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Live bass rig setup


calelitecoach
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Maybe this has been covered, please excuse me if it has been. I am a bass player. I would love to use my Helix LT for live gigs. I have only used my Helix LT for practice and to record via USB to my DAW. Ideally, I'd like to run my Helix LT through my SWR 750X head and SWR 4 X 10 Goliath III cabinet. Assuming I can use my rig as a stage monitor and run XLR to the front of the house. What is the preferred setup and settings to accomplish this? I am only using effects like a compressor, distortion, eq, and some light reverb. No amp or cab emulation.

 

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That is nearly the simplest case. If you don't want or need any individual treatments between both outputs (to amp and to FOH), then just put your effects in and use the Multi-Output.

The connect the 1/4" out to your amp and the XLR outs to the FOH.

Make sure to set the 1/4" Outs to "Instrument Level" in the Control center to deliver a more suitable level to your amp.

 

Be aware that the sound through your amp will sound significantly different than the signal you send to FOH. If you wanna compensate for that, you can either go for the global EQ (and configure it to just effect the output you want to adapt in the global settings), or you split paths at the end and route them to 1/4" outs and XLR outs individually and add blocks in one of the paths.

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It doesn't sound to me like you want to do much different with your setup than what most people do with any on stage direct monitor.  The main difference being if you intend to go into the normal amp input of your bass SWR rig you'd probably want to split the output and send the bass rig output via 1/4" output at Instrument signal level to the SWR and then send the direct output through the XLR output at Mic signal level.  However it's probably going to sound a bit off through the PA without any amp or cab models in the signal chain so you'd likely want to add those in after you branch off of the signal chain going to your on stage rig.

There are any number of ways you could do this but the most common I think is to branch of with a send block for your 1/4" output to the rig and after that branch add your bass amp model and cabinet to the signal chain before sending through the regular output block to FOH.  As stated previously there will likely be some pretty significant tonal differences between your on stage sound and your FOH sound, but those can be addressed in the amp and cab model blocks if you've got a decent FRFR speaker or maybe even headphones to monitor that signal and adjust it.

The only other thing you would have to consider is the volume levels of the two outputs are going to be different.  I'd suggest you configure the XLR output so that it is not affected by the Helix volume knob and sends to the PA at full volume.  That way it will send the most robust signal to the PA where it can be gain staged appropriately at the mixer and it won't be affected by volume adjustments of the signal going to the bass rig on stage.

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In the ideal world, the Helix goes to FOH via 2 L/R XLR cables with mic levels, set volume.  For a personal monitor mix, you take the 1/4" out that you can control with the big volume knob for monitoring purpose:

1. have it go into in-ear wireless

2. plug it into an on-stage monitor

3. plug it into an effects loop of an amp.  Modern bass amps have an effects loop. 

4. If the amp doesn't have an effects loop, just plug straight in, and play with the EQ, until it sounds good. 

image.thumb.png.150a1124025782dca2bab9c156e39a4f.png

 

All 3 options work for bass, just like they work for guitar.  In reality, and I'm a former bass player myself.... bass doesn't drastically alter its tone when played through different amps.  In the olden days I usually played my bass through whatever they had.  The same cannot be said about guitar: a fender Twin sounds a lot different from a Vox AC 30. 

 

Global EQ is to adjust the tone of your monitor, if it doesn't have any EQ knobs, or if you go into the effects loop, since your preamp is bypassed. 

 

Using the effects loop is the best way to actually have a somewhat colorless amplification of your Helix sound.  I have been in situations where you have an amp without an effects loop when I played guitar, e.g. a busted up Peavey Classic 50 without effects loop (for some reason).  I didn't bother removing the amp block from my presets, just played through it.  After a proper EQ, it sounded just as good.

 

 

 

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