Everyone's first step when they first use a Headrush FX unit is universal- Get a good sound. That always leads to the more complicated step two- bring it out to the world. In this guide we'll be going over the practical application of that, equalizing the volume of your rigs so that you can get out there. Along the way we'll dip into a few rig building tricks for when settings aren't doing it and we'll also touch upon some features covered in the the alternate signal paths.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Where Do You Check Rig Volume?
Every rig you can make has a pretty standard layout with some deviation- IN block, FX slots, OUT block. Whenever you need to balance rig volumes, you're going to want to use the OUT block, which you'll double tap to enter.
On this screen, the output meter is front and center. Notice the markers on the meters use -60, 0 and +6. We're going to want to focus on the bar marked 0. This is the peak of where we want to JUST kiss with our signal. Anything rig that hits the 3 bars leading up to to the 0 marker is a good standard for signal, as it means really digging into the instrument will pop the signal to that 0 meter, and that's where you want to top out to while you're playing hard.
Getting your rig into that range will usually entail making an adjustment to your rig volume; however if you're switching guitars between rigs and the input isn't quite getting you there, you may also need to adjust the input gain on your rig. This is done from your IN block. When finished, back out to the rig screen and hit the SAVE at the top of your screen. Saving inside the OUT block will save your settings as a preset as opposed to saving the settings to the rig.
Now here's a tip- what if you're using one rig for multiple guitars and still need to balance the output, it's not going to be feasible to always change the input gain quickly for guitars. Since the 2.6 update, 2 pedals now exist to compensate for the volume difference quickly- the white boost pedal, which is a clean decibel boost without adding too much gain to distort your sound; and the acoustic preamp effect which will help accentuate certain frequencies of your acoustic to get the sound balanced and boosted cleanly. These pedals are great resources to be able to switch on and off in a rig so that you can get that boost on the fly for different instruments.
Alternate Signal Path Balancing
Within a Rig, there are alternate settings that require your attention in balancing. First, we'll talk about Split Rigs. You may have noticed that when using a split rig that one side of the split is louder than the other, and when you check the output, the two sides of the signal path aren't lining up. This usually means that one side of the rig is adding more gain than the other; though you may already like the tone coming through both sides. Balancing this requires going into the MIX function of your Rig. That will appear at the end of the signal split, and double tapping on it will bring you to a screen that looks like this:
What you'll do from here is adjust the level of the weaker side up a little and the level of the stronger side down a little so that they meet at a reasonably balanced output in the OUT block. You can also hard pan each side to create a stronger separation of the signal.
In addition, with the 3.1 update to the newer Headrush units a new setup for dual signal paths has been added, utilizing the unit's 2 inputs. In this case, balancing within the rig is done similarly to balancing across the rig, but within the rig as each input now has an OUT block.
As stated in the Headrush Prime | What are the new signal paths for rigs? article, note that whenever you are using a dual instrument signal path that the combination input will always be the top signal chain. In general, the same output level rules apply as far as how hot you want the signal to get.
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