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gerryCol

Getting the same Input level Helix Native and Helix Edit

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Hello All<

I want to record my acoustic into Pro Tools in order to make presets for my HX Stomp for my live gig.

Basically it's very simple, all my backing tracks are in pro tools and I want to record my acoustic playing along with the backing tracks and set my levels, eq's etc and copy the presets from HX Native to my stomp thru HX Edit. One issue I'm having is I have no idea of what level to set my Pro Tools input to. I know I can't set it louder as if I am recording to produce a tune, I tried that. The difference in input into pro tools needs to be the same as the input into the HX Stomp when I play live. The sound is completely different if it isn't. So I'm left guessing what that input level should be. Does anyone know what that level would be roughly?
Thanks
Gerry C

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Hi,


to get the same level as if you were playing through the Helix stomp you'd need to raise the gain at the Helix Native's input by 6 dB. The same is true for reamping through the Helix stomp I suppose - at least it is for the Helix Floor and LT.

 

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On 2/21/2021 at 9:00 AM, rizzy said:

Hi,


to get the same level as if you were playing through the Helix stomp you'd need to raise the gain at the Helix Native's input by 6 dB. The same is true for reamping through the Helix stomp I suppose - at least it is for the Helix Floor and LT.

 

Hey,
I was thinking in order to avoid going into my DAW interface and "guessing" what input level to set to, I could go USB out to my computer into Pro Tools. If I set my Stomp to an "Empty Patch" and I plug my guitar into my Stomp first, what is going into the Stomp should go directly in to Pro Tools. At least that's how I see it.

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Yes, that would be a good way to do it. You can play with the Native input and output levels to get a good match as needed.

 

I spent quite a bit of time matching my Stomp levels and tones to Native last year. I was running through a DI and an Apollo Twin, though. When I got levels tweaked correctly I couldn't tell the Stomp from Native audio output when using any of my presets.

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12 hours ago, soundog said:

Yes, that would be a good way to do it. You can play with the Native input and output levels to get a good match as needed.

 

I think what rizzy was on about is that you have to raise the input level at Native by 6 dB to get to the exact same level and therefore tone as if you were playing into the stomp. This is valid when you a record a DI track through USB from the stomp or at unity gain through an audio interface. I figured this a while ago and posted about it in a thread rizzy opened a few days back - it might as well be of interest for you if you plan on going the reamping route somewhen, the 6 dB rise comes into play then as well due to a bug. Take a look here for more information on this: https://line6.com/support/topic/59404-helix-lt-level-difference-between-live-track-and-reamped-track/

 

Gary

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Interesting. That's good info I was curious about what would happen using USB, which would provide a predictable, fixed level. I was going through an audio interface (for various reasons), so found a level that matched 0dB for Natives input level setting.

 

I always though the Stomp's USB levels were too low. I wonder why they didn't set a level that wouldn't require an input level boost for Native? They could have calibrated it for 0 dB.

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17 hours ago, soundog said:

 

 

I always though the Stomp's USB levels were too low. I wonder why they didn't set a level that wouldn't require an input level boost for Native? They could have calibrated it for 0 dB.

I suppose the code from the Helix hardware was 1:1 implemented into Helix Native - and with it the 6 dB problem.

 

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That's interesting, as I've to do exactly the opposite to match Native input (-6dB) with my Rack input. The audio interface in the middle it's for sure the key factor here.

 

How are you measuring the actual level on the hardware? (I wouldn't trust the graphics meters at all).

 

 

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In Reaper, I don’t have to adjust the level of the dry track from USB7 at all in order to match levels. I was just experimenting with this this week because I was testing something. I recorded a wet track and a dry track simultaneously from my Helix Rack. I then fed that dry track into an instance of Helix Native and rendered the processed track down. The two tracks - the original wet track and the Native track were indistinguishable - they were at the exact same level. I also sent that dry track back into my Helix Floor over its USB3/4 input just for fun and recorded that wet track. All three were the same level...

 

I wonder if the thing with the Stomp is due to the fact that it’s a stereo input, and the way that signal is handled at the converter.

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3 hours ago, PierM said:

That's interesting, as I've to do exactly the opposite to match Native input (-6dB) with my Rack input. The audio interface in the middle it's for sure the key factor here.

 

How are you measuring the actual level on the hardware? (I wouldn't trust the graphics meters at all).

 

 

I let my DAW compare the RMS values of the recorded tracks (live track through the Helix and DI track via USB through the Helix), that gives me an indication of the ballpark the tracks are at levelwise. If necessary for getting the exact value, I then try to null the tracks - flipping the phase on one of them and panning them center (using just one track if they are stereo tracks as this only works in mono). I raise or lower the level of one of the tracks, if the level of both get into the area of being equal, the two tracks cancel each other out almost completely. In order to make that work, the tracks have to start at the exact same point in time. During my testing I found out that the Helix ASIO USB driver, which is only relevant for Windows user, doesn't report the correct latency to the host (DAW). That resulted in a negative 1.9 ms latency for the reamped track compared to the live recorded track at a sample rate of 48 kHz.

 

Very interesting that you have to lower the level at the Native's input by 6 dB.

 

 

1 hour ago, phil_m said:

In Reaper, I don’t have to adjust the level of the dry track from USB7 at all in order to match levels. I was just experimenting with this this week because I was testing something. I recorded a wet track and a dry track simultaneously from my Helix Rack. I then fed that dry track into an instance of Helix Native and rendered the processed track down. The two tracks - the original wet track and the Native track were indistinguishable - they were at the exact same level. I also sent that dry track back into my Helix Floor over its USB3/4 input just for fun and recorded that wet track. All three were the same level...

 

I wonder if the thing with the Stomp is due to the fact that it’s a stereo input, and the way that signal is handled at the converter.

 

That is very interesting as well. I'm using Cubase. What I found baffling is that when I don't put any effects in a chain on my Helix LT - just in > out - there doesn't happen any attenuation to the level of a DI signal that is fed into it via USB channel 3. As soon as I put a preset in there or build some signal chain, the 6 dB drop happens. For me, this behaviour ruled out that Cubase has something to do with it.

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Hey phil,


I was fiddling around with Reaper lately. I was wondering why the '6 dB problem' didn't occur to you while reamping.

 

Reaper is unique in that it's using a one track fits all approach. All audio tracks are 2 channel tracks. In order to get a mono track being placed center, it is internally mapped onto those two tracks. Both tracks are equal in level.

 

When routing such a track to the Helix via USB 3/4 those 2 channels are summed together which results in a level rise of 6 dB. This signal reaches the signal chain in the Helix and gets attenuated by 6 dB as I've described. So in the end the Helix output signal is equal to the live signal. This works only using Reaper and only if one doesn't change the routing settings. If the Post-pan in the routing dialogue is set to full right or full left, it will send a 'real mono' signal, meaning the level sent to the Helix will drop by 6 dB. The same happens if one's choosing USB 3 as an output - only one of those two mono tracks is sent to the Helix and the signal's level is 6 dB too low.

 

Cubase (ProTools and Logic Pro as well IIRC) don't behaves like that. There are dedicated mono and stereo tracks. If I route a mono track to the Helix, it is that one track that goes there. If I choose USB 3/4 as an output, it gets only fed into USB 3, because it's mono. I can mimic that Reaper behaviour by routing two equal mono tracks to USB 3/4, but then again I could simply raise the gain by 6 dB which results in the same outcome.

 

I hope this makes sense and is somewhat understandable.

 

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@rizzy -- this is interesting, thanks. The summing explanation for 6dB does make sense (as @phil_m also suspected). When I get some time freed up I plan on experimenting with Logic/Stomp mono and stereo paths. I'll let you know if I have any useful info to add to the conversation.

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Interesting observations. Helix paths are stereo and no panning law is implemented, no avialiable documentation about it either, so it is really a measurement work to check if USB input is treated different than ADC. 

IIRC in Reaper, I had to deselect one of dual mono track routing to keep the Native level compatible with LT. If I didn't I would hit mono models with 6dB more gain.

When I tested Helix hardware I don't remember any lack of unity gain.

 

 

Helix instrument level is fixed at 11dBu at 0dBFS so if someone can set a different audio interface instrument input sensitivity to that value it should be fine (unless there is some issue you report) 

 

1.9ms negative offset with USB reamping is IMO natural. This is Helix ADC/DAC latency and the Hx driver is not informed if ADC/DAC are in path or omitted. If they are in path once there is no offset, if two times 1.9ms positive offset is expected. 

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On 3/8/2021 at 1:14 AM, zolko60 said:

 

 

1.9ms negative offset with USB reamping is IMO natural. This is Helix ADC/DAC latency and the Hx driver is not informed if ADC/DAC are in path or omitted. If they are in path once there is no offset, if two times 1.9ms positive offset is expected. 

 

You might be on to something here....I was thinking that the Helix would kind of autosense which connections are made to it - but maybe it doesn't.

 

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THIS is how I understood it to be:

If you go out of be your Helix or HX Stomp , if you go out of USB ports 5 and 6 into you DAW your DAW will record EXACTLY what is going into your line 6 interface. EXACTLY

for example .

 

This would be for recording a dual source acoustic, to record just an electric gtr. Just disregard adding Track 2.

 

FIRSR SET YOUR HELIX INTERFACE TO THE EFFECT YOU WANT TO RECORD WITH. THESE EFFECTS WILL NOT BE RECORDED SO YOU WILL NEED TO COPY THE PRESET TO YOUR HELIX NATIVE SOFTWARE BEFORE OR AFTER YOU RECORD.

 

1. Bring up two mono audio tracks in Pro Tools.

2. Make sure that my AXIO STOMP is my interface,
3. Set first guitar track to Record enable INPUT 5

4. Set second guitar track to Record enable INPUT 6

5. Set 1st track output to Aux 1 (Not 1-2 stereo)

6. Set 1st track output to Aux 2 (Not 1-2 stereo)

7. Bring up a stereo AUX TRACK to accept AUX 1-2 STEREO

8. Load the Aux track with HELIX NATIVE and hit play

 

If you NEVER change the output levels of the recorded tracks. you can copy beteween your HELIX or STOMP and your patched will relate perfectly. JUST NEVER CHANGE THE PANNING OR LEVELS

ENJOY!!

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On 2/21/2021 at 9:00 AM, rizzy said:

Hi,


to get the same level as if you were playing through the Helix stomp you'd need to raise the gain at the Helix Native's input by + 6 dB. The same is true for reamping through the Helix stomp I suppose - at least it is for the Helix Floor and LT.

 


So are you saying after I record through my STOMP thru USB 5 and 6 into Pro Tools. I need to raise those output levels of the tracks I just recorded +6db before going into HELIX NATIVE?

Then when I save the preset back to the HX STOMP do I have to lower it again? Sorry but I wan to make sure I have this right. +6db is ALOT when you are dealing with compressors and effects on an acoustic guitar which is what I need NATIVE for. I guess I'll know if the compressor doesen't hit on one of them Crappy way of figuring something out. I can't find documentation on these compatibility hiccups anywhere. 

Thanks

G

 

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6 hours ago, gerryCol said:

So are you saying after I record through my STOMP thru USB 5 and 6 into Pro Tools. I need to raise those output levels of the tracks I just recorded +6db before going into HELIX NATIVE?

 

I just adjust the input level on NATIVE as required... no need to touch the levels in the STOMP itself. Native is non-destructive, it's great for little adjustments like this. 

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2 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

I just adjust the input level on NATIVE as required... no need to touch the levels in the STOMP itself. Native is non-destructive, it's great for little adjustments like this. 

 

HI, 

I sent Line 6 Tech support a response on this, waiting for a reply. I will post their reply as soon as I get it and put this to bed.


Raising levels and making the required adjustments into NATIVE is fine if you are recording into your DAW,  and  and not concerned with that same guitar preset playing and sounding the same on your HELIX or HX STOMP afterwards. But for me these presets are being designed for an acoustic gig and I have to deal with serious feedback issues, so the presets need to be accurate.

 

If the circuitry of HX NATIVE is supposed to be "Identical" ( which Line 6 claims it is) to the circuitry in the HELIX or HX STOMP then if you record thru your USB output into your DAW then that is supposed to be the actual level of your guitar that was going into your floor unit. So you shouldn't touch the levels going into HELIX NATIVE.
 

If  you record your guitar into your audio interface and raise the input level +6db (arbitrary number) because that is what NATIVE requires to match the circuitry of the floor units before you begin creating a guitar preset, then in order for that SAME PRESET to mirror in the HELIX or HX STOMP,   rather than plugging your guitar directly into your HELIX or STOMP (the way they were designed) you would have to plug your guitar into a preamp  FIRST and raise the level +6db first in order to have the preset match the preset you made in NATIVE.... It doesn't make any sense, and I can't find any confirmation to this fact.

 

So basically when I play live I would have to boost my volume somehow before going into my HELIX because I had to raise my level +6db to create my preset in NATIVE??

So how do I replicate my guitar sound, I have to plug my 1/4" cable into something to boost it +6db first??? 


Sorry, I have a hard time wrapping my head around this one. OBVIOUSLY. LOL! 

 

I will post their reply ASAP

Thanks

 

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While Native's DSP code might be identical to that found in your Stomp, keep in mind there may be other variables when comparing the two. Your Stomp is self-contained. However, in your computer there are technical voo-doo things that go on before and after Native's DSP code. Variables are introduced that might even vary between computer systems. Perhaps you could use metering in your setup/DAW to ensure level consistency? If you leave Native input set to 0dB, you could use a gain plug-in to precisely set your input level.

 

Thinking out loud: take the USB input from Stomp (place the gain control before Native for tweaking), and use a clean Stomp preset (no blocks). You could do some "null" experiments. Record a raw guitar track (no Native) from Stomp, invert the phase, and play the duplicate track through Native to see if they cancel. You'll need to ensure the samples are precisely aligned in time.

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20 hours ago, gerryCol said:

Raising levels and making the required adjustments into NATIVE is fine if you are recording into your DAW,  and  and not concerned with that same guitar preset playing and sounding the same on your HELIX or HX STOMP afterwards. But for me these presets are being designed for an acoustic gig and I have to deal with serious feedback issues, so the presets need to be accurate.

 

That is precisely what I was referring to... sorry if I wasn't clear. 

 

If I load the exact same tone in both my Helix and my DAW/Native..... I use the INPUT LEVEL of Native to match the tones. I am very aware that the input level has a massive impact on how presets respond/sound, especially in regards to compression and gain/dirt levels. For me both products sound the same.... it's how hard you hit them that varies... and thank goodness, Native has an INPUT level to adjust for that. 

 

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+1. Most of the work in getting Helix and Native matched is Native's input level (and making sure you don't overdrive your audio interface if you are using one rather than Helix/Stomp's USB).

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On 6/11/2021 at 8:12 AM, gerryCol said:


So are you saying after I record through my STOMP thru USB 5 and 6 into Pro Tools. I need to raise those output levels of the tracks I just recorded +6db before going into HELIX NATIVE?

Then when I save the preset back to the HX STOMP do I have to lower it again? Sorry but I wan to make sure I have this right. +6db is ALOT when you are dealing with compressors and effects on an acoustic guitar which is what I need NATIVE for. I guess I'll know if the compressor doesen't hit on one of them Crappy way of figuring something out. I can't find documentation on these compatibility hiccups anywhere. 

Thanks

G

 

The DI track you recorded needs to be raised by 6 dB in level to get the same results as if you were playing live into your Stomp. When you save the preset back to the Stomp and you are running that DI track through it, it still has to be risen by 6 dB. Mind you, this is valid for Cubase. Phil_m pointed out somewhere above that the reamping works just fine with standard settings in Reaper. I checked that and figured that Reaper handles audio track levels via aux differently than Cubase does. You've got to try for yourself if this problem is existing in Pro Tools - my guess would be that it is.

 

I've contacted support regarding this issue.  Their first reply was that this behaviour would be normal - to which I replied that there's no way that this level drop could be intended and that it'd be nice if the firmware would be updated accordingly. Their second reply suggested that I should set the 2nd path to no input at all, because otherwise the volume would be split. I tried that on my Helix LT but there's no volume split happening at all, no matter if the 2nd path is set to multi, guitar, USB etc. or X. So I reported that back and then the support ticket got auto closed.

 

 

 

 

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On 6/11/2021 at 1:12 AM, gerryCol said:

Then when I save the preset back to the HX STOMP do I have to lower it again?

 

The INPUT level for Helix Native is NOT adjusting the preset itself. It's just making sure that NATIVE see's the exact same input level as your hardware does directly from your instrument. 

 

Try this.... 

  • Record the processed sound from your Stomp and the Dry Signal onto a separate track at the same time.
  • Load Native on the DRY track
  • Load the same preset into Native
  • Playback the two tracks.... toggle between them
  • If they don't already sound identical... adjust the INPUT GAIN on Native until they do match. 
  • Make note of the adjustment you had to make to make it quicker/easier the next time you do this. 

Once you got that level correct.... the preset can be freely adjusted and moved back and forth with confidence. 

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Hi ,

20 hours ago, codamedia said:

 

The INPUT level for Helix Native is NOT adjusting the preset itself. It's just making sure that NATIVE see's the exact same input level as your hardware does directly from your instrument. 

 

Try this.... 

  • Record the processed sound from your Stomp and the Dry Signal onto a separate track at the same time.
  • Load Native on the DRY track
  • Load the same preset into Native
  • Playback the two tracks.... toggle between them
  • If they don't already sound identical... adjust the INPUT GAIN on Native until they do match. 
  • Make note of the adjustment you had to make to make it quicker/easier the next time you do this. 

Once you got that level correct.... the preset can be freely adjusted and moved back and forth with confidence. 

 

 

22 hours ago, rizzy said:

The DI track you recorded needs to be raised by 6 dB in level to get the same results as if you were playing live into your Stomp. When you save the preset back to the Stomp and you are running that DI track through it, it still has to be risen by 6 dB. Mind you, this is valid for Cubase. Phil_m pointed out somewhere above that the reamping works just fine with standard settings in Reaper. I checked that and figured that Reaper handles audio track levels via aux differently than Cubase does. You've got to try for yourself if this problem is existing in Pro Tools - my guess would be that it is.

 

 

Hi I THINK I GOT IT! And RIZZ you were right about raising the level, in PRO TOOLS it is +4db but only if I go back into my STOMP through USB 5-6, the levels do not need to raised if I go back out output 1-2

I did what codamedia recommended. I will try to be clear how I did what I did. 
I recorded my guitar to 3 destinations simultaneously.


The HX STOMP has an EMPTY preset except for a stereo LOOPER I recorded a single note repeating for 8 bars into. 

1. The stereo looper

2. THE processed output from the STOMP into PRO TOOLS 1-2

2. The DRY TRACK output from the the HX STOMP into PRO TOOLS 5-6

The level were all the same going in and PRO TOOLS recorded the same levels.

Sonically it was spot on.


Now here is where it changes.

When I go back into the STOMP through inputs 1-2 my level IS THE SAME as the LOOPER.

BUT When I go back into the STOMP through USB 5-6 I am -4db lower than the looper which  is still playing for the past hour by the way . LOL.

OBSERVATION: If I want to go BACK into the STOMP at the same level as my guitar going in, I need to come back out CHANNEL 1-2 , OR boost the output 5-6 up +4db in Pro Tools.

 

Rizzy I seen you recoomend +6db for Cubase but that is definitely louder than I need. Going by WLM LOUDNESS METER. IT Is -4db in PRO TOOLS 12. So going up +4 would do it. 

NOW for NATIVE. The output levels are the same in NATIVE on a blank preset as a recorded track without NATIVE. Which is good. I do not have to touch my input gain at all and my levels are even.


But if I come out of NATIVE Native into the STOMP using output 5-6 , the level is down -4db.

So the big discrepancy is not the level going into NATIVE, it was the fact that I was coming back into my STOMP through USB 5-6 and THAT level going back into my HX STOMP was -4db lower going into the same preset. 

From what I see, it is not necessary to boost the input going into NATIVE +6db. or in NATIVE's input gain. If there were meters in HX EDIT as in NATIVE we would all know for sure. But that is my feeling.

So I do not have to raise my input going into NATIVE to get the same sound. I need to RAISE my output going back through 5-6 or not use 5-6 and use output 1-2.

 

BUT I am going set my PRO TOOLS SESSIONS to play back on another output if I have to 5-6 output and send my guitar tracks out 1-2 to play the same preset on NATIVE and on the STOMP itself.

Hope I am right. But I think I am.

 

Thank you

Gerry C

 

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