Helix LT connection to Beat Buddy

Hi all
New Beat Buddy user here. I have posted the following (comment dated 27th Dec) on a Line 6 forum:

but thought I would raise here as well as it appears that the BeatBuddy is causing an issue.

It appears that connecting the Helix to the Beat Buddy via two TS cables from the 1/4 inch outputs and then from Beat Buddy via TS/RCA to my HiFi results, in distortion fizz to the signal as though it was an old school modelling sound.

Has anybody had this issue as I thought Beat Buddy shouldn’t alter the sound of the input at all and it reverts my Helix clean sounds back to sub-par quality

First, to clarify, the MIDI cable that comes with the BB is not a splitter, it’s a breakout cable that gives you a MIDI-IN and MIDI-out – in other words, it gives you exactly the same ports that are hard-built into your Helix.

Next, what’s getting fizzy? All of it? Just the guitar signal? Or just the drums?

If I understand correctly, you’re running stereo (guitar) cables from the Helix into the BB and the BB outs (not the headphone jack) into the – what? Your stereo receiver? How is the balance between the drums and your BB?

Hey Joe…ironically I was jamming to that song when I first noticed the issue…seriously. But I digress. Thanks for responding

I didnt get a midi cable with BB and am naive as to why you highlighted that because I havent used midi before.

To answer:
It is just the guitar signal that is fizzy. If I return back to the (same) TS to RCA lead direct to my hi fi receiver from the Helix, there is no issue

So yes, I am either going from my Helix to the stereo receiver via balanced lead described above OR in the case of the poor fizzy signal, via dual TS from Helix to BB and then the above lead to the hi-fi receiver

The balance is handled via Beat Buddy and Helix volume controls

Hey Andy!

Sorry, I got distracted when you said “I am trying to go with the Beatbuddy midi spliter chord that plugs into the in/out…”

So, if I understand, you’re running two guitar cables from your Helix to the BB, and two guitar-to-RCA cables to your stereo. The drums come through okay, but your guitar is fuzzy. Correct?

Couple of things to try:

  1. Try changing the Helix-to-BeatBuddy cables. Could be a bad cable.

  2. Plug your guitar directly into the BB to see if it’s fuzzy on it’s own without the Helix. If it is fuzzy by itself, you likely have a problem with the BB. If you bought your BB at a retail store, go back there, see if they have another one in stock you can try. If you bought it from Singular, contact @BeatBuddy_Support. Otherwise…

  3. If your guitar was fuzzy by itself, update/reinstall the BB firmware. Could be a glitch.

  4. Plug your Helix back into the BB. Make sure your Helix output is set for line and not low level (guitar vs. mic).

  5. Try running just one signal (i.e., mono instead of stereo) from your Helix to your BB, see if that resolves it.

  6. Try turning your Helix output volume down.

If none of that works, then…

…well, then I’m not sure. But try those, and I’ll think a bit more about it. And now that I’ve invoked the Support guys (and @persist for good measure! :slight_smile: ) , maybe they’ll chime in with some ideas, too.

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I think you’ve covered it very well, Joe.

The troubleshooting process involves isolating and then breaking down and then testing each of the variables separately: Helix, all patch cables, BeatBuddy, amplifier; this includes configuration and peripherals. Don’t rule out power supplies either.

In addition to testing the BB output through the 1/4” outputs, try listening to the BB output using the 1/8” headphones jack.

My SWAG is that it’s either the BB firmware or one of the patch cables.

Once you figure out what’s wrong, please let us know.

Thanks all for your suggestions. I will try each of those component checks. My apologies that I have jumped in without that process of elimination

Have to get some additional cables but whilst I do, can you advise if my intended path of having the BB after the Helix is the best way to go? Obviously I don’t have the mixing capability via the Helix but I didn’t want to use the effects loop for the BB.

I will need to try it thought and see if the issue also shows up in the Helix Effects loop path with the same and different cables

I’ve got an Atomic. When I use a single amp for both, that’s how I do it: Atomic to BB to amp/PA/whatever.

Good luck with your experimentation. One other thing to consider: As much as I can’t recommend using a traditional stereo for amplifying a BB or guitar, you should still make sure you’re using a regular Tape-In or Aux-In and not a Phono-In.

Hi all

I have gone through each of your suggestions with no luck ie the fizziness remains. A caveat that this occurs mainly when you dig in with chord work at higher volumes (using Helix volume) but once again, does NOT occur when going straight to hi-fi. In all cases the input to the hi-fi was to an Aux-In

  • Have BB plugged into separate power socket with no crossed wires to try and eliminate any hum
  • Checked 1/4 inch outputs were set to Line level on Helix
  • Have tried different cables (all cables used were new TS 1/4 inch)
    Result: the fizziness remains.
  • Tried different brands of new cable
    Result: the fizziness remains.
  • Plugged guitar straight into BB.
    Result: Difficult to tell with no boost on guitar signal but didn’t appear to have any fizz
  • Tried the headphone output on BB
    Result: the fizziness remains.
  • Tried mono from Helix to BB
    Result: the fizziness remains.
  • Reinstalled BB firmware 3.80
    Result: the fizziness remains.
  • Inserted Send/Return 1 block on Helix at end of the chain for preset that was used for testing. Used Send to Input L of BB and Output L to Return 1 on Helix. Result: no fizziness

I will try and split a lot of my Helix settings to my Powercab to see if the same occurs but either way it looks like I am going to have to use the Effects Loop on the Helix for all my presets which is disappointing

Is this a case of logging a ticket for support?

Thanks for outlining the results of your testing. Probably not going to offer what you want to hear but here goes anyway.

I may be drawing a different conclusion than you are and I’m thinking that your signal chain has something to do with the noise that you’re getting. My opinion is that it is not your BeatBuddy (BB) based on one of your results:

Many users connect their BeatBuddy (BB) separately and directly into an amplifier (Roland KC- series, a Simmons, PA or powered monitors).

If your Powercab only has a single input, I understand why your signal chain is going into the BB thru your Helix and into your Powercab. I believe that the combination of any or all of these parts of your chain BB, Helix and amp is contributing to your noise. However, when you break it down to just your BB into your amp, it seems to be quiet. In my simple way of thinking, this eliminates your BB and your amp and I would suggest that you figure out how to run the BB directly into an amp without going into your Helix. You can still connect your BB via MIDI to your Helix though if that’s what you need. This also might boil down into experimenting with the volumes on your BB, your Helix LT and your amp until you get the least amount of fizziness. The ideal signal chains might look like this:
Guitar > Helix > Powercab
BB > separate full range amp (many good reviews of Simmons DA 50)
MIDI control between BB and Helix

If you are constrained to only using Guitar > BB > Helix > amp setup, I’m not sure there’s much more I can suggest. Perhaps one of our other users with a similar rig can offer some thoughts on how to get around the fizziness. If this is your setup, then the Send/Return may be all you can do with what you have unless you want to use a mixer in an effort to break up your signal chains into different routes.

Be all that as it may be, I would still contact Support and see if they can help. Who knows, maybe they’ll swap out your BB pedal.

And once you get it sorted out, please reply to this thread to let us know how you fixed things.

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I’m going to offer a simpler explanation, based on this comment:

I think you’re overdriving the input on the BB. Turn down the Helix output.

One last thing: Is it getting fizzy through the BB when the BB is running? Or just always? If just when the BB is running you may be overdriving the inputs on your stereo, and you’ll need to turn down the BB and probably the Helix; if not, I stand by my suggestion that you’re overdriving the input on the BB and will need to turn down the Helix.

And it’s possible you’ll need to turn down both.

Keep us posted.

I looked at the Helix LT on line to see if there was a possible external setting causing the problem, but there is nothing there. But, this “fizziness” problem is very reminiscent of issues that users had with the Digitech GNX4. It turned out that there was a cab sim setting that guys were using when running their GNX4 into a combo amp. Running into a PA board, the cab sim setting was great, but, when it went into an amp, the combination made for all kinds of issues. This lead me wonder where there is a setting in the LT’s presets that is adding cab simulation and whether that might be the problem.

Hi all
Thanks once again for your time in helping

I have split the Helix blocks into amp and cabinet > BB and then again with just amp and effects > BB. This had no effect at all. But what I was trying to convey was similar to you in that the fizz was more like the modelling of the Digitech (I had an RP355 that gave similar sounds). But that was more due to the fact that it wasn’t going into a Flat response speaker. The HiFi and PowerCab are quite flat in their response

I am using an NAD amp into B&W DM602 speakers which is a sensational combination and clean (well, any really) sounds from the Helix sound magical. So I hadn’t tried the Powercab. I am a backroom bum so the Powercab is probably overkill on the quieter moments so was looking for the convenience of the one chain into the hi fi with the BB or just the PowerCab for the guitar

I know where you are coming from with the input to the BB. I keep telling myself this is a digital fuzz rather than a peak transient distortion/clipping. I dont really understand why the use of the effects loop with BB can allow for ALL volumes (Helix, BB and NAD) to be wound up LOUD without the fizz and yet going Gtr > Helix > BB would have issues with even 75% of those volumes. Can you explain that for me? I have tried varying input signals and the sound is still fizz with BB at the end of the chain

With all that being said, I have played around with cables and separated a large load of cabling mess and have got marginally better sound with the BB at the end of my chain. So although it is not 60 cycle hum, there could be too much interference??.

So will keep trying

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand this: What effects loop? the Helix?

Hi @JoeInOttawa
Yes I have the ‘Block’ at the end of the chain on the Helix where I send to the effects loop and go with a single cable to the BB and then return in stereo. I have no issues with fizz at any level if I take this path. So am wondering why the difference when I go from the Helix outputs to the BB

I’m with you: That’s really a bit odd. I’ll think on it, maybe I can puzzle it out…