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wolfpackleader6

My Helix sounded tight and dope until...

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Hello Friends! 

This is not your typical "amp fizz" "squirrels" "Ghost in the machine" thread! I suspect there are several things at play here. First, the backstory. I've been having "fizz" troubles with my Helix for months, at their worst they result in massive volume dumps during live performances thru my (Matrix GT800) live rig. BUT recently its almost like they decay over time... I wouldn't be starting this topic if not for the fact that for the last 8 hours STRAIGHT it sounded amazing. Low end was tight, everything sounded amazing. I play through my headphone exclusively but when the fizz gets bad I make sure to diagnose, record it thru the USB, track it out the 1/4" in ouputs and even the sends.

BUT THEN I opted to try to restore some old Factory Presets by loading old Firmware into the Helix. Well, I jumped to 3.01 and the fizz came back and hasn't left yet. I'm on my second round loading the firmware through the Helix from 3.01 -> 3.11 Hoping it helps.
 

Attached are 3 stock Helix presets, not affected at all beyond making the impedance 1M. THEY CAN'T POSSIBLY BE THIS BAD YOU GUYS WHATS GOING ON.

Jazz Rivet - 04A.mp3 WOrks just fine - 09A.mp3 SadSad - 01D.mp3

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1 hour ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

I opted to try to restore some old Factory Presets by loading old Firmware into the Helix.


Hi,

 

I’m not in a position to check out your example presets right now, as the studio is locked until tomorrow, but I’m intrigued by this statement: - I opted to try to restore some old Factory Presets by loading old Firmware into the Helix.”

 

I cannot comprehend as to why you would need revert the firmware to restore old presets?

 

Simply load them in to your hardware and let it rebuild the presets to bring them into line with the current firmware. Also bear in mind, any presets that you have created and updated to v3.11 will not work in earlier versions.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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After returning to 3.11 and following ALL of the instructions, if you still have the problem, attach your actual presets (not recordings) after switching from IRs (if thats what you're using) to stock cabs. Also, what's your playback system, and which Helix model are you using?

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Oh, I did that because I completely overwrote the Factory 1 database and didn't have any of the presets saved on this computer. but I wanted them in my Helix. So I made a backup and restored the Helix to an older firmware. 

Here's the stock Cali Rec preset I used. I guess Im just confused why it sounds like that.

Cali Rectifire.hlx

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1 hour ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

Oh, I did that because I completely overwrote the Factory 1 database and didn't have any of the presets saved on this computer. but I wanted them in my Helix. So I made a backup and restored the Helix to an older firmware. 

Here's the stock Cali Rec preset I used. I guess Im just confused why it sounds like that.

Cali Rectifire.hlx 14.16 kB · 0 downloads


Hi,

 

Rule one of Helix Club - always work with backup copies.

 

The release notes for all the firmware updates specify that you should make backup of the presets on your hardware. This allows for a “fail safe” in the event of something going disastrously wrong. In fact, the latest version of HX Edit allows you to extract individual presets from a backup bundle file - double “fail safe”.

 

You don’t need to regress the firmware to restore the factory presets - you can restore those are from one of the many Factory Reset options.

 

Reset Options

Helix Floor/LT

Button Combination

Description

2

LED light Fun

3 & 4

Test Mode

5 & 6

Global reset

7 & 8

Reset setlists to factory, Keep IRs

8 & 9

Reset setlists to factory, Clear IRs

9 & 10

Reset setlists to factory, Global reset, Clear IRs

10 & 11

Upgrades existing presets to latest format

11 & 12

Clear current preset

5 & 12

Clear setlists, clear IRs, Return system settings to default

6 & 12

Safe boot mode

To use Reset Options:

  • Power off the Helix
  • Hold the desired button combination
  • Power on the Helix
  • Release the button combination

Please note: Buttons are numbered from top left to bottom right.

 

I will not be back in the studio for another couple of hours, but then I will be able to have a look at your supplied preset file for any “fizz”. Although, having said that and you mention that it is a “stock” preset, therefore, it should sound identical to the one right out of the box.

 

Before even starting on troubleshooting this fizz thing, it might be advisable if can explain how you have the Helix setup with your Matrix GT800FX amp, and what you are monitoring this on. Yes, you mention playing through headphones, but no brand/model - that would be a big help. Furthermore, you said you were using the headphones “exclusively”, plus you also state “8 hours straight it sounded amazing”. Hmmm… ever encountered a thing called tinnitus.

 

I have a feeling this may be a case of “pilot error” - I wonder if “rd2rk” will pick this up before me, as I would like to see his comment.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

Here's the stock Cali Rec preset I used. I guess Im just confused why it sounds like that.

 

And the verdict is... NO FIZZ!

 

Apart from the fact that the example preset that you supplied "Cali Rectifier.hlx" had slight modifications to the stock version - (i.e. Noise Gate Threshold changed from 36.0db to 48.0db, and the Sag and Hum set to Zero (huh?) along with a very slight change to the Ripple.), there's nothing horrendous going on in the patch!

 

It's beyond me what you are doing to make this stuff sound as bad as those 3 audio samples that you posted. Again, I wouldn't have said they sound fizzy per se, just the Jazz Rivet sounded like somebody attempting to play a bass (badly) through it. As for the other 2? Well, sorry, they're just not very good examples, but not what could be regarded as fizzy.

 

Are you really sure you know what you are doing with this stuff, because usually it takes a hell of a lot of work to make stuff sound bad.

 

You might want to look at this for some pointers.

 

https://helixhelp.com/tips-and-guides

 

As you said - "I suspect there are several things at play here".

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

Edited by datacommando
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2 hours ago, datacommando said:

And the verdict is... NO FIZZ!

 

Truly, I am glad to hear that the issue is not on the side of the software! I've long believed that this is a hardware issue. As, once again, its back. Its like a low end oversaturation and a total fizz distortion sound that overtakes literally every single preset, no matter which I select. Oddly enough, the cleaner the signal, the less saturation. But, that means the dirtier the signal the WORSE the saturation is. I play heavy metal with my guitar so you can imagine how thats an issue hahaha. 

I'm still at a loss. Honestly, resorting to old firmware was kind of a desperate attempt to get it to work. I am still just as confused as ever, in the headphones this may be a fizzy crappy tone but over speakers at loud volume this sound is totally wonky and drops in volume from the normal sound. I KEEP FORGETTING TO GET RECORDINGS WHEN IT SOUNDS GOOD!!

If I can, I'll send more files over later, examples of what it sounds like when the unit is working. 

Hell, at this point I'm ready to get some sage and say some prayers.

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2 hours ago, datacommando said:

It's beyond me what you are doing to make this stuff sound as bad as those 3 audio samples that you posted. Again, I wouldn't have said they sound fizzy per se, just the Jazz Rivet sounded like somebody attempting to play a bass (badly) through it. As for the other 2? Well, sorry, they're just not very good examples, but not what could be regarded as fizzy.

 

And as the gods would decree it, it breathes some new sound after I used the Rebuild Patches boot option (Helix Rackmount btw)

This is the same exact patch, nothing changed except for a slight amount of time passed (days) between recording.

Maybe I'm crazy but there has to be some reason why my helix sounds like the first patch above sometimes, and the one below other times...

Same Patch.mp3

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37 minutes ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

And as the gods would decree it, it breathes some new sound after I used the Rebuild Patches boot option (Helix Rackmount btw)

 

Ah, at least now we know what hardware unit you have, but still no wiser as to what you are using to monitor the thing with, especially the "phones" make and model. There are many discussions on here regarding headphones and impedance.

 

Also, now we know you have updated your Rack, did you follow to the letter the advice give by "rd2rk" in the post above - the thing about "following ALL of the instructions," because if you did the you will have read the release notes for the v3.11 firmware which states:

 

Anything else I should know?

Yes. We STRONGLY recommend performing a factory reset AFTER UPDATING your Helix/HX firmware to 3.11 and THEN RESTORING YOUR BACKUP. (Backing up is part of the update process). Here's how to perform a factory reset. IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A BACKUP FIRST, AS A FACTORY RESET WILL ERASE ALL YOUR WORK!

  • Helix Floor/LT: While holding footswitches 9 & 10 (bottom row, 2 middle switches), turn on Helix Floor/LT
  • Helix Rack: While holding knobs 5 & 6 (2 furthest right knobs below the screen), turn on Helix Rack
  • HX Effects: While holding footswitches 6 & TAP (2 farthest right switches on the bottom row), turn on HX Effects
  • HX Stomp: While holding footswitches 2 & 3, turn on HX Stomp
  • HX Stomp XL: While holding footswitches C & D, turn on HX Stomp

You can find the full transcript here.

 

https://line6.com/support/page/kb/effects-controllers/helix/helix-310311-release-notes-r969/

 

Another rule of Helix Club - after an update always from Restore from Backup, Reset Globals, Presets, Setlist and IRs. 

 

Whenever stuff goes off kilter, and gets weird - do a factory reset.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

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4 hours ago, datacommando said:

Ah, at least now we know what hardware unit you have, but still no wiser as to what you are using to monitor the thing with, especially the "phones" make and model. There are many discussions on here regarding headphones and impedance.

 

A valid question that I've been admittedly omitting because so far the fuzz / aliasing / digital crap issues I've been having I have been able to detect in the 1/4th out, the xlr out, the Send outs and the Headphone out, so I figured I'd leave out my crappy brokeass 2nd hand headphones -- Audio Technica ATH-M30 (65 ohms) with a 1/8th->1/4in adaptor 

 

4 hours ago, datacommando said:

Also, now we know you have updated your Rack, did you follow to the letter the advice give by "rd2rk" in the post above - the thing about "following ALL of the instructions," because if you did the you will have read the release notes for the v3.11 firmware which states:

 

I appreciate you asking clarifying questions! I unfortunately did this as well, and did it back when I originally transitioned through all of the firmware updates into 3.11 in the first place. So far since the start of this thread my helix has reverted to this fuzz / aliasing / digital crap issues sound several times. Currently, by rebooting the Helix Rack and pressing 1+3 to "rebuild the presets" I've had the most success in being able to use distortion without it sounding with the fuzz / aliasing / digital crap issues.

I just booted up the Helix again and It's not showing these signs <3 So I'm gonna record a bunch of these presets that I don't touch for a frame of reference. I'll be using it for the next few days (big gigs coming up) so I'll be back in this thread with evidence and information soon. 

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...Ok well, now (without the global settings having been touched, Headphones monitor is set to 1/4in) the headphones are only picking up a clear dry signal. Despite any preset I load? Its just simply not reacting to the preset and is sending a clear dry signal regardless. Even with me switching to different input/output channels, its still sending a clear dry signal. 

Sometimes I feel like user error is valid, sometimes I feel insane!

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8 minutes ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

...Ok well, now (without the global settings having been touched, Headphones monitor is set to 1/4in) the headphones are only picking up a clear dry signal. Despite any preset I load? Its just simply not reacting to the preset and is sending a clear dry signal regardless. Even with me switching to different input/output channels, its still sending a clear dry signal. 

Sometimes I feel like user error is valid, sometimes I feel insane!

" Headphones monitor is set to 1/4in) the headphones are only picking up a clear dry signal "  - I read this as your headphones are set to monitor the 1/4" IN??   That would only be your input signal, which seems odd.  I'm sure I'm just misinterpreting though. 

 

Initially earlier in the thread it made me think that maybe somehow something was routing to an output without a cab sim.  That would give a harsh scratchy/fizzy sound for sure.  I can't listen to the clips until I get home though.

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41 minutes ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

Sometimes I feel like user error is valid, sometimes I feel insane!


Yeah, and sometimes you need to raise a ticket with support, and have a technician check it out.

 

Also you said: - “I've been having "fizz" troubles with my Helix for months”. That means you have spent months of blundering about in the dark thinking it will cure itself, and losing out on your warranty cover. Although, you haven’t given any indication of how old the rack is, and/or if it is still covered. Even so, it appears to be beyond a simple software fix.


As for:- I'll be using it for the next few days (big gigs coming up)”. Hmm… well that is something that I wouldn’t be willing to put to the test without some sort of back up. I suggest that you have the rack checked out and beg, borrow, rent (I don’t recommend theft) or whatever, get hold of a HX Stomp to bail you out for the “big gigs”.

 

Frankly - I have run out of options - good luck.

 

Hope this helps/makes sense.

 

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15 minutes ago, themetallikid said:

set to monitor the 1/4" IN??


Hi,

 

I think he is referring to the 1/4 inch Jack outputs, as he also previously mentioned the XLR outs.

 

Although, personally, I would prefer to know what the XLR and 1/4” jacks are attached to. For example, and being a studio rat, my Helix floor has Tannoy Reveal studio monitors on the other end so I know exactly what I’m listening to.


Thus far bro “wolfpackleader6” has let us know that he has a Helix Rack, a Matrix GT800FX amp, and some “crappy brokeass 2nd hand headphones”. Other than that, getting anymore useful information is like pulling teeth, but hey he has some big gigs coming up! Why worry?

 

;-)

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I DL'd the preset, then created a dupe with just the amp and cabs with stock settings (and OP's mic choices).

Even with no hi-cuts on the cabs, the differences are minimal.

OP's preset sounds like the Cali Rectifire.

I'm using a PC212+, and I don't hear the "fizz".

 

Either OP's headphones and mystery playback system really suck, or he's got a problem somewhere else in his system, or his rack is defective.

I'm with @datacommando. If the sound is really that sporadic, I wouldn't use it on a gig either.

 

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Bought this Helix Rack and Control used about a year ago (unemployment), and have no record of any of its original purchase. I read that that should opt me out of the warranty? 
I just barely cleared rent, so not really any chance at paying a technician! A lot of the gear I have I've either salvaged, traded for, or worked a bunch to save enough. I'm a stagehand and with the Delta variant oncoming, I don't have a lot of future employment, but I'm doing my best.

 

Background:

This sound I am experiencing happens regardless of the things plugged into or out of it. It also appears to get worse over time once I start hearing it.

I live in a very small appt with someone who doesnt like noise so theres no chance at using external monitors. My live gear lives in my vehicle.
Right now, there is nothing plugged into the 1/4in or the XLR out. There only plugs are: Guitar -> Guitar In. Headphone out -> Headphones. Helix Control -> control port. Power AC cable, USB -> Laptop. The selection joystick also went out so I have to use a computer to select and place pedals. It still fizzes out. 

I use distortion pedals -> amp -> Cab sim. However, I have heard the fizz sound start to happen without amp blocks or cab blocks in the chain.

Global parameters- Guitar pad is usually on, though off makes no diff. Headphone monitor set to 1/4 (out of Multi, 1/4, xlr, and like 1/4 + xlr). Volume knob selection set to multi, but when I'm using the headphones this knob never does anything. If anyone wants to know any of the other parameters I use, lmk which ones.

 

Variations:

I've tried variations where the laptop was plugged into a different power area and the same power area.

I've tried variations using the amp where the sound was also going out the 1/4in output L and then R, Buffered (clear DI sounded good), and Send block.

I've used it on a stage with great power and in a warehouse with terrible power.

I've traded out instrument cables to make sure they all work (I have a wireless unit in my live rig).

I've tried with and without the laptop plugged in, I've tried plugging / unplugging the USB while its making the sound. I've tried the ground lift button.
I've replaced the USB cable and the Headphone 1/8th -> 1/4in adaptor.

I've tinkered with the input impedance - 1M is best / least fizz / tightest low end.

I went back to 3.0 to start updating again because I have no idea if I messed something up or if I missed a patch IDK, as you said and as I have been reading for months in forums, the Helix is very sensitive. Since updating the unit to 3.11 properly,  it has had the least fizz, but the recordings in my first post are all from this period of time. Believe it or not, it used to be worse. 

 

Conclusion:
So far, of all these variations, the unit and the fizz levels have absolutely no direct response. It still seems to randomly have moments where the distortion tone will saturate excessively and fizz out like in the first recordings. Sometimes it seems like - selecting a preset I haven't messed with in a while triggers it. Maybe picking too hard does it. Sometimes It happens when I step away for a bit and come back, sometimes it boots up like that.

So far, the thing I've discovered is that manually shutting it down and booting it back up pressing 1 & 3 to rebuild the presets is the most reliable thing I've encountered to make the saturation go away.

Truthfully I don't have the income to replace this rig and before this, I was a bassist runnin a sansamp into an odb-3 with an NS-2 into a Mesa M2000 for my metal bands. I only started playing guitar recently cuz the offer was extended to me and I had the gear. I run the Matrix into my bass cab.

I wanted to make this post to see if anyone could relate / had any home remedies as I currently can't feasibly ship it out to anyone. I'm trying to get recordings from patches when its at its best vs its worst to try to explain what I'm hearing. Honestly, then I was gonna try to send in a ticket to Line 6 and try to beg someone to take a look at it because I'm not even sure I can pay shipping.

 

3 hours ago, datacommando said:

Other than that, getting anymore useful information is like pulling teeth, but hey he has some big gigs coming up! Why worry?

 

I hope this is more information, I'm sorry I didn't know how much or how little you guys needed and I have to admit, I'm a little bit tired and dumb. The gigs coming up are all heavy metal in nature, but I'm starting to play to crowds way larger than I'm used to and I just want my toys to function properly.

Its worth mentioning that I've been reading your guys posts on other peoples forum questions for the last month or so, and I think its really cool that you guys are contributing info to this post (I just read your user handles and put 2 and 2 together while going through another old post). I am really grateful for the input you guys have, really honestly.

Any other insight anyone can provide is appreciated, I'll try anything. I found a weird post about ground loop related issues that had a weird fix I was gonna try to salvage parts for, that post is here: https://line6.com/support/topic/53601-4-cable-method-ground-loop-issues-finally-a-good-resolution/

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13 minutes ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

Any other insight anyone can provide is appreciated, I'll try anything. I found a weird post about ground loop related issues that had a weird fix I was gonna try to salvage parts for,

 

Are you using Helix for channel switching your amp? Because that's what that post is about, and has nothing to do with your stated problems.

When you bought this, you didn't register it with L6? How do you know it wasn't stolen?

If you're sure it's not stolen, then go ahead and contact support. They've been known to have mercy on poor unfortunate souls such as yourself.

Good Luck!

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10 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

Are you using Helix for channel switching your amp? Because that's what that post is about, and has nothing to do with your stated problems.

 

Dang, well at least you've saved me some time.
 

10 minutes ago, rd2rk said:

When you bought this, you didn't register it with L6? How do you know it wasn't stolen?

 

Honestly, he had a nice house, smelled good and looked like he had a wife and kids. He had a lil in home studio so I didn't even think of that lol.

I registered it on 

6/11/20

but I guess its time to contact support. To be honest, I've been spending long hours playing guitar and jamming out on it lately despite the wild fizzing it sometimes makes and life has been a bit rough. I wanted to exhaust all options before potentially having to ship it out for a month (or however long it takes to go and come back). It makes me happy and I'll miss it lol. I appreciate the guidance ~

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I think they have a two year transferable warranty. Depending on how long he had it, it MIGHT still be under warranty.

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It also appears that the USB 7 recording input selection that gives a raw DI sound isn't putting out any signal. I've contact Line 6 and I found a local repair man. You guys are totally right, it might still be under warranty. I'm gonna try to locate as many bugs as I can.

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1 hour ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

It also appears that the USB 7 recording input selection that gives a raw DI sound isn't putting out any signal.

 

You know that only works when Helix is the ASIO device in your DAW, right?

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12 hours ago, wolfpackleader6 said:

I hope this is more information, I'm sorry I didn't know how much or how little you guys needed and I have to admit, I'm a little bit tired and dumb. The gigs coming up are all heavy metal in nature, but I'm starting to play to crowds way larger than I'm used to and I just want my toys to function properly.

 

Well, this is the sort of additional info that would have been helpful to have right at the off. Especially what computer and DAW this thing is hooked up to, there may have also been issues there, but it's probably not so important now you have said: - "This sound I am experiencing happens regardless of the things plugged into or out of it."

 

Anyhow, even though I can sympathise its your financial circumstances (believe me, we have all been there at some time or other), I think this is looking like a real repair job. Even more so, as you have now informed us the the joystick is also FUBAR! Also, I realise you think that some sort of voodoo is happening by getting the Helix to rebuild the presets on every start up. No, could be just a placebo effect and may not be helping the situation at all. Stop doing it, it's unnecessary.

 

I feel that I must reiterate once more - doing a "big gig" with flakey equipment does nobody any favours - you, the band, your audience, nobody! If the thing craps out mid performance, then I think the band maybe looking for another guitar player, and you will be even worse off than you are now. Imagine, your gear screws up a gig, the band don't get anymore bookings and you have made yourself totally unreliable and an embarrassment.

 

As you say: "I only started playing guitar recently cuz the offer was extended to me and I had the gear". Mmm... that could make you easily expendable if you screw up. I knew a drummer once who thought he was about to make it big when a band took him on right out of the blue. Seems they actually thought his drumming was crap, but he did have a van and a decent PA rig.

 

Not good! Don't do it - not without a safety net, or these "way larger crowds" are very likely going to be really pi$$ed. Have your gear fixed so that it functions properly - then book the big gigs. When it starts to go wrong, don't sit on it for months thinking the thing will miraculously repair itself - get it fixed!

 

Hope this helps/makes sense

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8 hours ago, rd2rk said:

 

You know that only works when Helix is the ASIO device in your DAW, right?

 

Attached are my longstanding Reaper I/O selections, I have been using it as such :) Helix acting as my sound card, still no USB 7 dry signal.

 

49 minutes ago, datacommando said:

When it starts to go wrong, don't sit on it for months thinking the thing will miraculously repair itself - get it fixed!

 

I appreciate the input! I have been exhausting every possible resource I can before I spend the money I have to. :) Hilariously enough, I was gonna respond to this about 7 hours ago but they shut my internet off lmfao. I think you can see why a technologically less-inclined broke musician might seek assistance in a user support forum before opting to spend money that may or may not even solve the problem (according to half the forum posts involving this fuzz sound from 2015 till now). Especially with so many posts about Fizz and Hiss on this site. 

It all makes sense. I was merely asking for everyones opinion. You guys assume the worst in the user I can tell, but I am very luck to have plenty of safety nets and work arounds that'll get the job done and hey - if it doesnt work out, the gig doesnt work out! Id rather have a roof over my head. Regardless, I have a certified repair shop to stop by after work today. I definitely will be posting again when I know more to help provide some insight to whomever else may be searching the internet for answers. I hope yall have a nice day!

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