I've managed to integrate my Le Clean Preamp with a Line 6 HX Effects with great results, and thought this would be a useful place to share and discuss how other people integrate theirs into their setup.
On the board
- Preamp: Two Notes Le Clean
- DSP: Line 6 HX Effects
- Power supply: Voodoo Lab Pedal Power Digital
- Audio cables: Van Damme XKE 6mm unbalanced
- Audio jacks: KMMK SPS5 SquarePlug. Straight Mono Jack. 1/4", 6.35mm
- Audio jacks: KMMK SP550-S SquarePlug. Pancake Style Jack. TRS Right Angled 1/4" 6.35mm
- MIDI cable: One Control OC-MHC-30
- Power to helix: Voodoo Lab Current Doubler Adapter PPAP into Voodoo Lab 5.5mm/2.1mm centre negative DC cable trimmed to fit 5.5mm/2.5mm straight barrel push fit power cable plug (rated for 5A, 12V)
- Power to preamp: Voodoo Lab 2.1mm centre negative DC cable trimmed to fit 5.5mm/2.1mm straight barrel push fit power cable plug (rated for 5A, 12V)
- 18mm marine plywood
- Cable Tie mount 12.5x12.5
- 3M dual lock
- 20mm aluminium extrusion (1mm thick, 18mm inner). 18mm inner dimension is actually slightly tapered, so it was banged on with rubber mallet and is not going anywhere.
- StarTech.com 1-1/4in Dia. Self-Adhesive Rubber Feet for PC Cases
- SKB iSeries 2015-10, 3i-2015-10BC
Notes on pedal board
- The power supply is rated for 1.6A, and currently draws all of it (1.1A from HX Effects and 0.5A from Le Preamp) so it runs very hot. To be replaced with CIOKS DC7 or Eventide Powermax eventually.
Notes on Le Clean preamp
- The MIDI cable sends a program change from the HX Effects to the preamp to put it into "cold fusion" mode automatically when a preset is loaded. This command is sent as an instant command on each preset.
- I originally believed that Le Preamp could produce 4 channels of increased gain staging - clean, crunch, "cold fusion" and "hot fusion". However this is not the case, since getting "cold fusion" to work with "hot fusion" is impossible - when the gain and fusion knobs are setup to allow a natural increase in gain from clean, crunch and hot fusion, these settings cause the cold fusion to become incredibly loud and unpleasant.
- I also found that the settings required for getting "cold fusion" or "hot fusion" to sound their best required pretty odd EQs, compromising the sound of the clean and crunch channels when used on their own.
- Therefore, the options I had were:
- clean and crunch; or
- cold fusion; or
- hot fusion.
- The HX Effects has so much gain staging options that it just wasn't necessary to bother with multiple channels anyway, so I use the Le Clean as a single channel preamp and base everything around the "cold fusion" mode which I think sounds the best. Cold fusion allows for a rich clean that is just on the edge of breaking up, and therefore takes pedals from the HX Effects very nicely. It requires a very non-intuitive EQ to sound its best though - see pictures below.
Notes on HX Effects tone/presets
- The preamp is EQ'd to sound great clean without any drives. Rather than getting lost in all the IR options, I opted to audition the free Line 6 Allure pack, which all sound very different. I settled on the 90's Cali V30 (Mesa 4x12).
- I use 5 different presets, the only thing different between them is the distortion pedal. I auditioned lots of combos and eventually settled on the Timmy as the basis, using the Pete Cornish method of putting higher gain before it. The theory didn't always work though since some distortion pedals have very strong EQs:
- Timmy -> Zendrive (both sound good but this order sounds less muffled)
- Timmy -> King of Tone (lots of mids this way round but other way removes all the bass)
- Carvin legacy -> Timmy
- Tube screamer -> Timmy
- OCD -> Timmy (lots of mids but other way is too mid cut)
- Screamer and KOT sound the best. KOT has very subtle gain build up which is great for clean playing (e.g. at church). Screamer just sounds very pleasantly balanced and not distracting - not too bright, muffled or boomy, and can get really heavy when the gain is turned up, which is what I use snapshot 2 for.
- Snapshot 2 contains different settings for the Timmy and distortion pedals. Generally I drop the level of the overdrive and distortion pedals and turn up the gain to compensate. This enables snapshot 2 to function like a gain boost. The Xotic EP boost on footswitch 6 provides a volume boost, and I can combine them both if required.
Notes on HX Effects snapshot toggle
- By assigning a HX Snapshot command to my footswitch to change to snapshot 2, I can push footswitch 3 when I'm snapshot 1 to move to snapshot 2, then press it again to go back to snapshot 1. This enables me to toggle the gain boost on/off using a footswitch just like the volume boost. HX snapshot command is a 2.90 feature, so isn't in the manual.
- Toggling between snapshot requires setting "Global settings>Preferences>Snapshot reselect" to "Toggle prev". This is a 2.80 features so not in the manual either.
- I also ensure that "Snapshot bypass" is "off" for all my blocks, which is configured under the "Action" menu. This ensures that toggling between snapshots doesn't mess with any block on/off settings. This is a 2.80 features so not in the manual either.
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