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High and Low Cut, where to adjust it?


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I've noticed that most seem to agree about the necessity to roll off the highs and lows to better simulate an analog frequency range. There are so many places within the signal chain, plus the Global EQ and also the PC+ has both high and low cuts adjustable thru HX edit. Some videos I have watched even recommend the addition of a high and low cut toward the end of your signal chain, either in the form of a dedicated EQ block or within the parametric EQ.

My question; it would seem that excluding it from your signal chain would use less DSP, but is there a recommended location where there cuts are best made? I assume the Global EQ would be the easiest. If I understand it correctly, if I were to use the PC+ for the cuts, they would not exist in the signal from the Helix direct out to the FOH. I would have to send the PC+ output to the FOH. Plus there is also a low cut switch on the back of the PC+.

Where is the best place to perform the cuts globally?

Thanks as always.


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It's best to try to get the tone you want before applying any high or low cuts. This typically starts with the amp model and settings, but can extend to pedals in front of the amp, especially those that tend to stay on all the time. But possibly the biggest influence on tone is the choice of cab block and mic (or IR). Try getting the tone you want from the speaker and mic combination before doing anything with high and low cuts. You can cut bass by moving the mic away from the speaker to reduce proximity effect. You can cut highs by using darker ribbon mics. Using IRs can give more flexibility since you can choose IRs with different mic positions between speaker cap and edge. 


If you still need adjustments, it's likely they will be subtle and can be done with the high and low cuts in the cab/IR block, or in the Powercab output. You can also use an EQ block towards the end of the signal chain to make any final high and low cuts. Some people prefer this over the cab/IR high and low cuts because the filter slope is different. You might want to avoid doing the same EQ adjustments in more than one place as this can be hard to adjust in live situations. Its probably a good idea to avoid using global EQ for core guitar tone as this would not be saved with the patch and would impact all patches. 

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Sharing my experience:

You need to have good balanced sound without global EQ.  I set up my global EQ so that I could compensate for having too much bass frequencies that some amps have, when I go into the effects loop.  The global EQ is meant to apply only to your monitor mix, since your unadulterated sound that is going to FOH is perfect with perfect balance. 


Get a friend who's a sound guy to come over to your house.  There are phone apps that do sound spectrum analysis.  You can also do that on the computer using any DAW as well.  Have the sound guy analyze your sound and make adjustments so it's within what is expected from a guitarist.  (I'm not a sound person myself).  Make adjustments on the amp block, etc until all the bad frequencies are gone. 



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The intended use for Global EQ is to adjust for the acoustic peculiarities of different rooms/venues. It would be nice to be able to save Global EQ settings, and it has been requested on Ideascale. Do a search and VOTE.


As @amsdenj said, start by getting as close to your desired tone with the amp, speaker and mic choices. With the stock cabs, the default cuts usually work fine to cut boominess and fizz, and mic choice and distance are what to look at before messing with cuts.


IRs provide many (sometimes too many) choices of mic distance and placement. It's a rabbit hole, but after a while you get to know which mics and placements you prefer.


For a primer on how various mics/distances/placements affect your tone, read this:


Hone Your Tone.pdf (digitaloceanspaces.com)


EQs within a preset are best used to fine tune a preset beyond what you can get with the amp and cab settings, or to fine tune the response of effects like distortions.

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