Line 6 helix volume knob question

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by Willyjacksonjs22-7, May 10, 2020.

  1. Willyjacksonjs22-7

    Willyjacksonjs22-7 Banned

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    Sorry for the dumb question but When turning down the volume to play in a bedroom level, the tone seems to get dark , sometimes muddier but not that bad, specially when playing clean tones. But when turning the volume up on the unit, the brightness is back.
    now I’m curious because when listening to let say a recorded song on YouTube or in you car, no matter how low the volume is you can still hear The instruments , the vocals etc without their tone being changed. Meaning if you hearing a guitar with single coils and with that twang tone, nothing changes. Only a volume drop.
    So the real question is, Does the physical volume knob on the helix affects the tone?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  2. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    It's probably the interaction of the speakers with the room.

    What's your setup?

    Guitar cabs and cheaper FRFR units aren't known for having as good uniform efficiency across the volume band.
     
  3. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    Not a dumb question at all. It's likely due to the Fletcher Munson curve.

    What's your playback system? A car stereo will sound a lot more consistent than say, a PA speaker and especially a power amp and cab. Also, if you recorded just your guitar tone and played that back in your car, its frequency response would change a lot more than if it were mixed in with a lot of other instruments in a professionally produced commercial song.

    Also, guitars on records tend to be have much of their lows and highs filtered out to make room for the other instruments. If you were to hear them soloed, they might sound thin and weak to you. That's why it's nearly impossible to create a guitar tone that sounds great both by itself and within the context of a mix:

    Person 1: Man, this modeler sounds like butt! Let me work at getting it to sound good so I can practice by myself.
    Person 2: Man, this modeler disappears in the mix! Let me work at getting it to cut through the bass, drums, vocals, and synths.

    Person 1 and Person 2 are likely doing opposite things. Person 1 might radically prefer Person 2's original tone and vice versa. It's a big reason why All. Presets. Suck.©—Everyone's seeing them through multiple different lenses.
     
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  4. Willyjacksonjs22-7

    Willyjacksonjs22-7 Banned

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    Hi this is my set up.
    Guitar>helix>jbl lsr8 monitors
     
  5. Willyjacksonjs22-7

    Willyjacksonjs22-7 Banned

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    Hi, I’m using guitar>helix>jbl lsr8 studio monitors.

    yeah I heard about that theory but it’s confusing, I’m playing a boss katana and it sounds great at lower volumes. No brightness gone ( clean tones)
    Just trying to see on how I can enjoy the helix at lower volume with the monitors. Like listening to music without bothering anyone.

    wait can the real problem be the volume knob acting as the volume or something for the simulated mics of the helix? Because we are hearing Simulated cab that is miked in a room.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
  6. sleewell

    sleewell SS.org Regular

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    I always leave the big knob all the way up and lower volumes other places to get bedroom levels
     
  7. nickgray

    nickgray SS.org Regular

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    So you're running the Helix directly to the monitors via balanced cables? Did you set the output to line level?
     
  8. Willyjacksonjs22-7

    Willyjacksonjs22-7 Banned

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    Yes I already checked that. Actually everything and that’s not the problem. It’s
    The fletcher Munson curve, record a track at a volume you like, after you finish raise the volume and you will notice the tone being harsh and annoying, lower it down and you lose tone. To have it at the same level you played it and enjoyed it, you have to add an EQ like the simple eq pedal and adjust your the highs and low after your signal chain.
    Interesting that I don’t have this problem when making hip hop beats. Don’t know about vsts, will check when I get home.
     
  9. GunpointMetal

    GunpointMetal SS.org Regular

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    raw guitar frequency response vs mastered/mixed music frequency response aren't gonna be the same. Digital Igloo explained it pretty well. It's the same reason tones that most people create with their headphones or studio monitors at home usually sound like butt at gig volume. Volume increases the level of highs and lows a person hears.
     
  10. Metropolis

    Metropolis SS.org Regular

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    There is threshold how guitar tone is percieved at different volumes, and you should always dial in a tone with a volume it's being played. It's around 80dB where things start to balance out. Above it begins to sound harsh with too much low end, that's where dialing them differently should help. Regular talking volume is too quiet for playing guitar and to me it sounds always muffled.
     
  11. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    Ah. IIRC, the Katana applies a digital EQ curve to its Master volume to compensate for Fletcher-Munson. (It boosts bass and treble as you turn that knob down.) Spider amps do this as well. It's certainly not how tube amps behave, but it gives you exactly what you're looking for—the sound of a loud amp at bedroom volumes.

    Helix has no playback system built-in, so it has no idea at what level you're hearing it. It's how pretty much everything works except for digital practice amps like Spider and Katana.
     
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  12. Willyjacksonjs22-7

    Willyjacksonjs22-7 Banned

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    That’s really interesting I didn’t know that. So that’s why tube amps sound great at higher volumes. What about vsts like native? Do they have the same problem as the helix floor, axe fx etc??

    I added the simple eq pedal at the end of the signal chain and works great. Just have to adjust it everytime i play in a lower or higher volume setting. The only problem is my recordings, how can I make it equal at any volume when it’s played in any playback system?
     
  13. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    I always run Helix -> DAW -> Monitors. I keep the output on Helix maxed out and adjust levels in my DAW, which keeps the guitar signal strong at all volume levels.
     
  14. Digital Igloo

    Digital Igloo Line 6

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    Most would argue it's the opposite of a problem. You would not want a device to dynamically change its EQ curve based on how loud you're hearing it (and really, how would it know your playback volume anyway, unless it had an omnidirectional mic and dB meter built in?). Can you imagine sending a mix to mastering and realizing "Oh crap! I was listening at a low volume during mixdown so the whole frequency response was super-scooped!" or "The sound guy hates me because not only is he fighting my volume, but he also has to keep changing the EQ when I turn up to solo!"

    Fletcher-Munson compensation really only works within a totally closed system (input > processing > amplification > playback system all in the same box) and admittedly, it's sort of a gimmick. A helpful gimmick for practice amps, but a gimmick nonetheless.

    In Helix/HX/POD Go, the Master parameter changes the behavior of the amp model in the same way as turning the Master knob on the real amp. But it's independent of your playback volume because A) that would be a bad thing, and B ) it has no idea how loud you're playing anyway.
     

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