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4CM and External Effects in Helix Loop


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Hi - I recently bought an HX Effects to use with my Mesa Boogie Triple Crown.   I started out with the HXFX in the amp's effects loop and everything worked and sounded great.   I was also using an external pedal (Keeley Halo Delay) in one of the HXFX loops and really enjoyed having control of its mix using snapshots and an expression pedal assigned to the HXFX.   I also have a few effects out in front of the amp's input - Line6 Wireless, fuzz, Digitech Freqout, an overdrive, and a flanger.


I am getting ready for a jam in a few weeks and we do several songs in Eb, so I thought I would try the Poly Capo to see if I can avoid tuning my low E string every other song, but from everything I read up on, it is recommended to have this effect before the amp's preamp, which means it is not ideal to run this block in the amp's effects loop.


I did some reading on the 4CM option and set it up so that the amp's preamp was in the first HXFX loop, and my external delay pedal was in the second HXFX loop.   I kept all my effects that I was running between my guitar and my amp's input connected and ran them into the input of the HXFX.   Right away, everything sounded bad.   Tone was thin and buzzy and there were major volume variances when kicking on one of my fuzz or O/D pedals.


I did some more reading and found some topics on line vs instrument levels and some suggestions on keeping the "send" from the HXFX at instrument level and the return at line level.  Someone suggested setting up the HXFX using two loops in two different blocks on the HXFX.  One would be for the send going to the amp's input at instrument level, and the second would be for the return at line level.   I guess I can do this, but then I lose the second loop, which means I lose control of the variable output of the external delay pedal.


Does anyone have any ideas on how I can fix this issue without losing the second loop?



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You seem to understand the issue completely, and it is most definitely an issue with the levels expected on your amp.  Some amps do have a switch to select between line level and instrument level in their return loop, but I'm guessing yours does not.


I think in your case you may be able to do this, though.  Glancing at the Keeley, it looks like it supports external pedals to control it (hopefully for bypass).  If that is the case, you may be able to:

1. Use both of the HX loops for your 4CM.

2. Put the Healy inline on your amp send or return.

3. Control its activation (through one of the Pedal jacks) from your preset.


There are a lot of "maybes" in there, but if my assumption about the Keeley is right, I think it will work.

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You are correct about being able to control the Halo, and I was already using the amp control jacks on the HXFX to select modes (I have one mode set to the default Halo dual delay and the other set as a Slapback), but I was really hoping to keep using the HXFX to control the mix of the delay.  Prior to messing with the 4CM setup, I had the mix for the external delay loop set to 20% for one snapshot and mix set to 40% for another snapshot.  This allowed me to use the HXFX for selecting one of the delay modes AND the mix level.  I am still hoping that there is a way to run the HXFX in 4CM using only one of its loops….



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