR speakers. The output meter shows always green and also by ear there is no digital overdrive/clipping. Checked by monitor speakers and headphone.

 

But if I am using the same settings to record  directly into my DAW (Cakewalk by Bandlab, Global output settings toLine), I have to set the input gain down to  -30 db, to not overdrive the input ( stay below 0db)

 

Is this normal? 

 

 

I'm not sure there's anything normal in your description, especially in terms of gain staging output from your Helix.

I use Cakewalk Sonar Platinum and have for many years.  There are any number of ways you can adjust the USB recording output level, but most of the time I simply take the output as presented by the Helix and adjust the trim/gain on the track after it's captured to get the signal level where I need it, but there is also an adjustment in the globals to directly adjust the level of the USB output on the Helix.  I'm not monitoring the track as it's being recorded anyway, I'm monitoring the source.

First of all your use of "gain" is very confusing as gain applies at several stages on the Helix, but I'm assuming you're talking about the Helix output block.  If so, that has nothing to do with the performance of your FRFR speakers.  What should be presented to your FRFR speakers is a consistent, managed output level normally at Line level to an FRFR speaker or Mic level to a mixing board.  In both cases you manage the signal level using the gain on the speaker or on the mixing board.  In the case of your speaker, setting the gain at 12 o'clock or midway is defined as "Unity" for the speaker, meaning the amplifier in the speaker is operating without any preamp gain or preamp reduction to the signal.  Generally this is where most speakers should be set to so you have ample headroom to avoid any problems with inadvertently engaging the limiter on the speaker.  Most people I know adjust the Helix volume output if they want more volume depending on the specific needs at the time.  Louder does not mean a better signal.  In fact if the signal isn't managed louder can mean compressed when it comes to an FRFR as many have built in limiters in their input circuits to protect the speaker.

The normal convention is to ensure the Helix is outputting a consistent signal level across all patches and snapshots and leave it there.  I personally measure this output on a mixing board using the signal meters to show me the output level which I try to keep at unity on the mixer.  If it's too high or too low I lower or raise the amp model's channel volume which doesn't affect the tone, but the same can be done with the output block if you choose to do so.

Jason Sadites has two VERY useful and informative videos on gain staging with the Helix he just added this week to his YouTube channel.  I'd highly suggest you go view those to get a better understanding of the concepts.

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8 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

In case the signal sent to the DAW from the Helix via USB is too hot, it's too hot inside the Helix already.

 

He said the Helix meters were GREEN. Since the Helix IS the hardware (interface), it is not clipping at the hardware level. 

I believe there is something going on in his DAW.... and compensation on entry would work fine. 

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21 hours ago, ingen63 said:

The output meter shows always green and also by ear there is no digital overdrive/clipping.

The output indicator has only two visual states: empty or green. It will never go red, no matter how hard you hit it. Only the input indicator can turn red.

Edit: Don't depend on the output indicator, it will only get red when the signal is already pretty distorted

The output stage is also very forgiving and will sound good despite being overdriven.

 

For your setup make sure to check you USB In 1/2 Trim is not more than 0dB and Output Level is set to Line in Global Settings -> Ins/Outs.

Edited by Schmalle
Restart of my HX Stomp suddenly made my output indicator work.

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3 hours ago, codamedia said:

He said the Helix meters were GREEN. Since the Helix IS the hardware (interface), it is not clipping at the hardware level. 

I believe there is something going on in his DAW.... and compensation on entry would work fine. 

 

How would there be anything going on in the DAW? There's no input level adjustment available, so in case the Helix levels are fine, the DAW input should be, too.

 

16 minutes ago, Schmalle said:

The output indicator has only two visual states: empty or green. It will never go red, no matter how hard you hit it.

 

It can turn red. Just insert a bunch of EQs and boost them all to their maximum. There's tons of headroom, though.

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

It can turn red. Just insert a bunch of EQs and boost them all to their maximum. There's tons of headroom, though.

My HX Stomp doesn't. Even with 10V RMS full spectrum overkill square wave measured at the output it doesn't. I tried. I tried really hard.

Edited by Schmalle
Well, I swear the output indicator didn't turn red last time. After restart it worked, but only at insane levels.

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Just now, Schmalle said:

My HX Stomp doesn't. Even with 10V RMS full spectrum overkill square wave measured at the output it doesn't. I tried. I tried really hard.

 

Interesting. The Floor does.

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Well, I swear the output indicator didn't turn red last time. After restart it worked, but only at insane levels.

 

What I mean is it gets red way late:

Sine wave 1kHz 1V RMS into HX Stomp, Input Level = Line, Output Level = Line, Volume control = Full.

With only 2 Gain blocks @14.5dB combined it starts to distort. This is slightly above 6.3V RMS output level.

But I need another flippin' 12dB boost to bring the output indicator to get red where I measure 9.1V RMS. That's only 3.2dB more measured output level which means it's already heavily distorting.

 

When I input a 0.77V sine wave (dbU reference) distortion starts with 17dB which means 16dB headroom, a figure that Line6 stated somewhere.

 

Conclusion: DON'T DEPEND ON THE OUTPUT INDICATOR!

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3 hours ago, SaschaFranck said:

How would there be anything going on in the DAW? There's no input level adjustment available, so in case the Helix levels are fine, the DAW input should be, too.

 

Well.... I use Studio One and I can think of 1000 different ways to screw up the INPUT levels within the DAW itself.... regardless of the interface used. It DOES have input level adjustment, and I can also insert any effect (compressor, console emulator, gain controls, EQ's, etc.... etc..... ) on any inputs.

 

But in fairness, the OP uses Cakewalk/Bandlab.... which I do not use. Maybe it doesn't have a way to effect the input levels, maybe it does! I am merely suggesting that a closer look might be warranted before completely writing it off without knowing for certain!

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17 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Well.... I use Studio One and I can think of 1000 different ways to screw up the INPUT levels within the DAW itself.... regardless of the interface used. It DOES have input level adjustment, and I can also insert any effect (compressor, console emulator, gain controls, EQ's, etc.... etc..... ) on any inputs.

 

But none of all this affects the input signal at all. Yes, I know you can apply effects and print them into the file while recording (by now, pretty much all DAWs allow for that, even if it's rarely useful), but what you're recording in this case isn't the input signal of your DAW but a signal that is already manipulated by your DAW. And I can't think of any DAW which would do this by default - in fact, you usually have to go through at least some smaller hoops to actually achieve this, the default always being that you record a signal in the same shape as it hits the DAW input. Which in this case would be the USB out of the Helix. Also, when you set up your recording levels, the indicators in your DAW usually show you the signal as it comes in.

 

Anyway, I'm really not trying to split hairs here, all I'm saying is that it's not the likeliest scenario that you would accidentally create a signal routing in which the signal would be boosted by whatever DAW-internal tools. Along these lines, with any "empty", "default" or "template XYZ" project file provided by your DAW maker, it's extremely likely that these will a) show your DAWs input levels and b) not further manipulate the signal before it gets recorded. At least none of the DAWs I'm familiar with comes with any such a template.

What I'm saying is: By default, each and every DAW would allow you to properly monitor the level of the signal sent from the Helix USB paths. Anything else could/should be done after making sure that these levels are ok.

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I haven't been online for the last couple of days, my apologies for not respondiing and thx for all the replies! So am I tryinging to answer a couple of queestion

First I am using a Line 6 Helix LT with the latest firmware 2.92

 

On 10/7/2020 at 9:59 PM, SaschaFranck said:

How can you set the input level of your DAW when running into it via USB?

 

In cakewalk there is an input gain adjustment and it clipped already in the input block of the DAW.

 

On 10/8/2020 at 4:16 AM, rd2rk said:

What I don't understand about your problem is WHY do you need to crank the Output Block Level to +15?

 

You didn't bother saying which Helix you're using or what speakers you've got, so not much more I can check, but the full power of your speakers is attained when their Volume knobs are cranked. You can feed them all the signal you can get, but thy're just going to distort if you overload the Inputs.

 

Why not use your system the way it was designed to be used?

 

I watched the recent video's of Jason Sadites about Gain staging and wanted to maximize my gain to nose ratio and the output of my FRFR for live usage by cranking up the output block until the output meter shows its full range (close to red) With 0db in the output block the output meter of Helix is showing ~50% with +15db it becomes ~80%. Unfortunate the output meter has no units on it. According to my understanding of Jason's  video this setting would be fine. Next step was to x-check the USB signal in my DAW and it was way too hot.

 

On 10/8/2020 at 11:50 AM, giveme5be said:

I would personally go for the global EQ route, because most likely you'll have to adjust the eq to match your live rig according to the environment anyways...,

thx I will give it a try,

 

On 10/8/2020 at 4:53 PM, Schmalle said:

... and Output Level is set to Line in Global Settings -> Ins/Outs.

Output is set to Line already

 

On 10/8/2020 at 12:01 PM, DunedinDragon said:

 

I'm not sure there's anything normal in your description, especially in terms of gain staging output from your Helix.

I was just trying to flowing Jason's advice by using the output meter of Line 6 Helix to optimize the output level. But I will setup a very basic patch with only gain  staging to check if the output meter of Line Helix LT is the problem or my setup

 

On 10/8/2020 at 6:33 PM, Schmalle said:

Well, I swear the output indicator didn't turn red last time. After restart it worked, but only at insane levels.

 

What I mean is it gets red way late:

Sine wave 1kHz 1V RMS into HX Stomp, Input Level = Line, Output Level = Line.

With only 2 Gain blocks @14.5dB combined it starts to distort. This is slightly above 6.3V RMS output level.

But I need another flippin' 12dB boost to bring the output indicator to get red where I measure 9.1V RMS. That's only 3.2dB more measured output level which means it's already heavily distorting.

 

When I input a 0.77V sine wave (dbU reference) distortion starts with 17dB which means 16dB headroom, a figure that Line6 stated somewhere.

 

Conclusion: DON'T DEPEND ON THE OUTPUT INDICATOR!

 

very interesting! This would explain the problem. But then the output indicator of Helix is seriously broken

 

 

I will do some experiments today and keep you posted. Again thx a lot for all your advices, really makes me happy to see such a great community!

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ok, I did some further investigations and I guess I found the issue

 

Recorded a short guitar track. Empty preset. Output block gain +16db. This gives me a  true peak max  at my DAW (Cakewalk) of -3DB and an average LUFS about -15db. Also measured with Youlean Loudness Meter 2 (standalone exe) See first picture Peak Normal. The output indicator of Helix was around 70% (Between the O and T of the above SNAPSHOT 4 text) Missing some unit there sorry.

 

Then I used this signal as input to the Helix with USB 7 and cranked up the output block again around +15db. The output indicator in Helix was still green, but used almost 100% of its range. The DAW value as well as well as the Youlean values of true peak max were way to hot . But the LUFS values were still below 0DB. See second  picture Peak Maximum. 

 

My conclusion is, that the output indicator is measuring something like momentary max  LUFS. May be somebody from Line 6 could tell us what the output meter in Helix is really measuring and showing. Also Jason Sadites 's advice to maximize the output using the output meter is making the USB output too hot. At least for me. On the other hand is the line output to my FRFR also too hot? Because I couldnt recognize any digital clipping

 

I will readjust my presets, that the difference between input signal and output signal is maximal 16db, better around 12db to be on the save side. 

 

 

Peak Normal.PNG

Peak Maximum.PNG

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Anything but true peak is completely irrelevant as long as we're talking DAW input levels. And your DAW should provide you with a decent enough input metering allowing you to tell whether the input is clipping. Each and every DAW I know of does that.

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

Each and every DAW I know of does that.

 

yes the DAW does this.

But my goal was not to get the best input signal for the DAW, but to get the best input signal for my FRFR for stage and live performance. Btw my FRFR is from
BlueAmps.


IMG_20200902_161329-scaled.jpg

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38 minutes ago, ingen63 said:

yes the DAW does this.

But my goal was not to get the best input signal for the DAW, but to get the best input signal for my FRFR for stage and live performance.

 

Yeah, fine - but these are two different issues (even if they're somewhat connected). First thing I always do is to keep my levels kinda "balanced" so I'm getting a healthy signal into my DAW without clipping, even when boosting the overall level a bit (such as for leads). Ever since 24bit recordings that's no issue anymore as we're not losing much (if noticeable at all) dynamic range.

Whatever, DAW or not, the level inside the Helix should never clip on the outputs (and a DAWs input meter is a fine tool to check that - perhaps somewhat better than the Helix output LED chains, but I find them to work quite fine, just that you have to select the output block to see details).

 

The level you're feeding your FRFR monitor with shouldn't have much to do with that (unless you're feeding it via SPDIF, which usually isn't the case). That's what the big volume knob is for. And as far as the input level accepted by whatever FRFR monitor goes, just fool around with it. Use a completely clean, very dynamic patch and listen whether there's any clippings. Personally, I usually set the big volume knob to noon and then adjust my monitor(s) to be roughly as loud as I may need them. I can then easily do finetunings straight on the Helix. Some people may now argue that you will perhaps get a better s/n ration when turning the Helix volume all the way up, but I highly doubt this will make a really noticeable difference, at least when using more or less decent monitors. Of course, in case they start to hiss at higher power amp levels (which the Blueamps ones shouldn't, they're of pretty great quality), you might want to turn the Helix output up as much as possible, but usually that shouldn't be required.

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1 hour ago, ingen63 said:

But my goal was not to get the best input signal for the DAW, but to get the best input signal for my FRFR for stage and live performance.

 

Just a suggestion....

 

Instead of using the output block to increase your level for your FRFR, why not use level control on the Global EQ? You can apply it so it only effects the output you use for the FRFR, and therefore the USB should be back to normal - or close to it! 

 

The suggestions above about getting your output levels right and consistent are dead on... I'm just offering a quick and easy solution for increasing level to your FRFR if you feel you really need it!

 

 

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36 minutes ago, ingen63 said:

 

 

yes the DAW does this.

But my goal was not to get the best input signal for the DAW, but to get the best input signal for my FRFR for stage and live performance. Btw my FRFR is from
BlueAmps.


IMG_20200902_161329-scaled.jpg

 

In my experience using studio resources to gain stage your live output signal is touchy at best.  It just seems easier to me to use live resources such as a real mixing board with active meters to see what's really going on with my Helix output signal so that it's a simple straight connection to my mixing board channel with no intervening software or hardware configurations to distort the results.  By doing it this way I've never had any problems with the levels on my on stage direct monitor or on any of the hundreds of different mixing boards in the field.  It's always consistent among different patches and snapshots and only takes a moment to gain stage my rig for both stage monitoring and FOH monitoring.

Here's the setup.  I have my Helix configured so that my XLR output is disconnected from the Helix volume knob and that signal (which is the one I'll send to the mixing board) is configured for Mic level output in the Helix global ins/outs.  The means that my XLR signal will always be sent at full volume from the Helix to the board at mic level so I can use the meter on my mixing board channel to adjust the levels of the blocks in my preset to present a consistent output signal level with no clipping.  My 1/4" output is set to Line level output and uses the Helix volume knob to determine the output level.  My standard FRFR on stage is a Yamaha DXR12 which has its input gain always set to Unity or the 12 o'clock position.  The concept being that if I configure the blocks in my preset such that they are all at appropriate output levels with no chance of clipping on the XLR output to the board, that level won't clip on my 1/4" outputs to my on stage direct monitor, unless I turn up my Helix volume level too loud which won't be clipping from the Helix signal, but will be clipping (or in my case, invoking the built in limiter) on the DXR12 which would never happen given the level of stage volume we use.  This has the added advantage of ensuring all of my presets and snapshots have similar outputs so if you gain stage one preset live on the mixing board at a gig, you've gain staged them all.  The other added benefit I found is it makes all of my amp model volumes act more consistent with what I would expect from the actual amp being modeled.  For example Roland Jazz Chorus model is consistent with a Jazz Chorus amp, or a HiWatt model is consistent with a HiWatt amp.

As you can see from the picture below I currently use a QSC Touchmix-30 live mixer when I'm dialing in presets, but I've used smaller and cheaper ones in the past which work just as well as long as they provide a decent signal meter display (there's actually an older small mixer I used to use positioned behind my Helix in the picture).  Maybe there are some ideas in my setup that might help you get to what you're trying to achieve as well.

 

frankenstein sound lab (small).jpg

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15 minutes ago, codamedia said:

Instead of using the output block to increase your level for your FRFR, why not use level control on the Global EQ? You can apply it so it only effects the output you use for the FRFR, and therefore the USB should be back to normal - or close to it! 

 

But you can do the same with the big volume knob (as in assigning it to just one output type). Personally, I'd rather keep the Global EQ available for other tasks - yeah, usually it's set up to only work on the TRS outs, but at one gig I had to route it to the XLR out feeding a cheesy and extremely boomy PA, to adress some unpleasant low end rumble.

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Some additional observations:

The volume knob seems to acts before D/A conversion. If you set it half way it subtracts 12db. My measurements (see the post from yesterday) were made with volume knob disengaged (which is the same as full).

 

If you set the  volume knob half way (12 o'clock), then the output indicator is a pretty good way to determine whether your signal is clipping on the outs.

If you set it @11 o'clock the output indicator turning red warns @-6dB before clipping on the outs.

 

With output indicator I mean the Output Main L/R symbol (circle) at the end of the signal chain.

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1 hour ago, Schmalle said:

The volume knob seems to acts before D/A conversion.

 

How would you know?

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3 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

How would you know?

 

There's a number of long threads on here (or was it TGP?) discussing whether or not you should leave the Volume knob up full (unity) or not. In one of them somebody from L6 confirmed that the the Volume knob functions in the digital realm, before the conversion. I know, another "I read it somewhere", but it is out there. Part of the counter argument is that the difference is out of the range of human hearing, but, since we know that some people have preternaturally acute hearing..... :-)

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26 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

 

There's a number of long threads on here (or was it TGP?) discussing whether or not you should leave the Volume knob up full (unity) or not. In one of them somebody from L6 confirmed that the the Volume knob functions in the digital realm, before the conversion. I know, another "I read it somewhere", but it is out there.

 

Ah, ok, I'm fine with that. I just thought there would've been some other ways to find out about it.

Making me wonder a little, though, as the digital outs aren't affected by the volume not. But thren, I suppose it's very likely a cheaper solution (less hardware involved) to control the functionality of the knob in the digital realm.

And fwiw, it's not that it'd matter to me at all (I don't think there's much sonical differences), I was just curious.

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2 hours ago, Schmalle said:

f you set the  volume knob half way (12 o'clock), then the output indicator is a pretty good way to determine whether your signal is clipping on the outs.

If you set it @11 o'clock the output indicator turning red warns @-6dB before clipping on the outs.

 

With output indicator I mean the Output Main L/R symbol (circle) at the end of the signal chain.

 

Hold on - the "output indicator", as you call it, hasn't gotten anything to do with the volume knob. Or am I just not understanding properly what you're saying?

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1 hour ago, SaschaFranck said:

How would you know?

Well, it seemingly is:

  • The point where the output stage distorts can only be switched between two levels. These only depend on whether Output Level is set to Line or Inst.
  • It sounds and behaves like D/A conversion overload, too. From no audible distortion to pretty drastic at a specific tipping point.
  • At a point where slight boosting with either a block or volume knob leads to distortion adding 12dB in a block and subtracting via volume knob (and vice versa) has neutral effect.

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35 minutes ago, SaschaFranck said:

 

Hold on - the "output indicator", as you call it, hasn't gotten anything to do with the volume knob. Or am I just not understanding properly what you're saying?

Yes, the volume knob has no effect on when the output indicator turns red. If it does turn red your signal is at least 12dB too hot. Therefore you have to use the volume knob and subtract the appropriate amount which results in a position @12 o'clock or lower.

I use the term indicator to distinct from meter (a measurement tool that has a scale).

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5 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

Just a suggestion....

 

Instead of using the output block to increase your level for your FRFR, why not use level control on the Global EQ? You can apply it so it only effects the output you use for the FRFR, and therefore the USB should be back to normal - or close to it! 

 

The suggestions above about getting your output levels right and consistent are dead on... I'm just offering a quick and easy solution for increasing level to your FRFR if you feel you really need it!

 

 

Thx for that tip, if I need more power live I will give it a try 

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34 minutes ago, ingen63 said:

Hint for Line 6: As long as the output meter doesn't define what it shows (True peak, average LUFS, etc) and has some units attached,  it is not really useful.

 

Really, there's no need for it to be anything but a momentary level and peak indicator. "Average LUFS" is completely irrelevant on a multi FX unit.

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8 hours ago, DunedinDragon said:

In my experience using studio resources to gain stage your live output signal is touchy at best.  It just seems easier to me to use live resources such as a real mixing board with acti
Here's the setup.  I have my Helix configured so that my XLR output is disconnected from the Helix volume knob and that signal (which is the one I'll send to the mixing board) is configured for Mic level output in the Helix global ins/outs.  The means that my XLR signal will always be sent at full volume from the Helix to the board at mic level so I can use the meter on my mixing board channel to adjust the levels of the blocks in my preset to present a consistent output signal level with no clipping.  My 1/4" output is set to Line level output and uses the Helix volume knob to determine the output level.  My standard FRFR on stage is a Yamaha DXR12 which has its input gain always set to Unity or the 12 o'clock position.  The concept being that if I configure the blocks in my preset such that they are all at appropriate output levels with no chance of clipping on the XLR output to the board, that level won't clip on my 1/4" outputs to my on stage direct monitor, unless I turn up my Helix volume level too loud which won't be clipping from the Helix signal, but will be clipping (or in my case, invoking the built in limiter) on the DXR12 which would never happen given the level of stage volume we use.  This has the added advantage of ensuring all of my presets and snapshots have similar outputs so if you gain stage one preset live on the mixing board at a gig, you've gain staged them all.  The other added benefit I found is it makes all of my amp model volumes act more consistent with what I would expect from the actual amp being modeled.  For example Roland Jazz Chorus model is consistent with a Jazz Chorus amp, or a HiWatt model is consistent with a HiWatt amp.
 

thx for detailed description. Btw I am not a pro, just an amateur trying to get some reasonable gain staging:)  But I have a strong background in electrical engineering, so I understand some of the concepts :)

 

I decided for myself to gain level my patches against a loudness meter with USB as it is not affected by the big volume knob. I will stay below -3db true peak to be on the save side. I will use your advise to set the volume knob at 12'o clock and set the desired volume ate the FRFR. If the FRFR is not loud enough. I can use the volume know to beef it up. 

 

Hint for Line 6: As long as the output meter doesn't define what it shows (True peak, average LUFS, etc) and has some units attached,  it is not really useful. But if the output meter works in the digital space, which I could understand as it would be trivial to be implemented, then an explanation how it is related to  the analog domain, would be ver

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On 10/10/2020 at 6:49 AM, SaschaFranck said:

But you can do the same with the big volume knob (as in assigning it to just one output type).

 

True, but the BIG Volume knob can only cut volume..... the global EQ has the ability to BOOST or CUT. 

Seeing that he is trying to BOOST volume TO the FRFR only, I believe it is a viable option! As long as he isn't using it already for another purpose. 

 

On 10/10/2020 at 6:49 AM, SaschaFranck said:

Personally, I'd rather keep the Global EQ available for other tasks - yeah, usually it's set up to only work on the TRS outs, but at one gig I had to route it to the XLR out feeding a cheesy and extremely boomy PA, to adress some unpleasant low end rumble.

 

I agree.... IMO, it's a handy tool for many problems you may encounter. I was just offering another option for it's use :) 

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6 hours ago, codamedia said:

True, but the BIG Volume knob can only cut volume.....

 

Well, not in case your default position isn't all the way up. Which I would highly recommend anyway - the potential loss of headroom or higher S/N ratio is pretty much neglectable (I even did a test when I got the Helix, the two signals recorded with the big knob at noon and turned all the way up almost cancelled themselves out in a nulltest).

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If you set up levels via USB in your DAW  (recommended) and the signal stays below 0dBFS the analog outputs will not distort even with cranked volume knob. -Unless you use Global EQ to further boost frequencies. If you want headroom (for Global EQ or just to be save) lower ýour preset level at least by the max amount of boost that you want to be able to add.

It may well cause distortion on following devices though.

 

Comparing analog vs digital output levels:

A USB signal level of about  -14dBFS will be about +4dBu (aka studio gear level) given Output is set to Line Level and volume knob is cranked. Vice versa a USB signal level of 0dBFS  (full) will produce +4dBu on the outs when the volume knob is set @ about 11 o'clock.

Switching Output Level  from Line to Inst decreases the signal by 7dB.

 

Leveling on the HX stomp device:

The output indicator (symbol of output block getting black/green/red) works at exactly +12dB relative to max USB level. Why? -Ask the bug living in it. At least I cannot come up with an explanation why it does that (v2.92).

 

If you want to use the output indicator back off volume to less than half, add a 12dB boost (best in the output block), check if the indicator turned red and level your preset until that it doesn't, then undo the 12dB boost. If you want say 6dB headroom (for Global EQ or just to be save) do that procedure with 12dB+6dB =18bB. If it doesn't get red your presets are ready for USB recording and a cranked volume knob will not distort the analog outputs.

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27 minutes ago, Schmalle said:

If you want to use the output indicator back off volume to less than half, add a 12dB boost (best in the output block), check if the indicator turned red and level your preset until that it doesn't, then undo the 12dB boost. If you want say 6dB headroom (for Global EQ or just to be save) do that procedure with 12dB+6dB =18bB. If it doesn't get red your presets are ready for USB recording and a cranked volume knob will not distort the analog outputs.

cool tip as this will allow to adjust preset gains without using a DAW

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