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rosskoss

Input Pad ... wow

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I'm not using super high-output pickups or anything (pair of Fralin unbuckers) but the difference is amazing on all amp models with input pad on. For single coils, I use Kinky Boost and it sounds great!

 

Now I'm wondering if reducing the input signal further (i.e. from the input pad -6dB) is warranted. Anyone try this? 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, zolko60 said:

The difference between what?

 

Input pad on versus input pad off

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OK. So how do you compare those four states: 
1. "Input pad on"
2. "6dB volume down" after AD converter
3. "Lower dirt box gain or volume" before preamp/amp block  
4. "Lower amp gain"  (when no dirtboxes are used)
to claim the first is superior?

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With the input pad off, I felt that many amps were overly distorted at very low volume/drive settings (esp. non-master volume amps). Of course part of the challenge here is that the modelled volume / drive / master volume knob tapers may not match that of the original pots on the physical amp. 

 

With the input pad on, the dynamics, sensitivity and tone are a lot more realistic. The best way I can describe it is that the input pad on seems closer to the real experience and with it off, it's like there's a permanent +6dB boost always engaged (which can be good or bad depending on guitar/signal chain).

 

At this point, the only way to further reduce signal is post AD converter with a gain block. I was asking if anyone else had tried that and what the results were - good or bad

 

 

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OK. Your claim is falsifiable at least at "feel" level. You are right - there is no dB scale on dirtboxes and amp gain so full comparision would be tuff. For further investigation let's reduce it to the two states numbered 1 and 2.
What is your proposed experiment and how to prepare blind tests? Is the pad 5 or 6dB and how can we determine that? A generator and a DAW meter?
Or maybe you have your clips ready and  you want to attach them to forum readers to choose which sounds better?
 

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makes a big difference in how the modeled gear reacts to the right input signal level... same experience as OP with a SH-14 custom 5 on a blower switch, without pad the input clips red constantly and amps don't feel that great/right, dirt boxes and compressors sound like they are choking. pad on and everything sounds right again

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11 hours ago, rosskoss said:

I'm not using super high-output pickups or anything (pair of Fralin unbuckers) but the difference is amazing on all amp models with input pad on. For single coils, I use Kinky Boost and it sounds great!

 

Now I'm wondering if reducing the input signal further (i.e. from the input pad -6dB) is warranted. Anyone try this? 

 

 

 

This is why you have a volume/tone circuit on your guitars. :)

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18 hours ago, rosskoss said:

??

 

Is everything ok at work? (or is it school?)

 

That guy chimes in once in a blue moon, whenever he feels the need to demonstrate that he's the smartest guy in the room. In his black and white universe everything is reduced to a series of "right" and "wrong" absolutes, which he obsessively quantifies (to whatever extent possible depending on the issue) in a futile attempt to "disprove" the subjective opinions of others. By now I'm sure you can guess who's always "right". Ignore him.

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“Yes” to the love for the input pad. Only with the pad on did I enjoy the more classic amps Helix had to offer using an Ibanez AZ2204. That’s also how I learned the pickups are much hotter than I thought. It made me realize that I enjoy low output pickups. Thanks pad!

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It is truly an amazing experience for sure...the Marshalls sound super authentic now (you'll have to do re-do all the dials and settings of course) but there is a 'headroom' and clarity that just wasn't there before especially with Humbuckers. 

 

Please note that if you're playing through Monitors / FRFR etc., the other solution might sound better because it's like a boost circuit is always on. But playing through an actual guitar amp, no contest - I honestly cannot distinguish the tone and feel from the real thing. The modeling is that good. 

 

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On 1/8/2021 at 5:46 AM, bypassvalve said:

makes a big difference in how the modeled gear reacts to the right input signal level.

Right. So how to show and let feel it to other people that getting that attenuation before AD converter is better than attenuation after AD or is better than setting a gain lower?

 

On 1/8/2021 at 12:22 PM, cruisinon2 said:

That guy chimes in once in a blue moon, whenever he feels the need to demonstrate that he's the smartest guy in the room.

I am not. I want to feel what you feel. Please teach me.

 

On 1/8/2021 at 12:22 PM, cruisinon2 said:

In his black and white universe everything is reduced to a series of "right" and "wrong" absolutes, which he obsessively quantifies

I have given four colours of attenuation to consider and test. Neither is black or wite nor right or wrong.

 

On 1/8/2021 at 12:22 PM, cruisinon2 said:

in a futile attempt to "disprove" the subjective opinions of others. By now I'm sure you can guess who's always "right"

Again. I really want to feel and test it or at least to hear somebody else demonstration.

 

On 1/8/2021 at 12:22 PM, cruisinon2 said:

Ignore him.

Why?

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On 1/8/2021 at 11:33 AM, PierM said:

This is why you have a volume/tone circuit on your guitars. :)

They are not transparent in case of passive pickups, they load them and overal input impedance is higher.
Neither a pad before AD converter is with a respect to S/N ratio. It is worse by attenuation amount. But maybe it is worh it if somebody can actually demonstrate is sounds better.
It shouldn't be hard to do.

 

On 1/8/2021 at 5:43 AM, bypassvalve said:

hahahahaha

hahahaha

If you tell me your Helix sounds better when you play under a ultraviolet lamp but it works only on Sundays at your church if I believe in Jesus walkin on the water, it is hardly falsifable for me. :)

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22 minutes ago, zolko60 said:

They are not transparent in case of passive pickups, they load them and overal input impedance is higher.

 

 

Be sure you understand what people is talking about before posting more tech bubbles.

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5 minutes ago, PierM said:

 

Be sure you understand what people is talking about before posting more tech bubbles.

About magic feelings that can not be demonstrated?

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1 hour ago, zolko60 said:

I am not. I want to feel what you feel. Please teach me.

 

No you don't. You want to pontificate, criticize, and condescend...and if history is anything to go by, you'll do so no matter what anyone offers up.

 

Quote

Again. I really want to feel and test it or at least to hear somebody else demonstration.

 

See above.

 

Quote

 

Why?

 

Because you are insufferable.

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3 minutes ago, cruisinon2 said:

No you don't. You want to pontificate, criticize, and condescend...and if history is anything to go by, you'll do so no matter what anyone offers up.

 

Can you give any example to back up your claim or you just feel I am evil? 
What is so wrong in demonstrating the input pad is superior to post A/D attenuation if this is demonstrable?
If it's not, what is the point of talking about it? Any opinion is valid then, isn't it?

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30 minutes ago, zolko60 said:

Can you give any example to back up your claim or you just feel I am evil?

 

This entire thread is an excellent example. And I didn't say evil...I said insufferable.

 

Quote

What is so wrong in demonstrating the input pad is superior to post A/D attenuation if this is demonstrable?

 

This is a red herring... but I'm quite sure you already know that. Opinions and subjective assessments can be neither proven nor disproven. A preference has no intrinsic value, and there is no universal preference standard by which to evaluate yours, mine, or anyone else's. The OP tried a setting he hadn't used before, he liked the results, and choose to share that opinion. You waltzed in and told him he was wrong, demanding that he prove otherwise. It's insulting.

 

Quote

If it's not, what is the point of talking about it?

 

None whatsoever. If I like eggplant and you don't, that's terrific. Neither of us will ever change our minds, and no matter who says what, the sun will still rise tomorrow.

 

Quote

Any opinion is valid then, isn't it?

 

Precisely. Yet you continue to dump on the OP, demanding "proof" that his personal preference for one setting over another is demonstrably/quantifiably "better". What this dance does for you, I cannot possibly fathom... yet here we are. 

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22 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

This entire thread is an excellent example.

No it isn't. There is a claim that need to be backed up by an evidence.

 

22 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

The OP tried a setting he hadn't used before, he liked the results, and choose to share that opinion.

I am not really sure if he compared the "pad on wow" with other options.

 

22 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

You waltzed in and told him he was wrong, demanding that he prove otherwise. It's insulting.

No I didn't. I asked if we can think of a replicable by anybody else method to test his claim. I don't see anything insulting there.

 

22 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

Neither of us will ever change our minds

Why? If there is any evidence maybe this is a time to change mind. I do not have any opinion about superiority of one method of attenuating signal over another.

 

22 hours ago, cruisinon2 said:

Yet you continue to dump on the OP, demanding "proof" that his personal preference for one setting over another is demonstrably/quantifiably "better"

No. What I feel is you are dumping me, not me dumping the OP but I can be wrong.
I would gladly make an experiment myself, but I am away from my hardware Helix and I hear no benefit of attenuating guitar signal before A/D converter by any means with Helix Native and my audio interface.
This is why I ask if we can can settle the experiment conditions tossing out the two methods which are hardly comparable because of lack of dB attenuation value.
If somebody could upload two direct tracks, one with pad on and second with no pad, digitally attenuated after to the same level (to make it blind testable) I and anybody else on this forum could test it with any modeller and post one's opinion. What is wrong with that approach?

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Folks it's got nothing to do with Input pad but the -6dB reduction. Whether that happens before or after the AD converter makes no difference to me. I've never used a gain block before and I prefer to run my guitar volume full and I learned about the input pad so I used it that way. In this configuration, I noticed that the input pad on had a very positive effect. Previously, even at very low amp drive volumes (on non-MV), everything was distorting way too early in my estimation compared to the actual amps (even accounting for different volume pot tapers). Now, it sounds and plays much better. Seriously, is this so hard to understand? 

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13 minutes ago, rosskoss said:

Seriously, is this so hard to understand? 

Not at all. This is why I asked about a clarification. While I believe instrument level (+11dBu=0dBFS) is properly chosen by Line 6 developers and supposedly used for device modeling I also noticed that preamp and amp models overdrive sooner then their analog counterparts. In case of preamp models it is hard to keep any clean headroom with at least unity gain.
Still "input pad superiority" is mentioned quite often, so I wanted to evaluate what is the orgin of that conviction and possible method to test it.
Peace brothers and sisters.
Amen and Awoman!

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I legit think these are AI bots, when they attach themselves to you and basically mirror invert anything you say like a toddler. the syntax isn't even human, any response given is like throwing gasoline on a fire

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On 1/7/2021 at 11:35 PM, rosskoss said:

I'm not using super high-output pickups or anything (pair of Fralin unbuckers) but the difference is amazing on all amp models with input pad on. For single coils, I use Kinky Boost and it sounds great!

 

What is described in this thread is somehow reminiscent of what also happens with the old HD series.

 

In the search for a more natural and dynamic response of the models even with HD, especially those who use guitars with humbuckers or active pickups can benefit from the use of the PAD switch to lower the signal by about 6 dB but this trick at least with the POD only works with the input called Guitar In.

 

So whoever uses a Variax connected to the VDI input cannot use it.

 

But since in the HD there are 2 virtual inputs always active and both set by default to the same source, those who use a Variax as a trick can instead set input2 to an unused source, which thing also causes the input signal to be lowered by about 6 dB.

 

And certainly whether you like it or not using these tricks the difference in response of the models is really noticeable.

 

Maybe I am wrong but I am more inclined to believe that the PAD switch works after the A/D converters in both HD and HX.


I believe that the devices input can handle fairly strong signals without clipping by itself, rather it is the models that probably are best calibrated for input signals that do not exceed a certain threshold.

 

My 2 cents

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5 hours ago, rosskoss said:

Folks it's got nothing to do with Input pad but the -6dB reduction. Whether that happens before or after the AD converter makes no difference to me. I've never used a gain block before and I prefer to run my guitar volume full and I learned about the input pad so I used it that way. In this configuration, I noticed that the input pad on had a very positive effect. Previously, even at very low amp drive volumes (on non-MV), everything was distorting way too early in my estimation compared to the actual amps (even accounting for different volume pot tapers). Now, it sounds and plays much better. Seriously, is this so hard to understand? 

Yes, we know it’s the gain reduction that makes the difference and not some pad magic. After liking the pad on, I went ahead and dialed in a gain block to reduce the gain at input to use with one of my guitars. Turned off when using another. 
 

The input pad is a tool. 

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19 hours ago, hurghanico said:

Maybe I am wrong but I am more inclined to believe that the PAD switch works after the A/D converters in both HD and HX.


I believe that the devices input can handle fairly strong signals without clipping by itself, rather it is the models that probably are best calibrated for input signals that do not exceed a certain threshold.

I don't believe neither one, but I can make an experiment of inputing +13dBu sine signal and check if it clips. 

I believe the input pad purpose is simple - to attenuate signal before A/D conversion. 

I am almost sure now why Helix users like attenuation. The first time I compared Helix OCD with my analog OCD it turned out gain control "pot taper" is different and I have go below 1 value to get 10 o'clock OCD position. I had very same experience with Vox AC30. 

So the attenuation just helps to set proper gain in the "clean" range. 

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4 hours ago, zolko60 said:

I don't believe neither, but I can make an experiment of inputing +13dBu sine signal and check if it clips. 

I believe the input pad purpose is simple - to attenuate signal before A/D conversion. 

 

IIRC the HX input has a claimed headroom of 123dB so I really don't think it could ever clip with a +13dBu sine signal.

 

Regarding the use of the PAD in the manual of both HX and HD it is written:

<<Guitar In Pad
If your guitar or bass has active or high-output pickups, you may want to turn this on. There’s really no rule; use what sounds best.>>

 

As you can see there is no reference to the possibility of input clipping.

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2 hours ago, hurghanico said:

IIRC the HX input has a claimed headroom of 123dB so I really don't think it could ever clip with a +13dBu sine signal

I am sorry but the dynamic range is not even remotely related to the maximal amplitude A/D converter can accept with no clipping.

If your A/D converter has 123dB dynamic range and you keep 10dB of headroom your dynamic is 113dB. If you switch 6dB pad on your dynamic range is 107dB.

 

2 hours ago, hurghanico said:

As you can see there is no reference to the possibility of input clipping.

Because it obvious. The Helix manuał is for guitarist with no basic understanding how electricity works. It does not contain any technical information nor specs and sometimes is misleading. 

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54 minutes ago, zolko60 said:

Because it obvious. The Helix manuał is for guitarist with no basic understanding how electricity works. It does not contain any technical information nor specs and sometimes is misleading. 

 

If Line6 thought that guitarists would have a hard time understanding the possibility of clipping the input ( if it were that easy ) of the device why do they mention "clipping" in the manual at page 42 about the functioning of the clip indicators found at the input and output of the available paths?

 

However, I have no interest in continuing this discussion.

 

Bye bye and good luck with your  +13dBu sine signal.

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1 hour ago, hurghanico said:

If Line6 thought that guitarists would have a hard time understanding the possibility of clipping the input ( if it were that easy ) of the device why do they mention "clipping" in the manual at page 42 about the functioning of the clip indicators found at the input and output of the available paths?

Because (from the same page) "The meter measures output level". Green = Good, Red = No Good.
You can check if your signal is clipped by monitoring direct input with your DAW (USB7 input). You can even demonstrate it to anybody else.
Or guess what, you can use built in meter after a volume block and check what +dB value gives you Red = No Good. 

 

1 hour ago, hurghanico said:

Bye bye

Bye bye. Take care.

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I agree that amps seem to break up very early, especially given that I tend toward generally low output pickups. Every time I try the input pad though I feel like the life has been sucked out of my guitars. Perhaps I just haven't spent enough time dialing my patches back in after engaging it. I think I'll play with it again...

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I know you are, but what am I?

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does the defendant have reason to believe that the 6dB pad at the input is an analog function prior to AD conversion

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does the defendant have reason to believe that said analog pad prior to AD conversion is or would be in any way demonstrably different in regards to signal fidelity compared to a 6dB pad implemented digitally post AD conversion

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5 hours ago, bypassvalve said:

does the defendant have reason to believe that said analog pad prior to AD conversion is or would be in any way demonstrably different in regards to signal fidelity compared to a 6dB pad implemented digitally post AD conversion

 

Give him a minute to get out his slide-rule and lab coat...

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On 1/9/2021 at 1:19 PM, zolko60 said:

If you tell me your Helix sounds better when you play under a ultraviolet lamp but it works only on Sundays at your church if I believe in Jesus walkin on the water, it is hardly falsifable for me. :)

 

Whoa dude! Whaddya bringing Jesus into this for? The man has been through enough without connecting him to this drivel. ;) And technically it is falsifiable in that it has the ability to be represented falsley. Falsifiable means that. It doesn't mean it IS false, just that it has the ability to be represented falsely which is essentially what was going on with your Jesus statement. (I had to look the word up to get it's exact definition).

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@rosskoss... isn't it fun to have your seemingly simple thread derailed :) 

 

In regards to your opening post... I agree with you. I have always found the models within the Helix respond a lot more like their "real counterparts" if I engage the input pad, or simply decrease the level at the beginning of the chain by about 6db. This isn't new with the Helix, I had the same experience with my X3 and HD500 as well.

 

I actually use a simple GAIN block at the beginning of each preset. A GAIN block in that position can be thought of as a highly adjustable input "pad/boost". As a multi-instrumentalist - I find it very useful for balancing the input levels of all my instruments. When the input levels are consistent... the behavior of every block down chain remains predictable. 

 

On 1/7/2021 at 4:35 PM, rosskoss said:

Now I'm wondering if reducing the input signal further (i.e. from the input pad -6dB) is warranted. Anyone try this? 

 

There is no harm in experimenting. That's up to you. 

 

IMO, I don't see any advantage to run my primary guitar lower than it's "natural" sounding spot (-6).... but as already stated, I do adjust the gain block to balance the input of each of my instruments to match. EG: My Les Paul is -10, while my Strat is only -2. 

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4 hours ago, brue58ski said:

Whoa dude! Whaddya bringing Jesus into this for?

I am so sorry. That was off top. I should be punished!

 

4 hours ago, brue58ski said:

The man has been through enough without connecting him to this drivel

This is kind of idiom my english understanding is too poor to comprehend.

 

4 hours ago, brue58ski said:

Falsifiable means that. It doesn't mean it IS false, just that it has the ability to be represented falsely which is essentially what was going on with your Jesus statement

You may be right! I am so sorry to use Jesus in my comment.

BTW. What is your opinion on Helix Input Pad Wowness and Attenuation of a Guitar Signal Wowness?
Is thinking about a demonstration obnoxious for you?

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18 hours ago, zolko60 said:

I am so sorry. That was off top. I should be punished!

 

Not about punishment dude. Just seemed an odd connection since He hadn't been mentioned before AND it was my attempt at humor. In the interest of full disclosure, I did steal the joke from a Comedy Central Roast.

 

18 hours ago, zolko60 said:

This is kind of idiom my english understanding is too poor to comprehend.

 

Sorry about that. Thought you knew about Jesus' history of persecution since you knew about the walking on water thing.

 

18 hours ago, zolko60 said:

You may be right! I am so sorry to use Jesus in my comment.

BTW. What is your opinion on Helix Input Pad Wowness and Attenuation of a Guitar Signal Wowness?
Is thinking about a demonstration obnoxious for you?

 

Not sure why you could determine anything about how I feel about a demo being obnoxious or not. Where did you get that impression from? I thought i was just joking around with you and clarifying a definition. I don't have an opinion one way or another really about Wowness. But you seem to be wound just a little tight. Sorry about that. I'll be more careful.

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