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Helix LT through studio monitor speakers


zoldar
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Hi,

 

I'm considering buying a pair of near field monitor speakers for my PC and using my Helix as an audio interface. So hooking the monitors up to my Helix LT (XLR) and connecting the Helix through USB to my PC. That way I have better sound from my PC (at least a flat response when editing music) and can I listen to my Helix through the monitors.

 

My question, will this work and are monitor suitable for listening to the Helix? I know the quality depends largely on the quality of the monitors. But maybe you guys can share your opinions.

 

Cheers,

Martin

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25 minutes ago, zoldar said:

That way I have better sound from my PC (at least a flat response when editing music) and can I listen to my Helix through the monitors.

 

My question, will this work and are monitor suitable for listening to the Helix?

 

Yes... this is precisely what studio monitors are designed for.

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On 2/1/2021 at 2:27 PM, zoldar said:

I know the quality depends largely on the quality of the monitors

I'd add that positioning the monitors properly is almost as important as the monitor itself.

Ideally you should decouple them from the desktop, and put the tweeters at ear height.

Then, listening as close as the speaker design allows helps: it reduces room interference to you ears (specially about low frequencies).

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You'll be very happy running your setup this way, I was plugging my LT through a separate interface for a couple of months and finally tried using it as my main hub instead.

 

So much simpler and really great for practicing along with tracks, with awesome sound through the monitors. The only downside is if you take the Helix to another room to play, say a jam space, now you are without an interface at your PC. 

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On 2/2/2021 at 4:23 PM, Lelik said:

I'd add that positioning the monitors properly is almost as important as the monitor itself.

Ideally you should decouple them from the desktop, and put the tweeters at ear height.

Then, listening as close as the speaker design allows helps: it reduces room interference to you ears (specially about low frequencies).

 

I read that. Positioning is really important with near field monitors

 

16 hours ago, SoundIntentions said:

You'll be very happy running your setup this way, I was plugging my LT through a separate interface for a couple of months and finally tried using it as my main hub instead.

 

So much simpler and really great for practicing along with tracks, with awesome sound through the monitors. The only downside is if you take the Helix to another room to play, say a jam space, now you are without an interface at your PC. 

 

Also something to consider. Thanx people.

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Totally, positioning matters.  I won't get into the decoupling thing (I disagree with it based on simple physics, but whatever, they are just money), but whatever, decouple if you think it is helping.

 

The biggest thing you want to avoid with near field monitors, and which is challenging to impossible with a normal desk, is early reflections off the desk surface itself.  The woofer, which provides midrange sounds also, will have lots of audio artifacts destroying it's imaging and in fact adding a ton of distortion to it's output, just by putting it on a table.  Same with teh tweeter, of course, assuming it has half decent dispersion.

 

The next worst thing is having your speakers too close to the wall behind them, and possible a wall beside.  It muddies up and over accentuates the bass, and even if you can reduce bass output to compensate (as on some nicer near field monitors), it's never as accurate bass as having the speakers a ways away from the walls.

 

So yes, placement is critical, and the best thing to do is have them on stands with the WOOFERS exactly at ear height when sitting, but not near enough your desktop that it is causing a lot of reflection in the sound.  Woofer should be at ear level, not tweeter (unless on side in which case you can have both!), because the woofer gets quite directional at upper midrange frequencies, and you need to hear that stuff when mixing and monitoring.  tweeters get directional too, but most people forget about the poor woofer doing your midrange stuff in a two-way speaker.

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7 hours ago, donkelley said:

Totally, positioning matters.  I won't get into the decoupling thing (I disagree with it based on simple physics, but whatever, they are just money), but whatever, decouple if you think it is helping.

 

The biggest thing you want to avoid with near field monitors, and which is challenging to impossible with a normal desk, is early reflections off the desk surface itself.  The woofer, which provides midrange sounds also, will have lots of audio artifacts destroying it's imaging and in fact adding a ton of distortion to it's output, just by putting it on a table.  Same with teh tweeter, of course, assuming it has half decent dispersion.

 

The next worst thing is having your speakers too close to the wall behind them, and possible a wall beside.  It muddies up and over accentuates the bass, and even if you can reduce bass output to compensate (as on some nicer near field monitors), it's never as accurate bass as having the speakers a ways away from the walls.

 

So yes, placement is critical, and the best thing to do is have them on stands with the WOOFERS exactly at ear height when sitting, but not near enough your desktop that it is causing a lot of reflection in the sound.  Woofer should be at ear level, not tweeter (unless on side in which case you can have both!), because the woofer gets quite directional at upper midrange frequencies, and you need to hear that stuff when mixing and monitoring.  tweeters get directional too, but most people forget about the poor woofer doing your midrange stuff in a two-way speaker.

Thanx, this is exactly what I have been reading. Getting the monitors on a stand was I was planning. Getting them away from the back wall will be a challenge. Maybe I pull back my desk a few inches.

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Agree with other posters that using powered Studio Monitors with Helix is the way to go for a wonderfully rich sound. I went this way several modellers back & never looked back. Be sure to use XLR cable connections if you can - less noise than 1/4" TR cables & Helix output is at line level so you will get lots of signal into the monitors. My Helix is connected into my PC via 20' USB cable and it works perfectly. On the PC I have a sound card on the motherboard & I can switch back and forth between Helix-as-soundcard-with-awesome-monitors and the PC sound card that feeds a cheap Logitech stereo speakers with sub. You just have to be careful to select which sound card is active on the PC and you are away to the races.

 

Stands for the monitors is a must as well: get the speakers aiming at your head from where you play guitar. This helps ensure you are not getting any near-field sound deadening or reflections from carpet or hardwood - ensuring a flatter response and 'smiles for miles'. Hope this helps and enjoy your Helix!

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Agree with all the above. A good set of self powered near field studio monitors is a great way to go. Also, should your Helix Floor be finding its way into your other rooms or practice sessions away from your PC, the HX Stomp is an excellent stand in AI for to your PC.

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6 hours ago, jmotherwell said:

Agree with other posters that using powered Studio Monitors with Helix is the way to go for a wonderfully rich sound. I went this way several modellers back & never looked back. Be sure to use XLR cable connections if you can - less noise than 1/4" TR cables & Helix output is at line level so you will get lots of signal into the monitors. My Helix is connected into my PC via 20' USB cable and it works perfectly. On the PC I have a sound card on the motherboard & I can switch back and forth between Helix-as-soundcard-with-awesome-monitors and the PC sound card that feeds a cheap Logitech stereo speakers with sub. You just have to be careful to select which sound card is active on the PC and you are away to the races.

 

Stands for the monitors is a must as well: get the speakers aiming at your head from where you play guitar. This helps ensure you are not getting any near-field sound deadening or reflections from carpet or hardwood - ensuring a flatter response and 'smiles for miles'. Hope this helps and enjoy your Helix!

 

I was planning on using the XLR's. But I guess since the cable length will be less than 2m it will not make a big difference in noise to the 1/4" on line level. The unbalanced guitar cable and the single coil pick ups will pick up lots more noise.

 

Now I'm going to shop for a pair of nice studio monitors which don't break the bank ;-)

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