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Helix and PC+ Snapshot boost clipping


ichasedx
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Hello to all, I really thought I had a good handle on setting up the PC+ clipping indicator light with my patches, but I have just encountered the following problem. If I setup my presets so the clipping indicator in solidly yellow with the occasional red flash, as recommended in the literature, then setup my snapshots with one particular snapshot dedicated to "solo". How can I boost my signal within the snapshot, without sending my signal to an undesirable clipping condition? If I reduce the preset signal so when the solo snapshot is selected it won't cause clipping, then that preset volume will be lower than my other presets without a solo boost snapshot being selected. I have my presets setup as various amp models with snapshots as different levels of drive/distortion/effects. Then I create new presets per song, with snapshots changing the sound as needed for the song.

 Thanks as always for all your help,

Mike

 

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The answer is to set up your presets' output levels with the Boost ON.

Typically, a lead boost will be 3-5db. The difference with the boost OFF will not have a significant affect on your PC+ tone.

Your other presets will not be noticeably lower either, they'll just be at the same level as your boosted preset in it's un-boosted state.

IOW - when it's said to set the PC+ level light to yellow occasional red, that's to give you an idea where clipping begins and ENABLE you to safely set your boost..

Setting it to accommodate boosted tones will not suddenly cut the balls off all of your other presets.

So how to level the other presets? 

When I boost for a lead, I want a CLEAN boost that has no other affect than to raise the output level.

To accomplish this I use the Output Block Level for the boost.

Just setup your initial preset level with the Output Block Level set AS THOUGH you were boosting it for a lead.

Then return the level to 0db when you make your final save.

Keep in mind that the final PERCEIVED level of any given preset depends on what all else is going on in the preset, NOT JUST that little flashing light on the PC+.

 

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Thank you, I had an idea that might be it. So if I understand it correctly...when you begin to set the levels in a preset you should only have the amp/boost turned on with the output block set to boost level, otherwise set to 0db. Once you set that level to where the led is yellow, you turn on each effect, one at a time, adjust it's level if necessary to maintain yellow led. And each preset should include a boost even if it is not wanted, so all presets in a non-boosted state will have the same volume. All this is done with the "big knob" at max. Kind of a brief summary...but is it correct?

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That's about right. You CREATE the presets with the Output block at BOOST level, regardless of if the preset needs a BOOST.

You SAVE your presets with the Output Block Level set to 0db. All your presets will be approx the same level, and when you hit the BOOST on those presets that have it configured, it won't overload the PC+ input.

 

Best thing to do with the BIG KNOB is to disable it by assigning it to some output other than multi or digital.

Keep in mind that the Output Knob on the PC+ can be remotely controlled using MIDI CC#7 assigned to an Exp Pedal (requires MIDI cable along with L6 Link).

That way, if you need to adjust your SPEAKER volume, it won't affect the Input level from Helix to PC+, just the ACTUAL volume.

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Another way to approach this is much the way you would during a soundcheck for a mixing board. For a soundcheck you don't play your quietest passage through your guitar or whisper into the mic. If that level of signal was the source the soundperson used to set your input gain/trim it would just cause the PA to overload/clip the second you went to play a loud distorted guitar passage or belted a vocal into the mic. Use your hottest/loudest snapshot with the boost on to set the level on your PC+.  Then set the PC+ with as hot an input level as you can get away with without clipping, as the level to the PC+ is going to drop when you don't have a boost on and you don't want it to slip under the PC+'s usable input threshold. If the result is that the level for the unboosted snapshots is now too low then you will probably need to attenuate the boosted snapshot a bit and work out a compromise between your boosted snapshot's volume and unboosted snapshots. This compromise is often necessary to get ideal gain levels on a piece of equipment downstream like a PC+ or PA.

 

As rd2rk advised using your Output block is a great way to add a more predictable volume boost. Alternately you can use a gain block somewhere close to the Output block. By putting it at the very end of your signal chain it won't kick something like a distortion block into hyperdrive or alter the tone significantly by changing the gain level into another block when all you want is some more volume. It is also critical to level your presets and snapshots up with each other as much as possible. You can use a db meter and most importantly your ears for this. The less variance between levels on your presets and snapshots the easier it will be to keep your PC+'s input level in its ideal range.

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On 6/23/2021 at 10:03 PM, rd2rk said:

 

Best thing to do with the BIG KNOB is to disable it by assigning it to some output other than multi or digital.

Keep in mind that the Output Knob on the PC+ can be remotely controlled using MIDI CC#7 assigned to an Exp Pedal (requires MIDI cable along with L6 Link).

That way, if you need to adjust your SPEAKER volume, it won't affect the Input level from Helix to PC+, just the ACTUAL volume.

 

Did I understand you correctly? Can I reassign the BIG KNOB via MIDI to act as the Output knob for the PC+?

 

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No. You assign the BIG KNOB to a different output so that the output to the PC+ is always at UNITY (0db). Otherwise it affects the PC+ INPUT level.

You assign an Expression Pedal to send MIDI CC#7, which will then control the PC+ OUTPUT level (the PC+ Level Knob).

Unfortunately, you'll need to do this on a per preset basis. I build my presets starting from a template which includes that setting.

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I understand, I never got involved in changing those parameters before. I have a special situation. I keep my Helix on a stand due to a back injury which prevents full motion. I always keep the big knob at 100%, I use it as a mute when required, it's easier for me to quickly turn the knob rather than holding the switch to engage the tuner.I have an expression pedal on the floor used solely for WAH on input exp3. Since I play from a bar stool, It would be great being able to control the PC+ volume via the Helix without the addition of another exp pedal, id love to just bump the volume up or down a bit without having to get up from my chair.

Thanks as always for your assistance.

Mike

 

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2 hours ago, ichasedx said:

Since I play from a bar stool, It would be great being able to control the PC+ volume via the Helix without the addition of another exp pedal, id love to just bump the volume up or down a bit without having to get up from my chair.

 

Well there ya go! Just assign CC#7 to the Helix Exp Pedal, hook up a MIDI cable and you're golden!

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