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Helix FAQs: How I run it live and dial in tones

My setup is as simple as it can be – I simply run the XLR out straight to the board or recording interface. You can really use it however you’d like – run it into an amp, run it into a FRFR speaker, use it with an amp with the 4 cable method, but in my experience, the simplicity of the XLR out is the way to go.

When setting up patches, there are a few things to consider. I always like to make sure I’m setting up tones in the same setup as I use it live. If you run that XLR out to a board, you’re running it into a preamp and then through an EQ strip then out through main speakers (the standard channel strip on a sound board). So I like to recreate that signal flow. I hook it up via the XLR into an audio interface – for me that’s a Universal Audio Apollo. That re-creates the XLR out into a preamp. Then I monitor through a set of studio monitors – Tannoy 5 in. powered monitors. I find this to be a very accurate way to set up patches – what I hear out of my monitors is the same as what I hear out of the main speakers where I lead worship.

I know many people use the headphone out to set up patches, and I think this is why many people express that the headphone tone doesn’t match what comes out of the speakers in their venues. There are certainly a lot of factors in play (the sound board being used, the main speakers, the room itself, and the person behind that sound board for starters), but the headphone out can sound a bit different than the XLR out to a board.

6 Responses to Helix FAQs: How I run it live and dial in tones

  1. Paul Tortland Feb 27, 2017 at 9:28 am #

    Hi Brian,

    Love your videos. I play guitar, drums, and backup keys (unfortunately not all at the same time!) on out church’s worship team. (We’re blessed with an abundance of great musicians, and we have a separate team for each week of the month, and I play a different instrument each week.)

    I just bought a Line 6 Helix. LOVE IT! I saw playing the tag line for “Revelation Song.” Do you have a Helix patch for that?

    Blessings in Him.

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:20 am #

      Thanks Paul! Congrats on the Helix :). I don’t have a patch for Revelation Song currently.

  2. Joe Feb 28, 2017 at 7:27 pm #

    I use the same Tannoy 5’s pretty good monitors for the price

    • Brian Mar 15, 2017 at 2:22 am #

      You have great taste in budget monitors, my friend 🙂

  3. Adam Wright Jul 2, 2017 at 7:12 pm #

    Love the videos. Very informative! I just purchased a Helix…Waiting (probably a very anxious) week for delivery!!!!!

    I’ve never used a digital board before, except my Roland GR-55. I never had enough time to “dial in” settings to use in church, but got 6 nice sounds/synths out.

    With the helix…Where is the best information on learning it? I’m really tech-savvy, but I wanna use it live ASAP!

    Ownhammer….Are these just specs for cabs and mic placements??? Or, am I missing something big?

    When running straight to the board….Is a boost pedal even worth bothering?

    Most important. I’m using a Mackey board for a personal mixer on stage for my in-ear monitors. I have a line for what comes through the speakers and a separate input for my current amp. Is there a way to plug the line-in for what is coming through the speakers to the board and mix it within the Helix to the headphones? Or, am I better to not waste DSP and just send an output to the mixer again?

    • Brian Oct 20, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      Hey Adam – good luck with the Helix! Ownhammer IR’s are just a different alternative to a cab in the Helix, which can sound a bit better than the stock cabs, but not necessary. I wouldn’t use a boost pedal with the Helix. For the last question, you could actually take the XLR output to the board and then the 1/4″ output to your board – super easy solution that wouldn’t need any DSP. You can set those two outputs to send out the same signal.

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